International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Friday, June 29, 2018

Strengthening the fight against crime and terrorism: Commission welcomes agreement on the confiscation of assets across borders

The provisional political agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council on the Commission's proposal for an EU regulation on the freezing and confiscation of assets across borders was confirmed by Member States. The proposal was adopted as part of the Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing and contributes to completing the Security Union.

Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “I welcome the political agreement on new rules to facilitate confiscation of assets across borders. At the moment, 99% of criminal proceeds remain in the hands of criminals and terrorists. The current EU legislation on mutual recognition of orders to confiscate or freeze assets across borders is outdated and prone to loopholes. Member States must cooperate better and much faster. Our new set of rules will directly apply in Member States, with standard documents, clear deadlines and better communication between national authorities."

The new regulation will set a deadline of 48 hours to recognise and execute freezing orders. It will widen the scope of current rules on cross-border recognition: criminals can be deprived of criminal assets, even when the assets belong to their relatives. Finally, in cases of cross-border execution of confiscation orders, the victim's right to compensation will have priority over States' claims. Following this political agreement, the text of the Directive will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

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