Lamassoure is a new entry this year
The mandate of the European Parliament's Special Committee
on Tax Rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect
(TAXE) drew to a close in 2015. Before its term expired,
though, a vote was taken to extend its mandate a further six
months and Alain Lamassoure was re-elected as chairman.
The French member of the European Parliament (MEP) was
elected to chair TAXE after it was created in early 2015 in the
wake of the European Commission launching state aid
investigations into tax rulings for multinational companies
including Apple, Fiat Finance & Trade and Starbucks, in
Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The committee is
mandated to look into EU member states' tax rulings as far back
as January 1 1991, as well as reviewing how the Commission
treats existing state aid arrangements.
"We have an important mission," Lamassoure was quick to
acknowledge. "We need results and we need them now."
On accepting the committee chairmanship, Lamassoure laid out
the theme that infused TAXE's 2015 work to achieve greater
transparency across the EU, saying:
"The task ahead of us is not related either to our political
orientations or to the countries we represent. This is about
transparency and justice. These are our shared concern and we
have to work on them in the best possible spirit."
TAXE, under Lamassoure's leadership, published two reports
during the year, calling for public country-by-country
reporting, as well as pushing for further work on the common
consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB).
In November, the committee questioned 11 multinationals,
including Amazon, Google, Barclays and Facebook, on their tax
arrangements and on tax policy themes. The large number that
accepted the invite highlighted the extent of political
pressure on businesses in Europe over their tax practices, but
also showed that those businesses felt they could engage with
the committee on policy themes.
"I am satisfied that, this time, most of the multinational
companies invited have decided to seize the opportunity to
share their views with us on current developments in the
corporate tax world," said Lamassoure at the time of the
With his re-election, the focus of TAXE II looks likely to
follow on from TAXE I, in pushing for greater transparency and
further investigating the tax rulings of European