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Use of financial data for preventing and combatting serious crime

19-07-2019

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The ...

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The proposal also aims to strengthen domestic and cross-border exchange of information between EU Member States' competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, as well as with Europol. The provisional agreement reached in February 2019 in interinstitutional negotiations was adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April 2019, followed by the Council on 14 June. On 20 June 2019, the directive was signed into law and then published in the Official Journal on 11 July. Member States have until 1 August 2021 to transpose its provisions into national law.

Domestic Sexual Abuse of Girls

19-11-2018

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. The study provides a definition and conceptual model of domestic sexual abuse of girls, as well as analyses of prevalence and risk factors across the EU. It goes on to review policies and actions to address domestic sexual abuse of girls at the EU and Member State levels, and sets out case studies of four countries. It ends by providing recommendations ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. The study provides a definition and conceptual model of domestic sexual abuse of girls, as well as analyses of prevalence and risk factors across the EU. It goes on to review policies and actions to address domestic sexual abuse of girls at the EU and Member State levels, and sets out case studies of four countries. It ends by providing recommendations for Member States and EU institutions.

Autore esterno

Katie MCCRACKEN, Dr Ana FITZSIMONS, Sergio MARQUEZ, Małgorzata DRUCIAREK (Opcit Research), Prof Michelle LEFEVRE (University of Sussex)

Access to financial data by law enforcement authorities

25-06-2018

Groups committing serious crimes, including terrorists, often operate cross-border and their funds are usually located across the EU Member States or outside of the EU. The Commission proposal aims to improve the sharing financial information among national law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units to prevent and fight crime and terrorism. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal examined comprehensively the problems encountered by law enforcement authorities and financial ...

Groups committing serious crimes, including terrorists, often operate cross-border and their funds are usually located across the EU Member States or outside of the EU. The Commission proposal aims to improve the sharing financial information among national law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units to prevent and fight crime and terrorism. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal examined comprehensively the problems encountered by law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, and made a real attempt to analyse the impacts of the proposed measures. A more thorough analysis of the safeguards on fundamental rights would have been useful. The Commission admits that the calculations of costs and benefits were limited due to a lack of data. Finally, the overall preferred option remains unclear.

Cross-Border Exchange and Comparison of Forensic DNA Data in the Context of the Prüm Decision

07-06-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides an overview of the Prüm regime. It first considers the background of the Prüm Convention and Prüm Decision. The subsequent two chapters summarize the Prüm regime in relation mainly to DNA data looking at value and shortcomings; and ethical, legal and social implications of forensic DNA typing and databasing in relation to the Prüm regime ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides an overview of the Prüm regime. It first considers the background of the Prüm Convention and Prüm Decision. The subsequent two chapters summarize the Prüm regime in relation mainly to DNA data looking at value and shortcomings; and ethical, legal and social implications of forensic DNA typing and databasing in relation to the Prüm regime. Finally, based on the analysis, it provides the policy recommendations.

Autore esterno

Dr. Victor TOOM

Relazione 2016 sulla tutela degli interessi finanziari dell'Unione europea – Lotta contro la frode

25-04-2018

Nel 2016 sono state segnalate alla Commissione 19 080 irregolarità relative al bilancio dell'UE, il che rappresenta una diminuzione del 15 % rispetto al 2015. Il valore delle irregolarità è diminuito inoltre dell’8 %, passando da 3,21 miliardi di EUR nel 2015 a 2,97 miliardi di EUR nel 2016. Rispetto al totale sono state segnalate 1 410 irregolarità fraudolente per un importo di 391 milioni di EUR.

Nel 2016 sono state segnalate alla Commissione 19 080 irregolarità relative al bilancio dell'UE, il che rappresenta una diminuzione del 15 % rispetto al 2015. Il valore delle irregolarità è diminuito inoltre dell’8 %, passando da 3,21 miliardi di EUR nel 2015 a 2,97 miliardi di EUR nel 2016. Rispetto al totale sono state segnalate 1 410 irregolarità fraudolente per un importo di 391 milioni di EUR.

Brexit Literature Update 01/2018

15-01-2018

Following a relevant request by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has been compiling, on a regular basis, academic and scholarly material related to the process of, and the negotiations on, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Since the June 2016 referendum in the UK, Brexit-related literature has grown significantly and it is probably going to expand further in the future. Thus, this compilation is far from exhaustive; ...

Following a relevant request by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has been compiling, on a regular basis, academic and scholarly material related to the process of, and the negotiations on, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Since the June 2016 referendum in the UK, Brexit-related literature has grown significantly and it is probably going to expand further in the future. Thus, this compilation is far from exhaustive; rather, it identifies some of the more useful articles, taking into account, in particular, the following elements: • Scholarly rather than a journalistic character of the publication • Originality and interest • Recent publication • Be of interest for the EU • Constitutional or institutional relevance.

Preliminary reference procedure

06-07-2017

The preliminary reference procedure, provided for in Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), is an institutionalised mechanism of dialogue between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and national courts. This dialogue serves three principal purposes. First of all, to provide national courts with assistance on questions regarding the interpretation of EU law. Secondly, to contribute to a uniform application of EU law across the Union. Thirdly, to create ...

