Political briefing #3/2015


European Parliament – Taxes and Spending: More transparency

The European Parliament is currently discussing a proposal that considers tax-avoidance measures, which will subsequently be sent to and considered by the European Commission. Prepared by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, the package incudes the possibility of setting up a “fair tax payer” label in every member state. If passed, the measure will force businesses to be increasingly transparent.

Source: The Guardian, 15/12/2015

Greece – Foreign investments: Germany & Greece

The head of HRADF – Greece’s privatisation agency – has signed its first privatisation deal with German airport operator Fraport. The contract (amounting to €1.2 billion) involves 14 regional airports, such as Corfu and Santorini, which are requested destinations by many Europeans. Together with its Greek counterpart Copelouzos, Fraport has accepted to pay annual fees amounting to €23 million for the 40 years of duration of the lease.

Source: Times of Malta, 15/12/2015

Greece – National Sovereignty: Mind your… territory!

Greece has protested against European Commission plan to envisage a single border and coast guard who would be allowed to mobilize on a nation’s soil without the government’s consent. Indeed, according to Greece’s European affairs minister, such a measure would compromise the country’s sovereignty. According to Athens, all member states should put a single border protection policy into practice.

Source: Ekathimerini 16/12/2015


“We are told our parliament will be sovereign – that is total nonsense. In order to trade with the EU we would have to accept their regulations, we would have no possibility of an input into those regulations or say in changing them. The prime minister would have to go the UK parliament and say: ‘Here are some regulations passed by the EU. We must pass them without change or we cannot change with Europe.’ So much for parliamentary sovereignty”.

John Major, former British Prime Minister

     Source: The Guardian, 16/12/2015



The percentage of the foreign nationals living in Belgium who are citizens of another EU member state. In the last decade, the number of Polish and Romanian among them has risen tenfold.

Source: Deredactie, 15/12/2015



The proportion of Slovaks who own the house they live in. This sets Slovakia at the second highest place in the European Union.

Source: Spectator, 16/12/2015

Photo credits CC: Commonwealth Secretariat

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