New and improved?: The last decade was marked by the rise of giant tech companies with innovative business models and large customer bases, which have often taken advantage of legal loopholes and lobbying to implement non-ethical practices. How can the EU hold these corporations to a higher level of social responsibility, thus tackling issues like market competitiveness and workers’ rights?

Submitted by: Cameron Berg, Marleen de Gorter, Kik Maassen, Petra Miladinović, Dan Nguyen, Esther Nijboer, Jahan Omari, Célestine van Swieten, Tudor Vlahu, Muco de Vries, Raphael Gross-Chartuni (Chairperson, NL)

The European Youth Parliament aims to alleviate the democratic deficit caused by corporate lobbying in the EU, improve workers’ rights and conditions in the gig economy, and reduce tax evasion across the European Union. Through this, we also aim to strengthen the existing legislation in place against such misconduct and renew trust in the integrity of European legislative bodies.

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Fully alarmed by the number of ex-politicians receiving corporate-lobbyist positions after leaving their post in the EU,
  2. Disturbed by the recent uptick in corporate lobbying against the proposed European Commission Directive on platform work,
  3. Concerned by the imbalance in representation undermining small establishments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) due to the incomparable financial power of large-scale corporations,
  4. Recognising the democratic deficit caused by the excessive influence of corporate lobbyists on the European Commission,
  5. Regretting the exclusion of European tax havens on the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions,
  6. Pointing out the annual loss of EUR 170 billion through base erosion, profit shifting and other forms (BEPS) of tax evasion in the EU,
  7. Acknowledging the continuous exploitation of statutory law loopholes to evade corporate tax in the EU,
  8. Observing the excessive amount of tax evasion in the EU caused by Member States’ flawed corporate taxation procedures, 
  9. Aware of the potential misclassification of self-employment among 5.5 million platform workers in the EU as a consequence of the implementation of the proposed Directive on Platform Work,
  10. Alarmed by the lack of transparency in labour conditions and rights made available by platform work providers,
  11. Cognisant of the treatment of platform workers and their lack of legal protections against unfair employment and contractual terms,
  12. Deeply disturbed by the efforts of  platform providers to discredit platform workers’ representation by labour unions;
  1. Urges the Directorate-General for Human Resources (DG HR) to extend the scrutiny period of former Commissioners representing corporate interests from 2 to 5 years;
  2. Invites the European Commission to establish periodical opportunities for NGOs and civil groups to better propose and represent their interests;
  3. Directs the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) to expand the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions to include EU countries non-compliant with anti-BEPS regulations;
  4. Further directs DG TAXUD to keep their anti-BEPS operations up to date by establishing an expert group to regularly evaluate the current measures;
  5. Invites the DG TAXUD to draft an EU-wide recommendation for the standardisation of the corporate tax rate;  
  6. Calls upon the Directorate-General for Employment, and Social Affairs (DG EMPL) to update the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions to include zero-hour and third-party labour contracts for platform work transparancy;
  7. Urges Member States to enforce minimum-wage laws concerning gig-platform employers and corporations;
  8. Strongly appeals to the European Commission to expand the criteria for attaining worker status in the legislative draft of the Directive on Platform Work
  9. Invites the European Commission to develop legislation precisely defining the boundaries of artificial intelligence use in the labour market.

Fact sheet

Democratic deficit: The inability of democratic institutions and organisations to uphold democratic values.

Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS): Tax evasion through the manipulation of corporate tax brackets and asset transfers to countries with favourable taxation systems.

Gig-economy: Labour markets which almost exclusively rely on temporary and part-time jobs provided by freelancers and independent contractors.

Lobbyism: the commercial practice of influencing legislation, regulation or other government decisions on behalf of private clients.