In the future, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (“EPPO”) will homogeneously prosecute criminal offenses against the EU’s financial interests. The EPPO is an independent authority meant to prevent misuse and embezzlement of EU funds by investigating fraud, corruption, and money laundering. It is expected toplay a decisive role in checking whether money provided by the EU in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic has been requested or used fraudulently by corporations.
The EPPO’s administrative structure is currently being set up to make way for its operational phase, as it is supposed to be fully functioning soon. By implementing the EPPO, the EU aims to overcome existing obstacles to crossborder investigations and prosecute criminal offenses against the EU’s financial interests more effectively. We expect more coordinated crossborder investigations in Europe as a whole, as the EPPO is an important step towards a more coherent criminal and white-collar crime prosecution system within the EU.
The EPPO will be organized in two levels. The first level will be headquartered in Luxembourg and consist of the European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruța Kövesi, who will be supported by two deputies, Danilo Ceccarelli and Andrés Ritter. This central office is authorized to instruct the European Delegated Prosecutors and supervise their investigations. Each participating Member States will delegate a European Prosecutor to Luxembourg. The second, decentralized level will be located in the 22 participating Member States, where national public prosecutors, i.e., the European Delegated Prosecutors, will be entrusted with the tasks of the EPPO, in addition to their domestic activities.They will perform the actual investigations.
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