The Civil Liberties and Economic Affairs committees discussed this afternoon a plan to establish an EU Authority for fighting money-laundering and terrorist financing.

The proposal to establish an Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) aims to improve coordination and information exchange between national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), which act as intermediaries between financial entities and law enforcement.

Ahead of the discussion, co-rapporteur Emil Radev (EPP, BG) said: “AMLA will strengthen the EU’s supervisory framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. To get the best results, AMLA must have enough time to develop its full potential and contribute to winning the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Through direct supervision and delineation of the riskiest cross-border obliged entities in the financial sectors, AMLA will contribute directly to the Union’s fight against dirty money. I believe that the exchange of information is extremely important and it is crucial that the FIUs and AMLA work in very good cooperation and exchange information in order to better combat money laundering and terrorist financing. To do this, the AMLA must have a strong coordinating role.”

Co-rapporteur Luis Garicano (Renew, ES) added: ““The EU’s hands-off approach towards dirty money has only yielded scandals. The time has come to crackdown on it. Europe must be bolder than ever if it wants to put an end to its complicity towards illicit finance. The EU´s new Anti-Money Laundering Authority represents one such opportunity. With it, the EU can put a stop to the economic nationalism that has fuelled this seemingly endless cycle of laundromats. Some Member States have been engaged in a race for the bottom, looking the other way in order to accommodate the easy (but dirty) money. They know AMLA will not.

This comes at a time of particular need for Europe. A strong AMLA is the best tool to ensure Putin´s oligarchs pay for their complicity in Russia´s war of aggression. By establishing an EU-wide supervisor that is able to leverage the latest financial intelligence, we are taking the economic war to the next level. Sanctions can only work if they are enforced. AMLA´s contribution will pay dividends here.”