The preliminary reference procedure, provided for in Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), is an institutionalised mechanism of dialogue between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and national courts. This dialogue serves three principal purposes. First of all, to provide national courts with assistance on questions regarding the interpretation of EU law. Secondly, to contribute to a uniform application of EU law across the Union. Thirdly, to create an additional mechanism – on top of the action for annulment of an EU act (set out in Article 263 TFEU) – for an ex post verification of the conformity of acts of the EU institutions with primary EU law (the Treaties and general principles of EU law). The scope of the preliminary reference procedure covers the entire body of EU law with the exclusion of acts under common foreign and security policy and certain limitations in the area of judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters. EU law does not have a doctrine of binding precedent such as that entertained in common law countries. Therefore, a judgment of the CJEU in a preliminary reference procedure is, strictly speaking, binding only on the national court that submitted the question, as well as on other courts in the same domestic procedure. Nonetheless, CJEU judgments interpreting EU law enjoy an authority similar to those of national supreme courts in civil law countries – national courts interpreting EU law should take them into account. Furthermore, if the CJEU decides that an act of the EU institutions is illegal, no national court may find to the contrary and consider that act legal. The decision whether to submit a preliminary reference to the CJEU rests with the national court concerned. However, if it is a court of last instance and a question of interpretation of EU law or the validity of an act of the EU institutions is necessary to decide a question before it, that court must submit a question. If it refrains from doing so, the Member State concerned may be held liable for a breach of EU law. This briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism: Implementation Appraisal

04-05-2016

EU-level reports available on the implementation of the Framework Decision on Terrorism suggest that the FD provisions have been implemented in the Member States in a broadly satisfactory way. Several concerns remain, however, notably in relation to the adequacy of the current framework in ensuring prosecutions of individual foreign fighters who are self-motivated and travel by themselves. The changing security situation, and developments on the international stage (adoption of UNSCR 2178 (2014) ...

EU-level reports available on the implementation of the Framework Decision on Terrorism suggest that the FD provisions have been implemented in the Member States in a broadly satisfactory way. Several concerns remain, however, notably in relation to the adequacy of the current framework in ensuring prosecutions of individual foreign fighters who are self-motivated and travel by themselves. The changing security situation, and developments on the international stage (adoption of UNSCR 2178 (2014) and the CoE Additional Protocol), appear to call for amendments to the Framework Decision. The Commission proposal for a new directive would bring EU legislation in line with the provisions of the above-mentioned UN and CoE documents by broadening the scope of criminalised acts to include inter alia travelling abroad for terrorism and receiving training for terrorism. It is important to note in this context that recent reports stress that Member States have to a large degree already introduced further criminal offenses in their legislation, or are in the process of doing so (especially those Member States from which the majority of FFs originate). The proposal would also go further by requiring Member States to ensure that victims of terrorism are offered protection and assistance. The Commission proposal for a new Directive is not accompanied by an impact assessment. The Commission said this was justified by ‘the urgent need to improve the EU framework to increase security in the light of recent terrorist attacks’. As noted earlier, this approach has been met with criticism. The proposal contains a review clause (Article 26(2)) obliging the Commission to assess the impact and added value of the directive four years after the implementation deadline, and to report on this to the Council and the Parliament. It is to be hoped that this ex-post evaluation will address some of the questions that would have been tackled in an impact assessment. In this light, a more precise wording of Article 26(2) may contribute to a genuine evaluation of the proposed directive along the pre-determined criteria.

Foreign fighters – Member State responses and EU action

09-03-2016

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, ...

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, with the UN adopting a binding resolution in 2014 specifically addressing the issue of foreign fighters. The EU is actively engaged in international initiatives to counter the threat. Within the EU, security in general, and counter-terrorism in particular, have traditionally remained within the Member States' remit. The EU has, however, coordinated Member State activities regarding the prevention of radicalisation, the detection of travel for suspicious purposes, the criminal justice response, and cooperation with third countries. The EU is seeking to strengthen its role, given the public feeling of insecurity in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. The EU's role as a forum to discuss security issues has consequently grown during 2015. Individual Member States have stepped up their efforts to address the problem, using various tools including criminal law, administrative measures and 'soft tools', such as counter-radicalisation campaigns. The Member States most affected have also cooperated with each other outside the EU framework. The United States has a particularly developed counter-terrorism framework, now used to deal with foreign fighters. Since 9/11, the EU and the USA cooperate on counter-terrorism, despite differing philosophies on issues such as data protection. This briefing substantially updates an earlier one, PE 548.980, from February 2015.

Forced Marriage from a Gender Perspective

15-02-2016

This study provides an overview of the practice of forced marriage in the EU from a gender equality and women’s rights perspective. It analyses the definitions of forced marriage and puts forward a definition from a gender perspective. It also provides an overview of the relevant international/EU legislation, policies and deliberations, as well as national policies, civil law and criminal law (in the 12 Member State that criminalise forced marriage). For those Member States that criminalise forced ...

This study provides an overview of the practice of forced marriage in the EU from a gender equality and women’s rights perspective. It analyses the definitions of forced marriage and puts forward a definition from a gender perspective. It also provides an overview of the relevant international/EU legislation, policies and deliberations, as well as national policies, civil law and criminal law (in the 12 Member State that criminalise forced marriage). For those Member States that criminalise forced marriage, the study provides an assessment of the effectiveness and possible consequences of the implementation of the criminal legislation, including an analysis of data and case-law. The study includes a specific chapter focusing on forced marriage within Roma communities and five case-studies specifically focusing on Denmark, Germany, Spain, Slovakia and the UK. The study also puts forward recommendations for improving the response to forced marriage at EU and Member State level.

Autore esterno

Emma Psaila, Vanessa Leigh, Marilena Verbari, Sara Fiorentini, Virginia Dalla Pozza and Ana Gomez

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