As underlined by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, this is an issue of crucial importance for Europe’s economy and social cohesion. Tax evasion was chosen to be at the centre of discussions in an attempt ‘to seize the current political momentum and to provide further impetus to our European efforts to improve the efficiency of our tax policies’, according to Van Rompuy.
In plenary session this week, the European Parliament also opted to send a strong message to the European Council by debating the issue. MEPs called on governments to act urgently in the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud through concrete actions and not just words. The European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) could not agree more.
In times of economic crisis, it is more important than ever for governments to secure stable revenue. An effective tax administration can significantly contribute to increasing a country’s revenue by clamping down on tax fraud and tax evasion. This will ensure citizens and workers are partially relieved by the economic burden which is currently weighing unfairly on their shoulders.
In the context of the current debates within the EU institutions which are centred around tax issues, CESI and the Union of Finance Personnel in Europe (UFE) would like to highlight the recently established joint position (PDF) on the European Commission’s Action Plan ‘to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion’.
The joint position was reached following strong cooperation which began in February 2013. Together CESI and UFE represent several hundred thousand employees in this sector, making this a position which is founded both on highly-valued expertise and widespread support among workers in the field of taxation.
CESI and UFE first and foremost find the Commission’s Action Plan to be weak and lacking in conviction. The Commission should be introducing concrete measures which are taken immediately, giving vigor to the fight against tax evasion and fiscal fraud.
To achieve this, CESI and UFE have jointly set out clear and comprehensive recommendations for the EU institutions and all relevant stakeholders to take on board when transforming this action plan into legislative proposals.
The joint position appeals to all EU institutions and stakeholders who will be involved in the legislation that follows from this Action Plan to make full use of the experience and practices at their disposal through CESI and UFE. This will ensure a far better success rate when it comes to implementing the legislation in Member States.
The European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) is a European umbrella organisation, with members from EU member states and associated countries. Not politically affiliated, CESI represents several million employees, championing for better living and working conditions, as well as the progress of Europe’s social dimension.
The Union of Finance Personnel in Europe (UFE) represents the interests of employees from all ranks of tax and customs administration authorities in Europe, bringing together more than 400,000 members from 40 member unions in 20 different countries.