Anti-Money Laundering Legislative Package

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afdelingsadvies EESC: Anti-Money Laundering Legislative Package

Key points:

The EESC

  • finds current European legislation largely inadequate in the face of coordination failures and national divergences. Therefore strongly supports the Anti Money Laundering legislative package, in particular the creation and design of the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), that should be given sufficient resources to become the core of an integrated European oversight and intelligence system;
  • reiterates its proposal for a social and political European Pact to combat behaviour that damages the ethical and political principles of our democracies and undermines public goods;
  • proposes the creation of a civil society advisory body, within AMLA, or under the European Commission;
  • proposes that the Regulation of crypto-assets be implemented as a matter of urgency to defend against the financial and criminal risks of these financial products;
  • calls on the Commission to consider how to apply the legislative package to money laundering channels outside the financial system: the market in works of art and high-value assets; free ports, customs warehouses and special economic zones; certain commercial or trade transactions, real estate investments, gambling, etc. (new EU legislation will be needed in these areas);
  • proposes that Europol be given greater powers and sufficient resources . Effective coordination of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, Europol and the new AMLA may be the key to the practical success of the legislative package;
  • calls on the Commission to push for the urgent transposition in all Member States of the common definition of the offence of money laundering; and for a new common definition of related offences, including corresponding penalties;
  • is very concerned about the existence in the EU of a huge number of 'shell companies', which play a key role in money laundering and tax avoidance. It proposes to monitor these companies and the firms that manage them, in order to identify their real owners and those responsible for their transactions, and to investigate any crimes they may commit;
  • calls on the European Commission to examine the possibility of the AMLA being fully operational before 2026, and on all the institutions involved to cooperate more closely in order to implement existing legislation more effectively;
  • considers it necessary to draw up a new, realistic and truthful list of high-risk third countries;
  • proposes that the European Commission enact a rule that companies and individuals involved in financial crime or money laundering should be excluded from public procurement procedures.