Selection of Chief Prosecutor of the European Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)

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Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2019
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Summary:

Reports and analyses published throughout the process for selecting the first Chief Prosecutor of the European Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).

Further information:

The European Chief Prosecutor is set to head the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), set up by Regulation (EU) 2017/1939. This is an independent office in charge of investigating, prosecuting and bringing to justice crimes against the budget of the European Union (EU). The Chief Prosecutor is jointly appointed by common accord, by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The EPPO team also features a College of Prosecutors from all participating countries.

The shortlisted names to head the EPPO were Jean-François Bohnert (France), Andrés Ritter (Germany) and Laura Codruţa Kövesi (Romania). Mr Bohnert took an early lead by collecting the Council support, but later Ms Kövesi was selected as the preferred candidate by the Parliament. Media sources reported on the opposition of the Romanian government to Ms Kövesi's bid to lead the EU's Prosecutor Office. Due to the contrasting positions, the two institutions struggled to reach an agreement on the selected candidate.

Due to the dispute between institutions - and the intervention of Romania's own government - discussions on the appointment of EPPO Chief Prosecutor were expected to resume once the new European Parliament composition was installed.

Media sources reported that COREPER - the executive body of the Council of the European Union - voted on 19 September 2019 in favour of Laura Codruta Kovesi’s bid following a secret ballot. This secret ballot was an indicative vote, meant to be formalised once the negotiations with the European Parliament were concluded. These negotiations came to an end on 24 September and resulted in the formal appointment of Ms Kövesi as the first European Chief Prosecutor - confirmed by the Council of the European Union on 14 October and by the Parliament's Conference of Presidents on 17 October.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Romania Insider, 27/02/2019: Who is Laura Codruta Kovesi, the first Romanian who could lead a top European institution? https://www.romania-insider.com/romania-laura-codruta-kovesi-profile
Euro|topics, March 2019: Power struggle over EU chief prosecutor https://www.eurotopics.net/en/215758/
The Economist, 30/03/2019: Romania appears to be so afraid of Laura Codruta Kovesi that it indicted her https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/03/30/romania-appears-to-be-so-afraid-of-laura-codruta-kovesi-that-it-indicted-her
Politico, 24/07/2019: The strange saga of Europe’s hunt for a prosecutor https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-prosecutor-saga-laura-codruta-kovesi-jean-francois-bohnert/
Euro|topics, September 2019: Kövesi set to become Europe's chief prosecutor https://www.eurotopics.net/en/227281/
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 25/09/2019: Bulgaria highlights the difficulties that lie ahead for Laura Kovesi as the EU’s chief prosecutor https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2019/09/25/bulgaria-highlights-the-difficulties-that-lie-ahead-for-laura-kovesi-as-the-eus-chief-prosecutor/
EurActiv, 27/09/2019: Kovesi will succeed only if media freedom is kept alive https://www.euractiv.com/section/freedom-of-thought/opinion/kovesi-will-succeed-only-if-media-freedom-is-kept-alive/
Chatham House: The World Today, 10/10/2019: Laura Kövesi: Corruption can be defeated https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/laura-kovesi-corruption-can-be-defeated

