On 7 June 2018, the Council (at ambassadors' level) confirmed the agreement reached between the Bulgarian presidency and the Parliament on new rules on using criminal law to counter money laundering. The new directive aims at disrupting and blocking access by criminals to financial resources, including those used for terrorist activities.
The main objectives of the new rules are to:
-establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions relating to money laundering;
-remove obstacles to cross-border judicial and police cooperation by setting common provisions to improve the investigation of money laundering related offences;
-bring EU rules in line with international obligations, in particular those arising from the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (Warsaw Convention) and the relevant Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.
"To conduct terrorist or other criminal activities, one needs money. Making sure money laundering activities are sanctioned and that EU-wide judicial and police cooperation is as effective as possible will help cut the flow of money going into the pockets of criminals. These new rules are another building block in the EU's overall plan to stem the flow of money available to criminals."
Tsetska Tsacheva, Bulgarian minister of Justice
Read the full press release on the website of the Council of the European Union