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Ask skeptical about a European Public Prosecutor

Published fredag 19 juli 2013 kl 18.37
Swedish Justice minister Beatrice Ask. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / Scanpix

The Swedish government is doubtful about the European Commission's proposal to establish a European Public Prosecutor, intended to protect the union's financial interests from crime.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask of the conservative Moderates sees no need for a European prosecution authority, telling news agency TT that the government is very skeptical.

When the European Commission recently presented its proposal, the president José Manuel Borroso said in a press release, "It will decisively enhance the protection of taxpayers' money and the effective tackling of fraud involving EU funds."

However, Ask says that even if the prosecutor's office is supposed to deal with EU money, the risk is that there could be a prosecutor who ends up superceding the member states - that it would be supranational. The proposal is now going to the council of ministers and the EU Parliament, and Ask says a minority of countries are in favor of it.

Even so, the Swedish government and Parliament have helped prepare the way for a European Public Prosecutor, because Sweden has signed onto the EU's Lisbon Treaty, where it says that such an office may be instituted.

According to the European Commission, 500 million Euros in EU money disappears every year through fraud. The Commission hopes for the new office to be ready in 2015.

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