Last week Friday, my draft report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the ‘Fiscalis’ programme for cooperation in the field of taxation was published. The initial proposal, with a budget of 270 Million Euro, was presented by the Commission in May 2018, as part of a package for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). Fiscalis aims at strengthening the cooperation of tax administration by means of collaboration and information exchange. Ultimately, the programme continues with the Commissions priority of fighting against tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. Scandals such as LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers revealed the scale of these phenomenons and the key role played by some stakeholders, also within the European Union, in facilitating them. Increased collaboration and a true European response to tax dodging is therefore necessary.
For that reason, the new 2021-2027 Fiscalis programme actions should include a specific list of priority actions Member States, third countries and Commission should work on, including a particular focus on joint audits. The programme should also provide greater transparency. European citizens and the European Parliament should learn more on progresses made with European money in the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Progress made in the area of tax cooperation should be published in an annual report, including a mapping exercise in order to help taxpayers as well as legislators to identify best practices, lessons learnt, challenges and remaining obstacles observed.
My belief is that the Fiscalis programme provides good tools to bring light into structural failures that still provide loopholes for tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance. I am now awaiting a positive response and a fruitful discussion on my proposal with the Council, which you meanwhile may read below together with the original proposal made by the European Commission.
Fiscalis’ programme for cooperation in the field of taxation: