Justice ministers from member states of the European Union have adopted their position on a directive on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, said the EU Council of Ministers on Friday.
The purpose of the Directive is to update the current rules in order to ensure a clear, efficient and technology-neutral legal framework and to eliminate the operational difficulties that hinder Member State and cross-border investigations and prosecutions.
The position of the Council of Governments of the EU Member States defines and aligns the concept of offenses with the use of bank cards, electronic and mobile payments, virtual currency, and phishing and hacking attacks on the victim’s computer. It provides for a higher level of punishment for sanctioning natural persons, and deals more specifically with the clarification of the scope of cross-border fraud.
It intends to improve judicial cooperation throughout the Union and place greater emphasis on prevention, raising awareness of potential victims to reduce the risk of fraud.
The Directive lays down minimum rules enabling Member States to introduce stricter rules on the definition of such offenses and penalize perpetrators within their own jurisdiction.
EU Justice Ministers also postponed the introduction of new rules on the sale of insurance products. By a directive adopted on Friday, the Council made the date of application of the rules by 1 October and changed the deadline for 1 July to transpose the new regulations into their national legislation.
The postponement of the entry into force of the new regulations was justified in order for the insurance industry to be better prepared to introduce the necessary changes to comply with the implementing rules.