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The European Public Prosecutor’s Office: Strategies For Coping With Complexity

15-05-2019

This study analyses challenges related to the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) as enhanced cooperation among the current 22 Member States and discusses possible solutions for coping with them. Complexity is identified as a main challenge owing to the EPPO’s specific multilevel structure, the relationship between the EPPO and non-participating Member States, and the fact that the EPPO Regulation leaves many procedural rules to the law of the Member State in which an ...

This study analyses challenges related to the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) as enhanced cooperation among the current 22 Member States and discusses possible solutions for coping with them. Complexity is identified as a main challenge owing to the EPPO’s specific multilevel structure, the relationship between the EPPO and non-participating Member States, and the fact that the EPPO Regulation leaves many procedural rules to the law of the Member State in which an investigation takes place. Depending on the nature of the challenge, the suggested strategies to cope with complexity encompass legislative, administrative, and monitoring measures.

External author

Hartmut Aden, Maria-Luisa Sanchez-Barrueco, Paul Stephenson

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

13-05-2019

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions, and includes measures to approximate the laws of the Member States in several areas. It includes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension: terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking ...

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions, and includes measures to approximate the laws of the Member States in several areas. It includes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension: terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organised crime. Considerable progress was made in developing the judicial cooperation in criminal matters in all these areas during the legislative term 2014-2019. Most importantly, the new Eurojust Regulation will take effect in December 2019 and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is expected to start operating from late 2020 or early 2021 onwards. In Parliament, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) is responsible for measures relating to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including terrorism, and substantive and procedural measures relating to the development of a more coherent Union approach to criminal law, according to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

European Criminal Records Information System

06-03-2019

During March, the European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on two legislative proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). ECRIS allows judges and prosecutors to request information on the criminal history of any EU national. However, the current system does not allow easy access to information on third-country nationals convicted within the EU. The new rules aim to close this gap.

During March, the European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on two legislative proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). ECRIS allows judges and prosecutors to request information on the criminal history of any EU national. However, the current system does not allow easy access to information on third-country nationals convicted within the EU. The new rules aim to close this gap.

Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders

12-12-2018

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, ...

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, provisional agreement was reached in interinstitutional negotiations and the European Parliament voted the agreed text on 4 October 2018. The Council followed suit on 6 November 2018. The final act was signed on 14 November and published in the Official Journal of the EU on 28 November 2018. The regulation will apply 24 months after its entry into force, namely from 19 December 2020. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Countering money laundering with criminal law

05-09-2018

While money laundering constitutes a criminal offence in all EU Member States, definitions and sanctions vary across the European Union. These differences can be exploited by criminals, by carrying out their financial transactions in countries with less stringent rules. During its September plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a proposal for a new directive which aims to harmonise rules and penalties in the EU, and to facilitate cross-border cooperation in order to combat ...

While money laundering constitutes a criminal offence in all EU Member States, definitions and sanctions vary across the European Union. These differences can be exploited by criminals, by carrying out their financial transactions in countries with less stringent rules. During its September plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a proposal for a new directive which aims to harmonise rules and penalties in the EU, and to facilitate cross-border cooperation in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Virtual currencies in the Eurosystem: challenges ahead

16-07-2018

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. ...

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Rosa María LASTRA, Jason Grant ALLEN

EYE event - Europe's fight against terror

16-05-2018

11 March 2019 will mark the 15th European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism, established to commemorate all victims of terror following the 2004 Madrid bombings, which left 191 people dead and around 2 000 injured. Since then, Europe has experienced several waves of terrorism and the European Union's policy response has evolved over the years, starting after 11 September 2001 and reaching cruising speed in 2015. What are the results of more than 15 years of EU counter-terrorism action? Is ...

11 March 2019 will mark the 15th European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism, established to commemorate all victims of terror following the 2004 Madrid bombings, which left 191 people dead and around 2 000 injured. Since then, Europe has experienced several waves of terrorism and the European Union's policy response has evolved over the years, starting after 11 September 2001 and reaching cruising speed in 2015. What are the results of more than 15 years of EU counter-terrorism action? Is there still room for further progress?

Guarantee Fund for External Action and EIB external lending mandate

16-05-2018

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals ...

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals. A compromise package was agreed in trilogue between Council and Parliament, and adopted at first reading during the February I 2018 plenary session. Both acts entered into force on 8 April 2018. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

2016 report on protection of the European Union's financial interests – fight against fraud

25-04-2018

In 2016, 19 080 irregularities affecting the EU budget were reported to the Commission, which is a decrease of 15 % in comparison to 2015. Furthermore, the value of irregularities decreased by 8 % from €3.21 billion in 2015 to €2.97 billion in 2016. Of the total, 1 410 fraudulent irregularities were reported, involving €391 million.

In 2016, 19 080 irregularities affecting the EU budget were reported to the Commission, which is a decrease of 15 % in comparison to 2015. Furthermore, the value of irregularities decreased by 8 % from €3.21 billion in 2015 to €2.97 billion in 2016. Of the total, 1 410 fraudulent irregularities were reported, involving €391 million.

Combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment

08-12-2017

The IA presents the problem of non-cash payment fraud in a coherent and clear manner. The link between the problem (sub-) drivers, specific and general objectives of the proposal is rather straightforward. The objectives could be more specific and time-bound, however, to bring them in line with the SMART criteria. The IA sets out the content of all options in a clear manner. However, the quality of data, analysis and stakeholder consultation leaves an overall poor impression, partly because the combined ...

The IA presents the problem of non-cash payment fraud in a coherent and clear manner. The link between the problem (sub-) drivers, specific and general objectives of the proposal is rather straightforward. The objectives could be more specific and time-bound, however, to bring them in line with the SMART criteria. The IA sets out the content of all options in a clear manner. However, the quality of data, analysis and stakeholder consultation leaves an overall poor impression, partly because the combined IA and evaluation study, which is the external expertise informing the assessment, is not available online and therefore impossible to verify. For instance, according to the IA, the qualitative scores were validated with the focus group participants and external reviewers; however, the results of the validations are not reported in the IA report and only seven stakeholders attended the focus group. Such low attendance is rather surprising, considering that the qualitative assessment was given particular weight when deciding on the preferred option. The IA provides a rather inconsistent synopsis of the three consultation processes and the stakeholders’ contributions are not available online. The IA does not make clear what the stakeholders’ views were on the retained or discarded measures and options. Making the study accessible online could perhaps provide the information needed to understand the logic behind the assessment, the stakeholder consultation and the choice of the preferred option.

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