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Use of financial data for preventing and combatting serious crime

19-07-2019

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The ...

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The proposal also aims to strengthen domestic and cross-border exchange of information between EU Member States' competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, as well as with Europol. The provisional agreement reached in February 2019 in interinstitutional negotiations was adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April 2019, followed by the Council on 14 June. On 20 June 2019, the directive was signed into law and then published in the Official Journal on 11 July. Member States have until 1 August 2021 to transpose its provisions into national law.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protection of EU external borders

28-06-2019

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders ...

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security. On the one hand, measures for protecting the EU's external borders have focused on reinforcing EU border management rules, such as the Schengen Borders Code, and strengthening and upgrading the mandates of relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, eu-LISA, Europol and EASO. On the other hand, in connection with a number of key shortcomings in the EU's information systems, efforts were made to improve use of the opportunities offered by information systems and technologies for security, criminal records, and border and migration management. This included strengthening existing IT systems (SIS II, VIS, Eurodac, ECRIS-TCN), establishing new ones (ETIAS, Entry/Exit System) and improving their interoperability. The broader mandate and the increase of activities in the area of EU border management is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility, and diversity of EU funds, inside and outside the current and future EU budget. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Jewish communities in the European Union

21-01-2019

Europe's Jewish population has been diminishing in recent decades, and a growing number of anti-Semitic acts and anti-Jewish violence have been occurring in recent years in the EU. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2018.

Europe's Jewish population has been diminishing in recent decades, and a growing number of anti-Semitic acts and anti-Jewish violence have been occurring in recent years in the EU. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2018.

Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants: 2018 update

21-12-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims to update the 2016 study “Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants”. It takes stock of and examines the latest developments that have taken place since 2016, specifically the legislative and policy changes, along with various forms and cases of criminalisation of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims to update the 2016 study “Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants”. It takes stock of and examines the latest developments that have taken place since 2016, specifically the legislative and policy changes, along with various forms and cases of criminalisation of humanitarian actors, migrants’ family members and basic service providers. The study uses the notion of ‘policing humanitarianism’ to describe not only cases of formal prosecution and sentencing in criminal justice procedures, but also wider dynamics of suspicion, intimidation, harassment and disciplining in five selected Member States – Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy. Policing humanitarianism negatively affects EU citizens’ rights – such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. When civil society is effectively (self-)silenced and its accountability role undermined, policies to combat migrant smuggling may be overused and give rise to serious breaches of the EU’s founding values, notably the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. Moreover, policing humanitarianism negatively affects wider societal trust and diverts the limited resources of law enforcement from investigating more serious crimes.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Sergio CARRERA (scientific coordinator), CEPS and the Migration Policy Centre – European University Institute Lina VOSYLIUTE, CEPS Stephanie SMIALOWSKI, CEPS Dr Jennifer ALLSOPP, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Migration Leadership Team, London International Development Centre, SOAS University of London Gabriella SANCHEZ, Migration Policy Centre – European University Institute

Contemporary forms of slavery

20-12-2018

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing ...

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing then recommends possible action by the EU, including: promotion of a more consistent definition and use of the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and further clarifications on the relationship with the human trafficking and forced labour frameworks; a role for the EU as catalyst in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in the field of all contemporary forms of slavery; support for standardising methods of data collection globally. Finally, the paper invites the EU to assess the possibility of drafting a new treaty on contemporary forms of slavery, as a way to fill some existing loopholes at the international level.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Silvia SCARPA

Latvia Cracks Down on Unscrupulous Banking

13-12-2018

This briefing, provided by Policy department A, discusses the Latvian banking system and its exposure to money laundering risks. It was prepared following the European Parliament’s Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Committee (TAX3) delegation visit to Latvia in August 2018.

This briefing, provided by Policy department A, discusses the Latvian banking system and its exposure to money laundering risks. It was prepared following the European Parliament’s Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Committee (TAX3) delegation visit to Latvia in August 2018.

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.

Public hearing with Danièle Nouy, Chair of the Supervisory Board

16-11-2018

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB). The following issues are addressed in this briefing: (i) feedback on the EP resolution on Banking Union; (ii) Anti Money Laundering, including external paper commissioned for this hearing; (iii) Brexit; (iv) Cum Ex; (v) stress test results; (vi) supervisory banking statistics; (vii) recent SSM publications, including the 2019 supervisory programme and the thematic ...

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB). The following issues are addressed in this briefing: (i) feedback on the EP resolution on Banking Union; (ii) Anti Money Laundering, including external paper commissioned for this hearing; (iii) Brexit; (iv) Cum Ex; (v) stress test results; (vi) supervisory banking statistics; (vii) recent SSM publications, including the 2019 supervisory programme and the thematic review on profitability and business models.

The supervisory approach to anti-money laundering: an analysis of the Joint Working Group’s reflection paper

14-11-2018

On August 31 2018, a Joint Working Group consisting of representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the European Supervisory Agencies published a document entitled ‘Reflection paper on possible elements of a Roadmap for seamless cooperation between Anti Money Laundering and Prudential Supervisors in the European Union’. The reflection paper straightforwardly calls for additional resources to be made available to the European Banking Authority to counter money laundering ...

On August 31 2018, a Joint Working Group consisting of representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the European Supervisory Agencies published a document entitled ‘Reflection paper on possible elements of a Roadmap for seamless cooperation between Anti Money Laundering and Prudential Supervisors in the European Union’. The reflection paper straightforwardly calls for additional resources to be made available to the European Banking Authority to counter money laundering. Suggestions for better cooperation and information sharing among anti-money laundering and prudential supervisors, however, risk being ineffective, as long as the underlying incentives to engage in international regulatory competition towards low enforcement of anti-money laundering standards are not addressed. To eliminate the potential for regulatory competition, anti-money laundering supervision needs to be raised to a European level.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

H.Huizinga

The role of the European Council in internal security policy

11-10-2018

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent ...

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent years it has carried out this strategic role on various occasions but sometimes in a more reactive way often in the aftermath of major terrorist attacks. The paper also shows that while the policy fields of internal security and migration were usually clearly separated in European Council discussions, the two areas are now increasingly linked, in particular by the subject of external EU border protection. The Salzburg summit of 20 September 2018 is an example for this and also illustrates a recent trend of EU Presidencies to bring together EU Heads of State or Government in their country to discuss policy topics at the top of their own agendas.

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