GUE/NGL MEPs have backed the creation of a parliamentary committee of inquiry on taxation, as well as a proper investigation into tax rulings in several EU member states in light of the LuxLeaks scandal that came to light late last year.

So far, 191 MEPs, just over 25% of the number of parliamentarians required, have signed up to the creation of this committee. The group welcomed this and the fact that support had come also from Conservatives, Social Democrats and Liberals in the Parliament despite the reluctance of their group leaders to back such an inquiry.

This wide support is proof that such a committee is the strongest and most appropriate way for the Parliament to investigate systematic tax dumping and ensure that wide-ranging responses will be provided at the EU level. This is important particularly as member states have continually refused to take serious measures to tackle the problem.

Given that corporate tax avoidance is – for the most part – scandalously legal in the EU, for GUE/NGL it is a first victory that so many MEPs have expressed an interest in establishing a committee to investigate it. We want to put maximum pressure on the EU-wide systems of corporate tax avoidance and tax evasion and we want the interests of the majority of the EU's 500 million citizens to come before the profit of corporations.

The state aid framework only provides for sanctions against tax rulings if they amount to a preferential treatment of specific corporations. Tax theft is perfectly compatible with competition law if Luxembourg and other tax havens granted the same tax privileges to all multinational corporations. Hence, the GUE/NGL will double its efforts to broaden the scope of the committee of inquiry. The committee will enable MEPs to have access to non-public documents.

We call on the President of the European Parliament to take the relevant steps to set up the committee without delay.

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