The president of the S&D socialist group president Gianni Pittella today rejected extending mandate of the European Parliament’s special committee investigating tax issues in the Conference of Presidents of political groups. Pittella’s intervention to block any decision on the extension, as requested by the coordinators of the political groups on the TAXE committee, essentially means the mandate will not be extended (1). Commenting after the Conference of Presidents, Greens/EFA group co-president Philippe Lamberts said:
“S&D group president Pittella has used an underhand manoeuvre to block the extension of the EP’s tax investigation, thus obstructing Parliament’s work in shedding light on corporate tax avoidance and tax dumping. The cross-political group agreement to extend the mandate of the EP’s special committee on taxation has been torpedoed by Pittella with no warning. The claim that a special committee can only produce one report is simply untrue. The Parliament could have voted on the draft report already prepared by the committee and the special committee could have continued to work under an extended mandate but the chicanery by Pittella and EP president Schulz, with the support of the EPP group, has prevented this.”
Green economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold added:
“We will now work to try and secure a vote in next week’s EP plenary session on the extension of the committee. If this step is blocked, we will renew our campaign for a fully-fledged EP inquiry committee, which will ensure the European Parliament can fulfil its democratic role and complete its investigation on corporate tax dumping and avoidance.”
(1) In the Conference of Presidents, S&D socialist group president Gianni Pittella opposed including a vote on the extension of the mandate on the agenda of next week’s European Parliament plenary session, a decision supported by the EPP and ECR groups. As the mandate of the EP’s special committee on taxation expires at the end of November, a decision on its extension needed to be taken next week. As such, the extension of the committee’s mandate has been prevented and it is unclear if there will now be a new committee and what mandate would serve as the basis for such a committee.