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So-called “tax optimisation” and policy, two incompatible concepts

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14485 | 24 January 2018

Mr Sergiy VLASENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, NR ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Vladyslav GOLUB, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhii KIRAL, Ukraine, EC ; Ms Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Mr Duarte MARQUES, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Kęstutis MASIULIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland, EC ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Virgilijus PODERYS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena SOTNYK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Mr David STELLINI, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Martin WHITFIELD, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

The participation of political figures in so-called “tax optimisation” has a lot of negative consequences, undermines the principle of separation of business from power and destroys trust in democratic procedures.

It is especially unacceptable when politicians at the highest level are involved in such financial transactions. These politicians – who are the embodiment of the State – cause irreparable damage for their States on a daily basis, because unpaid taxes could be used for the development of their countries. Such action, if committed by the authorities, is in any case a crime against the State, which amounts to a crime against the people in that State.

A policy is not only regalia and privileges. It is a responsibility; primarily, it is an area that should be exemplary. An important point is the awareness of inevitability of punishment. If a politician is a participant in such schemes, he should bear direct and immediate responsibility (like, for example, the Prime Minister of Icеland and the Minister of industry, energy and tourism of Spain, who resigned in connection with the offshore scandal).

The Parliamentary Assembly should analyse previous experiences, risks and problems, especially against the background of corruption scandals that took place in international political institutions, including itself, with the aim of drawing up relevant recommendations for member States.