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Cross-border payments in the European Union

06-10-2017

The European single market for payments is based on the idea of providing safer and more innovative payment services across the EU. To this end, the European institutions are working on establishing rules and tools to make payment services easier and to foster competition. The aim is to guarantee common standards in all Member States, efficient, faster and diversified types of payment, and consumer protection. The EU has already put several legislative tools in place, has established common criteria ...

The European single market for payments is based on the idea of providing safer and more innovative payment services across the EU. To this end, the European institutions are working on establishing rules and tools to make payment services easier and to foster competition. The aim is to guarantee common standards in all Member States, efficient, faster and diversified types of payment, and consumer protection. The EU has already put several legislative tools in place, has established common criteria and requirements, and provided alternatives (such as e-money) to 'traditional' payment channels. 'Payment services' mean those defined by the EU legislation in the field, and cover common tools and standards for cross-border payments (SEPA), and also e-money services. This Implementation Appraisal deals with cross-border payments and, more specifically, with Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 in the context of the planned European Commission review. Eight years after its entry into force, the Commission has announced its intention to extend its scope to non-euro currencies.

The financing of the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

11-09-2017

Threatening both its caliphate project and its sources of funding, the series of military setbacks that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) as suffered for several months have called into question the group’s very existence. That is not to say that its offensive capabilities will be neutered – the organisation will remain able to employ ’low-cost‘ terrorist attacks to target civilians throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America or Asia. In mobilising Member States to fight against terrorism ...

Threatening both its caliphate project and its sources of funding, the series of military setbacks that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) as suffered for several months have called into question the group’s very existence. That is not to say that its offensive capabilities will be neutered – the organisation will remain able to employ ’low-cost‘ terrorist attacks to target civilians throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America or Asia. In mobilising Member States to fight against terrorism, the European Parliament’s role is crucial. Individually, Member States have an important part to play in effectively implementing common decisions. Their varying levels of engagement, as well as the progress they have made in confronting the financing of terrorism and especially IS, should be considered. An annual reporting framework should be put into place to better evaluate the measures taken by both Member States and the Commission in this area.

Autor extern

Agnès LEVALLOIS, Associate researcher, FRS, France; Jean-Claude COUSSERAN, Associate researcher, FRS, France; Cartographical support: Lionel KERRELLO, Owner, Geo4I, France

The Implementation of Bail-In in Recent Resolution and State Aid Cases

07-07-2016

Since 1 January 2016 it is mandatory under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) to bail-in shareholders and creditors for a minimum amount of 8% of total liabilities before any funds from the Single Resolution Fund may be injected into a bank under resolution. A number of national competent authorities therefore triggered the resolution of weak banks before the deadline of 31 December 2015. However, since 2013 EU State aid rules have imposed (the "2013 Banking Communication") that subordinated ...

Since 1 January 2016 it is mandatory under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) to bail-in shareholders and creditors for a minimum amount of 8% of total liabilities before any funds from the Single Resolution Fund may be injected into a bank under resolution. A number of national competent authorities therefore triggered the resolution of weak banks before the deadline of 31 December 2015. However, since 2013 EU State aid rules have imposed (the "2013 Banking Communication") that subordinated creditors contribute to the maximum extent (bail-in) to the restructuring of State-aided institutions. All the resolution cases presented below and approved by the European Commission have complied with the State-aid requirement to bail-in subordinated creditors.

The inclusion of financial services in EU free trade and association agreements: Effects on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance

21-06-2016

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering ...

This study examines the implementation and effects of the inclusion of financial services in existing EU free trade and association agreements (FTAs) and, in particular, their impact on money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. The opening analysis outlines the geopolitical and trade context, as well as the EU policy framework to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance. It examines the effects of the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks; assesses the consequences of tax evasion and money laundering and their link to trade in Africa; evaluates the implementation of the EU-Central America Agreement; and provides a synthesis of the key findings and policy recommendations presented in the annexed study. The annexed expertise investigates the implementation and effects of financial services provisions in selected EU FTAs with third countries, with a particular focus on their propensity to curb money laundering, tax evasion and elusion. It concludes that the liberalisation of trade in goods and services with developing countries increases the threat of money laundering, and that it is therefore likely to contribute to an increase in illicit financial flows from developing countries to the EU. The study does not find conclusive statistical data to support a causal link between the EU FTAs that are in force and an increase in illicit financial flows. Nonetheless, the far-reaching commitments made by the EU and the developing countries in the selected EU FTAs regarding access to the markets for goods and services, including in the financial services sector, translate into such agreements significantly increasing trade openness, and hence also the threat of money laundering facing developing countries. To remedy these threats, the study provides a number of policy recommendations.

