The European Parliament has today rejected for a second time a delegated act on third countries at high-risk of money laundering (1). The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), adopted in 2015, empowers the European Commission to identify high-risk third countries. The Commission now proposes simply following the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international forum against money laundering and terrorist financing, and replacing Guyana with Ethiopia. This list was rejected by the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees earlier this month.
Judith Sargentini, Green co-rapporteur on the anti-money laundering directive, comments:
“The European Commission needs to take its role in tackling money-laundering much more seriously. Having had their proposals rejected the first time round, they have made only the most cosmetic of changes. It stretches credibility to breaking point for the Commission to suggest that the absence of one country was the only flaw in the previous text.
"It is of utmost importance that Member States are able to collect taxes and not have them lost via opaque constructions in tax havens. An ambitious list would contribute to tackling money-laundering and combating tax evasion. We now ask once again that the Commission conducts a thorough assessment and return with a list that is fit for purpose."
Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group, adds:
“It beggars belief for the Commission to present a list that includes none of the world’s famous tax havens. Faced with the recent leaks on money-laundering and tax evasion, it is unacceptable that Panama and other important tax havens are still not included on the Commission's blacklist.
"The Commission cannot possibly hope to beat money-laundering with the resources it is currently dedicating to the task. To win the fight against money-laundering and terrorist financing, the Commission will need to invest much more, especially in human resources. The net benefits, to the public purse and in tackling organised crime, will be more than worth the investment."
The result of the vote calling to reject the Commission delegated act was as follows: In favour: 392 (GUE – Greens – S&D – ALDE – 5 star); Against: 80 (ECR); Abstentions: 207 (mostly EPP)