Knowledge database on asset recovery

The Jean Monnet Chair at NUP aims to stimulate and share knowledge on the EU’s action targeting illicit proceeds. For this reason, this website hosts a comprehensive open-access database of all relevant EU initiatives and news, legislative and non-legislative material (regulations, communications, reports) and case law in this area. More specifically, you can refer to the following sources:

Key policy documents and reports (newest first)

Binding EU instruments

The following EU instruments are currently in force (August 2021)

Following the adoption of Council Decision 2007/845/JHA, National Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) help in depriving criminals from their criminal profits. They identify assets that have been illegally acquired on their territories and facilitate the exchanges of relevant information at European level.

In 2014, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2014/42/EU, which sets minimum rules for the freezing, management and confiscation of criminal assets. Member States were obliged to transpose its provisions into national law by 4 October 2016.

Moreover, Regulation (EU) 2018/1805 on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders facilitates cross-border asset recovery and make the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets across the EU quicker and simpler. It applies to all freezing and confiscation orders issued within the framework of proceedings in criminal matters, thus including conviction and non-conviction based confiscation.

Finally, Directive 2019/1153 grants law enforcement authorities and Asset Recovery Offices with direct access to bank account information for the purposes of fighting serious crime and aims to improve the cooperation between law enforcement authorities and Financial Intelligence Units and facilitate the exchange of information between Financial Intelligence Units.

Past initiatives

  • Council Framework Decision 2001/500/JHA of 26 June 2001 on money laundering, the identification, tracing, freezing, seizing and confiscation of instrumentalities and the proceeds of crime
  • Council Framework Decision 2005/212/JHA of 24 February 2005 on Confiscation of Crime-Related Proceeds, Instrumentalities and Property
  • Council Framework Decision 2006/783/JHA of 6 October 2006 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders

Europol documents and reports

On the establishment of the new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority

In July 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to establish a new EU authority to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AMLA). This was part of a legislative package aimed at implementing the 2020 action plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  The AMLA would be the centre of an integrated system composed of the authority itself and the national authorities with an AML/CFT supervisory mandate. It would also support EU financial intelligence units (FIUs) and establish a cooperation mechanism among them. 

On the deployment of Artificial Intelligence for AML and asset recovery

As part of its digital strategy, the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits, including in the areas of AML and asset recovery. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

On the adoption of the 6th Directive on AML/CFT

The directive will replace the existing Directive 2015/849/EU containing provisions that will be transposed into national law, such as rules on national supervisors and financial intelligence units in Member States.

On the proposed new Directive on Asset Recovery and Confiscation

On 25 May 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new Directive on Asset Recovery and Confiscation, building upon previous legislation. The proposal provides a new comprehensive set of rules that addresses asset recovery from beginning to end – from tracing and identification, through freezing and management, to confiscation and final disposal of assets.