The mandate of the European Parliament’s special committee investigating tax issues should be extended for six months, according to the coordinators of the political groups, who took the decision today. The conference of presidents of the political groups will now consider the proposal on Thursday, following the initiative of the Greens/EFA group. Commenting on the decision, Green economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold said:
“This welcome decision to push for an extension of the committee’s mandate is the only legitimate course of action. The investigative work of the EU Parliament’s special committee on taxation is not complete, with its work having been obstructed by lack of access to crucial documents and incomplete cooperation by EU governments, the European Commission and multinationals. Prolonging the investigation is the only way to ensure Parliament fulfils its democratic scrutiny role and we welcome the support of other groups for our initiative to this end. We would now strongly urge the presidents of all political groups to swiftly approve such an extension.
“It is only by accessing all the relevant information that the mandate of the Parliament’s special committee can be fulfilled. EU governments and the Commission have blocked access to crucial documents, notably from the crucial ‘Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation’. This has seriously hampered the EP’s investigation. A number of crucial figures have also so far not testified to the committee, whilst a number of contradictions remain, notably from the hearing with EU Commission President Juncker. The highly questionable roles played by current EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker and Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem – in their positions as prime minister and finance ministers of the respective countries – also remains unsatisfactorily addressed. The EP’s investigation must be extended to ensure these gaps are closed.
“We would also urge the European Commission to already start working on the preliminary recommendations of the committee and propose the necessary legislative measures to finally address corporate tax avoidance and tax dumping in the EU.”