Cablegate: Terrorist Financing / Charities: Eu Sensitivities For
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHBS #1050 1931544
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111544Z JUL 08
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
UNCLAS BRUSSELS 001050
STATE FOR EUR/ERA, EUR/WE, S/CT, EEB/ESC/TFS, IO
TREASURY FOR TFFC, TFI
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC EFIN KTFN PTER FR EUN PINR UNSC EZ
SUBJECT: TERRORIST FINANCING / CHARITIES: EU SENSITIVITIES FOR
REF: STATE 46472
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: USEU met on June 16 with a European Commission
terrorist financing contact regarding U.S. proposals to discuss with
the EU the abuse of charities by terrorist organizations. Contact
expressed doubt that a U.S.-EU workshop on this topic can be agreed
by the EU during the French EU Presidency, and recommended that the
USG begin laying the groundwork for such an initiative with the
subsequent Czech EU Presidency as a back up plan. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) Contact said the EU is hesitant to participate in talks
with the United States on this topic partly because they have not
yet adopted a common stance within the Community. The EU wishes to
achieve consensus within the EU before discussing with other
countries. The EU's internal dialogue has advanced through three
meetings (one three years ago, one on April 25, 2008, and one to be
determined after the second EU study on NPOs is complete, hopefully
this winter). The U.S. could be invited to this upcoming meeting.
Contact said the EU had originally planned to draft a "roadmap" for
non-profit organizations through this process. However, wide
variation in EU Member State approaches to regulating the NPO sector
has created controversy and hampered this effort. If a roadmap is
completed, it would most likely take the form of a training,
education, and awareness raising approach rather than a legislative
one. USEU pointed out that international partners can provide
valuable insight while internal "roadmaps" are being formulated.
3. (SBU) Contact stressed that this is an internally sensitive
issue for the EU. Some Member States worry about a domestic
political "backlash" from EU-based charities if a U.S.-EU dialogue
became public. Some EU members are still negotiating with domestic
NPOs on a national basis, and fear that international talks would
upset this delicate process.
4. (SBU) Contact requested more detail as to how the U.S.
approaches the abuse of charities by terrorist organizations.
Contact recommended that the U.S. give a presentation to provide
more insight into our activities in relation to this at the November
U.S.-EU Troika on Terrorist Financing.
5. (SBU) Given continued EU sensitivities and advanced French
planning for a workshop on wire transfers, contact expressed doubts
that charities will be an agreed topic by the October meeting. The
EU would also want a different group of experts to attend a meeting
concerning NPOs than usually attend these workshops. Contact
suggested the United States begin talking to the Czechs to place
this on their Presidency's agenda starting January 1.
6. (SBU) Contact informed USEU that the G8 charities initiative
(Reftel) seemed to be moving forward, but the EU was unsure of what
Finance Ministers are being asked specifically to do. Contact
expressed reservations, saying the proposal was vague, but thought
it would move forward.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: The EU has demonstrated similar refusal to discuss
charities with other third countries, pending a common position.
During the EU-GCC terrorist financing seminar on April 14-15, GCC
countries tried in vain to solicit EU responses to their request for
dialogue on this topic. END COMMENT.