7

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Regulating imports of cultural goods

18-10-2018

Currently, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU. Moreover, the national legislation introduced by some Member States in this area is divergent. By ensuring that imports of cultural goods are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the legislative proposal tabled by the Commission in July 2017 aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural ...

Currently, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU. Moreover, the national legislation introduced by some Member States in this area is divergent. By ensuring that imports of cultural goods are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the legislative proposal tabled by the Commission in July 2017 aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby combatting trafficking in cultural goods, depriving terrorists of an income source, and protecting cultural heritage. In the European Parliament, the Committees on International Trade (INTA) and on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted a joint report on the proposed legislation on 27 September 2018. The report, which aims to ensure a balance between curbing the illegal import of cultural goods and avoiding a disproportionate burden for licit art market operators and customs authorities, is scheduled for debate in plenary in October. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Money laundering and tax evasion risks in free ports

17-10-2018

Freeports are conducive to secrecy. In their preferential treatment, they resemble offshore financial centres, offering both high security and discretion and allowing transactions to be made without attracting attention of regulators and direct tax authorities. This study argues that the legal anti-money laundering and tax evasion framework in place in the EU (and elsewhere) is only partially effective in combatting money laundering and tax evasion.

Freeports are conducive to secrecy. In their preferential treatment, they resemble offshore financial centres, offering both high security and discretion and allowing transactions to be made without attracting attention of regulators and direct tax authorities. This study argues that the legal anti-money laundering and tax evasion framework in place in the EU (and elsewhere) is only partially effective in combatting money laundering and tax evasion.

Import of cultural goods

19-12-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 13 July 2017 and now under discussion in Parliament and Council. The proposal aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported from a third country, in order to reduce trafficking in cultural goods, combat terrorism financing and protect cultural heritage, especially archaeological objects ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 13 July 2017 and now under discussion in Parliament and Council. The proposal aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported from a third country, in order to reduce trafficking in cultural goods, combat terrorism financing and protect cultural heritage, especially archaeological objects in source countries affected by armed conflict (explanatory memorandum of the proposal, p. 3). The market for antiques, ancient art and collectibles of older age constitutes 24 % of the global legal art and antiques market. The European market share accounts for 35 % of this global market, with the UK in the lead with 24 % (due to its large auction houses), followed by Switzerland (6 %), France (5 %), Germany (3 %), and Austria, Spain and the Netherlands (each around 0.5% respectively). Based on Eurostat figures, the estimated annual value of imports of classical antiquities and ancient art declared to EU customs may be around €3.7 billion per year (IA, p. 10). The IA explains that the current Common Nomenclature tariff heading (9705) used for import of antiquities and ancient art objects is rather broad, including also a variety of other goods of interest to collectors, making it difficult to estimate the total EU imports of cultural goods (IA, p. 10). Regarding the illicit trade of cultural goods, there are numerous underlying factors, which cannot be changed by this initiative, according to the IA (p. 11). These include, for example, poverty and military conflicts prevalent in many regions rich in cultural heritage sites, technological progress in various digging tools (such as metal-detectors, power drills, explosives), the market demand for such objects, mostly concentrated in Europe and North America, as well as cross-border transaction and e-commerce (IA, pp. 11-12). Estimates show that 80-90 % of global antiquities sales are of goods with illicit origin, and these sales are worth US$3 to 6 billion annually (IA, p. 12). The illicit sales of cultural goods often stem from terrorist activities and serve as a means to finance terrorism (IA, p. 14). For example, the Islamist profit from illicit trade in antiquities and archaeological treasures is estimated at US$150-200 million (IA, p. 15).

Cross-border restitution claims of looted works of art and cultural goods

09-11-2017

Works of art and cultural goods looted in armed conflicts or wars usually travel across several borders when they are sold. The cross-border character of looted art creates legal challenges for restitution claims as they often concern various national jurisdictions, with differing rules, as well as fragmented and insufficiently defined legal requirements in international and European legal instruments. Against this background, this European Added Value Assessment identifies weaknesses in the existing ...

Works of art and cultural goods looted in armed conflicts or wars usually travel across several borders when they are sold. The cross-border character of looted art creates legal challenges for restitution claims as they often concern various national jurisdictions, with differing rules, as well as fragmented and insufficiently defined legal requirements in international and European legal instruments. Against this background, this European Added Value Assessment identifies weaknesses in the existing EU legal system for restitution claims of works of art and cultural goods looted in armed conflicts and wars. Moreover, it outlines potential legislative measures that could be taken at the EU level and that could generate European added value through simplification and harmonisation of the legal system in this area.

Return of illegally removed cultural objects

22-08-2013

Illegal trafficking of cultural objects is one of the most profitable of criminal activities. The European Union, with its border-free internal market and substantial cultural and historical heritage, is considered to be particularly affected by such illegal trade.

Illegal trafficking of cultural objects is one of the most profitable of criminal activities. The European Union, with its border-free internal market and substantial cultural and historical heritage, is considered to be particularly affected by such illegal trade.

The Resale Right Directive

15-11-2012

In 2011 the global art and antique trade was valued at over €46 million, with the EU having more than a one-third share. More than half of this figure is made up of modern and contemporary art. However, in contrast to the general acceptance of copyright globally there are different views on how visual artists should be remunerated. Within the EU such artists benefit from a resale right.

In 2011 the global art and antique trade was valued at over €46 million, with the EU having more than a one-third share. More than half of this figure is made up of modern and contemporary art. However, in contrast to the general acceptance of copyright globally there are different views on how visual artists should be remunerated. Within the EU such artists benefit from a resale right.

The Free Movement of Cultural Goods in the European Union

01-02-1998

The text analyses the Community provisions and problems in terms of Spanish law on the protection of the cultural and historical heritage following the creation of the single market.

The text analyses the Community provisions and problems in terms of Spanish law on the protection of the cultural and historical heritage following the creation of the single market.

Externý autor

Francesca Cervelli, Barbara Melis, Christian Maurin De Farina

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