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June 22, 2021

JusMin Stelian Ion: Start of EPPO’s activity, a historic moment for EU and for Romania

Justice Minister Stelian Ion said on Tuesday  that the start of the activity of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is “a historic moment for the European Union and for Romania”.

“This is a historic moment for the European Union and for Romania, as a member state participating in the enhanced cooperation for the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The European citizens have high expectations of the new European structure. I am convinced that the European Chief Prosecutor and her team will prove professionalism and excellence, by achieving a track record capable to ensure the effective protection of the Union’s financial interests. I will continue to support the work of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, fully aware that its success depends on its close and efficient cooperation with the competent national authorities, based on mutual trust,” Stelian Ion said as cited in a release of the Justice Ministry.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office starts today its operational activity in those member states taking part in enhanced cooperation, based on the Commission’s Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/856 of 25 May 2021 determining the date on which the European Public Prosecutor’s Office assumes its investigative and prosecutorial tasks.

EPPO will be able to investigate, in Romania and in the other participating member states, with the support of the competent national authorities, the offenses that harm the EU’s financial interests.

“Romania is one of the member states that has consistently supported the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, right from the start of negotiations in the EU Council, based on the proposal for a Regulation published by the Commission in July 2013. Romania was one of the member states to initiate this form of enhanced cooperation in 2017, constantly advocating in subsequent discussions at EU level the operationalization of the new EU jurisdiction as soon as possible, with the provision of appropriate resources and the development of close cooperation with national authorities,” the Justice Ministry said, according to Agerpres.

In preparation for this historic moment, Romania has also taken a series of legislative and institutional steps at domestic level: legislative and institutional changes were operated to ensure the implementation of the Regulation, selection procedures were carried out both for the appointment of the European Prosecutor for Romania and of the candidates for the position of European Delegated Prosecutor, the first six being already appointed by the College of the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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