.
Skip to content.
Skip to content.
Meetings Calendar 2006
January
.
February
.
March
.
April
.
May
.
June
.
March
  Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su  
 
.
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
4
.
5
.
 
  6
.
7
.
8
.
9
.
10
.
11
.
12
.
 
  13
.
14
.
15
.
16
.
17
.
18
.
19
.
 
  20
.
21
.
22
.
23
.
24
.
25
.
26
.
 
  27
.
28
.
29
.
30
.
31
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
Service
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Press Releases

24.04.2006

Third joint seminar of the EU and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council on combating the financing of terrorism on 24 April 2006 in Brussels

 

On 24 April, on the initiative of the Austrian Presidency of the EU, around 100 experts from the EU Member States and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait) as well as observers from the USA, Japan, the World Bank, the IWF, the Council of Europe and the FATF attended the third joint seminar. Previous joint seminars have been held in Brussels in 2003 and in Abu Dhabi in 2005. The significance of the seminar can be measured by the fact that the Gulf Cooperation states were represented by more than 30 experts in Brussels.

The main themes discussed at the seminar were, firstly, the operative cooperation between the national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). FIUs are central coordination points that receive information from banks and other institutions concerning suspicious transactions, which they duly investigate. If there is a suspicion of money laundering or financing of terrorism, steps are taken to freeze financial assets. All the experts agreed that the FIUs’ international cooperation should be further improved by removing legal barriers.

The experts also discussed the abuse of charitable organisations for the purposes of financing terrorism, which is to be prevented by increased transparency and tighter rules on disclosure. At the same time the importance of such organisations for societies in Europe and the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was stressed. The participants called for an open dialogue with the non-profit sector and the avoidance of bureaucratic obstacles.

In view of the fact that increasing control of the formal banking sector is causing terrorist groups to switch to the informal sector (e.g. Hawala), the seminar participants also agreed that greater attention needed to be paid to the informal banking sector. On a general level, they undertook to consider ways of facilitating access to the formal financial sector.

The experts declared themselves very satisfied with the results of the joint seminar and the exchange of views. The EU and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to continue a regular dialogue on combating the financing of terrorism in future. Qatar offered to host the next meeting in 2007. Saudi Arabia announced its desire to organise another joint seminar in 2009 after the meeting to be hosted by the EU in 2008.

 

Date: 28.04.2006