OTHER EU MEASURES FOR COMBATING TERRORISM
The new restrictions are designed to support ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), a scheme set to debut in November 2023 to supplement the Schengen Area’s visa liberalisation initiative.
One of the primary goals of ETIAS is to aid in the battle against terrorism in Europe. According to Article 4 of the legislation, the implementation of a necessary travel authorisation must:
“Aid in the prevention, detection, and investigation of terrorist or other serious criminal offenses.”
While ETIAS monitors potentially risky individuals’ movements and prevents terrorists from entering ETIAS countries legally, the updated regulation for freezing and confiscating assets targets their financial means.
CRIMINAL ASSETS: IDENTIFYING HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES
The identification of third countries that represent the highest danger to EU members is critical to reducing the issue of money laundering and terrorism funding in Europe.
In 2016, the European Commission published the first list of high-risk third countries, which has since been reviewed and updated.
Nations are checked against a set of criteria, and if they do not meet the requirements, they may be added to the list.
Banks and financial institutions must conduct additional checks on transactions involving any of the countries on the list.
PREVENTING MONEY LAUNDERING USING BITCOIN AND OTHER CRYPTOCURRENCIES
In recent years, the fast rise of cryptocurrencies has prompted calls for greater regulation of bitcoin and other crypto-assets.
The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) specifically targets this issue, implementing additional laws to prevent digital currencies from being used for money laundering and illegal funding.
According to the European Commission, as of January 10th, 2020:
“According to Directive (EU) 2015/849 (AMLD4), credit institutions and other financial institutions are required to implement CDD (Customer Due Diligence) measures.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE REGULATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN THE EU?
By expanding the directive to include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, service providers who are in charge of keeping, storing, and moving virtual currency are now considered obligated organisations.
Cryptocurrency service providers, like banks and other financial institutions, must report any suspicious behaviour to Financial Intelligence Units.
By removing this loophole, wrongdoers will find it far more difficult to use crypto-assets to support terrorist action or financial crimes.