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Brussels, 18 June 2014
Anti-Money Laundering: Commissioner Barnier welcomes progress in Council
Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier today welcomed the general agreement in Council on the anti-money laundering package: “The agreement in Council today represents an important step towards the adoption of stronger rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Europe must lead by example by putting in place a framework which focuses on greater effectiveness and improved transparency in order to make it harder for criminals to abuse the financial system. Enhancing beneficial ownership transparency has been at the heart of the international agenda and I particularly welcome the ambition of both the Parliament and Member States to introduce new investigative tools. I consider that significant progress has been achieved. The Commission will now work with Council and Parliament during the forthcoming trilogues to agree on an ambitious and effective review package."
The agreement reached at today's meeting of the Permanent Representatives' Committee (Coreper) follows the completion of a first reading in the European Parliament on 11 March 2014, and paves the way for the start of trilogues in the Autumn, as soon as the European Parliament resumes activities following the recent elections.
Both proposals fully take into account the 2012 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) (see MEMO/12/246), the world anti-money laundering body, and go further in a number of fields to promote the highest standards for anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing.
Further to the publication of a revised set of international standards in February 2012 (IP/12/357), the Commission decided to rapidly update the EU legislative framework to incorporate the necessary changes. In parallel, the Commission also undertook a review of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive that showed the need to update the existing legislative framework in order to address all identified shortcomings.
The proposed update of the legal rules will have to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure.