TAXE II: Investigations continue
A press release of Fabio De Masi
The Conference of Presidents (CoP) today adopted the mandate of the new Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Measures Similar in Nature or Effect ('TAXE II'). The new mandate entails all the main elements of the previous mandate. The first Special Committee, TAXE, had been set up to shed light on EU member states' sweetheart tax deals with multinational corporations.
GUE/NGL's TAXE shadow rapporteur Fabio De Masi comments: "The investigations on tax havens in the EU continue. TAXE's mandate remained unfulfilled, since the European Commission and the member states withheld important documents. The Parliament has to subpoena the godfathers of the tax cartel once more: We have to clarify the political responsibilities of the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Both preach austerity while protecting the tax dodging strategies of multinational corporations. This is totally unacceptable."
De Masi continues: "Social-Democrats (S&D), Conservatives (EPP) and Liberals (ALDE) tried to reshape the TAXE mandate in secret meetings in order to protect Juncker & Co. The European Parliament's President Martin Schulz made huge efforts to avoid the direct continuation of TAXE. He claimed that this would have required calling the TAXE report an interim report, but the GUE/NGL amendment to do so was rejected outright. Still, it is a success to have set up TAXE II and that we were able prevent its mandate from being substantially weakened."
De Masi concludes: "The instruments of the European Parliament are too weak. We therefore ask the Council to give up the longstanding blockade of the regulation of Committees of Inquiry. We are also currently preparing an ECJ lawsuit for full document access. As opposed to the European Parliament, the US senate has the legal tools to sanction uncooperative multinational corporations, while real investigations take time. The European Parliament thus urgently needs a permanent Sub-Committee for investigations on tax dumping and illegal practices, which disposes of solid instruments of inquiry."
GUE/NGL TAXE coordinator Miguel Viegas adds: "This process confirms the nature of the current course of European integration, designed to favour large multinational companies. It also confirms the link between the main political families present in the European Parliament and the interests of these big companies that continue to be those that profit most from the liberalisation of the economy and the weakening of the ability of nation states to control their economies. Our work on the TAXE committee must be part of the construction of another Europe, built on the interest of people and workers."