6 September 2022

Combatting money laundering:
Council of the EU adopts partial position regarding new EU Anti-Money-Laundering Authority

On 29 June 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a partial position regarding the proposal of the European Commission for a regulation leading to the establishment of a European Anti-Money-Laundering Authority (AMLA). In the Council, the member states agreed that the powers of the AMLA must be strictly limited with regard to the non-finance sector.

Non-binding recommendations rather than right of direction vis-à-vis national anti-money-laundering authorities

The proposal of the EU Commission envisages endowing the AMLA with a right of direction vis-à-vis national anti-money-laundering authorities in certain instances (Art. 32 of the proposal). As competent anti-money-laundering authority for public accountants and sworn auditors, the WPK would also be affected by this. For its part, the Council of the EU does not wish to provide the AMLA with such a right of direction, but rather, wishes only to empower it to issue non-binding recommendations.

In its opinion of 8 September 2021 (Neu auf, 10 September 2021 (in German)), the WPK, too, indicated its opposition to, amongst other things, a right of direction on the part of the AMLA vis-à-vis national anti-money-laundering authorities, as it envisaged a danger that, as a result of its right of direction, the AMLA could wind up directly overseeing obligors in the non-financial sector.

Further powers connected to oversight of the financial sector

However, the EU Council does want to provide the AMLA with further powers concerning the financial sector, such as additional powers for directly supervising specific types of credit and financial institutions and providers of crypto-services, insofar as these are considered risky. In addition, the AMLA would be entrusted with the direct supervision of more than forty companies and company groups.

The member states have however up to now failed to reach agreement concerning where the AMLA should be located.


The proposal of the European Commission for a regulation establishing a European Anti-Money-Laundering Authority forms part of the Commission’s package of legislation for combatting financial crime. The WPK reported on this topic in Neu auf, 23 July 2021 (in German).