On 22 February 2024, in a joint vote MEPs and EU ambassadors chose Frankfurt as the seat of the EU Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA). Nine candidates in total applied but in the vote, Frankfurt received a majority of validly cast votes on the first round of voting and was chosen to host the agency.

In the European Parliament press release co-rapporteurs Emil Radev (EPP, Bulgaria) and Eva Maria Poptcheva  (Renew, Spain) said:

“AMLA will be a game-changer in cracking down on dirty money in the EU. It will supervise the riskiest financial entities, oversee the non-financial sector, and play a crucial role in stopping evaders from circumventing targeted financial sanctions.”

At a press conference on the selection of the AMLA seat Commissioner Mairead McGuinness stated that the European Commission would accelerate its work on setting up the AMLA. It shall start this by hiring staff and that it was confident that the new authority would be operational – if not fully, then significantly – in 2025.

Next steps

The Regulation establishing the AMLA is part of a wider package of laws to reform the EU’s framework for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. Now that the entire package has been provisionally agreed between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, they must be formally adopted by both before they can enter into law. The European Parliament is expected to vote on its final approval in the plenary session of 22-25 April 2024. Once adopted, the Regulation establishing the AMLA will apply from July 2025. Before then, the Commission is responsible for establishing the AMLA and for its initial operations.