After a first edition in Berlin in October 2015, the European progressive interparliamentary conference took place for the second time on 7-8 April 2016 in the Assemblée Nationale in Paris. This new meeting format is coming from the will of the socialist and social democratic MPs of the committees for finance and for budget of the national and European parliaments in order to exchange on economic policies to be implemented in Europe, to elaborate together convergence points.
At the conference, the deputies agreed on the following joint resolution:
- We concluded we need to ensure a much stronger recovery in Europe, based on stronger private and public investment, reducing the weakness of domestic demand and implementing a progressive agenda of reforms. These reforms should focus on the following priorities:
- enhancing the growth potential,
- ensuring sustainable social systems,
- reducing social inequalities.
We are pushing for investment in job creation, focusing on the priorities of resource efficiency, digital revolution and social investment. The upcoming National Reform Programmes and country-specific recommendations should reflect these priorities.
- We underline the importance of the struggle against evasion, aggressive fiscal optimisation and money laundering, also in Europe. We formulate 7 proposals:
1) Ensure that country by country reporting delivers transparency, notably by requiring that companies publish the requested data for all countries and not only for EU Member States;
2) Harmonise the thresholds for enterprises and banks to reinforce the requirements of publication or automatic exchange of information between fiscal administrations;
3) Establish a blueprint among interested Member States aiming at defining the outlines for European harmonisation of corporate profit taxation;
4) In the context of revising the VAT directive, we ask the Commission to avoid increasing the divergence between national VAT systems, as this would risk weakening the tax base;
5) Target tax havens through a precise European list, which will be publicly disclosed;
6) Regulate trust funds it order to avoid they lead to a form of fiscal evasion through credits or loans;
7) Adopt Finland’s approach aiming at strictly reducing the use of indirect ownership of securities. This will help to prevent hiding the identity of the real owner.
Overall the deepening of the EMU will only succeed with more convergence of tax policy.
- We affirm the urgency for Europe to respond with one single voice to the need to welcome refugees and the security of Europe.