Call for corporate lobbyists to be barred from European Parliament

As MEPs from the European Parliament’s Special Tax Committee met Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, demanded that some corporate lobbyists be barred access to the European Parliament. The call follows the refusal of some corporations to cooperate with the committee in its investigations into tax avoidance. Dr Scott Cato said:

“Corporations expect access to lobby MEPs but they will not explain their tax practices to us. I’m calling for those who refused to answer our questions to be barred from the Parliament.”

Molly Scott Cato also wants Mr Juncker to answer questions on tax. She would like to know about his role in relation to the Luxleaks tax avoidance scandal, where the Luxembourg authorities facilitated secret tax avoidance deals by corporations on a massive scale while Mr Juncker was finance minister and prime minister. After the meeting, she said:

“This meeting was a surreal situation. Juncker, the chief architect of the Luxleaks deals, portrayed himself as a white knight of tax policy. He cannot hide behind his current position as Commission president. He needs to ensure that the committee is provided with all the necessary documents to investigate the issue of tax dumping in the EU. So far the Council, EU governments and the Commission have failed to provide the committee with access to all requested documents. It is only by accessing all the relevant information that the special committee can fulfil its mandate on tax and shed light on the issue of aggressive tax competition between member states.

“If access to these crucial documents continues to be blocked, the European Parliament must use proper legal and official avenues to ensure the committee can successfully complete its duties and fulfil its mandate.”