Yesterday MEPs started getting things right
when it comes to cracking down on corruption, corporate abuse and tax dodging. Their
support for setting up centralised registries of the real owners of companies,
trusts and similar legal structures - and granting public access to that
information - is a significant first step.
However, this is a long process and many
other challenges still persist. The next step is the vote in the plenary of the
European Parliament. Afterwards, negotiations will start with the European
Commission and the Council (of ministers) - the latter is notoriously torn
between the need for change and defending the status quo. Further complicating
the situation are national interests which emerge when an issue as sensitive as
beneficial ownership is discussed.