EU threatens response after Slovakia dissolves graft prosecution unit

By Thomson Reuters Mar 21, 2024 | 7:35 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU executive European Commission said on Thursday it regretted Slovakia dissolving its dedicated state graft prosecution unit, warning the bloc “will not hesitate” to act to safeguard its financial interests.

Despite public protests and EU warnings, Prime Minister Robert Fico dismantled the USP body as his critics sound alarm that he is damaging democracy in the formerly communist country of some 5.5 million people.

“The Commission regrets the dissolution of the Special Prosecutor’s Office without the introduction of safeguards to ensure investigations can continue effectively,” a spokesman told Reuters.

He said that “could undermine the effectiveness of investigations, not least on offences that affect the EU budget.”

The Commission will assess the consequences, the spokesman added, and “not hesitate to take action to ensure respect of EU law and the protection of the EU’s financial interests, as necessary.”

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)