83

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Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders

12-12-2018

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, ...

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, provisional agreement was reached in interinstitutional negotiations and the European Parliament voted the agreed text on 4 October 2018. The Council followed suit on 6 November 2018. The final act was signed on 14 November and published in the Official Journal of the EU on 28 November 2018. The regulation will apply 24 months after its entry into force, namely from 19 December 2020. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Virtual currencies in the Eurosystem: challenges ahead

16-07-2018

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. ...

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Rosa María LASTRA, Jason Grant ALLEN

Guarantee Fund for External Action and EIB external lending mandate

16-05-2018

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals ...

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals. A compromise package was agreed in trilogue between Council and Parliament, and adopted at first reading during the February I 2018 plenary session. Both acts entered into force on 8 April 2018. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

2016 report on protection of the European Union's financial interests – fight against fraud

25-04-2018

In 2016, 19 080 irregularities affecting the EU budget were reported to the Commission, which is a decrease of 15 % in comparison to 2015. Furthermore, the value of irregularities decreased by 8 % from €3.21 billion in 2015 to €2.97 billion in 2016. Of the total, 1 410 fraudulent irregularities were reported, involving €391 million.

In 2016, 19 080 irregularities affecting the EU budget were reported to the Commission, which is a decrease of 15 % in comparison to 2015. Furthermore, the value of irregularities decreased by 8 % from €3.21 billion in 2015 to €2.97 billion in 2016. Of the total, 1 410 fraudulent irregularities were reported, involving €391 million.

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

01-03-2018

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions, and includes measures to approximate the laws of the Member States in several areas. The Treaty of Lisbon has provided a stronger basis for the development of a criminal justice area, while also stipulating new powers for the European Parliament.

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions, and includes measures to approximate the laws of the Member States in several areas. The Treaty of Lisbon has provided a stronger basis for the development of a criminal justice area, while also stipulating new powers for the European Parliament.

Combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment

08-12-2017

The IA presents the problem of non-cash payment fraud in a coherent and clear manner. The link between the problem (sub-) drivers, specific and general objectives of the proposal is rather straightforward. The objectives could be more specific and time-bound, however, to bring them in line with the SMART criteria. The IA sets out the content of all options in a clear manner. However, the quality of data, analysis and stakeholder consultation leaves an overall poor impression, partly because the combined ...

The IA presents the problem of non-cash payment fraud in a coherent and clear manner. The link between the problem (sub-) drivers, specific and general objectives of the proposal is rather straightforward. The objectives could be more specific and time-bound, however, to bring them in line with the SMART criteria. The IA sets out the content of all options in a clear manner. However, the quality of data, analysis and stakeholder consultation leaves an overall poor impression, partly because the combined IA and evaluation study, which is the external expertise informing the assessment, is not available online and therefore impossible to verify. For instance, according to the IA, the qualitative scores were validated with the focus group participants and external reviewers; however, the results of the validations are not reported in the IA report and only seven stakeholders attended the focus group. Such low attendance is rather surprising, considering that the qualitative assessment was given particular weight when deciding on the preferred option. The IA provides a rather inconsistent synopsis of the three consultation processes and the stakeholders’ contributions are not available online. The IA does not make clear what the stakeholders’ views were on the retained or discarded measures and options. Making the study accessible online could perhaps provide the information needed to understand the logic behind the assessment, the stakeholder consultation and the choice of the preferred option.

External author

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Council Framework Decision 2001/413 on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment

27-11-2017

Council Framework Decision 2001/413 (CFD) on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions related to fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, as well as the mechanisms for cross-border cooperation and exchange of information. Adopted in 2001, the CFD is now 16 years old. Evidence collected through the Commission’s evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of ...

Council Framework Decision 2001/413 (CFD) on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions related to fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, as well as the mechanisms for cross-border cooperation and exchange of information. Adopted in 2001, the CFD is now 16 years old. Evidence collected through the Commission’s evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of significant challenges related to the implementation of the CFD. Overall, it appears that the CFD has not caught up with the technological developments of payment instruments, nor with the increasingly advanced techniques of non-cash fraud. Many Member States have in the meantime updated their respective legal frameworks individually in an effort to respond to these developments. This has resulted in a patchwork of different frameworks within the EU. It has also potentially opened the door to 'forum shopping' (i.e. criminals exploiting the system by moving to those Member States that have more lenient sanctions). The challenges identified include outdated/incomplete definitions, different levels of penalties in Member States, differences in criminalisation of preparatory acts in Member States, difficulties in allocating jurisdiction, under-reporting to law enforcement bodies, etc. The Commission evaluation finds that ‘[a]s a whole, the [CFD] does not appear to have fully met its objectives.’ In the light of the above, in September 2017, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new directive that would replace the CFD.

Drugs package: Tackling new psychoactive substances

23-10-2017

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies: Securing Good Governance

09-10-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the governance structures of EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies. Specifically, it maps and analyses across-the-board agencies’ relationships to the main institutional actors in terms of core reporting and scrutiny mechanisms. Drawing on agency founding acts and interviews, it looks closely in particular at management boards’ composition ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the governance structures of EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies. Specifically, it maps and analyses across-the-board agencies’ relationships to the main institutional actors in terms of core reporting and scrutiny mechanisms. Drawing on agency founding acts and interviews, it looks closely in particular at management boards’ composition and operation, ranging from voting allocation to institutional and Member State representation to issues of board expertise. The study further considers some of the implications of the current governance set up with respect to ensuring co-operation from corresponding national structures, identifying existing structural shortcomings inherent to current mandates and proposing suggestions for improvement.

External author

Dr. Madalina Busuioc, Associate Professor, Institute of Public Administration, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University

Establishing the European Public Prosecutor

28-09-2017

The European Parliament is expected to vote during the October I plenary session on giving its consent to the proposed regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), agreed by 20 Member States under enhanced cooperation in June 2017.

The European Parliament is expected to vote during the October I plenary session on giving its consent to the proposed regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), agreed by 20 Member States under enhanced cooperation in June 2017.

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