EPPO-LEX

The legal research library on the European Public Prosecutor's Office

Art. 25 EPPO Regulation

Relevant iRoP and other annotations

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= EPPO-Regulation

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= Relevant iRoP and other annotations

Article 25     |     Exercise of the competence of the EPPO

 

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Limitations for exercising EPPO competence (Article 25(2), (3) and (4):

1. The EPPO shall exercise its competence either by initiating an investigation under Article 26 or by deciding to use its right of evocation under Article 27. If the EPPO decides to exercise its competence, the competent national authorities shall not exercise their own competence in respect of the same criminal conduct.

2. Where a criminal offence that falls within the scope of Article 22 caused or is likely to cause damage to the Union’s financial interests of less than EUR 10 000, the EPPO may only exercise its competence if:

(a) the case has repercussions at Union level which require an investigation to be conducted by the EPPO; or

(b) officials or other servants of the Union, or members of the institutions of the Union could be suspected of having committed the offence.

The EPPO shall, where appropriate, consult the competent national authorities or bodies of the Union to establish whether the criteria set out in points (a) and (b) of the first subparagraph are met.

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See Annex I to IV of College Decision 029/2021 on the EPPO’s investigation and evocation policy, amended by College Decision 007/2022. The EPPO has published a consolidated version for information purposes.

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On the notion ‘repercussions at Union level’ see recital 59.

3. The EPPO shall refrain from exercising its competence in respect of any offence falling within the scope of Article 22 and shall, upon consultation with the competent national authorities, refer the case without undue delay to the latter in accordance with Article 34 if:

(a) the maximum sanction provided for by national law for an offence falling within the scope of Article 22(1) is equal to or less severe than the maximum sanction for an inextricably linked offence as referred to in Article 22(3) unless the latter offence has been instrumental to commit the offence falling within the scope of Article 22(1); or

(b) there is a reason to assume that the damage caused or likely to be caused, to the Union’s financial interests by an offence as referred to in Article 22 does not exceed the damage caused, or likely to be caused to another victim.

Point (b) of the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall not apply to offences referred to in Article 3(2)(a), (b) and (d) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 as implemented by national law.

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See Annex I to IV of College Decision 029/2021 on the EPPO’s investigation and evocation policy, amended by College Decision 007/2022. The EPPO has published a consolidated version for information purposes.

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On the notion ‚inextricably linked’ see recital 54.

4. The EPPO may, with the consent of the competent national authorities, exercise its competence for offences referred to in Article 22 in cases which would otherwise be excluded due to application of paragraph 3(b) of this Article if it appears that the EPPO is better placed to investigate or prosecute.

5. The EPPO shall inform the competent national authorities without undue delay of any decision to exercise or to refrain from exercising its competence.

6. In the case of disagreement between the EPPO and the national prosecution authorities over the question of whether the criminal conduct falls within the scope of Article 22(2), or (3) or Article 25(2) or (3), the national authorities competent to decide on the attribution of competences concerning prosecution at national level shall decide who is to be competent for the investigation of the case. Member States shall specify the national authority which will decide on the attribution of competence.

Article 42bis  |  Information received in application of Article 24(3) of the Regulation

– as inserted by College Decision 026/2022 effective 30 August 2022

1. Where, as a result of the verification of information received pursuant to Article 24(3) of the Regulation, which shall be finalised within 10 days, it appears that the EPPO could exercise its competence, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall inform the competent national authority of the intention to evoke the case and, pursuant to Article 27(3), shall request the competent national authority to report, within 10 days, the information to the EPPO in accordance with Article 24(2).

2. If the competent national authority does not report to the EPPO in accordance with Article 24(2) within 10 days from the reception of the information, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall raise a conflict via the procedure established in Article 25(6). In Member States where the national legislation does not allow the EPPO to raise a conflict via the procedure established in Article 25(6) without a previous decision on its competence, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall exercise the right of evocation.

