Agreed EU budget does not match urgency and gravity of global crisis

Published: 11th November 2020

Today, negotiators of the European Parliament, member state governments and the Commission agreed on the top-line figures for the next EU long-term budget.

Reacting to the news, Oxfam’s Senior Aid Policy and Development Finance Advisor, Jeroen Kwakkenbos said:

“The EU had an opportunity to put itself at the forefront of a fair and green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The consensus reached today is, however, underwhelming at best. The agreed EU budget does not match the urgency and gravity of the crisis and the challenges ahead, and it will come at a human cost.

“The pandemic is pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation and increasing extreme poverty, while health systems in rich and poor countries are often ill equipped to respond. More EU money is needed for international aid to help save lives and build a greener, fairer and more resilient society.”

Oxfam’s EU Inequality and Tax Policy Advisor Chiara Putaturo said:

“The agreement on the list of the new EU common taxes is a significant improvement compared to the Council’s original proposal. This means European governments have more money to invest in essential services such as social protection and building hospitals and schools.

“The first step must be the introduction of, without delay, a simple digital levy on big tech companies at the EU level. At the same time, the EU should support more ambitious taxation of the digital economy in the ongoing global tax reform talks. It is unacceptable that big tech companies still do not pay their fair share of tax while their profits have soared during lockdowns around the world.”

Notes to editors

  • Oxfam spokespeople are available in Brussels.
  • The new agreed EU common taxes are a digital levy, environmental taxes, a Financial Transaction Tax as well as a financial contribution linked to the corporate sector or a new common corporate tax base.
  • Governments are currently negotiating a set of global tax reforms in the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework. In October, they agreed to postpone an agreement on a long-term solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy to mid-2021.

Contact information

Florian Oel | EU media lead|| desk +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60 

Jade Tenwick | EU media assistant | | desk +32 2 234 11 15 

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