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MEPs Reject Commission's Blacklist A Third Time

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have again rejected as inadequate the Commission's proposed list of countries that are considered money laundering risks.

This is the third time MEPs have refused to pass the list. This vote, at a plenary session of parliament on May 17, concerned a resolution prepared by the European Parliament's Economic Monetary Affairs Committee and the Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee, which rejected the Commission's proposal earlier this month.

Under the EU's Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Commission is responsible for producing an inventory of countries thought to be at risk of money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorism financing. The original list had been based on that prepared by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It included 11 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria. The second list replaced Guyana with Ethiopia.

The parliamentary plenary said that the EU should have an independent, autonomous process for judging whether countries pose a threat of financial criminality, and should not rely on the judgment of an external body such as the FATF.