Going Through Changes – Insight from Davos

Written by Emmanuel Ioannides on Monday February 2, 2015

Making sense of the threats posed to national security by transnational organised crime in the context of global responsibilities in the era of digitalisation and compliance

On 22 January 2015, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, gave her speech at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos and revealed the changes take place in 2015. It is important appreciate the overall significance of the following six major themes in the context of combating the threats posed by transnational organised crime to national security: Democracy, Sustainable Economic Development, Overhauling Fiscal Policy, Enhancing the Sanctions Regimes (instead of taking military action), Digitalisation of the EU economy, and Management of the Sovereign Debt Crisis that is still trending.

However, it is equally crucial for FCP/AML/Compliance professionals and students to understand how these changes should be addressed and all the more so how to manage better the risks of cross-border crime within AML and FCC systems. The 12 key areas of the German Chancellor’s speech can be summarised as follows:

  • Closer cooperation between the EU and the U.S. in standard setting;
  • ]Digitalisation will become the main driver for delivering good governance and transparency;
  • Sanctions will be strengthened to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk Protocol will be implemented;
  • Overhauling fiscal policy with a view to encourage private investments and re-establish trust and confidence in financial markets;
  • The ECB to become an independent institution;
  • Economic recovery is still to be achieved, but the economic reforms that France made and the reforms that Italy will make are a good sign;
  • The EU must concentrate more efforts in digitalising its economy because it is digitally behind the U.S. As such, measures will be taken to encourage the development of new digital products in an effort to merge the conventional and the digital economies (the so-called, economy 4.0);
  • Research and development will be the main drivers for economic growth;
  • Obstacles for transatlantic trade will be removed.

To summarise, as Angela Merkel aptly reminded us in the light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the EU was caught “Sleeping”. The way forward is to learn lessons from the past to put it in compliance terminology. We will probably see in 2015 more cooperation between the EU and the U.S. on standard setting in regard to: Transparency, Tax Justice, Sanctions, and the exchange of financial intelligence through enhanced digitalised channels in the interests of promoting global economic growth and managing the risks of transnational organised crime and narcoterrorism in AML and FCC systems.


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