Speaking in the European Parliament, MEP Roberta Metsola underlined that action against money laundering must not be used as an excuse to extend EU competencies on taxation.
“When it comes to money laundering, there is no doubt of the need and urgency to tackle it. But it is also clear that we need to be careful of knee-jerk reactions. We must be very careful not to go down the road of having a disproportionate legislative response that risks infringing on States’ sovereignty on taxation matters under the guise of going after money laundering,” said Dr Metsola.
“Coming from the Union’s smallest economy, we need to make sure that any measures we propose do not place a hugely disproportionate burden on economies like ours,” she added.
Dr Metsola said that “the Panama Papers scandal shone a light on more than simply dodgy dealings with third-country offshore havens; it has exposed the corrupt, unearthed money laundering activities on an almost industrial scale and shed light on the secret financial set-ups of senior politicians in Member States.
We have to be very clear that what we need to tackle here is abusive, illegal activity – money laundering – and not Member States’ tax competitiveness.”