News
The Guardian, 05/02/2019: Romania moves to block own candidate from EU prosecutor role https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/05/romania-moves-to-block-own-candidate-from-eu-prosecutor-role
EurActiv, 06/02/2019: Romania’s Kovesi in pole position for European Chief Prosecutor https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/romanias-kovesi-in-pole-position-for-european-chief-prosecutor/
Balkan Insight, 06/02/2019: Sacked Romanian Anti-Graft Prosecutor Shortlisted for EU Post https://balkaninsight.com/2019/02/06/romania-s-kovesi-shortlisted-for-eu-prosecutor-post-02-05-2019/
Deutsche Welle, 10/02/2019: Romania seeks to block former anti-corruption official from top EU post https://p.dw.com/p/3D56A
Reuters, 13/02/2019: Romanian candidate for EU prosecutor faces investigative hearing at home https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN1Q232T
The Irish Times, 14/02/2019: Romania piles pressure on high-profile prosecutor tipped for key EU role https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/romania-piles-pressure-on-high-profile-prosecutor-tipped-for-key-eu-role-1.3794264
Euronews, 14/02/2019: Romanian candidate for EU prosecutor subpoenaed by local agency targeting magistrates https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/14/romanian-candidate-for-eu-prosecutor-subpoenaed-by-local-agency-targeting-magistrates
EurActiv, 26/02/2019: Parliament to audition the three candidates for EU chief prosecutor https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/parliament-to-audition-the-three-candidates-for-eu-chief-prosecutor/
Bloomberg, 26/02/2019: An Underdog Prosecutor Faces an Uphill Battle for a Top EU Job https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-26/romania-s-anti-graft-crusader-faces-uphill-battle-for-eu-job
Politico, 26/02/2019: MEPs back Romanian graft-buster for EU prosecutor https://www.politico.eu/article/laura-codruta-kovesi-romania-anti-corruption-chief-fights-for-top-eu-prosecutor-post/
EurActiv, 27/02/2019: MEPs support Kövesi for chief EU prosecutor, defying member states https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/meps-support-kovesi-for-chief-eu-prosecutor-defying-member-states/
Politico, 07/03/2019: European Parliament leaders back Romanian for EU prosecutor https://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-leaders-back-romanian-for-eu-prosecutor/
BBC News, 09/03/2019: Corruption fighter tipped as Europe's first prosecutor https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47467828
EurActiv, 22/03/2019: MEPs push to give EU prosecutor job to Kövesi on 27 March https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/meps-push-for-landing-eu-prosecutor-job-to-kovesi-on-27-march/
EurActiv, 28/03/2019: Council and Parliament lock horns over EU chief prosecutor choice https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/news/council-and-parliament-lock-horns-over-eu-chief-prosecutor-choice/
Balkan Insight, 29/05/2019: Romanian Corruption Fighter Denies Having Political Plan B https://balkaninsight.com/2019/05/29/romanian-corruption-fighter-denies-having-political-plan-b/
Politico, 06/06/2019: Romanian graftbuster not giving up on EU prosecutor job https://www.politico.eu/article/romanian-graftbuster-not-giving-up-on-eu-prosecutor-job/
Politico, 09/07/2019: French prosecutor makes case for top EU job https://www.politico.eu/article/french-prosecutor-makes-case-for-top-eu-job/
BBC News, 19/09/2019: EU backs Romania's corruption fighter as new chief prosecutor https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49759680
Euronews, 19/09/2019: European Council backs Romania's Laura Kovesi as EU's first public prosecutor https://www.euronews.com/2019/09/19/european-council-backs-romania-s-laura-codruta-kovesi-as-eu-fraud-chief
Reuters, 19/09/2019: Romanian anti-graft crusader to become first EU fraud prosecutor https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1W41KG
Balkan Insight, 19/09/2019: EU Council Backs Romania’s Kovesi for Chief Prosecutor Job https://balkaninsight.com/2019/09/19/eu-council-backs-romanias-kovesi-for-chief-prosecutor-job/
EUObserver, 19/09/2019: Diplomats back Romania's Kovesi for EU top prosecutor https://euobserver.com/political/146010
Politico, 19/09/2019: Macron, Parliament the winners as Romanian backed for prosecutor job https://www.politico.eu/article/emmanuel-macron-european-parliament-the-winners-as-romanian-laura-codruta-kovesi-backed-for-prosecutor-job/
EurActiv, 23/09/2019: Former Romanian anti-graft chief Kövesi close to becoming EU lead prosecutor https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/former-romanian-anti-graft-chief-kovesi-close-to-becoming-eu-lead-prosecutor/
Euractiv, 25/09/2019: Parliament wins its battle: Kövesi to become first EU Public Prosecutor https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/parliament-wins-its-battle-kovesi-to-be-the-first-eu-public-prosecutor/
Reuters, 25/09/2019: Romanian anti-graft crusader becomes first EU fraud prosecutor https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1WA1C4
RFE/RL, 16/10/2019: Romania's Koevesi Confirmed As EU Top Prosecutor https://www.rferl.org/a/koevesi-confirmed-as-eu-top-prosecutor/30220304.html
Romania Insider, 16/10/2019: Romanian Laura Codruta Kovesi can start her mandate as European Chief Prosecutor https://www.romania-insider.com/romanian-laura-codruta-kovesi-start-european-chief-prosecutor
RTL Today, 17/10/2019: Romania's ex-anti-graft chief confirmed as EU's top prosecutor https://today.rtl.lu/news/world/a/1418867.html

Official
European Parliament: Press Release, 27/02/2019: Laura Codruţa Kövesi Civil Liberties MEPs’ top choice for EU Chief Prosecutor http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190227IPR28908/
European Parliament: Press Release, 24/09/2019: Kövesi to become EU Chief Prosecutor http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190923IPR61749/
European Commission: European Public Prosecutor's Office: Commission welcomes the agreement to appoint Ms Kövesi as the first European Chief Prosecutor, 25 September 2019 https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-19-5769_en.htm
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 14/10/2019: EU Public Prosecutor’s Office - EPPO: Council confirms Laura Codruţa Kövesi as first European chief prosecutor https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/10/14/eu-public-prosecutor-s-office-eppo-laura-codruta-kovesi-to-become-the-first-european-chief-prosecutor/
European Parliament: Press Release, 17/10/2019: Laura Kövesi confirmed as European Chief Prosecutor https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20191016IPR64417/

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