3. If, as a result of the verification of information received in application of Article 24(3), the European Delegated Prosecutor agrees that the EPPO should not exercise its competence, he/she shall issue a reasoned report on the matter.

4. The Permanent Chamber shall review the report within 10 days. If the Permanent Chamber believes that the EPPO should exercise its competence, it shall instruct the European Delegated Prosecutor to inform the competent national authority about the EPPO’s intention to exercise its competence and, pursuant to Article 27(3), to request the national authorities to report the information to the EPPO in accordance with Article 24(2) of the Regulation. In such case, paragraph 2 shall apply.

5. Where the Permanent Chamber does not issue any instructions within 10 days after having received the report foreseen by paragraph 3 of this Article, the report of the European Delegated Prosecutor shall be deemed as accepted and the Registration case shall be closed.

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On the notion ‘national authorities competent to decide’ see recital 62.

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See on the EPPO’s policy: Annex I Section 4 of College Decision 029/2021, amended by College Decision 007/2022 Section 4.2. of the guidelines have been further amended by Art. 2 of College Decision 026/2022 (effective 30 August 2022). The EPPO has published a consolidated version for information purposes.

Recital 62 of the EPPO Regulation

(62) In the case of disagreement over the questions of exercise of competence, the competent national authorities should decide on the attribution of competence. The notion of competent national authorities should be understood as any judicial authorities which have competence to decide on the attribution of competence in accordance with national law.

Recital 60 of the EPPO Regulation

(60) Where the EPPO cannot exercise its competence in a particular case because there is reason to assume that the damage caused, or likely to be caused, to the Union’s financial interests does not exceed the damage caused, or likely to be caused, to another victim, the EPPO should nevertheless be able to exercise its competence provided that it would be better placed to investigate or prosecute than the authorities of the respective Member State(s). The EPPO could appear to be better placed, inter alia, where it would be more effective to let the EPPO investigate and prosecute the respective criminal offence due to its transnational nature and scale, where the offence involves a criminal organisation, or where a specific type of offence could be a serious threat to the Union’s financial interests or the Union institutions’ credit and Union citizens’ confidence. In such a case the EPPO should be able to exercise its competence with the consent given by the competent national authorities of the Member State(s) where damage to such other victim(s) occurred.

Recitals 54, 55, 56 of the EPPO Regulation

(54) The efficient investigation of offences affecting the financial interests of the Union and the principle of ne bis in idem may require, in certain cases, an extension of the investigation to other offences under national law, where these are inextricably linked to an offence affecting the financial interests of the Union. The notion of ‘inextricably linked offences’ should be considered in light of the relevant case-law which, for the application of the ne bis in idem principle, retains as a relevant criterion the identity of the material facts (or facts which are substantially the same), understood in the sense of the existence of a set of concrete circumstances which are inextricably linked together in time and space.

(55) The EPPO should have the right to exercise competence, where offences are inextricably linked and the offence affecting the Union’s financial interests is preponderant, in terms of the seriousness of the offence concerned, as reflected in the maximum sanctions that could be imposed.

(56) However, the EPPO should also have the right to exercise competence in the case of inextricably linked offences where the offence affecting the financial interests of the Union is not preponderant in terms of sanctions levels, but where the inextricably linked other offence is deemed to be ancillary in nature because it is merely instrumental to the offence affecting the financial interests of the Union, in particular where such other offence has been committed for the main purpose of creating the conditions to commit the offence affecting the financial interests of the Union, such as an offence strictly aimed at ensuring the material or legal means to commit the offence affecting the financial interests of the Union, or to ensure the profit or product thereof.

Recital 59 of the EPPO Regulation

(59) A particular case should be considered to have repercussions at Union level, inter alia, where a criminal offence has a transnational nature and scale, where such an offence involves a criminal organisation, or where the specific type of offence could pose a serious threat to the Union’s financial interests or the Union institutions’ credit and Union citizens’ confidence.

