A working arrangement as basis for coordination and cooperation between their two offices was signed today in Luxembourg by Ville Itälä, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Kӧvesi.
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) conducts administrative investigations, while the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) conducts criminal investigations and prosecutes cases falling under its competence in front of national courts. The common aim is to increase fraud detection at EU level, to avoid duplication, to protect the integrity and efficiency of criminal investigations and maximise the recovery of damages. Both offices will combine their investigative and other capacities to improve the protection of the financial interests of the European Union.
Laura Kӧvesi said: “This working arrangement allows us to clearly delineate our respective tasks and responsibilities, so as to work together in the most efficient manner with only one goal in mind: to better protect EU taxpayers’ money and to bring all crimes against the EU budget to justice as quickly as possible.”
Ville Itälä added: “The working arrangement between OLAF and the EPPO is an important milestone in our future relationship. It sets out in concrete terms how we will work together, based on trust and transparency. Focusing on rapid, effective and reciprocal exchanges of information, it should ensure that no case goes undetected. It is a major part of ensuring that together we can step up the fight against fraud and corruption affecting the financial interests of the EU.”
Among other things, the working arrangement sets out how the two offices will exchange information, report and transfer potential cases and support each other in their respective investigations. It also covers how OLAF will carry out complementary investigations when needed, as well as ensuring the two offices share regular information on trends, and conduct joint training exercises and staff exchange programs.
The full text of the agreement can be found here.