On June 8, 2017, twenty European Union Member States voted to establish a new European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), which will be given broad powers to combat cross-border VAT fraud. The EPPO is envisioned as an independent body with the power to investigate fraud in all participating Member States; it will also be able to bring actions against defendants directly in front of national courts. To assuage concerns about national sovereignty, and to ensure that the EPPO only investigates large-scale fraud, the participating Member States agreed that a 10 million euro threshold for EPPO involvement will apply to cross-border VAT fraud cases.
The eight states that have opted out of the EPPO project are: Ireland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, and Malta. The project now awaits approval from the EU Parliament.
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