Reuse confiscated mafia assets for social purposes, say MEPs

30-11-2012 — / — Confiscated mafia assets should be re-used for social purposes, said members of the Special Committee on Organised Crime at Wednesday’s public hearing on money laundering.

“To give assets confiscated from mafias back to society has a strong symbolic value”, said Salvatore Iacolino (EPP, IT), who drafted the committee’s final report. Provisions for reusing these assets for social purposes should be included in the proposed EU directive on confiscation, to be voted by the Civil Liberties Committee on 17-18 December, the committee agreed.

“The Commission did not propose anything to do with reusing confiscated assets, which was a serious mistake”, said committee chair Sonia Alfano (ALDE, IT).

Commission Director-General for Home Affairs Stefano Manservisi said that the lack of national laws on confiscation and reuse made it impossible to propose common rules. However MEPs countered that this would in fact  be possible, including procedurally, if Parliament and Council were to show the necessary political will – a point stressed by Barbara Weiler (S&D, DE).

Pedro Gomes Pereira, from the Basel institute of governance, agreed that “Common European rules on the reuse of confiscated assets are necessary” and proposed a European fund to recover the proceeds. “All citizens and NGOs should have access to this fund to propose pilot projects”, said Rui Tavares (Greens/EFA, PT), backing the proposal.

The hearing held by the Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering (CRIM) focused on how to improve synergies between institutions and agencies, how to identify and confiscate criminal assets and how to detect physical cash movements as an element to prevent money laundering. Ten experts addressed the meeting.

Special committee on organised crime, corruption and money laundering

Procedure: public hearing

In the chair: Sonia Alfano (ALDE, IT)



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