Turkey has not been included in a new European Union (EU) List of Third-country Jurisdictions which have Strategic Deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) Regimes.
The list was revised earlier this month so that, with the exception of Turkey, it aligns precisely with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘grey list’ of countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes.
Turkey’s EU accession
Ankara’s long-stalled ambition to become a member of the EU, which is supported in some quarters of the bloc and opposed in others, appears to have persuaded the European Commission (EC) not to list Turkey as a country with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes.
A customs union agreement between Turkey and the EU was signed in 1995 and the country was officially recognised as a candidate for full membership on 12 December 1999. But since 2016, accession negotiations have stalled.
Turkish accession nevertheless remains an active issue. Only last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted that accession continues to be Ankara’s priority as he called on the bloc to take a more courageous stance on efforts to improve bilateral ties.
Turkey was added to the FATF grey list in October 2021. But in the light of its accession to the EU and “mitigating measures included in the accession negotiations that address the identified strategic deficiencies”, the EC has concluded that there is “no need to adopt further measures for Turkey” at this stage.
Other countries aligned
The EC has however added Burkina Faso, Cayman Islands, Haiti, Jordan, Mali, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, and South Sudan to the EU list of countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes.
At the same time the EC has delisted The Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, Iraq and Mauritius from the EU list that was last amended in July 2016.
These new listings and delistings reflect changes to the FATF grey list since 2016.
New EU methodology
The EC says its new list based on the commission’s new methodology for identifying jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies so that it aligns with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) listing process.
But the methodology also allows the commission to consider “enhanced engagement with the third countries and reinforced consultation with EU member states and the European Parliament”.
The EC amendments to the European Union List of Third-country Jurisdictions which have Strategic Deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Terrorist Financing Regimes can be found here.
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