After a delay of several months, Members of the European Parliament’s TAXE Committee are supposed to get access to some internal documents of the EU Commission, the Council and the Member States. However, access will be only granted in a reading room, without giving Members the chance to take notes or speak about the content of the documents afterwards. Moreover, the consent of half of the member states is still missing. The EU Commission seeks the member states’ permission for access to the documents, even through that is not necessary for most documents, according to the legal opinion of the Greens in the European Parliament.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
It is clear that Europe’s leading tax havens are afraid of the investigation of the European Parliament. It is a scandal that access to the documents is denied even under the most restrictive conditions. I call on the countries to stop their secrecy and grant the European Parliament access to the documents. A lack of cooperation to fight tax dumping is at the costs of those who pay fair taxes.
Even if the countries come back to a more democratic attitude, the conditions of the access to the documents remain a scandal. The European Parliament has the right to access documents of the Council and the EU Commission anyway. The European Parliament should only agree to these “TTIP-style conditions” for documents which it cannot access through its rights. A strong parliament like the European Parliament does not beg for its rights, but uses its rights to make itself heard. The Parlament should take legal action, if access to the documents will be still denied.
These countries deny access to the documents or ignored the request of the EU Commission (we were not provided by more precise information):
BELGIUM; ESTONIA; FINLAND; GREECE; HUNGARY; LATVIA; LUXEMBOURG; MALTA; NETHERLANDS; ROMANIA; SLOVENIA; SPAIN; SWEDEN; UNITED KINGDOM
These countries allowed limited access to documents (it is welcomed that tax havens like Ireland, Austria, Cyprus are among these countries as well as Germany, Italy and France):
AUSTRIA; BULGARIA; CROATIA; CYPRUS; CZECH REPUBLIC; DENMARK; GERMANY; FRANCE; IRELAND; ITALY; LITHUANIA; POLAND; PORTUGAL; SLOVAKIA