EFSAS meets Counter Terrorism Financing expert of European Commission in Brussels
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) and Ms. Soana Deunier (Research Analysts EFSAS) held a meeting with Mr. David Schwander, Team Leader for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) – Financial Crime Unit, in Brussels.
The delegation of EFSAS and Mr. Schwander discussed the numerous issues revolving around money laundering, corruption, terrorism financing and their ramifications in regard to the region of South Asia, and in particular in Pakistan. They discussed in-depth the mechanisms States and international organisations employ to combat illicit financial activities for the purposes of preventing the financial market being misused by terrorist outfits and thus maintaining international peace and security.
Ms. Yoana Barakova and Ms. Soana Deunier (both EFSAS) with Mr. David Schwander (DG JUST)
EFSAS elaborated on the current geopolitical context of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s warning towards Pakistan regarding the implementation of the organisation’s action plan by October, failing to comply with, will put the country in risk of being blacklisted. EFSAS further highlighted the adverse implications for Pakistan’s economy and foreign relations as well as for the geopolitical dynamics of the South Asian region if such a scenario materialises. Mr. Schwander described the actions, both the FATF and European Union take, in regard to mitigating money laundering and terrorism financing threats and shed some light on the technicalities of these international review processes. In addition, he provided a detailed explanation of the FATF’s complex logistics and set of rules, as well as the possible outcomes for Pakistan’s upcoming FATF review.
Both EFSAS and Mr. Schwander appreciated the exchange of information, as both parties agreed on the importance of comprehensive research resulting in effective policy-making. Moreover, both agreed on the exigency of tackling terrorist financing in South Asia and making this task an essential part of the European decision-making agenda, since indigenous terrorist networks can extend over multiple continents in order to carry out their malicious activities, posing a global threat.