The Code

An investigation exposing for the first time how a high-level working group of EU member states has failed to tackle harmful tax practices in Europe.

Tax havens do not exist on sunny islands only, but also in the European Union. Some EU countries lure corporations with minimum-taxes and make other countries miss out on billions of Euros in tax revenues every year. For almost a quarter of a century, the EU has had a set of rules designed to prevent just that - and a body that should monitor compliance, the so-called Code of Conduct Group(CoCG).

This group is notorious in Brussels for its lack of transparency. Stamping working documents as top secret, and not recording member states’ negotiating positions are just a few tricks employed by the member states in the Code of Conduct Group. This level of secrecy is needed to cover up the lack of efficiency and usefulness of the CoCG as well as the active sabotage by member states of CoCG’s resolutions on corporate taxation.

More than 2.500 documents have been the basis of this project. They have been shared with EIC by Martijn Nouwen who obtained the documents using FOIA requests during his PhD research, after several years of fighting with the EU bureaucracy.

For the first time, it is now possible to trace how the EU is failing in its fight against tax competition - to the detriment of many millions of taxpayers. will make all these documents available. We are ready to share the collection of the source documents to media and organizations doing investigative research in the public interest. Get in touch!


infoLibre [ES]

Código de (Mala) Conducta - la historia de los 24 años de fracaso europeo en política fiscal
Así se fabrica la UE una transparencia a medida - borrado masivo de documentos y archivos ocultos en carpetas personales
Fiscalidad - el 'arma nuclear' que la Comisión europea aún no quiere utilizar
El Código de Conducta de la UE declaró abusivos nueve incentivos fiscales españoles
Alemania y Francia frenan en el Código de Conducta la publicación de los pactos fiscales de Gobiernos y multinacionales
España libró una guerra feroz contra la piratería fiscal de Gibraltar en el órgano más opaco de la UE
Repsol consiguió unos beneficios fiscales de 100 millones de euros gracias a unas deducciones reprobadas por Bruselas
Andorra eliminó dos regímenes fiscales perniciosos y modificó otros dos para salir de la lista de paraísos fiscales de la UE

The team


DER SPIEGEL(Markus Becker)



Markus Becker, Nicola Naber, Michael Sauga (Der Spiegel), Begoña P. Ramírez ( infoLibre), Ludovic Lamant (Mediapart), Jeroen Wester, Clara van de Wiel (NRC), Miguel Prado, Elisabete Miranda, Micael Pereira (Expresso), Mattias Carlsson, Pia Gripenberg (Dagens Nyheter).

Project Design & Guide

Stefan Candea