Presentation of European Parliament Studies II

You can download all studies commissioned by the PANA Committee here.

On May 2, 2017, the PANA Inquiry Committee had a second session of presentation of studies, entitled: “Offshore practices: The roles and responsibilities of intermediaries and the relations of EU Member States with their overseas countries and territories”

Panel 1 examined the role of enablers and promoters and the rules applicable to them. Although the European Parliament does not dare to call them “enablers and promoters” and insistently refers to them as “intermediaries”.

The studies presented in this panel where:

  1. Role of advisors and intermediaries in the schemes revealed in the Panama Papers”-, Pieter de Groen, Policy Department A, April 2017
  2. Rules on independence and responsibility regarding auditing, tax advice, accountancy, account certification services and legal services“, Ian ROXAN (LSE), Saipriya KAMATH (LSE), Willem Pieter DE GROEN (CEPS), Research support: Katharina EHRHART (LSE Enterprise); Policy department A; April 2017

GUE/NGL MEP Matt Carthy (Sinn Fein) commented that

“The issue of language and the use of the term “intermediaries” implies a passive quality to the lawyer or tax advisor. In many cases the advisor is pushing a product, or promoting the use of an illicit financial structure. The terms “promoters” or “enablers” are possible alternatives. For example, the term “promoters” is now used in the legislation in Ireland that was introduced to create a Mandatory Disclosure Regime. We believe this is as a more accurate description of the relationship, so I was wondering what were your views on this. Regarding the policy recommendations, among other things, the study proposes further self-regulation in independence and responsibility standards through both hard and soft law. But throughout the Panama Papers inquiry, we have observed the limitations of internal ethics codes of professional bodies in preventing enablers from promoting offshore activity.”

GUE/NGL MEP Fabio de Masi chaired Panel 2, which examined offshore practices in EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs):

  1.  “Tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories -Ex-Post Impact Assessment”, Isabelle Ioannides and Jan Tymowsky, EPRS, April 2017.
  • The study attempts to analyse the conditions for tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering in EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). However, not all OCTs seem to have been analysed. The OCTs analysed in the study are some of which fall under the sovereignty of the UK, France, Denmark and The Netherlands:
    • Greenland (Denmark)
    • Aguilla, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena and Dependencies, British Antartic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands[1] (UK)
    • Saint-Barthélemy, New Caledonia and Dependencies, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antartic Territories, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)
    • Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius(Statia, Sint Marteen (The Netherlands)

GUE/NGL MEP Fabio de Masi (Die Linke) commented that to include Danish and French OCTs in the study, when they have not ever appeared in any tax haven list, and exclude from the analysis other OCTs is something to be reviewed. Moreover, the information obtained from all OCTs analyzed is not comparable, as is not the same type of information.

Rewatch Panel 2, chaired by MEP Fabio De Masi: