Brussels, 19 March 2003 7431/03 (Presse 79)
2497th Council meeting - ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS - Brussels, 19 March 2003
President : Mr Nikos CHRISTODOULAKIS, Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance of the Hellenic Republic
TAX PACKAGE - PRESIDENCY CONCLUSIONS 4
Energy taxation 5
ANY OTHER BUSINESS 5
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission are represented as follows:
TAX PACKAGE - PRESIDENCY CONCLUSIONS
Following a deep debate at the Council, the Presidency drew these conclusions:
"1. All delegations but one reached political agreement as follows, and reaffirmed their commitment to formally adopting the Tax Package as soon as possible.
With regards to the Directive on Taxation of savings:
2. All delegations but one agree the present draft Directive as well as to the related draft statements for the minutes of the Council and the draft resolution of the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council as set out in doc. 7226/03 FISC 36.
3. All delegations but one state that subject to a final scrutiny by the High Level Group the draft agreement with Switzerland as submitted to the Council on 19 March 2003, including the extension of benefits of the parent/subsidiary and interest/royalty directives with a derogation for Spain, constitutes the final offer for an agreement between the EU and this country. The four elements of this agreement relating to the Savings Taxation constitute also the basis for agreements between the European Union and Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.
All delegations but one encourage the Commission to finalise the draft agreement with the aforementioned European third countries as soon as possible.
With regard to the Directive on interest/royalties:
4. All delegations but one agree the present draft Directive as set out in doc. 5926/03 FISC 13 + COR 1 + REV 1 (it) + REV 2 (it) + COR 2 (en, fr), provided that Spain, Portugal and Greece may continue to apply their present withholding tax rates until the application by the Member States of the savings directive and that the transitional period granted in article 6 take effect from that date. These periods shall be eight years for Portugal and Greece and six years for Spain.
5. All delegations but one and the Commission agree that the benefits of the Interest and Royalty Directive should not accrue to companies that are exempt from tax on income covered by that Directive. All delegations but one invite the Commission to propose any necessary amendments to this Directive in due time.
With regard to the Code of Conduct:
6. All delegations but one agree that the Council will approve the following draft conclusions at the same time as adopting the two aforementioned Directives:
All delegations but one agreed on the Presidency compromise on the proposal for a Directive for the taxation of energy products and electricity.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Council heard a request by the Italian delegation concerning the application of article 88 §2 for milk quotas in Italy.
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