By: Henri Malosse
Civil society wants Europe to show, on 22 May, that it is able to put a stop to tax havens, at least within its own borders. The public are looking on with a mixture of incomprehension and incredulity, and see an urgent need for action: while their taxes are being raised to address endless government deficits, they can read stories in the newspapers every day about individuals and businesses avoiding taxes thanks to tax havens within the European Union itself. And this week, Europe has once again failed to put a stop to it.
The Committee gives a guarded welcome to the two communications from the Commission on the introduction of a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument and on ex-ante coordination of plans for major economic policy reforms. It is disappointing that they provide little additional detail to the concepts already outlined in the Blueprint, which therefore renders assessment difficult. While these two proposals could be a help to Member States in difficulty, restoring growth and capacity to the most needy areas may be hampered or delayed because the focus of concern is that the measures taken must also benefit the euro area as a whole. The Committee questions the added value of a CCI and the additional bureaucratic burden that the proposed ex-ante coordination may bring. The EESC wishes to continue the debate as developments evolve.