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MEPs take their first step to curb corporate secrecy and phantom firms

Sara Jespersen

21 Feb 2014 10:46:33

Yesterday MEPs started getting things right when it comes to cracking down on corruption, corporate abuse and tax dodging. Their support for setting up centralised registries of the real owners of companies, trusts and similar legal structures - and granting public access to that information - is a significant first step. However, this is a long process and many other challenges still persist. The next step is the vote in the plenary of the European Parliament. Afterwards, negotiations will start with the European Commission and the Council (of ministers) - the latter is notoriously torn between the need for change and defending the status quo. Further complicating the situation are national interests which emerge when an issue as sensitive as beneficial ownership is discussed. The price ...