Naming and shaming countries that fail to meet the international community’s anti-financial crime standards is an increasingly popular pastime. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF, the global money-laundering and terrorist-financing watchdog) has long been a proponent and has recently been joined by the EU. The EU has now developed its own list of countries, that supplements that of the FATF, to protect the integrity of the EU financial system, alongside the EU’s existing list of countries it deems non-cooperative for tax purposes. NGOs such as Transparency International and the Tax Justice Network are keen on such lists too. Yet as the European Commission discovered in 2019 when its first list was rejected by member states, integrity, transparency and politics increasingly play a role in acceptance.

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