The European Commission is considering a new registry to register all possessions of citizens. This should include not only properties in the form of real estate, land and shares, but also assets such as precious metals, crypto coins, jewelry, works of art, cars and boats. This is according to a new document entitled 'Feasibility Study for a European asset registry'.
According to the European Commission, such a registry is necessary to prevent tax evasion and money laundering. It gives the authorities more information to map out money flows. From the text of the proposal:
"The collection of data and the interconnection of registers is an important tool under EU law to speed up the access of competent authorities to financial information and facilitate cross-border cooperation. This project will explore different options for collecting information with a view to creating an asset register that can then be used for a future policy initiative.
It will look at how to analyze information from different sources on asset ownership (e.g., land registries, corporate registries, trust and foundation registries, central securities holding companies, etc.) and how to design, implement, and maintain an asset register. ) and what the design, scope and challenges of such a Union asset register might look like. It will also consider whether data on the ownership of other assets, such as crypto currencies, works of art, real estate and gold, can be included in the register."
Although only a proposal, this is a particularly worrying development. It gives governments even more insight into the assets of citizens, on top of the information they already collect. It is striking that the proposal only highlights the interests of governments, supervisors, banks and NGOs and does not take into account the interests of European citizens. Also, the proposal does not make clear why a more detailed registration of assets is necessary.
Under the guise of money laundering and terrorism, such a register further erodes the freedom and privacy of citizens. Governments use it as an excuse to exercise more control over their own population. There is therefore fierce criticism of the proposal from various quarters. According to German politician Markus Ferber, the European Commission is going beyond its remit. "These plans are totally disproportionate. The relationship between the citizen and the state reminds me of China, not of EU member states.
The German newspaper Die Welt concludes that with this register all holdings of gold and bitcoins will become traceable, while the Austrian newspaper Die Presse reminds of a chapter from Orwell 1984. According to the Austrian Kroner Zeitung, such a registration of assets is impractical and also very costly. According to the German magazine Focus, the EU wants to map the assets of all people down to the last cent:
"If this register were to come about, the consequences are obvious. For example, for politically disliked citizens - and this does not only include criminals - it will become much more difficult in the future to continue their activities. These may include investigative journalists or whistleblowers, for example, who are threatened with more targeted reprisals.
The control of money flows, investments and assets is contrary to human dignity. Under the guise of preventing money laundering, we are all being vetted. Now is the time for civil disobedience. People need to take to the streets, like the yellow shirts in France."
Asset mapping is another step in tightening controls on citizens. Earlier, the European Commission called for stricter supervision of crypto currency providers. It wants to register all crypto addresses so that anonymous transactions will end. Also this summer, the European Commission drafted a directive to prohibit transactions of more than €10,000 in cash throughout the European Union. A worrying development, even for savers who have nothing to hide.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator