A manifesto for Europe

Concretely, our first proposal is that the eurozone countries, starting with France and Germany, share their corporate income tax (CIT). Alone, each country is hoodwinked by the multinationals of every country, which play on the loopholes and differences between national legislations to avoid paying tax anywhere. National sovereignty has thus become a myth. To fight against this “tax optimisation”, a sovereign European authority needs to be given the power to establish a common tax base that is as broad as possible and strictly regulated. Each country might then continue to set its own CIT rate on this common base, with a minimum rate of around 20%, and with an additional rate on the order of 10% to be levied at the federal level. This would make it possible to give the eurozone a real budget, on the order of 0.5% to 1% of GDP.

As the Glienicke group rightfully points out, this budget capacity would allow the eurozone to carry out stimulus and investment programmes, in particular with respect to the environment, infrastructure and training. But unlike our German friends, we feel it is essential that the budget of the eurozone comes from a European tax, not from contributions by the states. In these times of starving budgets, the eurozone needs to demonstrate its ability to raise taxes more fairly and more efficiently than the states; otherwise people will not grant it the right to spend. Beyond that, it is necessary to very quickly generalise the automatic exchange of banking information within the eurozone and establish a concerted policy to make the taxation of income and wealth more progressive, while at the same time jointly waging an active fight against tax havens outside the zone. Europe must help to bring tax justice and political will into the globalisation process: such is the content of our first proposal.