We will transform the financial system to prioritize people over profits. The 2008 crisis revealed fundamental flaws in our financial system. But in the years since, policymakers have failed to address them. Millions of people are still struggling with debt, while the banks rake in record profits.
The structure of the Eurozone has created severe inequality between countries, regions, and classes. The enforcement of ‘austerity’ has deepened these inequalities and prevented national governments from addressing their economic challenges.
European Spring believes that Europe’s economic institutions should serve the interests of the many, not the few.
We demand tax justice. Each year, the EU loses over €1 trillion to corporations and individuals dodging their taxes. We must put an end to this unfair system.
We will enforce the EU-wide Financial Transactions Tax that has been proposed by the European Parliament. The Financial Transaction Tax is a core element in our strategy to strengthen solidarity among memberstates and to finance crucial expenditure for the common good.
In order to prevent the reckless banking that led to the last financial crisis, we are calling for a new macroprudential framework to reduce risk and encourage investment among Europe’s banks.
We propose that European countries come to a multilateral agreementon Inheritance Tax to minimise the transfer of economic inequality from one generation to the next and to provide a strong, efficient funding base for the spending in our programme.
We will end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation. We support the European Parliament’s proposal for a ‘Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base’, and we will push to implement it within the parliamentary mandate.
Transparency for the EU budget is essential for combatting corruption and ensuring that EU money is spent fairly. We will develop a digital tool to enable the public to see where EU budget money is going, how it is spent, and what the outcomes of these projects are.
The EU budget is a vital resource of investment for all EU member-states. We will introduce new measures to expand the EU budget, while matching these spending commitments with EU own resources.
We will develop several avenues for raising the revenue for this ambitious budget, including a carbon tax to curb climate change, a tax on financial transactions, and the introduction of new Eurobonds to finance infrast-ructure projects across the EU, among others.
To address economic inequality in the EU, we need to think beyond the EU budget. Countries that consistently run large trade surpluses push down demand in the global economy, hurting all. Conversely, countries with consistent trade deficits can easily fall into debt crises.
That is why we are calling for a European Clearing Union (ECU) that will rebalance Europe’s lop-sided trade relations. The ECU would create a common accounting unit, and it would evaluate each country on how much it exports or how much it imports. The ECU would tax countries with high levels of trade surplus, and it would use these additional funds to invest in regions that lack access to investment resources.
In this way, the ECU will significantly reduce the structural inequalities between EU member-states. In addition, the ECU will incentivise countries with large trade surpluses to stop “living beneath their means” and increase wages and investment, reducing inequality within countries, as well.
The Maastricht Treaty has put a harsh limit on member-state debt. However, since 2008, most member-states have exceeded this limit. The Eurozone needs a sustainable solution to this problem.
We will offer the opportunity for member-states to convert their debt with a loan serviced by the European Central Bank at a very low rate, reducing debt burden in the short-term and — due to the low rate — in the long-term, as well.
We will also ensure that the ECB is protected from losses by ensuring that its new liabilities are given priority over its other obligations, and by forcing the European Stability Mechanism to ensure their bonds, as well.
We support the establishment of a European Treasury that will radically expand investment across Europe. The current set of policies — from the Stability and Growth Pact to the European Fiscal Compact — have created a straitjacket. European authorities lack access to fiscal resources, and Europe has suffered a crisis of underinvestment as a result.
The European Treasury would remove these constraints through a mix of EU taxes and bond issues. Such a Treasury could, for example, guide the Green New Deal through its bond issues, among other projects.
We will complete the banking union in order to guarantee the integrity of the Eurozone and protect it from future financial shocks. Our plan is twofold:
Please find all our policies as PDF here.