Exclusive: 13 member states sign for enhanced cooperation on EPPO launch

EPA / STEPHANIE LECOCQ

EU Commissioner in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova (L, front), Malta's Minister of Justice Owen Bonnici (C) and Luxembourg Minister of Justice Felix Braz (R) attend a Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium, 28 March 2017.

Exclusive: 13 member states sign for enhanced cooperation on EPPO launch


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Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are the 13 member states that signed a notification letter, asking the launch of an enhanced cooperation on the establishment on the European public prosecutor (EPPO), as an EU official told New Europe.

Justice ministers of the above member states, met informally in order to discuss the launch of enhanced cooperation, as agreed during the previous European Council at 9 March 2017.

13 out of 28 member states now agree to the creation of an EU-level prosecutor with powers to investigate, prosecute and bring to justice anyone committing fraud that involves the EU budget or cross-border VAT.

As not all member states adopted the initiative to establish that position earlier, €50 billion VAT revenues are lost each year due to cross-border fraud, Hungary, Malta and the Netherlands have made clear earlier this year that they had no intention to support the initiative. As this procedure required unanimity, it was at the hands of nine or more member states to proceed to a smaller EPPO.

Initially, it was 17 member states supporting the enhanced cooperation procedure, as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain have signed the previous letter to the European Council.

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