Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2011

4 - EU anti-money laundering regulation: Multilevel cooperation of public and private actors



One of the most striking features of the current EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation is the multilevel cooperation of public and private actors. Not only are private parties expected to work against anti-money launderers and to report suspicious transactions under threat of administrative and criminal sanctions, they also take an active part in formulating the underlying rules and procedures on different levels. In short, traditional public tasks are shared by public and private actors. As a result, this regulatory field is extremely complicated, involving international, EU and national law, and embracing public, private and penal rules as well as enforcement mechanisms. Accordingly, the main aim of this chapter is to map out this regulatory field with its different stakeholders and law-makers. These include both public and private actors throughout the entire process, i.e. law-making, law implementation and law enforcement. In this respect, this chapter assesses Sweden and the UK, which serve here as case studies in order to provide some exemplifying and contrasting illustrations.

After briefly mapping out EU competence to regulate money laundering, the structure of the chapter will follow the three stages of law-making, law implementation and law enforcement, which of course are overlapping to a certain degree and in particular over time. Given the rapid policy developments within this field, the different phases are presented chronologically. The chapter will then point to a number of general issues of particular concern and a few specific consequences for the public-private divide.

Mitsilegas, V., ‘The Competence Question: The European Community and Criminal Law’, in E. Guild, and F. Geyer (eds.), Security versus Justice? Police and Judicial Cooperation in the European Union (Ashgate, 2008)
Konstadinides, T., ‘Wavering between Centres of Gravity: Comment on Ireland v. Parliament and Council’ 35(1) European Law Review (2010) 88–102
Mitsilegas, V., EU Criminal Law (Hart Publishing, 2009)
Bergström, M., ‘Spillover or Activist Leapfrogging? Criminal Competence and the Sensitiveness of the European Court of Justice2 European Policy Analysis (2007) 1–9
Lenaerts, K., ‘The Contribution of the European Court of Justice to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice59 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2010) 255–310
Herlin-Karnell, E., ‘The Lisbon Treaty and the Area of Criminal Law and Justice3 European Policy Analysis (2008) 1–10, at 9
Winer, J. M., ‘Globalization, Terrorist Finance, and Global Conflict – Time for a White List?’, in M. Pieth (ed.), Financing Terrorism (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002)
Cameron, I., ‘Terrorist Financing in International Law’, in I. Bantekas and G. Keramidas (eds.), International and European Financial Criminal Law (Butterworths, 2006) 65–95, at 88
Kersten, A., ‘Financing of Terrorism – A Predicate Offence to Money Laundering?’, in M. Pieth (ed.), Financing Terrorism (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002) 49–56, at 50
Braithwaite, J. and Drahos, P., Global Business Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2000) 105
Kerwer, D., ‘Rules that Many Use: Standards and Global Regulation18 (4) Governance (2005) 611–32, at 619
Mohamed, S., ‘Legal Instruments to Combat Money Laundering in the EU Financial Market6(1) Journal of Money Laundering Control (2002) 66–79
Mohamed, S., European Community Law on the Free Movement of Capital and the EMU (Norstedts, 1999)
Power, M., The Risk Management of Everything (Demos, 2004)
Power, M., Organized Uncertainty: Designing a World of Risk Management (Oxford University Press, 2007)
Mitsilegas, V., Money Laundering Counter-Measures in the European Union: A New Paradigm of Security Governance versus Fundamental Legal Principles (Kluwer Law International, 2003) 3
Harvey, J., ‘An Evaluation of Money Laundering Policies8(4) Journal of Money Laundering Control (2005) 339–45
Favarel-Garrigues, G., Godefroy, T. and Lascoumes, P., ‘Sentinels in the Banking Industry: Private Actors and the Fight against Money Laundering in France48(1) British Journal of Criminology (2008) 1–19
Scharpf, F., Governing in Europe: Effective and Democratic? (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Mörth, U., European Public-Private Collaboration: A Choice Between Efficiency and Democratic Accountability? (Edward Elgar, 2008)