Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Maria Bergström and Theodore Konstadinides
Chapter 23: The European Public Prosecutor’s Office
In July 2013, the European Commission presented its Proposal to set up the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Meanwhile negotiations are ongoing in the Council. The Commission’s Proposal represents a seminal change in developing the EU criminal justice area: in order to fight offences affecting the financial interests of the European Union a European law enforcement body would be set up. Instead of cooperation of national judicial authorities, the Commission’s Proposal would install genuine European powers of investigation and prosecution in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). This chapter gives a brief overview of the history of the idea of the EPPO and of the legal framework and the procedure laid down in Article 86 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) for its establishment. It discusses the main features of the Commission’s Proposal, highlighting the controversial provisions and summarizing the main arguments. As the negotiations are still ongoing at the time of writing, the central elements of the draft text discussed in the Council are outlined. The concluding remarks take into account the current outcome of the negotiations and aim to assess whether the intended changes are in line with the constitutional objectives of the Treaty and would represent an added value compared to the present background of judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the EU.
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