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Commissioner Šemeta on tax evasion: Ecofin speaking points

The surge in Member States’ appetite for progress and action in the fight against evasion is extremely welcome. They echo what the Commission has long been calling for. And as a result, the tools are already on the table, waiting to be seized.

I urged Member States – particularly taking into account recent revelations – to raise their ambitions. They must agree on tougher, common solutions on the basis of the recommendations I made last December.

Because let’s remember what this is all about: It’s about 1 trillion euros that we are losing from public budgets every year. It’s about creating a fairer environment for citizens, many of whom are currently carrying a heavy tax burden due to the crisis. It’s about allowing Member States to make the right tax choices for them, without being threatened by the malpractices of others.

 In a nutshell, it’s about fairness and EU solidarity.

I expect today’s discussions to be formalised and turned into decisions without delay. I expect agreement on the stronger Savings Directive within weeks, along with a mandate to start negotiating with Switzerland and the other neighbours. I expect the new EU administrative cooperation rules to be applied fully and swiftly.

And with these weapons in our arsenal, we can then start a coherent, coordinated and irrefutable push for greater transparency, automatic exchange of information and tax governance internationally.

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