ECOFIN: ONE calls on EU Ministers to allow public access to tax data
BRUSSELS, 25 MAY 2016. Today, EU finance ministers are expected to adopt a measure that will require Member States to exchange tax-related information on the activities of multinational companies operating in Europe. This had already been agreed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is now being translated into EU law. In spite of calls to render the tax information public, the EU would keep all reports confidential.
Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director at the ONE Campaign, said:
“The EU must be ambitious and make multinationals’ tax data publicly available. Only this would allow citizens in developing countries to follow the money and ensure that taxes due are paid and revenues are spent responsibly. This could unleash unprecedented domestic funds for development in these countries, which currently lose at least $1 trillion every year through shady deals including illegal tax evasion.”
In a separate legislative proposal, the European Commission has suggested making tax reporting public for some companies and some countries. This text is expected to be discussed by EU ministers at a later stage.
Tamira Gunzburg continued:
“Member States should adopt and strengthen the Commission’s proposal for public country-by-country reporting of multinationals’ tax info. Currently it is not yet fit for purpose – it excludes most companies and most countries. But if the rules covered all multinationals bigger than €40 million and included tax info from developing countries, they could fulfil the public opinion’s intensifying call for financial transparency.”
Stemming corruption and illicit financial flows, which are perpetuated thanks to the ongoing secrecy around tax payments, is part of the “Sustainable Development Goals” that all world leaders signed on to last year. This evening, ONE, together with Transparency International, is hosting a debate on Corruption and the Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers include Eloise Todd, Global Policy Director at ONE, Cobus De Swardt, Managing Director at Transparency International, Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development and Karl Falkenberg, Senior Adviser for Sustainable Development at the European Political Strategy Centre.
Notes to editors:
- Contact, information & interviews – Andrea Ghianda // [email protected] // +32 (0)2 300 89 42 // +32 (0)471 89 64 22
EVENT: Corruption and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
ABOUT ONE: ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of nearly 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. Read more at www.one.org.