HomeWorldEuropeSpain Pushes for Madrid as HQ for EU's Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA)

Spain Pushes for Madrid as HQ for EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA)

Spain Confident Madrid Should Host EU’s New Anti-Money Laundering Authority

Introduction

Spain is vying to host the headquarters of the European Union’s (EU) new anti-money laundering authority (AMLA), which is yet to open its application process. Madrid is confident that it deserves to host an institutional representation of Europe, according to Juan Manuel López Zafra, director general for the economy of the Community of Madrid. However, Madrid is not the only city vying for the agency, with Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Vienna, Riga, and Vilnius also competing.

Spain’s Bid and AMLA’s Role

AMLA is expected to have 150 staff in its first year of operation and between 300 and 350 in the following two years, before potentially reaching 400. While Madrid has offered a 50-storey skyscraper as part of its bid, the geographical distribution of existing European agencies will also be taken into account. Spain has the fourth-largest economy in the eurozone but does not host any of the EU’s 35 decentralised agencies in the Spanish capital. Nonetheless, not having another agency or authority of this type (as is the case in Paris and Frankfurt) is seen as an asset.

AMLA’s precise job description is still being worked out by the European Parliament, EU Commission, and the member states. However, it has already been suggested that AMLA will focus on regulation and supervision of the financial sector, as well as coordinating the financial intelligence units of all 27 EU states.

Criteria for AMLA Location

Minor AMLA-location criteria include proximity to airports and hotels, digital infrastructure, availability of multilingual schools for staff children and job opportunities for their partners. Madrid has already thought of a location for AMLA: the Glass Tower, a 250-metre high, 50-storey skyscraper in the heart of the Spanish capital’s financial centre, whose capacity could be up to 450 people. The headquarters would be ready for use “as soon as possible”, said Madrid city councillor Saura. And if chosen, the rent would even be paid for by Madrid City Council.

Conclusion

The application process for AMLA will open soon and will end in the coming months before the European elections (June 2024), which could overlap with the Spanish EU presidency. Despite the potential risk of conflict of interest, Madrid’s Cuerpo did not see any issues. “The selection process will go ahead irrespectively of who holds the [EU] presidency, and we will be very respectful of our own role,” he said.

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Sallie Anderson
Sallie Anderson
Sallie works as the Writer at World Weekly News. She likes to write about the latest trends going on in our world and share it with our readers.

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