Today, 27th November, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) voted on 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. My report is the first of a whole package of reports for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027), initially presented by the Commission in May 2018. The Fiscalis report will determine the rules of spending about 300 Million Euros during the coming seven 7 year period.
Fiscalis aims at strengthening the cooperation of tax administration by means of collaboration and information exchange. Ultimately, the programme fits to 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 large scale of tax dumping and tax fraud in the EU. Increased collaboration and a true European response to tax dodging is therefore necessary.
The report was carried with a super-large majority of 41 to 1 votes with 4 abstentions, gathering support from all major political groups. Unfortunately, Christian Democrats managed to weaken the report on two important dimensions: Joint audits and the setting up of quality registers of beneficial ownerships shall not anymore be listed as priority actions of the Fiscalis Programme. Following today’s vote, the report will now be voted on during the plenary session in Strasbourg in January 2019 and then being negotiated with Council and Commission.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group and rapporteur of the Fiscalis file comments:
“European tax cooperation deserves more resources and more accountability. I am delighted that a huge majority supported my plans to increase the Fiscalis budget. Equally tax authorities have to ensure more transparency when they participate in Fiscalis financed projects. Through annual reports we want to learn from the useful information sharing between tax authorities for better European legislation. Equally Parliament and Council should agree democratically on a list of priority actions. We are pleased that our demands for more balanced and transparent selection of experts participating in the program were shared by my colleagues in ECON across political group lines.“
Fiscalis‘ programme for cooperation in the field of taxation:
Draft report amendments
Final Draft compromise AMs (as voted on today)