Enabler of illicit activities and trade are the terms often used by hardline cash critics to describe this tangible method of payment. Indeed, these arguments have resulted in a number restrictions and limitations of cash usage across the globe, including in the EU where, in 2016, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to stop issuing the €500. But the focus is shifting away from cash, as the MEPs Foreign Affairs Committee’s most recent non-legislative resolution for the fight against terrorism demonstrates. Indeed, MEPs provided a list of recommendations to the EU Council, the EU Commission and External Action Service that never mention cash.
MEPs agree that the most effective way to cripple terrorist activities is by cutting off their sources of funding. The submitted list calls for:
- Implementing of a number of measures to monitor organizations and individuals that have carried out suspicious transactions
- Improving the exchange of information between financial institutions
- Enforcing pre-paid debit card activity monitoring on banks
- Monitoring suspicious “places of worship and education, centres, charities, and cultural associations”
- Improving scrutiny of large transferred sums in traditional cultural contexts (like hawala, for example)
- Studying to what extent cryptocurrencies, blockchain and other fintech technologies are being used for illicit activities
To read the European Parliament's press release, please click here.