Saturday

29th Apr 2017

Reding: Governments should have no veto on taxation

  • Viviane Reding says she is not giving up on gender quotas (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Member states should take decisions by majority voting, including in sensitive areas like taxation, instead of having a veto right capable of blocking attempts to harmonise rules across the EU, justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said.

"The veto right in the EU council has to be scrapped. Qualified majority voting should be extended to more policy areas, for instance taxation," Reding said during a debate with citizens in Berlin on Saturday (10 November).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

During a press conference later, she admitted that her idea - which would require a change to the EU treaty - would be highly controversial for member states like Britain and Ireland, but also for her home country, Luxembourg.

"But the veto right is a matter of principle. I believe a big family can make it only if it pulls together and seeks common decisions. If 26 want something and the 27th blocks, it is not right," she said.

Renowned for her blunt statements and for not shying away from conflicts with EU leaders, Reding is one of the names floated for the presidency of the EU commission, when it comes up for grabs in 2014.

Several participants in the "citizens dialogue" believed the centre-right politician could be right for the job. A member of the German Social-Democrats, who requested not to be named, said "I would vote for her if Martin Schulz doesn't get the job."

Schulz is currently head of the European Parliament and widely believed to be the Socialist candidate for the commission job.

The commission chief is usually appointed from the political family that wins the most seats in the European Parliament, but it has to be part of a larger deal as other top EU jobs will also be for grabs in 2014: the head of the EU council, the bloc's top diplomat and the Nato chief. Political, gender and national considerations will all be part of the bargaining.

Reding's federalist beliefs and her combativeness may ultimately see her passed over for someone less controversial. "Member states would rather see someone who plays ball," one EU source told this website.

The Luxembourger will face a make-or-break test in her diplomacy skills on Wednesday when she tries for the second time to get an agreement among the 27 EU commissioners on a draft bill making a 40 percent gender quota mandatory for publicly-listed companies.

"It's not that it was totally rejected. Everyone agrees that something has to happen to put more women in top management positions. The opinions diverge on the method that should be applied," Reding said during the press conference.

She pledged to "take into account very seriously" the objections raised by several colleagues - including three female commissioners from Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

"Using a crowbar doesn't lead to any decisions in Europe. But when there is a big majority, one or two should not block," she stressed.

For the draft bill to be tabled by the commission, at least 14 commissioners have to vote in favour.

EU commissioner up for 'fight' on gender quotas

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has said she is up for an "interesting fight" within the commission itself and with nine member states opposing draft legislation on gender quotas for top jobs in companies.

Tax property not work, governments told

Governments should tax property and consumption ahead of income according to the Commission's 2013 Annual Growth Survey published on Wednesday.

Commission - EU must combat €1tn tax dodging

EU countries must apply common tax rules to combat tax havens and loopholes allowing businesses to avoid corporation tax, according to new proposals released on Thursday by the European Commission.

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

Analysis

Orban set to face down EU threats

The European Commission and Parliament are to debate Hungary's slide into illiberal democracy. But the bloc continues to think that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is not a systemic threat.

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  2. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  3. One year later: EU right to open Internet still virtual
  4. Rethinking Europe's relationship with Turkey
  5. Mob storms Macedonian parliament
  6. MEPs retain secrecy on office spending
  7. May accuses EU-27 of 'lining up against Britain'
  8. Resurrected Renzi to regain leadership of Italy's ruling party