“After long preparations, #EPPO starts investigating crimes against the EU budget today.
“Discover more and don’t forget, you can report a crime to us on Home | European Public Prosecutor’s Office.”
Boasting about the new project, Guy Verhofstadt said: “Cross-border crime & corruption need a cross-border answer.
“EU Prosecutor is a big step forward. Today to fight the misuse of European funds, tomorrow to tackle all big cross border criminal acts.”
But the europhile, who has longed fought for the EU to become the United States of Europe, was immediately mocked on the social media platform.
One Twitter user wrote: “Having no internal borders, allows unchecked movement of criminals. Then there’s the clan families that you leave alone here and Germany being the best place to launder money.”
Another one replied: “So, you’re finally going to prosecute those EU parliament members who’ve fiddled the funds for the past 40 years. Well done.”
Others called for member states to quit the bloc altogether.
People in the UK also joined the bashing.
One Briton wrote: “Britain has a large number of European criminals in our prison system, shall we send them to Brussels so you can deal with them?”
And another: “The EU Parliament is the most corrupt place in Europe. Start there, then we might believe you.”
“40 years and you start to investigate crimes against the budget? LOL-I would start looking at the Commission and the MEP’s. All that favouritism, abuse of expenses, Nepotism and basic unaccounted for spending. As for cross border crime -You made your bed so you lie in it!
The EPPO, which counts 22 EU countries as members, is designed to prosecute budget fraud in the bloc.
The office aims to rely on a network of European delegated prosecutors in each country.
But in a blow to Brussels’ bid to become more integrated and tackle crime across the bloc, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Poland and Sweden have yet to sign up to the office.
Finland has not come up with a nominee and Slovenia which will take over the Council of the EU’s rotating presidency in July, has yet to nominate any prosecutors for the office.
A disappointed Laura Codruța Kövesi, the EPPO’s chief, told POLITICO: “It’s a very bad signal.”
She blasted there is “a lack of sincere cooperation” from member states.
On Thursday, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša refused to acknowledge his country’s two candidates.
Ms Kövesi commented: “It’s obvious that something is not credible.”
The EPPO chief warned that Slovenia will take “a very huge risk” if it chooses not to appoint prosecutors.
She added: “This will influence the activity of EPPO, the efficiency of EPPO.
“How we can protect better the European money without having the prosecutors in Slovenia?”