The Ministry of Justice has announced the creation of three European prosecutor roles, to be sent to the proposed European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).
Of the three roles, one will be located in Luxembourg, with the other two in Tallinn. The EPPO is aimed primarily at anti-fraud activities committed against the EU budget, as well as other EU financial interests such as cross-border VAT fraud cases (involving damages over €10 million) or fraud connected with EU funds, in excess of €10,000.
Previously, ony national authorities could act in such cases and had no powers beyond their own borders; the office is intended to be decentralised, with delegated prosecutors located in each member state, hence the two Tallinn-based roles.
''The main focus of the EPPO is on the defrauding of EU funds and subsidies,'' said justice minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), who added that whilst this is not a major problem in Estonia, it has been in other regions of the EU, such as the Mediterranean states.
Applications are to be submitted to the justice ministry, no later than 3 March. Requirements include at least six years' professional experience as a prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, or judge, as well as skills in at least one EU bureaucratic language, preferably French or English, in addition to fluent Estonian, according to an advertisement in weekly Eesti Ekspress.
The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) has been established under the terms of the Treaty of Lisbon, with just over 20 of the current EU 28 engaging in full cooperation. It will be based in Luxembourg alongside the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Auditors (ECA), in addition to the national posts as noted above.
EU member states not participating, in addition to the imminently departing UK, include the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Poland. Finland, Latvia and Lithuania are all fully participating.
The EPPO is scheduled to start work in 2020.
Editor: Andrew Whyte