podcast 

    At the head of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, an emblematic Romanian magistrate for the fight against corruption,

Laura Codruta Kövesi, leads on Tuesday, June 1, a body avoided by five member states of the European Union and whose role is described as crucial for controlling the use of funds. European recovery.

Laura Codruta Kövesi, Chief European Prosecutor, at a press conference at the EuropeanProsecutor's Office in Luxembourg on 1 June 2021.

PublicLaura Codruta Kövesi, Chief Prosecutor, during a press conference at the European Public Prosecutor's Office in Luxembourg, 1 June 2021. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

The symbol is strong: it is a magistrate that the leadership of her country, Romania, dismissed, while she was leading the National Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, which presided over the first day of the European Prosecutor's Office, took office on Tuesday, June 1st. We are judging a "historic" decision in Brussels and Luxembourg, where Laura Codruta Kövesi will head the central office of the institution responsible for investigating the use of the European budget, subsidies and funds, corruption, money laundering and cross-border fraud, VAT if it exceeds 10 million euros. 

"Historically", the launch of the European Public Prosecutor's Office is undoubtedly so, because the process that led to its creation was marked by endless debates (these will have lasted more than twenty years), delays attributable to the establishment of member countries when regulations signed in 2017, many questions about its competences or a guerrilla war between institutions at the time of the appointment of the Chief Prosecutor, Ms Kövesi had the support of the European Parliament, while her competitor, the Prosecutor General of Reims, Jean-François Bohnert , had that of the Council.

 In Romania, the fight against corruption has given birth to a civil society.

Europe's small revolution, eventually becoming a possible anti-corruption tool, is also affected by the fact that five Member States have decided, for various reasons, not to participate in this transnational project. Poland, the first beneficiary in absolute terms of European funds, and Hungary, the first beneficiary per capita, did not particularly agree. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, to whom several relatives have been controversially enriched in recent years, said the prosecution would not abide by his country's constitution. The executives of his party, Fidesz, even accused Ms. Kövesi of being a "foreign agent" because she opened investigations into the mayors of the Hungarian minority in Romania, when she was the head of the anti-corruption prosecutor's office in Bucharest.

At the head of the European Public Prosecutor's Office

03 June 2021
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