This register, drawn up by the Commission, targets countries whose anti-money laundering and terrorist financing systems are considered insufficient.
Among other things, Saudi Arabia, Panama and Nigeria have been added to the European Commission's blacklist targeting countries whose anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems are considered insufficient.
The initiative was approved in January, despite the reservations of several member states, including the United Kingdom, which fear that it will affect their trade relations, particularly with Riyadh.
The Wahhabi Kingdom regretted the Brussels decision, stating that its "Commitment to combat money laundering and terrorist financing is a strategic priority". "We will continue to develop and improve our legislative apparatus to achieve this goal", it is added in the statement of the Saudi finance minister.
Panama, for its part, has assured that it will soon disappear from this blacklist because of the measures it has adopted recently.
In addition to image damage, the inclusion in this register forces banks and EU-regulated bodies to carry out enhanced controls over financial transactions involving the countries registered there, which complicates transactions. with the twenty-eight.
The list, on which sixteen States and legal entities have so far figured, now has twenty-three. In addition to Arabia, Panama and Nigeria, Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and four United States territories (American Samoa, United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam) have been added. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guyana, Laos, Uganda and Vanuatu have been removed.
Other states mentioned are Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.
EU member states now have one month to approve the list, but the deadline is up to two months. It can be rejected by qualified majority. Germany has already indicated that it approves the listing of Saudi Arabia.
Five of the listed countries are also on the European list of tax havens. These are Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the three American territories of Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands. The absence of several countries involved in money laundering scandals provoked strong reactions.
"Some of the biggest dirty money washing machines are still missing. This is the case of Russia, London and its offshore territories, as well as Azerbaijan "regretted Green MP Sven Giegold, member of the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crime.