Taxation and customs union

Tax Fairness Conference

How fairness and taxation can go hand in hand

28-29 June 2017

Tax Fairness Conference
28 & 29 June 2017
Brussels, Belgium

Venue: Crowne Plaza Brussels - Le Palace, rue Gineste 3, 1210 Brussels

If you cannot attend, you can still follow the event live at http://europa.clients.telemak.com/140467

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Programme
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Day 1

Day 2

 
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Krister Andersson


is a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). He is the Chairman of the Tax Policy Group of BusinessEurope and the Vice chairman with responsibility for Tax Policy in the Business Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC). He is the founder of INTARE AB (International Tax Research).

Since 2013 he has been a member of the European Commission's Platform for Tax Good Governance which assists the EU Commission in developing initiatives to promote good governance in tax matters in third countries, to tackle aggressive tax planning and to identify and address double taxation.

Mr. Andersson is associate professor in Economics at Lund University, Sweden. He is a member of the Permanent Scientific Committee (PSC) of the International Fiscal Association, IFA, which comprises some 13,000 tax professionals in the public and private sectors from 111 countries. Between 1999 and 2016, he was Head of Tax Policy Department at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Between 1999-2008 he was a board member of the Swedish National Tax Authority, and between 2008-2016 a member of its Advisory Board.

Between 1991-1996, he was Chief Economist of Sveriges Riksbank, the Swedish central bank. He worked for several years for the IMF in Washington, D.C. with country surveillance, economic analysis and technical assistance to governments on taxation issues.

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Ufuk Akcigit


is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. As a macroeconomist, his research centers on economic growth, entrepreneurship, economics of innovation, productivity, and firm dynamics. Akcigit also serves as a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research, and as a Distinguished Research Fellow at Koc University, Istanbul. In the past, he served as a short-term consultant to the World Bank in Washington, DC.

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Jim Brunsden


covers EU economic and financial policy for the Financial Times in Brussels. He previously worked at Bloomberg, covering EU banking and market regulation, and at European Voice.

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Jim Clarken


is an Executive Director of Oxfam International and Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland.

A leading commentator on global issues relating to poverty, inequality, taxation, sustainable development and business and human rights, migration and refugees, Jim is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on development in Ireland and is a frequent contributor to political and public debate through advocacy and media commentary in a wide range of international fora. He has shared public platforms with senior thought leaders, academics and politicians at UN bodies, the OECD and the European Parliament and European Commission, as well as at national level, relating to development.

Jim has been publicly recognised for his contribution to international development. In 2016 he was appointed as Adjunct Professor to the School of Business and Law at UCC (University College Cork).

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Marc Fleurbaey


is Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, Professor of Public Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He has been an economist at INSEE (Paris), a professor of economics at the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Pau (France), and a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has also been a Lachmann Fellow and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, a research associate at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve) and the Institute for Public Economics (IDEP, Marseilles), and a visiting researcher at Oxford.

He is a former editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy and as of 2012 is the coordinating editor of Social Choice and Welfare. He is the author of Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare (2008), a co-author of Beyond GDP (with Didier Blanchet, 2013), A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (with François Maniquet, 2011), and the coeditor of several books, including Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls (with Maurice Salles and John Weymark, 2008).

He has been a member of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress, a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR5), and an initiator of the International Panel on Social Progress.

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Judith Freedman


FBA, CBE is the Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law at the Oxford University Faculty of Law and a Fellow of Worcester College Oxford. She was one of the founders of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and is Director of Legal Research at the Centre. Judith was a solicitor in the corporate tax department of Freshfields prior to becoming an academic, first at the University of Surrey and then in the Law Department of the London School of Economics. She spent three years on secondment to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies as Senior Research Fellow in Company and Commercial Law. She was a member of the small business working group of the UK’s Company Law Reform Committee and a member of the Aaronson General Anti-Avoidance Rule Study Group that led to the introduction of a UK GAAR. She has served on many other corporate and tax law governmental and policy committees, including small business consultative committees of the UK’s Office of Tax Simplification. She is a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the IFS Tax Law Review Committee. Judith was appointed a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) in January 2015 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2016.

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Åsa Gunnarsson


is a tax law professor at Forum for studies on law and society at Umeå University. Her thesis was on tax equity and she has written extensively on gender, taxation and social justice. She is a member of the editorial board of Nordic tax journal and editor for Nordic journal on law and society.

