RUSI launches a European Network to Monitor Sanctions and Illicit Finance

The European Sanctions and Illicit Finance Monitoring and Analysis Network (SIFMANet) aims to strengthen EU resilience against the threat to security and democracy posed by illicit finance.

The war in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Russia have highlighted the failure of European policymakers to consider the security dimension of the threat from illicit finance as financial flows from malign actors actively seek to undermine our democracies.

The Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, in collaboration with RUSI Europe, has established SIFMANet, a network of European research institutions pledged to raise awareness of the security challenges posed by illicit finance and the weak implementation of sanctions, with the objective of underlining the importance of treating illicit finance as a security threat, rather than merely a criminal matter. SIFMANet brings together the experience and expertise of institutions across the European continent to provide tailored recommendations both to support the implementation and enforcement of sanctions against Russia and bolster the EU’s defences against the future threat to democracy posed by illicit finance.

Looking across the sanctions landscape in Europe, the effective implementation of the raft of sanctions issued since Russia's invasion of Ukraine presents EU member states with significant challenges. With this new project, we are excited to have the opportunity to dive into this issue, along with exploring the broader security implications of illicit finance in the EU.

Tom Keatinge

Director, CFS

The network includes RUSI Europe, GLOBSEC in Slovakia, the Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) in Paris, Lithuania’s Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering, the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Hertie School in Germany.

SIFMANet will convene roundtable discussions and workshops of leading experts from the public and private sectors as well as academia across Europe over a period of 15 months. It will provide policy recommendations to national and EU policymakers and the private sector that aim to strengthen the effectiveness of current sanctions; raise awareness of the security threat posed by illicit finance and ensure that illicit finance remains central to the EU security and policy agenda.

European Sanctions and Illicit Finance Monitoring and Analysis Network (Euro SIFMANet)

Euro SIFMANet brings together European research institutions to raise awareness and inform policymaking against the illicit financial flows that continue to undermine our democracies.


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