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RESOLUTION OF THE 106th SESSION OF THE ACP COUNCIL OF MINISTERS HELD IN BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) ON 5 AND 6 DECEMBER 2017

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EU LIST OF THE NON-COOPERATIVE TAX JURISDICTIONS

 

The ACP Council of Ministers,

-        Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 5th and 6th December 2017,

 

A.          HAVING REGARD TO the Resolution on the common European Union list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions adopted by its 104th Session;

 

B.          HAVING REGARD TO the outcomes of the 20th meeting of the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee, specifically related to the discussion on the process towards an EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, and further discussions with the EU during the 15th Joint Ministerial Trade Committee;

 

C.           NOTING the publication of an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, which was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 5 December 2017;

 

D.          FURTHER NOTING that as of 5 December 2017, eight (8) ACP States have been listed by the EU; and an additional thirteen (13) have been placed on scrutiny;

 

E.           NOTING ALSO that because of the impact of natural disasters, which have devastated their economies, that some ACP Member States have not appeared on this list have been given only until 2018 to comply with the unilateral EU policies;

 

F.           MINDFUL of the fact that OECD is the sole body for setting norms and standards on tax cooperation at the international level, and RECALLING the proposals for the creation of an intergovernmental tax body in the United Nations (UN) to replace the UN advisory committee of experts on international tax cooperation;

 

G.          CONCERNED that the EU has unilaterally established a standard for the definition of tax good governance which is at variance with that of the OECD, and without due consultation with ACP States;

 

H.      CONCERNED also about the nature of, and the lack of transparency associated with the screening process that has been conducted by the EU;

 

I.         AFFIRMING that several of the listed countries remain in compliance, or are largely   compliant with the OECD Standards on Tax Good Governance;

 

J.            REITERATING that the unwarranted inclusion on such a list results in extensive reputational damage with negative economic impact and consequences, for affected countries;

 

HEREBY RESOLVES TO:

 

1.           Express profound concern regarding the unilateral and discriminatory approach of the EU in this matter;

 

2.           Call on the EU to respect and comply with the letter and spirit of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement;

 

3.           Note that no EU member state appears on the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions despite the scale of their economies and financial services sectors, and despite several EU members having tax practices that are equivalent or more liberal than those of the listed countries;

 

4.           Note with concern that most of the countries blacklisted or put under scrutiny were small, developing States with vulnerable economies;

 

5.           Express deep concern with the recommendations of the EU Council for its Member States to take certain co-ordinated defensive measures in the tax area in accordance with their national law and in accordance with the obligations under EU and international law, as a follow-up to this publication by the EU and the dire financial impact of any sanctions on the vulnerable economies of the affected ACP countries;

 

6.           Condemn in the strongest terms possible the unilateral practices of the EU in this regard, and the pressure placed on many small States to comply with the EU standard, in flagrant disrespect of their sovereignty;

 

7.           Affirm that this action undermines the trust and confidence necessary in the lead up to the negotiations of the future ACP-EU partnership post 2020;

 

8.           Demand that the EU enter into dialogue with the ACP towards a resolution of this matter, as a matter of urgency; and

 

9.           Instruct the President of Council to forward this decision to the European Commission, Council of the European Union and the European Parliament as well as to African Union Commission and the ACP Regional Integration Organizations.

 

 

Brussels, 6 December 2017

 


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