A Time for Change in Europe.
A journey across Europe and the Caucasus with the message of Freedom and Sound Economy
It seems to be a new and potentially dangerous trend across the globe. In a pincer movement supranational and multilateral institutions such as the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD) are trying to implement strategies for international taxation while at the same demonizing so-called “tax havens.”
Leaders like Angela Merkel and François Hollande are strongly pushing for tax harmonization in Europe. Their objective is to establish a minimum of corporate taxation across the EU. In close alignment the OECD is waging war against Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). Moreover, claiming to fight tax evasion the US government has put in practice Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a piece of legislation which forces foreign banks to provide financial information of their American clients.
Businesses have long tried to establish themselves in friendly locations. But most of these countries are now deemed as “tax havens” or as practitioners of “fiscal dumping.”
In this scenario, it is highly disturbing that a pro-growth approach towards tax rates has been completely neglected by the EU or the OECD. What is more, at the base of their strategies lies a profound aversion to tax competition.
Indeed, it might very well be the case that the road to tax hells is paved with international fiscal intentions.
Wind of Change
Our age is characterized by dramatic changes. Everything that is solid melts into air. Dominant actors witness the rise of fierce new competitors. The sharing economy defies the establishment in many markets. Consumers enjoy new, and often better, alternatives. Even the European Commission is proposing a digital single market that would tear down regulatory walls and remove existing digital barriers from 28 national markets. Entrepreneurs, enhanced by disruptive technologies, can create value and monetize assets in a way which was impossible just a few years ago.
Entrepreneurship is soaring from the Silicon Valley in California to the Silicon Bali in Indonesia. But not so much in Europe. Youth unemployment has become an endemic disease. Lack of opportunities forces some of our brightest minds into exile outside the continent. Many people feel that jobs are fleeing and that economic opportunities will become more scarce in the future.
And change can also be very destabilizing. Europe’s neighborhood is burning. The Arab Spring has turned into a dark winter. Civil wars push millions to the European shores. How should the Old Continent deal with this humanitarian crisis? Some believe that Europe must unrestrictedly open to the refuge waves. Others are more reluctant and fear a fundamental shift in the population. Are these decisions to be made in the European or in the national level?
Join the discussion
The 2016 Free Market Road Show will present two main panels focusing on:
1. Death and Taxes
EU Tax Harmonization, BEPS, FATCA, and Tax Havens under Siege
2. Europe in Times of Change
Jobs, entrepreneurship, sharing economy, and the European Demos
Moreover, the Free Market Road Show events will also feature a national panel concerned with the most important affairs of the respective country. Nobel laureates, international top speakers, renowned economists, leading politicians and prominent business leaders will join the Road Show to discuss these crucial topics.