EU follows US model to track terrorist funding

EU follows US model to track terrorist funding

Commission wants to launch terrorist financing tracking programme.


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The European Commission is to begin talks with member states on the Europe-wide monitoring of financial transactions by suspected terrorists. 

Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, announced yesterday (24 March) that the scheme would be modelled on the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP) operated by the United States. “We would like to set up our own TFTP,” she said.

International payments

Reding’s comments followed yesterday’s adoption by the Commission of a mandate for negotiations with the US on the sharing of bank transfer data. The mandate foresees reciprocity in data sharing, which requires the EU to have a scheme comparable to the TFTP, according to Reding. “We partly rely on the capacity of the US services to analyse these data,” Reding said, in reference to bank transfers conducted through Swift, the international payment transfer consortium.

Reding said that she would also seek to negotiate a framework agreement with the US that would set standards for all transatlantic agreements involving data sharing.

A new agreement on Swift is necessary after the European Parliament, using new powers under the Lisbon treaty, rejected an interim agreement with the US in February.

MEPs said that its data protection provisions fell short of EU standards. The mandate still needs the backing of the EU’s member states. Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, said yesterday that she hoped the talks with the US could be wrapped up before the end of the year. The consent of the Parliament is needed for the agreement to enter into force.

Toby Vogel