The Justice and Home Affairs Council has reached political agreement on the European Public Prosecutor (EPPO). EPPO is tasked with identifying instances of fraud using EU money, for example in cross-border EU-funded construction projects. The European Commission estimates that this amounts to €500 million per year, with a large share being VAT fraud.
Jan Philipp Albrecht, Greens/EFA home affairs and justice policy spokesperson and shadow rapporteur for the European Public Prosecutor, welcomes the apparent progress:
"This agreement represents a major step on the way to a real European Security Union. It shows that European cooperation against major cross-border criminality is possible. Not only will this enable better cooperation in the fight against economic crimes, especially fraud and money laundering, it will mean more money is available for investing in things like the digital economy and the energy transition. This is a perfect example of where European collaboration is both necessary and reaps major rewards for the public."
Eva Joly, member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee, adds:
"It is to be welcomed that there is now broad agreement on this important collaboration. It is now necessary to clarify any outstanding issues, in particular relations with EUROJUST, so that the European Public Prosecutor's Office can get down to work as soon as possible. The European Public Prosecutor's Office must be backed up with the resources it needs to enable it to carry out its role effectively and deliver real added value for the citizens of Europe."