Next week, International Anti-Corruption day could be a crucial moment in the fight for global transparency. But we need your help.
Finance ministers from across Europe will be meeting, and they have the power to influence an important decision the European Union is about to make: whether to make public who owns and controls companies and trusts.
This could help shut down phantom firms – secret shell companies that only exist on paper – which allow criminals to siphon over a trillion dollars out of developing countries every year through tax evasion and money laundering.
If everyone could see who owns and controls companies, we could follow the money and root out corruption. This would have a massive impact on people in the world’s poorest countries, where these disappearing dollars could be spent on healthcare and education instead.
Thanks to pressure from ONE and partner organisations, the European Parliament has already backed this decision. But now some countries are dragging their heels, and there is a real danger corruption will win.
Germany, Sweden, Italy, Ireland and Poland in particular could influence the decision, so tell their finance ministers to crack down on phantom firms.
Time is running out. So please act now.
Germany: Tweet or email Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble
Sweden: Tweet or email Deputy Finance Minister Per Bolund
Italy: Tweet or email Finances and Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan
Ireland: Tweet or email Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Poland: Email Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek
By blocking these new transparency laws, our leaders will be protecting the identities of criminals who are depriving the poorest people of a trillion dollars every single year. Help us make sure that doesn’t happen.
Here is the sample email you can send to any of the ministers:
Right now, anonymous shell companies and trusts can easily be set up to facilitate dodgy deals, tax evasion and money laundering – robbing African countries of their resources.
We need to know who is behind these companies and trusts. Armed with this information, citizens will be able to follow the money and root out corruption. This will help to ensure that resources are used to fight extreme poverty rather than lost to dodgy deals.
You have the power to crack down on phantom firms that rob poor countries of billions. Please take action now: make public who is behind European companies and trusts.