S&Ds more convinced than ever of need to push for country-by-country reporting to fight for corporate transparency for multinationals

Country-by-county reporting: Liberals and Conservatives need to put citizens’ interests ahead of big business, corporate tax transparency, Evelyn Regner and Hugues Bayet,

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis today assured the S&D Group that the European Parliament will have its say on the country-by-country reporting for multinationals proposal.

"The Commission stands firmly behind our proposal which means that the European Parliament will be fully involved" he said during a conference organised by the S&D Group in Brussels.

The conference – Public country-by-country reporting: achieving corporate tax transparency – gathered a wide range of stakeholders from civil society, the OECD, politics and the academic world.

S&D Group spokesperson for legal affairs Evelyn Regner MEP said:

"As we have seen from the LuxLeaks scandal and the Apple case in Ireland, if we allow individual member states to have a veto on this law, we will never be able to shine a light on shady corporate practices.

"Therefore it is essential that the Parliament uses its full legislative power and amends the Accounting Directive. This law is crucial if we want to get the trust of our citizens back. The public, including stakeholders of large companies, have the right to be informed where companies pay their corporate taxes and earn their profits. If we don't make country-by-country reporting public, we will never fight the system of letterbox-companies that is abused to avoid taxes."

S&D Group spokesperson for this issue in the economic and monetary affairs committee Hugues Bayet MEP added:

“If we want a healthy single market and an economy that works for everyone, it is essential to establish a common system of corporate taxation.

"The profits of multinationals must then be taxed in the countries where the profits are generated. Tax avoidance and evasion by multinationals creates unfair competition. Multinationals are the only ones that profit from this system, whilst SMEs and citizens lose out.

"Among the key points on which we need to continue fighting, we have the European Commission's proposal to make it mandatory for multinationals to publish their accounting data. It is a good start, but the Commission must go further: all large multinationals need to be covered, not just the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, multinationals must publish information on the entirety of their activities in the world and not only from EU member states or blacklisted jurisdictions.

"It is only when everyone pays their fair share of tax that we can build a harmonious society that is able to provide all the services that citizens need: quality healthcare, quality education for everyone, the guarantee to live in security."