EP Call on Reform of EU Blacklist on Tax Havens
20 March 2021 (updated 2 years, 11 months ago)
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

By an overwhelming majority of 587 votes in favour (50 against and 46 abstentions), MEPs adopted a resolution on reforming the EU list of tax havens. The resolution backs a motion of December 2020 prepared by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (→ https://eucrim.eu/news/meps-call-reform-eu-list-tax-havens/). In view of the fact that the current list only covers less than 2% of worldwide tax revenue losses (according to a 2020 tax justice report → https://eucrim.eu/news/tax-justice-report-documents-global-tax-losses/) MEPs reiterate their call that the EU’s existing listing system is “confusing and ineffective”. The resolution of 21 January 2021 makes several demands for a new approach:

  • The criterion of whether a country’s tax system is fair or not should not only be based on preferential tax rates but needs to include other harmful tax practices;
  • Countries with a 0% corporate tax rate policy or with no taxes on company profits should be automatically placed on the blacklist;
  • Removal requirements must be more stringent; countries that only make token tweaks should remain on the list;
  • The EU must remedy the lack of transparency: all third countries need to be treated and screened fairly using the same criteria; the process of establishing the list must be formalised through a legally binding instrument by the end of 2021;
  • EU Member States which have tax avoidance schemes in place must be regularly evaluated and urged to implement recommendations.

MEPs also call on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal for coordinated defensive measures against tax avoidance and evasion. The EU’s policy towards non-cooperative tax jurisdictions has been a constant issue of debate between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council (→ eucrim 1/2018, 16; → eucrim 1/2020, 18).

News Guide

EU Tax Evasion


2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher