Panama, the United Arab Emirates, and the Marshall Islands are among the 17 countries that the EU has decided to put on its blacklist for tax havens based outside the bloc.
EU finance ministers agreed on the final blacklist on Tuesday behind closed doors at a meeting in Brussels.
Ministers also agreed to put another group of 47 nations on a so-called graylist, which collects the names of countries that are pursuing reform in their tax practices to comply with international standards.
The countries on the final blacklist face restrictions on EU funding or potential investments from the European Investment Bank. EU governments, meanwhile, can choose to impose their own sanctions against the blacklisted countries — an initiative that Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the bloc must take.
The Council will reevaluate the tax practices of eight Caribbean countries in February, as recent hurricanes in the region meant that the island nations found it difficult to discuss their fiscal policies in recent months.
The full list includes: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates.
NGOs immediately criticized the EU for not clamping down on its own tax havens.
“If EU governments really wanted to get rid of tax havens, they should be open about the fact that several EU member states, such as Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands, also have to fundamentally change their behavior,” said Tove Maria Ryding, tax coordinator at Eurodad, the European Network on Debt and Development.
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