COLLEGE MEETING: Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy
The Commission has today kick-started the debate on reforming decision-making for areas of EU taxation policy, which currently requires unanimity among Member States. The Communication published today suggests a roadmap for a progressive and targeted transition to qualified majority voting (QMV) under the ordinary legislative procedure in certain areas of shared EU taxation policy, as is already the case with most other EU policy areas.
This possibility is envisaged by the EU Treaties. It would allow Member States to reach quicker, more effective and more democratic compromises on taxation matters, unleashing the full potential of this policy area. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who had called for a move to qualified majority voting in taxation in his recent State of the Union addresses, said: “Our increasingly globalised economies need modern and ambitious tax systems. I remain strongly in favour of moving to qualified majority voting and a stronger voice for the European Parliament on the common future of taxation in our Union.” Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici said: “The EU has had a role in taxation policy since the origins of the Community six decades ago. Yet if unanimity in this area made sense in the 1950s, with six Member States, it no longer makes sense today. The unanimity rule in taxation increasingly appears as politically anachronistic, legally problematic and economically counterproductive.” The Commission is not proposing any change in EU competences in the field of taxation, or to the rights of Member States to set personal or corporate tax rates as they see fit. Instead, the aim is to allow Member States to exercise more efficiently their already pooled sovereignty so that shared challenges can be addressed more swiftly. A press release, memo and factsheet are available online.