European Parliament sends Commission back to the drawing board on money-laundering blacklist
The European Parliament today rejected a delegated act on third countries at high-risk of money laundering, and has urged the Commission to make a new assessment on which countries should be included on the blacklist.
The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), adopted in 2015, empowers the Commission to identify high-risk third countries. The blacklist rejected today is a revision of the previous list published in July 2016, which included only 11 countries of which not one is a major tax haven. The revised blacklist of ten countries again simply duplicates the decisions made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international forum which deals with money laundering and terrorism financing.
Judith Sargentini, Green co-rapporteur on the anti-money laundering directive, welcomes the rejection of the Commission delegated act:
“If the Commission is serious about tackling Money Laundering and the crimes it hides, then it must try harder. The European Parliament has today given the Commission clear instruction that it must conduct its own assessment, rather than relying solely on external information. It is simply not credible for the Commission to produce a list of only ten countries, fewer than even the previous list. The Commission needs to go back to the drawing board and conduct a much more ambitious, thorough and autonomous analysis of which countries are high-risk. The directive is currently under revision and we Greens will push hard for the criteria for identifying high-risk third countries to be improved.”
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The Greens have today helped defeat the right wing coalition of EPP and ECR, making clear that we expect a much more ambitious approach from the Commission. In light of recent leaks revealing money laundering and tax crimes, it is ridiculous that Panama and other famous havens for dirty money are still not on the Commission’s blacklist. We need a blacklist which is fit for purpose. In order to get there, the Commission urgently has to allocate more staff to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Having a paltry six members of staff to fight financial crime in the basement of DG Just is ridiculous.”