The European Parliament today adopted by a large majority a resolution calling for an urgent introduction of the blacklist of money laundering states. Under pressure from the EU Parliament and the Greens/EFA Group, the EU Commission presented on 13th February a tightened blacklist of 23 high-risk countries for money laundering and terrorism financing. This new list was rejected by the Council of Ministers on 7 March. France and the UK wanted to remove Saudi Arabia and other countries from the list. Spain stood guard over Panama. In addition, the United States were exerting massive pressure because four US jurisdictions are on the list. As long as the Council and Parliament do not reach an agreement, the existing blacklist, which contains only 16 countries, will apply.
The spokesperson for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, said:
“The broad majority in the EU Parliament in favour of the blacklist must persuade governments to rethink. It is irresponsible of governments to slow down this important instrument against financial crime. Governments must ask themselves whether they are making policies for money launderers or the security of their citizens. The blacklist serves to combat dirty money and terrorism financing in the EU. Without a clear designation of money laundering countries, financial crime will flourish in Europe.
The draft list of the Commission is far from complete. The resolution calls for the latest revelations about the “troika laundromat” in Russia to be taken into account. The European Commission must not bow to the political pressure exerted by the Member States. In addition to Russia, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates also deserve particularly critical scrutiny. Moreover, the EU Commission should publish its country assessments as soon as possible in order to open an objective and fair expert discussion”.
Link to the resolution on the urgency for an EU blacklist of third countries in line with the Anti-
Money Laundering Directive: