Tomorrow, the European Commission will unveil plans to move decisions on tax issues under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the Council. However, Member States will still retain a veto over tax issues under the current unanimity rule. Following on from major tax scandals, as well as an urgent need to introduce new legislation on key tax issues, core files have been stuck for months or years in the Council.
In addition, the European Parliament will debate later today if there will be permanent sub-committee on tax, following the achievements of the three successive temporary TAXE committees, set up in the wake of the Lux Leaks scandal. The Greens/EFA group strongly urges the Parliament to create a permanent sub-committee on tax given the importance of the issues.
Bas Eickhout, Greens/EFA MEP and leading candidate in the European elections comments:
"From tax transparency to a tech tax, key issues that affect European citizens have been stuck in the Council under the veto of certain Member States who seek to gain at the expense of others. While it's clear that the Commission finally recognises there's a problem, they seem unwilling to provide any effective solutions.
"Symbolic motions are not enough to deliver on a social Europe and only entrench the dodgy tax practices of multinationals over people. Instead of looking back and reflecting on the failure to achieve progress on tax issues, this Commission seems content to spend its twilight days issuing empty gestures".
Sven Giegold, Greens/EFA Member of the TAXE committee tax comments:
"It is a remarkable tale of inefficiency and deviousness from European governments, that five years after the Lux Leaks scandal we still don't have tax transparency for multinationals. Even recent efforts to make tech giants pay their fair share have fallen flat as certain Member States sing to the tune of Silicone Valley rather than a single European hymn sheet. The work of the TAXE committees over the years has proven how European-level efforts to tackle the big tax issues of our time is the way forward.
"A permanent sub-committee in the European Parliament on tax would be a welcome addition to the Parliament's arsenal and would send a message that MEPs are working towards more efficient, fair and transparent taxes the EU".