Romania Adopts Disputed Money-Laundering Law

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Romania’s parliament on Wednesday voted to adopt a disputed law on money-laundering meant to implement a European Union directive in the field, a year and a half after the deadline had passed and months after Brussels referred the country to the European court for failing to comply.

The initial vote in the Romanian Parliament sparked tensions among MPs, after Social Democrat party leader Liviu Dragnea, also the speaker of the lower chamber, demanded a second round of voting after the bill had been rejected by deputies.

Dragnea said that the electronic voting system had reported an error and some of the votes cast were not counted.

The bill, drafted by the National Office for Prevention and Control of Money Laundering but heavily amended by the ruling Social Democrats, came under heavy criticism by the opposition as well as numerous NGOs, in particular because it obliges organisations to declare the beneficiaries of all their projects and activities, including those that could be exposed to risks if their identity is revealed.

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