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Civil Society Advancing Beneficial Ownership Transparency

Civil Society Advancing Beneficial Ownership Transparency

Local events gather experts and key stakeholders of the CSABOT project, such as civil society organisations, journalists, academics, representatives of BO registers and of the private sector, to discuss challenges and opportunities for the future of beneficial ownership transparency in their country.

Event in Malta – 15 June 2022

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation in Malta held an in-person half-day conference titled “National Stakeholder Exchange in Beneficial Ownership Transparency”. The conference was organised as an off-the-record roundtable discussion gathering 20 stakeholders across civil society organisations, the private sector, regulatory authorities, the media and academia.

The purpose of the event was to bring together these key stakeholders to exchange knowledge of the risks related to the current beneficial ownership transparency framework, and to create synergies between different actors and their efforts in fighting money laundering and other financial crime.

Ten key action points emerged from the discussions and were sent to the participants following the event. They will also be shared with several ministries and the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Event in Slovakia – 14 June 2022

Two men and a woman are sitting at a table during a meeting, the woman in the middle is talking.

From left to right: Jaroslav Macek, Judge District Court of Žilina; Mária Kolíková, Slovakian Minister of Justice; Ivan Holič, head of the legislative and legal department at the Office for Public Procurement. Photo: TI Slovakia/Michal Mazák.

Transparency International Slovakia organised a half-day in-person round table around the question, “To whom does our money flow?”

During the event, 21 experts reflected on key issues around using beneficial ownership data in Slovakia and designed recommendations to improve the country’s public register and the country’s approach to beneficial ownership transparency.

The outcomes of the discussions held during the event were shared and presented in a dedicated panel at an international conference TI Slovakia organised in partnership with TI Norway the following day. The purpose of this conference, to which the expert panel from the CSABOT event contributed, was to raise public awareness and media coverage of money laundering and beneficial ownership issues in the country.

Event in Austria – 24 May 2022

Attac Austria, Arbeiterkammer Wien and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation held an in-person half-day conference titled ‘Transparency as an efficient tool?’ on 24 May 2022 at the Chamber of Labour in Vienna.

Gathering 36 stakeholders from civil society, the media, the private and public sectors, academia and representatives of beneficial ownership registers, the event fostered an in-depth debate on the strengths and weaknesses of – and potential improvements to – the Austrian beneficial ownership register. The Q&A sessions and especially the fishbowl format allowed participants to engage in a dynamic discussion with the experts.

Event in Sweden – 24 May 2022

From left to right: Malin Crona, journalist; Magnus Karlsson, Financial Intelligence Unit of the Swedish Police; Louise Brown, Director of the FCD Advisory AML Team; and Ulrik Åshuvud, Chair of TI Sweden and panel moderator, during the CSABOT local event in Sweden, May 2022 (not pictured: Johanna Sahlman, Senior Legal Counsel at the Swedish Companies Registration Office, who participated digitally). Photo: TI Sweden

Led by Transparency International Sweden, the Swedish CSABOT local event gathered 45 stakeholders from the media, the public sector, the private sector, civil society and the financial sector, as well as a panel of experts. It was also recorded.

The recommendations that emerged from the experts’ discussion will be shared with relevant key stakeholders.

The discussions held during the event also contributed to subsequent discussions with the Secretariat of the UN Convention against Corruption and representatives of the Swedish Ministry of Justice at a country review meeting in Stockholm on 1 June.

Event in Denmark – 26 April 2022

Led by Transparency International Denmark, a closed in-person roundtable event was held on 26 April 2022 at the Copenhagen Business School.

Civil society actors, investigative journalists, representatives from the Danish Business Authority (the agency responsible for the national beneficial ownership register in the country, the ‘Central Virksomheds Register’ or CVR), the national Financial Intelligence Unit and the Danish Real Estate Association met to discuss beneficial ownership transparency. The diversity in participants enabled a fruitful discussion from both the perspective of implementers as well as that of a wide spectrum of beneficial ownership data users.

Discussions held during the event focused on the importance of beneficial ownership transparency in Denmark and how different stakeholders use the information provided by the Danish register to spot and investigate overall wrongdoing. Challenges linked to the use of this data were also raised, as well as opportunities to increase the effectiveness of the systems already in place to further the capacity of different stakeholders to help prevent, investigate and sanction money laundering and financial crime.