The European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) is a leading group of independent criminal defence lawyers in the Council of Europe


On 15 December 2017 the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) organised a Workshop on an amendment of Regulation 883/2013 in Brussels focusing on the future cooperation between OLAF and EPPO from 2020 onwards. Invited by OLAF the ECBA delegation composed of Holger Matt, Oliver Kipper and Gwen Jansen attended the workshop on behalf of the ECBA and contributed multiply to the interesting discussion. The new Regulation on EPPO (2017/1939) of 12 October 2017 has created various issues for the future work of OLAF especially in the area of conflict between administrative and disciplinary investigations and recommendations on one hand and criminal investigations on the other hand.

The fruitful discussion dealt with the future coordination of OLAF and EPPO, the range of the supportive role of OLAF, the principle of non-duplication (and its boundaries), the idea of enhancing the effectiveness of OLAF’s investigative function in the Member States, investigative powers and their enforcement and the admissibility of evidence presented in the OLAF reports in (national) criminal proceedings. The ECBA delegation used repeatedly the chance to stress the necessity of a high level of procedural safeguards both in OLAF investigations and in criminal proceedings throughout the EU, e.g. in order to secure (or at least to improve factually) the transnational admissibility of evidence. As a matter of course it was mentioned by the ECBA delegation the future necessity of more legally binding minimum standards for further procedural safeguards (ECBA Agenda 2020: New Roadmap), for example in the broad field of collecting, using and assessing evidence. Especially the representatives of OLAF and of the criminal law unit of the Commission made actively notes about that whereas the present academics and other participants keenly nodded in agreement.