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The European Public Prosecutor's Office: How Should the Rules Applicable to its Procedure be Determined?

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The fact that the European Public Prosecutor's Office is provided for in the Treaty is undoubtedly a very important step. At the same time, Art. 86 TFEU is one of the most delicate provisions of the new Treaty. It is sensitive both from a political and a legal point of view: The establishment of the EPPO – both because of its strong symbolic value and because of the potential powers it may have – clearly challenges Member States' sovereignty and the powers, institutional organisation and realistic aspirations of existing EU criminal justice bodies. On the other hand, from the legal point of view, its implementation raises a list of questions without straightforward answers. The present article shall start with an overview of the history of the EPPO followed by a brief analysis of the legal confines of Art. 86 TFEU and the policy debates linked to it. In order to assess the implementation of the EPPO, the policy, institutional and legislative developments in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice will be described. Special attention will be paid to the advocated role of mutual recognition. Based on the preliminary findings of the comparative study on the “EU model rules of criminal investigation and prosecution for the procedure of the proposed European Public Prosecutor's Office” conducted by the author, it will be argued that the EPPO may rely on mutual recognition only to a limited extent.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/219174411798862569

Publication date: December 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • This is a new journal dedicated to the development of European Criminal Law and the co-operation in criminal matters within the European Union. In these areas the Lisbon Treaty has supposedly brought about the most important changes and also the greatest challenges for the future. It is the journal's ambition to provide a primary forum for comprehensive discussion and critical analysis of all questions arising in relation to European Criminal Law. It will include articles and relevant material on topics such as:

    ‧The harmonisation of national criminal law in consideration of European legal instruments,

    ‧The implementation of the principle of mutual recognition in the area of cooperation in criminal matters and the development towards the creation of a European Public Prosecutor

    ‧The emergence of a balanced European Criminal Policy based on fundamental rights, freedom and democracy with particular reference to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights.

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