Thematic debate on "Taxation of the Digital Economy", with Rita de la Feria, renowned tax expert (listed in the Global Tax 50, 2015 and 2016) and professor of tax law at the University of Leeds, organised during the ECO Section meeting on Friday, 5 May 2017, at the EESC premises in Brussels.
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On 7th February, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Economic and Social Committee turns to political leaders, the European civil society organisations which we represent, and all European citizens, with a call: the call for social and economic solidarity, which is urgently needed across Europe. 25 years ago, Europe was in turmoil: the aftermath of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany; the path of Eastern European countries to democracy, all shaped the zeitgeist.
There is no viable alternative to a more political Eurozone, focusing more on the big priorities that matter for its citizens than on specific numerical targets and technical issues. Once again, the EESC calls on the European political leaders to accelerate the process of deepening Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in order to ensure more convergence among the Member States and to make the EU as a whole more prosperous, competitive and resilient to external shocks, within a concept of shared sovereignty.
The recent economic and political developments in Europe are a wake-up call for our leaders to take swifter action in order to strengthen the foundations of our Union, including the fragile political and institutional architecture underpinning the euro, thus ensuring lasting stability and prosperity for the people of Europe.
The European Economic and social Committee is organising the public debate "What future for the euro? Threats and opportunities for stage 2 of deepening EMU". The aim of our public debate is to support the necessary consensus-building on an ambitious roadmap for completing EMU by 2025, as part of a global vision for the future of the European Union.
Given that Europe's priority today is to promote sustainable growth and investment within a fair and better integrated market, the corporate tax reforms package will help to provide a fair and efficient taxation of corporate profits. The EESC is currently drawing up three interlinked opinions on key proposals presented and in this framework the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) will organise a public hearing on "The Corporate tax reforms package - with focus on Common (Consolidated) Corporate Tax Base".
Officious transposition of the EU law at the national level undermines Single Market, increases costs and hinders development. Numerous governments of Member States use transposition process as an opportunity to address domestic political issues which results with "goldplating". This unfavorable tendency has negative impact on business and should be avoided by all possible means.
The EESC supports the Commission's ambition for the European Union to lead the way in the global fight against money laundering and terrorism, in which all stakeholders should join forces. To feed into the political debate and decision making process and to make sure the needs of civil society are duly taken account of, the EESC is organising a public hearing on "The fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion".
At its plenary meeting on 17 March 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee gave a clear message to the European Commission, calling on it to draw up conclusive proposals which go further in completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union without delay. In a package of opinions, the Committee put forward the points of view of the social partners and civil society on the package of proposals for Deepening EMU which the Commission published at the end of last year.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for governance improvements in the internal market with a view to removing bureaucratic hurdles for business. Its conclusion is that the European Commission, although active in cutting red tape in EU legislation, is not intervening yet in the case of gold-plating, which is over-compliance at the national/regional/local level. A key problem with gold-plating is precisely its tendency to overlap across multiple layers of competence. Gold-plating does happen and in certain cases undermines European competitiveness.