European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici
Brussels - AFP
The European Union on Wednesday urged members states to make urgent work of a new, joint list of global tax havens in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers scandal.
European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the bloc's 28 countries needed to agree on joint criteria for compiling such a list, seen as a key tool in the crackdown on tax cheats.
"Member states need to show an unequivocal commitment to moving forward with a new EU listing process... to fight tax evasion," he told reporters in Brussels.
"Swift progress on this was important before the Panama Papers," the former French economy minister said. "It's now absolutely essential".
Moscovici said he hoped to see a new list drawn up "within six months".
The EU already unveiled a roundup last year of the 30 top "non-cooperative jurisdictions" that featured on at least 10 members states' blacklists, but it was criticised for being incomplete and out of date.
Panama was listed among the 30 countries, however.
The Central American nation has found itself at the heart of a global scandal about the offshore financial dealings of the rich and the famous following a leak of millions of confidential documents, the so-called Panama Papers.