Today, the European Parliament's Conference of Presidents has endorsed the nomination of Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former head of the Romanian Anti-Corruption Agency (DNA), for the role of European Chief Prosecutor at the new European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). The Parliament will now need to agree with the Council. Judith Sargentini will lead the negotiations on behalf of the Greens/EFA group.
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.
Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments:
"The European Parliament is sending a strong message that we take the fight against corruption, fraud and cross border crime seriously by endorsing someone with such experience and expertise. Laura Codruta Kovesi's has an almost unparalleled track record of standing up for justice and holding officials to account for corruption, despite desperate attempts at interference in her work from the Social Democrat and ALDE government.
"The Romanian government, which is currently trying to pass laws to de-facto legalise corruption in the country for officials, is attempting to discredit Kovesi through the courts even today. Now, we call on EU Member States to show that they are on the side of justice and not to bow to pressure from the Romanian government when it comes to the final selection for the European Chief Prosecutor.
Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments:
"It's vital that the EU proves that it is willing to stand up to political interference in the fight against corruption and fraud by choosing Laura Codruta Kovesi. Today the European Parliament has made it clear to the Romanian people who are sick of the endemic corruption of the Social Democrat and ALDE government, that we support your struggle.
"The EPPO will be an imperative tool in the fight against corruption across Europe and the selection of Kovesi will provide the skills and courage needed for the role of European Chief Prosecutor. We will stand firm in our choice for European Chief Prosecutor in negotiations with the Council until the end."
Last summer, Kovesi was forced out by the Social Democrat and ALDE government.
Kovesi has been summoned to appear in court in Bucharest today, amid accusations of political interference by the Romanian government.
The list of candidates also included: Jean-François Bohnert, an international prosecutor from France who help set-up Eurojust and Andrés Ritter a regional district chief prosecutor from Germany.