The European Parliament’s Economic & Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Civil Liberties Justice & Home Affairs (LIBE) committees have voted today (28 Feb) on the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The majority of MEPs agreed to many demands from the Greens/EFA Group. The negotiation mandate was voted as well so that the Parliament is ready for the decisive negotiation with the Council of member states. The report was guided through Parliament by the Dutch co-rapporteur Judith Sargentini.
Greens/EFA economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold said:
Tax evasion and avoidance cause countries inside and outside Europe to miss out on billions of euros every year. Complex company structures and shelf companies make it easy for people to hide money that is badly needed to keep hospitals, nursing homes and schools up and running as well as in the fight against poverty. Through a public register for companies and trusts, the European Parliament wants to shed light on these structures in order to combat them.
There is also clear agreement that there need to be stronger sanctions for those who violate money laundering rules, both to disincentivise against tax dodging and to prove to citizens that the EU is willing to go after those that avoiding paying tax.
The large majority of MEPs have backed better control of the middle-men who make these crimes possible. We must put the interests of the public good ahead of those of a small number of criminal businesses and banks.
We are especially pleased to have secured a Green proposal to toughen real estate registers so that they also show who is the beneficial owner of what land and property. Real estate is often misused for money laundering purposes and it is crucial to have public information on who benefits from its ownership.
In so many of the tax dodging scandals of recent years, poor enforcement has been as much of a problem as poor legislation. Our proposal, backed by the majority today, would grant the European Commission the power to audit Member States‘ relevant authorities to make sure they are enforcing the rules and to stop further scandals happening.”
We will publish the details of today’s vote very soon here: www.sven-giegold.de