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  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Tax dodging is receiving increasing political attention in Europe. From corporate transparency legislation to early reflections on a European wealth tax, European institutions are promoting tax reforms that have the potential to reduce economic inequality in Europe and beyond - if they are well designed and implemented. The need to find financial resources to restore European growth, combined with recent media scandals, have opened up opportunities for progressive reforms to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance which costs the European Union around €1 trillion a year. The European and global political context has never been so favourable, with new European institutions having to deliver on fighting tax havens, harmonizing corporate taxation, improving tax transparency and ensuring greater tax cooperation. This briefing explores some of the solutions for fighting corporate tax avoidance that the European Union shoultad present in 2015, and explains why it is important to adopt them as soon as possible.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Edmund Cairns
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The UK needs a safe world in which to trade and invest, and to be free from the security threats caused by conflicts or fragile states. Yet spiralling inequality and climate change, among many other factors, threaten to create a more dangerous, unequal world. As the continuing tragedy in Syria shows, the world's old and new powers have not yet found a way to unite to end conflicts. The age of interventions, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, is over. But a new rule-based world in which China, India, and others unite with Western powers to protect civilians and end conflicts has not yet come into being. Whoever wins the 2015 UK general election, the greatest test for UK foreign policy will be how much it can do to help build that world.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Poverty, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Europe, India, Syria
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Sophie Bloemen, Tessel Mellema, Leïla Bodeux
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The failure of the current pharmaceutical research and development (R) system is revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) alert about the lack of effective medicines to address antimicrobial resistance, and the absence of a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging communities in West Africa at the time of writing.
  • Topic: Health, International Trade and Finance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hannah Stoddart, Lydia Prieg, Joseph Zacune
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The world produces enough food to feed everyone. But every day more than 800 million people go to bed hungry. This is a scandal and climate change is set to make things even worse.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Krisnah Poinasamy, Teresa Cavero
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Europe has often seen itself as a place where the social contract balances growth with development. A place where public services aim to ensure everyone has access to a high-quality education and no one need live in fear of falling ill. A place w here the rights of workers, and particularly of women, are respected and supported, and w here societies care for the weakest and the poorest; where the market has been harnessed to benefit society, rather than the other way round.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 1753 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism said, "So wickedly, devilishly false is that common objection, 'They are poor, only because they are idle'". Yet today many churchgoers and members of the general public alike have come to believe that the key factors driving poverty in the UK are the personal failings of the poor – especially 'idleness'. How did this come about?
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification, Sociology
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Steven Blockmans, Natalia Alonso, Tidhar Wald
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The first anniversary of the European External Action Service (EEAS) finds the European Union (EU) in the midst of an economic, financial, and identity crisis that has aggravated the ongoing decline in Europe's stature on the global scene as new political and economic actors emerge. The new diplomatic service provides the EU with an opportunity to address its shortcomings in foreign policy by bringing greater coherence to external policy making; by enhancing consistency across EU instruments; and by adopting a more comprehensive and strategic approach to global challenges.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Edmund Cairns
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A robust global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is desperately needed to stop the irresponsible transfer of arms that fuels: Atrocities – like those in Syria, where more than 8,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the crackdown on protests began in early 2011;Armed violence and conflicts – which is estimated to cost Africa alone $18bn a year; Corruption in the. defence industry – which costs $20bn a year, and which undermines the competitiveness of UK exporters.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Europe, Syria
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, EU governments committed to sourcing 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020: they are set to meet this target almost exclusively using biofuels made from food crops. By putting a mandate in place, European governments are propping up powerful industry and farming lobbies without spending a penny from national budgets: as direct subsidies and tax exemptions are phased out, the cost is increasingly borne by the consumer. For example, by 2020 biofuel mandates are likely to cost UK consumers between £1bn and £2bn more each year—that's about £35 from every adult—and to cost German consumers between €1.37bn and €2.15bn more—up to €30 per adult. EU governments have replaced subsidies paid out of the public purse with a subsidy that consumers, often without their knowledge, pay directly to big business.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Energy Policy, Food
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The German economy is clearly slowing in the face of the latest phase of the Eurozone crisis. We expect the impact of the crisis on business investment and exports to cause the economy to contract in Q2 before recovering slowly in H2. As a result, GDP growth is now forecast to slow to 0.7% in 2012 overall from 3.1% last year, before accelerating to 1.4% in 2013.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Jennifer Brant
