Tax evasion and corrupt governance – Michèle Rivasi
Local governance, corruption, a lack of transparency in multi-national companies, the opacity of Heads of State, stepping up intra-ACP trade and common management of ACP-EU migration were among the many topics discussed by the African Caribbean Pacific–European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) at its 31st session which closed this Wednesday 15 June, in Windhoek.
Speaking at the opening session, the Vice-President of the EU Delegation, Michèle Rivasi, extended her gratitude to Namibia for hosting the 31st session saying “I particularly wish to thank the Namibian National Assembly for its warm welcome and for its cooperation in organizing the session. Since the beginning of 2016, southern Africa is very much central in the work of our Assembly.”
Over four days the assemby discussed a wide range of topics, kicking off on Monday with an opening ceremony and a press conference where Ms Rivasi touched on the illicit outflow of money from Africa saying “it is absurd when multi-nationals do not pay taxes and store untouched profits in offshore tax havens. Regarding controls in the European Union, she said that all multi-nationals must report to the EU on all profits made in Namibia. Rivasi further said legislation such as the Dodd Frank act [in the USA] serves as a good example of transparency and regulation in the marketplace.
Rivasi added that transparency must be a mandatory requirement for both Heads of State and multi-nationals. Although hardly relevant to Namibia, she touched on the impact of illegal immigration, saying the role of the ACP-EU partnership pertains to helping countries in unrest by creating economic development and giving incentives to member countries in the African Caribbean Pacific complex to open up their borders to migrants.
In the closing day of the joint parliamentary sessions it was agreed that the gradual building of an economic and cultural free trade area in Africa should contribute to development, strengthen the economic fabric, and create opportunities for African countries to open up and integrate into the world economy. This statement falls under the three reports and urgent resolutions signed on Wednesday afternoon which included stepping up trade and cultural exchanges among African countries.