4th Winter Economic Crime Symposium online

13 January 2023
Knowledge Base

Economic crime raises serious moral and political concerns, undermines economic, physical, social and psychological well-being, and distorts the well-functioning of competitive markets. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, and other major disruptions have impacted the operation of both traditional forms of economic crime, such as public procurement fraud, and its new forms, such as romance fraud. Understanding this broader socio-economic context alongside the complexity of economic crime requires combining different disciplinary perspectives, being it criminology, law, economics, accountancy, security, business management, computer science, and psychology. Continue reading…

SIRIUS Digital Evidence Situation Report shows strong increase in requests for support

12 January 2023

Europol, Eurojust and the European Judicial Network has on 22 December published the 2022 edition of the SIRIUS European Union (EU) Digital Evidence Situation Report. This report includes the results of SIRIUS’ research on experiences of EU Member States’ competent authorities, as well as Online Service Providers (OSPs), with cross-border access to digital evidence in criminal investigations. The report confirms that the need for cross-border digital evidence is on the rise.  Continue reading…

FSB encourages final transition to robust reference rates as cessation of remaining LIBOR panels approaches

11 January 2023

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a progress report on the transition from LIBOR and other benchmarks. The end of 2021 marked a major milestone in the transition away from LIBOR and we are reaching the finishing line of LIBOR transition at end-June 2023. The transition from LIBOR to overnight risk-free rates (RFRs) and efforts made to improve the robustness of interest rate benchmarks have increased market stability and integrity. Most LIBOR settings have now ceased and while certain panel-based US dollar (USD) settings are continuing until end-June 2023, to support the transition of legacy contracts, the market has already shifted new activity away from LIBOR and toward RFRs. Continue reading…

Illegal fishing: Commission identifies Cameroon as a non-cooperating country

10 January 2023
Knowledge Base

The Commission decided to identify Cameroon as a non-cooperating country in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, giving it a so-called ‘red card’. From now onwards EU Member States shall refuse the importation of fishery products from Cameroon even when accompanied by catch certificates validated by the national authorities. The decision is based on the EU’s ‘IUU Regulation’, which ensures that only legally caught fisheries products can access the EU market. The listing of Cameroon is based on the persistence of serious shortcomings that were outlined in a notification adopted in February 2021 which already warned of the possibility to identify Cameroon as a non-cooperating country. In particular, it is based on the failure of Cameroonian authorities to ensure adequate control over the national fishing fleet and to take necessary corrective measures for the cessation and prevention of IUU fishing activities. Cameroon has continued registering fishing vessels that operate outside its waters, including an IUU fishing vessel, while there is a lack of monitoring of their activities.

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European Single Market is turning 30

09 January 2023
Knowledge Base

This year, the EU celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Single Market – one of the major achievements of European integration, and one of its key drivers. Established on 1 January 1993, the European Single Market allows goods, services, people and capital to move around the EU freely, making life easier for people and opening up new opportunities for businesses. Over 30 years, the Single Market has led to an unprecedented market integration between Member States’ economies, serving as a driver for growth and competitiveness and supporting Europe’s economic and political power at a global level. It also played a key role in accelerating the economic development of new Member States that joined the EU, removing barriers to entry and boosting growth. Continue reading…

Takedown of online investment fraud responsible for losses of EUR 15 million

06 January 2023
Knowledge Base

With the support of Eurojust, authorities in Italy and Albania have dismantled an online investment fraud involving the use of cryptocurrencies. During an action, EUR 3 million worth of assets were seized. Eurojust supported the judicial cooperation and assisted the authorities in setting up and funding a joint investigation team (JIT). According to the investigation, the investment fraud was carried out by an organised crime group (OCG) that operated from a call centre in Tirana, Albania. The suspects allegedly contacted victims by telephone using unidentifiable virtual numbers and delocalised virtual private networks (VPNs). They asked the victims to create an account on a portal and, once the transfer had been made, reset the newly created account, embezzled the sum received and made themselves untraceable. Continue reading…

COP15: Historic global deal for nature and people

04 January 2023
Knowledge Base

At the UN Biodiversity conference COP15 in Montréal, Canada, the EU joined 195 countries in the historic Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. This framework contains global goals and targets aiming to protect and restore nature for current and future generations, ensure its sustainable use as well as spur investments for a green global economy. Together with the Paris Agreement on climate, it paves the way towards a climate-neutral, nature-positive and resilient world by 2050. The agreement is a solid framework with clear, measurable goals and targets, with complete monitoring, reporting, and review arrangements to track progress complemented by a robust resource mobilisation package. Continue reading…

Croatia introduces the euro

03 January 2023
Knowledge Base

The euro entered into circulation in Croatia on 1 January 2023, bringing the number of European Union (EU) Member States using the single European currency to 20. “I welcome Croatia to the euro family and to the ECB Governing Council table in Frankfurt” said Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. “Croatia worked hard to become the twentieth member of the euro area, and it succeeded. I congratulate the Croatian people. It shows the euro is an attractive currency which brings stability to its members.” With Croatia joining the euro area, Hrvatska narodna banka, the country’s national central bank, becomes a member of the Eurosystem. The euro area’s central banking system comprises the ECB and the national central banks of those countries whose currency is the euro. Continue reading…

Highlights of the FCA’s approach in 2022

30 December 2022
Knowledge Base

In April, the FCA set out a new three-year strategy designed to improve outcomes for consumers and markets. The strategy focuses on three areas – reducing and preventing serious harm, setting and testing higher standards, and promoting competition and positive change. In response to its new strategy, the FCA has removed or amended over 8,000 potentially misleading adverts in 2022 – 14 times more than 2021. It has also cancelled the authorisation of 201 firms for failing to meet minimum standards. This action reflects the FCA’s increasingly data-led and assertive approach, which enables the regulator to find and deal with problem firms and misleading adverts swiftly. Continue reading…

Gent Sejko: Bank of Albania’s achievements in 2022 and challenges for 2023

29 December 2022
Knowledge Base

On 20 December, Mr Gent Sejko, Governor of the Bank of Albania, gave a speech at the end-of-year meeting with journalists, analysts and media representatives at the Governor’s Award ceremony in Tirana, Albania. I feel honoured and privileged to welcome in the historical hall of the Bank of Albania, media representatives and talented students who are brave in competing for “Governor’s Award for the Best Diploma Theses”. In the last year event, I emphasised that we experienced an unusual 3-year period, with the hope that 2022 would be different, more vivid and more optimistic. Nevertheless, the end of 2022 is proving a really challenging one, mainly due to the huge shock on commodity prices of energy, oil and gas, in particular. Continue reading…