EU Flash: European Commission Transparency Register, Retail Finance Green Paper & Corporate Taxation

15/03/2016

On 1 March, the European Commission launched a 12-week public consultation to gather information from stakeholders on the Transparency Register. One day later, the Commission held it’s Public Hearing on the Retail Finance Green Paper. On 8 March, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council agreed its stance on a draft directive on the exchange of tax-related information on the activities of multinational companies.

Below you can find a brief summary of these topics.

European Commission launches consultation on Transparency Register

On 1 March, the Commission launched a 12-week public consultation to gather input on the current regime for registration of interest representatives who seek to influence the work of the EU institutions and on its development into a mandatory lobby register covering the European Parliament and Council of the European Union as well as the Commission.

The Commission has designed a two-part consultation which will allow for input from a broad range of stakeholders, civil society and citizens. The first part of the consultation does not require detailed knowledge of the current Transparency Register and allows non-experts to respond on questions of principle and scope, whilst the second section invites opinions on the practical functioning of the current system from those who use it.

The consultation documents are available in all EU languages to encourage broad feedback. The consultation will close on Tuesday 24 May. It will feed into the proposal the Commission will make later this year.

Full details can be found here.

European Commission's Public Hearing on the Retail Finance Green Paper

On 2 March, the European Commission held a Public Hearing on the Retail Finance Green Paper. In a speech, Commissioner Jonathan Hill focussed on the challenges of the Green paper. He also discussed the responses received so far to the consultation through the social media campaign #MyMoneyEU.

The objective of the hearing was to hold an in-depth discussion on the matters which are raised in the Green paper. The discussions focused on the future of retail financial services; the opportunities that innovation might bring and on how to foster consumers trust.

You can still take part in the consultation until March 18.

The full keynote speech by Commissioner Johnathan Hill can be found here.

Main results ECOFIN meeting, 8 March 2016

Corporate tax avoidance

As a result of the ECOFIN meeting of 8 march 2016, the Council agreed its stance, pending the European Parliament's opinion, on a draft directive on the exchange of tax-related information on the activities of multinational companies.

The directive will require multinationals to report tax-related information, detailed country-by-country, and requiring national tax authorities to exchange that information automatically.

Code of conduct on business taxation

The Council adopted conclusions on the strengthening of a code of conduct aimed at eliminating measures that can create situations of unfair tax competition.

The code of conduct is used in assessing the harmfulness of tax measures adopted, or that are in the process of being adopted, by the member states. A working group oversees its implementation.

The Council's conclusions foresee an enhancement of the governance, transparency and working methods of the working group.

The presidency intends a further decision to be taken by the end of June 2016 on the revision of the group's mandate.

Economic and fiscal policy

Ministers discussed implementation of country-specific recommendations under the "European Semester", the EU's annual policy monitoring process. The Commission presented reports on the economic policies of the member states, focusing on measures taken to remove barriers to investment.

The Council issued a recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area, enabling due account to be taken of Eurozone issues in the 2016 country-specific recommendations.

It also adopted conclusions on fiscal sustainability, identifying the challenges faced by member states as concerns their public finances.

More details can be found here.

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