FISC Subcommittee MEPs Discuss Secrecy in EU Countries and Russian Oligarchs' Wealth

May 16, 2022
5 minutes read

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Tax News Service

On 10 May 2022, Members of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters of the European Parliament (FISC Subcommittee) discussed how EU countries and services of EU based financial intermediaries have been used to hide the wealth of Russian oligarchs. The discussion was based on the presentations of three experts:

  • Professor Susana Peralta (Associate Professor at Nova University, Portugal), presenting the specific case of Portugal and evidencing the opaque systems in place;
  • Theresa Neef (Research fellow at the EU Tax Observatory, and the Eastern Europe and Russia Coordinator of the World Inequality Database, author of Effective sanctions against oligarchs and the role of a European Asset Registry), outlining a proposal for a European Asset Registry which would hold details on asset ownership across the European Union; and
  • Professor Richard Murphy (Director, Tax Research LL and Professor of Accounting at Sheffield University Management School), laying out the ways that secrecy creates the right environment for tax avoidance and hiding wealth.

The MEPs of the FISC Subcommittee questioned the experts, notably, on how to make existing legislation work better as well as which new tools adopted at EU level could help address the problems. The MEPs also wanted the experts' opinion on the best way to target Russian oligarchs in the next rounds of sanctions.