DK: Orbán’s cabinet won’t be able to block establishment of European prosecutor
Budapest (MTI) – Neither the government nor the ruling Fidesz party will be able to block the establishment of a European prosecutor, an opposition Democratic Coalition MEP told a news conference in Budapest on Saturday.
Péter Niedermüller said it would be possible to slow the process of establishing a European prosecutor but blocking it would be out of the question. He added that this would be a battle that the Hungarian government would be destined to lose.
The DK politician noted that the primary task of the European prosecutor would be to examine how EU funds are used. But the prosecutor would not have the right to meddle in national affairs, he added.
In addition, the body would examine the issue of cross-border VAT fraud, he said.
Niedermüller said that all too often the findings of European anti-fraud office OLAF did not lead to a national investigation. Out of 51 cases so far related to Hungary, the authorities here have only investigated a single one, he said.
DK, he said, had supported the establishment of a European prosecution service from the word go, since it was a fundamental interest of all people that the utilisation of European funds should be followed with precision.
He insisted that such a body would not impair the sovereignty of the national judiciary.
At an informal meeting of EU justice ministers in Malta on Friday, László Trócsányi, Hungary’s justice minister, said Hungary continues to object to the establishment of a prosecution service for the bloc.
Hungary’s public prosecutor said in reaction to Niedermüller’s comments that it always initiated an investigation whenever OLAF turned to it with a recommendation to do so. Between 2012 and 2016, it made 28 recommendations in cases in which suspicions of criminal activity were raised. All recommendations for a judicial investigation were acted upon or are being investigated by the Hungarian authorities, the prosecutor’s communications department said in a statement.