The Need to Set Up the European Public Prosecutor's Office

AuthorLiliana Niculescu
PositionAssistant Professor, PhD, Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, The Faculty of Juridical, Social, and Political Sciences, Romania
ISSN: 2067 9211 Legal and Administrative Sciences in the New Millennium
The Need to Set Up the European
Public Prosecutor’s Office
Liliana Niculescu1
Abstract: The idea of setting up a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is old and has its foundation
in the interest of the European institutions to protect their budgets, both in the pre-accession and post-accession
phase. In the interest of protecting financial interests in particular, there was wanted a regulatory framework in
criminal matters to generate results. The solution found at Community level, despite complaints from some
Member States over the violation of the principle of national sovereignty, was this EPPO institution capable of
investigating, judging and prosecuting offenses against the EU budget, such as fraud, corruption or serious
cross-border VAT fraud. In Romania, the debate on this issue did not address issues of sovereignty, or elements
related to the nature of the institution's appearance, its necessity, or how it will work at the level of the signatory,
non-statutory or non-EU. In our country the discussion has reduced to who will lead the respective European
body, the views being obviously shared. What the public opinion in Romania ignores is the fact that man does
not make the institution, but the institution makes the man. Given these exaggerations on one side and the other
at national level, which have not brought any concrete contribution to the development of a European
instrument, I consider as necessary a cold analysis of this institution and its implications for the Member States
and Europe overall.
Keywords: European Public Prosecutor’s Office; fraud; corruption; cross-border fraud; European Union
1. How did the Idea of Setting up the European Prosecutor’s Office Arise?
Starting from the intention to combat cross-border crimes as regards the evasion of European funds,
EPPO has found a concretization through Art. 86 TFEU2 on the establishment of a new body of the
European Union with the primary objective of investigating, prosecuting and bringing before the
national courts persons who affect the financial interests of the Union.
This European Commission proposal was followed by a resolution of the European Parliament stressing
that the EPPO structure should be completely independent of national governments and EU institutions
and protected from any political influence or pressure and that the rules governing the division of
competences between EPPO and national authorities should be clearly defined so as to eliminate any
uncertainty or misinterpretation.
1 Assistant Professor, PhD, Dunarea de Jos University of Galaţi, The Faculty of Juridical, Social, and Political Sciences,
Romania, Address: 47 Domneasca Street, Tel.: 0040 0336 130 108, Romania, Corresponding author:

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