The European Parliament today backed the creation of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). The new office will have the power to investigate, prosecute and bring to trial criminal offences related to fraud against the financial interests of the European Union. The S&D Group welcomes the creation of the new office and wants to see it up and running as soon as possible.
S&D Group spokesperson for the new EPPO, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann MEP, said:
“For the EU to work effectively it is essential that European taxpayers see their money is spent effectively. Stories of corruption and misuse of EU funds seriously damage the credibility of the EU in the eyes of its citizens. The Commission estimates the loss to the EU budget due to fraud conservatively at EUR 500 million per year. That is why the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office is so important. It will help to investigate and prosecute cases where EU funds are misused. Despite this step forward, we are disappointed that not all member states have signed up. This is especially concerning as some of the countries with the highest levels of corruption, in particular Hungary and Poland which receive per capita and in absolute terms the highest amount of EU funds, have not joined.”
S&D Group Spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel MEP added:
“From the beginning, we pushed hard for a genuinely independent prosecution office, which will not be embroiled in the interests of member states. Although the new office is not perfect, we have seen significant improvements during the negotiations, thanks to the pressure we put on member states. We now need to see the new office up and running and urge all member states that have not yet joined to do so as soon as possible.”
Note to editors
At present, there are 20 member states officially taking part in the EPPO from its start in 2020. The five member states not participating are Poland, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands and Malta. Denmark, the UK and Ireland either are excluded or have opt outs under the Treaties and have been not been involved in the EPPO from the beginning.