By Jorge Valero
(EurActiv) — The Socialist group will chair the European Parliament’s new permanent subcommittee on tax matters, which will focus on tax fraud and tax evasion, group officials told EURACTIV.com
The new tax subcommittee, endorsed by the Parliament on Thursday (18 June), was part of a package involving several new special committees approved this week, including on beating cancer, on foreign interference and on artificial intelligence.
While these special committees will run for one year, the new subcommittee on tax matters will be permanent, signalling the growing importance given to this issue at the EU level.
There are currently two other subcommittees in the Parliament – on Human Rights and on Security and Defense – both under the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Two sources from the political groups told EURACTIV that a Socialist will lead the new subcommittee, although it has not yet been decided which MEP will be in charge. The Socialist group could discuss the issue next week.
Sources from the group explained that taking the lead here was part of an agreement with the other political families, as they have been pushing hard for years to create this new structure.
Group leader, Spain’s Iratxe García, said last week that “this sub-committee can make a crucial contribution in supporting the recovery plans in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.”
She added that it could “ensure that the recovery is fair for all citizens and that there will be enough funding to invest in a just transition to a more sustainable economic and social model.”
The new subcommittee will be composed of 30 members and will focus on the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as financial transparency for taxation purposes.
A total of 613 MEPs voted in favour of it on Thursday, while 67 were against and eight abstained.
It is not the first time that the MEPs act against tax fraud and tax evasion. Since 2014, the Parliament has created three special committees to look into the various tax leaks and scandals published over the recent years.
The most recent special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was set up in March 2018. Its final report was submitted for debate at the Parliament’s plenary session in March 2019.