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Scott A. Hodge


is president of the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. During his 17 years heading the Tax Foundation, it has become one of the most influential organizations on tax policy in the United States. Mr. Hodge led the development of the Tax Foundation's Taxes and Growth (TAG) Dynamic Modeling program which has normalized macroeconomic scoring as an accepted tool for analyzing federal tax policy. During the last presidential election, for example, Tax Foundation economists modeled the economic effects of every presidential candidate’s tax plan; the first time in U.S. election history that voters were given such comparative information.

Mr. Hodge also spearheaded the creation of the Tax Foundation's Center for State Tax Policy and the State Business Tax Climate Index, two programs that have motivated tax reform in dozens of states. He has appeared on over 600 radio and television programs—including NBC Nightly News, CBS Nightly News, CNN, Fox Network, Fox Business, and CNBC—and is frequently quoted in the print press by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and numerous regional papers. He has edited three books on federal spending, published over 100 studies on a wide range of tax and budget issues, and authored dozens of opinion-editorials for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Post.

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Molly Scott Cato


is an economist and writer who has campaigned for green politics all her adult life. She grew up in Bath and has spent most of her adult life in the West Country, also living in Blagdon near Bristol. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University and later gained a doctorate in economics from Aberystwyth. Aside from her work as an economist Molly’s areas of special interest include land ownership and food production; renewable energy, especially when it is owned by local communities; co-operatives and self-managed firms; and issues concerned with peace and opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Before being elected to the European Parliament, Molly led the Green Group on Stroud District Council and was Chair of the Council’s Audit Committee. She worked as Professor of Economics at Roehampton University in London.

Molly joined the Green Party in 1988 and has worked for the party at all levels, including a year spent as job-share campaigns director on the party’s national executive and several years spent as co-chair of its regional council. For the past 15 years Molly has spoken for the Green Party on economics and finance.

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Katja Lehto-Komulainen


was elected as ETUC Deputy General Secretary by the Executive Committee in December 2016, following the resignation of her predecessor Veronica Nilsson. She was nominated by the Council of Nordic Trade Unions (NFS), an umbrella organisation for the Nordic trade union movement representing 9 million employees.

Katja grew up in Seinäjoki on the west coast of Finland and studied at the University of Lapland, where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in law, and EU law at Stockholm University. In 1997, she began work as a lawyer for SAK in Finland, rising to the position of head of international affairs and dealing with a wide range of issues including labour law, international labour standards, collective bargaining, economic governance and the European Semester – nationally and in the ETUC and ITUC, the Pan European Regional Council (PERC), the Baltic Sea Trade Union Network (BASTUN) and the ILO. On behalf of SAK she was nominated 12 times to the Finnish delegation to the International Labour Conference (ILO). She was Workers' Delegate of Finland to the International Labour Conference in 2009-2015. Prior to that she was adviser to Workers’ Delegates of Finland at five earlier International Labour Conferences. She mainly participated in the Application of Standards Committee. She has been a substitute member of the ETUC Executive Committee since 2007 and a member of the ITUC and PERC Women´s Committees.

She was also advisor to the Social Democrat Labour Minister Tarja Filatov, including during Finland’s presidency of the EU in 2006.

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Philippe Liger-Belair


is a sociologist and a former international tax specialist in investment banking (Deloitte Luxembourg, Barclays Capital London). His research interests are in social justice related to taxation, and in the sociology of elite. He holds a PhD degree in history of idea from Ecole Normale Supérieure (Lyon). He graduated from HEC Paris business school and Paris Panthéon Assas Law school. He teaches economics and social sciences at Sciences Po Lille and is regularly invited at the Jinan University of Guangzhou (China). In September 2017, he will publish Éloge de l'impôt. Essai de justice fiscale edited by Lemieux éditeur (Paris)."

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Ann Mettler


is a Director-General at the European Commission where she heads the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the in-house think tank which reports directly to President Juncker. In this capacity, Ann also serves as Chair of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), an inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's foresight capacity and anticipatory governance. The EPSC was awarded 'Best New Think Tank 2016' by the Global Go To Think Tank Index.

Prior to assuming this position in December 2014, Ann was for eleven years Executive Director of the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank she co-founded in 2003. From 2000-2003, she worked at the World Economic Forum, where she last served as Director for Europe.

Ann holds Masters Degrees in political science and European law and economics, and graduated with distinction from the University of New Mexico, USA, and the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, Germany. She also completed the executive education course 'Innovative Technology Leader' at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, USA.

