The PANA Committee inquiry was set up to investigate the “Panama Papers” revelations on 8 June. The remit of the inquiry is to examine the alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application by the EU Commission or member states of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Committee is made of 65 members listed here, with Werner Langan MEP (Germany, European People’s Party) acting as chair alongside 4 other vice-chair appointments.
On 12 October 2016, the Committee met to discuss who sets the rules in relation to anti-money laundering and tax evasion and how. There seemed to be a common consensus amongst experts that the current rules and standards are robust but what is missing is effective implementation. This was echoed by the European People’s Party (“EPP”) in their press release where their spokesman, Dariusz Rosati MEP (Poland, EPP), stated ‘before we call for new measures, the focus must be first on the effective implementation of the existing standards’. However, this is not an opinion necessarily shared by other groups in the European Parliament. In his reactions, Fabio de Masi MEP (Germany, Confederal Group of the European United Left) questioned the existing practices on tax evasion. It was also announced that from early next year the committee is planning to invite the professionals to the hearing which will provide a platform for the various professions, including lawyers, to share their views.
We look forward to the upcoming meetings when professionals will be invited to the table for their opinions. The next PANA Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 8 November where the agenda includes a discussion of the state of play of implementation of EU legislation.