This paper compares European Union anti-money laundering (AML) efforts with international efforts in scope and intensity through an analysis of the timeline of AML cooperation in Europe from 1980 to 2012, showing the creation or adoption date for relevant organizations and legislation, referred to as actions. The actors include United Nations bodies, the Financial Action Task Force, the Council of Europe, and European Union bodies. This paper also comments on the utility of different European Union (EU) integration theories in explaining the patterns in cooperation. The key finding of this paper is that international AML cooperation operates in waves, with the EU riding, instead of leading, each wave. The realist proposition that cooperation among the member states of the EU is limited to low-risk and high-gain projects best explains this pattern. However, the EU rear-guard position may be due to other factors, such as specific and lengthy legislative processes.

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© 2014 Allison Blauvelt

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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