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Parliamentary questions
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25 April 2020
Answer given by Mr Gentiloni
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000708/2020

The fight against money laundering, both within the EU and globally, remains a high priority for the Commission. The EU anti-money laundering (AML) framework has been recently strengthened and the Commission is working towards further improving it(1).

In July 2019, in the framework of the European Semester, Malta received a recommendation by the Council to address features of its tax system that may facilitate aggressive tax planning by individuals and multinationals, in particular by means of outbound payments. In that context, Malta also received a recommendation to continue the ongoing progress made on strengthening the anti-money-laundering framework, in particular with regard to enforcement. The Commission is reviewing thoroughly how Malta is addressing the issue. Furthermore, the ongoing international discussions on the reform of corporate taxation aim at a consensus-based global solution, which remains the Commission’s preferred option.

The Commission’s report of January 2019 on investor schemes identifies inherent risks such schemes imply for the EU, in particular as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. Following the adoption of the report, the Commission set up a group of experts from Member States to look in detail into the specific risks and to develop a common set of security checks and risk management measures. The Commission also committed to monitor wider issues of compliance with EC law raised by such schemes and to take necessary action, as appropriate.

The Commission uses audit services from contractors selected following the procurement procedures established in the Financial Regulation (Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union. This namely on the basis of framework contracts also available to other EU institutions and established for a multiannual period.

Situations of conflicts of interest are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the professional capacity of the economic operators to perform a contract is also assessed in light of conflicting interests which may negatively affect their performance as required by Article 167.1(c) of the Financial Regulation.

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