The Commission makes the fight against money laundering and terrorism a priority for the EU. In his annual State of the Union speech today, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced two legislative initiatives. This is the Commission’s response to a series of serious and embarrassing money laundering scandals involving European banks in recent months. We Greens have systematically put pressure on the Commission to take bold consequences from these scandals. In today’s communication, the Commission expressly supports our amendments to the banking regulation (CRD V). The proposals give the European Banking Authority (EBA) more enforcement powers and more financial resources to investigate the banks involved in illegal financial transactions. In addition, the Commission wants to give the recently established European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) the power to launch investigations into the financing of terrorist activities in the Member States. The proposals must now be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Member States.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“Money laundering is a security risk in Europe. Europe must dry up the sources of financing of terrorism as quickly as possible. The EU Commission’s proposals against money laundering must be adopted by Parliament and the Council in a fast track procedure. We must not wait for the conclusion of the complicated negotiations on the reform of the financial supervisory authorities. The EU must ensure the rule of law. The banking union cannot afford any more money laundering scandals. Europe must push criminal money out of Latvia, Cyprus, Malta and Estonia as well as out of Germany’s real estate markets. For too long, the Commission has watched Member States trample on European rules against money laundering and terrorist financing. The money laundering scandals at banks in Malta, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands and Denmark reveal the failure of the national money laundering authorities. It is therefore logical to entrust the European Banking Authority and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office with the enforcement of European law.
The EU Commission’s proposals are about immediate measures. However, money laundering does not only take place in the financial sector. That is why Europe still needs a European anti-money laundering authority. This should be put on the Commission’s agenda right after the European elections.
The extension of the mandate of the EU public prosecutor’s office to the financing of terrorism is right. The EU Commission must now present a legislative proposal without delay. National governments should send clear signals of support.”
The European Commission’s proposal on combating money laundering in the banking union:
Commission press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-5724_en.htm
Communication from the Commission on strengthening the European framework for banking and money laundering supervision: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-anti-money-laundering-communication-645_en.pdf
Amendments to the Regulation on European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs): https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-supervisory-authorities-regulation-646_en.pdf
The European Commission’s proposal to extend the mandate of the European Public Prosecutor:
Commission press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-5682_en.htm