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Parliamentary questions
11 June 2018
E-001354/2018
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission

The Commission strongly condemns the tragic and brutal assassination of Mr Jan Kuciak. As First-Vice-President Timmermans stated, no democracy can survive without the free press; journalists deserve respect and protection.

Whistleblowers who unveil illegal activities have a key role as sources of information for investigative journalists. The Commission adopted on 23 April 2018 a proposal for a directive for the protection of whistleblowers at EU level. By protecting journalistic sources, the directive will also contribute to protect investigative journalism and its watchdog role in democratic societies.

The fight against corruption is a key priority of the European Semester of economic governance, the yearly cycle of economic policy coordination.(1) In the 2018 country report on Slovakia,(2) the Commission assessed shortcomings related to delays in the implementation of Slovakia's anti-corruption strategy and pointed to challenges concerning the justice system.

The Commission agrees that it is essential to facilitate the exchange of information between Member States to combat organised crime. The Commission adopted on 17 April 2018 a proposal for a directive on facilitating the use of financial information and law enforcement information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of serious criminal offences(3).

It will provide law enforcement authorities, Asset Recovery Offices and Europol with access to the information on the ownership of bank accounts contained in centralised bank account registries and will enhance the cooperation between Member States' Financial Intelligence Units and law enforcement authorities, as well as Europol.

The Commission hopes that the European Parliament and the Council will adopt the two Directive proposals swiftly.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-and-fiscal-policy-coordination/eu-economic-governance-monitoring-prevention-correction/european-semester_en
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/files/2018-european-semester-country-report-slovakia_en
(3)Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules facilitating the use of financial and other information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of certain criminal offences and repealing Council Decision 2000/642/JHA, COM(2018) 213 final.

Last updated: 14 June 2018Legal notice