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MEPs reject weak Commission money-laundering blacklist

22 January 2017, 12:33 CET
MEPs reject weak Commission money-laundering blacklist

Photo © Maksym Yemelyanov - Fotolia

(STRASBOURG) - MEPs voted Thursday to reject the EU Commission's blacklist of countries deemed to be at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, saying the list was too limited, and should be expanded.

In particular, the Parliament said the list should be expanded to include territories that facilitate tax crimes.

The resolution was passed by 393 votes to 67 votes, with 210 abstentions.

Co-rapporteur Judith Sargentini MEP said "the strength of the vote reflects the strength of feeling in Parliament about the inadequacy of this current list. We now hope that the Commission will be more ambitious in its revisions, so as to create a blacklist which is fit-for-purpose."

The Commission lists eleven countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria, which it judges to be deficient in countering money laundering and terrorist financing. People and legal entities from blacklisted countries face tougher than usual checks when doing business in the EU.

Krisjanis Karins MEP, another co-rapporteur on the underlying legislation, abstained in the vote, saying "A country should be placed on the 'blacklist' only when there is clear evidence of a systematic threat of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission needs to have a straightforward and transparent algorithm that can withstand public scrutiny."

Following the vote, an existing inventory of third countries thought to fall short in the area of anti-money laundering and terrorism finance will remain in force while the Commission considers any revisions.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text will be available here (Click on 19.01.2017)

Procedure file

Access to anti-money laundering information by tax authorities (At a glance, 15-11-2016)

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