Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-05-22-Speech-3-475-000"

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"Madam President, Commissioner Füle, this resolution is the result of a strong political initiative led by the Socialist Group and shared by almost all the others. The return of a huge amount of assets stolen by former dictators to the Arab-speaking countries is a moral and legal imperative. The repatriation of these assets is – beyond its economic significance – a strong step in combating the impunity surrounding corruption and money laundering that corrupt political leaders have so far enjoyed. Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have already made considerable efforts aimed at ensuring that these assets are returned to the new legitimate governments, but poor results have been achieved in this respect. We do not yet have a satisfactory international legal framework governing these matters – and such a framework is essential, Mr Tannock. Intergovernmental cooperation is not enough and, in itself, will not get us very far. There are only a couple of multilateral initiatives dedicated to this issue. The most relevant effort undertaken by the international community so far is the UN Convention against Corruption, which devotes a full chapter to the issue of asset recovery. Given the magnitude of the depredation of public resources suffered by a million people who have revolted against injustice and corruption in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the time has come for strong, concrete measures. This resolution should kick-start the first large-scale attempt to identify, confiscate and repatriate assets that total more than the collective GDP of all the countries involved. We are calling for the establishment, without delay, of an EU mechanism comprising a team of first-class investigators, prosecutors and lawyers able to provide the Arab League countries with all the technical assistance needed for a process of asset recovery. This mechanism should be funded through adequate EU resources and should be operational within a few months. I believe this effort will be one of the most significant contributions by the EU to the consolidation of the democratic transition in these crucial countries."@it2

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