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 Full text 
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Follow-up of TAXE recommendations and update on the reform of the Code of conduct Group on business taxation (debate)

  Anneliese Dodds (S&D). – Mr President, like the Commissioner I was pleased to see that we will have a new head of the Code of Conduct Group. The Group, as many colleagues have said, has been sorely lacking in dynamism since its initial leadership under Dawn Primarolo.

Mr Borg referred to two revisions in the Code of Conduct Group but surely these cannot amount to the proper, full review of the Group that this Parliament was promised. Such a review is desperately needed. That is evident from the recently leaked cables, with one participant stating that it was impressive to see how some Member States presented themselves outwardly as proponents of tax reform and, at the same time to watch, in the Code of Conduct Group, how they actually behave in EU discussions protected by confidentiality. So, will the Council support the Code of Conduct Group becoming more transparent? And, on the point that Mr Kofod underlined, will there be a shift away from the stifling unanimity which has prevented progress in this area?

I would also ask this: will the Group be taking forward the TAXE and ECON reports’ calls for action to ensure that Member States notify each other of new tax measures?

Finally, I want to focus on the problem of tax havens. It is disappointing that Mr Woolfe and Mr Coburn have left the Chamber. I actually listen to my constituents and I know they are furious about tax dodging by both businesses and individuals. And they are disgusted in particular that public funds end up in tax havens. The TAXE and ECON reports called for no EU funds to go to tax havens in the future. How will the Commission and the Council ensure that this never happens again?

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