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Pierre Moscovici


is the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs since 2014. Before his designation, he served in the European Parliament and in the French National Assembly, mainly working on economic issues. He has been Minister for European Affairs (1997-2002) and Minister for the Economy and Finance (2012-2014) in France. As Commissioner, he is in charge of the application of the Stability and Growth Pact, as well as ensuring the economic soundness of Commission proposals and deepening the Economic and Monetary Union to create the conditions for jobs, growth and investment, and encouraging further structural reforms. On taxation matters, Commissioner Moscovici is responsible for developing a value added tax system at EU level, improving the functioning of the internal market in both direct and indirect taxation and fighting tax fraud and tax evasion. His responsibilities also include the development and management of an efficient EU customs union. Mr. Moscovici holds a Master's degree in economics and political science, postgraduate degree in economics and philosophy. Graduate of the Ecole nationale d’administration.

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Valère Moutarlier


is the Director in charge of Direct taxation, Economic analysis and Evaluation in the Taxation and Customs Directorate General. Trained at France’s premier business and law university, practiced tax law with Bureau Francis Lefebvre, a French Law firm for several years before joining the European Commission. In the Commission, he worked in the Taxation and Customs DG, then the Budget DG, where he gained broad familiarity with the European financial and institutional framework. When he joined the Enterprise and Industry DG in 2003, he headed the Planning and Management Unit and subsequently the GMES Bureau, in charge of building a European space based earth observation programme, known today as Copernicus. Before his return to the Taxation and Customs DG, he spent 5 years in the Private office of the Commissioner in Tax policy.

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Richard Murphy


is a UK chartered accountant and political economist. After a career in tax practice and then as a tax justice campaigner he was appointed as Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University in September 2015.

Richard's latest book is 'Dirty Secrets: how tax havens destroy the economy’ (Verso, February 2017). He is also the author of 'The Joy of Tax' (Bantam, September 2015), 'The Courageous State', Searching Finance, 2011 and joint author of 'Tax Havens, The True Story of Globalisation' (Cornell University Press 2010).

Richard created the country-by-country reporting concept and has been credited with creating much of the debate on tax gaps in the UK and Europe. He also defined the term 'secrecy jurisdictions', now widely used in debates on offshore. He has been involved in many of the stories on corporate tax abuse that have made headlines in recent years.

Richard developed the idea of the Fair Tax Mark and is technical director of that accreditation scheme. He directs Tax Research UK.

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Cora O’Brien


is the Tax Policy Director with the Irish Tax Institute. She leads the Institute’s work on a range of domestic and international tax policy and administration issues covering both direct and indirect tax. These include the implementation in Ireland of EU Corporate Tax Reform, the OECD BEPS Action Plan, the Tax and Growth Agenda and VAT Reform.

Cora has appeared before many Irish Government committees and contributes regularly to Irish and international media on tax issues. She participates widely in international discussion on tax policy through panels and conferences and is joint editor of “Irish Tax Policy in Perspective”. Cora is the Irish Tax Institute’s Fiscal and Professional Affairs representative at the Confédération Fiscale Européenne (the representative organisation for the tax profession in Europe).

Cora is a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Chartered Accountant and is currently studying for an MA in Political Communication at Dublin City University.

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Prof. Dr. Andreas Peichl


is Director of the ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys and Professor of Economics at the University of Munich. His research focuses on empirical public and labor economics with particular reference to optimal taxation, tax reforms and their empirical evaluation, tax benefit microsimulation, and the analysis of income distributions. His research approach builds on various empirical and theoretical methods.

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Annalisa Piras


Journalist, filmmaker, and managing director of The Wake Up Foundation.

Annalisa Piras is a London-based Italian film director/producer and journalist. She co-founded and directs The Wake Up Foundation (TWUF), an educational charity that aims to foster transnational awareness of the current threats to Western societies through the use of films. TWUF currently runs the Wake Up Europe! campaign, which seeks to generate a pan-European exchange of ideas about the future of the continent. Piras is also the CEO of Springshot Productions, an award-winning documentary production company.

In 2012, Piras produced the documentary “Girlfriend in a Coma,” which she co-wrote with Bill Emmott, former Editor of The Economist and the co-founder of TWUF. The film was acclaimed as one of the sharpest analyses of the decline of modern-day Italy, and was nominated for an Italian Golden Globe (Best Documentary) and for a CinEuphoria Award (Best Documentary).

In 2014, Piras wrote and produced “The Great European Disaster Movie” for the BBC and Arte, a documentary exploring the erosion of the European Union’s foundational values. The film won the German CIVIS Media Prize 2016 in the information category and has been widely screened across Europe as part of TWUF’s Wake Up Europe! campaign.

