Tracking and drying up criminals and terrorists’ finances!
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted, on Thursday 11 January, with a very large majority (47 votes in favour, 2 against, 1 abstention) the report, drafted by Nathalie Griesbeck MEP, concerning the European regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders.
It is absolutely necessary to block and stop the money coming from and going to criminal organisations, because 98.9% of criminal profits - estimated by some studies to more than €110 billion a year - remain currently in the hands of criminals! The freezing and confiscation of the property of crime are therefore two essential tools and surely the most effective instruments for combating organised crime and terrorism.
The regulation proposal voted today, will allow mutual recognition of decisions to freeze and confiscate property and assets from one State to another, i.e. it will allow a Member State to confiscate or freeze property in another Member State without additional formality; the European territory thus constituting a single area of security and justice.
Our parliamentary committee adopted today an ambitious position: simplifying and standardising procedures and formalities between states, tightening the deadlines for speedy execution of decisions, thus improving the speed and efficiency of freezing and confiscation orders of property and assets of the crime.
The European Union and the Member States will now have a strong and comprehensive European arsenal to cut the finances of criminal and terrorist groups and networks in this area.