Individual EU Member States will lose their veto over EU level tax policies under new proposals set to be announced by the European Commission today.
Currently all tax matters at European level are decided by unanimity amongst Member States. However, the roadmap set to be launched by the Commission will propose circumventing the EU treaties to remove certain national vetoes that, in their view, are misused by individual countries, according to an ECR press release.
Initially their focus will be on so-called measures to enhance the single market and target specific areas with policy goals before moving to remove national control over VAT and excise duty. Longer term they want to embark on an approach to allow for a common corporate tax base, which is clearly targeted at the more investment friendly, and often smaller, EU Member States.
“Ending unanimity on taxation is unnecessary and will be particularly bad news for smaller countries who will routinely see themselves outvoted at European level on tax issues that are key to their economies. Over recent years there has been significant progress in finding agreements on measures to combat tax abuse as well as increase transparency and information sharing between countries – with all of this agreed under unanimity,” said ECR Flemish MEP Ralph Packet.
“No country should ever set itself up to have taxes imposed on their people or businesses. If EU Member States are unable to find an agreement on tax matters then that surely justifies the need to keep their veto, rather than give it away. We’re told that these proposals will generate billions in extra revenue but why is it that whenever there is talk about tax at EU level it’s never about setting lower rates and being more competitive?” Packet concluded.