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The recent Commission proposal for automatic exchange of tax rulings is "a revolutionary step towards international transparency on taxation and the fight against base erosion and profit shifting. It will change the way the world economy works for the better", said the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurria in a discussion with members of the committees for Tax Rulings and Economic and Monetary Affairs on Tuesday morning.


MEPs laid into top European Central Bank and European Commission staff over the working methods of the ECB/Commission/IMF "Troika" at Tuesday's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee meeting. They demanded details of how Troika decisions were taken and what lessons had been learnt. They also sharply criticised the often mistaken economic forecasts behind the economic reform programmes demanded of Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal.


European economic governance decisions must not be made by a latterday “Congress of Vienna” – they will succeed only if parliaments across the EU work well together and are closely involved and in control of them, said European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Monday. He was speaking at the opening of this year’s European Parliamentary Week, which brought together MEPs and national MEPs to discuss all aspects of economic governance and policy coordination.


Financial market fraudsters across the EU could face jail under rules agreed by negotiators from the European Parliament and member states in a bid to restore confidence in the EU's financial markets and boost investor protection.


The EU/ECB/IMF "Troika" helped four EU countries out of the crisis and prevented it from getting worse. But flaws in the way the Troika worked hindered national "ownership" of economic reforms, and compromised transparency and accountability, says an Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee resolution passed on Monday.


On Monday evening MEPs welcomed the Commission's readiness to collaborate with Parliament in its inquiry into the operations of the Troika but were left underwhelmed by Commissioner Olli Rehn's answers to some of their questions, particularly on accountability, apportioning of responsibility and the reasons for repeated overly optimistic forecasts.


The economic policies that the European Commission wants EU member states to apply in 2013 rely too heavily on austerity, many MEPs told Commissioners Rehn and Andor as they presented the Commission's newly-adopted Annual Growth Survey to Parliament on Wednesday Other MEPs doubted the Commission's ability to push through reforms, given the member states' unwillingness to cooperate. The latest developments in Greece were also raised.


Parliament should have a bigger role in supervising the operations of the new European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), in selecting its top officials and in the decisions on how to feed the guarantee fund, says the draft report by the budgets and the economic and monetary affairs committees, presented and discussed on Thursday in Strasbourg.


EU citizens could access registers of beneficial owners of companies without having to demonstrate a “legitimate interest,” and trusts would have to meet the same transparency requirements as firms, under amendments, agreed by MEPs on Tuesday, to the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

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