The EESC welcomes the special attention devoted to drawing up a European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), in order to support cohesion and competitiveness in the light of challenges that cannot be satisfactorily resolved by single regions or countries through the usual means. The EESC believes that EUSAIR must adopt a comprehensive programme with an action-oriented list of projects and schemes, and strongly recommends that better use be made of the private sector's potential to attract investment (both local and international) and to create business opportunities. Simultaneously, the strategy should include a stronger social dimension, in order to better support inclusive growth in the Adriatic and Ionian region.
The EESC believes that the fight against terrorism and its financing and efforts to combat money laundering and other related forms of economic crime should be permanent EU policy priorities. These efforts should be linked more closely with the efforts needed to combat tax fraud and tax avoidance. Therefore, the EESC considers creating public national registers of the beneficial owners of bank accounts, businesses, trusts and transactions, and access to them by obliged entities, to be a priority. Furthermore, all obligations laid down in the Anti Money Laundering Directive should be extended to all territories or jurisdictions whose sovereignty resides with the Member States. And free trade and economic partnership agreements should include a chapter on measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, tax fraud and tax avoidance.
With this package of measures the Commission continues to deliver on its Single Market Strategy – a roadmap to unlock the full potential of the Single Market. This will make it easier for people and companies to manage their paperwork online in their home country or when working, living or doing business in another EU country and it will help ensure that commonly agreed EU rules are respected.
This opinion is part of a wider package of four EESC opinions on the future of the European economy (Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and Euro area economic policy, Capital Markets Union and The future of EU finances). The package of opinions underscores the need for a common sense of purpose in the Union governance, which goes far beyond technical approaches and measures, and is first and foremost a matter of political will and a common perspective. Against this background the Committee advocates the exploration of tools to improve economic governance in the EMU, for instance by creating a permanent Euro Finance Minister, while ensuring full democratic accountability. Bundling competences would enhance coherence of EMU policies.
The reporting mechanism will contribute to more tax justice and fair competition in the EU
The European Commission must set out more precise hallmarks for the proposed reporting obligations on cross-border tax arrangements and transactions in order to prevent subjective interpretation by taxpayers and tax authorities which could lead to over-reporting and administrative burdens, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges in its recently adopted opinion on disincentives to tax avoidance or evasion.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the European Commission's proposals regarding its Action Plan on VAT, which aim to modernise the EU Value Added Tax (VAT) system, at the same time calling for some modifications. It asks the Member States to do their utmost to implement the proposed reforms and move towards the definitive VAT system within a reasonable timeframe.
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. Good regulation, consistent and stable legal framework, both at the national and the European level is what business counts on - these are some of the conclusions of the conference "Transposition of the European law – the key challenge to business activity", that took place on 6 December 2016 in Zagreb, Croatia.
In a recently adopted opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the European Commission's proposal to amend the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) with the objective of better tackling money laundering and terrorist financing in the European banking and financial sector, but calls for more comprehensive measures. These issues are, in its view, becoming increasingly dangerous in terms of the stability, safety and reputation of financial institutions and the financial sector as a whole. Additional measures are therefore of the utmost importance.
A new VAT system for taxing trade between Member States must tap its full potential and limit any possible negative effects for the single market, says the European Economic and Social Committee in its recently adopted opinion on a proposal presented by the European Commission. Greater collaboration between national authorities and extensive communication by the Commission will be key to its successful implementation. Clarifications are needed on some proposed concepts and criteria and a common system for goods and services must follow as soon as possible.