Photo: Plamen Stoimenov (EU2018BG)
Issues related to the election of the European Chief Public Prosecutor and the structure of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), which will investigate the misuse of European funds, were discussed on 26 and 27 March 2018 at an international conference in Sofia. The event was under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and organised jointly with the European Commission.
During the event, it became clear that the European Chief Public Prosecutor's election procedure is expected to start in June this year and will end with the appointment in March 2019. It is planned that the EPPO will be operational in November 2020.
"We have to provide all the necessary conditions for the selection and election of the best candidates for European Chief Prosecutor and European prosecutors, who will work at the headquarters of the Luxembourg Prosecutor's Office, and for delegated European prosecutors to conduct investigations in our countries”,
Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva stated at the opening of the conference.
The speakers opening the conference placed an emphasis on expanding the EPPO’s competence towards investigating terrorist acts within the EU.
“We are ready to hold a further discussion on the idea of expanding the Office's competence. We are aware that we are facing serious challenges in terms of the security of European citizens”,
Minister Tsacheva said. Luxembourg's Minister of Justice Felix Braz added that the fight against the activities of organised crime groups should be accelerated.
Minister Tsacheva welcomed the declared desire by the Netherlands and Malta to join the enhanced cooperation under the European Public Prosecutor’s Office Regulation, as a result of the active dialogue with the Bulgarian Presidency over the last months.
During the Conference, the Deputy Director General of Justice and Consumers of the European Commission, Francisco Fonseca-Morillo, underlined the joint efforts required by all the participants in the establishment of the EPPO. The joint efforts in the establishment of the Office were also in the focus of the statement of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria Sotir Tsatsarov.
Also on the agenda of the conference were issues related to adaptations in national legal systems and cooperation with national authorities, developing a case management system, cooperating with other EU agencies, non-participating Member States and third countries, as well as training of EPPO staff.