The main favorite in getting the EU prosecutor job (Kovesi) has been accused of corruption in Romania:

Romanian magistrate Laura Codruta Kovesi, a hot favourite to become the EU’s first-ever top prosecutor, has been indicted on corruption charges, a judicial source said. Considered a symbol of the fight against corruption but facing hostility from the Romanian government, Kovesi received the news during a six-hour hearing on Thursday in front of a special panel charged with investigating magistrates.

A few days latter she was banned for leaving the country due to investigation:

Romania’s ruling party has intensified its campaign to stop the former anti-graft prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, from heading the new EU Chief Prosecutor’s Office, forbidding her to leave the country.

Now, if EU appoints Kovesi as a prosecutor, there will be a contradiction between its decision and a court decision in Romania and I am wondering which takes precedence in this case.

Question: What happens if EU chooses a prosecutor that is not allowed to leave her country?

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    "As a result, both sides will now need to find a compromise next week." Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 8:40
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    If the lead candidate for chief prosecutor has credible charges of corruption against them, I would have to wonder why they are considered the 'lead candidate'. Surely, a prosecutor with a strong record of integrity can be found...
    – tj1000
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 17:08
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    @tj1000 - yes, but this action is most probably retribution: politics.stackexchange.com/a/39286/11278
    – Alexei
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 17:13
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    She has the support of the EU parliament, and the refusal from the Council (most likely due to veto from the Romanian government). Since this is a position that requires approval from both, things are now at a deadlock. If the EU approves Kovesi this means both council and parliament gave the go ahead, and by association so did the Romanian government. Likely those charges would be dropped (if the retribution theory is true). As things stand the council is showing an ugly side and its supported candidate discredited as consequence (because it would be a candidate acceptable for Romania).
    – armatita
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 13:25
  • @tj1000 you're talking about the EU here...
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 6:49

2 Answers 2


The job of being a top prosecutor is a managerial position, not primarily one done "in the trenches" in individual court cases (compare comparable positions in national governments).

The top prosecutor can appoint a deputy to handle things that the top prosecutor otherwise would have had to do personally and in person.

Governmental and private law offices all across Europe are conducting an unprecedentedly high share of their work remotely as a result of COVID. Even an unprecedented amount work traditionally done in person in a courtroom is now being done remotely.

There is no good reason to believe that a person hired to be an EU top prosecutor couldn't manage the other lawyers in the office on an interim basis remotely until such time as the legal issues in Romania are dismissed, until the prosecutor resigns due to a conviction or just the distraction created by facing the charges, or until a satisfactory interim compromise is reached.


It very much sounds from the link that you've provided that the row is a political one. Bucharest do not want Laura Cudrati Kovesi to be appointed as EU prosecutor as she has a strong track record in her native Romania. She was the head of Romania's National Anti-Corruption Directorate from 2013-18 when she was removed from her post by justice minister, Tudarel Toader. Under her watch hundreds of officials were arrested on corruption charges.

She was already made to appear in court in February 2019 when she was to present her candidacy for the office of EU prosecutor which was set out in the Lisbon Treaty. The office coordinates national law enforcement efforts including Europol and Eurojust as well as having the power to freeze and seize assets and make arrests.

The report makes it clear that MEPs swung behind Kovesi's appointment and she was appointed EU prosecutor in October 2019. I assume MEPs made it clear to Romania that here EU law took precedence and that the move to stop her leaving the country was a violation of EU law.

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