Friday

12th Apr 2024

France, Germany call for tax avoidance clampdown

  • The French, German and Italian finance ministers want new EU rules on corporate tax (Photo: EUobserver)

The finance ministers of Germany, France and Italy have called on the EU to propose new law to curb corporate tax avoidance,

In a joint letter to the EU's economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Monday (1 December), Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble, France's Michel Sapin and Pier-Carlo Padoan from Italy said that a new EU directive on anti-base erosion and profit-sharing could be presented before the end of 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"This strong initiative taken by the EU ... would give Europe the leading place it deserves at the international level," the ministers argue.

They added that the new rules could be agreed by ministers by the end of 2025. Under the EU treaties, all legislation dealing with tax requires the unanimous support of all 28 governments.

The letter is not the first time that the eurozone's three largest countries have presented a united front on tax.

They are also among the eleven countries who have promised to introduce a tax on financial transactions, although no agreement will be reached until 2015.

Meanwhile, France and Germany have repeatedly called for Ireland, which is currently facing an EU probe into so-called 'sweetheart' tax deals with Apple, to increase its corporate tax rate.

Such tax deals, which are also under investigation in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and Europe's fragile economy have pushed corporate tax avoidance up the political agenda.

In the letter, the ministers commented that "the limits of permissible tax competition between member states have shifted. That development is irreversible".

The EU executive estimates that tax avoidance and evasion in the EU cost about €1 trillion each year.

The commission tabled plans for a common corporate tax base across the EU in 2011, only to see them halted by a group of governments including Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta.

Juncker 'regrets' Luxembourg tax deals

EU commission chief Juncker has broken his one-week silence on “Luxembourg Leaks”, with jokes, "regrets", and a new proposal on EU tax transparency.

Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU

European environmental groups have urged the EU Commission to stand firm on implementing the bloc's landmark anti-deforestation legislation — despite a backlash from governments in South America, Africa and some EU ministers.

Opinion

This 'deregulation' lobbying now threatens EU economy

Next week's EU summit (17-18 April) will discuss the strategic agenda for the next five years. The current "competitiveness agenda" is to a large extent driven by a big lobbying campaign — so far, not well covered by the media.

Latest News

  1. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  2. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  3. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  4. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  5. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  6. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names
  7. 'PieperGate' crisis re-opens doubts on von der Leyen's future
  8. The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us