Leaked documents: how Luxembourg, Netherlands have blocked EU tax reforms

   0   0 Blog

GiegoldFrom Sven Giegold, without comment:

The Netherlands and Luxembourg prevented progress on EU measures aimed at preventing tax dumping for years, according to leaked minutes of a Council working group being reported in the German media today (1). The documents on which the articles are based are precisely those documents to which the European Parliament’s special committee investigating tax issues has been denied access. Commenting on the revelations, Green economics and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold said:

“These revelations make clear what many have long suspected: those countries most prominent in accommodating tax dumping have actively and systematically worked to block EU progress on tax reforms aimed at addressing the problem. Current EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker and Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem therefore shoulder political responsibility for the problem of tax dumping in Europe in their roles as prime minister and finance ministers of the respective countries. It is essential that both now appear before the EP’s tax investigation committee to explain their roles revealed in this leak.

“Luxembourg and the Netherlands have worked for years in the ‘Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation’ to prevent any progress on crucial EU tax reforms. With unanimity required for any tax decisions in Council, they have essentially vetoed all progress to enable them to maintain the loopholes in EU law under which large corporations (like IKEA, Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Fiat and many others) were able to avoid their tax responsibility and deprive national exchequers of billions of Euro in tax revenue. The European Commission apparently simply looked on and allowed this situation to continue, and it should also now explain why it failed to intervene in its role as guardian of the EU treaties.

“These leaks underline the importance of full access to relevant documents for the EP’s investigation. It is only by accessing all the relevant information that the EU Parliament can fulfil the mandate of its special committee. This will shed light on which EU member states are responsible for preventing EU measures against aggressive tax competition and dumping. The European Commission and those governments that have refused to cooperate should now reconsider and give the EP investigation full access to the relevant documents.”

(1) Der Spiegel (Germany) has published an article reporting on leaked minutes from ‚Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation‘. http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/luxleaks-luxemburg-und-niederlande-blockierten-steuergesetze-a-1061459.html


Related Posts

Swiss Politicians seek to block automatic exchange of banking information with developing countries

Photo by Pedro SzekelyCould we be seeing a return to the bad old days of Swiss Banking? A right wing party in Switzerland, the Swiss People’s Party, has launched an assault on the automatic exchange of banking information, according to Swiss Daily Newspaper Tages Anzeiger.

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper – Data havens and new crackdowns on tax avoidance

Gorgeous Computer FixingsBelow is the text of the offshore wrapper,  a weekly roundup of news from the world of tax justice sent out to our mailing list. If you haven’t signed up yet and would like to receive the wrapper in your inbox every week – you can do so here.

READ MORE →

Open data for tax justice – designing a new CbCR database

OD4TJlogoThis week, TJN participated in a design sprint in London organised by Open Knowledge International. The purpose of the sprint was to bring together coders and tax justice advocates to start work on building a database for the new country by country reporting data that we hope will be released in the future, if public […]

READ MORE →

New research on key role major economies play in global tax avoidance

offshore-network_colorcorrectedAn important new study on Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) from the University of Amsterdam has made some fascinating discoveries, challenging, as the Financial Secrecy Index has, the popular misconception that tax havens are only palm fringed little islands and exposing that in fact major economies play a key role in global tax avoidance. Specifically they’ve […]

READ MORE →

Launch of international research collaboration, #AltAusterity

alt austerityToday is the launch of #AltAusterity, a new, international research collaboration of which Tax Justice Network is a partner.  The project aims to stimulate public debate on the subject of austerity though high quality research. It is a response to the lack of evidence which has underpinned the current policy agenda on austerity. The project […]

READ MORE →

About The Author

Nicholas Shaxson is a journalist and writer on the staff of Tax Justice Network. He is author of the book Poisoned Wells about the oil industry in Africa, published in 2007, and the more recent Treasure Islands: Tax havens and the Men who Stole the World, published by Random House in January 2011. He lives in Berlin
View all posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top