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09 December, 2021
 
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EU ready to claw back stolen funds

New European Public Prosecutor’s Office ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against EU budget

Newsroom

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office goes to work next week, after the Council gave the green light this week for the first supranational independent agency to begin investigating and prosecuting crimes against the EU budget.

EPPO, the first supranational public prosecution office, is in charge of conducting criminal investigations and prosecutions for crimes against the EU budget.

EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova said this week that the bloc was now on the “home stretch” as EPPO was preparing to launch June 1.

“From 1 June onwards, European prosecutors, under the strong leadership of Laura Kovesi, will clamp down on criminals and make sure no euro is wasted on corruption or fraud.”

The Union's new body can also investigate and prosecute any other illegal activity that is ‘inextricably linked’ to an offence against the EU budget

Romanian national Kovesi will lead EPPO as the first European chief prosecutor, where she will work with other European prosecutors and European delegated prosecutors.

Last summer, the European Council appointed EPPO’s prosecutors from member states, after EU leaders had been asked to nominate three individuals from their country for the position.

Cypriot Katerina Loizou, who was nominated along with two other individuals by President Nicos Anastasiades, got the position where she and colleagues will supervise investigations and prosecutions.

Loizou, who serves as counsel of the Republic of Cyprus, had previously worked for the office of the Attorney General as well as in private practice. She has represented Cyprus at the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation since September 2004.

EPPO investigations and prosecutions will basically involve cases of fraud and other crimes affecting the bloc’s financial interests, such as fraud relating to expenditures and revenues, fraud relating to VAT, money laundering, active and passive corruption or misappropriation, and taking part in a criminal organization.

The Union's new body can also investigate and prosecute any other illegal activity that is ‘inextricably linked’ to an offence against the EU budget.

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