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Taxation of the digital economy: Latest developments

15-12-2020

There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed ...

There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed the text of amendments to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation between the Member States (known as DAC7), which will oblige digital platform operators to provide information on the operations they intermediate. If an agreement is not achieved at global level by July 2021, it could trigger an EU response in the form of a digital levy. There is also a debate on whether that levy should be similar to the Commission proposal that failed to get political backing or not.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its implementation into EU Company law

05-11-2020

Building on both European Union (EU) law and chosen Member States’ legislation, this study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee aims at understanding to what extent Member States are supporting the development and the implementation of CSR strategies in the business community, with particular focus on due diligence requirements. It also attempts at providing some recommendations aimed at ...

Building on both European Union (EU) law and chosen Member States’ legislation, this study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee aims at understanding to what extent Member States are supporting the development and the implementation of CSR strategies in the business community, with particular focus on due diligence requirements. It also attempts at providing some recommendations aimed at possibility developing a comprehensive and structured approach to CSR for the whole of the EU.

Autore esterno

Kletia Noti ; Prof. Federico Maria Mucciarelli; Dr Virginia dalla Pozza; Carlo Angelici Mattia PILLININI.

Addressing health inequalities in the European Union: Concepts, action, state of play

19-02-2020

Tackling socially determined inequalities in health, both between and within European Union (EU) Member States, is still a major challenge. This analysis describes the main concepts and gives examples for health inequalities across the EU. It then presents an overview of the work accomplished at international and EU levels. It shows, in particular, how the EU institutions, bodies and agencies have contributed to reducing health inequalities, notwithstanding that Member States have the main responsibility ...

Tackling socially determined inequalities in health, both between and within European Union (EU) Member States, is still a major challenge. This analysis describes the main concepts and gives examples for health inequalities across the EU. It then presents an overview of the work accomplished at international and EU levels. It shows, in particular, how the EU institutions, bodies and agencies have contributed to reducing health inequalities, notwithstanding that Member States have the main responsibility for health policy. The analysis then goes on to depict stakeholder views, before closing with an outlook on avenues for further action.

Understanding money laundering through real estate transactions

04-02-2019

Money laundering through real estate transactions integrates black funds into the legal economy while providing a safe investment. It allows criminals to enjoy assets and derived funds having camouflaged the origin of the money used for payment. A number of techniques are used, namely cash or opaque financing schemes, overvalued or undervalued prices, and non-transparent companies and trusts or third parties that act as legal owners. Among the possible indicators are geographical features (such as ...

Money laundering through real estate transactions integrates black funds into the legal economy while providing a safe investment. It allows criminals to enjoy assets and derived funds having camouflaged the origin of the money used for payment. A number of techniques are used, namely cash or opaque financing schemes, overvalued or undervalued prices, and non-transparent companies and trusts or third parties that act as legal owners. Among the possible indicators are geographical features (such as the distance between the property and the buyer and their actual geographical centre of interest). In order to assess the existence of a money-laundering risk, concrete assessments of transactions and a customer's situation provide indications that help raise red flags and trigger reporting obligations. The anti-money-laundering recommendations set out by the international Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) are implemented in the European Union (EU) by means of coordinated provisions (chiefly the Anti-money-laundering Directive). Customer due diligence and reporting of suspicious transactions are tools to address money laundering. Real estate transactions involve both non-financial and financial sector parties operating under different legal requirements. Yet, reporting of suspicious transactions in real estate is limited, leaving ample room for improvement. Improvement is all the more necessary inasmuch as money laundering in general, and in the real estate sector in particular, has a major socio-economic impact, the magnitude of which is difficult to quantify. Awareness is however growing as a result not least of high profile examples of money laundering through real estate in a number of EU cities.

Towards food security in Africa: Are international private-public initiatives paving the way?

16-10-2017

The rise in global hunger in recent years undermines the perspective of 'zero hunger by 2030' set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. Africa is particularly affected, with more than a quarter of its population living in a situation of severe food insecurity, and its agriculture suffering from major hindrances to production. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) is one of the international initiatives that have both raised high expectations and opened up controversy ...

The rise in global hunger in recent years undermines the perspective of 'zero hunger by 2030' set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. Africa is particularly affected, with more than a quarter of its population living in a situation of severe food insecurity, and its agriculture suffering from major hindrances to production. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) is one of the international initiatives that have both raised high expectations and opened up controversy. Bringing together governments from both the North and the South, multinational firms and international agencies, it aims to boost investment in African agriculture so as to increase food security. Improved commercial seeds, use of inorganic fertilisers, infrastructure development and land-administration reforms are among the key elements of the project, underpinned by the use of public-private partnerships. After its first years of implementation, NAFSN proponents praise its market-oriented reforms and investments in the African countries involved. By contrast, its critics say that while paying lip service to smallholders, it serves the interests of corporate farming with no proven impact on food security. In 2016, the European Parliament voiced its concerns, pointing at a number of negative repercussions mainly on small-holders, and calling for a deep revamp of the NAFSN and the European Union (EU) support for agro-ecology based on small-scale farming. This briefing is a follow-up of an EP Library Briefing from October 2013.

