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in the Commission for Finance and the Commission for European Affairs of the French Parliament the party of Sarkozy (UMP) has taken up the draft resolution of the Socialist Party (PS) on the FTT with some changes. 


The draft of the PS was proposed for a parallel debate with the German parliament which will take place on June 8th. 


ENOFAD, the European Network on Finance and Development has launched a parliamentarian's Call for an FTT. Send the text to you MP or MEP:

Parliamentarian’s Declaration for the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)


The OECD unveiled a new, interactive index that will let people measure and compare their lives in a way that goes beyond traditional GDP numbers.

Called Your Better Life Index, the tool is part of a larger OECD Better Life Initiative that aims to measure well-being and progress. The index allows citizens to compare lives across 34 countries, based on 11 dimensions -- housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance -- giving their own weight to each of the dimensions.

“This index encapsulates the OECD at 50, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding in a pioneering and innovative manner,” said OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría. “People around the world have wanted to go beyond GDP for some time. This index is designed for them. It has extraordinary potential to help us deliver better policies for better lives.”

Go and see how your country performs and compare the well-being across countries based on 11 topics of material well-being and quality of life. 


As a result of pressure from below in France and Germany the French  Assemblée Nationale 
and the German Bundestag (the parliaments of the two countries) will hold 
simultanously a session on a joint French-German initiative for the FTT.  

The parallel sessions are scheduled for the 9th of June from 9:30 h - 11.30 h. 
This is also media wise the best timing. 
 This is a very good backing for our efforts to get finally a common strategy of the two countries.
 The parallel initiative has been arranged by the French Parti Socialiste and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).   
 On both sides a motion will be presented with a list of common steps for the implementation of the FTT.

For those who want to know more on 'Finance Watch': a new body which wants to ensure that the interests of civil society are better taken into account when reforming the financial sector. Good financial services are essential and have a strong public interest dimension.

The Madrid meeting of trade union leaders states that green en decent jobs, social protection and a Financial Transaction Tax must be on the Rio+20 Agenda.

Read ...

The IMF will help poor countries to improve their tax systems ...

Read ...

A unilateral financial transactions tax by the eurozone is becoming increasingly likely, according to Financial Times Deutschland, after Jean-Claude Juncker, who had previous been sceptical, is now fully in favour. Under discussion is a transactions tax of 0.1% to 0.5% of turnover. The pressure on this issue comes from the European Council. The European Commission has been sceptical, and pressure is now growing on Algirdas Semeta, the tax commission to develop a proposal. Juncker said he had preferred to levy such a tax at G20 level, but since this is not possible, the eurozone, should press ahead. The problem with any such proposal is to prevent transaction being routed into offshore financial centres, such as Singapore or Shanghai. And since any proposal on tax requires unanimity, it is very likely that those in favour of the tax would have to invoke the enhanced cooperation procedures under the Lisbon Treaty. But that would be a lengthy process, and unlikely to get the tax ready for 2012.

As you know the EU Commission is holding a public consultation on the FTT via Internet. 

The consultation consists mainly of a questionnaire to be filled in. 


It is meant as an input for an official report on the FTT and the FAT (Financial Activities Tax) by the Commission, which will be released in summer.

Whereas the European Parliament and some member states such as Austria, Germany, France and others are in favor of the FTT to be introduced in Europe, the Commissioner for taxation, Semeta, is against a European FTT.

It is therefore necessary, that there is not only the voice of the finance industry in this consultation. As many European civil society organisations, networks and individuals as possible should express their support for the FTT.

Jean Saldanha, CIDSE, Brussels
Peter Wahl, WEED, Berlin

Guide to the EU-Consultation on the FTT: 

Website on the consultation


Richard Murphy is a founder of the Tax Justice Network and director of Tax Research LLP. An expert on tax policy, he writes a daily blog which provides regular news on his activities and opinions at

The  European Council of Ministers held its 3074th Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) Council meeting in Brussels on 10 March 2011. As a result it:

Invited the Commission to come forward with initiatives, in consultation with Member States and relevant stakeholders, on the disclosure of financial information by companies working in the extractive industry, including the possible adoption of a country-by-country reporting requirement, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the extractive industry, and the monitoring of third-country legislation;

It’s a shame the move is not as yet towards  full country-by-country reporting.

But it’s another massive step forward towards country-by-country reporting for the extractive industries.

And I warmly welcome that.

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