The analysis consists of an assessment of the nature and extent of current practices in designing and implementing legislation on this issue. The study pays particular focus on the legislative framework, the control mechanisms as well as the definition regarding the import of cultural goods into the EU. It concludes with recommendations on possible solutions to tackle this issue.
The analysis and recommendations are intended to contribute to an impact assessment for a possible European Commission Proposal for EU measures in this area. The key finding from the analysis is that, despite the political commitment, the required common policy approach is lacking to effectively combat illicit trafficking of cultural goods from third countries into the EU. A growing trend towards different legal frameworks in EU Member States is visible, which are diverse in scope and application. The analysis also pointed towards the importance of a common understanding on the definition of cultural goods for the purpose of efficient and uniform application of EU level rules. The study concludes with recommendations focusing on possible solutions for the main problem of illicit trafficking of cultural goods from third countries into the EU, which include introduction of an EU-level legislative framework, together with an appropriate control mechanism.