The Council of the European Union has confirmed Romanian Laura Codruta Kovesi as chief European prosecutor. The naming is yet to be confirmed officially by the European Parliament.

Laura Codruta KovesiFoto: Agerpres/EPA

The Finnish Justice minister, whose country is holding the EU presidency, said the priority of the Council was that the new European public prosecutor's office EPPO be operational by November 2020. The minister said that Kovesi, as first holder of the job, would have the task to build the office from scratch:

  • "Her job over the 7 years of her mandate will in particular consist in building the administrative and operational structure of the office and establishing good working relations with national judiciary authorities. The Council will continue monitor the setting up of the office to ensure we have an efficient and effective EPPO that becomes the cornerstone of our fight against fraud and corruption to the EU finances" - Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Justice from the Finnish presidency of the Council

The official statement reminds:

  • The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will be an independent body of the Union responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the Union (e.g. fraud, corruption, cross-border VAT fraud above 10 million euros). In that respect the EPPO shall undertake investigations, and carry out acts of prosecution and exercise the functions of prosecutor in the competent courts of the Member States.There are currently 22 Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain).