Romania to send 15 prosecutors instead of 10 to the EPPO
Romania will delegate 15 prosecutors to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office led by former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi, instead of 10 initially announced.
According to a press release by the Romanian Ministry of Justice, Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu has lobbied for an operational EPPO as soon as possible during the informal meeting of Justice ministers from the EU states on Friday.
“Romania is endorsing that EPPO becomes operations. We identified solutions to supplement the number of ten prosecutors initially announced to 15″, said Predoiu.
He added that he had held talks on this issue lately also with the General Chief Prosecutor and with the DNA chief, when reviewing the load volume of the prosecutor’s offices and the personnel shortage.
The EPPO activity is threatened by delays as Brussels prepares to allot tens of billions of euros to the countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic, thus increasing the risk of further EU fund embezzlement.
EPPO had initially asked Romania to send 20-30 delegate prosecutors to investigate the EU fund frauds, but that the Justice Ministry replied it can only send 10 prosecutors.
In an interview to Politico this summer, the chief of EPPO, Laura Codruta Kovesi had said that EPPO would have to take over 300 cases in the first instance, and that the Prosecutor’s Office would need at least 140 European delegate prosecutors for them.
In another interview for El Pais, Kovesi stated: “We are dealing with complex cases, related to investigations of powerful, rich people. That’s why, it is very important for EPPO to be an independent institution”.