Countering the financing of terrorism is a core component of the EU’s strategy in the fight against terrorism. As terrorists and their supporters constantly modify their ways to collect, move and gain access to funds, the EU needs to adapt its instruments and measures to deprive them from the possibility to engage in criminal activity.
The European Agenda on Security underlines the need for measures to address terrorist financing in a more effective and comprehensive manner. It highlights the links with organised crime, feeding terrorism through channels like the supply of weapons, proceeds from drug smuggling, and the infiltration of financial markets.
In 2016, the Commission adopted an Action plan on strengthening the fight against terrorist financing (PDF). The action plan aims at detecting and preventing the movement of funds and other assets; helping law enforcement trace financial movements; and disrupting the sources of revenue.
The Commission has in recent years strengthened the legal framework:
The Commission facilitates cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) through the EU Financial Intelligence Units’ Platform, an informal expert group that provides advice and expertise, and supports FIU.net, the decentralised computer network enabling the exchange of information and cooperation between the FIUs.
At a global level, the Commission is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and actively contributes to its work as well as to the implementation of the FATF Recommendations in the EU. The Commission is also an observer in the Council of Europe’s Moneyval and the Egmont Group.
More on the EU anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime can be found on the webpage of the DG for Justice and Consumers.
The EU maintains a list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts and subject to restrictive measures involving the freezing of funds and other financial assets, as well as enhanced measures related to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. More details on the restrictive measures applied, the criteria for listing, and the procedure for listing and delisting, can be found on the Council of the European Union’s webpage EU terrorist list.
Since 2002, and more recently in order to implement UN Security Council resolution 1989 (2011), the EU also imposes certain specific restrictive measures directed against a list of persons and entities associated with the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al Qaeda organisations. Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 is amended several times per year on the basis of decisions taken by the Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council.
In addition, Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693 allows for the freezing of funds of persons and entities associated with these organisations, participating in activities such as financing, training, recruiting, or inciting to commit terrorist acts, and/or travelling outside or into the EU to participate in these activities.