Kovesi, first balance sheet as European chief prosecutor: VAT fraud across EU mounts to EUR 60 bln

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EU Chief Prosecutor, Romanian Laura Codruta Kovesi has been heard in the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament on Thursday, to explain MEPs how the European Prosecutor’s Office will work. The institution is to become operational by the end of this year and will mostly tackle EU funds embezzlement.

“I guarantee you the European Prosecutor’s Office will be independent“, said Kovesi.

As for the VAT fraud at European level, it mounts to a sum ranging from EUR 30 and EUR 60 billion, according to Kovesi.

Kovesi also tackled about the cooperation with the member states, announcing she has started visiting the EU countries. “I am visiting 2-3 states per week. The goal is to see of the member states are starting actions to comply with the requirements of the European Prosecutor’s Office. I am also having talks  with each state to nominate the prosecutors.”  She voiced hope that all countries agree to nomination a full-time prosecutor to work with the European Prosecutor’s Office.

Kovesi has also taken a first stein the collaboration with Europol, and she will go to the Hague in March to meet the Europol president.

The EU Chief Prosecutor urged the European Commission to take a decision on the budget of the future institution as soon as possible, arguing that “we must start work”.

Kovesi pointed out that the European Prosecutor’s Office should be able to open 2,000 cases in its first year of activity. “My estimation is that the prosecutors to be designated by each state will have to analyse at least 3,000 files and to send them back for solving to the legal authorities in the certain countries.”

At the same time, Kovesi stressed that one of the new prosecutor’s office’s priorities will be to recover the prejudices.

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