The European Parliament is set to vote on landmark corporate transparency rules known as "country-by-country" reporting. Under the new law all major multinational corporations, including US businesses that work in Europe, will publicly disclose taxes and other payments made to governments in countries where they operate. The European Union (EU) Parliament likely will vote in favor of the regulations before Wednesday and then the EU Council will make the final decision.
“This is exciting news. Europe is moving forward the most comprehensive rules to date to stop bribery and encourage corporations to pay taxes where they operate,” noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. LeCompte served on United Nations expert groups that focused on these new rules. “Unfortunately as we are making progress in Europe less comprehensive transparency regulations are threatened with repeal in the United States.”
As new transparency regulations in Europe move forward, similar US provisions are under attack. Section 1504 of the US Dodd-Frank Act requires oil, gas and mining industries to perform similar US reporting to the European measure. Congress slowed the US provision from moving forward earlier this year and then the US House of Representatives voted to repeal Section 1504 entirely. Jubilee USA leads a campaign to prevent the Senate from repealing the transparency measure.
“Corporate transparency rules are vital for combatting corruption and ensuring that our economy protects vulnerable communities,” said LeCompte.
The EU legislation includes an exemption for corporations to not disclose information if the disclosure would threaten commercial interests.