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After years of debate, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced a legal basis for the introduction of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office in article 86 TFEU. This provision indicates that the Council may establish this new Office from Eurojust, and that it will be competent to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union and possibly serious cross-border crime. However, this provision leaves more questions than it answers. In particular those questions related to the way the Office may be embedded in the Union’s institutional structure are addressed in this book.
It comprises a broad discussion of the Member States´ prosecution services, the European Union´s institutional context, Eurojust, direct enforcement in the field of competition law by the European Competition Network, and proposals on the structure of the Office that were drafted prior to the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.
It is concluded that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office will probably be constituted as a Council-oriented, multi-level network. It will likely consist of a European-level parquet that will exercise a measure of authority over national authorities. However, to an important extent it will depend on the national prosecution services and the national police forces for its actual investigative and prosecutorial activities. There will not be a US-style federal European Public Prosecutor’s Office and federal police force.
One of the key issue addressed in this book is the democratic accountability of the Office. It is defended that a semi-independent Office, placed under a duty to elaborate a comprehensive, transparent, and coherent prosecution policy in collaboration with the Council and other important stakeholders is the preferred model. The Office should be accountable to the Council and other political stakeholders for the proper execution of this policy, as well as its performance otherwise. Thus, both ex ante legitimacy, as well as ex post control of its activities may be ensured. However, it is especially shown that organising ex post control in an acceptable way will prove to be a challenge.
In addition, the author also addresses more detailed issues, such as choices to be made in respect to the mandate of prosecutors acting for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and various decisions to be taken in relation to the pre-trial and trial courts.