EVENT: Reforming the EU Asset Recovery and Sanctions Framework

1 March, 2023

On behalf of Transparency International EU and CiFAR, we would like to invite you to our in-person conference entitled: Reforming the EU Asset Recovery and Sanctions Framework 

7th March 09:00-12:30 
New venue:Mona Lisa room, Interoffices, Avenue des Arts 56, 1000 Brussels.    

++++Please register for the event here ++++        

The European Commission proposed in May 2022 the development of a Directive on criminal penalties for the violation of Union law on restrictive measures and for new measures to be introduced under their planned Directive on asset recovery and confiscation. Under the new proposals, new EU-wide rules would come into force that cover several aspects related not only to the sanctions implemented with respect to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also to other sanctions regimes and to asset recovery more generally. 

The four elements important for the interconnection between sanctions and asset recovery are

  1. They would make the violation of sanctions a crime across the EU, which is not currently the case in all EU member states and would therefore close gaps where the deterrent to sanctions violations is insufficient. 
  1. The mandate of national Asset Recovery Offices would be extended to enable them to trace and identify assets of individuals and entities subject to EU sanctions, thereby requiring Member States to commit more resources to sanctions enforcement. 
  1. Violating sanctions would result in greater possibilities for confiscating frozen assets, addressing the inability to do this in some Member States. 
  1. Asset Management Offices would have to be established in all Member States to ensure that frozen property does not lose value during investigations. 

The aim of this event will be to support the debate around the proposed new directive by providing input into the importance of including a link between sanctions and investigations into the origins of the funds of sanctioned individuals and entities. 


08:30 Coffee and tea 

09: 00 Welcome and introduction / CiFAR & TI EU 

09:30: Panel 1: Successful implementation of sanctions in the EU 

  • Freeze and Seize Task Force, DG Justice and Consumers, EU Commission 
  • Gonzalo Saiz Erausquin, Research Analyst, RUSI EU 
  • Natalie Lucas, Legal Officer, REDRESS UK 
  • Tinatin Tsertsvadze, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundation—Europe and Central Asia  
  • Moderation: Lucia Cizmaziova, Research and Policy Manager, CiFAR 

10:45: Break 

11:00: Panel 2:  Recovering and reusing assets stolen through corrupt practices 

  • Chiara di Gaetano, Programme Manager, Libera International  
  • Roland Papp, Senior Policy Officer, TI EU 
  • Sara Brimbeuf, Head of Advocacy for Illicit Financial Flows, TI France  
  • Sergey Lagodinsky, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA 
  • Moderation: Jackson Oldfield, Policy Director, CiFAR 

12:15: Closing remarks 

Michiel van Hulten, Director, Transparency International EU 

12:30 Lunch and coffee 

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Asset Recovery

Asset recovery refers to the process by which the proceeds of corruption transferred abroad are recovered and repatriated to the country from which they were taken or to their rightful owners. TI EU advocates for a comprehensive reform of the EU...

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Roland Papp

Senior Policy Officer - Illicit Financial Flows