Author: Niall Hearty 4 March 2022
Niall Hearty of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli assesses the significance of Poland’s stance.
Poland has been accused of refusing to cooperate with the European Union’s financial crime investigating agency.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has written to the European Commission, detailing Poland's alleged refusal to cooperate with the fraud agency in cross-border investigations.
The letter states that Poland has repeatedly rejected EPPO’s requests for cooperation since the agency started operating in June last year. While Poland is not a member of EPPO, it is a member of the European Union – and so has to comply with EPPO’s requests.
EPPO has said it has 23 ongoing investigations that are being hampered by it not being able to obtain evidence from Poland.
The 32nd annual report on the protection of the European Union’s financial interests, which was released by the European Commission in September 2021, showed there had been a 20% drop in the number of frauds and irregularities related to EU revenues and expenditure compared to the previous year.
But while such a drop is encouraging, it is troubling that Poland has so far refused to cooperate with EPPO. This refusal will severely restrict EPPO’s ability to obtain material located in Poland that is needed for it to carry out its cross-border investigations. The fact that EPPO has 23 current investigations that are affected by Poland’s stance shows the impact of it.
At a time when there have been calls to increase EPPO’s membership, Poland’s reluctance to engage with it is a significant setback.
This article originally featured on Mondaq, it can be read here.
Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.