Newsletter #3

Antoine Deltour, an exemplary citizen to protect!

A year after the LuxLeaks scandal, the whistleblower still needs to be protected! In this new information letter of the Support Committee, you can find the latest news about the support to Antoine Deltour.

Novembre 5th, 2015

Antoine's situation

  • Still charged in Luxembourg, Antoine risks a 5-year prison sentence and a fine of 1,250,000 €while he has only acted in the interest of the public.

  • Due to procedural delays, the trial should not take place before 2016.

  • The legal proceedings concern Antoine Deltour and two other persons who were involved in disclosing the documents exposed by the LuxLeaks scandal: the French journalist Edouard Perrin and a former PwC employee who remains anonymous.

Recognition of Antoine's action

European Citizen's Prize

Following last June announcement, Antoine was formally awarded the European Citizen's Prize during two events: a ceremony held in Paris on September 29 and a ceremony attended by all the laureates in Brussels on October 14.

On this occasion, the support committee reminded in a press release that it is paradoxical that the very same facts which make Antoine worthy of this award also lead him to be charged by Luxembourg authorities.

The European Citizen's Prize 2015 medals
Antoine Deltour being awarded the European Citizen's Prize

Nomination for the Sakharov Prize

Three whistleblowers were jointly nominated for the Sakharov Prize 2015: Stephanie Gibaud (UBS), Edward Snowden and Antoine Deltour. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded to individuals or organizations who strive to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Prize was eventually righteously awarded to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. Nevertheless, a nomination for the Sakharov Prize remains an honour for the three examplary whistleblowers!

Feeling very proud to award the European Citizen's Prize 2015 to Antoine Deltour. He was decisive. Let's protect him.

Eva Joly
MEP, during the European Citizen's Prize ceremony

A slowdown in corporate tax dodging?

One year after the LuxLeaks revelations, they continue to act as a spur, incenting policy makers to move towards more transparency and tax justice. The recent report “50 shades of tax dodging” – published by Eurodad with contributions from various specialized organizations – shows that there is still a long way to go.

Exchange of information on tax rulings in the EU

In early October, the European finance ministers have finally approved the automatic exchange of information on tax rulings between European member states. This project was initiated in spring 2015 by the European Commission. However, transparency is far from complete, neither the public nor the European Commission will have access to any information about these tax agreements!

OECD's action plan

On October 5th, the OECD presented an action plan which aims to “curb tax avoidance by multinational companies”. Recognized as a modest “first step” towards fairer taxation, the action plan consists in a set of 15 measures. These measures will then be taken up by the G20 during its mid-November summit in Turkey, initiating a long road towards effective implementation.

Jean-Claude Juncker and Pierre Moscovici debate Commission's tax initiatives with MEPs
A Starbucks coffeeshop sign

Recommendations from the European Parliament

Set up following the LuxLeaks revelations the TAXE special committee of the European Parliament continued its work, notably with the highly anticipated hearing of Jean-Claude Juncker. The commission presented its final report, which will be put to a vote in plenary session at the end of the month. The recommendations are ambitious, will they be followed through to good effects?

Two tax rulings declared illegal!

After a year of investigation, the competition services of the European Commission decided that the tax advantages granted to car manufacturer Fiat and coffeehouse chain Starbucks were illegal under EU state aid rules. This decision confirms the usefulness of the LuxLeaks revelations. Other investigations are ongoing (for Apple, McDonalds ...), the results of which will undoubtedly confirm the legitimacy of the whistleblowers' action.

Protecting whistleblowers in France

In France, initiatives for the protection of whistleblowers become clearer. For example, a third “whistleblowers” symposium was organized at the French National Assembly in September.

The existing legislation for the protection of whistleblowers is still considered largely insufficient. A law proposal on “transparency of economic life” –put forward by the French Minister of Finance Michel Sapin– is being finalized and should be submitted to the National Assembly in early 2016: in addition to the fight against corruption and money laundering, it would establish an agency for the protection of whistleblowers. This agency would notably have the right to file complaints on behalf of whistleblowers.

They support Antoine…

There are now nearly 60,000 signatories! The number of well-known supporters also keeps increasing! Among the new supporters:

Monique Pinçon-Charlot
Michel Pinçon
Jean-Claude Carrière
Benjamin Coriat
Dominique Méda
Philosopher, sociologist
Jacques Testart
Olivier de Schutter
Professor of international human rights law
Cédric Villani
Mathematician, Fields Medal

In order to enrich and expand the list of personalities who publicly support Antoine, feel free to contact the Support Committee ([email protected]) if you know public figures (politicians, intellectuals, scientists, artists, writers, athletes, etc.) who would be willing to add their name to the list. We are particularly looking for international personalities!

Antoine Deltour is a young man who deserves respect an support (…). It is a priori David and Goliath, but if there are tens of thousands of Davids…

Jean Gadrey
Economiste, contributor to French newspaper Alternatives Economiques and member of the group “les Économistes atterrés”.

Antoine needs you!

Even if the trial has not started, significant expenses have already been committed (notably for legal fees).
It is therefore particularly important today to fund Antoine's defense:

Donate Now

Donations to the Support Committee are collected via the secured platform HelloAsso.

You can also:

  • Follow us and share information about supporting Antoine on the facebook page Support Antoine and the twitter account @support_antoine

  • Invite your family and networks to keep informed and sign the pledge via the website

  • Take any initiative to let people know about Antoine’s situation: through the local press, bulletins from associations or activists, speeches during debates or by organizing events… Feel free to contact the Support Committee to let them know about the initiatives or to prepare the actions.

  • Join the Support Commitee (minimum fee: 5€).

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Photo credits: "European Citizen's Prize 2015 medals" © Comité de Soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Antoine Deltour at the European citizen's prize ceremony" © Comité de Soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Juncker and Moscovici" © European Union 2015 - European Parliament / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 – "Starbucks" © jpellgen / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 – "Monique Pinçon-Charlot et Michel Pinçon" © Johanna Bourgault / La Découverte – "Jean-Claude Carrière" © Studio Harcourt Paris / via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 – "Benjamin Coriat" © Chris93 / via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Dominique Méda" © Armande192001 / via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Olivier De Schutter" © Heinrich Böll Stiftung / via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0 – "Jacques Testart" © Ramirolle – "Cédric Villani" © Espace des sciences / via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0