Economic effects of reform in professional services

15-09-2017

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer ...

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

Understanding the OECD tax plan to address 'base erosion and profit shifting' – BEPS

29-06-2017

Action to fight corporate tax avoidance has been deemed necessary in the OECD forum, with further impetus from the G20/OECD 'Base erosion and profit shifting' action plan (known as BEPS), initiated in 2013. The BEPS action plan has 15 actions, covering elements used in corporate tax-avoidance practices and aggressive tax-planning schemes and was endorsed in 2015. The 15 BEPS final reports are generally seen as a step in the fight against corporate tax avoidance. The action against BEPS is designed ...

Action to fight corporate tax avoidance has been deemed necessary in the OECD forum, with further impetus from the G20/OECD 'Base erosion and profit shifting' action plan (known as BEPS), initiated in 2013. The BEPS action plan has 15 actions, covering elements used in corporate tax-avoidance practices and aggressive tax-planning schemes and was endorsed in 2015. The 15 BEPS final reports are generally seen as a step in the fight against corporate tax avoidance. The action against BEPS is designed to be flexible, as a consequence of its adoption by consensus. Recommendations made in BEPS reports range from minimum standards to guidelines, and also putting in place an instrument to modify the provisions of tax treaties related to BEPS practices. Implementation is under way, and the follow-up and future of work to tackle BEPS is organised so as to provide a more inclusive framework able to involve more countries and build on cooperation between international organisations. Putting BEPS actions in place is progressing, in particular with the finalisation of the multilateral instrument aimed at implementing treaty changes envisaged in the BEPS actions. Similarly, progress is being made with regard to the implementation of the BEPS four minimum standards, and documents are being developed to support the implementation of measures addressing BEPS in lower capacity developing countries. A table noting the different fora and their participants is annexed to the briefing. This briefing updates an earlier edition, PE 580.911, of April 2016 (except the part on ‘EU policy: How BEPS actions are translated’ which is the subject of a forthcoming briefing).

Western Balkans: Parliamentary oversight of the security sector

02-05-2017

Both the European Union and NATO have sought to promote democratic security sector governance as one of the criteria for their respective accession candidates. Consequently, the Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro and Serbia – have begun security sector reforms as part of their Euro-Atlantic integration. The overall objective of these reforms is to support the transformation of the security ...

Both the European Union and NATO have sought to promote democratic security sector governance as one of the criteria for their respective accession candidates. Consequently, the Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro and Serbia – have begun security sector reforms as part of their Euro-Atlantic integration. The overall objective of these reforms is to support the transformation of the security sector in accordance with democratic norms and the principles of good governance, rule of law, protection of human rights and efficient use of public resources. In this context, a special focus is placed on improving governance through greater civilian and parliamentary oversight of security processes. Since the 1990s, Western Balkan countries have all, in the push to reform their security sectors, made significant progress in terms of setting up the necessary legal framework and oversight mechanisms, including parliamentary committees. However, when it comes to aligning their security sectors with the principles of democratic governance, they have had varying success.

The future of work in the EU

24-04-2017

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks ...

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks, and as new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are needed to cater for the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which must adapt to new, constantly changing, requirements, unresolved ethical and practical problems relating to robotics, and the need for new digital skills, which are essential to survive in the new working environment.

EU Trade Policy and the Wildlife Trade

06-12-2016

The wildlife trade is one of the most lucrative trades in the world. The legal trade into the EU alone is worth EUR 100 billion annually, while the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth between EUR 8 and 20 billion annually. The trade is highly complex and its legal and illegal forms are often connected. The illegal wildlife trade cannot be tackled via the use of trade policy alone; instead trade instruments need to be used in conjunction with broader means of addressing the wide ...

The wildlife trade is one of the most lucrative trades in the world. The legal trade into the EU alone is worth EUR 100 billion annually, while the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth between EUR 8 and 20 billion annually. The trade is highly complex and its legal and illegal forms are often connected. The illegal wildlife trade cannot be tackled via the use of trade policy alone; instead trade instruments need to be used in conjunction with broader means of addressing the wide range of reasons why wildlife is traded illegally first place. This includes the need to reduce poverty and inequality in source countries, demand reduction in consumer countries and tackling corruption, organised crime, poor enforcement and low penalties in many source, transit and end user markets. The EU is also facing some new challenges in the legal and illegal wildlife trade, emanating from the growth of e-commerce, expansion of private mailing centres and the growth of containerisation. The EU already has a strong track record in promoting a legal and sustainable trade, while also attempting to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. The EU already has a legal framework (EUWTR) which sets out stricter arrangements than CITES for trading in wildlife products. It has played an active role at CITES since it joined as a member in 2015, and all 20 EU proposals were accepted at CITES CoP17 in 2016. It now has an opportunity to use trade policy to embed and develop this track record further.

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