Today, talks around the selection for the role of European Chief Prosecutor between the European Parliament and the Council broke down, due to the Council bowing to pressure from the Romanian government over the Parliament's selection of Romanian former anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruţa Kövesi.
Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee and negotiator on behalf of the Parliament for these talks comments:
"The fact that the Romanian government is trying to go to such extreme lengths as indicting Laura Codruţa Kövesi on trumped-up charges and trying to stop her from leaving the country, shows how afraid they are of her courage and independence. These qualities are crucial for the role of European Chief Prosecutor and is exactly why we should stand by her nomination for the role."
"It's shameful that the Council is willing to bend to the whims of the Romanian government over such a crucial position. If the Council endorses the Romanian government's hard-line against such a promising candidate it will amount to watering down the position of the European Chief Prosecutor itself."
The EPPO, which will be tasked with investigating and prosecuting corruption, cross-border VAT fraud and crimes against the EU budget, will begin its work by the end of 2020. So far 22 EU Member States have signed-up to the EPPO aside from a few notable exceptions, such as the UK, Poland and Hungary.