S&Ds fights against money laundering – special hearing tonight

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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.