Recognizing the Unknown – the New Confiscation Regulation
European Criminal Law Review
Asset recovery has been considered a key element in the fight against organized crime for almost two decades. Yet, its celebration in policy documents and civil society debates stands in stark contrast to the realities on the ground. The EU wants to change this. After approximating national confiscation instruments with Directive 2014/42/EU the new confiscation regulation intends to boost their cross-border enforcement based on mutual recognition. Unlike Directive 2014/42/EU the new regulation
... ncompasses non-conviction-based confiscations and provides for their mutual recognition without first adopting harmonisation measures and devising a coherent set of admissibility requirements and grounds for refusal. Even more concerning, the new regulation does not seem to address the many problems and obstacles that made transnational asset recovery ineffective in the first place. The article discusses these aspects, critiques the EU's approach and evaluates what difficulties and challenges courts and prosecutors will encounter when starting to apply the new regulation.