EPPO-LEX

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

Art. 39 EPPO Regulation

Relevant iRoP and other annotations

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= EPPO-Regulation

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= Relevant iRoP and other annotations

Article 39     |     Dismissal of the case

1. Where prosecution has become impossible, pursuant to the law of the Member State of the handling European Delegated Prosecutor, the Permanent Chamber shall, based on a report provided by the European Delegated Prosecutor handling the case in accordance with Article 35(1), decide to dismiss the case against a person on account of any of the following grounds:

(a) the death of the suspect or accused person or winding up of a suspect or accused legal person;

(b) the insanity of the suspect or accused person;

(c) amnesty granted to the suspect or accused person;

(d) immunity granted to the suspect or accused person, unless it has been lifted;

(e) expiry of the national statutory limitation to prosecute;

(f) the suspect’s or accused person’s case has already been finally disposed of in relation to the same acts;

(g) the lack of relevant evidence.

Article 55  |  Delegation of powers to conclude cases

1. The Permanent Chamber may decide to delegate its decision-making power in accordance with Article 10(7) of the Regulation at any stage before the termination of the investigation. The decision may not be taken by written procedure. The decision shall be registered in the Case Management System and notified to the European Chief Prosecutor. If the European Chief Prosecutor is a member of the relevant Permanent Chamber, the Deputy European Chief Prosecutors shall be notified about the decision.

2. The request for review of this decision in accordance with Article 10(7), second subparagraph of the Regulation shall be communicated forthwith by the Case Management System to the supervising European Prosecutor and the handling European Delegated Prosecutor, who shall refrain thereafter from any act which may impair the effectiveness of the review.

3. The matter shall be decided by the Permanent Chamber without undue delay. The European Chief Prosecutor or, as the case may be, the Deputy European Chief Prosecutor, who has submitted the request, may attend the meeting of the Permanent Chamber on this matter. The College shall be notified of the request and of the outcome of the review procedure.

Article 56  |  Termination of the investigation

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

1. When the handling European Delegated Prosecutor considers the investigation to be completed, he/she shall provide a report containing, inter alia:

a) a summary of the facts that were the object of the investigation, as resulting from the existing evidence;

b) the legal qualification of the facts and their application to the specific case;

c) a reasoned proposal to prosecute, to apply a simplified prosecution procedure, to dismiss the case or to refer it to the competent national authorities;

d) if applicable, a proposal to join several cases and the court where the case should be brought to judgement;

e) any deadlines applicable under national law.

Where applicable, a draft of the indictment or proposal or decision to use a simplified procedure should be attached to the report.

This provision shall also apply to the European Prosecutor who is conducting the investigation personally in accordance with Article 28(4) of the Regulation.

2. The report and the draft decision provided by the European Delegated Prosecutor to be submitted to the Permanent Chamber shall be registered in the Case Management System, which shall notify the supervising European Prosecutor and all the members of the monitoring Permanent Chamber.

3. The report and the draft decision shall be submitted to the supervising European Prosecutor, who, within 10 days shall forward them to the Permanent Chamber, including any own observations he/she may have. Unless the draft decision by the European Delegated Prosecutor proposes to bring a case to judgment, the European Prosecutor may ask the chair of the Permanent Chamber for an extension of the 10-day deadline.

4. The chair of the Permanent Chamber shall decide the date when the report and the draft decision shall be discussed. When the European Delegated Prosecutor submits a draft decision proposing to bring a case to judgement, it shall be discussed at least 5 days before the expiration of the time limit prescribed by Article 36 (1) of the Regulation.

5. When the European Delegated Prosecutor submits a draft decision proposing to bring a case to judgement or to apply a simplified prosecution procedure, the decision of the Permanent Chamber cannot be adopted by written procedure.

6. The Permanent Chamber may adopt or amend the decision proposed by the European Delegated Prosecutor, may adopt a different decision or may instruct the European Delegated Prosecutor to continue the investigation, indicating the specific activities to be undertaken, in accordance with Article 46. If it deems necessary, it may also conduct its own review in line with Article 35(2) of the Regulation.

7. If a decision to dismiss the case has been adopted, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall undertake the notification and information required pursuant to Article 39(4) of the Regulation and note it in the Case Management System.

8. The report shall be submitted by the European Delegated Prosecutor in a manner which ensures the ability to comply with the deadlines foreseen in paragraphs 3 and 4, taking into account the existence of any deadlines applicable in line with national procedural laws. Where this is not possible, the report shall highlight this aspect, as well as giving reasons for it. The supervising European Prosecutor and the Permanent Chamber shall act accordingly.

9. In case the respectively competent Permanent Chamber has delegated its decision-making power in line with Article 55, the report under paragraph 1 shall be provided to the supervising European Prosecutor, who shall adopt the decision as proposed or after amending it as deemed appropriate. If the decision by the supervising European Prosecutor is to dismiss the case, Article 56(7) shall apply.

quill

See on the EPPO’s guidelines for the delegation of decision making competences to the supervising European Prosecutor: Annex II of College Decision 023/2020

2. A decision in accordance with paragraph 1 shall not bar further investigations on the basis of new facts which were not known to the EPPO at the time of the decision and which become known after the decision. The decision to reopen investigations on the basis of such new facts shall be taken by the competent Permanent Chamber.

