Law Enforcement by EU Authorities
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Law Enforcement by EU Authorities

Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability

Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

EU law and governance have faced a new development – the proliferation of EU enforcement authorities, which have grown in number over the last 15 years. These entities, either acting alone or together with national enforcement authorities, have been investigating and sanctioning private actors on their compliance with EU law. Law Enforcement by EU Authorities investigates whether the system of control (in terms of both judicial and political accountability) has evolved to support the new system of law enforcement in the EU.
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Chapter 9: The political and judicial accountability of OLAF

Michiel Luchtman and Martin Wasmeier

Abstract

OLAF is a vital player in the approach to fighting fraud directed against the EU’s financial interests. Its institutional structure is a hybrid one. The Office plays an important role in the EU’s general anti-fraud policy, but also needs strong operational independence. Our analysis presents a complicated picture. Many actors are involved in OLAF’s political and judicial accountability. The relationships between these actors are not always clear. This can not only lead to duplications, but also to gaps in accountability. These gaps manifest themselves at the interface of the EU and national levels, as well as in the division of labour between the fora for political and judicial accountability. The authors submit that clearer rules are needed for the cooperation with national authorities, the admissibility of OLAF evidence in national proceedings and a body which can address complaints in a truly independent manner.

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