Building awareness of tax justice in Europe and sub-saharan Africa

02.06.2015 | admin

First meeting in Madrid as part of the EC-funded project on tax justice led by EPSU and War On Want

In Madrid, on May 27th, EPSU and the UK charity War On Want organised the first meeting as part of an EC-funded project which aims at building awareness of tax justice in Europe and sub-saharan Africa. The meeting was hosted by FSP-UGT, the federation of public service unions of the Spanish confederation UGT.

Almost thirty participants, working in Spanish tax authorities, took part in this event: fiscal administration employees, tax inspectors as well as tax justice experts and practitioners.

Also, to note the participation of Magdalena Álvarez (tax inspector. Former EIB Vice-president and former minister for Public Infrastructures) who presented her experience as former political leader involved in tax justice issues. She addressed, in particular, her experience as Member of the European Parliament in Brussels where she worked on fiscal transparency.

The participants were particularly interested in the several interventions given by keynote speakers: Susanna Ruiz (Responsible for tax justice at Oxfam Spain) gave a presentation on corporate transparency in Spain, Nadja Salson (policy advisor at EPSU) presented the recent development at European level in terms of tax policies with a special focus on country-by-country reporting currently discussed in the European parliament, the OECD BEPS policy and the systematization of tax optimisation by transnational companies such as McDonald's. Finally, Owen Espley (Campaign officer at War on Want, UK) addressed the global fight for tax justice and how we can make multinationals pay back their fair share. To illustrate the fight at global level he presented the War on Want campaign against the British transnational company Boots.

Following this set of interventions, participants and speakers had a lively debate on working conditions in tax administrations in Spain. Due to the changes in employment in tax authorities between 2008 and 2012 (almost 1000 job losses), the situation in terms of working conditions has become worse more than ever. Participants also addressed the issue of performance related pay and its possible negative impact on tax collection and working conditions.

For further information on the discussion on working conditions in Spain, job losses and performance related pay, click here.

The next meeting as part of this project will be organised in Vienna, on June 24th.


Working documents:

Agenda in English and Spanish

Ice-breaking activity (tax justice questions)




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