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Access to medicines at affordable prices is critical to the enjoyment of the human right to health. Lower prices require the implementation of pro-access policies that include the promotion of generic competition. However, medicines cannot be selected on the basis of price alone. To ensure that only safe, effective, and quality products are on the market, effective regulation is necessary.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Why, in a world that produces more than enough food to feed everybody, do so many – one in seven – go hungry? Oxfam's new global campaign, GROW, seeks answers to this question. GROW aims to transform the way we grow, share, and live together. GROW will expose the failing governments and powerful business interests that are propping up a broken food system and sleepwalking the world into an unprecedented and avoidable reversal in human development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marc-Olivier Herman, Ruth Kelly, Robert Nash
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Food prices are a matter of life and death to many in the developing world. Financial markets that should be helping food growers and processors to manage their risk and set prices have become a potential threat to global food security. Deregulated and secretive agricultural commodity derivatives markets have attracted huge sums of speculative money, and there is growing evidence that they deliver distorted and unpredictable food prices. Financial speculation can play an important role to help food producers and end users manage risks, but in light of the harm that excessive speculation may cause to millions, action is required now to address the problem. This briefing explains what has gone wrong with financial markets and what could be done to fix them.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jamie Balfour-Paul
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The EU has a long history of co-operation with the Arab region. Its economic and security interests in the region are considerable. In line with the European Consensus on Development, respect for human rights and democracy have been explicit values within EU development policies. Past EU co-operation in the region, especially in health and education, has achieved successes and enabled people to claim certain rights.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Regime Change, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Despite being a wealthy country, in the UK poverty is an ongoing problem. According to Oxfam GB today 1 in 5 people in the UK don't have enough to live on. There were 2.9 million children and 2.5 million pensioners living in poverty in the UK in 2006/2007. Children go to school hungry, or to bed without enough food. Poor communities are in poorer health and have shorter life expectancy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Jan Cappelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The cocoa tree is an important source of income for millions of farming families in equatorial regions. Cocoa originates in the river valleys of the Amazon and the Orinoco in South America. Its discoverers, the Maya people, gave it the name 'cocoa' (or 'God's food'). Cocoa was introduced to Europe in the fifteenth century. Cocoa imports were heavily taxed, and as a result it was consumed as a drink only by the wealthy. Investment from Great Britain and The Netherlands, combined with the launch of the chocolate bar in 1842 by Cadbury, resulted in a greater demand for chocolate. This led to the gradual expansion of cocoa production, spreading to Africa in 1870.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Europe, South America, Netherlands, Amazon Basin
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Food shopping may seem an innocent, even mundane, chore. But the food we buy every week can have huge impacts on people and environments seemingly worlds away from our regular dash round the shops. The futures of some of the world's poorest people and of the global environment are intimately linked to the contents of our shopping baskets.
  • Topic: Environment, Political Economy, Food
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The major social policy challenge of the current economic recession is how to prevent a precipitous rise in poverty in the UK. In addition to limiting the numbers of people plunged into poverty because of the recession, government must also mitigate the impact on people already living below the poverty line. But, this paper will argue, response s to the recession present an opportunity to make a step-change, ensuring that actions taken also help build a fairer, more sustainable society in which poverty is ended in the long-term.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Poverty, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Access to medicines poses a critical challenge in developing countries, largely because prices are high, and new or adapted medicines and vaccines to address diseases of the developing world are lacking. More than 5 million people in low and middle income countries still lack access to the anti-retroviral medicines needed to treat HIV and AIDS. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have unleashed a new epidemic of suffering across the developing world. Pandemics are a serious threat in rich and poor countries alike, but while rich countries can stockpile medicines, these are often unaffordable for poor countries. Most people in developing countries pay for medicines out-of-pocket, so even a slight price increase can mean that life-saving medicines are unaffordable.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Third World
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Krisnah Poinasamy
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: There are an estimated 1.5 million workers in the adult social care workforce in the UK, working in residential care homes or providing care to people in their own homes. And with an ageing population the number of care workers is set to rise in the next two decades.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Sociology
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Sue Smith, Antonia Bance, Louie Fooks
