We welcome today's agreement of the Council to set up the European Public Prosecutor's Office. With 20 Member States joining, we will have a strong, independent and efficient body to fight transnational crime against the EU budget and cross-border VAT fraud.
Establishing the European Public Prosecutor's Office will be a real game-changer. Many cases of fraud against the EU budget are transnational. We therefore need an institution which is able not only to investigate, but also to prosecute across borders. The future prosecutor will be doing exactly that. It will make sure that criminals are brought to justice faster and that more money is recovered, to the benefit of European taxpayers.
We are pleased that 20 Member States are joining forces to that aim and we are convinced more EU countries will follow. At the same time, we remain confident that all EU Members will support our common efforts to protect the EU budget against corruption and fraud. Next year, the Commission will furthermore lay out the next steps on a possible future extension of the tasks of the Prosecutor to include also cross-border terrorist crimes.
Following the Council's agreement, we will now work to make the European Public Prosecutor's Office operational by early 2020. We will equip it with the necessary resources to make sure it can start delivering results as quickly as possible.