New European Tax Observatory to support fight against tax abuse through cutting-edge research

Today, the European Commission announced the launch of the European Tax Observatory: a new research laboratory to assist in the EU’s fight against tax abuse.  Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, hosted the launch event today together with Paul Tang, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Tax Matters, and Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament. The Observatory was created under the initiative of the European Parliament.

Funded by the European Union, the Tax Observatory will support EU policy-making through cutting-edge research, analysis and data-sharing. The Observatory will be fully independent in conducting its research, objectively informing policymakers and suggesting initiatives that could help to better tackle tax evasion, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning.

Headed by Professor Gabriel Zucman, and based at the Paris School of Economics, the Tax Observatory will be a source of new ideas for combating tax avoidance and an international reference for the study of taxation in a globalised world.

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Today more than ever, we need to clamp down on tax abuse. It’s vital that we protect the public revenues necessary to support the recovery and the massive investments needed for the green and digital transitions. I count on the European Tax Observatory to conduct research of the highest level, to bring forward innovative ideas and to promote an inclusive and pluralistic debate on taxation policies across the EU.”

The European Commission is committed to promoting fair, efficient and sustainable taxation. In July 2020, the Commission adopted a Tax Package, among other things, reinforcing its fight against tax abuse. The launch of the Tax Observatory was one of the many actions announced in that Package, to tackle the fight against tax evasion and avoidance and to promote fairer taxation in the EU and beyond. The Tax Observatory’s research will complement the Commission’s reflection process on the future of taxation in the EU, which will conclude in a Tax Symposium on the “EU tax mix on the road to 2050” in 2022.


The European Tax Observatory is a consortium of academics awarded an EU grant budget of EUR 1.2 million for 2020-21 to deepen the research on tax avoidance, tax evasion, and aggressive tax planning and advise EU policy-makers accordingly.

Gabriel Zucman is a French economist renowned for his research on tax havens and corporate tax havens. His research focuses on the accumulation, distribution, and taxation of global wealth. In 2018, Zucman received the Prize for the Best Young Economist in France, in recognition of his research on tax evasion and avoidance and their economic consequences. He is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the recipient of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship Award. He is the Director of the EU Tax Observatory, which is established at the Paris School of Economics.

For More Information

European Tax Observatory

Package for Fair and Simple Taxation