In the final throes of the French Presidency, the Council in June adopted a partial negotiating mandate on the regulation on the new Anti-Money Laundering Authority (so-called AMLA). The only focal point the compromise text left open was the determination of the place of establishment of the new European authority. Now, it seems, many Members States hope to be taken into consideration and prepare to enter the bidding war. Reportedly, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Spain expressed their willingness and suitability to host the AMLA. In July, the European Court of Justice decided that the competence to determine the seat of EU agencies lies with the EU legislature and therefore not solely with the Council. Thus, the Parliament will be part of the decision where to place the AMLA.
On Friday 28 October 2022, the European Commission adopted a new report on the assessment of the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) affecting the internal market and relating to cross-border activities. The report not only analyses present ML/FT risks and proposes comprehensive action to address them, but also assesses the implementation of the recommendations made in the previous reports issued in 2017 and 2019. Regarding the non-financial sector, the SNRA report focuses on the main weaknesses linked to the disguise of beneficial ownership. Concerning so-called “service providers” including tax advisers, it warns that “perpetrators may take advantage of their advisory services and specialised knowledge on the creation and management of structures”. Nevertheless, those “benefit most from awareness-raising activities, training and enhanced supervision”.
MEPs from the subcommittee on tax matters (FISC) of the European Parliament travelled to Bern, Switzerland from 3 to 4 November 2022. The delegation, consisting of the Chair of the FISC subcommittee Paul Tang as well as the MEPs Evelyne Regner and Kira Peter-Hansen, met with Members of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committees of the Swiss National Council, delegates from the Federal Department of Finance and the Federal Tax Administration, as well as stakeholders from the private sector and civil society. Among other things, their agenda included discussions on the Swiss reaction to the Pandora Papers concerning shell companies and beneficial ownership information, national tax reforms addressing aggressive tax schemes and tax evasion and the progress on the implementation of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework Pillar I and Pillar II agreement.
The upcoming ECOFIN Council meeting will take place on 8 November. As a regular agenda item, the Ministers will have an exchange of views on the economic and financial impact of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Concerning taxation, there will be a discussion and possibly a political agreement on parts of the “Eurovignette” Directive regarding the taxation of heavy goods vehicles for the use of road infrastructures. A discussion on the proposal for the implementing directive of the global minimum taxation of 15 % for large multinational companies (Pillar II) is once again not foreseen.