Today Iratxe García participated in a meeting between all group leaders in the European Parliament, its president David Sassoli, and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. The leaders of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament insisted on the need for the Council to show unity, ambition and responsibility when it meets to discuss the Commission’s proposal for a Recovery Plan next week.
At the same meeting, group leaders agreed to creating three special committees – one on foreign interference in electoral processes and disinformation, another one on artificial intelligence and a third one on the fight against cancer – which will work on these three topics for one year. More importantly, at the strong demand of the S&D Group, the Parliament will also create a permanent sub-committee on taxes.
Iratxe García said:
“The European Parliament has set the example of unity and responsibility by adopting a strong resolution. Now it is the time for the Council to do the same. President Michel has a historical responsibility on his shoulders. He can count on our support if he can live up to the circumstances, but we made it clear this morning that this Parliament will not accept a bad deal, even if there is an agreement in the Council.
“We also demanded the proper involvement of the European Parliament, because that also means a more democratic process and accountability. We will not accept the same mistakes made during the 2008 crisis where the Parliament was left aside.”
Regarding the agreement between the political groups to create a parliamentary sub-committee on taxes within the parliamentary committee on economic affairs, Iratxe García said:
“My group has been calling for this sub-committee for many years for three reasons: firstly, to fight tax evasion and tax fraud, because it deprives citizens from public resources that are very much necessary; secondly, because if we want to build a fair and cohesive European Union we cannot allow for tax havens within our Union; and thirdly because a strong Union needs to raise its own resources to allow for more autonomy from the national contributions.
“This sub-committee can make a crucial contribution in supporting the recovery plans in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. These three pillars of EU tax policy can ensure that the recovery is fair for all citizens and that there will be enough funding to invest in a just transition to a more sustainable economic and social model.”