Some European Union member states have bent – and in some cases outright broken – the rules, laws and treaties that make up the foundations of our European Union, according to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament.
“We point directly towards the clear maladministration of EU legislation by member states when it comes to the Anti-Money-Laundering Directive,” said S&D Group vice-president and co-rapporteur Jeppe Kofod MEP.
Kofod was speaking after the European Parliament’s inquiry committee on the Panama Papers (PANA) adopted recommendations to end the unanimity rule on tax decisions at the EU level, shift from secrecy to transparency, establish an EU scrutiny mechanism on newly introduced harmful tax measures and ban letterbox companies.
“After today’s vote, we say with a strong voice that it’s time to end the culture of secrecy that has made international tax evasion and avoidance possible in the first place,” he said. “We will no longer accept that at least 8% of the world’s financial private wealth is held unaccounted for and offshore.”
According to Kofod, a global summit should be hosted in Europe to end the secrecy that fosters tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering.
“This committee’s work has shown that there is much more work to be done,” he said. “While the Panama Papers have revealed the unprecedented depths of corruption and illegal activities in Europe and the world surrounding tax evasion and money laundering, there is much that we are still in the dark about.”