Progress: Procedure completed
Legal Basis:RoP 132-p2
The European Parliament adopted by 431 votes to 157 with 30 abstentions, a resolution on the urgency for an EU blacklist of third countries in line with the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The resolution was tabled by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, and EFDD groups.
Parliament referred to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and its delegated acts and welcomed the fact that on 13 February 2019 the Commission adopted a new list of 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) frameworks. The countries were Afghanistan, American Samoa, Bahamas, Botswana, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Panama, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, US Virgin Islands and Yemen.
Members regretted that on 7 March 2019, the Council objected to the delegated act proposed by the Commission. They encouraged the Commission to take into account all the concerns expressed and to come up with a new delegated act as soon as possible.
Parliament commended the work done by the Commission to adopt a self-standing list based on strict criteria agreed by co-legislators. It stressed the importance for the Union of having an autonomous list of high-risk third countries presenting deficiencies, and welcomed the Commission’s new methodology for identifying high-risk countries under the 4th and the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive , which applies revised criteria for the identification of high-risk third countries.
Members considered that in order to safeguard the integrity of the list of high-risk countries, the screening and decision-making process should be carried out on the basis of the methodology alone, and must not be affected by considerations that go beyond the area of deficiencies on money laundering and terrorist financing. They noted that lobbying and diplomatic pressure by the listed countries have been and will be part of the process of identifying high-risk countries, but that such pressure should not undermine the EU institutions’ ability to tackle money laundering and to counter terrorism financing linked to the EU in an effective and autonomous manner.
Parliament called on the Commission to:
-publish its assessments of the listed countries so as to ensure public scrutiny in such a way that they cannot be abused;
-ensure a transparent process with clear and concrete benchmarks for countries which commit to undergo reforms so as to avoid being listed;
-engage with the Member States to increase the Council’s ownership over the Commission’s proposed methodology;
Lastly, noting that the assessment of the Russian Federation is still ongoing, Parliament stated that it expected the Commission to include the latest ‘Troika Laundromat’ revelations in its assessment, and recalled that the work of three of its committees during this legislative term has raised concerns over the Russian Federation’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.
(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)