MEPs have declined the EU Commission blacklist of countries deemed to be at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, pointing that it is not coherent with the scale of the problme, and should be expanded to include territories that facilitate tax crimes. The document was retured to the EC after this week EP pleanry vote.
“The strength of the vote reflects the strength of feeling in Parliament about the inadequacy of this current list. We now hope that the Commission will be more ambitious in its revisions, so as to create a blacklist which is fit-for-purpose” – commented Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) repsonsible for the document, pointing at the vote results: 393 votes to 67 votes, with 210 abstentions.
“A country should be placed on the ‘blacklist’ only when there is clear evidence of a systematic threat of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission needs to have a straightforward and transparent algorithm that can withstand public scrutiny.” -said Krišjānis Karins (EPP, LV) – co-rapporteur.
The Commission lists eleven countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria, which it judges to be deficient in countering money laundering and terrorist financing. People and legal entities from blacklisted countries face tougher than usual checks when doing business in the EU.
Following the vote, an existing inventory of third countries thought to fall short in the area of anti-money laundering and terrorism finance will remain in force while the Commission considers any revisions.