EU prepares ground for blacklist of global tax havens

The European Commission has taken a first step towards compiling an EU-wide blacklist of global tax havens by the end of next year, it announced Thursday, amid broader efforts to crack down on tax evasion.

The European Union has ratcheted up efforts to fight tax evasion, as a number of revelations - such as the so-called LuxLeaks and Panama Papers scandals - have shed light on the practices of companies and individuals seeking to reduce their tax bills.

The commission, the European Union's executive, aims to produce a common list of countries around the world that do not cooperate with EU tax authorities. This would replace national lists, making it easier to coordinate action and sanction the countries involved.

This week, the commission presented member states with an initial list of countries, rated according to factors such as the strength of their economic ties with the EU, the amount of financial activity they handle and risk factors such as overall transparency.

The assessment "does not represent any judgement" of the countries listed, the commission said in a statement, noting that it is now for member states to decide which to take a closer look at. The world's 48 least developed states are not included.

"Today is not about naming and shaming any countries," said EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. "That moment will come at the end of 2017, when we have a credible, robust and common EU list to share with our international partners," he added.

The aim is to start screening selected countries early next year, in a process that will also include consultations with the jurisdictions involved. Blacklisting countries should be seen as a measure of last resort, the commission said.

Last update: Thu, 15/09/2016 - 15:11
Author: 

More from Europe

Left-winger and former premier top French primary

Benoit Hamon and Manuel Valls were out in front in France's nationwide primary on Sunday to choose who will be the...

Romanian president joins thousands in anti-government rally

Thousands of Romanians were joined by President Klaus Iohannis in a street protest in Bucharest on Sunday against...

Suspected accomplice detained in Germany in foiled Vienna attack

A 21-year-old man and his wife have been arrested in their home in the western German city of Neuss on suspicion of...

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...

Hungarian bus company probed for negligence after Italy crash

Criminal negligence charges are being mulled against the owners of a bus that was in a fatal accident in Italy at...