Changes to EU tax haven blacklist mask the real problems, say campaigners

Added 23 Jan 2018
The EU Council have announced that eight countries will be removed from the EU’s list of so-called ‘Non-cooperative jurisdictions’ – also referred to as the tax haven blacklist.

The eight countries, which are Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macao SAR, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, will now be added to an EU ‘greylist’ of countries to be monitored further.

In response to the announcement, Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said: “It makes no sense to discuss whether Mongolia should go on the black or grey list – it’s not a tax haven, so the country shouldn’t be on any lists at all.

“What we really need to talk about is the fact that EU Member States such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta, are among the world’s biggest and most successful tax havens. As long as the EU refuses to blacklist Member States, the list will - at best - only succeed in moving more of the tax haven industry into the EU’s own backyard.

In December 2017, a coalition of civil society organisations, including Eurodad, published Tax Games: the Race to the Bottom. which includes a detailed analysis of 17 EU member states and Norway. Out of the 18 countries analysed, the report found that nine countries have an alarming number of harmful tax practices, which can help multinational corporations avoid taxation.