Author: Giulia Anzidei
Law Enforcement Agencies Subcommittee
Date: 21/06/2023
Translator: Sonia M’gayedi

The degree thesis “The European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Banking Supervisory Authorities: the potential channels of interaction”, as it is possible to guess from the title itself, stems from the desire to observe the European Public Prosecutor’s Office from an aspect as unexplored as it is interesting, namely to analyze the possible channels of interaction that could exist between it and the banking supervisory authorities.The new European Investigating Office, recently set up, which arose following a long and troubled historical-evolutionary path, represents a very important step for the process of integration of the European Union, especially in the field of criminal law.

In fact, the paper retraces, in the first chapter, the historical events that have characterized judicial cooperation in criminal matters in recent years, from the European Communities to the Lisbon Treaty, also observing the important role that the Court of Justice has had in this matter.

The legal context of criminal judicial cooperation within which the European Public Prosecutor’s Office has entered has undergone a slow transformation over time, first characterized by the governmental method and by the hostility of the Member States to surrender their sovereignty and then, by the gradual attribution of competences to the EU institutions in criminal matters, up to the complete transfer of competences by the Member States to the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office, even if limited to crimes harmful to the financial interests of the European Union.

In the second chapter, the main aspects of the new European investigative body were dealt with, in order to understand its origins, composition and functions. Furthermore, the relationships that it has established with the other main players, already existing on the European scene, in charge of the fight against crimes harmful to the Union’s resources, ie OLAF and EUROJUST, were analysed.

The issue of relations between the EPPO and the banking supervisory authorities was then addressed, in particular with the European Central Bank, as the body in charge of financial supervision within the scope of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. Some reflections were made on the advantages that both European bodies could derive from a possible cooperation, having as their pursuit of legality, the common objective of the condition of social well-being of citizens of the whole Union. Observing the birth of the Single Supervisory Mechanism in more detail, starting from the Banking Union up to its establishment, it was possible to notice some similarities between this and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the most important of which is precisely the transfer of powers from of the Member States to the bodies of the European Union, of the financial supervision functions at the ECB and of the exercise of criminal prosecution at the EPPO.

A situation which previously occurred only with the attribution of judicial control of European Union acts to the Court of Justice. Finally, the working arrangements that EPPO currently has in place within the financial sector were examined, both with the Financial Intelligence Units and with the European Investment Group, mainly aimed at streamlining the procedures for the exchange of information and to share strategies to fight crime against the Union’s financial interests. This analysis was also useful for understanding that these working arrangements could be taken as a reference for structuring a future potential collaboration that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office could decide to undertake with the ECB, as banking supervisory authority, an evolutionary perspective that could help strengthen and optimize the action of EPPO in the fight against financial crimes. These topics will be discussed during the graduation session of the summer session at the University of Milan-Bicocca, together with Professor Ubertazzi.

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