Corruption: Austrian case renews call for EU prosecutor
17 January 2013
Former Austrian interior minister and MEP Ernst Strasser’s jailing for four years for corruption should be “proclaimed the length and breadth of the European Union” as a deterrent against graft, trumpeted the European Voice. The politician was caught by Sunday Times journalists posing as lobbyists, who offered him money in return for his political support. “Ernst Strasser's sentence highlights the EU's need for its own public prosecutor,” continues the weekly, praising the Austrian authorities for “swiftly and energetically” pursuing the case. The weekly adds –
It is hard to think of a similar instance of a national authority cracking down so heavily against corrupt behaviour in the corridors of the EU. Notwithstanding the Strasser conviction, which sadly is an exception rather than the norm, the EU still needs its own public prosecutor, with the authority to pursue cases anywhere in the EU, in defence of the EU's financial interests. The Lisbon Treaty gave the EU the possibility to establish such a European public prosecutor. It is high time that potential was realised.