The EESC is urging the Council to send out the right signal to the European public and to prove that Europe is able to tackle this fundamental issue. Tax evasion costs EUR 1 trillion a year - EUR 2 000 for each and every one of Europe's 500 million citizens.
EESC president Henri Malosse denounced tax evasion as theft adding that, at this time of crisis, no European society can afford losses on this scale.
The money is, in effect, lost to education and healthcare. Spain had to make EUR 10 billion worth of saving by cutting money earmarked for its health and education programmes. Effectively combating tax evasion could save billions of euros that will help people in their everyday lives.
As the voice of grassroots citizens, the EESC supports the Commission's proposal for an automatic system of information exchange. The Committee would also like to see more powerful tools to combat tax avoidance, as proposed by Petru Dandea, Rapporteur of opinion on the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion:
- Tax haven blacklists must cover not only countries outside the EU but also Member State jurisdictions and companies operating within them.
- Blacklisting tax havens must be linked to effective sanctions.
- Any sustainable solution requires harmonisation of the indirect taxation system.
- Taxation must be included in the Annual growth surveys and the European semester.
At this time of crisis, Europe needs to boost solidarity between citizens and between Member States. This is the sign European civil society expects the Council to give on 22 May.
See the EESC's opinion: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.eco-opinions.25545