Friday

14th May 2021

EU states bungle anti-money laundering laws, report says

The European Union's fight against money laundering is being hampered by member states' improper implementation of EU law across the bloc, according to a new report.

EU member states "fell some way short" of creating a consistent anti-money laundering regime across the EU when they implemented the 2001 second money laundering directive (2MLD), concluded the study released on Thursday (21 December) by the City of London Corporation – a local government body for London's financial district.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Different laws in the bloc hamper EU anti-money laundering efforts (Photo: European Commission)

"An effective anti-money laundering regime, which deters and detects determined criminals without placing unrealistic burdens on honest businesses and their advisors, is essential if we are to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the financial system," said Michael Snyder from the City of London Corporation.

"Within the EU single market, it is also vital that this regime operates in a uniform manner," he added in his statement, explaining that there were major discrepancies in the directive's scope and interpretation across the different EU countries.

The report pointed out that the way member states identified and reported suspicious actions differed from each other, while some countries are too slow to react to fishy money movements making it impossible to take action against them.

It also says that the 2MLD rules on "tipping off" clashes with the EU's own Data Protection Directive giving the customer the right to obtain access about him- or herself.

The directive was meant to be implemented in 2003 for the 15 old EU member states and in 2004 for the 10 new EU countries. But Italy was six months late while, Greece implemented the law two and a half years late.

The City of London analysed in detail how the directive was implemented in six countries - UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland and Lithuania.

The report comes as European policy makers and regulators will strive to implement the third money laundering directive in 2007.

Luxembourg tax scandal may prompt EU action

An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.

Investigation

Portugal vs Germany clash on EU corporate tax avoidance

Portugal's taking over the EU presidency puts the tax transparency law for corporations - which has been fought over for years - to a vote in the Council of Ministers. The resistance of the German government has failed.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us