On December 5, the Council of the EU published a general approach document on the European Commission’s proposed Directive on freezing and confiscating proceeds of crime in the EU. Changes made to the Commission’s proposal include:
limiting provisions relating to extended powers of confiscation to serious criminal offences which may give rise to economic benefit;
recognising that freezing may be ordered by certain competent authorities as well as judicial authorities; and
limiting the scope of the proposed Directive to offences listed in Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which are already subject to EU level approximation.
It is intended that a compromise on the text of the proposed Directive will be reached by the end of 2012.