By BBN Staff: At the recently concluded Heads of Government meeting held virtually, CARICOM leaders condemned the European Union (EU) for continuing to blacklist countries not in conformity with their tax standards. The regional leaders called the EU’s policy of blacklisting an “economic assault on Small States… which has forced the protracted shutdown of economic activity amidst predictions of a slower recovery than envisaged.”
In a Communique released late on Thursday, 29 October 2020, the Heads stated that the practice uses “unilaterally and arbitrarily determined standards, and in the absence of any meaningful prior consultation with the affected Members.” It adds that the EU continues to ignore capacity constraints and other challenges continue to impact the speed and depth of reforms in tax administrations, and financial intelligence units in Member States.
The release from the Heads goes so far as to call the disproportionate treatment of CARICOM States “a breach of the rights of CARICOM citizens, and called upon the European Council and European Commission to desist from this egregious practice.”
So far Belize has managed to stay off the EU blacklist after a raft of legislation that was passed in recent years.
The meeting of the regional Heads was held virtually and was chaired by the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves. Attorney General Hon. Michael Peyreffite represented Belize.