PES ministers urge EU to take a step forward on combating tax evasion and fraud, call for corporate tax transparency

24/02/2021

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PES COMPET ministers meeting by videoconference

PES ministers today stressed the social responsibility that companies have to disclose certain information related to their accounting, as they met to coordinate ahead of the Competitiveness Council tomorrow which will discuss public country-by-country reporting.

The legislation under discussion at the Council - the CBCR Directive - promotes tax transparency by obliging large multinational companies to disclose tax information and pay taxes where they operate.

Portuguese Minister of Economy and Digital Transition Pedro Siza Vieira, who chaired the PES meeting, said:

“It is positive that such an important legislative proposal is moving forward, especially in light of the post-pandemic economic recovery and to drive the development of the Single Market. Country-by-country reporting will increase transparency and provide citizens and investors with information they have a right to see. This piece of legislation will also help create a more level playing field between large multinationals and SMEs."

The most recent OpenLux scandal is yet another example of how secrecy can support tax evasion and avoidance, as well as profit shifting. Today PES ministers agreed that this behaviour must end.

The CBCR Directive has been in the pipeline for five years, the PES welcomes the work done by both former Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and current Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni for ensuring this progressive piece of legislation reaches implementation.

The PES has consistently demanded companies in Europe pay fair tax, consistently calling out immoral activity in the financial sector

The meeting was attended by:

  • Pedro Siza Vieira, meeting Chair, Minister of Economy and Digital Transition, Portugal
  • Pierre – Yves Dermagne, Minister of Economy and Employment, Belgium
  • Raul Blanco, Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Spain
  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D Group VP and PES/S&D Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, PES and European Parliament
  • Iban Garcia del Blanco MEP, Vice Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs, rapporteur on CBCR, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Evelyn Regner MEP, Member of the ECON Committee, rapporteur on CBCR, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES