The list of High-Risk Third Countries with strategic AML deficiencies presented by the EU Commission in February 2019 was rejected by the EU Council shortly after. It appears that the country risk assessment has been affected by political considerations.
The 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, in force as of 11 July 2018, includes amendments to the 4th AML Directive, among them improvements in the assessment of high-risk third countries. Moreover, the EU Commission has recently published a relevant methodology for identifying such countries with strategic deficiencies in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Cryptocurrencies are seen as bringing innovation to the payments-services sector; furthering financial inclusion; and facilitating greater efficiency in cross-border transactions. However, as with other financial products and services, cryptocurrencies are also exposed to financial crime risks. The following article provides some background in relation to cryptocurrencies in general, and some insights into ongoing regulatory approaches and discussions in Europe.
Germany was a political pillar of stability in the EU for years, but failure to create a new coalition government has steered the country into the political unknown. European partners may have to get accustomed to a Germany that will be more oriented toward its own domestic political debate. As in other countries, controversy on EU reform could further deepen internal divisions. Merkel and her party are therefore likely to continue to act with caution. CDU and SPD, being part of the same government, will have even more problems than before in formulating a coherent position on EU reform. All forecasts point towards a political change for both Germany and Europe.