Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2223 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 December 2020 amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 concerning investigations conducted by OLAF
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was entrusted with the task to carry out administrative investigations against fraud and any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the EU, and to assist Member States in the fight against fraud. Its investigative mandate is presently governed by Regulation 883/2013. The adoption of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) Regulation in 2017 created the need to adapt Regulation 883/2013.
For that reason, in May 2018, the Commission tabled a proposal to amend Regulation 883/2013. The proposal seeks to adapt the operation of OLAF to the establishment of the EPPO, enhance the effectiveness of OLAF’s investigative function as well as clarify and simplify selected provisions of Regulation No 883/2013. OLAF will have to report to the EPPO, without undue delay, any criminal conduct in respect of which the latter could exercise its competence. To this end, OLAF may be required to carry out a preliminary evaluation of incoming information, to ensure that the information supplied to the EPPO is sufficiently substantiated and contains the necessary elements. Furthermore, OLAF may be asked by Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to perform this verification on their behalf. Some other rules concern the need to avoid duplication of work between the EPPO and OLAF. Nonetheless, in duly justified cases, OLAF may carry out administrative investigations on the same facts on which the EPPO is investigating. In such circumstances, OLAF's investigations complement the activities of the EPPO as they are not aimed at ascertaining possible elements of a criminal offence, but are instead focused at ensuring recovery, or at preparing the ground for administrative or disciplinary action.
To ensure a smooth transition into the new framework, the amended Regulation should enter into force before the EPPO becomes operational (envisaged for the end of 2020).
In the European Parliament, the file was initially assigned to the Budgetary Control Committee and Ingeborg Grässle was appointed as rapporteur. The Committee of Legal Affairs and the LIBE Committee were also asked to give their opinions – and they both did so, on the 11th of January 2019 and the 13th February 2019 respectively. The Budgetary Control Committee tabled its report for plenary on 22 March 2019 and the European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on 16 April 2019 and in June, the Council adopted its mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament.
Since then, the European Parliament appointed on 26 September 2019 a new rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu, and on 8 October 2019, the LIBE Committee adopted the decision to open interinstitutional negotiations. The first trilogue meeting took place on 5 November 2019 and the second meeting on 12 December 2019. Another trilogue meeting took place on 26 June 2020 where an agreement has been reached on the text between the European Parliament and the Presidency of the Council.
On 30 September 2020, the Permanent representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed the final compromise text and the the Council adopted its position at first reading on 4 December 2020. The European Parliament approved the Council position at first reading in its Resolution of 17 December 2020. The revised Regulation was signed on 23 December and was published in the Official Journal on 29 December 2020. It shall enter into force on the 20th day following the date of this publication.
Reference number: 2020/2223
Issue date: 23-12-20
Official Journal: OJ L 437, 28 December 2020
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