Over recent years, there has been a shift in bargaining power in the food supply chain, mostly to the advantage of the retail sector and some transnational companies and to the detriment of suppliers, in particular primary producers. The concentration of bargaining power has led to the abuse of positions of dominance causing weaker operators to become increasingly vulnerable to Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs). The opinion takes stock of the impact of UTPs, stresses the difficult position of the most vulnerable actors along the chain and calls for action at EU level to stop UTPs and promote a fairer food supply chain.
The EESC expresses its support for the Commission in combating the erosion of Member States' tax bases and unfair tax competition. The Committee in this context endorses the introduction of a CCCTB and is also pleased that the Commission has published a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The EESC goes even further and proposes that EU rules should include sanctions for companies that continue to run their business through tax havens.
On 14 March, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the Global Competition Law Centre of the College of Europe organised an online conference on Competition Policy and Social Sustainability to continue the debate on how joint sustainability initiatives can be compatible with competition law.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) firmly believes that infringements of human rights can be better prevented when there is an internationally agreed binding standard implemented and protected by states. Therefore, in an opinion adopted at its December plenary session, the EESC supports the United Nations Human Rights Council initiative to adopt a binding UN treaty to regulate businesses activities, including sanctions in case of violation of international human rights law.
The reporting mechanism will contribute to more tax justice and fair competition in the EU
The European Commission must set out more precise hallmarks for the proposed reporting obligations on cross-border tax arrangements and transactions in order to prevent subjective interpretation by taxpayers and tax authorities which could lead to over-reporting and administrative burdens, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges in its recently adopted opinion on disincentives to tax avoidance or evasion.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, declared at the May plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) that "the Commission has been pushing for digital taxation because we need a global solution; it's unacceptable that some companies pay taxes and others don't". Read more..
The European economy loses over 2% of productivity per year due to a mismatch of skills, according to a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee. This means a loss of 80 eurocents for each hour of work. The situation will get even worse in the future due to demographic trends and ongoing technological developments, if no reforms are undertaken.