The ETUC salutes the enormous efforts that have been made by citizens and organisations to ensure that multi-national companies are required by the European Union to report country by country on their economic activities.
This is vital to ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax in the countries where their profits are generated, and do not engage in clever accounting to end up declaring only where taxes are very low.
Today the European Union is in final secret negotiations to agree a deal on public country by country reports (pCBCR).
The ETUC is extremely alarmed at persistent rumours that what is being proposed is extremely weak and far from proper and disaggregated pCBCR.
Instead, we hear that there could be limited information covering only the EU and some (so-called black and grey listed) countries and very weak powers to review unnecessary business secrecy.
The European Union risks being seen as the stooges of unfair and bad business practices while the USA moves further and quicker in honest business transparency.
The European Union has received calls for real pCBCR from investors representing trillions in assets, from civil society organisations and from trade unions. But it seems this may not be enough.
The ETUC cannot support this worst-business-practice behaviour. Weak and watered-down reporting would be a betrayal of the hopes and expectations of working people. We do not ask for a revolution, just simple information.
We call on negotiators to take their responsibility, to take the side of fair taxation and decent public services, to resist the apparent urge to take the side of multi-nationals who want to decide for themselves who they owe tax to.