Peters & Peters

Partner Anna Bradshaw is quoted in GIR on the EPPO and its new Chief

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is due to become operational in November 2020 and its Head has now been appointed. Speaking to GIR, Partner Anna Bradshaw says that the creation of the EPPO raises pressing questions about the scope of the EU’s criminal law jurisdiction and what it should be. “It has always been a controversial topic, with many member states resistant to the idea that the EU should have a say in their criminal justice system”, she says. “What the creation of the EPPO does is cement the idea that the EU has a useful role to play in criminal justice, even if it does have what many member states will consider uncomfortable implications about the scope of EU competence and national sovereignty”.  On suggestions that the EPPO’s remit should be extended to cross-border terrorism she observes: “It is remarkable that these calls are being made even before the EPPO has become operational.  The idea of an extension is likely to become more attractive if the EPPO proves to be effective. At the present time, it is probably not a good idea, given the lukewarm reception to the EPPO when it was first proposed.”  She adds: “The UK had the potential to play a leading role in what might dramatically transform how financial crime can be prosecuted and investigated in Europe. “It stands to lose out if EPPO proves to be a huge success.”  Finally, on the appointment of Laura Kövesi: “Her background and demonstrable resilience to date are ideal traits for the post of chief prosecutor.  The problem from the perspective of the EU institutions is more likely to be when it gets a little bit close to home and she starts investigating the wrong MEPs and interfering in their vested interests.”