Martin Schulz and S&D president Gianni Pitella have today prevented a vote in the conference of presidents on the extension of the current mandate of the special committee TAXE. They now claim that they support a new mandate which does not even exist yet. Now they do not want to face it: This manoeuvre means that the TAXE committee will be ended. A majority for a new mandate which is even as open and far reaching as the current one is totally uncertain.
In order to justify this blow to the investigation of the LuxLeaks scandal, they have now published a press release which is laying a smoke-screen over the facts. The good report of the existing committee can of course been voted as it is, without changing one letter. But, obviously it would not be the final report but only a TAXE report. Whether, TAXE would decide to vote additional reports is to be decided independently.
The sudden move of S&D now risks that there will be no new mandate at all. This was also against all parliamentary cooperation as Schulz and Pitella did not inform anyone of their suddenly changed position. Neither their own members of TAXE, nor the other political group like us with whom the extension was prepared in common. The EPP president Weber supported Schulz and Pitella although his own group meeting had supported the extension of the current mandate and without informing the EPP members of TAXE either.
All this is a shameful move. It is now the full responsibility of S&D and also EPP to make sure that no weaker mandate is decided. It would be a real scandal if the investigation of Juncker’s, Dijsselbloem’s and many other’s role in the LuxLeaks scandal would be taken out of the remit of the parliament’s investigation. A new committee would cause a discontinuity with many administrative pitfalls. Therefore, we have put the best solution to vote on Monday in Strasbourg a change of the agenda which allows both: to vote the TAXE report as it stands and extend the current mandate by at least 6 months.