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EU lawmakers vote for EU financial police force and financial intelligence unit

The European Parliament on Tuesday adopted a detailed road map towards fairer and more effective taxation, and tackling financial crimes.

  • Staff Reporter
  • March 27, 2019
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The recommendations, adopted by 505 votes in favour, 63 against and 87 abstentions, were prepared over a year by Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3).

They range from overhauling the system to deal with financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, notably by improving co-operation in all areas between the multitude of authorities involved, to setting up new bodies at EU and global level.

The commission is expected to start work immediately on a proposal for a European financial police force and an EU financial intelligence unit, as well as setting up an EU anti-money laundering watchdog. 

Golden visas and passports are also expected to be phased out, while whistleblowers and investigative journalists are seen to receive better protection under the recommendations, the EU Parliament said in a statement. 

"Member states are not doing enough and in the EU, the council is clearly the weakest link," said the chair of the special committee, Petr Jezek.

"Without political will, there can be no progress. Europeans deserve better."

Background

Following continued revelations over the last five years (Luxleaks, the Panama Papers, Football leaks and the Paradise papers), the European Parliament decided to establish TAX3 on 1 March 2018.

The report adopted today concludes the committee’s year-long mandate, which saw it hold 18 hearings dealing with particular topics of interest, 10 exchange of views with finance ministers and European Commissioners, and four fact-finding missions – to the US, the Isle of Man, Denmark and Estonia, and Latvia. 

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