The Need of the European Public Prosecutor's Office in the Context of Strengthening the Integration

Author:Tache Bocaniala
Position:Senior Lecturer, PhD, 'Danubius' University of Galati, Romania
Pages:71-76
SUMMARY

In this research we intend to have an objective analysis on the necessity of establishing within the European Union an institution with the role of tracking, investigating prosecuting criminal cases on union funds fraud. Based on the annual losses estimated to hundreds of millions of euros on which there are suspicions of fraud and the success rate of the prosecutions concerning the offenses... (see full summary)

 
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Legal Sciences in the New Millennium
71
The Need of the European Public Prosecutor's Office
in the Context of Strengthening the Integration
Tache Bocnial
1
Abstract: In this research we intend to have an ob jective analysis on the necessity of establishin g within the
European Union an institution with th e role of tracking, investigating prosecuting criminal cases o n union
funds fraud. Based on the annual losses estimated to hundreds of millions of euros on which there are
suspicions of fraud and the success rate of the prosecutions concerning the offenses against the EU budget,
which varies considerably from one Member State to another (while the EU average is only 42.3 %), the
European Commission, as the institution responsible for implementing policies and spending the EU funds
proposed the establishment, starting from 1st January 2015, of the European P ublic Prosecutor's Office
(EPPO) as union body for protecting these funds effectively and consistently in all Member States.
Continuing the process of European integration requires an increased cooperation between Me mber States for
the effective protection of the EU financial interests against fraud. Our analysis attempts to clarify to what
extent the European Public Prosecutor's Office would be another step towards the completion of, along with
the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Europol and Eurojust, a palette of union bodies called upon to
provide the necessary protection for the proper functioning of the European Union as a whole.
Keywords: union budget; fight against fraud; criminal proceedings; national authorities
1. Premise
The problem of protecting the financial interests of the European Union against fraud occurred with
the increase of the number of Member States and the volume of financial transactions, whether these
frauds aimed community expenditures or revenues.
To this end, the Commission established in 1988, the Fraud Coordination Unit, which transformed its
structure since 1999 in Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which functions as an independent administrative
independent control body, with departments in each of the EU countries. OLAF together with Europol,
Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and Frontex form the institutional
structure for the prevention and combating of offenses, along with the national law enforcement
agencies, the rule of law which concerns crimes in the European Union and Schengen Area. While all
the other listed organisms have demonstrated high degree of efficacy, in most areas of competence,
OLAF has often attracted criticism on the reduced efficiency in preventing and combating fraud,
motivated mainly by the quality of the administrative body, with limited competences.
At the same time, as annually a growing percentage of the EU budget is diverted through fraud2, the
responsible law enforcement agencies of the Member States show a variety of thought-provoking
situations. Thus, for example, if in accordance with the statistics, in Lithuania there have been
sentenced to the 88 % of those investigated for fraud, Finland, 91.7%, 64.3% in Belgium, France 75%,
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, “Danubius” University of Galati, Ro mania, Address: 3 Galati Boulevard, 800654 Galati, Romania,
Tel.: +40.372.361.102, Fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author: tache.bocaniala@univ-danubius.ro.
2 According to official data, fraud through various forms to the EU budget amounts between 1 and 10% of its volume.

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