Joint Statement by Vice-President Jourová, Commissioner Hahn and Commissioner Reynders on the launch of the European Public Prosecutor's Office

Vice-President Vera Jourová, Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner Didier Reynders made the fol­low­ing state­ment, wel­com­ing the start of activ­i­ties of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office:

As of today, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is up and run­ning. This opens a new chap­ter in fight­ing cross-bor­der crime. The first supra­na­tion­al pros­e­cu­tion ser­vice is launch­ing its oper­a­tions to pro­tect the EU tax­pay­er’s mon­ey, com­pe­tent to inves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute crimes like mon­ey laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion and cross-bor­der VAT fraud.

In 2019 alone, Member States report­ed fraud affect­ing EUR 460 mil­lion of the EU bud­get. Such fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties have a direct impact on peo­ple’s every­day lives, inflict­ing seri­ous eco­nom­ic dam­age. This has to stop, all the more so because COVID-19 has deeply chal­lenged our economies and we need every euro for the recovery.

Now, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office steps in to strength­en the pro­tec­tion of the bud­get of the EU. It will observe the imple­men­ta­tion of NextGenerationEU with an eagle eye to make sure funds will reach our econ­o­my and our cit­i­zens.  EUR 750 bil­lion in loans and grants are at stake. 

This new­ly cre­at­ed EU body is ful­ly inde­pen­dent. It will pros­e­cute and bring the sus­pect­ed per­pe­tra­tors of crimes to jus­tice in the 22 par­tic­i­pat­ing EU Member States. Sweden has expressed its inter­est and is plan­ning to join the EPPO in 2022. We encour­age the four Member States that chose to stay out to join as well. Because crime knows no bor­ders – we need to fight it together.”

For more Information

Commission web­page: European Public Prosecutor’s Office (the EPPO)

EPPO web­site

Factsheet: The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (the EPPO)

Q&A: Launch of the activ­i­ties of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)

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