Member states must act with determination for a fairer tax system in Europe

S&D MEP Hugues Bayet: The fight against tax evasion by multinationals is fundamental in regaining the confidence of European citizens, tax evasion by multinational companies, Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), LuxLeaks and Panam

Today, the European Commission has declared the Belgian “excess profit” tax scheme “illegal”. S&D Euro MPs want the Commission to keep investigating and EU governments to show stronger commitment in the fight against tax evasion.

S&D Euro MP and spokesperson on tax rulings Hugues Bayet said:

"It is clear that the pressure exerted by the work of the special tax committee in the European Parliament is bearing fruit. Through a succession of recent decisions – on Starbucks in the Netherlands, Fiat in Luxembourg and today on 35 multinationals in Belgium – the European Commission is sending a strong message to European countries: some fiscal engineering practices are illegal and counter-productive. They generate a considerable loss for EU citizens who are deprived of financial resources that could otherwise have been injected into education, health, infrastructure, the economy, employment and security.

"Though the European Commission appears to now grasp the magnitude of the challenge, the member states themselves have so far shown little willingness to fight tax evasion. This will be the main task of the second special tax committee, whose mandate is specifically to ensure that member states apply the recommendations made by the European Parliament."

S&D Group spokeswoman on economic and monetary affairs and co-rapporteur of the first special committee on tax rulings Elisa Ferreira added:

"The Commission's decision is most welcome. There is still a lot of work to be done in Europe to fight tax dodging by multinationals, which must be an absolute priority.

"We therefore call on the Commission to pursue this work further and to follow the roadmap established by the first TAXE committee, which is a game changer, and not water down the agenda that citizens, and their elected representatives, have asked for. We also call on the Council not to dilute the Commission's initiatives on issues where serious compromises have been made."