Recitals 12, 13, 58, 106 of the EPPO Regulation

(12) In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, combatting crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union can be better achieved at Union level by reason of its scale and effects. The present situation, in which the criminal prosecution of offences against the Union’s financial interests is exclusively in the hands of the authorities of the Member States of the European Union, does not always sufficiently achieve that objective. Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely, to enhance the fight against offences affecting the financial interests of the Union by setting up the EPPO, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States of the European Union, given the fragmentation of national prosecutions in the area of offences committed against the Union’s financial interests but can rather, by reason of the fact that the EPPO is to have competence to prosecute such offences, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 TEU. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives and ensures that its impact on the legal orders and the institutional structures of the Member States is the least intrusive possible.

(13) This Regulation provides for a system of shared competence between the EPPO and national authorities in combating crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union, based on the right of evocation of the EPPO.

(58) The competence of the EPPO regarding offences affecting the financial interests of the Union should, as a general rule, take priority over national claims of competence so that it can ensure consistency and provide steering of investigations and prosecutions at Union level. With regard to those offences the authorities of Member States should refrain from acting, unless urgent measures are required, until the EPPO has decided whether to conduct an investigation.

(106) To the extent that recovery procedures are deferred as a result of decisions taken by the EPPO in connection with investigations or prosecutions under this Regulation, Member States should not be considered at fault or negligent for the purposes of recovery procedures within the meaning of Article 122 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council ¹).

¹) Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320).

