Every year, the Member States of the European Union suffer billions in losses as a result of tax evasion, particularly in the area of VAT. These illegal activities can only be countered efficiently by creating a single VAT area within the EU. The Commission’s efforts in this direction must be supported at national level. Efforts to drain tax havens must also be stepped up. The exchange of information between states on financial accounts must be further improved and tax evaders more effectively sanctioned. Only by curbing illegal money flows can crimes such as drug trafficking, terrorist financing and money laundering be combated effectively.