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The EPPO and International Co-Operation—New Kid on the Block
11 December 2019
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Information from the European Union‘s anti-fraud agency shows that fraud against the EU‘s financial interests frequently involves third countries. This means that the EPPO will, in order to be effective, need to co-operate with authorities not only in non-participating EU Member States (such as the United Kingdom) but also in the rest of the world.
The EPPO Regulation envisages the adoption of a legal instrument relating to cooperation in criminal matters and surrender between the EPPO and authorities in non-participating Member States. In the meantime, the EPPO will be able to make use of the existing EU instruments on co-operation in criminal matters (such as the European Investigation Order and the European Arrest Warrant) in relation to authorities in non-participating Member States.
In relation to third countries (which will include the UK post-Brexit), the EPPO Regulation sets out a menu of options for mutual legal assistance co-operation. These include enabling the EPPO to make mutual legal assistance requests under multilateral agreements, and allowing European Delegated Prosecutors to use their powers as national prosecutors in their respective Member States. Whether these provisions will be effective will, however, depend on the goodwill of third countries concerned.
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