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4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive: another reason to act promptly

On the 9th December 2014, Guardian published a letter wrote by several investigative journalists. All of them are urging the new European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to ensure that the legislative process for adopting the 4th EU AML Directive is going forward.

The following is the content of their letter:

As investigative journalists, we believe in the critical role of the media in holding institutions to account, exposing corruption, and challenging threats to the social contract between states and citizens which are so critical to democracy.

The “Lux Leaks” scandal (Revealed: tax deals saving firms billions, 6 November) is a recent example of the kind of corrosive deals that big companies are able to extract from countries when they think no one will see. Sweetheart deals, facilitated by accountants and law firms, are depriving European states and countries around the world of billions of euros at a time when austerity is undermining the ability of governments to provide basic public services.

Investigative journalists seeking to challenge corruption rely on the courage of whistleblowers. But equally, we need access to timely information on how companies and trusts are used to funnel corrupt money through the European financial system. The EU anti-money-laundering directive offers an opportunity to ensure that information on the ownership of companies and trusts is available to the public, allowing journalists, NGOs and indeed anyone to monitor the links between suspected criminals and their use of these currently secretive legal structures.

On International Anti-Corruption Day, we urge Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure the EU takes this critical step in the fight against corruption, which undermines the rights of people in Europe and around the world and threatens the credibility and integrity of the European market.

Source: Guardian


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