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Fair Taxes: working towards a fair tax system


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Topic: Fair Taxes



EU agreement on corporate tax avoidance a meagre result
On 21  June 2016, just within the Dutch EU Presidency, the EU and its member states  agreed on a directive addressing tax avoidance. The directive includes a broad package of measures aiming to combat tax avoidance by multinationals. Though this directive is a milestone in itself, we are still very far away from a fair EU tax system.   - 29-06-2016

Six ideas to combat tax evasion and corruption
Elements, such as tax evasion and corruption, are causing huge financial losses for developing countries. A fairer tax system and less corruption is indispensable for the development of developing countries. Several MEPs from the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) improved Ignazio Corrao's (EFD) draft opinion on combatting corruption and tax evasion. - 08-06-2016

Southern experiences and ideas about tax evasion
On the occasion of the Oxfam Novib Even it Up campaign, three activists for fair taxes from Zambia, Nigeria and Brazil called in at Amsterdam on the 20th of April 2016 to share their thoughts and experiences on tax evasion and its impact on their countries.  - 30-05-2016

EU response to the Panama Papers
The Panama Papers, millions of leaked confidential documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama, identify many multinationals, politicians and celebrities who are involved in the web of suspicious financial transactions. These shocking revelations encouraged the debate on tax avoidance within the  European Commission and the European Parliament.  - 26-04-2016

Stop tax avoidance of natural monopolies
Members of European Parliament Liisa Jaakonsaari and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (both from S&D) asked the European Commission how they aim to address tax avoidance by natural monopolies. - 05-04-2016

UN tax body
The United Nations General Assembly will gather on September 2016 for the 71st session. The EU can, due to its enhanced observer status, submit proposals and amendments to the UN General Assembly. Hence several members of the European Parliament Committee on Development made recommendations to the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) about the UN. - 24-03-2016

MEP Miguel Viegas asks question about tax evasion in developing countries
Tax evasion and illicit financial flows cost developing economies around 90 billion EUR in tax revenue every year, according to a report by UNCTAD. This because of investment through offshore companies , as is written in a question to the Commission by Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL). - 30-09-2015

MEPs amend draft report on tax avoidance and tax evasion as challenges for development in developing countries
On the 6th of May, the amendments to the draft report on tax avoidance and evasion by MEP Elly Schlein were published, addressing the implications of tax issues on development in developing countries. - 02-06-2015

CONCORD urges EU to reform the international tax system ahead of the Addis Ababa conference
CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development has published its second PCD Spotlight paper of 2015, on the role of the EU in ensuring global tax justice. The report makes several recommendations to the EU, centred around the principle of policy coherence for development. - 04-05-2015

ENoP seminar on Africa-EU Relations: Tax Evasion and Illicit Financial Flows
On the 23rd of April, Fair Politics attended a seminar on Tax Evasion and Illicit Financial Flows organised by the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP). ENoP is a network that aims to structure and improve communication and dialogue between European political foundations and the institutions of the European Union and regularly organises seminars related to the themes of one of its working groups. - 04-05-2015

MEP Monika Flašíková Beňová calls for transparent taxation in the EU
In her question for written answer, Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D) writes that existing rules allow EU Member States to exchange only minimum amounts of information on their corporate income tax systems. This allows many companies to avoid paying taxes, causing huge financial losses for countries. - 13-04-2015

DEVE committee publishes draft report on tax evasion and tax avoidance
Tax avoidance and tax evasion are causing huge financial losses for development countries and a fairer tax system is indispensable. The draft report “on tax avoidance and tax evasion as challenges for governance, social protection and development in developing countries” puts forward several suggestions to the European Commission. - 25-03-2015

EP votes in favour of report on anti-money laundering
The European Parliament has voted in favour of a common position on the revision of the EU Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). This report was initiated by Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA) and Krišjānis Kariņš (EPP) and includes the creation of public registers of who really owns companies, trusts and other legal structures. The report acknowledges that not only European citizens and governments are affected by the negative effects of money laundering, but also developing countries. - 26-03-2014

Draft Reports on money laundering pay attention to developmental impacts
In the combined draft report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs attention is paid to the negative effects money laundering has on developing countries. - 02-12-2013

MEP McCarthy pays attention to incoherency in EU tax policies
MEP Arlene McCarthy (S&D) addresses the ineffectiveness of tax avoidance policy and its consequences for Developing countries. She amended the draft report on fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens. - 16-10-2013

Eva Joly (Greens/EFA) fights illicit financial flows in developing countries
Eva Joly (Greens/EFA) amended the draft opinion of the Committee on Development about fighting corruption in the public and private sector. She says that part of corruption is tax evasion, tax heavens and illicit capital flights. Transnational corporate companies should disclose their profits and pay taxes in developing countries where they operate. Legislation should be put in place in order to prevent this kind of corruption. - 25-09-2013

MEP Deva wants more measures combating tax evasion
Rapporteur Nirj Deva (ECR) of the Committee on Development raises attention to tax evasion, corruption and aggressive tax avoidance harming the development of Third World Countries. In his draft opinion about the ‘Funds Transfer Regulation’ Deva urges for more substantial measures in terms of strategy and implementation as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Initiatives. - 24-09-2013

MEP Joly wants higher tax-to-GDP ratios in developing countries
Eva Joly (Greens/EFA) calls on the European Union to assist developing countries in mobilizing tax resources by addressing international tax fraud and detecting and persecuting inappropriate practices. - 21-03-2013

