Parliament welcomes 'LuxLeaks' enquiry report

Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee is to draft two reports on tax evasion.

By Julie Levy-Abegnoli

05 Dec 2014

Parliament's conference of presidents - parliament president Martin Schulz and the leaders of the political groups - has asked the economic and monetary affairs committee to draft two reports on tax fairness in Europe.

This comes after last month's 'LuxLeaks' revelations, according to which Luxembourg struck questionable tax deals to several multinational companies.

In order to cover all bases, there will a legislative report and an inquiry report, and parliament may appoint up to two rapporteurs for each report. The inquiry report will look at member states' tax practices, and the legislative report will offer up proposals on ways to avoid tax evasion, to be presented to the commission.

Parliament's ALDE group had requested that these reports be drafted, so group president Guy Verhofstadt was especially pleased, saying, "it is time to act and find a European solution".

"It is time to act and find a European solution" - Guy Verhofstadt

He suggested the implementation of "a European convergence code based on a common consolidated corporate tax base", as well as simpler tax law.

S&D group president Gianni Pittella said, "never, never again 'LuxLeaks', in any member state".

Greens/EFA economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold referred to 'LuxLeaks' as "a watershed moment for the battle against tax evasion".

However, group co-president Philippe Lamberts was "not convinced that simply producing more reports is commensurate to the issue at hand".

Instead, he called for "a robust enquiry committee as this is the most powerful tool available to the European parliament". He urged other parliamentary groups to join the Greens in their request for such a report.

Burkhard Balz, EPP group spokesperson in parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee, promised his group would" make concrete proposals on how to deal with member states' tax rulings in the future and how to increase transparency".

All parliamentary groups called on the Latvian EU council presidency, which takes office on 1 January, to make combating unfair tax practices in Europe a priority.

 

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