The European Court of Auditors and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) have laid the foundations for trusting and effective cooperation. For this purpose, a working arrangement with effect from September 3rd has been signed by ECA’s Secretary General, Zacharias Kolias, and European Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi. This arrangement aims to provide a structured framework for establishing and maintaining a cooperative relationship between both parties, in full respect of the respective mandates of the EPPO and the Court.
The document underlines the common interest in maximising efficiency in the fight against fraud, corruption and any other criminal damage to the EU’s financial interests, and in avoiding the duplication of effort wherever possible. In particular, the following points and conditions were agreed: a timely collaboration on information and data transmission, access and exchange; precautionary measures on the part of the ECA; the EPPO’s access to ECA premises for conducting investigations; and the EPPO’s provision of information to the ECA for auditing purposes.
Both parties will also cooperate on training in areas of common interest, and may exchange staff. Regular meetings between the ECA and the EPPO are also foreseen.
The EPPO is an independent EU body established under the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon in the context of enhanced cooperation. On 27 July 2020 the European Council appointed 22 European Prosecutors, one for each of the participating EU Member States. After the European Commission officially confirmed the starting date on 26 May 2021, the EPPO started operations on 1 June 2021. It is based in the ECA’s neighbourhood in Kirchberg.