Deal reached on the EU’s money-laundering watchdog AMLA

A political agreement has been reached by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to establish the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). This new agency is part of a broader initiative to combat money laundering and terrorist financing within the EU. AMLA’s primary role will be to enforce the EU’s new rules on fighting money laundering, including direct supervision of high-risk financial entities operating in at least six member states, and at least one entity per member state.

AMLA will also act as a central hub to coordinate and align the actions and practices of supervisors across EU countries. Additionally, it will mediate and settle disputes between national authorities. The authority will support Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in analyzing suspicious transactions and detecting money laundering, and manage FIU.Net, the IT system used for FIU information sharing.

Negotiators also agreed on harmonizing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to ensure more consistent application across member states. This includes the creation of reporting channels for breaches, protection for whistleblowers, and enhanced cooperation between national FIUs and AMLA. New rules are also being introduced to prevent the circumvention of targeted financial sanctions, with AMLA overseeing their implementation.

The location of AMLA’s headquarters is yet to be decided and will be selected in 2024 following a new procedure involving hearings with interested candidate cities. The decision on the agency’s seat will be made jointly by the Parliament and Council in the ordinary legislative procedure, as per a Court of Justice of the European Union ruling.

Co-rapporteurs Eva Maria Poptcheva and Emil Radev highlighted the importance of AMLA in enhancing the fight against money laundering and ensuring financial security and cooperation across the EU, particularly in supervising high-risk companies and cryptocurrency providers operating in multiple Member States.


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