According to the most recent survey released by Transparency International (TI), four out of five EU citizens are in favor of the directive obliging companies to make public real estate information to prevent money laundering. Only one in four European citizens think that measures taken by national authorities are effective in preventing the use of "dirty money" in their countries.
These data are released on May 20, the same day that the UE approved new regulations to prevent money laundering in the European Union.
Carl Dolan, TI-UE Director, says: "Fictitious companies can be used to hide the proceeds of corruption and criminal activity as well as tax evasion. Such companies have also been used to cover the footprints of those involved in horse meat scandal. There is a clear public interest in stopping the circulation of illegal money, estimated at $ 70 billion only at UE level. In this context, the European Union and in particular the European Parliament must be congratulated on the adoption of new legislation, which is a welcome first step in defining corruption in Europe.
Several UE Member States intend to set up a register accessible to the general public with information on the owners of companies operating in their respective countries. This is an aspect that the public requires. Ensuring transparency on this type of information would facilitate instant access for those who investigate the route of corrupt money inside and outside the European Union, "adds the TI-UE director.
Public authorities will have unrestricted access to this type of information. Civil society members, such as investigative journalists and NGOs, can also get access to this information on real estate owners, provided they can demonstrate legitimate interest.
In this context, Transparency International calls on all Member States to ensure transparency so that this information is accessible to all citizens.
It is known that the identities of many individuals involved in high-level corruption have been hidden through the use of fictitious societies, trusts, and other entities. According to an analysis by the World Bank and the UN, over 200 high-level corruption cases involved 70% of corrupt politicians who used anonymous companies and trusts to hide their identity. Public money is stolen on a huge scale, and hidden, depriving the public of vital services such as health and education.
For this reason, Transparency International Romania has developed a number of public policy proposals for preventing and combating money laundering in relation to politically exposed persons whose objectives were to harmonize internal rules with European ones and to establish an operational system for monitoring people Politically exposed. This initiative will result in a reduction in the capacity of the political class and state officials to commit corruption offenses and to use the resulting benefits without being prosecuted by the authorities. Obviously, such a system of provisions will affect high-level corruption and will generate the possibility of identifying income from corruption acts, implicitly contributing to the identification of the corruption acts that generated the respective incomes. The new EU-wide framework could still leave some money-laundering breaches, particularly with regard to trusts, as information about them will not be made public. And this must be changed.
EU Member States will have two years to implement the new standards at national level. Britain, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands have already announced that they will set up the public register for companies.
EU rules go beyond the framework set by the G20 with regard to principles relating to real beneficiaries, principles which require competent public authorities to have access to "timely" data. Transparency International is working alongside national chaperones to monitor the implementation of G20 principles this year.
According to research by Global Financial Integrity, about $ 70 billion was illegally circulating in the EU in 2011. At the same time, the illicit global crime detection rate is estimated at 1% of the illegal proceeds, while the Their seizure is 0.2% (UNODC).
Today's vote in the plenary of the European Parliament confirms the agreement agreed on 4 December on the fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which requires the creation of centralized registers for real beneficiaries - the real people who have the final control of companies and trusts.
The results of the survey conducted by Transparency International and the WIN / Gallup International Association.