On May 9, the PANA Inquiry Committee held a public hearing on the “Cooperation in tax matters with European jurisdictions,” during which Members of the EU discussed tax regimes with representatives of the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, and Madeira.
In the public hearing, the PANA Committee aimed to get a better understanding of the tax regimes in the respective countries and especially their relationships with the EU in this matter. The public hearing addressed the state of play of cooperation between the jurisdictions and the EU’s further ways to enhance cooperation, the PANA Committee informed.
The representatives of the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Madeira spoke about their governments' role in fighting against money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. The representatives of the jurisdictions were questioned about their tax systems, often referred to as tax havens by the Members.
Rui Gonçalves, Regional Secretary for Finance in Madeira, defended the position of the jurisdiction and pointed out to the reforms the jurisdiction has implemented over the last years decreasing the number of companies registered in Madeira from 6000 to 1500. Mr. Gonçalves pointed out that companies leaving Madeira end up in other European countries which are in fact much less transparent.
Earlier during the PANA meeting on May 4, the Committee decided to invite the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to a hearing on May 17. Despite earlier invitations, representatives of the Maltese Council Presidency - apart from Minister Konrad Mizzi - have so far declined all the invitations to public meetings of the PANA Committee.
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