sef: Policy Lunch 2015

CC BY-SA 2.0 401(K) 2012/flickr

International tax cooperation
for sustainable development worldwide

 

In recent years, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have frequently hit the headlines for (legally) exploiting differences in national laws in order to minimise their tax liability. Tax avoidance by multinationals is currently costing the EU Member States an estimated one trillion euros a year. This gap needs to be closed.

The OECD’s BEPS Project (base erosion and profit shifting) is intended to give countries the tools they need to ensure that multinationals’ profits are taxed where the economic activities generating the profits are performed. This shifts the revenue authorities’ focus away from private individuals towards companies. Multinationals with an annual turnover above EUR 750 million would be obliged to report their profits and tax payments to national tax authorities on a country-by-country basis. In October 2014, the G20 countries and major financial centres endorsed a new standard on automatic annual exchange of tax information. At the time of writing (12 February 2015), the 20 leading industrialised countries and emerging economies are making progress towards an international tax regime; for example, at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Istanbul, they agreed to address key elements of international tax rules by the end of 2015. To support implementation, a multilateral instrument which could be integrated into existing tax treaties will be negotiated by the end of 2016. The use of this tool would avoid the need for lengthy negotiations to update the 3,000 or so bilateral tax treaties worldwide.

In their Communiqué following the Istanbul meeting, the G20 countries invited the developing countries to join the Action Plan. The developing countries have not yet been involved as they lack the bureaucratic and technical infrastructure needed to support data exchange. Developing countries around the world are therefore advocating for a stepwise solution. Options will be discussed at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July 2015.

At their Policy Lunch in Brussels, the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and its cooperating partner CIDSE are keen to discuss with experts how the EU can and will position itself at the summit with a view to achieving more tax justice, especially for developing countries. Key questions are whether the OECD should continue to be the main forum for discussion of international tax cooperation, what role the G20 has to play, and whether the United Nations would be a more appropriate framework, based on a newly created intergovernmental tax body.

This latter approach is advocated not only by various non-governmental organisations but also by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Agenda.

Key questions

  1. Where are the major gaps in international tax justice which need to be addressed at the conference in Addis Ababa?
  2. 2015 is a crucial year for international cooperation (keywords: new international climate change agreement, SDG agenda). What are the implications for more effective international tax cooperation?
  3. What measures need to be taken to ensure that developing countries benefit from international tax cooperation to a greater extent in future?

Brussels
Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU

6 May 2015

Conference language English

Cooperating Partner
CIDSE - International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies, Brussels

Supported by the
Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of North Rhine-Westphalia

NEWS

sef: Policy Lunch

The EU in Global Food Governance

REGISTER NOW!

Enough food is produced worldwide to feed humanity, yet more than 815 million people in the world are undernourished. What is the global vision for food and nutrition governance? What initiatives and reforms are being implemented? What role can the EU play?

sef: and CIDSE – International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies will debate these questions during a Policy Lunch in Brussels on 12 July 2018. Register now!

:further info here

Strengthening Social Security in Africa

REPORT PUBLISHED

Social protection is a human right. However, it is only a reality for about one fifth of the people living in Africa. What initiatives have been established at continental, regional and national level in recent years? How successful are they and what are the associated challenges? Around 80 experts discussed these questions during the Potsdam Spring Dialogues on 19/20 April 2018. Read the conference report now!

:further info here

sef: insights 3-4|2018

NEW PUBLICATIONS

During the Potsdam Spring Dialogues we spoke to two experts about innovative measures of social protection. Nkateko Chauke elaborates in the interview how a Basic Income Grant for the SADC region might work. Raquel Tebaldi gives recommendations how social protection might cover women better.

Read the interviews as sef: insights or watch them as videos!

:further info here

How to defend digital rights?

sef: HOSTS SESSION

Internet freedom is threatened in many states by restrictions to net neutrality or by governments shutting down internet applications. But there are rays of hope. In different world regions, civil society is mobilizing to protect net neutrality or to fight digital rights abuses in the courts. What do activists’ experiences from Europe and Africa have in common? What can journalists and the media contribute?

sef: will discuss these questions with experts from around the globe at a roundtable talk during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. Register now!

:further info here

Strengthening Local Peacebuilding

EXPERT CONFERENCE ON 29/30 May 2018

The Berlin Summer Dialogue on 29 and 30 May 2018 will discuss the chances and challenges of local peacebuilding as the basis for sustaining peace., with a particular focus on the participation of women and youth. In addition, we will look at useful support for local peace initiatives from outside. Further information and the programme can be found here. Participation by invitation only.

:further info here