Eurojust and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) have signed a Working Arrangement laying out the detailed practical modalities of their cooperation in the fight against crimes affecting the European Union’s financial interests. The Arrangement was signed by European Chief Prosecutor Ms Laura Kövesi and Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran in their respective headquarters in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
European Chief Prosecutor Ms Laura Kövesi said: ‘The imminent start of the EPPO operations will have a major impact on the overall anti-fraud architecture in the EU. Our partnership with Eurojust will increase the firepower of law enforcement authorities against the most complex cross-border criminality.‘
Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran stated: ‘This arrangement is an important stepping stone for our future cooperation with the EPPO and I look forward to a strong and fruitful partnership. Together, we are giving a clear signal. For the European citizens, the message is that we are doing everything we can to make sure that their tax money is well spent. For those committing fraud against the EU budget, the message is that they will be held responsible for their actions.’
European Commissioner for Justice Mr Didier Reynders pointed out: ‘I welcome the signature of the Working Arrangement between Eurojust and the EPPO. Together, they will step up the fight against crimes affecting the EU budget. In light of the EU’s recovery and resilience plan, strong and common actions are necessary to guarantee that every euro spent goes into the right direction.’
The Working Arrangement has been adopted by the Colleges of both the EPPO and Eurojust and lays down the details of their cooperation in the fight against crimes affecting the financial interests of the European Union.
The Arrangement implements in practice the modalities of cooperation put in place in the Eurojust and EPPO Regulations, for instance by regulating the exchange of information between the two organisations and Eurojust’s support to the EPPO with regard to judicial cooperation requests and decisions involving Member States that do not take part in the establishment of the EPPO, and third countries.
The EPPO and Eurojust have agreed to establish liaison teams to enable seamless cooperation. The Working Arrangement also provides for practical collaboration when it comes to participation in meetings and seminars and the training of staff members. Particular attention has been given to data protection, in close cooperation with the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).
Eurojust is the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation. Based in The Hague in the Netherlands, it facilitates cross-border judicial cooperation for all 27 EU Member States and the 13 countries with which it has cooperation agreements, covering all areas of major crime. Currently, ten third countries have Liaison Prosecutors at Eurojust.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office is the new independent EU body responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes affecting the financial interests of the European Union. The EPPO will investigate fraud involving EU funds of over EUR 10 000 and cross-border VAT fraud involving damage above EUR 10 million.
The Working Arrangement can be found here.