International organisations and a number of other stakeholders (such as representatives of civil society) often participate in developing technical assistance projects in countries where structural weaknesses of the national framework are identified. Technical assistance initiatives address a number of issues, tailored to the need of the recipient. This mainly focuses on developing more effective state institutions, legal frameworks and policies. In the AML/CFT context, technical assistance projects naturally focus on the particular shortcomings of the country, and range from enhancing compliance of domestic legislation with international standards to improving the effectiveness of the implementation of the legal and structural framework already in place. Given the broad scope of AML/CFT issues, the projects often involve cross-cutting issues, such as asset recovery, enhancing police/prosecutor cooperation, or increasing the focus on combatting the fight against organised crime.
Technical assistance projects take many forms: providing expert opinions on draft legislation; organisation of courses; trainings and seminars on technical or policy issues; organisation of workshops; assistance in putting into place awareness-raising campaigns and events; or practical development of technical resources (assistance in the establishment of institutions or technical infrastructure – such as the development of IT systems). Such activities may also be undertaken simultaneously.
MONEYVAL, as a monitoring body, analyses the systems put in place by its member states and jurisdictions, identifies weaknesses and shortcomings of the AML/CFT frameworks and consequently formulates recommendations on issues which should be addressed by the authorities. It does not, however, provide assistance in remedying the deficiencies identified. Nevertheless, the recommendations formulated by MONEYVAL are a valuable source of information when identifying issues which require technical assistance.
Within the Council of Europe, technical assistance in AML/CFT matters is provided by the Economic Crime Unit at the Directorate General of Human Rights and the Rule of Law, which puts in place projects in a number of MONEYVAL and other jurisdictions. The projects are predominantly crosscutting, involving measures to combat corruption, money-laundering, as well as strengthening of the criminal justice and law enforcement systems.
The Economic Crime Unit at the Directorate General of Human Rights and the Rule of Law is currently implementing the following AML/CFT and AR-related activity programmes/projects:
The Project is specifically aimed at assessing the AML/CFT regime of Kosovo* in terms of compliance with international AML/CFT standards, including the FATF 40+9 Recommendations (2003), and relevant CoE and EU instruments. A parallel anti-corruption (AC) assessment is undertaken by PECK using the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) methodology. The assessments are being carried forward in a manner to ensure maximum synergy given the nexus between AML/CFT and AC measures. A joint AML/CFT and AC assessment on-site visit took place to Kosovo* from 25 November - 7 December 2012. The assessment report was discussed and adopted in June 2013. The second on-site visit to assess the AC and AML/CFT frameworks took place from 14 to 18 April 2014. The report was adopted at a “plenary style” Project meeting held in Pristina on 2-3 December 2014. On 28 April 2015, PECK Project Closing Conference was held in Pristina, where the key findings and recommendations of the Final Assessment Reports on Kosovo's compliance with international standards in the areas of Anti-Corruption (AC) and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) were presented.
The PECK Project will be followed up by a subsequent PECK II Project, which shall be launched in the course of the year 2015.
*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
Project to strengthen anti-corruption and anti-money laundering systems in the Czech Republic (Czech Republic-ACAMOL)
The Project to strengthen anti-corruption and anti-money laundering systems in the Czech Republic aims to address the existing gaps and build capacities of Czech authorities in the above mentioned areas. This project is implemented through a joint partnership of the Financial Analytical Unit of the Czech Republic (Project Promoter) and the Council of Europe (Project Partner). The Project is financed by the Norway Grants.
With a duration of 20 months the Project will comprehensively aim: to identify and analyse corruption and money laundering risks in the Czech Republic; to develop policy and legislative proposals to improve criminal legislation pertaining to anti-corruption and AML/CFT; to deliver tailored training to law enforcement authorities on criminal investigations of corruption; to elaborate guidelines for recovery of criminal assets; to develop legislative and regulatory proposals to strengthen the regime for political party financing; and to improve whistle-blower protection mechanisms.
The Project on improving the Asset Recovery System in Bulgaria aims to enhance the implementation and effectiveness of existing asset recovery instruments and relevant government authorities. Relying on key European and international standards the Project will deliver good practices in asset recovery to enhance the system in Bulgaria through sound policy analysis, recommendations, capacity building and training programmes for the full range of agencies involved in asset recovery, including CIAF, law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary and others.
The project Promotion of good governance: fight against corruption and money-laundering is part of the CoE/EU “Joint Programme Towards a Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean for 2015-2017” (South Programme 2). The beneficiary countries of this project are Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. It aims at improving the legislative and institutional frameworks and developing capacities of key authorities in fighting economic crime. It will also work to enhance interagency and international cooperation mechanisms in order to facilitate information exchange between homologue institutions. The project builds upon the Project SNAC 1, implemented in 2012-2014, which helped to initiate anti-corruption and anti-money laundering reforms in the partner countries.
For further information on previous and on-going projects implemented by the Economic Crime Unit at the Directorate General of Human Rights and the Rule of Law, please refer to Action against economic crime website.
Additional technical assistance is received by MONEYVAL jurisdictions through other international organisations, in particular the World Bank (this mainly in relation to the development of national risk assessments), the IMF (in particular in relation to strengthening the soundness of the financial sector).
A further key stakeholder is the EU, which partially participates in the realisation of some CoE technical assistance projects (see above) and also provides further assistance within the IPA or Twinning Projects, as part of the pre-accession or neighbouring policies.