Justice

The EPP Group is calling for a European Commission inquiry and action to be taken over serious allegations of an improper process by the Portuguese government concerning the appointment of the Portuguese Prosecutor to the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), which is tasked with fighting crimes against the EU budget.

“The misleading approach used by the Portuguese government to push their preferred candidate for appointment to the newly-formed EPPO is of grave concern. There are questions to be answered over the methods used and the legitimacy of the prosecutor’s appointment in light of this new information”, warned EPP Group Vice-Chairman, Esteban González Pons.

“We are requesting that the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, launches an immediate inquiry into this matter and takes whatever action is necessary to rectify the situation. We do not want to see the mistakes of the Portuguese government unfairly tarnish and damage EPPO at this crucial time. We have made our request in writing to the Commission President”, Mr Pons confirmed, speaking on behalf of his MEP colleagues who co-signed the letter, Monika Hohlmeier and Jeroen Lenaers.

It is vital that the integrity of EPPO is protected, according to MEP Hohlmeier, Chair of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee: “The behaviour of the Portuguese Justice Minister risks the independence and credibility of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Portuguese Government should withdraw the candidate, especially at the time when Portugal presides over the Council of the European Union. The selection of Mr Guerra was based on false arguments presented by the Portuguese government and made against the recommendation of the European selection panel."

When a Member State provides false information to the EU Institutions, leading to a misinformed Council Decision, it breaches the EU Treaties, including the duty of loyal cooperation, and threatens the rule of law, the MEPs underlined in their letter to President von der Leyen.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States

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