The EU’s economic and financial ministers have today agreed on key rules for blacklisting tax havens. The EU list shall only consist of countries outside of the EU and prepare EU sanctions against states with non-cooperative tax practices.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“It is good news that the EU goes forward with its own black list of tax havens. Nevertheless, it is a slap in the face of honest taxpayers that Member States have weakened the process for a common European blacklist of tax havens. On content, criteria to screen non-EU jurisdictions are less ambitious than what the European Commission came up with in September. Countries with serious tax transparency issues like the United States for example, could escape screening. Indeed, until 2019, only two out of the three transparency criteria will have to be met to stay off the grid. The UK could get away with a strategy to weaken criteria that they will never have to fully apply.
In addition, the criteria of having a zero or almost zero tax rate has been erased. The UK was successful to protect its British Crown Dependencies like Jersey and Guernsey. On process, the screening of third countries will be done by a non-transparent Council working group which doesn’t even plan to release the list of countries it will look at and is bound by an inefficient unanimity rule. Tax transparency should start in your own backyard with Member States publishing which countries they will screen next year. It is absurd to establish a black list in the dark.”
The Council deal on the blacklisting of tax havens can be found here: