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Parliamentary questions
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17 April 2019
Question for written answer E-001976-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nuno Melo (PPE)

 Subject:  Madeira's free-trade zone 3
 Answer in writing 

In the Commission’s recent assessment on the compatibility of Madeira’s free-trade zone (FTZ) with the state aid scheme, it uses a new criterion related to the ‘location of economic activities’.

It is a tax criterion and runs counter to international tax rules and principles, including the OECD’s recommendations (‘head office and place of effective management’) and the rules and principles adopted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. It does not meet the criteria used by the Member States, including Portugal, either.

Companies established in the FTZ have international ties and enable the island, an outermost region, to face the challenge of an open and globalised economy.

Does the Commission take the view that it is applying the correct criteria in its assessment of that scheme?

In the context of a digital and open economy, how does it explain its intention to apply rules that prevent the internationalisation of an outermost region economy?

In addition to intangible activities, a large number of activities carried out by companies from a very broad range of economic sectors have to be carried out in a different place to where their head offices are located. Why does the Commission believe that entities licensed to operate in the Madeira FTZ cannot do so?

Original language of question: PT 
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