Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne

Luxemburger Grüne engagieren sich für Europäische Steuerkooperation

Bei einem Besuch der Grünen Mitglieder des Wirtschaftsausschusses des Europaparlaments in Luxemburg hat die Grüne Luxemburger Parlamentsfraktion gemeinsam mit den Europa-Abgeordneten Pascal Canfin, Philippe Lamberts, Claude Turmes und mir die folgende Erklärung abgegeben:

Luxembourg Declaration on the crisis in the European Union

 

Parliamentary group of déi gréng and Green MEPs Pascal Canfin, Sven Giegold, Philippe Lamberts and Claude Turmes

Emergency measures

• In a spirit of solidarity, financial assistance for countries in a situation like Greece and Ireland needs to be extended at affordable interest rates (close the actual rate at which the European Financial Stability Facility EFSF obtains financing in the market)

• There is a need for a rapid definition of national special insolvency regimes, allowing Member States authorities to intervene in financial institutions in order to restructure debt or converting it into equity while keeping or taking over operations such as deposits, savings and small business banking into ‘good banks’. A coordinated action plan for debt restructuring requires an ad hoc coordinated burden sharing approach in order to avoid externalizing the total cost of exposure to insolvency to taxpayers.

• It must be made sure that the wealthiest in the countries concerned contribute in a significant manner. We strongly criticise the socially unjust distribution of adjustment costs in the already agreed programmes.  Conditions must be designed in a way to reduce inequalities rather than making the poor pay. The reduction of public spending must not hit public services nor lead to the choking of economic development.

The ultimate goal must be a Common European Economic Policy

• Beyond the current emergency, a long term approach requires a comprehensive reform and enhancement of EU economic governance in order to tackle the structural causes of the current crisis. In addition to the need for a sustainable and effective reduction of public debts and deficits, the broader issue of macroeconomic imbalances such as excessive private debt (through for example housing bubbles) and excessive current accounts deficits and surpluses must be addressed. As for the latter, mechanisms must be introduced to incite member states to boost internal demand by for example introducing minimum wages and new investments in the social and ecological transformation of the economy.

• The EU financial regulation reform process must be completed to ensure that risks generated by the financial sector are controlled properly. Tough rules on short-selling, derivatives as well as capital requirements must be adopted in 2011. Given that the expertise and lobbying concerning new rules for finance is very one-sided, essentially dominated by the financial sector itself, Green MEPs, followed by MEPs from other political groups in charge of the legislation on financial markets and banks, launched in June 2010 a call for Finance Watch (www.finance-watch.org) to pave the way for counter-expertise to be developed. This found the support of 160 MEPs and national MP’s from five political groups, and concrete work with NGOs, trade unions, consumer organisations, academics, etc. is underway to set up Finance Watch during the course of 2011.

• There will be no healthy public finances in Europe without adequate taxation revenues as well as a build up of a Fiscal Union. This requires:

a) a quantum leap in fighting tax fraud and evasion,

b) a more adequate contribution of corporations: a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) as well as tax rate harmonisation towards a minimum of 25% must be introduced at EU level, and tax rulings of individual member states tax authorities for individual cross-boarder companies must be made public.

c) a generalisation of automatic information exchange, including dividends, royalties and capital gains, to be extended to all OECD countries

d) significant progress on new fiscal resources for member States (Financial Transaction Tax, energy and other environmental taxation), potentially becoming own resources for the EU

e) Eurobonds for Member States’ sovereign debt refinancing and Project Bonds for financing ‘a European Green New deal’, in other words, the ecological transformation of the European economy.

f) In the medium run, the unanimity rule which still prevails in tax matters – practically preventing any progress – must be replaced by qualified majority voting and co-decision with the European Parliament.

As we Greens see it, the current situation is a “make or break” moment for the future or Europe’s political integration. We do not underestimate the destructive potential of the current financial, economic and social turmoil for Europe’s societies. We need to resolve this crisis combining the re-establishment of our public and private finances on sound bases and the investments in a Green New Deal that must enable Europe to be a pioneer in building a sustainable society of the 21st century. Failing that, Europe risks ending up as both unable to guarantee quality of life and social justice to its citizens and irrelevant as a global player.