"The European Parliament has always fought for an independent selection panel for appointing European Prosecutors, being well aware of existing weaknesses regarding the rule of law in certain Member States. By disregarding the panel, national governments are undermining the credibility and the independence of the European Public Prosecutor's Office", said Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Chairwoman of the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament (EP), calling on Member States to make transparent the reasons for disregarding the recommendations by the independent selection panel and instead following the preferences expressed by the national governments.
"European Prosecutors will have a significant impact on investigations to be conducted in their home countries. Therefore, it is critical that they are selected by an independent panel - they cannot owe their appointment to the national government! I am astonished that Mr López Aguilar, the Chairman of the EP’s Civil Liberties Committee, supports the decision of the Member States despite the impressive call by renowned international professors of law sounding the alarm about the independence of European Prosecutors", said Hohlmeier.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will be in charge of investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of offences against the EU budget and should be set up by the end of this year. In July, the Council appointed the 22 European Prosecutors from participating Member States who make up the team around European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Kövesi. Regarding the candidates nominated by Belgium, Bulgaria and Portugal, the Council disregarded the recommendations by the European selection panel and instead followed preferences expressed by the national governments without providing any reasons or explanations.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States