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EU: LIBE Committee endorses "informal" Parliament-Council agreement on freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime
17 December 2013
The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament has approved a compromise text of the Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union, in a vote that endorses "an informal Parliament/Council deal struck on 27 November". The approved text is due to be voted on by a plenary session of the Parliament at the end of February 2014.
The Directive aims to set "minimum rules" for the "detection, freezing and confiscation of the instrumentalities and proceeds of crime", because "the amounts recovered from criminal proceeds in the Union seem insufficiently low compared to the estimated proceeds of crime".
"The adoption of minimum rules will approximate the Member States' freezing and confiscation regimes, thus facilitating mutual trust and effective cross-border cooperation."
At the same time reaching "informal" agreement on the text, the Parliament and Council reached provisional agreement on a declaration calling on the European Commission to:
"[A]nalyse, at the earliest possible opportunity… the feasibility and possible benefits of introducing further rules on the confiscation of property deriving from activities of a criminal nature, also in the absence of a conviction of a specific person or persons for these activities."
LIBE press release: Making it easier to confiscate crooks' assets EU wide
Council press release: Informal agreement on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the EU
General Secretariat of the Council: Approval of the final compromise text (includes Directive as agreed)
Joint declaration by the Parliament and Council on Commission analysis of further possible EU-wide rules on confiscation
Presidency: Overview of replies to the questionnaire on non-conviction based confiscation
The Statewatch database contains numerous documents outlining the position of the Council and Parliament during negotiations on the Directive.