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Macro-Financial Assistance to EU Member States - State of Play, November 2019

08-11-2019

This document provides regularly updated information on EU Member States which receive or received financial assistance from the ESM, EFSF, EFSM, the EU balance of payments assistance facility, other Member States and/or the IMF. Against the background that since August 2018 all financial assistance programmes to EU Member States have been concluded, the document focuses now on the implementation of the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece and post-programme reviews (including IMF Article IV ...

This document provides regularly updated information on EU Member States which receive or received financial assistance from the ESM, EFSF, EFSM, the EU balance of payments assistance facility, other Member States and/or the IMF. Against the background that since August 2018 all financial assistance programmes to EU Member States have been concluded, the document focuses now on the implementation of the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece and post-programme reviews (including IMF Article IV assessments) for Ireland, Portugal, Romania and Spain undertaken by the European Commission (EC) in liaison with the ECB (Post-Programme Surveillance, PPS), the IMF (Post-Programme Monitoring, PPM) and the ESM (Early Warning System, EWS).

Public finances in Euro Area Member States: selected indicators - November 2019

08-11-2019

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it gives a short explanation and the employed sources. A final section provides a summary on how the sustainability of public finances is assessed by the European and other international institutions.

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it gives a short explanation and the employed sources. A final section provides a summary on how the sustainability of public finances is assessed by the European and other international institutions.

Member States with Excessive Macroeconomic Imbalances

07-11-2019

This note provides an overview of the surveillance of the three Member States that have been assessed as experiencing excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the context of the 2019 European Semester cycle and according to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP). Separate notes describe the state of play of the MIP implementation and the MIP procedure.

This note provides an overview of the surveillance of the three Member States that have been assessed as experiencing excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the context of the 2019 European Semester cycle and according to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP). Separate notes describe the state of play of the MIP implementation and the MIP procedure.

EU competition policy: Key to a fair single market

30-10-2019

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering ...

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering national competition authorities. Topics discussed in this paper include the role of competition policy in the digital era, merger control, instruments such as the leniency programme, commitments and settlements, and the potential impact of current political developments.

The European Semester for economic policy coordination: A reflection paper

25-10-2019

This paper provides an overview of the current EU economic governance framework, in particular of the so-called EU ‘rules- based’ surveillance framework of national budgetary, economic and social policies. It raises some broad questions on the lessons learned and proposes some reflections for the future. This document was prepared by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament and the opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent ...

This paper provides an overview of the current EU economic governance framework, in particular of the so-called EU ‘rules- based’ surveillance framework of national budgetary, economic and social policies. It raises some broad questions on the lessons learned and proposes some reflections for the future. This document was prepared by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament and the opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament.

Payment service providers and the fight against e-commerce VAT fraud

24-10-2019

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged ...

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged in the IA, but not assessed. The IA also admits that a key assumption, the improved cooperation with third countries, remains uncertain (it could imply counterproductive trade diversion towards extra-EU areas).

Outcome of the European Council of 17-18 October 2019

22-10-2019

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. EU leaders were not able to find common ground on key elements of the MFF, nor to reach consensus on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and ...

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. EU leaders were not able to find common ground on key elements of the MFF, nor to reach consensus on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. On climate, the European Council only reiterated its June 2019 conclusions considering persistent lack of agreement on raising climate targets. With respect to Turkey, EU leaders did not go beyond the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, either in the area of sanctions or in the area of arms exports control. In the presence of the European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, EU leaders also discussed the political priorities of the EU for the coming years and the follow-up to the Strategic Agenda 2019-24.

EU listing of tax havens

21-10-2019

Broadly speaking, 'tax havens' provide taxpayers, both legal and natural persons, with opportunities for tax evasion or avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serves to disguise the origins of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities. One might ask why establishing a list of tax havens or high-risk countries is useful. Drawing up such lists began with action to end harmful tax practices arising from the discrepancy between the global reach of financial flows and the geographically ...

Broadly speaking, 'tax havens' provide taxpayers, both legal and natural persons, with opportunities for tax evasion or avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serves to disguise the origins of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities. One might ask why establishing a list of tax havens or high-risk countries is useful. Drawing up such lists began with action to end harmful tax practices arising from the discrepancy between the global reach of financial flows and the geographically limited scope of jurisdictions that match or exist inside national borders. However we refer to tax havens, they all have one thing in common: they allow individuals or organisations to escape from taxation. Distinctive characteristics of tax havens include low or zero taxation, fictitious residences (with no bearing on reality) and tax secrecy. The latter two are key methods for hiding ultimate beneficial owners. In the EU, the process of adopting a common list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was initiated as part of efforts to further good tax governance, and its external dimension. On 5 December 2017, the Council adopted a first common list resulting from the assessment of third countries against distinctive criteria. Pursuing the assessment process, the Council has updated the list on the basis of commitments received, while also reviewing countries that had not yet been assessed. This briefing updates an earlier one, from May 2018 – itself an updated and extended version of a briefing from December 2017: ‘Understanding the rationale for compiling “tax haven” lists', PE 614.633 – to take account of the changes in the lists since that date.

Understanding BEPS: From tax avoidance to digital tax challenges

21-10-2019

Action to fight corporate tax avoidance has been deemed necessary in the OECD forum and has received further impetus through the G20/OECD Base erosion and profit shifting action plan (known as BEPS). The 2015 BEPS action plan has 15 actions, covering elements used in corporate tax-avoidance practices and aggressive tax-planning schemes. The implementation of the BEPS action plan was designed to be flexible, as a consequence of its adoption by consensus. Recommendations made in BEPS reports range ...

Action to fight corporate tax avoidance has been deemed necessary in the OECD forum and has received further impetus through the G20/OECD Base erosion and profit shifting action plan (known as BEPS). The 2015 BEPS action plan has 15 actions, covering elements used in corporate tax-avoidance practices and aggressive tax-planning schemes. The implementation of the BEPS action plan was designed to be flexible, as a consequence of its adoption by consensus. Recommendations made in BEPS reports range from minimum standards to guidelines, as well as putting in place an instrument to modify the provisions of tax treaties related to BEPS practices. In addition, putting BEPS actions into practice has involved a growing number of countries, so as to provide a more inclusive framework able to involve more countries beyond the OECD and G20 members, and build on cooperation between international organisations. The application of BEPS actions and their follow-up involves issues that remain to be implemented or addressed. Here come in particular issues beyond the avoidance techniques that were addressed in the BEPS action plan, starting with addressing tax challenges of the digital economy, building on the BEPS action1 report that defined a calendar for providing an adaptation of international tax rules to the impact of digitalisation. Based on several intermediary reports, the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on BEPS issued a work programme to develop a consensus solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. Endorsed in June 2019 by the G20, this programme outlines the steps for modernising international tax rules. An annex to this document outlines the different international fora and instruments relevant to BEPS actions and the countries or organisations that participate in them or apply them. This briefing updates an earlier edition (PE 607.288), of June 2017.

Digital challenges for Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-10-2019

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of ...

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of some recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on digital challenges. Many earlier papers on the issue can be found in a previous item in the series, published in July 2018. Many reports on cybersecurity are available in a publication from October 2018.

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