BRUSSELS – Lawmakers from the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee (AFET) called on Wednesday for the creation of a European Union-wide counter-terror platform to increase financial intelligence sharing among member states.
According to an EP statement, lawmakers voted in favor of backing a report by MEP Javier Nart which proposed ways to improve the fight against terror in the EU by enhancing the way the financial activities of suspects are monitored and shared in order to attempt to cut the money that flows to terror groups.
Nart’s report suggested that a European counter-terror financial intelligence platform be created to monitor suspicious transactions and cash flows; that places of worship and education, cultural associations and charities that are suspected of having ties to terror groups be more closely watched; that the EU improve the way it oversees traditional ways to transfer money, such as hawala and fei ch’ien, which are both informal value transfer systems, and that cryptocurrencies and their regulation be assessed.
It also proposed that the EU “draw up a list of individuals and entities operating under opaque regimes and with high rates of suspicious transactions, and step up the monitoring of suspicious organizations engaged in illicit trade, smuggling, counterfeiting and fraudulent practices.”
The report was approved by the AFET with 55 votes in favor, one against and five abstentions and it is to be voted on by the European Parliament next week.