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European Commission

Algirdas Šemeta

Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-fraud

Statement on the authorisation of enhanced cooperation for the Financial Transactions Tax

EP Plenary discussion / Brussels,

11 December 2012

Chair, Honourable Members,

I wish first to thank the European Parliament, and in particular the rapporteur, Mrs Anni Podimata, for its excellent work and its support on this important file.

As you know, the Commission’s proposal for a common system for Financial Transaction Tax is all about fairness and efficiency.

It will enable Member States to make sure that the financial sector makes a fair contribution to public finances.

It will harmonise existing and possible future FTTs, avoiding the proliferation of cumbersome national systems which result in fragmenting the Single Market.

Finally, it will dis-incentivise transactions that do not enhance financial markets efficiency and welfare.

In the absence of unanimity in the Council on its original proposal, and following a request made by 11 Member States, the Commission proposed to authorise enhanced cooperation for the implementation of this tax.

I am convinced that going ahead with the FTT file through enhanced cooperation is strongly grounded, legally justified within the Treaties' framework and desirable in the current economic and social context.

Furthermore, the enhanced cooperation will allow for a coordinated and open approach to financial sector taxation, which could be expanded beyond the 11 Member States candidates who have formally requested.

I already see that some others are reflecting joining this group in the future.

This constitutes an important and tangible sign towards our goal which remains to see the FTT implemented globally.

I would like to emphasize that, today, this debate is about granting the authorisation for enhanced cooperation.

According to the treaty provisions, the discussion on the substantive proposal to be implemented between the 11 Member States will follow once the authorisation is formalised. As requested by participating Member States, it will be based on the scope and objectives of the initial Commission proposal of 2011.

Thank you for your attention.

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