I welcome the announcement of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that Sweden is open to join the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). The more Member States join the EPPO, the stronger it is going to be, so I can only commend the Swedish Government for this important decision.
Criminals operate across borders, so only by working together can we bring them to justice and protect EU citizens' money. Every cent of the EU budget needs to be spent for the benefit of Europeans. I can only hope that Hungary, Poland and Ireland will join the EPPO in the future as well. The door is open for them, whenever they feel ready to take this important step.
The creation of the European Public Prosecutor's Office marks a fundamental development in the fight against fraud affecting the European Union's financial interests. Fraud and fraudsters do not stop at national borders. This poses a significant challenge for investigators, who have to function within the constraints of national systems but face fraudsters who can easily move their operations and profits across state lines.
This is why the European Commission proposed the creation of the EPPO. When the EPPO starts functioning, it will be able to directly investigate and prosecute, acting quick across borders in the participating Member States. The good cooperation between the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and EPPO could contribute to a larger number of successful convictions and a better recovery of defrauded funds.