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A team was established in the Department of Finance by the Irish government to campaign for Dublin as the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) headquarters.
Irish political figures, diplomats, and law enforcement professionals received the brochure from Irish government representatives that underlined the benefits of having the headquarters in Dublin. According to the government, the country has the third-highest level of science and technology graduates, convenient transport links, and a rigid financial regulatory framework. Ten nations, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Ireland, have expressed interest in moving the EU AMLA headquarters to Dublin.
The AMLA will have a €400m annual budget and employ over 500 people in the headquarters. According to the Department of Finance spokesperson, they will continue to advocate for Dublin along with the Central Bank of Ireland to enhance EU financial intelligence units (FIUs) with advanced mechanisms and technology. The spokesperson stated, “Negotiations are ongoing between the European Parliament, EU Commission, and EU Council on the remaining parts of the AML package yet to be agreed,”
The precise time and location of the AMLA headquarters are unknown, but it’s likely the EU parliament will disclose the location after returning from its summer recess. In the past, the location was decided by heads of state, but in 2022, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) sentenced “the competence to decide on [the location of the seat of the European Medicines Agency and the European Labor Authority] is for the EU legislature and not the Member States.”
According to the statement by the heads of state, now all the decisions about the EU institutions fall in part of the usual co-legislative process, to simplify, the EU parliament’s decision has the exact worth of the EU Council. The critical point in the Irish pitch is the oreland size, and the EU should distribute regulation bodies across the member states.
The official spokesperson added, “We believe that in the efforts to ensure no weak link in the chain, it is important that the particular issues for and perspectives of smaller and newer EU Member States need to be more clearly understood across the EU and Ireland has done much to ensure the same. Having AMLA in Ireland will make it more likely that those efforts can continue and be more successful on behalf of all the smaller or newer EU States. Ireland is viewed by our EU counterparts as a center for strong regulation and enforcement. Locating AMLA in Dublin would further enhance our reputation and strengthen the perception of Ireland as a safe place to do business.”
The Irish government has addressed this campaign three times since Amsterdam missed out on hosting the Medicines Agency in recent years. Similarly, in 2017 member states voted for Paris for the EU AMLA headquarters over Dublin. However, It is predicted that AMLA will officially operate in 2024, and the decision of headquarters to be in Paris or Dublin will be made soon.