European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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24 February 2010, Brussels

ETUI Monthly forum - Tax Coordination in Europe

Speakers:

Christian Valenduc (Conseiller général des Finances, Ministry of Finance, Belgium): Tax coordination in Europe: an overview
Magdolna Sass (Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences): Tax competition and coordination within the EU - the case of EU-10
Eloi Laurent (OFCE): An ever less carbonated Union? Towards a better European taxation against climate change

Moderator: Kevin O'Kelly, Editorial Committee Transfer
Comments: Thomas Janson, EESC

Briefing:

The co-ordination of national taxation systems is a growing debate at the EU level, with the European Commission, in particular DG Taxation, some members of the European Parliament and a number of influential Member States pushing for greater co-ordination of the tax base, while other Member States are totally opposed. In the older Member States the development of tax codes took decades, while in the former planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe (the new Member States) taxation systems had to be developed in a short few years to facilitate the transition to the market economy during the 1990s. While much progress has been made in the co-ordination of certain taxes and, in some cases, harmonisation, the current debate is focused on the wide differences in corporate taxation across the Member States. The outgoing European Commission had intended to introduce draft legislation to harmonise corporate tax systems during its five year term, under the 'enhanced co-operation' mechanism, despite strong opposition from several Member States, including Ireland, the UK and the Baltic States. As a way to achieve this, in 2004 the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) Working Group was set up to find a consensus on corporation taxation that would contribute to greater efficiency, effectiveness, simplicity and transparency in company tax systems and reduce the differences between national systems. This debate has implications for the single market but also has a very direct impact on the incomes and standards of living of European workers and, consequently, is of direct interest to the European trade union movement.

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