The EU’s anti-money laundering agency is headed to Frankfurt

This is one of the few times in recent years when administrations of different colors moved in the same direction, but they didn’t. Madrid has lost the battle to host the European Authority against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA). The institution, which will monitor money laundering risks in EU credit institutions and will have around 400 staff, will be headquartered in Frankfurt. The previous agreement of the 27 governments turned the balance in favor of the German city, despite the fact that it was the first time the European Parliament had participated in this type of decision.

Each of the 27 had one vote (although in the first negotiations they came out with a common position of supporting Frankfurt) and the other 27 votes to be distributed among the groups according to their representation in the European Parliament (eight, European People’s Party; six, socialist) and the Democrats; four, the liberals of Renew; Three, Greens; three, the extreme right wing of traditionalists and reformists; two, the extreme right wing of identity and democracy; And one, leftist). To be elected the city had to get 28 votes.

Nine cities took part in the battle: Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Dublin, Brussels, Vienna, Riga and Vilnius. Frankfurt received the fewest votes in the first round (28 votes), followed by second-place Madrid with 16 votes, Paris with six votes and Rome with four votes. The 27 reached a prior agreement to support Frankfurt while the European Parliament’s mandate was decided by the four (Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and Rome). The vote is secret, but the result allows us to conclude that the majority of governments have chosen Frankfurt, as they had previously agreed, while Madrid’s candidacy has received majority support from the Parliament.

“Frankfurt was also one of the main candidates in the parliament. It was also necessary to get a vote from the Parliament, not to undermine the importance of the Council’s coordinated strategy,” said MEP Eva Popcheva (Citizen), who was one of the speakers on the matter. “We will never know,” he said of the possibility that all member states followed voting discipline.

PP blames government after months of joint work

The government was represented by Economy Minister Carlos Bodi; The mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, and the economic adviser to the Community of Madrid, Rocío Albert, have traveled to Brussels on several occasions to defend the project in an unusual collaboration between administrations governed by different parties (PSOE-Sumar). and PP, respectively, in this case). And this was emphasized by the delegates throughout the process, as they congratulated each other on the work done.

Among the strong points he raised about Madrid were the existing regulatory framework in Spain to combat money laundering, as well as the infrastructure, including the office in the Crystal Tower where the new agency was planned to be located. Also the distance from the banking regulators (the European Banking Authority in Paris and the European Supervisory Council in Frankfurt) was also one of the points that they sold as strengths. Furthermore, Madrid does not have any agency of this type. Spain has hardly any European institutions apart from the EU Intellectual Property Office in Alicante; the European Fisheries Control Agency in Vigo; or the Technological Prospective Institute, in Seville.

Despite the cohesion shown by the three administrations during the process, Alberto Núñez Fizuay’s PP has harshly attacked Pedro Sánchez after the result, accusing him of “negligence”. “Pedro Sanchez only serves to appease the fugitive Puigdemont and his amnesty and leaves Madrid because of his sectarianism against PP governments. The proof is that Madrid has lost in the first round of voting in the Council, where the government is represented,” Dolores Montserrat said in a press release, in which she assured that the European People’s Party’s choice had been Madrid, a fact that Despite the group betting on a smaller city like Vilnius, it later chose the Spanish capital.

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