Full-text search

Access to information by the EPPO  |  Article 43
Access to the case management system  |  Article 46
Administrative Director Status, appointment  |  Article 18
Administrative Director Responsiilities  |  Article 19
Administrative personal data  |  Article 48
Annual Reports of the EPPO  |  Article 7
Appointment and dismissal – Administrative Director  |  Article 18
Appointment and dismissal – European Delegated Prosecutors  |  Article 17
Appointment and dismissal – Deputy European Chief Prosecutors  |  Article 15
Appointment and dismissal – European Chief Prosecutors  |  Article 14
Appointment and dismissal – European Prosecutors  |  Article 16
Authorized access to operational personal data within the EPPO  |  Article 76
Automated individual decision-making, including profiling (data protection)  |  Article 56
Basic principles of the activities of the EPPO  |  Article 5
Budget  |  Article 91
Case files of the EPPO  |  Article 45
Case management system  |  Article 44
College  |  Article 9
Communication and modalities for exercising the rights of the data subject  |  Article 57
Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject  |  Article 75
Conducting the investigation  |  Article 28
Confidentiality and professional secrecy  |  Article 108
Cooperation between the EDPS and national supervisory authorities  |  Article 87
Cross-border investigations  |  Article 31
Data protection by design and by default (data protection)  |  Article 67
Data protection impact assessment  |  Article 71
Data Protection Officer of the EPPO – Designation of the data protection officer  |  Article 77
Data Protection Officer of the EPPO – Position of the data protection officer  |  Article 78
Data Protection Officer of the EPPO – Tasks of the data protection officer  |  Article 79
Definitions  |  Article 2
Delegated Commision Acts  |  Article 115
Deputy European Chief Prosecutors – Status and functions  |  Article 11
Deputy European Chief Prosecutors – Appointment and dismissal  |  Article 15
Dismissal of the case  |  Article 39
Disposition of confiscated assets  |  Article 38
Distinction between different categories of data subjects  |  Article 51
Distinction between personal data and verification of quality of personal data  |  Article 52
Enforcement of assigned measures  |  Article 32
Entry into force of the Regulation  |  Article 120
Establishment of the EPPO  |  Article 3
Establishment of the budget  |  Article 92
European Chief Prosecutor – Status and functions  |  Article 11
European Chief Prosecutor – Conditions of employment  |  Article 14
European Chief Prosecutor – Conditions of employment  |  Article 96(1)
European Data Protection Supervisor – Cooperation with the EDPS  |  Article 70
European Data Protection Supervisor – Prior consultation of the EDPS  |  Article 72
European Data Protection Supervisor – Notification of a personal data breach to the EDPS  |  Article 74
European Delegated Prosecutors – Status and functions  |  Article 13
European Delegated Prosecutors – Appointment and dismissal  |  Article 17
European Delegated Prosecutors – Conditions of employment  |  Article 96(6)
European Ombudsman  |  Article 112
European Prosecutors – Status and functions  |  Article 12
European Prosecutors – Appointment and dismissal  |  Article 16
European Prosecutors – Conditions of employment  |  Article 96(1)
Evidence  |  Article 37
Exercise of rights by the data subject and verification by the European Data Protection Supervisor  |  Article 62
Exercise of the competence of the EPPO  |  Article 25
Financial actors  |  Article 90
Financial rules  |  Article 95
Staff provisions – general principles  |  Article 96
General regime of liability  |  Article 113
Implementation of the budget  |  Article 93
Implementing rules and programme documents  |  Article 114
Independence and accountability  |  Article 6
Information to be made available or given to the data subject  |  Article 58
Initiation of investigations and allocation of competences within the EPPO  |  Article 26
Internal rules of procedure of the EPPO  |  Article 21
Joint controllers (data protection)  |  Article 64
Judicial review  |  Article 42
Language arrangements  |  Article 107
Legal status and operating conditions  |  Article 106
Lifting priviliges or immunities  |  Article 29
Limitations of the right of access (data protection)  |  Article 60
Logging in respect of automated processing (data protection)  |  Article 69
Material competence of the EPPO  |  Article 22
Notifications by Member States  |  Article 117
Obligations of the EPPO (data protection)  |  Article 63
OLAF and the Court of Auditors  |  Article 110
Permanent Chambers  |  Article 10
Pre-trial arrest and cross-border surrender  |  Article 33
Presentation of accounts and discharge  |  Article 94
Principles relating to processing of personal data  |  Article 47
Processing of operational personal data  |  Article 49
Processing of spedial categories of operational personal data  |  Article 55
Processing under the authority of the controller or processor  |  Article 66
Processor (data protection)  |  Article 65
Professional secrecy of the EDPS  |  Article 86
Prosecution before national Courts  |  Article 36
Provisional administrative arrangements of the EPPO  |  Article 20
Records of categories of processing activities (data protection)  |  Article 68
Referrals and transfers of proceedings to the national authorities  |  Article 34
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Common provisions  |  Article 99
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Eurojust  |  Article 100
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Europol  |  Article 102
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Non-participating Member States  |  Article 105
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – OLAF  |  Article 101
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union  |  Article 103
Relations of the EPPO with its partners – Third countries and international organisation  |  Article 104
Reporting, registration and verification of information  |  Article 24
Review clause  |  Article 119
Review of the rules on data protection  |  Article 118
Right of evocation  |  Article 27
Right to judicial review against the EDPS  |  Article 89
Right to lodge a compliant with the EDPS  |  Article 88
Right to rectification or erasure of operational personal data and restriction of data processing  |  Article 61
Rights of access by the data subject  |  Article 59
Rules on investigation measures and other measures  |  Article 30
Rules on protection of sensitive non-classified and classified information  |  Article 111
Scope of the rights of the suspects and accused persons  |  Article 41
Seconded experts and other staff  |  Article 98
Security of processing of operational personal data  |  Article 73
Simplified prosecution procedures  |  Article 40
Specific processing conditions (data protection)  |  Article 53
Structure of the EPPO  |  Article 8
Subject matter  |  Article 1
Supervision by the European Data Protection Supervisor  |  Article 85
Tasks of the EPPO  |  Article 4
Temporary agents and contract agents  |  Article 98
Termination of the investigation  |  Article 35
Territorial and personal competence of the EPPO  |  Article 23
Time-limits for the storage of operational personal data  |  Article 50
Transfers of operational personal data – General principles for transfers of operational personal data  |  Article 80
Transfers of operational personal data – Transfers on the basis of an adequacy decision  |  Article 81
Transfers of operational personal data – Transfers subject to appropriate safeguards  |  Article 82
Transfers of operational personal data – Derogations for specific situations  |  Article 83
Transfers of operational personal data – Transfers to recipients established in third countries  |  Article 84
Transmission of operational personal data to institutions, bodes, offices and agencies of the Union  |  Article 54
Transparency  |  Article 109
Urgency procedure in case of Delegated Commission Acts  |  Article 116

