What will the European Public Prosecutor's Office, which is going to be established in order to protect the European Union (EU) financial interests and to save hundreds of millions of Euros, look like? The answer to this and other questions related to the proposal of the European Commission (EC) on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office will be sought in Vilnius next week at the international conference "European Public Prosecutor's Office: A Constructive Approach towards the Legal Framework”.
Live broadcasting of Press Conference on 16th of September 12-12.30:
This international conference aimed at informal overview of the content of the proposal on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office and sharing ideas on the proposed legal framework of the European Public Prosecutor's Office among the experts from the EU Member States and EU institutions and agencies is organized on 16-17 September in Vilnius. During the conference it is also expected to receive comments and remarks from prominent representatives of the academic society.
The event will focus on the three main aspects of the future European Public Prosecutor's Office: its institutional framework, procedural regime and the scope of application of substantive law.
According to Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis, the conference and the comments provided are expected to serve as an impetus for the Member States to initiate constructive discussions regarding the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
"Proposal on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's is one of the priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the criminal justice area. New and effective ways to fight against crimes affecting the European Union's financial interests are definitely needed; however, they must be well considered, and Member States should be given sufficient time for discussions on this issue," J. Bernatonis emphasizes.
Minister of Justice assures that Lithuania, as the state holding the Presidency, will seek to ensure that future negotiations on this extremely topical issue would be performed fully analyzing the proposal and aiming at the widest possible support.
In order to protect the financial interests of the EU, on 17 July the European Commission submitted a new proposal on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office as provided by the Lisbon Treaty. The new Commission’s proposal seeks to eliminate the obstacles for the effective fight against crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union.
Every year the EU budget loses approximately 280 million Euros (about one billion Litas) due to the fraud crimes affecting the EU's financial interests. If the proposal to establish the European Public Prosecutor's Office is approved, this institution will be able to effectively prevent the illegal use of funds from the EU budget and subsequent cases of fraud.
"The European Public Prosecutor's Office should provide the real added value ensuring the protection of the EU financial interests. Its establishment could also contribute to the development of the national consciousness, consolidation of efforts to effectively prevent the illegal use of funds of the EU budget and protecting the money of the European Union taxpayers," J. Bernatonis states.
Minister of Justice Juozas Bernatonis and a member of EC Algirdas Šemeta, who is in charge of taxation and customs union, audit and anti-fraud, will also participate in the conference. EU Member States senior officials of Justice and Home Affairs area, prosecutors, representatives of the European Commission, the EU Council General Secretariat and other relevant EU agencies and institutions and other prominent members of academic society will take part in this event as well.
The conference "European Public Prosecutor's Office: A Constructive Approach towards the Legal Framework” is organized by the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the EC and the Academy of European Law.