The European Public Prosecutor: Quintessential Supranational Criminal Law?

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Abstract

This article critically examines the claim that EPPO is a proper federal supranational prosecutor. The article observes that the EPPO among policymakers and commentators appears to be a hallmark of the transformation of EU criminal law from an intergovernmental paradigm to a strong federal and supranational polity. The EPPO primarily stands out among other EU agencies by having been conferred with an independent competence to prosecute crimes relating to the common EU financial interest. By establishing the EPPO, the Union has practically assumed such competences that traditionally belong to the central government in a federal state. The article discusses comprehensively the scope, nature and limits to the EPPO’s powers as well as its operating structure in light of Article 86 TFEU and the recently adopted EPPO Regulation. It departs from the basic assumption that the EPPO stands in the midst of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism. Whilst the EPPO is envisaged to be independent from the Member States, the EPPO’s complicated, multifaceted and vertical structure entails that Member States maintain a certain direction of its activities. It, however, argues that a general assessment of the EPPO’s operational and strategic direction (where its operational activities are managed and supervised by centralised ‘European’ prosecutors), and the type (direct criminal enforcement powers) and nature of its powers (criminal prosecutorial powers) makes it distinctive as the most ‘integrated’ and ‘supranational’ EU agency.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law

Keywords

  • EU law
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Volume28 (2021)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes