Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Thursday that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) represents a necessity of the continent’s judiciary world, a prevention and fighting instrument against crimes with European funds.
“The need for the European Prosecutor’s Office becomes more evident taking into account that it hasn’t been made operational yet and the extension of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office powers is already talked about in terms of preventing and fighting terrorism acts. Romania currently has, generically speaking, four European judges with the ECHR [the European Court of Human Rights], the EU Court of Justice, the EU Court House, where we already have two European judges,” Minister Tudorel Toader stated at the European Conference “the Impact of the EU Regulation on establishing of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.”
He mentioned that the regulation based on which there will be nominated three prosecutors from Romania is being sought in order to be transposed into the national legislation.
“Somehow, Romania has this privilege to contribute to the establishment and putting into action of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, starting from unblocking the cooperation strengthened when participating in the drafting of the regulation and the fact that under the mandate of the rotating Presidency of the EU Council the European Chief Prosecutor will be appointed, the national legislation will be adopted, we will appoint the three candidates from Romania,” Tudorel Toader stated.
The application deadline for the proposals was postponed until the end of March 2019, at the request of some states.
“We currently didn’t finalise the legislative framework necessary for the proposals of candidates for prosecutors coming from Romania. A draft law for the appointment of candidates was drafted at the Ministry of Justice, it was made in decision-making transparency, debates were held, we are to propose the Government its adoption in the shortest time possible and send it to Parliament for enactment. (…) If it doesn’t get adopted by the end of March in order to start the procedure, we have the emergency ordinance option, which Parliament can improve, including through your contributions. The appointment conditions of the three candidates will be those of the regulation, the ones transposed in the national legislation and we also consider very good professional training and full moral integrity,” the Minister stated.
PG Lazar: Operationalization of European Prosecutor’s Office, priority of this moment
Romania’s Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar on Thursday said that the European Prosecutor’s Office is a priority of the moment.
“The operationalization of the European Prosecutor’s Office represents a priority right now and a priority of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In 2016, after years of scientific research, together with other EU prosecutors general, we published an appeal letter, pointing out the necessity of setting up the European Prosecutor’s Office through enhanced cooperation, namely the agreement of at least 9 Member States. (…) The regulation was approved by the JHA Council in October 2017, Romania being one of the 20 founding states. (…) It has already been a year since the legislative base of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office was completed. In order for this European institution to function effectively, however, the Member States, including Romania, must go through a difficult stage, marked by the operationalization efforts of this supranational prosecutor’s office,” Lazar told the European Conference on the Impact of the EU Regulation on the Establishment of the European Prosecutor’s Office.
He stated that the Public Ministry was involved in the operationalization of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office both through the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), which has the competence to prosecute the offenses, as well as through the human resources support made available by the Prosecution Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice for coordinating and drawing up a study analyzing this issue.
“Personally, I am a supporter of the European Prosecutor’s Office since the emergence of the idea in the corpus iuris, so I am convinced at the first evaluation of this new EU body in 2022 the results obtained will be important, then we should move on to the extension of the competences of the European Prosecutor’s Office to the other types of offenses referred to in Article 86 (4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, serious cross-border crimes and those affecting several Member States,” Lazar added.