Offshore

“Corporate taxes have to be paid where the economic activity takes place. No artificial, virtual shifting of revenues to other countries!”, said Markus Ferber MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Economic Affairs, as the European Parliament votes today on a Resolution on the so-called Pandora Papers.

This major leak of offshore data puts the spotlight on the massive fraud carried out by politicians or billionaires such as Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, and proves the EU’s lacklustre progress in the fight against tax havens. The trust of citizens in our tax systems is shattered. The EPP Group is pushing for more international cooperation in the fields of tax evasion and money laundering.

“The sad truth is that it is the selfishness of many countries which makes tax evasion and money laundering possible. We must better exchange tax information between countries, better enforce existing EU law and reduce the complexity of national tax systems which enables loopholes”, said Ferber.

EPP Group MEPs ask notably to take concrete measures, such as resetting the EU blacklist and making sure that it contains places like the British Virgin Islands.

“The EU list of tax havens has to be reformed so that it actually contains all the real culprits. By taking out Anguilla, Dominica and the Seychelles from this blacklist just a couple of days after the Pandora revelations, the Council made a huge mistake and sent a terrible signal in the fight against tax dodging and money laundering. We ask the Council to reconsider its decision, but we want more. We have to improve the Code of Conduct and reinforce the list criteria, with transparency and consequent actions”, said Lídia Pereira MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Subcommittee on Tax Matters.

On top of changing the reasons why a country is listed, the EPP Group also wants to link the blacklist to an effective sanctions regime. “Being listed cannot be a mere bureaucratic problem for the countries, but must imply concrete penalties. Tax havens cannot rest in peace!”, said Ferber.

"We welcome the fact that the European Commission is proposing a single rule book to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, which aims to address legal gaps as well as differences and inconsistencies in implementation and enforcement practices in the Member States. The EU needs to have better cooperation between the administrative, judicial and law enforcement authorities in order to better fight money laundering and terrorist financing", said Emil Radev MEP, the EPP Group’s Standing Rapporteur on money laundering in Parliament's committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States

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