30/05/2015- The country-specific recommendations (CSRs) released by the European Commission are devoid of any mention of Environmentally Harmful Subsidies, expert platform Green Budget Europe (GBE) reveals. This stands in stark contrast to the CSRs issued in 2014, when the Commission pointedly asked Italy to “remove environmentally harmful subsidies”. Last year, the Commission had also requested both Belgium and France to “phase out environmentally harmful subsidies”. GBE says: “Overall, the entire CSRs run to around 5,000 words but the very word environment is only used in once. That’s in relation to one of Europe’s smallest countries – Luxembourg – which the Commission asks to “broaden its tax base, in particular on consumption, recurrent property taxation and environmental taxation”.
20/05/2015- The EU is failing to deliver an inclusive recovery strategy, which is urgently needed to bring the Europe 2020 Strategy back on track – in particular to combat poverty, create quality jobs, invest in early child development, equality for all, including gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability. This is the critical assessment of the Semester Alliance, a broad European coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, responding to the European Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) published on 13 May 2015.
On 13/05/2015 the European Commission made public its proposals for Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs). The European Anti-Poverty Network reacted sharply to the Commission’s proposals for country-specific recommendations, which were published on the 13th of May. “The new recommendations may be closely aligned with President Juncker’s key priorities in the Annual Growth Survey: boosting investment, structural reforms and responsible fiscal policies, but they offer little in the way of a vision to turn the tide for the more than 120 million people in poverty in Europe,” said Sérgio Aires, President of EAPN. EAPN is very concerned about the increasing invisibility of Europe 2020 Strategy together with its commitments to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and to deliver on the targets – particularly to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020.
EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, has been running the No Tax Fraud Campaign http://www.notaxfraud.eu/ to fight the tax gap in Europe estimated at € 1000 bn per year (Study by UK expert Richard Murphy for the S&D), as part of the alternatives to EU-coordinated austerity. EPSU believes that it is essential to tackle tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance and ensure that governments are able to collect the levels of the tax that have been democratically agreed to finance public services and redistribute wealth and income.
17/03/2015 – The Semester Alliance, a broad European coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, calls on the European Council and the European Parliament to ensure that the European Commission’s proposal for a European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) focuses on achieving the Europe 2020 targets. For this to be attained, changes must be made to the proposal to ensure that the Investments will have a particular focus on Social and Sustainable projects, whilst also being based on a transparent and democratic decision-making process.
GBE/EEB/CEE Bankwatch and WWF 2015 CSRs in Support of the European Semester Proccess. Recommendations in the Eurozone include a tax shift proposal from labour to environmental harmful production of 1 per cent, include a resource efficiency indicator in the Macro-economic governance and a development of a concrete strategy by each of all Member States on how to finish with all environmental harmful subsidies by 2020 latest.
The CSRs document is available here.
16/03/2015- European Semester 3.0: Strong policy coherence needed to rebuild trust and a sustainable development perspective. A policy paper by Green Budget Europe/European Environmental Bureau/CEE BankWatch and WWF. This paper calls for an acceleration of the Environmental Fiscal Reforms via the European Semester and highlights the need to encourage Member States delivery on sustainable development while recalling the European Semester process ‘impact remains mixed’.
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