Saturday

18th Aug 2018

EU parliament wants to blacklist tax havens

  • Panama hats at Malta protest: The massive leak on tax dodging implicated several EU politicians (Photo: Daphne Caruana Galizia)

The European Parliament wants the European Commission to put countries that are considered tax havens on a blacklist that also features countries suspected of money-laundering and terrorism financing.

Last July, the commission published its first blacklist in the context of a new directive aimed at countering money-laundering and financing terrorist.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Afghanistan, Bosnia, Guyana, Iraq, Laos, Syria, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Yemen were identified as countries with “strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT [anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing] regimes that pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union” .

If a country is listed, financial institutions in the EU are required to “apply enhanced customer due diligence measures when establishing business relationships or carrying out transactions with natural persons or legal entities established in the listed countries”, according to the legislation.

The European Parliament and EU member states have given the commission the power to decide who is put on the blacklist via a so-called delegated regulation, but they maintained veto power.

MEPs decided to approve the first version of the list, but this week also decided to write a letter saying that more countries should be added the next time it is updated - expected to be in October.

A draft letter addressed to justice commissioner Vera Jourova, seen by this website, said the list should be “a broad list of criminal activities, including for example 'tax crime',” mentioning Panama as an example.

The Central American republic came into the public eye recently when a trove of documents showed the extent to which money is stored offshore there.

By not including countries involved in “tax crimes”, the commission “puts European institutions in a difficult position as it can unintentionally be understood as an endorsement to those regimes that would not be in line with its own assessment criteria”, the MEPs wrote.

The EU commission was not immediately available for comment.

Cyprus in spotlight on Russia money laundering

Cyprus’ failure to go after Russian mafia money in its banks indicates it's paying no more than “lip service” to international money laundering laws, a Dutch MP has said.

Finance ministers baulk at tax-avoidance rules

Member states will discuss again in June a proposed directive to outlaw practices used by large companies to avoid paying taxes. Meanwhile, the European Parliament makes progress on its probe of Panama Papers.

EU states warm to tax avoidance measures

In the wake of Apple's record-breaking tax bill, EU finance ministers are giving more support to the idea of strengthening corporate tax legislation.

EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation

The EU Commission has received several million responses from citizens, businesses, and organisations on whether to end the daylight summertime savings. Any tangible change would take ... time.

Exclusive

Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs

Wegate.eu, which received €1.2m in EU money since its launch almost two years ago, has less than a thousand registered users - from a possible target audience of at least 10 million.

News in Brief

  1. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants
  2. Merkel confronts far-right critics: '2015 will not be repeated'
  3. UN: Predictable disembarkation process urgently needed
  4. Slovenia set to select former comedian as prime minister
  5. Polish president to veto election rule helping big parties
  6. MEPs blast UK 'alphabetical approach' on citizens rights
  7. EU hits back over Salvini's blame for bridge collapse
  8. Poll: Sweden's social democrat-led government set to win again

Opinion

Has the time finally come for 'European champions'?

Since Emmanuel Macron took the French presidency in 2017, the concept of consolidating European industries to create continental 'champions', capable of competing on a global scale, has been revived.

EU 'tax lady' hits Google with record fine

Margrethe Vestager has fined the US tech giant with €4.34bn for abusing its market dominance in mobile operating systems - but assured US president Donald Trump that it is not because she does not like America.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  2. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  3. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  4. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs
  5. Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism
  6. Brexit talks resume as chance of 'no deal' put at 50:50
  7. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  8. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us