European Public Prosecutor‘s Office

As the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) became operational as of June 2021, the ECBA brought into force a working group to reflect on defence issues and procedural rights in EPPO proceedings.

Creating a new criminal procedure for a new institution is a complex matter, in which defence rights should be fully acknowledged and protected. 

The working group focuses on the lack of specific regulations of defence and procedural rights, the impact on the rights of the suspect at the national level and problems relating to access to the case file.

The working group’s aim is to identify the relevant defence issues and to advise the members of the ECBA on how to handle them. The WG  also interacts with the EPPO in order to convey the views of practitioners and help to build a practice that is in conformity with the highest standards of a fair trial and the rights of individuals.

Since June 2022 the WG organises an online meeting every last Friday of the month to discuss practical issues and experiences regarding EPPO cases from different countries.

If you are interested in joining the working group, the practical sessions or simply want to discuss, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The European Criminal Bar Association announces the publication of essential documents that reflect our continued commitment to the development of legislation on the protection of financial interests of the European Union and the consistent application of the principles of the rule of law and of the rights recognized by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. Since the operational start of operations of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in June 2021, the ECBA has been at the forefront of addressing the complex matter of defence rights and procedural safeguards withing this new legal framework.

These documents are important for practitioners and scholars interested in the workings and procedural advancements of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).


The documents contain detailed insights into EPPO's procedural dynamics:

  1. Best practices for interpretation and translation rights: This document delineates proposed best practices essential for maintaining the coherence, efficiency, and consistency of the prosecution policy of the EPPO. Highlighting the critical need for a prosecution system that is credible and instills public confidence, the guidelines aim to set new and higher standards for procedural fairness across EU Member States.
  2. Guidelines on access to the case file: Addressing key disparities observed within and across Member States concerning access to the case file, this guideline emphasizes the necessity of a fair and transparent process that respects the procedural laws and practices specific to each Member State. It focuses on key aspects for defence involved in the EPPO’s proceedings such as the timeline for access, the completeness of the case files, and the inclusion of communications relevant to decision-making processes in EPPO procedures.
  3. Proposal for cross-border evidence gathering: Reflecting the work of our EPPO Working Group, which organizes monthly meetings to discuss the nuances of EPPO cases, this proposal brings to light the challenges and recommendations for improving cross-border evidence gathering. These insights are derived from real-world experiences and interactions with EPPO and other institutional stakeholders, aiming to bolster practices conforming to the highest standards of fair trial rights and individual protections.

These documents were prepared by the ECBA EPPO Working Group, and will be reviewed and improved as we develop our work, reflecting our ongoing commitment to the enhancement of legal standards and the protection of fundamental rights within the European Union. 

The ECBA thanks the Members of the CCBE Criminal Law Committee for their input into the preparation of theses papers.  

We invite all interested parties to review these documents and provide their feedback and insights, which are invaluable to our continuous efforts to refine and improve legal practices within the EPPO framework. 

For further information or to submit comments, please contact us via our institutional email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Today (27.02.2023) the Court of Justice of the European Union is holding a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of GK and Others.


The full details of the case have not been made public, and there is no procedural framework for the ECBA (or any other organizations representing the legal profession, such as the CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe) to intervene as a third party.


This is regrettable, as it means that a case which is crucial for the definition of the protection of individual rights and the rights of legal persons in the scope of EPPO proceedings is being dealt with in secrecy and without the institutional participation of the organisations representing the Bar.


These procedural limitations put into sharp profile the existing structural inequality of arms in EPPO proceedings: the EPPO as an institution is allowed to participate actively in the above-mentioned proceedings and make its case before the CJEU. Defence lawyers, however, may only participate in their individual capacity for the persons targeted by the measures adopted in the case at hand.


On these grounds, the ECBA publishes this open letter in a constructive and cooperative spirit, with the aim of assisting the Court.