Paul Tang elected as chairperson of the new subcommittee on tax matters 

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Paul Tang was elected by acclamation on Wednesday to be the Chairperson of Parliament’s newly created subcommittee on tax matters (FISC).

Mr Tang (S&D, NL) was elected at the opening of the subcommittee’s constitutive meeting on Wednesday morning.

After his election, Mr. Tang said: ‘‘The European Parliament’s efforts in fighting for tax justice have today reached the next level with the launch of the new subcommittee on tax matters. I am proud to have been elected as its first Chairperson and will do my utmost to put tax justice at the top of the House’s agenda.

“Each year an estimated EUR 1 trillion in tax revenue is lost to tax dodging. This incomprehensible sum of money is unjustly diverted away from essential investments in education, healthcare, critical infrastructure, law and order, and so many other areas crucial for a society to thrive. Especially in the context of the covid19-crisis, these foregone revenues are no longer acceptable. Moreover, tax competition and tax evasion have led to a growing gap between the world’s wealthiest and the rest. And history shows us that when inequalities spiral out of control, resentment and social instability follow.

“We need to end current levels of tax dodging to shape society according to the wishes of our citizens and regain public trust in our democracies. That includes actively opposing tax havens within the European Union. We also need to make taxation a force for the transition towards a sustainable European economy. By making polluters pay for the damage they do to our society, we can pave the way for the European Green Deal to become a reality.

“The subcommittee will provide a permanent forum within which to address the complex topic of taxation. We will shed light on the practices that cannot bear the light of day, put pressure on those not implementing agreed legislation and push for a fair and sustainable European tax system.

“We can change the status quo. It will be a tough fight to ensure that huge corporations and high-fortune individuals contribute more fairly to the society and systems they themselves ultimately depend on. But it is a fight the subcommittee is ready to take on.’’

The subcommittee’s MEPs also elected the four Vice-Chairs who, together with Paul Tang, will form the subcommittee’s Bureau. These are:

- First Vice-Chair: Markus Ferber (EPP, DE)

- Second Vice-Chair: Martin Hlavacek (Renew, CZ)

- Third Vice-Chair: Kira Marie Peter-Hansen(Greens, DK)

- Fourth Vice-Chair: Othmar Karas(EPP, AT)

The first regular meeting of the subcommittee will be on Thursday 24 September (from 10.15 to 11.15) during which MEPs will quiz Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, who is responsible for taxation.

You can follow all news related to the subcommittee by signing up to its Twitter account, @EP_Taxation.


Paul Tang started advocating for tax reforms as member of the Dutch parliament starting in 2007, and throughout the financial crisis.

Upon his election to the European Parliament in 2014, he continued his focus on tax justice. He was rapporteur on the Digital Services Tax and the Common Corporate Tax Base for which he toured Member State capitals to discuss necessary tax reforms. In 2019 Paul Tang was the driving force behind the European Parliament's designation of Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands as corporate tax havens as part of the EP's special committee's (TAX3) report.

The subcommittee on tax matters was given the green light by the plenary in June. It will be composed of 30 members and its mandate instructs it to deal primarily with the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as financial transparency for taxation purposes.  Before the establishment of the subcommittee, the EP had a number of special committees loking into specific aspects of tax evasion and avoidance, moneylaundering, and other financial crimes.

There are currently two other subcommittees, that of Human Rights and that of Security and Defence, both under the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee.