Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne

Money laundering: Pro-European political groups call for decisive action by European Commission

The pro-European groups in the European Parliament have agreed to put on the agenda of next week’s plenary session in Strasbourg a statement by the Council and the Commission on “the state of implementation of anti-money laundering legislation”. The European Parliament will then immediately adopt a resolution on the subject. The debate with the European Commission, supported by Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Liberals and Greens, is expected to take place on Wednesday around 17.30 and will also be available online: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/de/plenary

The trigger for the plenary debate is a disappointing hearing with the European Commission and the European Banking Authority (EBA) last Thursday in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). There, the representative of the relevant Directorate-General for Justice and Consumer Protection had not given clear answers to Members’ questions. As a result, Sven Giegold took the initiative for a plenary debate and resolution which was supported by Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals. With a view to the resolution, we look forward to concrete suggestions by experts for improving the fight against money laundering in Europe.

MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:

“It is unacceptable that the EU Commission could not provide concrete answers to a number of key questions of the ECON Committee. The repeated major money laundering scandals of European banks pose a threat to fair competition, financial stability and our common security. They show that EU anti-money laundering legislation is not being applied consistently. There is a lack of a common European approach to combating financial crime. In light of these flagrant shortcomings, the European Commission owes citizens clear and decisive answers. 

Together with the other pro-European groups, we demand commitments from the Commission for an ambitious EU list of third countries with high money laundering risks and full transparency on the state of implementation of the European Anti-money Laundering Directive in the Member States. In the ECON Committee, José Manuel Campa, Chairman of the European Banking Supervision Authority, made helpful proposals for improvements in the fight against money laundering in the banking sector. The EU Commission should take this as an example.

Since everybody is preparing for the hearings with the Commissioner-designates, there are currently fewer substantive discussions going on in the European Parliament. I would like to thank my colleagues from Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals for their support for my proposal to put the hot topic of financial crime on the agenda of Parliament’s plenary session.”