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IP/10/1312

Brussels, 12 October 2010

Commissioner Šemeta launches Tax Policy Group to push forward fundamental issues in taxation

Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta will today chair the first meeting of the new Tax Policy Group, which brings together personal representatives of EU Finance Ministers to discuss key tax policy issues. The Group will work on fundamental topics such as how taxation can contribute to a stronger Internal Market, to the growth and competitiveness of Europe's economy and to a "greener" economy. It will also serve as a forum for deeper discussion on priority matters, such as financial sector taxation, common consolidated corporate tax base and the new VAT Strategy.

Commissioner Šemeta said: "Fiscal coordination is essential if the EU is to re-build a strong and robust economy. The Tax Policy Group will be a very important tool in ensuring that Member States' tax policies complement, rather than contradict each other, and that the right measures are taken at EU level to promote growth and prosperity."

Commissioner Šemeta announced the establishment of the Tax Policy Group as one of his top priorities as Taxation Commissioner, seeing it as a crucial means of maintaining political momentum on key issues related to taxation at EU level.

The Group will provide a regular fixed forum for high-level discussions to explore the scope and priorities for tax policy coordination within Europe. It will help the Commission and Member States to exchange views on proposals before they are put on the table, and to push forward discussions on important taxation dossiers.

At today's meeting, the group will look at the recommendations in Professor Monti's report on the re-launch of the Internal Market (click here), including how to address obstacles and bottlenecks in areas such as corporate taxation, consumption taxes and environmental taxation. It will also look at how tax policy coordination could better contribute to fiscal consolidation and improve the effectiveness of national strategies.

At the request of the ECOFIN Council at the end of September, the Tax Policy Group will also focus today on the issue of financial sector taxation, taking into account the Commission's recent policy orientations in this area (see IP/10/1298, MEMO/10/477).

Background:

The Tax Policy Group was established in 1996 as a high-level group for strategic discussion on tax policy issues at a European level. It played an important role in the success of the "Tax Package" in the late 90s.


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