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 Full text 
Monday, 25 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Report on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (debate)

  Petr Ježek, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, from the first tax scandal of this parliamentary term, the Lux Leaks scandal, until now, the European Parliament has been the leading light in the fight against financial crime, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Throughout the work of the TAXE 2 and PANA Committees, we have consistently highlighted the issues and our recommendations for dealing with them in an effective manner. The report of the TAX3 Committee is the last example of this. It had overwhelming support in committee.

I thank the co-rapporteurs, shadows, coordinators and all other colleagues, including staff and the Secretariat. We have once again outlined our recommendations for action at EU level. The Commission has been largely responsive throughout and has come up with a number of important initiatives. However, Member States are not doing enough. The Council has consistently dragged its heels on tax issues, and it is clear that from the perspective of the EU institutions, the Council is the weakest link.

Without political will, there can be no quick progress. It is essential that the European Council discusses these issues and finds a way forward. Without this, we will be stuck on Groundhog Day. Parliament will continue to react and investigate tax crimes within the Union, but without action from EU leaders, we will remain trapped in this vicious circle. The Europeans deserve better.

Last updated: 5 July 2019Legal notice