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper, based on two pilot projects conducted by Oxfam with LSPs in Sunderland and Thurrock in 2008-9, looks at how local authorities can increase the representation and participation of women in LSPs, and how needs differ by gender. The evidence from the pilot projects clearly shows that LSPs can, and must, take concrete steps to involve women more effectively in local decision-making – and take their particular needs into consideration in setting targets for services such as transport, unemployment, and housing – in or der to improve their economic and social well-being and tackle the poverty and social exclusion they face. The paper makes a series of recommendations to those involved in LSPs as to how to do this, and gives examples of good practice.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Europe is negotiating new trade deals with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. A true partnership in trade could radically transform the lives of one-third of all people living in poverty, providing farmers and small businesses with sustainable incomes and workers with decent jobs. But Europe is choosing power politics over partnership. The deals currently on the table will strip ACP countries of important policy tools they need in order to develop. They will fracture regional integration, exacerbate poverty and make it harder for countries to break away from commodity dependence. Despite massive pressure, many ACP countries are holding out for a fair deal. Europe needs to rethink, and agree to change course. Ultimately, it is in its own interests to do so.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Australia/Pacific, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Developing-country governments desperately need more long-term and predictable aid, given through their budgets, to finance the expansion of health care, education, and other vital social services. The European Commission (EC) is one of the biggest donors providing this kind of essential budget support, and has innovative plans to further improve and increase this aid. European Union (EU) member states must support these ambitious plans. The EC in turn must do more to improve on this good start, delinking this aid from harmful International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescriptions, putting an end to unnecessary bureaucratic delays, and doing more to make its aid accountable to citizens in poor countries.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Health
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The quiet advance of trade and investment agreements between rich and poor countries threatens to deny developing countries a favourable foothold in the global economy. Powerful countries, led by the USA and the European Union (EU), are pursuing regional and bilateral free trade agreements with unprecedented vigour. This is happening without the fanfare of global summitry and international press coverage. Around 25 developing countries have now signed free trade agreements with developed countries, and more than 100 are engaged in negotiations. An average of two bilateral investment treaties are signed every week. Virtually no country, however poor, has been left out.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The UK's foreign policy does not matter for the UK only. It matters for millions of poor and vulnerable people caught up in the conflicts where Oxfam works around the world. In diplomacy, as well as development, the UK can have a real impact on men, women, and children struggling to survive in the world's war zones.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In April 2006, key donors including the US A, EU, and Canada suspended international aid to the Palestinian Authority government (PA), following the overwhelming victory of Hamas in parliamentary elections. The Government of Israel had previously suspended the transfer of the tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the PA.
  • Topic: Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Poverty and suffering could be ended in our lifetime, and our leaders must do everything in their power to make this happen. This was the clear demand of the 40 million people in 36 countries who took part in the Global Call to Action Against Poverty in 2005. A year later, in the space of just one day, 24 million people across the world stood up against poverty as part of World Poverty Day.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Asia, France, Germany, Italy
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Europe is currently negotiating trade agreements with 76 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). These so-called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) would create a free trade area between these countries and Europe.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In January of this year, the European Commission published its Renewable Energy Roadmap, proposing a mandatory target that biofuels must provide ten per cent of member states' transport fuels by 2020. This target is creating a scramble to supply in the South, posing a serious threat to vulnerable people at risk from land-grabbing, exploitation, and deteriorating food security. It is unacceptable that poor people in developing countries bear the costs of emissions reductions in the EU. To avoid this, the Commission must include social standards in its sustainability framework, and develop mechanisms by which the ten per cent target can be revised if it is found to be contributing to the destruction of vulnerable people's livelihoods.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Magrath
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climatic disasters are on the increase as the Earth warms up – in line with scientific observations and computer simulations that model future climate. 2007 has been a year of climatic crises, especially floods, often of an unprecedented nature. They included Africa's worst floods in three decades, unprecedented flooding in Mexico, massive floods in South Asia and heat waves and forest fires in Europe, Australia, and California. By mid November the United Nations had launched 15 'flash appeals', the greatest ever number in one year. All but one were in response to climatic disasters.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, California, Australia
  • Author: Nishant Pandey, Yara Abdul-Hamid
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euro-Med) was announced in Barcelona with a great fanfare in 1995, it was hoped that it would herald a new age in relations between the European Union (EU) and its ten southern Mediterranean partner countries, bringing unprecedented opportunities in the social, economic, and political fields.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Liz Stuart
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Green Box subsidies, by definition of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), are not allowed to distort trade. This is why, under the terms of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), countries may provide as many Green Box subsidies as they like. ActionAid, CIDSE, and Oxfam believe, as this briefing note will show, that the EU and the USA are using this provision to continue to give support that is manifestly trade-distorting, thereby causing serious damage to farmers in developing countries. At least $40bn of Green Box payments annually are likely to be trade-distorting and therefore break WTO rules.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe