Supporting the Mobilisation of Fiscal Resources and Anti-Fraud

Revenue mobilisation and expenditure control have been central to the macro-economic stabilisation programmes carried out over the past few decades.

However, the fiscal resources mobilised still appear inadequate when it comes to ensuring sustainably-balanced public finances, serving the development of States. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs provides partner countries with its expertise in mobilising resources, assistance in defining budgets and support in implementing tax policies, in line with the principles of its governance strategy adopted in 2006.

It also supports the mobilisation and use of local public resources, in response to a three-fold objective of creating incentive, fostering equity and increasing revenue. The local level makes it possible to better link up taxpayers and the services they enjoy as a result of their taxes. A higher-quality public asset offering, funded using local taxes, consequently improves the legitimacy of public institutions and good fiscal citizenship which, in turn and in accordance with a virtuous circle mechanism, contribute to improving public services.

Yet local tax resources remain, in many countries, inadequate, ill-organised or inefficient. This is why the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs launched, in 2006, analysis on the mobilisation of local equity resources for decentralised authorities in Africa, carried out in connection with academics and African and French practitioners. The said analysis is aimed at establishing a diagnosis on local equity resources, how they are collected and how they are administered. It is used to issue operational recommendations contributing greater clarity and rationalisation in the system, by looking for consistency with reform on the federal tax system.

Think-tank efforts about resource mobilisation extend to elaborating a French strategy in the field of customs, carried out jointly by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the National Customs Directorate. Their aim is to secure customs revenue in a world of market liberalisation, when customs must, at the same time, step up their action to cope with the new challenges of globalisation, protect populations from illegal trafficking risks and respond to corporate needs, all the while securing global trade.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has thus embarked on new forms of partnership-based backing in order work alongside the Customs Authorities as they shift into new responsibilities, serving the economy and protecting the Community area.

In particular, it deploys its support through the prism of anti-fraud efforts, trafficking of illegal merchandise and organised crime, which are the core activities of the Customs Authorities. Aimed at removing these significant barriers to development, anti-corruption efforts have thereby given rise to the elaboration of a position paper from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Lastly, customs cooperation also comes in the form of increased aid to regional organisations, which are coming out more and more as partners in coordination, steering and oversight for common policies, in particular in the agricultural and commercial fields.