(Proposal of the European Commission for a Regulation on the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office)
Elisaveta Voynova 
The establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) would be a fundamental change in the history of EU integration with a major impact for both EU’s architecture and Member States’ legal systems. The issue is one of the most topical in the EU policy debate, namely after the legal basis for its establishment has been set up by the Lisbon Treaty.
The setting up of a European prosecution service is no longer a mere policy discussion, but a concrete legislative development in the EU since the Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of EPPO on 17 July 2013. The proposal aims at the establishment of a coherent and more efficient European system for investigation and prosecution of offences affecting the financial interests of the EU. The Commission lays down in the proposal rules for the institutional design, competence, powers and procedures for the functioning of the future prosecution service.
The Commission’s proposal provides for the establishment an independent EU prosecution service with decentralised structure embedded into the national systems through a network of European Delegated Prosecutors. Under the proposed Regulation EPPO will have exclusive competence for investigating and prosecuting crimes against the Union’s financial interests and will be able to act as prosecutor in national courts. The prosecution service will strongly rely on national criminal procedures, but will benefit from a number of investigative powers regulated at central level. The proposal provides an additional level of protection for suspects by autonomously defining rights that haven’t been regulated in Union legislation. The Commission’s proposal nevertheless leaves a number of questions with regard to, among others, the risk of unequal treatment and forum shopping, harmonization of procedures and safeguards etc. However, before addressing the technical aspects of the proposal, the EU debate has to first find a common agreement on certain high-level policy questions, namely on the level of centralisation in EPPO’s institutional design.
The Commission’s proposal re-launched the controversial debate on whether a European Prosecutor’s Office is a necessary and feasible solution for strengthening the protection of EU’s financial interests. Given the high sensitivity related to the creation of a supranational prosecution service both at political and legal level, part of the Member States remain opposed to the proposal. Thus whilst the debate on the legal aspects of EPPO has been launched, the future of this initiative is far from being foreseeable.
This article seeks to explore the impact and the prospects for the development of EPPO. To this purpose, it carries out an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal and outlines the forthcoming process whilst taking due account of its highly controversial political context. It argues that whilst there are a number of legal issues that remain to be addressed in the inter-institutional legislative process, the proposal sets an important basis for the enhancement of both prosecutions and the protection of EU’s financial interest. It represents to that end a real step forward in advancing the development of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
Линк към статията на български език: АНТИТРЪСТОВИ ПРОИЗВОДСТВА НА ЕВРОПЕЙСКАТА КОМИСИЯ В ЕНЕРГИЙНИЯ СЕКТОР НА ЦЕНТРАЛНА И ИЗТОЧНА ЕВРОПА
 Advisor EU Public Affairs at the EU Representation Office of a multinational healthcare company. LL.M. EU law, M.A. European political and administrative studies. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessary represent the view of the company.