MEP Cutas asks for European list of tax havens
MEP George Sabin Cutas (S&D) addresses his question to the Commission. He welcomes the package of minimum standards regarding transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition the Commission announces, but still stresses the need to draw up a list of tax havens. - 05-02-2013

MEP Tarabella asks about the initiative to compose a list of tax havens
MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) makes note of the efforts of the OECD to draw up a list of tax havens. So far, the organisation has not succeeded. In the EU similar attempts have failed as well. Therefore, Tarabella asks the Commission how it is planning to boost the current efforts and what sanctions it will take against the countries identified as tax havens. - 15-01-2013

GUE/NGL-group asks questions on tax havens
MEPs Søren Bo Søndergaard, Mikael Gustafsson, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Jürgen Klute, Marisa Matias, Alda Sousa, Nikolaos Chountis (all GUE/NGL) ask on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group questions on tax havens to the Commission and Council. - 17-12-2012

ALDE group asks questions on tax havens
On behalf of the ALDE group, MEPs Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Sonia Alfano, Bill Newton Dunn, Renate Weber, Leonidas Donskis, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Olle Schmidt, Nils Torvalds, Niccolò Rinaldi, Theodoros Skylakakis, are asking the Council the following question "Since tax evasion, tax fraud and tax havens urgently need to be tackled at all levels (national, EU and international), will the Council encourage Member States to address the issue? If the Commission proposes a new, concrete and extensive legislative package to tackle tax evasion, tax fraud and tax havens, will the Council support it?" They ask the Commission: "Since tax evasion, tax fraud and tax havens urgently need to be tackled at all levels (national, EU and international), is the Commission ready to propose a new, concrete and extensive legislative package on the subject?" - 20-11-2012

MEP Toia draws attention to tax havens
Toia (S&D) asks attention for land grabbing, tax havens and financial speculation in her amendments to the draft opinion of rapporteur Mitchell (EPP) of the DEVE committee on the general budget of the EU. - 08-10-2012

"Fiona Hall stresses the importance of country-by-country reporting".
Fiona Hall (ALDE) from the Development committee (DEVE) of the European Parliament made a draft opinion on the report from the legal affairs committee (JURI) about the Transparency Directive, dealing with Country-by-Country reporting (CbC) and financial transparency. The main point made in the draft opinion is that in order to provide for enhanced transparency of payments made to governments, all large undertakings and public interest entities should disclose per country material payments made to governments in the countries in which they operate, as well as additional financial information regarding their activities in third countries. - 13-06-2012

MEP Cretu: fight corruption and illegal transfers of capital
Taxes are the most sustainable, stable and predictable form of income for governments. By increasing tax income, developing countries could become more independent from foreign loans and aid. Moreover, public sectors like education, health care and infrastructure are traditionally financed from tax revenues. Raising the tax income would mean more funds to invest in these sectors, which will promote development. - 10-10-2011

MEPs request for a moratorium of the European financing for mining projects
In an open letter to the Hungarian Presidency, the President of the European Council and the European Commission on EU public funding for mining 50 MEPs from 4 different groups (S&D, ALDE, the Greens/EFA and GUE/NL). request for a moratorium of the European financing for mining projects for as long as there are no bound rules and regulations. - 01-06-2011

Schnieber-Jastram addresses possible violation of PCD in Zambian coper mine
In 2005 the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted a 48 million euro loan to the Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) in Zambia. In 2008 an international tax audit team assisted in a pilot audit of selected mining companies in Zambia. On 13 February some results leaked and indicated that the MCM used tax avoidance practices. It was concluded that the mining sector in Zambia has been marginalised due to unfavourable terms agreed upon in the privatization of the Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). - 27-04-2011

Thijs Berman addresses PCD and tax evasion to European Investment Bank
MEP Thijs Berman (S&D) on behalf of the DEVE committee wrote an opinion on “Granting an EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) against losses under loans and guarantees for projects outside the European Union”. Next to the core mission of financing operations in the European Union, the EIB also finances projects outside of the EU, in accordance with the EIB’s external policy, by which the EIB contributes to the general guiding principles and policy objectives of the European Union, - 23-03-2011

MEP Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou asks questions on Tax Havens
The focus of development cooperation is usually on the amount of money transferred as aid from the North to the South. However, a tremendous amount of money is leaving developing countries in the form of illegal financial flows corresponding to 10 times the amount of injected development aid from developing countries. Thus, on one hand the EU is supporting developing countries by its development policy and aid programmes, but on the other hand the EU and in particular its Member States are enabling corporations to escape their tax responsibilities in developing countries. This is a flagrant case of incoherent policy as you can also read in our case on Fair Taxes. - 24-02-2011

A coalition on Country-By-Country reporting between Greens and ALDE?
Tax evasion is a large threat to development, because Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are not adequately paying their taxes, which local governments could use to enhance developent. A solution for this problem would be the introduction of Country by Country (CBC) reporting, which would oblige EU listed companies to disclose their financial reports. This would make tax evasion more difficult. MEPs of both the Greens (Pascal Canfin, Sven Giegold, Eva Joly, and Philippe Lamberts) and ALDE (Sharon Bowles and Louis Michel) asked questions about CBC. - 25-11-2010

EP recognises tax evasion as threat to development
On behalf of the Development Committee, MEP Eva Joly (Greens/EFA) wrote an own-initiative draft report on Tax and Development Cooperation with Developing Countries on Promoting Good Governance in Tax Matters. Fair Politics is pleased to see this report, since we are planning to launch our own policy case study on Fair Taxes soon. - 10-11-2010