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Pursuit of pirates. The Commission confirms its lack of interest in the subject

pirates.jpg(BRUSSELS2) Here is a response from the Commission (in English please) to my article, transmitted by its spokesperson service, of which I leave to readers to apply the legal sagacity and political relevance. I couldn't help but add a few comments.

Legislation. " At this stage, the European Commission is not foreseeing to present a proposal regarding maritime piracy. However, existing EU instruments in the field of criminal law and police cooperation can provide an added value.  The questions are rather complex and involve policy areas of several of the DGs. We are in contact with our colleagues from RELEX (responsible for EU operations in ex Somalia), MARE (law of the sea), MOVE (security of transports) ... »

  • This completely confirms that the Commission has studied the issue and does not see the added value of a new instrument. As for contacts between DGs, we will know nothing. These are the kind of responses that allow you to pass the baby on to others.
    NB: The director of the Directorate General JAI (Justice and Home Affairs), Jonathan Faull, formally denied, for his part, having blocked the file, referring the question to the political level.

European Arrest Warrant. " Piracy is not included as such within the list of offenses that may give rise to surrender without verification of the double criminality of the act, BUT 1- offenses that may be relevant in case of piracy are (eg participation in a criminal organization, counterfeiting currency , murder). 2- for others criminal acts, surrender may be subject to the condition that the act for which surrender is requested constitutes an offense under the law of the executing Member State (double criminality rule). »

  • I have some doubts about this analysis. First of all in terms of the incriminations involved. Murder is rather rare among pirates. Counterfeit currency would be (very) difficult to invoke, in my opinion: if there is any, it is because a ransom was paid, with counterfeit notes... It would therefore be necessary to also pursue... the supplier of the counterfeit currency (the shipowner or even the State), as well as the accomplices (the special, military or police forces who took part in the operation)... As for the criminal organization, it is not automatically easy to prove). This shows how narrow the path to the European arrest warrant is, without a formal modification of this proposal.

Europol. " With the agreement of the Member States, Europol recently opened an Analysis Work File (AWF) dedicated to fighting against Maritime Piracy. Interpol also participates in the project. Europol's commitment to the fight against piracy is also witnessed by its participation and support to a recent first-ever international Conference on Maritime Piracy Financial Investigations, organized by Interpol »

  • Curious answer. Because these two organizations are not concerned by legislative harmonization. As for the work carried out, it remains very confused. Interpol, the international police organization, jumped on the piracy bandwagon very late. It was only in January 2010 that a study group on the financial circuits of piracy was set up (more than a year after the start of the European military operation). No concrete follow-up for the moment, at least according to what I understood from the representative of Interpol who spoke publicly during the “piracy” seminar last Thursday at the European Parliament. But journalists are probably too ignorant to understand the subtlety of Interpol's action. 🙂

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).