EC toughens measures against terrorist financing
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission adopted a package of measures Wednesday designed to strengthen the EU's capacity to fight the financing of terrorism and organised crime.
The proposals will reinforce the EU's legal framework to combat money laundering, illicit cash flows and the freezing and confiscation of assets.
Presented alongside the third Progress Report on the Security Union, these proposals are aimed at ensuring a strong and coordinated European response in the fight against terrorism financing and organised crime.
"We must ensure we have the right tools in place to detect and stop suspicious financial flows and to support better cooperation between law enforcement authorities so that we can better protect the security of European citizens," said EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
"We are proposing that money laundering be subject to effective criminal sanctions right across the EU", said Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis: "We are proposing cross-border freezing and confiscation of criminal assets within the EU, and putting an end to criminals circumventing cash controls at the EU's external borders."
The proposals would make it harder for terrorists and criminals to finance their activities while at the same time making it easier for the authorities to detect and stop their financial movements.
They consist of three new pieces of legislation.
First, a Directive to criminalise money laundering will set common minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area of money laundering which will make it easier and more effective for judicial and law enforcement authorities to pursue complex money laundering cases.
Secondly, the current rules on cash entering and leaving the EU will be updated to make them more robust and to give customs authorities more scope to act when there are indications that cash is related to criminal activity.
Finally, the Regulation on the mutual recognition of criminal asset freezing and confiscation orders making it possible to prevent criminals and terrorists from using their funds.