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Stronger framework to fight money laundering


Europe is well on its way to having state-of-the-art rules to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing, thanks to a political agreement reached last night (16 December) between Council and Parliament on the anti-money laundering package.

Věra Jourová, the EU's Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, “Europe is now set to lead by example in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. We have taken an important step forward towards a framework that will focus on greater effectiveness and improved transparency. With these new rules, we will be stopping criminals from abusing our 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. We have worked closely with Council and Parliament to achieve this ambitious and effective review package."

Next steps

For the Anti-Money Laundering Directive to become law, it now needs political agreement from Ministers in the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council. Following this agreement, the European Parliament would need to formally adopt the rules for the Directive to become law.


The Commission adopted its proposals in February 2013 (IP/13/87 and MEMO/13/64). The package consists of two legal instruments:

  • A directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing;
  • A regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds to secure "due traceability" of these transfers.

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.

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