Autor extern

Ex-Post Impact Assessment Study on the impact of financial services in EU Free Trade and Association Agreements on money laundering, tax evasion and elusion, written by Dr Wybe Th. Douma, Onur Güven LL.M., Dr Davor Jancic, Dr Luca Pantaleo, Steffen van der Velde LL.M. (T.M.C. Asser Instituut) and Prof. Dr Olha O. Cherednychenko and Prof. Dr Heinrich B. Winter (Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), with Prof. Dr Femke de Vries (The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) acting as an advisor.

Preventing radicalisation in the EU

18-11-2015

The tragic attacks of 13 November in Paris have again painfully demonstrated the immediate security threat deriving from radicalisation, recruitment of EU citizens by terrorist organisations and 'foreign fighters'. The competence for national security lies with the Member States, but the cross border nature of these complex threats requires a coordinated response at EU level.

The tragic attacks of 13 November in Paris have again painfully demonstrated the immediate security threat deriving from radicalisation, recruitment of EU citizens by terrorist organisations and 'foreign fighters'. The competence for national security lies with the Member States, but the cross border nature of these complex threats requires a coordinated response at EU level.

Cost of Corruption in Developing Countries – How Effectively is Aid Being Spent?

07-04-2015

Corruption undermines development and reduces the effectiveness of development aid. Illicit financial flows are a consequence of flourishing corrupt practices, often amongst the rich in society. Such flows, estimated at USD1 trillion a year, drain the resources that should be invested in improving developing countries, thus hurting poor people disproportionately. The EU has invested much in curbing corruption in member-, candidate, accession- and to some extent neighbouring countries, but has so ...

Corruption undermines development and reduces the effectiveness of development aid. Illicit financial flows are a consequence of flourishing corrupt practices, often amongst the rich in society. Such flows, estimated at USD1 trillion a year, drain the resources that should be invested in improving developing countries, thus hurting poor people disproportionately. The EU has invested much in curbing corruption in member-, candidate, accession- and to some extent neighbouring countries, but has so far had a strategic vacuum and minimal operational investments in anti-corruption initiatives in developing countries in general. Emphasis has been on safeguarding own funds, but as the EU often delegates implementation to other actors this is an inefficient and incomplete approach. The EU needs to strengthen national anti-corruption systems in developing countries, and those of its implementing partners. This will require a renewed strategy process with a focus on the special characteristics of developing countries, as well as internal change management efforts to ensure that EU policies are aligned and that EU institutions are adequately resourced to implement their tasks.

Autor extern

Jesper JOHNSØN, Nils TAXELL and Thor Olav IVERSEN (CMI, Norway)

The Impact of Remittances on Developing Countries

15-04-2014

The crisis that hit the western financial markets in 2008 has led to a severe global economic recession, which impacted and is still impacting migrants and migration policies worldwide. Despite the growing vulnerability of migrants, remittances have remained stable during and after the global economic downturn. Indeed, they continue to be a significant source of income for families and play a crucial role of co-insurance or risk mitigation in times of hardship. Moreover, remittances have proven to ...

The crisis that hit the western financial markets in 2008 has led to a severe global economic recession, which impacted and is still impacting migrants and migration policies worldwide. Despite the growing vulnerability of migrants, remittances have remained stable during and after the global economic downturn. Indeed, they continue to be a significant source of income for families and play a crucial role of co-insurance or risk mitigation in times of hardship. Moreover, remittances have proven to be a more sustainable source of foreign currency for developing countries than other capital inflows such as foreign direct investment, public debt or official development assistance. However, the nexus between remittances and development remains complex, especially with regards to the movement of people, which contributes to the spread of global interdependence at all levels – social, economic and political.

Autor extern

Karine Manyonga Kamuleta LUBAMBU (International Organization for Migration, Switzerland)

The revision of EU anti-money laundering tools

06-03-2014

Following developments in international anti-money laundering (AML) standards, the European Commission has proposed to revise two major EU instruments in order to strengthen the AML framework and, at the same time, make it more flexible.

Following developments in international anti-money laundering (AML) standards, the European Commission has proposed to revise two major EU instruments in order to strengthen the AML framework and, at the same time, make it more flexible.

The Taxation of Mergers, Divisions, Transfers and Exchanges of Shares

01-11-2003

The Commission has recently published a draft proposal to amend the 1990 Directive on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States. This Briefing outlines these various texts and examines the main issues at stake.

The Commission has recently published a draft proposal to amend the 1990 Directive on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States. This Briefing outlines these various texts and examines the main issues at stake.

Technological Feasibility of Reducing the Costs of Small Cross-Border Credit Transfers (CBCTS) within the Euro-Zone

16-07-2001

Autor extern

European International University (Brussels, Belgium)

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