Asset recovery and confiscation

EESC opinion: Asset recovery and confiscation

Key points


  • believes that the proposed Directive responds to the need to broaden the scope of the confiscation mechanisms, strengthens the competences of national authorities, and establishes cross-border cooperation mechanisms to increase the rate of asset recovery;
  • encourages the European Commission to clarify and make sure that migrant smuggling and illicit tobacco trade fall under the scope of the proposed Directive;
  • calls on the Commission to consider how to apply the proposed Directive to violations of EU restrictive measures and it believes that separate legislation is needed in this area;
  • suggests that the proposed Directive explicitly state that national authorities and the Commission are obliged to regularly publish comprehensive statistics on the measures taken under the Directive and ensure public access to information;
  • urges the Commission to reconsider the provision on social reuse in the proposed Directive and to encourage the Member States to devise mechanisms that would include civil society organisations as a priority in managing and disposing of confiscated assets;
  • requests that the Commission be more precise in laying down victims' right to compensation and giving victims priority in the ranking of creditors;
  • recommends that the European Commission require regular reporting of the resources allotted in each Member State to ensure a minimum standard for the functioning of Asset Recovery Offices throughout the EU;
  • considers it necessary to include more concrete tools for assisting third countries' officials and to actively encourage Member States to develop cooperation with these countries in order to maximise the asset recovery mechanisms provided for in the proposed Directive, and that victims of criminal offences have the full right to compensation in third countries.