Her five years with the DNA gained her a reputation as a fearless fighter against corruption. She is now the leading candidate to head the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office after the French attorney general, Jean-Francois Bohnert, dropped out. The EPPO is due to start operating next year, with new powers to investigate crimes across Europe against the EU budget.
Kövesi’s work has gained her powerful enemies in Romania. She was dismissed from the DNA last year after pursuing a successful felony conviction against Liviu Dragnea, then leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and President of the Romanian parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, for putting two PSD functionaries on the payroll of the state child-protection agency.
Despite her political foes, many Romanians see Kövesi as a voice of hope who could drive corruption out of their country, and perhaps even put an end to fraud against the EU budget.