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Parliamentary questions
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8 April 2021
Question for written answer  E-001901/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mathilde Androuët (ID)
 Subject: What steps will the Commission take to dispel misgivings about the role of the ‘Big Four’ in decision-making processes?

On 18 March 2021, Euractiv published a study, based on official documents(1), which states that the Commission ‘spent EUR 462 million between 2016 and 2019 under contracts with PWC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY’ (audit and accounting firms known collectively as the ‘Big Four’). The EU Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has flagged the ‘potential “conflict of interests” in some of the contracts signed by the Commission with private contractors’. Every year the Big Four spend several hundred thousand euros lobbying the EU, and it is precisely the former who then help the latter develop its anti-tax avoidance policy. A report drawn up by the Corporate Europe Observatory in July 2018(2) highlights the Big Four’s active, central involvement in all stages of decision-making processes: studies requested by the Commission, participation in expert groups responsible for devising and implementing changes in the law, and so on. What is more, many EU officials in charge of tax- and finance-related matters are former Big Four employees. Does the Commission intend to take firm action to dispel the legitimate misgivings surrounding potential conflicts with private interests which are now being voiced once again in the wake of the Luxleaks scandal in particular?

Original language of question: FR
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