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EU Parliament to Boost Europol Power to Fight Terror | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man walks past the European police agency Europol in The Hague, Netherlands. AP

Brussels – The European Parliament announced on Thursday that it will vote on the compromise text for a revised regulation on the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) aimed at boosting the agency’s powers to fight terrorism and serious and organized crime.

The voting session will take place during a parliamentary session in Strasbourg next Wednesday.

As part of Europe’s efforts to combat terrorism and means of financing it, the European Central Bank, which is the monetary authority for the 19 countries that use the shared currency, made a decision at a meeting Wednesday to stop the production of the 500-euro banknote.

The decision was taken following concerns that it had become too popular among crooks and money launderers.

The banknotes currently in circulation will remain legal money for now but no additional ones will be issued from existing stocks after late 2018.

A German daily estimated that around 614 million 500-euro banknotes are currently in circulation.

Experts also said that it would not be easy to remove the banknote, which is worth around $580, overnight.

The decision to discontinue its production will need a longer time, they said.

European leaders had called in February for a decision to end the 500-euro banknote’s circulation.

The European Central Bank should make proposals on how to reduce security risks linked to the 500 euro note which can be used for the financing of terrorism, the head of euro zone finance ministers said at the time.