A frequent broadcaster and commentator on European and Italian affairs, Piras is a regular panellist on the BBC World London Dateline talk-show. She was previously the London correspondent for L’espresso magazine and La7 TV, and has over 25 years experience producing documentaries and TV programmes for a range of EU broadcasters.

Piras began her career as part of the original news team that launched Euronews, the first pan-European news and current affairs channel. She studied political science, history, and cinematography in Rome.

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Stephen Quest


is the Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union at the European Commission. Stephen joined the European Commission in 1993. Since then he has held a number of positions across different policy areas, including Financial Programming and Budget of the European Union, Environment, and Employment and Social Affairs. Most recently he held the positions of Director-General for Informatics, the Commission's department providing digital solutions to enable European policies and support the Commission's internal administration; and Director of the Office that administers and pays the Individual financial entitlements of the staff of the European Commission. Prior to joining the European Commission, Stephen worked for the UK Department of Employment and the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union. He graduated in 1986 from the University of York, obtaining a degree in History.

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Dmitri Jegorov


Dmitri Jegorov serves at the Estonian Ministry of Finance in capacity of Deputy Secretary-General for tax and customs policy since August 2014. At the ministry, he is responsible for the work of departments of tax policy and of customs and excise policy and provides for a liaison between the ministry and the tax administration. He is also responsible for the tax and customs program of the Estonian presidency in the EU Council.

Prior to his work at the ministry, for nearly a decade, Dmitri worked for Estonia’s tax administration and, after the merger of the two authorities, for the joint tax and customs board. There he occupied various positions from head of direct taxes division to deputy director-general for core processes, dealing both with tax and customs matters from service to criminal investigation. Before joining the civil service, Dmitri worked as a corporate finance consultant for KPMG.

Dmitri holds an MA degree in Economics from University of Tartu in Estonia. He has also undertaken doctoral studies at the Norwegian School of Economics NHH in Bergen, where he focused on studying taxpayers' attitudes and behaviors in relation to earmarked taxes.

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Michel Servoz


Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission, was previously Deputy Secretary General of the Commission, involved in the coordination of the EU semester, including the Annual Growth Survey and of the proposals for the next multi-annual financial framework. From 2005–2010 he was the director of policy coordination for the Secretariat General where he worked on the elaboration of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs and on the preparation of the European Economic recovery plan.

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Stephen E. Shay


has been a Senior Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School since 2015. Before joining the Harvard Law School faculty as a Professor of Practice in 2011, Mr. Shay was Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs in the United States Department of the Treasury. While at the Treasury, Mr. Shay contributed to the development of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the re-launch of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. Mr. Shay discloses certain related interests and activities not connected with his position at Harvard Law School on the Harvard Law School website.

Prior to re-joining the Treasury Department in 2009, Mr. Shay was a tax partner for 22 years with Ropes & Gray, LLP. Mr. Shay served in the Office of International Tax Counsel at the Department of the Treasury, including as International Tax Counsel, from 1982 to 1987, during which Mr. Shay actively participated in the development and enactment of international provisions in the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Mr. Shay has published scholarly and practice articles relating to international taxation and has testified for law reform before Congressional tax-writing committees. He has had extensive practice experience in the international tax area. Mr. Shay is a 1972 graduate of Wesleyan University and he earned his J.D. and his M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1976.

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Paul Tang


is a Dutch MEP for the S&D group and is a member of the ECON committee since 2014. After obtaining a Phd in economics, Paul joined the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) where he became intrigued by the impact of political choices on people’s lives. He therefore ran for parliament for the Dutch Labour Party in 2006. In the European Parliament, Paul fights for more jobs in Europe, a healthy financial sector that serves all, and more legitimacy for European institutions. In 2016 he was appointed rapporteur for the draft report the STS securitization and more recently on the Common Corporate Tax Base.

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Marianne Thyssen


is Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility. Her portfolio includes overseeing European Union policy on employment, vocational training, skills, labour market reforms and social inclusion, including workplace equality legislation. She is also responsible for the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat).

