Two weeks ago, the European Court of Justice declared the EU Aniti-Money Laundering Directive, which requires transparency registers, partially illegal. Our policy expert Sebastian Mack explains why public transparency registers are effective.
In the EU, transparency registers provide information on who owns a company. In response to the court's ruling, several European governments have closed their registers to public queries in recent days, including Germany.
"There is a big difference between whether a transparency register is completely public or only allows access to people with a legitimate interest," says Sebastian Mack. This is because it gives the authority a leeway on whether to grant access.
As an example of the effectiveness of registers, Mack cites the case of former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who is now the subject of legal proceedings for subsidy fraud. "Thanks to the Czech transparency register, activists were able to prove to Babis what he owned," Mack says. "That's how it came out that he had misappropriated EU funds. In the end, the EU Commission took action."
You can read the full article (in German) here.