20th Mar 2018

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).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.


Selmayr case symptomatic, says EU novel author

The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.


The populists may have won, but Italy won't leave the euro

The situation as Rome tries to form a government is turbulent and unpredictable. However, the most extreme eurosceptic policies floated during the election campaign are unlikely to happen - not least due to the precarious state of the Italian banks.


Why has central Europe turned so eurosceptic?

Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverHiring - Sales Associate With 2+ Years Experience - Apply Now!
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?