Jourova Praises Progress on Path to European Prosecutor

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Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska (L) and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Protection and Gender Equality Vera Jourova (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 17 (TASR) – Large cross-border fraud involving VAT and other types of fraud are committed across Europe and often don’t respect borders, and as this is a European and not just a national problem it calls for a European solution, Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska (Most-Hid) concurred with EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Protection and Gender Equality Vera Jourova on Tuesday.

Zitnanska met Jourova at the Justice Ministry, with the discussion revolving around the progress accomplished in the judiciary during Slovakia’s Council of the EU Presidency and the current state of talks on the creation of a European Prosecutor’s Office. Both representatives voiced the hope that an effective and independent European Prosecutor’s Office will be established.

“We want the largest number of states possible to participate in the European Prosecutor’s Office solution in order to guarantee more efficient protection of national budgets and the EU budget from fraud,” reads the text released by the Justice Ministry.

Jourova showed appreciation for the fact that significant progress towards the founding of a European Prosecutor’s Office was accomplished under Slovakia’s Council of the EU Presidency. The body will be designed to allow effective prosecution of serious VAT fraud at an international level worth more than €10 million.

“During the Slovak presidency, the European Prosecutor’s Office was among our top priorities, and I’m glad that we were successful and managed to conclude the discussions on the proposal while stabilising the text to such an extent that it can be put forward for a vote,” said Zitnanska. “Unfortunately, as it turned out in December, some states aren’t ready to be part of this European project under any circumstances, which means that discussions on so-called bolstered cooperation must be initiated,” she stated.