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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship


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23/08/2010 - Commission calls on 14 EU Member States to make sure cross-border crime doesn't pay

Over €160 million in criminal assets have recently been seized by authorities in Italy and the UK. However these were only a fraction of the criminals' total wealth, which can be easily transferred across borders. Since 2006 EU rules are in force that have allowed Member States to confiscate criminal assets abroad. But a report published today by the European Commission shows that half of EU countries have yet to put these rules in place. Requesting the swift implementation of these rules that help fight cross-border crime, the EU's Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding commented: "In a time of economic crisis, it is unfortunate that EU Member States are letting billions of euro worth of convicted criminals' assets slip through the net. This happens even though governments agreed on confiscation measures four years ago".


05/08/2010 - A first in EU history: enhanced cooperation to help international couples

For the first time in history, EU countries are using the enhanced cooperation procedure which allows a group of at least nine nations to implement measures if all 27 Member States fail to reach agreement. In this case it will allow 14 EU countries to move forward with EU rules allowing international couples to select which country's law would apply to their divorce. "This first use of enhanced cooperation is a big step forward towards an EU that works for its citizens. People fall in love across borders, whatever their nationality," said Vice-President Reding.