Illicit Capital Flight

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It is estimated that some US$1,000 billion leaves developing countries each year as a result of illicit capital flight, outweighing by almost ten times global Official Development Assistance (ODA). Illicit capital flight – illegal and unregistered financial flows that leak from developing countries often to tax havens and also EU countries – occur in a range of ways. The majority – almost two thirds – stems from multinational companies dodging taxes. This is often done through mispricing of cross-border trade and is enabled by inadequate international standards on financial accounting and tax information exchange. Improved standards are much-needed to stem the huge financial losses that bleed developing country finances.

The goal of the project “Illicit Capital Flight” is to raise the awareness on how these massive outflows from developing countries undermine these countries’ capacity to eradicate poverty and achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDG). The Project therefore address the implications of trade policies and corporate behaviour on illicit capital flight, and assess how enhanced PDC could effectively address this problem.

Project Overall Objective

The overall objective is to strengthen EU public awareness and mobilisation on the effects of illicit capital flight on achieving the MDGs, in order to mobilise political support both at national and at EU level for enhanced coherence of EU policies with development objectives. This will be done by exposing the links between EU trade and investment policies, EU corporate behaviour, and illicit capital flight.

Project Specific Objective

The specific objective is to strengthen target groups’ critical knowledge on illicit capital flight, its impact on MDGs and the interdependence with EU policies – in particular on trade and investment – and with EU corporate behaviour and therefore mobilise their support for enhanced policy coherence for development.

Partners in the project

Eurodad-European Network on Debt and Development is the leading partner of the project consortium, which beside Ekvilib Institute involves next European NGOs:


The project was financed by European Union and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Slovenia.