Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 25

Fighting fraud: EU public prosecutor must be fully independent, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 30 aprile 2015

european commissionThe European Public Prosecutor to be named to fight fraud against the EU budget and help retrieve taxpayers’ money must be fully independent and democratically accountable, MEPs stress in a draft resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday. The resolution takes stock of the ongoing talks among member states and sets out Parliament’s priorities for the establishment of the Prosecutor’s Office.”It is vital for us to have a central European Prosecutor’s Office”, explained lead MEP Monica Macovei (EPP, RO), adding that “This means we will be able to tackle fraud more effectively, more rapidly and it would be easier to recover the funds” and that “We in the European Parliament are the guardians of the European taxpayer’s money”.In the resolution, MEPs stress that the structure of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) should be “fully independent of national governments and the EU institutions and protected from political influence and pressure”.They also underline that the rules governing the division of jurisdiction between the EPPO and the national authorities should be clearly defined in order to avoid any uncertainty. National authorities that carry out investigations which may fall under the competence of the EPPO should be obliged to inform the EPPO of these and the EPPO should have the right to take over the investigations if it finds it appropriate.Selection procedures for the positions as prosecutors should be open, objective and transparent, MEPs say. They suggest holding an open competition for candidates in which the prosecutors are appointed by Council and Parliament by common accord on the basis of a shortlist drawn up by the Commission, following an evaluation by an independent panel of experts. The Chief Prosecutor should be appointed in the same way following a hearing by Parliament, they add.Once EU member states agree to establish a European Public Prosecutor, Parliament will have to give its consent.
The resolution was endorsed by 487 votes in favour, 165 against and 33 abstentions.

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