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The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today welcome EU finance ministers’ decisions to strengthen tax transparency.

S&D Group vice-president for economic and monetary affairs, Udo Bullmann, stated:

"Today, EU finance ministers have reached an agreement to make lawyers, banks and counsellors accountable for the tax schemes they offered to their wealthy clients in order to evade tax. Led by our Group, Parliament called for the swift conclusion of this file in the council not even two weeks ago and we are happy to have this call answered so quickly.

 "This is some good news on tax for once, where good news is pretty rare because of the need for unanimity among member states. So we welcome the progress made today.

 "Tomorrow, the Parliament will also decide to investigate tax crimes. We will give our green light to set up a special committee to investigate financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAXE 3). We will continue the work carried out by the previous special tax committees (1 and 2) and expand our investigation into new murky areas, such as financial crimes, including the impact of VAT fraud. We will also contribute to the ongoing debate on taxation of the digital economy and assess national schemes providing tax privileges, the so-called golden visas."

S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès, added:

"Regarding the EU blacklist of tax havens however, we are witnessing a strange game of ‘ping-pong’ in the Council. Some non-cooperative jurisdictions are removed and placed on the grey list, while others such as the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis and the US Virgin Islands are added to the blacklist.

"Yet, we have to recognize that the Council took the decision to make a step towards greater transparency and that the commitments taken by the non-cooperative jurisdictions to get in line will be made public. Our Parliament will therefore be able to monitor and evaluate their implementation."

Note to the editor:

The TAXE 3 committee will be composed of 45 members and has a mandate of 12 months.

MEPs involved

BULLMANN Udo
Coordinator
Germany

S&D press contact

solange.helin
Head of Unit
HÉLIN-VILLES Solange
France

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