Eurodad reaction to reports that the EU and UK are obstructing UN tax negotiations

GATJ

13 Nov 2023

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GATJ

13 Nov 2023

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Today the Financial Times (FT) has published a story which reveals that the European Union and United Kingdom have been playing an obstructive role in the ongoing negotiations about strengthening international tax cooperation at the UN.

In October 2023, the Africa Group tabled a proposal to negotiate a UN Convention on Tax, but according to developing country negotiators quoted by the FT, the EU and UK have been trying to “kill” the process.

In response to this Tove Maria Ryding, tax coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) and member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ)’s coordination committee, said:

“It’s really shocking that the EU seems to be playing an obstructive role in the UN tax negotiations. Given that international tax dodging is costing the EU Member States billions of Euros in lost tax income every year, they should be thanking the African countries for proposing a global solution to this problem in the form of a UN Tax Convention. 

“With the call for a UN Convention on Tax, developing countries are asking for a chance to participate on an equal footing when global tax standards are decided. It beggars belief that the EU continues to argue that global tax standards should be set by the OECD – also known as the “Rich Countries Club”. 

“For years, the EU has regularly published  a blacklist of countries that they consider “uncooperative” on international tax issues. But now it looks like it is actually the EU itself that is being uncooperative. The Africa Group has invited all countries of the world to sit down and negotiate a solution to combat international tax dodging. It`s high time for the EU to prove that they are ready to negotiate in good faith and engage constructively in the negotiation of a UN Tax Convention.

“While governments are struggling to find the funding for public services and climate action, hundreds of billions of Euros are lost every year because multinational corporations and wealthy individuals continue to use tax havens to dodge taxes. The negotiation of a UN Tax Convention should be treated as an issue of highest priority and urgency.” 

Earlier this month, more than 200 organisations and trade unions published a letter which calls for all governments to support the adoption of the proposal tabled by the Africa Group and start the negotiation of a UN Tax Convention.

END

Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manger, Eurodad: +44 7958 184 695/ jravenscroft@eurodad.org

Notes to Editors:

A newly published Q&A provides which can be found here answers to 47 frequently asked questions about the UN tax discussions, such as:

  • Why do we need a UN Convention on Tax?
  • What is the 2023 Draft Resolution On International Tax Cooperation?
  • What will be decided at the UN in November 2023?
  • Won’t the UN just be duplicating the OECD?
  • Do OECD countries have an interest in supporting a UN Tax Convention?

Furthermore, the document explains why this issue is highly relevant to the broader UN agenda, including sustainable development, gender equality and the global fight against climate change.

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