Menu

Blog
SK EN
download the presidency
calendar
post
20 December 2016
Economy and finance
Press releases

Money laundering and terrorist financing: Council agrees its negotiating stance

Brussels (20 December) - The Council has agreed its negotiating stance on strengthened EU rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The Permanent Representatives Committee, on behalf of the Council, asked the incoming presidency to start talks with the European Parliament.

The draft directive pursues two main objectives:

  • preventing the financial system being used for the funding of criminal activities;
  • strengthening transparency rules to prevent the large-scale concealment of funds.

It is aimed at closing down the financial means of criminals without creating unnecessary obstacles to the functioning of payment systems and financial markets. The text amends directive 2015/849, adopted in May 2015.

Following a spate of terrorist attacks in Europe, it seeks to balance the need for increased security with the need to protect fundamental rights and economic freedoms.

The proposal is part of a Commission action plan against terrorist financing, on which the Council adopted conclusions on 12 February 2016. It also responds to the April 2016 Panama Papers revelations.

Amendments

The main changes to directive 2015/849 involve:

  • addressing risks linked to prepaid cards and virtual currencies. The threshold for identifying the holders of prepaid cards is lowered from €250 to €150 and customer verification requirements are extended. Virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers will have to apply customer due diligence controls, ending the anonymity associated with such exchanges;
  • improving cooperation between the member states' financial intelligence units. FIUs will have access to information in centralised bank and payment account registers, enabling them to identify account holders;
  • improved checks on risky third countries. The Commission has established and regularly updates (by delegated acts) a harmonised list of non-EU countries with deficiencies in their anti-money laundering prevention regimes. Additional due diligence measures will be required for financial flows from these countries. The list mirrors that established at international level by the Financial Action Task Force;
  • enhanced access to beneficial ownership registers, so as to improve transparency about the ownership of companies and trusts. The registers will also be interconnected to facilitate cooperation between member states. Public access is foreseen on the basis of a legitimate interest for all types of companies and trusts, which is an improvement on the current rules as concerns non-business trusts.

Implementation

The directive requires a qualified majority for adoption by the Council, in agreement with the European Parliament. (Legal basis: articles 50 and 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.)

The member states will have 12 months to transpose the directive into their national laws and regulations. They will however have longer periods (24 or 36 months) in which to implement the various provisions on the beneficial ownership registers.

 

Latest news

20 December 2016
European Union Agency for Asylum: Council ready to start negotiations with Parliament
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council a mandate for negotiations on the regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum. On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament.
More
20 December 2016
Capital markets union: Council confirms deal on prospectus rules
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, an agreement with the European Parliament on prospectuses for the issuing and offering of securities.
More
20 December 2016
Money laundering and terrorist financing: Council agrees its negotiating stance
Brussels (20 December) - The Council has agreed its negotiating stance on strengthened EU rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The Permanent Representatives Committee, on behalf of the Council, asked the incoming presidency to start talks with the European Parliament.
More
20 December 2016
Control of firearms: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament
Brussels (20 December) - The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed, on behalf of the Council, the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons, which reviews and completes existing directive 91/477/EEC.
More
25 November 2016
Violence against women - simply unacceptable!
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights in the world and one of the least prosecuted crimes in the world.
More
9 November 2016
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic on the adoption of the 2016 Enlargement Package
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic welcomes the adoption of the European Commission’s 2016 Enlargement Package, which contains assessment reports concerning the individual candidate countries and potential candidates for EU membership. We recognise the fact that this year’s package is centred around an assessment of the implementation of last year’s strategy, while also taking stock of trends in the region in key areas such as the rule of law, fundamental rights, migration, the functioning of public authorities, economy and regional cooperation. The reporting methodology introduced last year was expanded to cover additional areas. This has facilitated a better assessment of the overall progress made over the past year, as well as mutual comparisons between the individual applicants.
More
23 August 2016
Joint Statement: Ministerial Conference on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes
(Bratislava, 23 August 2016)
More
12 July 2016
Speech by Foreign Minister M. Lajčák at the EP Committee AFET
More
7 October 2016
2 climate weeks: „small step for humanity, giant leap for Slovak Presidency“
More
16 December 2016
Notice: Last Council under the Slovak Presidency dealing with the revision of the emission trading system
More
14 December 2016
Notice: Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia, at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels
The Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, will attend the regular meeting of the European Council in Brussels on 15 December 2016. On this occasion, Mr Fico will meet with the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and fellow leaders of the EU member states.
More
12 December 2016
Notice: Enlargement package dominating GAC agenda
On Tuesday 13 December, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák will chair the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels.
More
12 December 2016
Notice: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg
On Tuesday 13 December 2016 the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, will travel to Strasbourg to visit the European Parliament, to mark the end of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU.
More
23 June 2016
Presidency glossary
More
23 June 2016
Slovak Presidency Website eu2016.sk
More
22 June 2016
Accreditation and registration
More
5 May 2016
Presidency in Figures
More
19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Venezuela
More
19 July 2016
Council conclusions on EU strategy on China
More
19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Turkey
More
19 July 2016
EU priorities at the United Nations and the 71st UNGA
More
+

By type

select all

By date

select all
from
to

By topic

select all

BY PLACE

select all

By date

select all
from
to

By type

select all

By date

select all
from
to

By topic

select all