The European Parliament rejects removing Gibraltar from the European list of jurisdictions with a high risk of money laundering
The European Parliament on Tuesday opposed removing Gibraltar, Panama, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados and Uganda from the European list of jurisdictions with a high risk of money laundering, as proposed by the European Commission.
The European Parliament rejects removing Gibraltar from the European list of jurisdictions with a high risk of money laundering
In the case of Gibraltar, the EU executive included it in December 2022 on this list, which is different from the list of tax havens drawn up by the Council of the EU (the member states) and identifies jurisdictions whose regulation does not guarantee an effective fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In view of this situation, the Gibraltar government is "seriously concerned" and has issued this statement:

The Government is disappointed by the European Parliament's vote on the removal of certain jurisdictions from the "grey list".

The Government of Gibraltar notes with disappointment the European Parliament's objection today to the entry into force of the European Commission's decision to remove certain jurisdictions, including Gibraltar, from the EU list of "high risk" third countries with strategic deficiencies in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing ("AML/CFT").

The European Commission's decision to remove Gibraltar from the EU list followed the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) decision in February 2024 to do the same for its own list of "Enhanced Surveillance Jurisdictions".

It should be recalled that the FATF's decision in respect of Gibraltar followed a period of intensive technical analysis and meticulous assessment of all aspects of Gibraltar's AML/CFT regime, including a verification visit to Gibraltar by FATF assessors in December 2023.

In addition, it is understood that the European Commission's decision to remove Gibraltar from the EU list followed an evidence-based consultation with the European Commission's Expert Group on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The Government points out that the Commission strongly defended this position at the start of today's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
However, it is clear that the European Parliament's opinion is not the result of any technical assessment. Nor is it the product of any detailed assessment or analysis of the work of the Gibraltar authorities. Rather, it is a politically poisoned position, promulgated by hostile actors from the Partido Popular, Vox and Ciudadanos within the European Parliament, including MEP José Manuel García-Margallo. This has come as no surprise.

However, the government remains seriously concerned about the only reference to Gibraltar in the substantive part of the objection, which suggests that Gibraltar has facilitated the evasion of sanctions imposed on Russia.

This fiction could not be further from the truth, given the series of high-profile and widely publicised coercive activities that have been carried out in Gibraltar in respect of assets held by designated persons in compliance with both the UK and EU Sanctions Regimes, the latter being vigorously enforced in Gibraltar, entirely voluntarily, as a result of a unilateral decision taken by the Government of Gibraltar. This baseless, totally unfounded and gratuitous accusation in itself reflects the value to be placed on the European Parliament's decision.

The Government will not allow Gibraltar's good name to be associated, even remotely, with efforts to support Russia's war aggression against Ukraine and will therefore raise this complaint at the highest political level.

The government will ask the European Commission to take a further decision to remove Gibraltar from the EU list, and hopes that this decision will be taken promptly.

For the avoidance of doubt, none of these developments has any bearing on the FATF's reasoned and considered position on Gibraltar, which means that Gibraltar will remain off the FATF list. Nor do these developments affect the ongoing negotiations on Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU. And none of this will deter Gibraltar from enthusiastically continuing its excellent work in implementing its world-class AML/CFT regime and actively supporting its partners, including the EU, on geopolitical issues such as the war in Ukraine.
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