Tsetska Tsacheva, Bulgarian minister of Justice has said that Fraud with credit cards or online shopping is rapidly increasing. Not only it is used to finance criminal groups but it undermines the development of the digital single market as citizens become more reluctant to shop online. We need to put a stop to this and send a clear message to fraudsters that they you will no longer be able to exploit loopholes between Member states. We will now have common rules which will be robust and will ensure that fraudulent behaviours are punished.
Ministers agreed on the Council’s position on the directive on combatting fraud of non-cash means of payments. The directive will put in place a clear, robust and technology-neutral legal framework to tackle fraud to electronic and digital means of payment such as online wallets, mobile payments, bank cards or virtual currencies.
Ministers reaffirmed the importance of establishing a legal framework for the cross-border access to e-evidence and encouraged the Commission to finalise its proposal urgently. The Commission undertook to present it in April.
Ministers also discussed developments at international level, in the US and at the Council of Europe in particular, and underlined the need to take these into account in future EU legislation.
European public prosecutor’s office (EPPO)
The Council was updated by the Commission on the implementation of the EPPO regulation.
Member states reaffirmed their wish to be closely involved in the practical setting up of the EPPO as well as the need to ensure good working cooperation between EPPO and other bodies such as Eurojust, OLAF and Europol. During the debate, Malta informed of its intention to join the EPPO.
The EPPO will have the authority, under certain conditions, to investigate and prosecute EU-fraud and other crimes affecting the Union’s financial interests. It will bring together European and national law-enforcement efforts to counter EU fraud.