Chapter I … Subject Matter and definitions

Article 1 … Subject Matter

Article 2 … Definitions

Chapter II … Establishment, tasks and basic principles of the EPPO

Article 3 … Establishment

Article 4 … Tasks

Article 5 … Basic principles of the activities

Article 6 … Independence and accountability

Article 7 … Reporting

Chapter III … Status, structure and organisation of the EPPO

Section 1 … Status and structure of the EPPO

Article 8 … Structure of the EPPO

Article 9 … The College

Article 10 … The Permanent Chambers

Article 11 … The European Chief Prosecutor and the Deputy European Chief Prosecutors

Article 12 … The European Prosecutors

Article 13 … The European Delegated Prosecutors

Section 2 … Appointment and dismissal of the members of the EPPO

Article 14 … Appointment and dismissal of the European Chief Prosecutor

Article 15 … Appointment and dismissal of the Deputy European Chief Prosecutors

Article 16 … Appointment and dismissal of the European Prosecutors

Article 17 … Appointment and dismissal of the European Delegated Prosecutors

Article 18 … Status of the Administrative Director

Article 19 … Responsibilities of the Administrative Director

Article 20 … Provisional administrative arrangements of the EPPO

Section 3 … Internal rules of procedure of the EPPO

Article 21 … Internal rules of procedure of the EPPO

Chapter IV … Competence and exercise of the competence of the EPPO

Section 1 … Competence of the EPPO

Article 22 … Material competence of the EPPO

Article 23 … Territorial and personal competence of the EPPO

Section 2 … Exercise of the competence of the EPPO

Article 24 … Reporting, registration and verification of information

Article 25 … Exercise of the competence of the EPPO

Chapter V … Rules of procedure on investigations, investigation measures, prosecution and alternatives to prosecution

Section 1 … Rules on investigations

Article 26 … Initiation of investigations and allocation of competences within the EPPO

Article 27 … Right of evocation

Article 28 … Conducting the investigation

Article 29 … Lifting priviliges or immunities

Section 2 … Rules on investigation measures and other measures

Article 30  … Investigation measures and other measures

Article 31  … Cross-boder investigations

Article 32  … Enforcement of assigned measures

Article 33  … Pre-trial arrest and cross-border surrender

Section 3 … Rules on prosecution

Article 34  … Referrals and transfers of proceedings to the national authorities

Article 35  … Termination of the investigation 

Article 36  … Prosecution before national Courts

Article 37  … Evidence

Article 38  … Disposition of confiscated assets

Section 4 … Rules on alternatives to prosecution

Article 39  … Dismissal of the case

Section 5 … Rules on simplified procedures

Article 40  … Simplified prosecution procedures

Chapter VI … Procedural safeguards

Article 41 … Scope of the rights of the suspects and accused persons

Article 42 … Judicial review

Chapter VII … Processing of information

Article 43 … Access to information by the EPPO

Article 44 … Case management system

Article 45 … Case files of the EPPO

Article 46 … Access to the case management system

Chapter VIII … Data protection

[Section 1 … Principles]

Article 47 … Principles relating to processing of personal data

Article 48 … Administrative personal data

Article 49 … Processing of operational personal data

Article 50 … Time-limits for the storage of operational personal data

Article 51 … Distinction between different categories of data subjects

Article 52 … Distinction between personal data and verification of quality of personal data

