Established in 1993, at Netherlands, EU is an intergovernmental political and economic union of 27 member countries that are primarily located in the continent of Europe. European council, European parliament, European commission, council of the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Auditors are the 7 institutions operating under the European Union. The European Union is one of the international sanctioning authorities.

The finance ministers of the European Union have arrived at a consensus to set up a financial crime regulatory body so as to combat money laundering across the European union member countries. The European Council has also agreed upon establishing an EU level supervisor and also emphasised that few high risk entities need to be under the direct supervision of the regulator. The European council has recommended that the EU level anti money laundering watchdog should be bestowed with the power and authority to control and take over nationwide directives in highly exceptional cases.

The EU and its member nations aim at formation of standalone EU AML supervisor. The EU officials have recognised the incorporation of such a body as the need of the hour since the criminal activities, cyber frauds are increasing in the current pandemic scenario. Asia Pacific group (APG) , headquartered at Sydney, Australia is a similar fashioned AML/CFT watchdog that is committed to international AML/CFT directives having 41 jurisdictions as its members across the asia pacific region.

During May 2020, the European Commission had proposed for an integrated EU body to combat money laundering across EU member countries. The council of finance ministers of EU countries have offered their consent to render support and co-ordination for financial intelligence units (FIUs) across EU countries. The aforementioned agreement of establishing an EU regulator will come into force once the European commission produces legal proposals in the first quarter of 2021.


Author: Rajashree, MBA, CAMI (PonSun AML Academy)