The Greens/EFA Group has written today to the Council Presidency and to the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group regarding the EU blacklist of tax havens.
The Greens/EFA group has criticised the lack of transparency and accountability of the screening process by the Code of Conduct Group and called on the Council to publish all commitment letters received by the 55 jurisdictions that will be on the "grey" list as of next week. The Greens/EFA group also calls for a clear timetable of next steps regarding sanctions and revision of commitments to be adopted as soon as possible.
Next Tuesday, Member States are expected to agree at the Finance Ministers' meeting (ECOFIN) to remove eight jurisdictions from the blacklist currently composed of 17 countries. These eight countries (Barbados, Grenada, Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates) have sent commitment letters to the Council since the adoption of the blacklist on 5 December 2017.
The Greens/EFA letter can be viewed here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/5446
Greens/EFA MEP Molly Scott Cato comments:
"We need much greater transparency over how this list is being created and managed, as supported by the Parliament in the Panama Papers report. It is completely outrageous to have a situation where Member States are lobbying behind the scenes for their favourite tax havens to be exempted. The Council must publish the commitments they have received from third countries, and their assessment in removing countries from the blacklist. Only with public access to these documents can European citizens and the European Parliament hold their governments to account in the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance."