Reacting to the decision of the Competitiveness Council, to start negotiations with the European Parliament on public country-by-country reporting (pCBCR), the Socialists and Democrats Group set out their priorities for the file.
Ibán García del Blanco, S&D MEP and Parliament negotiator on the public CBCR file, said:
“After four years of stalemate and deadlock, the Portuguese presidency today engineered a breakthrough for tax justice. Finally, EU governments will soon be ready to start negotiations with the European Parliament on public-country-by-country reporting, which will oblige big multinationals to disclose where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes.
“The latest OpenLux scandal has been a sad reminder that more transparency is needed to effectively fight tax evasion and profit shifting. We want to make all large multinationals say what they pay.”
Evelyn Regner, S&D MEP and Parliament negotiator on the public CBCR file, said:
“We are ready to start negotiations with EU ministers to deliver on this crucial tool in the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance. Our goal is a public country-by-country reporting that ensures meaningful financial transparency. Therefore, we want companies to disclose information in all countries they operate in, both in the EU and in third countries. To turn public country-by-country reporting into a sharp weapon against tax crimes, we want to oblige multinationals to reveal the number of all full-time employees, fixed assets and capital, net turnover, all profits and losses, as well as subsidies received by governments.
“As governments are helping companies out with public money to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, tax payers have more than ever the right to know which big multinationals are playing fair and which are free-riding.”
Note for the editor:
In April 2016, the European Commission proposed legislation on corporate tax transparency, commonly referred to as public country-by-country reporting (pCBCR) for multinationals, which would require large multinational companies with an annual turnover of more than €750 million to publish an annual public report disclosing where they do business, make profits and how much they pay in taxes and other payments, for each country where they operate. This measure would complement the already existing legislation on automatic exchange of tax information and introduces accountability of the multinational to the public and all other tax payers.
In July 2017, the European Parliament adopted its mandate for the inter-institutional negotiations, so-called trilogues. Ever since, the Council is blocked by a number of countries opposing the proposal and has thus not yet reached a negotiation position. On 24 October 2019, the European Parliament passed a strong resolution urgently calling on the member states to break the deadlock within the Council and conclude their first reading on public CBCR and enter inter-institutional negotiations with Parliament.
Today the Portuguese presidency gathered a majority that will allow the Council to very soon adopt its mandate and enter into negotiations with the Parliament.