She studied Law at KU Leuven where she had her first job at the Law Faculty. Prior to her political career, she was working for UNIZO for more than 10 years (SME representative organisation). After that, she served as a member of the European Parliament (1991-2014) and as vice-chair of the Economic Committee. She was also the party leader of the Flemish Christian-Democratic Party (CD&V) and the Vice-President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

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Philippe Van Parijs


is a professor at the University of Louvain (Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics), a special guest professor at the University of Leuven and an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford. From 2004 to 2010 he was a visiting professor at Harvard University and from 2011 to 2015 at the University of Oxford. In 2016, he was a Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence). He is one of the founders of the Basic Income Earth Network and chairs its International Board. His books include Qu’est-ce qu’une société juste? (Seuil 1991), Real Freedom for All (Oxford U.P. 1995), Just Democracy (ECPR 2011), Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (Oxford U.P. 2011), After the Storm. How to Save Democracy in Europe (Lannoo 2015, with L. van Middelaar) and Basic Income. A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy (Harvard U.P. 2017, with Y. Vanderborght).

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Alex Voorhoeve


is Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He studied Economics and Philosophy and worked for the Dutch Ministry of Finance before pursuing a career in philosophy. He works on the theory and practice of distributive justice. His defences of liberal egalitarianism have appeared in leading journals, including Ethics, Philosophy & Public Affairs, and Economics & Philosophy. He has also written extensively on priority setting in health and on fair health insurance. From 2012-2014, he served on the World Health Organization's Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. He has held visiting positions at Harvard, Princeton, and the US National Institutes of Health.

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Véronique Willems


was unanimously elected as new Secretary General of UEAPME on the 15th December 2016. She took over as from January 2017 and succeed Peter Faross, who led UEAPME over the last three years. Since 2009, she was the Head of European affairs at UNIZO (UEAPME Belgian member organisation) and has been responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at EU-level. In January 2016, she was nominated deputy to the SME-representative for Belgium at the European Economic and Social Committee.

Ms Willems started her career at UNIZO in 1999 as Policy Officer in charge of SME education and counselling and went on to work at the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel) as responsible for advocacy at regional level, mentorship programs and individual counselling for entrepreneurs. Ms Willems holds a Law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Master's Degree in Commercial sciences/Business management from VLEKHO Brussels.

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Lennart Wittberg


is a strategist at the Commissioners staff at the Swedish Tax Agency. His responsibility is to help the organisation with its long-term strategic development and to push for changes. Main areas of focus and interests are compliance, trust and the overall effectiveness of the organisation but also matters like new business models and service dominant logic.

Lennart works often with OECD and other international organizations and has many years of experience in supporting tax administrations in developing countries. He has written a number of papers and reports on compliance and other topics and is co-author of the book "From feared tax collector to popular service agency" describing the development of the Swedish Tax Agency. He often gives presentation on these topics in both domestic and international arenas.

Lennart Wittberg has worked at the Swedish Tax Agency since 1988 and has held a series of different positions including being a tax officer, a manager and having different responsibilities within the area of strategic developments.

He is an economist educated in Stockholm. Born in 1965, lives and work in Stockholm.

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What the participants say
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Economic policy-maker, Belgium


Working professionally on tax but also having a personal interest in the subject area, this participant believes that 'tax fairness' is too often reduced to 'redistribution' – the 'haves and the have nots'. She has followed the debate on the recent wave of populism worldwide with interest, and is not convinced that social injustice is the sole cause. She was pleased to hear this opinion echoed during the Conference on Tax Fairness. She was looking forward to hearing suggestions on how to implement efficiency- and responsibility-sensitive concepts of taxation.

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Researcher, the Czech Republic


Currently working on an EU-funded project on fair taxation, the conference came just at the right time for this participant. The project covers many of the topics on the project agenda, and she was hoping to collect new ideas and new approaches that would help the research team. Fair taxation for this researcher is about more than fair distribution. It's also about gender issues and equal opportunities to employment.
Ensuring fair taxation cannot be done at the domestic level alone, she believes. She supports strong cooperation on this issue between EU Member States and takes inspiration from the north of Europe: "If you go to Scandinavian countries, it's absolutely a different level, and even a different ideology if I can say that. Maybe we should learn from these countries as they are one step ahead of us."

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Tax advisor, Belgium


"I think it's dangerous to talk about fair taxation – whoever has to pay it, he never thinks it's fair," believes this participant. He wanted to make clear at the conference that tax advisors do not help people to commit tax fraud, and should not be held responsible for any unfairness perceived. "As an advisor, you start from the law. The law is made by the legislator, and the application of the law should, in principle be fair. As such, if the law is not fair, it's the legislator that has the problem, not the taxpayer, nor the tax advisor."

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Dates: 
Wednesday, 28 June, 2017 - 00:00 to Thursday, 29 June, 2017 - 00:00