On 5th October, the European Parliament gave its approval for the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office in charge of opening enquiries and prosecuting structural funds fraud cases of the European Union or cross border tax avoidance frauds. This new European Institution should become operational between 2020 and 2021 and its headquarters will be based in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Sole jurisdiction across the European Union
According to the European Commission, each year, over 50 billion euros of VAT receipts slip through the net of Member States as a result of cross border fraud.
At this time, only national prosecuting authorities can investigate and condemn frauds committed against the EU, but their jurisdiction is limited to the national territory. The European Public Prosecutor's Office will constitute an additional link in the chain that will allow effective cross-border combating of tax fraud.
The Public Prosecutor's Office will be made up of a Public Prosecutor and of Prosecutors of all participating countries. They will ensure the coordination of police investigations of Deputy Public Prosecutors across all participating Member States.
Luxembourg – European capital
The new European Public Prosecutor's Office is far from being the first European Institution settling in Luxembourg. In fact, Luxembourg is home to the following European institutions, agencies and bodies (amongst others):
- the Secretariat General of the European Parliament;
- a Directorate-General and services of the European Commission, in particular the statistical office Eurostat and a large part of the translation service;
- the Court of Justice of the European Union
- the European Court of Auditors;
- the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund;
- the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA);
- the Publications Office of the European Union;
- the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF);
- and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM);
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)