European public prosecutor's office : 16 member states together to fight fraud against the EU budget
Press officer (Justice; Corporate communications)
16 member states notified the three institutions of their intention to launch an enhanced cooperation to establish a European public prosecutor's office (EPPO). The EPPO will be in charge of investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of offences against the Union's financial interests.
The notification letter received today includes 16 signatories: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Other member states are expected to join the cooperation, which they are entitled to do at any time before or after the adoption of the EPPO regulation.
Negotiations at the Council will now resume in order to finalise the text.
Minister Owen Bonnici, on behalf of the Maltese presidency, said: "Although Malta will not take part in the enhanced cooperation, we kept true to the word we gave at the start of our presidency to act as an honest broker. We are committed to start again the work on the regulation quickly in order to reach an agreement over the coming months".
The discussions at the Council will take place on the basis of the latest compromise text of the EPPO regulation as stabilised in January 2017.
The draft regulation must obtain the consent of the European Parliament before it can be finally adopted.