Blacklist fiasco shows EU's financial foreign policy still in its infancy

1 March 2019 7:01pm
EU banks dealing with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and a range of US overseas territories now won’t face having to conduct extra money-laundering checks after widespread opposition today to the plan from the bloc's member states.

But the near-universal condemnation of European Commission proposals to blacklist 23 jurisdictions for weak finance and terrorism controls (see here) shows that the bloc’s executive arm can still be naive in its financial policy dealings with the outside world.

The commission cannot be blamed for attempting to extend its ambition. After all, the European Parliament, wanting Brussels to flex its geopolitical muscles more, vetoed previous attempts at money-laundering blacklists for being too meek.