We can’t accept sanction circumvention, Gentiloni says, commenting on ICIJ findings
08:29 - 16 November 2023
Circumventing sanctions is something that cannot be accepted, Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni has said, responding to a question on the findings of the Cyprus Confidential investigation published through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Speaking on 15 November, Gentiloni added that the EU is active when it comes to tax avoidance, including with its proposal against the misuse of shell companies, as well as through reforms promoted through the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.
The Commissioner stressed that when it comes to money laundering the EU has some of the toughest rules in the world, which however “doesn’t guarantee that this kind of criminal activity doesn’t take place”, and added that “circumventing sanctions is something that we cannot accept.”
Responding to a question on the Cyprus Confidential investigation during the presentation of the Autumn 2023 Economic Forecast, Gentiloni said that he has been following the story “very closely”, but added that it’s not easy to have a reading at this moment and that he will return to the question.
“But in general, we try to be very active on tax avoidance in these years. And I hope that our proposals, those proposals that are still lacking a unanimous consensus, because we need a unanimous consensus, will go further” he noted, making particular mention of the Commission’s proposal for a Directive laying down rules to prevent the misuse of shell entities for tax purposes, known as the “Unshell Directive”, among others.
The Commissioner also said he believes that the opportunity given by the Recovery and Resilience Plan of the EU is being used well, because “for several countries, we use the national Recovery and Resilience Plan to reduce aggressive tax planning.”
Regarding money laundering, Gentiloni noted that “we have now rules that are the toughest in the world, but this doesn’t guarantee that this kind of criminal activity doesn’t take place”.
“We have to work on this, knowing that circumventing sanctions is something that we cannot accept” he added, underlining that “our commitment to continue to support Ukraine as we say is unwavering, but when we say it we mean it”.