The European Union Parliament has agreed to launch a new inquiry into financial crime that will investigate the Paradise Papers as part of its mandate.

Called TAXE 3, the special committee will comprise 45 members and run for a year, beginning this month.

Previous committees have looked at the LuxLeaks (TAXE1 and TAXE2) and Panama Paper (PANA) scandals.

The new committee will “assess how EU VAT rules were circumvented in the framework of the Paradise Papers” and evaluate “the impact of VAT fraud and administrative cooperation rules in the EU, while strongly respecting ongoing work in the ECON committee;” said a copy of the text adopted this week (7 February), and linked to the website of former PANA member Sven Giegold MEP.

The German MEP said: “Parliament’s pressure for tax justice in Europe is being stepped up. We must look to the EU Commission and the Member States to see if they are implementing the European Parliament’s previous recommendations.

“The former special committees have successfully contributed to the progress of tax cooperation in Europe in recent years. Unfortunately, the scandal surrounding the Paradise Papers has had no new political consequences either in the EU or in the Member States.”

TAXE 3 will also evaluate tax evasion and tax avoidance related to the digital economy and “assess national schemes providing tax privileges for new residents or foreign income (such as citizenships programs).”

Belgian MEP Philip Lamberts, who is also the co-president of the Greens/EFA group, said: “The Paradise Papers showed that there is a clearly unfinished work to do if we are to secure tax justice in Europe.”

“The European Parliament’s inquiry committee into the Panama Papers has already produced a strong action plan for clamping down on tax dodging, including many ideas from the Greens/EFA group. This new committee can now make sure this progress is not lost and that these much needed measures are implemented by the Commission and by governments across the EU.”

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