The ACP Trade Ministers, meeting in Brussels from 24 to 26 June 2015;

WHEREAS the Cotonou Agreement provides for political dialogue and policy coherence as enshrined in Article 8 and 12 respectively;

HAVING TAKEN COGNISANCE of the recent Communication of the European Commission (COM(2015)302 on a “Fair and Efficient Tax System in the European Union” published on 17 June 2015 listing the so-called top 30 countries purported to be non-cooperative tax jurisdictions;

NOTING that 15 ACP States, a large number of which are Island states, have been black listed by the EU;

BEARING IN MIND that several of these ACP countries have signed, concluded or negotiated EPAs with the European Union, which are meant to be stronger instruments for development, contributing to poverty reduction, sustainable development, regional integration and spurring trade;

FURTHER NOTING that none of these countries was consulted ahead of the publication of the list by the European Commission;

NOTING also that a number of countries on the so-called black list are compliant or largely compliant as per the OECD standards;

CONSIDERING that some of the countries on the list rank higher than some EU Member states in terms of compliance under OECD standards;

DEEPLY CONCERNED by the prejudice and severe damage that such publication has caused to the financial sectors of these ACP countries, which are mostly service economies;


1. EXPRESS profound concern at the manner in which the European Commission has arbitrarily black listed some of the ACP countries based on erroneous perception of some of the EU Member States;

2. STRONGLY CONDEMN the approach by the EU which is contrary to the spirit of ACP-EU partnership and EU policy coherence;

3. REITERATE that the only recognized authority to publish such a list is the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for tax Purposes of the OECD;

4. CALL ON the EU to immediately withdraw the list and to refrain from issuing such publications in the future; and

5. INSTRUCT the Chairman of the 18th Meeting of the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee to convey this resolution to the European Commission.

Brussels, 26 June 2015