The EU’s Trifecta Mechanisms: Analysis of EU’s Response to the Challenges to the Rule of Law and Corruption

Stoyan Panov


The following paper examines the envisaged framework and effectiveness of the triangulation of mechanisms currently planned at the EU level: the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), proceedings under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) against Poland and Hungary, and the mechanism to protect EU’s budget in deficiencies withregards to the rule of law in Member States. This research focuses on the overall structure and powers of the EPPO with special attention on its role in investigating and prosecuting offences affecting to the EU’s financial interests. This includes active and passive corruption among others with particular emphasis on the expected interaction between the EPPO and the national authorities. However, not all EU Member States have joined the EPPO framework. Here the role of the EU institutions is analyzed in light of the recent developments in Article 7 TEU proceedings. A third possible mechanism to react to the growth of executive powers in some states and the corresponding imbalances is the EU Commission’s proposal for a mechanism on the protection of the EU’s budget in case of generalized  deficiencies as regards the rule of law. This may include corruption or other breaches to the implementation of the Union budget.


European Public Prosecutor’s Office, Article 7 TEU, Deficiencies in Rule of Law, Anti-corruption, Judicial Review, EU funds

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