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Finance Ministers agree on need for more tax transparency

PES ECOFIN Ministers

The Finance Ministers of the Party of European Socialists (PES) met today in Riga in preparation for the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) Council meeting. During the meeting the Ministers agreed on the need for more tax transparency, the need for the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) to be democratically agreed, and the need for a Capital Markets Union.

The Ministers agreed that there is an urgent need for greater tax transparency in Europe in order to combat the longstanding issues of tax evasion and avoidance. As part of its pursuance of deeper coordination on taxation between member states, the PES calls for the extension of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) between EU tax administrations

The PES supports the Commission’s tax transparency package, proposed by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, and hopes to see a speedy implementation by the beginning of 2016. This would tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU as well as improving cooperation between member states in terms of their cross-border tax rulings.

Ministers discussed developments with regards to the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), and highlighted the importance to implement the Fund immediately in order to kick start economic growth,

The PES Ministers welcomed the Commission’s initiative to build a single market for capital in order to promote economic activity and push for growth. The Capital Markets Union is key to restore liquidity in the market, thus helping the real economy. The PES will actively monitor the Commission’s progress on integrating fragmented capital markets running on different legal principles.

Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius and chair of the PES ECOFIN meetings stated: "Tax avoidance is immoral. Now we must work to make it illegal too. Better communication and cooperation between European member states will close tax loopholes and prevent tax dodgers from moving their money from one country to another to avoid tax. We are determined to promote both fiscal and social fairness. At the same time, we welcome the plan to create a Capital Markets Union. It is imperative that the flow of credit is restored and that the financial sector starts serving the real economy."

The meeting also attended Finish Finance Minister Antti Rinne, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Commissioner for Economic Financial Affairs Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, Slovakian State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Vazil Hudak, Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, Swedish State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Karolina Ekholm, and Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at the European Parliament Roberto Gualtieri

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