This research group, consisting of researchers from five different countries, critically evaluates the European Parliament’s legislative competence with regard to fundamental tax policy norms of fairness, distributional equality, adequacy and stability of revenues, administrative and economic efficiency, and interstate equity.
The purpose of this research is to clarify and challenge the scope of the European Union's own existing legislative competence. The research also seeks to identify other barriers and gaps in governance capacities that prevent the European Commission from assuring that member states comply with fundamental tax policy norms.
The first stage has involved evaluation of the need for revisioning legislative competencies of the European Union, whilst taking into account European and international obligations addressing, for example, gender equality or human rights. This research also addresses the most recent outcome commitments, in particular those established by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement. The normative starting point is that fundamental tax policy norms, based on traditional fiscal policy principles, have not been successful in meeting essential social, gender, environmental and economic equality objectives.
The research will be used to develop legislative instruments and guidelines, recommending treaty and other governance mechanisms that can ensure that fundamental tax policy norms and human rights, equality guarantees, and environmental sustainability standards are being applied to member state tax and fiscal laws. The recommendations will be based on experiences with fiscal systems in countries or entities, which function with different levels of government, and yet are similar to the construction of the European Union (for example, Germany, Canada or Brazil).