“Malta strongly supports the Council Conclusions on AML/CFT strategic priorities, especially so to address trans boundary organised financial crime”. This was stated by the Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna during the ECOFIN Meeting held today, 5th December, in Brussels.
While the present operational systems that enable the exchange of information and cooperation between national FIU’s has proved to function well, Malta supports the proposal to consider building on the existing FIU platform to achieve a proper standing body akin to what is held by EUROPOL and EUROJUST.
On the Motor Insurance Directive, Minister Scicluna raised the serious concerns raised by Malta and other member states on this directive. As the current text stands, without adequate funding arrangements for the compensation funds, it will have significant detrimental effects not only on the insurance markets of smaller member states like Malta, but also on cross-border provision of services and the internal market. This in turn will undermine the very objective to protect consumers in the EU. Minister Scicluna urged the Presidency in its role as an honest broker, to mandate discussions at a technical level to find an adequate solution for all member states concerned.
The minister also underlined Malta’s concern with regards to the current mandatory excise exemptions on fuel for international aviation and shipping; which exemptions are pretty much the norm internationally. Taking aviation for example, for Malta as an island Member state, connectivity is of paramount importance for any people-based economic activity on the island.
Regarding the country-by-country reporting, Minister Scicluna stated that this proposal being a taxation dossier should not be discussed in the Competitiveness Council, but it should be discussed in ECOFIN. Malta insists that taxation issues should continue require unanimity voting.