PES: First list of tax havens is welcome, but not yet good enough

PES: First list of tax havens is welcome, but not yet good enough

Following two years of determined efforts by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, finance ministers from EU governments finally agreed today to list so-called ‘uncooperative jurisdictions’ that failed to accept basic criteria for fighting tax avoidance, including tax transparency and fairness.

But the list includes only 17 countries, has little legal effect, and is clearly insufficient to the challenge of tackling tax evasion.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“The fact that we have a list of tax havens at all is thanks to the hard work of Commissioner Moscovici, whose hard work and determination has finally paid off.

“But, while I welcome the first step taken by ministers today, it is not yet a good enough response to the problems of tax evasion around the world. Tax evasion is not only an issue of basic fairness, it is also damaging to the foundations of of society because it undermines countries’ ability to provide social and economic support to its citizens.

“European governments must take their responsibility for fighting tax evasion seriously. We need a properly comprehensive list of tax havens, with strong, legally enforceable measures to be taken against those countries which fail to live up to international expectations. The European Union is an economic giant on the world stage. Where we show clear progressive leadership, others will follow.”