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What has Europe been doing?

By Alasdair Roxburgh | 9 July 2010

Over the past seven months the European Community has made a series of encouraging steps towards making sure developing countries can raise more tax to spend on essential services.

These include tackling tax dodging by unscrupulous multinational companies.

At the start of the year as Spain took over the presidency of the European Union, they signalled an increasing change in attitude towards the role of tax in development by putting it high on their agenda during their six month presidency.

Meanwhile in the European Parliament, Eva Joly, a French MEP and life-long campaigner against corruption, has been very vocal in dealing with tax dodging.

She has led calls in the EU for greater tax transparency and helped persuade policymakers that tax justice is intrinsic to fighting poverty. She has chaired debates both on the role of tax havens and tax dodging which Christian Aid has contributed to.

Check out Christian Aids Tax Superhero Awards for more on Eva

In recent months the European Commission put out a communication on tax dodging and good governance.

In this they called for further exploration into the possibility of introducing country-by-country reporting – something that Christian Aid has been calling for.

In addition to this they are looking to spend more of their aid budget on helping developing countries strengthen their tax systems and to make governments more accountable in how they spend revenues from taxes.

All this is encouraging progress in tackling tax dodging in developing countries but we need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the poor get a fair deal in these international reforms. 

 About the author

Alasdair Roxburgh

Alasdair Roxburgh is our churches campaigns manager