TALLINN – The European Union wants to make use of the scandals related to money laundering to step up its control over member states, Estonian member of the European Parliament Jaak Madison says.
On Thursday, a discussion on combating money laundering took place at the plenary of the European Parliament, prompted by the recent leak from the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Madison, who took the floor during the discussion, criticized the wish of the European Commission to set up a new Euro institution whereby the authorities related to oversight over anti-money laundering (AML) activities would be transferred from the member states to the EU.
"I absolutely don't agree to the solution being offered," the MEP from the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) said.
He said that the European Commission and a big portion of the European Parliament were demanding the establishment of a new institution, the creation of new bureaucracy, which would give grater power to the European Union and reduce the powers of the member states.
"During the past year, when we have been in the government, we have demonstrated that provided that there is political will, it is possible to successfully investigate criminal cases related to money laundering, we have concluded very effective agreements, we have made laws stricter, we have imposed new obligations on banks, and have done all this without a lot of help or political pressure from the European Commission or the European Parliament," Madison said, referring to actions by Estonia's Finance Minister Martin Helme in relation to revealed cases of money laundering via Estonian banks.
Helme is the chairman of EKRE.