It looks as if an Italian will be taking over the EU’s anti-fraud office, OLAF. All three of the EU institutions are involved in the selection procedure, and the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission have all put Giovanni Kessler (pictured) at the top of the heap. Currently a national parliamentarian, he used to be an anti-mafia prosecutor.
The Commission favours Kessler. The Parliament voted narrowly to put Kessler ahead of Thierry Cretin, an OLAF director. The Council last Friday (19 November) decided that Kessler and Johan Denolf, from the anti-fraud unit of the Belgian judicial police, were their top two. Official endorsement at a specially convened meeting of all three institutions is expected within days – 11 months after the death of Franz-Herman Brüner, the previous director-general of OLAF.