Brandpunt, the investigative journalism programme broadcast weekly on Dutch television, aired a shocking report on 3 June 2012 about company takeovers in Ukraine. A local organisation in Ukraine reports 1 300 such hijackings, in which the deployment of gauges of thugs is not unusual. Title deeds are issued through a corrupt legal authority, after which companies are taken over, with violence if necessary. Dutch entrepreneur Mr van Munster, former owner of a successful chocolate factory in Ukraine, experienced this and talks about it in the Brandpunt programme. The American Embassy in Kiev has warned American entrepreneurs about these practices.
1. Does the Commission have access to figures on the frequency of such company hijackings, specifically in relation to European entrepreneurs?
2. Is the Commission conducting a structured dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities to deal with the problem of company hijackings?
3. Do the recently initiated association and free-trade agreements with Ukraine include specific measures to prevent company hijackings in the future?
4. What are the Commission's concrete plans in the short term to prevent company hijackings?
5. Does the Commission intend to actively defend the interests of EU companies which have fallen victim to this type of illegal takeover now and in the past?