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EC Adopts Stronger Rules to Fight Terrorist Financing

Stronger rules to fight terrorist financing adopted by EC

12th  January 2017

Just before Christmas on 21st December 2016 last year, the European Commission (EC) issued a press release in relation to adopting stronger rules to fight terrorism financing.

The EC’s press release notes that they have adopted a ‘package of measures’ that are intended to strengthen the European Union’s “legal framework in the areas of money laundering, illicit cash flows and the freezing and confiscation of assets”.

Included as attachments within the press release were a proposal for a Directive on countering money laundering by criminal law; a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders; and a regulation on n cash controls and a progress report on a Security Union.

The EC’s ‘package of measures’ are seen to deliver upon the commitment they made in February 2016 when they announced in a Press Release their Action Plan against terrorist financing.

Strengthening the EU’s Legal Framework

The EC’s proposals will look to complete and strengthen the European Union’s legal framework in relation to money laundering, illegal and illicit cash flows as well as the freezing and confiscation of assets.

The EC’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans stated:

"With today's proposals, we strengthen our legal means to disrupt and cut off the financial sources of criminals and terrorists. We must ensure we have the right tools in place to detect and stop suspicious financial flows and to support better cooperation between law enforcement authorities so that we can better protect the security of European citizens."

The EC’s Proposals include:

At the same time as the proposals, the EC also reported their third Progress Report on the Security Union. It is intended that the EC will introduce a proposal to reinforce the powers of customs authorities to address terrorism financing through trade in goods during this year (2017).

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From the EC:

"Terrorism remains a major threat to our safety. We must stay a step ahead to stop terrorists in their tracks and the fight against terrorism financing is part of it. That's why today we are proposing that money laundering be subject to effective criminal sanctions right across the EU. We are proposing cross-border freezing and confiscation of criminal assets within the EU, and putting an end to criminals circumventing cash controls at the EU's external borders."

EC Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, December 2016