Tax the rich

A European Citizens' Initiative

09/10/2023

The collection of signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Tax the rich” has started. Our goal is to tax great wealth to finance the ecological and social transition, and if we collect 1 million signatures from citizens across the EU, the European Commission will have to propose legislation on the issue. 

SIGN HERE THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE – TAX THE RICH

FEPS is one of the campaign organisers, and László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, is among its initiators. The lead team consists of prominent policymakers, academics and activists in the field of social justice and economic democracy: 

  • Paul Magnette  is Chairman of the Socialist Party in Belgium
  • Thomas Piketty is Economist (France), famous for his studies on inequality
  • Aurore Lalucq is Member of the European Parliament, Place publique (France)
  • László Andor is FEPS Secretary General (Hungary)
  • Marlene Engelhorn is multimillionaire (Austria), one of the creators of “Tax Me Now” and  member of MillionairesforHumanity 
  • Lars Koch is Secretary General of Oxfam Denmark
  • Conny Reuter is Global Coordinator of Progressive Alliance
  • Patrizio Laina is Chief Economist at the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK)

Background

The present citizens’ initiative calls on the European Commission to introduce a European tax on excess wealth.

For more than a decade, the crises facing the European Union have proliferated: economic, social, health, geopolitical, and environmental. These are a symptom of the failure of the economic, tax and social policies pursued by national governments and the European Union. To address these challenges, there is an urgent need to fundamentally redirect the European Union towards a just and democratic climate transition. 

This initiative proposes the establishment of a tax on excess wealth to help the fight against climate change and inequality. It will contribute to the European Union’s own resources, generating revenue that would enable the EU to co-finance the ecological and social transition policies pursued by the Union and its Member States. 

The establishment of a European excess wealth tax would respond to numerous calls from civil society, scientists and elected representatives to this end. Only recently, more than a hundred MEPs, supported by several economists, called on the EU to introduce a progressive tax on extreme wealth. The forthcoming Directive on ensuring a global minimum level of taxation for multinational groups in the Union has already shown that the EU is capable of agreeing on more tax fairness. More generally, the Conference on the Future of Europe stressed the need to harmonise tax policy, and to use it as a lever to fight the environmental crisis.

FEPS has been promoting the idea of a wealth tax for some time. Check out our policy study A European wealth tax for a fair and green recovery and the series of videos on the topic: #TaxJustice

To learn more about how the European Citizens Initiative works, read the EC page on ECI

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