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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Commission takes action to strengthen the protection of the euro

EC

Since its introduction in 2002, counterfeiting of the euro has led to financial damage amounting to at least € 500 million.

To help protect the euro and other EU currencies from counterfeiting, Vice-President Viviane Reding and Commissioner Algirdas Semeta have today proposed new criminal law measures. These include strengthening cross-border investigations and introducing minimum penalties, including imprisonment, for the most serious counterfeiting offences.

The new rules include a minimum penalty of at least six months imprisonment for serious cases of production and distribution of counterfeit currency and a maximum penalty of at least eight years would be introduced for the offence of distribution.

"Those responsible must not go unpunished – it is time we close regulatory loopholes to put a stop to counterfeiting across the European Union," said Vice-President Viviane Reding.