EU sues Austria, Belgium, Netherlands over anti-money laundering rules

epa08026182 A photo taken with a fisheye lens shows the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 26 November 2019. President-Elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 27 November 2019 will present her team of Commissioners-designate and the new Commission's programme to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will then discuss and decide (by simple majority) whether to elect the College of Commissioners or not. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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The European Commission said it was suing Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands because the three countries had not fully integrated EU rules on anti-money laundering into their national laws.

The 27-nation bloc’s executive cited a lack of action on EU law related to fundamental aspects of the anti-money laundering framework “such as betting and gambling legislation (Austria), mechanisms under which the Financial Intelligence Units exchange documents and information (Belgium), and the information to be provided on the beneficial ownership of corporate and other legal entities (Netherlands)”.

In a statement, the Commission said it had filed its suit at the European Court of Justice, which has ultimate jurisdiction in member states, asking it to approve financial sanctions against the three countries.

The Dutch finance ministry said all legislation required by the European Commission had been accepted by the country’s Senate on June 23 and would be applied soon.

There was no immediate comment from other governments.

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