Article 53 … Specific processing conditions

Article 54 … Transmission of operational personal data to institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union

Article 55 … Processing of spedial categories of operational personal data

Article 56 … Automated individual decision-making, including profiling

[Section 2 … Rights of the data subject]

Article 57 … Communication and modalities for exercising the rights of the data subject

Article 58 … Information to be made availiable or given to the data subject

Article 59 … Rights of access by the data subject

Article 60 … Limitations of the right of access

Article 61 … Right to rectification or erasure of operational personal data and restriction of data processing

Article 62 … Exercise of rights by the data subject and verification by the European Data Protection Supervisor

[Section 3 … Controller and processor]

Article 63 … Obligations of the EPPO

Article 64 … Joint controllers

Article 65 … Processor

Article 66 … Processing under the authority of the controller or processor

Article 67 … Data protection by design and by default

Article 68 … Records of categories of processing activities

Article 69 … Logging in respect of automated processing

Article 70 … Cooperation with the European Data Protection Supervisor

Article 71 … Data protection impact assessment

Article 72 … Prior consultation of the European Data Protection Supervisor

[Section 4 … Security of personal data]

Article 73 … Security of processing of operational personal data

Article 74 … Notification of a personal data breach to the European Data Protection Supervisor

Article 75 … Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject

Article 76 … Authorised access to operational personal data within the European Data Protection Supervisor

 [Section 5 … Data Protection Officer]

Article 77 … Designation of the Data Protection Officer

Article 78 … Position of the Data Protection Officer

Article 79 … Tasks of the data protection officer

[Section 6 … Transfers of personal data to third countries or international organisations]

Article 80 … General principles for transfers of operational personal data

Article 81 … Transfers on the basis of an adequacy decision

Article 82 … Transfers subject to appropriate safeguards

Article 83 … Derogations for specific situations

Article 84 … Transfers of operational personal data to recipients established in third countries

 [Section 7 … Tasks of the European Data Protection Supervisor]

Article 85 … Supervision by the European Data Protection Supervisor

Article 86 … Professional secrecy of the European Data Protection Supervisor

Article 87 …  Cooperation between the European Data Protection Supervisor and national supervisory authorities

Article 88 … Right to lodge a compliant with the European Data Protection Supervisor

Article 89 … Right to judicial review against the European Data Protection Supervisor

Chapter IX … Financial and staff provisions

Section 1 … Financial provisions

Article 90 … Financial actors

Article 91 … Budget

Article 92 … Establishment of the budget

Article 93 … Implementation of the budget

Article 94 … Presentation of accounts and discharge

Article 95 … Financial rules 

Section 2 … Staff provisions

Article 96 … General provisions

Article 97 … Temporary agents and contract agents

Article 98 … Seconded experts and other staff

Chapter X … Provisions on the relations of the EPPO with its partners

Article 99 … Common provisions

Article 100 … Relations with Eurojust

Article 101 … Relations with OLAF

Article 102 … Relations with Europol

Article 103 … Relations with other institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union

Article 104 … Relations with third countries and international organisations

Article 105 … Relations with Member States of the European Union which do not participate in enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the EPPO

Chapter XI … General provisions

Article 106 … Legal status and operating conditions

Article 107 … Language arrangements

Article 108 … Confidentiality and professional secrecy

Article 109 … Transparency

Article 110 … OLAF and the Court of Auditors

Article 111 … Rules on protection of sensitive non-classified and  classified information

Article 112 … Administrative inquiries

Article 113 … General regime of liability

Article 114 … Implementing rules and programme documents

Article 115 … Exercise of delegation

Article 116 … Urgency procedure

Article 117 … Notifications

Article 118 … Review of the rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the EPPO

Article 119 … Review clause

Article 120 … Entry into force

Annex