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EU/fight against money laundering

Published on April 25, 2013
Joint Communiqué issued by M. Pierre Moscovici,

Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Mr Wolfgang Schäuble, Minister of Finance of Germany

Paris, April 25, 2013

On 24 April, Mr Wolfgang Schäuble, German Minister of Finance, and M. Pierre Moscovici, [French] Minister of the Economy and Finance, addressed a letter to the European Commission calling on it to adopt an ambitious European approach to the fight against money laundering and financial crime.

Protecting the integrity of the internal market against the illegal money flows and uncooperative jurisdictions that deprive our national budgets of crucial fiscal resources is a key goal of France and Germany’s economic policies.

This is why, as negotiations begin in Brussels on the fourth anti-money laundering directive, and in coordination with the major progress made in Washington on 18 and 19 April in the G20 framework, France and Germany call on the Commission to assume a frontline role in the fight against money laundering. It is essential for the Commission to develop an appropriate risk management policy, which would provide the financial institutions with a framework in the fight against money laundering.

France and Germany also call for greater harmonization between national anti-money laundering frameworks. In particular, the fourth directive must be an important step in empowering national authorities to discover the beneficial owners of legal entities or trusts and thus increase the transparency of money flows. France and Germany also call on the Commission to assess and monitor the member states’ implementation of anti-money laundering rules.

In their letter, Messrs Schäuble and Moscovici suggest that the European Union take the lead in the fight against financial crime worldwide and develop a policy to combat uncooperative jurisdictions at European level, which would reduce the current obstacles to the fight against tax fraud and money laundering. In particular the Commission, along with the member states, should identify uncooperative jurisdictions and develop a package of measures aimed at protecting the integrity of the internal market against those states or territories, including by limiting the ability of European financial institutions to operate with or in those territories./.

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