Combat tax fraud, tax avoidance and money laundering - Related Opinions
The EESC highly appreciates the first activation of the Temporary Protection Directive 2001/55/EC in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The current activation of the Directive could well be used to develop solidarity mechanisms among the Member States. It strongly supports an urgent need for effective, genuine, humane – and humanitarian – common European regulations on migration, asylum and security cooperation in an open, but equally secure Schengen area, in full accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The consequences of the war are also a threat for the European model of the social market economy as well as for the freedom and rights of EU citizens and other inhabitants. The EESC encourages preserving and valuing the Schengen area as it is currently constituted, to guarantee not only the free movement of human beings, but also the functioning of the Single Market.
The EESC fully supports the Commission proposal on the misuse of shell companies for tax purposes and its objectives. Ensuring an effective, fair taxation across the single market is crucial to favour a real recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee supports the choice of a Directive aimed at ensuring a common legal framework among Member States. The nature of the subject matter to be regulated and the objectives pursued means that they cannot be handled through single initiatives by Member States in their respective legal systems.
The EESC welcomes the Commission initiative for the strategy on business taxation in the 21st century. The EESC strongly supports and appreciates the fact that the Commission is aligning its work with the international discussions and agreements and encourages the Commission to pursue its Action Plan for Fair and Simple Taxation Supporting the Recovery Strategy. The EESC is calling for uniform and globally concerted and coordinated implementation of Pillars 1 and 2 of the OECD agreement.
The EESC laments the severity of the money laundering phenomenon in the EU. Current European legislation is largely inadequate in the face of coordination failures and national divergences, and therefore strongly supports the Anti Money Laundering legislative package, in particular the creation and design of the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) with direct supervisory powers.
The EESC welcomes the proposed regulatory initiative, which will have an indirect positive impact as it simplifies and speeds up cross-border judicial procedures and cooperation, and will also contribute to improving the functioning of the single market. It is worth noting that e-CODEX is not limited to e-justice. In anticipation of the future, the EESC recommends including a provision to open up the possibility of other uses by other public administrations, including for example the transfer of e-health records.
The EESC welcomes the Communication as an essential and effective step to enable the digitalisation of justice. It is crucial to support Member States at national level in making this change by providing them not only with the necessary funding, but also with tools. With this support, the digitalisation of justice can be expanded at European level to create mechanisms facilitating closer cross-border cooperation between judicial authorities.