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Brussels, 29 October 2014
Commissioner Šemeta welcomes the signature of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement
I am pleased that today Finance Ministers from 50 countries and jurisdictions have signed a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the implementation of the Global Standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information.
The signature of this Agreement during the 7th Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin is an important joint effort by many in creating a fairer, more appropriate tax environment worldwide.
The agreement signed today, follows on quickly from the political agreement reached by Member States on 14 October to apply the Global Standard in relations between each other by way of a Directive (see SPEECH/14/693).
The European Union has been a pioneer and a leader in the use of automatic exchange of information to prevent tax evasion. It has been advocated by the Commission since 2001 and has been applied by EU Member States under the Directive on the taxation of savings income since 2003.
The Global Standard, developed by the OECD in cooperation with G20 countries and the European Commission, will facilitate tax authorities’ access to financial account information and boost worldwide efforts to crack down on tax evasion.
This global agreement shows that many countries around the world are ready to work towards alignment with the Global Standard and recognise automatic exchange of information as the new standard for international cooperation.
Agreement on a Global Standard is not something we could have foreseen even a few years ago and it signals a new step towards greater tax transparency. I am confident that this new move will enable countries around the world to better combat tax evasion and improve the efficiency of their tax collection.