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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
I would like to start by thanking Peru for pursuing this subject and leading us to focus on the need to better understand and address any evolving linkages between International Terrorism and Organised Crime, recognising that motivations and legal regimes for both are different.
We would also like to thank UNODC and CTED as well as Ms. Makarenko for the briefings and the important work that they are doing in this area.
The Addendum to the Madrid Guiding Principles adopted in December 2018 called upon all of us to continue to conduct research and collect information to enhance knowledge and to better understand the nature and scope of the links that may exist between terrorism and transnational organised crime.
In this regard, the EU strives to achieve a multidisciplinary, multi-agency, integrated approach to effectively tackling crime, including terrorism, while ensuring that any measures taken, respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Different law enforcement and other agencies in both fields need to work together; to share information and intelligence and to coordinate efforts at all levels to effectively respond to the challenges posed in both areas.
I would here like to highlight the important role played by EUROJUST which contributes to improving judicial cooperation in the fight against serious crime, including terrorism and the role of Europol, the European Union's agency for law enforcement cooperation which supports the Member States in preventing and combating all forms of serious international and organised crime and terrorism.
Europol prepares a "Terrorism situation and trend report" every year. In the most recent report that has just been published, Europol noted that there were a number of investigations in the EU Member States which demonstrated that issues of money laundering, human trafficking and migrant smuggling and terrorism financing are interlinked.
In the EU, legislation to prevent and combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism are designed to prevent the financial market from being misused for these purposes. The legislation deals with both issues together. It is imperative that we cut off the access of criminals to capital by fighting money laundering effectively, to effectively disincentive terrorism and organised crime.
That legislation has been amended recently with the aim of increasing transparency about who beneficially owns companies and trusts to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing via opaque structures; improve the work of Financial Intelligence Units with better access to information through centralised bank account registers; tackle terrorist financing risks linked to anonymous use of virtual currencies and of pre-paid instruments; improve the cooperation and exchange of information between anti-money laundering supervisors and with the European Central Bank; etc.
The EU Action Plan on Drugs for 2017 to 2020 provides also a strengthened response to the newly-emerging health and security challenges in the area of illicit drug use and trafficking. While maintaining and updating the core policy areas and cross-cutting themes of the overall EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, the Action Plan 2017-2020 identifies new priority areas for action, including on evidence gathering on the potential connection between drug trafficking and financing of terrorist groups, organised crime, migrant smuggling or trafficking in human beings. We are currently working on this.
More significantly, the EU commits to tackling drug-related financial flows as the EU Member States have agreed to increase the number of financial investigations and encourage its relevant authorities to focus on seizure, confiscation and recovery of proceeds of crime, particularly money laundering, corruption and other criminal activities in all investigations, including of organised crime.
We consider that it is useful to increase efforts to better understand further linkages between terrorism and organised crime. For these reasons, we welcome this debate and the opportunity it provides to share and highlight experiences.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.