Home » News » The performance of the Prosecution Service of Hungary continues to be outstanding – the prosecution rate following OLAF’s judicial recommendations is significantly above the EU average

Accord­ing to the Annu­al Report of the Euro­pe­an Anti-Fraud Offi­ce (OLAF) for 2021, pub­lis­hed on 8th June, the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary filed indict­ments in 67% of OLAF-cases bet­ween 2017 and 2021, which is a sig­ni­fi­cantly hig­her figu­re than the EU aver­age of 35%. The num­ber of judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions add­res­sed to the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary has been stea­di­ly dec­re­a­sing over the years. Every judi­ci­al recom­men­da­ti­on is fol­lo­wed by an investiga­ti­on in Hun­gary. OLAF is more and more often mak­ing judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions in cases that are alre­ady under investiga­ti­on in Hun­gary.

OLAF car­ri­es out investiga­tions into admi­nistra­tive irre­gu­la­ri­ti­es aga­inst EU funds, but it does not deter­mi­ne whet­her a cri­mi­nal offen­ce has been com­mit­ted or not, nor does it prove any cri­mi­nal offen­ces with evi­den­ce. OLAF has neit­her aut­hori­za­ti­on nor any tools to do so.

Alt­ho­ugh no such legal obli­ga­ti­on exists, the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary – in accor­dance with the instruc­ti­on of Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral Dr. Péter Polt – has issu­ed an order on the ope­ning of a cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­re in each case based on OLAF recom­men­da­tions, and where an investiga­ti­on was alre­ady ongo­ing, OLAF's recom­men­da­tions were atta­ched to the investiga­ti­on files and were asses­sed as a part the­reof.

Cont­rary to the mis­in­terp­re­ta­ti­on pub­lis­hed in some media out­lets, there is no judi­ci­al recom­men­da­ti­on which has not led to the ini­ti­a­ti­on of an investiga­ti­on, and which would not be substan­ti­ally add­res­sed by the Hun­ga­ri­an aut­ho­ri­ti­es.

It stands out from OLAF's latest Annu­al Report for 2021 that the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary indic­ted 67% of the OLAF cases. This figu­re is an out­stand­ing result, as it is almost doub­le of the EU aver­age of 35%.

OLAF is inc­re­a­singly mak­ing judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions in cases that are alre­ady under investiga­ti­on in Hun­gary. There were ongo­ing investiga­tions in all recom­men­da­tions of the last three years.

The num­ber of judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions is dec­li­n­ing year by year. While there were ten in 2016, in the last two years only two recom­men­da­tions were rece­i­ved, in each year respec­ti­vely.

The Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary and OLAF coope­ra­te clos­ely by hol­ding regu­lar mee­tings at both mana­ge­ri­al and expert levels.

In Feb­ru­ary 2022, the excel­lent co-operation bet­ween OLAF and the Hun­ga­ri­an Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce was recor­ded in the form of a wor­king agree­ment. The fra­me­work for work based on com­mon inte­rests and goals has since been for­mally pro­vi­ded even by the wor­king agree­ment. 

(Image from 01/2020.)