Production date: June 16, 2022. Author: Serena Sabrina Immacolata Cacciatore, Costanza De Caro, Alejandro Hernández López, Cristina Ruiz López and Ana Vicar Pérez.
Approved by the coordinator: Serena Sabrina Immacolata Cacciatore. Diffusion level:
PROPOSALS FOR GENERAL QUESTIONS Professional interviewed: Concepción Sabadell Carnicero Interview conducted by: Cristina Ruiz López Date: November 17, 2022
INFORMATION: The objective of this group is to interview professionals specialised in the field of European integration, such as lawyers, magistrates or delegated European prosecutors , focusing on the role of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Through the different interviews (with professionals from Spain and Italy in particular), useful information, statistical data and experiences acquired in the “field” will be collected, which are necessary for the purposes of the project.
1.How has the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office been received in the reference work environment?
From my previous field as Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and, furthermore, as Spain is the promoter of the European Prosecutor’s Office Of course the reception has been very favourable.
- What PIF crimes (fraud, corruption, money laundering) capital and embezzlement) are mostly confirmed in judicial experience within the country or geographic area of reference?
The statistics that exist are general and show that the most common PIF crimes are subsidy fraud and related to public procurement.
- What issues arise from the provisions that regulate the material competence of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office provided for in Regulation (EU) 1939/2017? Mainly two: the interpretation of the articles on competition is not uniform. What, in fact, has motivated by competition issues. and its application practice when starting and deciding whether to investigate determines that in some Member States they can investigate some crimes and not be possible in others.
- Do the provisions relating to cross-border investigations provide added value compared to the international cooperation mechanisms already in place?
Definitely. They provide greater ease, agility and direct cooperation between delegated European officials. Although we must mention the presentation of a preliminary ruling by an Austrian court in this regard (Case C-281/22, GK and Others, lodged at 25 April 2022), the Oberlandesgericht
- Does the EPPO represent a useful measure to counter corrupt conduct perpetrated by criminal organisations to illicitly drain European Union funds (see National Recovery and Resilience Plans)?
Yes, definitely. Above all, for having better tools and for their specialisation.
- Would you consider it appropriate for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to extend its scope of material competence to crimes not limited to the protection of the financial interests of the EU or membership in criminal organisations?
We have the instruments and tools for this, but we would have to analyse what means are available, etc. But it would be possible. 7. Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden do not participate in the Regulation, do you think it is necessary to regulate investigation procedures for the diversion of European funds for these countries?
What should certainly be achieved is a cooperation of these countries with the European
Prosecutor’s Office that would ensure an effective, safe and agile investigation procedure. Specific questions regarding Spain
- In Spain, the investigation model carried out by the jurisdictional body is still in force. What practical problems can it pose when applying the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office model? Is the regulation of Organic Law 9/2021, of July 1, of application of Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, of October 12, 2017, establishing enhanced cooperation for the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office?
This law has meant that the prosecutor is the instructor. However, it does logically pose some problems because it changes the model and implies the need for small adjustments in the law that have been detected in its practical application and, ultimately, it represents the coexistence of models.
- Would you like to add any more comments?
Yes, I would add that we need legal certainty from the CJEU for the interpretation of the rules in a uniform way. But of course, in this time we have shown that we are a very effective tool. I can’t be more positive.