S&Ds fights against money laundering – special hearing

Mercredi 5 mars 2019

Communiqué de presse du groupe S&D

S&D Euro MPs will call for an ambitious EU list of third countries at a high-risk of money laundering during a hearing with Commissioner Věra Jourová later today. The special meeting has been convened at the request of the S&D Group. The Socialists and Democrats are raising concerns over the plan of EU members states to reject the latest proposal of the Commission to add 11 countries* to the list. The joint meeting will be held with members from the committee on civil liberties and the committee on economic and monetary affairs.

Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson on civil liberties, said:

« Thanks to the European Parliament’s input into the fifth anti-money laundering directive, the EU has empowered the Commission to identify high-risk third countries through a more robust criteria than that which we had before. Now the Council is challenging a democratic process and decision. Not only does this raise the question of whom the Council is trying to protect, but it also sends a terrible signal to European citizens who want the EU to protect them against threats from money laundering and terrorist financing.

« We demand that the Council does not to object to the list proposed by the Commission and instead initiates a dialogue with both the Commission and the Parliament.”

Pervenche Berès, S&D spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, added:

« Just today, a new money laundering scandal, Troika Laundromat, rises back to the surface. Such scandals call for efficient, robust and fast screening of all potential high-risk third countries for money laundering purposes, but instead, the first results obtained by the European Commission raises question from the Council and could be delayed. The EU anti-money laundering list must be ambitious, as we stated when we asked the Commission ab to stand its ground and leave Saudi Arabia** on the list. We call for the adoption of a strong blacklist and to send the right signal to its own citizens and the rest of the world: the EU is not tolerating financial crime anymore. »

Note to the editors

The extraordinary joint meeting will take place today, 5 March, from 18.30 to 19.15 in the European Parliament (room ASP 5G3) and will be webstreamed.

* The 11 countries added by the Commission to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list are: Afghanistan, American Samoa, Guam, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia and US Virgin Islands.

Lettre à la Commission