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A consolidated European area of justice

European Parliament

New rules to strengthen the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU were adopted in plenary on Thursday by 531 votes to 51 with 26 abstentions and as well as a reform of Eurojust by 515 votes to 64 against with 26 abstentions.

French MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, rapporteur for the European Parliament, on the Regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders, welcomes the adoption of this text, which paves the way for the establishment of an effective, rapid and practical tool: "The current European rules on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders are outdated, and criminals and terrorists use these loopholes". That's why we had to work quickly and efficiently! Parliament today adopts a tool that consolidates the European area of justice, giving priority to victims and further strengthening the fight against terrorist financing. We will now have to pay particular attention to the proper implementation of this Regulation in the Member States. »

EDP Secretary General Marielle de Sarnez  highlights this new step forward in the fight against organised crime in Europe.

 The new measures include:

  • the introduction of deadlines and standard documents;
  • a broader scope: upon request, Member States may confiscate the assets of other persons related to the criminal and act in cases where there is no conviction (e.g. if the suspect has fled); and
  • victims' rights: victims will be the first to be compensated when confiscated property is distributed.

Also rapporteur for the ALDE group on the reform of Eurojust, Nathalie Griesbeck welcomes all the progress that Parliament is making today towards a more European justice system: "This reform is a new step forward for our European area of freedom, security and justice. Crime and misdemeanours do not stop at national borders, which is why the Eurojust Agency has become an essential actor in judicial cooperation within the European Union.
During the negotiations, I placed particular emphasis on the links between Eurojust and the future European Public Prosecutor's Office, a point that is reflected in the final agreement. This close cooperation is all the more important as the European Commission wishes to extend the powers of the European Public Prosecutor's Office to the fight against terrorism - an idea I have been defending for years! »


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