EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle (pictured) told MEPs in Stasbourg that the return of misappropriated and frozen assets of senior figures from the former Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan regimes, is of great political importance.
“For the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this is a matter of justice and dignity. They want an end to the impunity and corruption of the past; they want the misappropriated assets to be returned and invested in their countries”.
The Commissioner called for the resolution of the issue of ownership bilaterally between Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and the individual European Union Member States concerned without delay, adding the EU was ready to facilitate the process.
“Although the competence of the European Union is limited in this matter, it is a priority for the High Representative and for me,” emphasised the Commissioner, highlighting some of the actions taken by the EU over the past few months and expressing regret that there had been little progress on asset recovery. “The political will is there. But the ownership of these assets has been deliberately obscured, and judicial procedures must be followed. Therefore, the frozen assets cannot just be released overnight. Ownership must rightfully be transferred to the new state structures.”
“We must not use complexity as an excuse for delay. However, due process must be respected while we all work together,” said Füle.
(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)