Sven Giegold

Anti-money-laundering draft resolution of the European Parliament: Strong demands to the EU-Commission

Dear friends, dear interested,

Today the negotiations on a draft resolution on the fight against money laundering were successfully concluded. The draft text, supported by Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Liberals, Greens and the Left, is based on a green proposal. Thanks to the cross-party support for the adapted joint draft, a positive vote in plenary next week is certain.

This draft resolution is a success for the European fight against money laundering and contains many of my long-standing demands. Particularly in times of considerable public expenditure on Corona-related recovery programmes, it is vital that money does not trickle away in criminal structures but benefits the common good. The demands of the European Parliament must become the yardstick for the European Commission’s legislative proposals on combating money laundering in the coming year. This resolution is therefore of great importance for the fight against financial crime in Europe.

Central elements of the draft resolution:

EU Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor

– Welcomes the plans of the EU Commission to present a proposal for a European anti-money laundering supervisor within the next 12 months.

EU FIU and financial police

– Supports a coordination and support mechanism for national FIUs;
– Calls on the EU Commission to consider the creation of an EU FIU;
– As a European financial police, Europol should be given the right to initiate cross-border investigations itself.

Strong law enforcement and golden visas

– Call on the Commission to start infringement procedures for the incorrect implementation of EU money laundering legislation;
– Call for infringement procedures against Member States concerning Golden Visas and Golden Passports;
– Demands that the EU Commission harmonise sanctions for breaches of anti-money laundering rules.

Closing loopholes for beneficial owners

– The inadequate data quality of national transparency registers should be subject to a Europe-wide review
– Common rules for the identification of beneficial owners when opening companies and financial accounts;
– Loopholes such as company directors as straw men for the real owners should be eliminated.

EU Anti-Money Laundering Regulation

– Supports the call for a comprehensive European money laundering regulation, which would make elements of the existing Directive directly binding and thus standardise the patchwork of nationally differing implementation of European money laundering rules;
– Calls for the scope of application of the European money laundering rules to be extended to cover players in disruptive markets such as crypto-assets;
– Money laundering supervision of lawyers and notaries by independent public authorities.

Regulating virtual currencies

– Demands to implement the know-your-customer principle in crypto-markets, taking into account the principle of proportionality.

Strong and interconnected registers of beneficial owners

– Recalls the Parliament’s position on the need for interconnected and high quality national registers of beneficial owners. The EU Commission should address the problem of lack of sufficient and accurate data in the registers.

Black list: Transparency on countries with high money laundering risks

– Call for a “grey list” of countries with potential money laundering risks in parallel with the grey list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in the tax field, in order to achieve transparency on the countries concerned even before the final “black list” is drawn up

For comparison: My 10-point plan for an effective fight against anti-money laundering of January 2020, almost all of which can be found in today’s draft resolution of the Parliament:

Link to the draft resolution:

With green European greetings,

Sven Giegold