Article 59  |  Reopening an investigation

1. If the EPPO receives information related to facts which were not known at the time of the decision to dismiss a case and which may warrant further investigation, the following rules shall apply.

2. The verification shall be assigned by the supervising European Prosecutor to the same European Delegated Prosecutor who conducted the investigation or, where appropriate, to a different European Delegated Prosecutor from the same Member State.

3. The European Delegated Prosecutor, following the assessment of the new facts, shall draw a report concerning their influence on the dismissal decision, specifying and taking into account any relevant provisions in the national law, and if any further investigative activity is deemed necessary.

4. The report and the corresponding draft decision shall be registered in the Case Management System, which shall assign it to the same Permanent Chamber which decided upon the dismissal, unless that Permanent Chamber no longer operates, in which case the Case Management System shall assign it randomly to a Permanent Chamber whose permanent members do not include the supervising European Prosecutor, in accordance with Article 19.

5. If the Permanent Chamber following from paragraph 4 above, or a national court or the European Court of Justice following the review of a dismissal decision decide that the EPPO should reopen the case, the supervising European Prosecutor shall assign a European Delegated Prosecutor to continue the investigation.

quill

See on the functions and procedures of the Permanent Chambers in this respect: Annex to College Decision 027/2022, in particular its section III.7

3. Where the EPPO is competent in accordance with Article 22(3), it shall dismiss a case only after consultation with the national authorities of the Member State referred to in Article 25(6). If applicable, the Permanent Chamber shall refer the case to the competent national authorities in accordance with Article 34(6), (7) and (8). 

The same applies where the EPPO exercises a competence in respect of offences referred to in points (a) and (b) of Article 3(2) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 and where 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.

Article 58  |  Consultation with the national authorities

1. Where the European Delegated Prosecutor intends to propose the dismissal of a case in relation to an offence indicated by Article 22(3) of the Regulation in line with Article 39(3)  of the Regulation, he/she shall notify the national authorities specified by the respective Member State in line with Article 25(6) of the Regulation.

2. Based on the observations received from the national authority within 20 days following the notification under paragraph 1 above, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall register the corresponding report and draft decision into the Case Management System.

4. Where a case has been dismissed, the EPPO shall officially notify the competent national authorities and shall inform the relevant institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, as well as, where appropriate under national law, the suspects or accused persons and the crime victims, of such dismissal. The dismissed cases may also be referred to OLAF or to the competent national administrative or judicial authorities for recovery or other administrative follow-up.

Article 2  |  Language arrangements 

(…)

2. The communications, acts or decisions of the EPPO addressed to institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the European Union shall be drafted in the working language for the operational and administrative activities. French shall be used along with English in the relations with the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

3. Communication with persons involved in criminal proceedings, such as suspected or accused persons, victims and witnesses, or with other third parties, shall be made in the language required in accordance with the applicable national rules of criminal procedural law and, where applicable, in accordance with the relevant EU or international legal instruments for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. When necessary, the communication shall be accompanied by a translation in a language understood by the addressee.

(…)

Article 56  |  Termination of the investigation

(…)

7. If a decision to dismiss the case has been adopted, the European Delegated Prosecutor shall undertake the notification and information required pursuant to Article 39(4) of the Regulation and note it in the Case Management System.

(…)

Recital 83 of the EPPO Regulation

(83) This Regulation requires the EPPO to respect, in particular, the right to a fair trial, the rights of the defence and the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Articles 47 and 48 of the Charter. Article 50 of the Charter, which protects the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same offence (ne bis in idem), ensures that there will be no double jeopardy as a result of the prosecutions brought by the EPPO. The activities of the EPPO should thus be exercised in full compliance with those rights and this Regulation should be applied and interpreted accordingly.

Recitals 36, 66, 81, 83 of the EPPO Regulation

(36) The Permanent Chambers should exercise their decision-making power at specific steps of the proceedings of the EPPO with a view to ensuring a common investigation and prosecution policy. They should adopt decisions on the basis of a draft decision proposed by the handling European Delegated Prosecutor. However, in exceptional cases, a Permanent Chamber should be able to adopt a decision without a draft decision of the handling European Delegated Prosecutor. In such cases, the European Prosecutor supervising the case may present such a draft decision.

(66) In order to ensure legal certainty and to effectively combat offences affecting the Union’s financial interests, the investigation and prosecution activities of the EPPO should be guided by the legality principle, whereby the EPPO applies strictly the rules laid down in this Regulation relating in particular to competence and its exercise, the initiation of investigations, the termination of investigations, the referral of a case, the dismissal of the case and simplified prosecution procedures.

(81) Taking into account the legality principle, the investigations of the EPPO should as a rule lead to prosecution in the competent national courts in cases where there is sufficient evidence and no legal ground bars prosecution, or where no simplified prosecution procedure has been applied. The grounds for dismissal of a case are exhaustively laid down in this Regulation.

(83) This Regulation requires the EPPO to respect, in particular, the right to a fair trial, the rights of the defence and the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Articles 47 and 48 of the Charter. Article 50 of the Charter, which protects the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same offence (ne bis in idem), ensures that there will be no double jeopardy as a result of the prosecutions brought by the EPPO. The activities of the EPPO should thus be exercised in full compliance with those rights and this Regulation should be applied and interpreted accordingly.

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