There were some important debates in Brussels recently where Hans Böckler Stiftung held a two-day symposium with the European Trade Union Institute looking at the changes citizens in Europe are facing in the workplace and examining the challenges for the new leaders who will be in place as a result of the May 2019 EU elections. As the Hans Böckler Foundation says,
Those elections will determine what chance we stand of continuing to develop a Social Europe fit to live in, with positive prospects for jobs and companies, or whether we shall be stuck with the task of defending Europe against its proliferating crew of political enemies.”
Questions were discussed such as:
- How to protect and strengthen the capacity of workers and their representatives to influence strategic decisions within companies
- How to improve workers’ information, consultation and participation rights at the EU-level
- What can and should the European Commission do?
As the Hans Böckler Foundation also writes “Vigorous democratic development of the social market economy will be decisive in determining the future of the European Union.” And tax policies are absolutely key, of course.
There is much talk of how to improve the taxing the digital economy. Here you can follow the fascinating discussion which includes the Tax Justice Network’s Markus Meinzer who describes, “the rise of multinational companies after the Second World War whereby the structural power base between capital and labour has been tipping against labour in favour of capital because it’s more mobile…and because we are raised, educated under the myth of tax competition…We see a shift in the tax mix in the past forty years that harms workers around the globe where the total contribution in tax income by corporates is stagnant or falling…what would provide for that accountability and transparency is public country-by-country reporting.”