As regards today’s College, President Juncker debriefed the College on the state-of-play as regards negotiations with Greece. Commissioner Avramopoulos informed and debriefed us on the Council of Interior and Justice Ministers and the Commission proposals for migration.
As regards on the decisions taken, Commission adopted two decisions. First, on the Action Plan on Fair and Efficient Taxation and Pierre will elaborate on this later.
And today, the College decided to set up a new service, the 'Structural Reform Support Service'. I will talk about the first point, the structural reform service, since I will be responsible for coordinating its work on behalf of the President.
The new service will be specialised in technical assistance for Member States to assist them in implementing growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms. It will draw on the expertise and know-how of the Task Force for Greece and the Support Group for Cyprus, amongst others.
Winding down and re-creating such groups each time, like for Greece or Cyprus, results in an important loss of expertise, practical know-how and efficiency. This is why, given the reform challenges ahead, we decided to create a permanent, but very flexible, capacity in the Commission with a wider mandate, offering tailored expertise and practical technical support to any Member State that requests it. The new service will draw on the wealth of expertise from across the Commission, Member States and international bodies.
It will provide practical support and guidance to implement key reforms, particularly those set out in our country-specific recommendations, which we proposed on 13May. For example, technical assistance will be offered to help Member States absorb and use EU funds effectively, drawing on the good results we have had in the past with such assistance.
It will also offer support, in the areas of:
- Revenue management and public financial management;
- Improving the business environment and helping businesses;
- Helping to facilitate and promote exports;
- Assistance on employment, social inclusion and public health;
- Developing efficient, modern, service-oriented public administrations and public procurement practices;
- Effective rule of law and combatting corruption.
The new service will be housed in the Secretariat-General and will start its work on 1July.
I would now like to invite Pierre to outline another decision of today's College, the adoption of the Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU.