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Parliamentary questions
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7 November 2019
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002631/2019

As regards excise duties, Directive 2003/96/EC(1) for the taxation of energy products and electricity provides for differentiated minimum levels of taxation and optional tax reductions and exemptions, in particular for energy products and electricity used in agriculture. Member States are free to decide the national levels of energy taxation above the EU minima and to make use of available tax reductions or exemptions.

As part of the commitments undertaken in receiving financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism and in order to achieve the targets set for the primary surplus, the Greek Government adopted legislation to raise tax revenues. Among others, Greece has gradually discontinued excise duty reliefs applied in the primary sector in 2015 and 2016.

All the fiscal measures that Greece intends to take for achieving primary surpluses over the medium-term are monitored under the European Semester for economic policy coordination and the enhanced surveillance framework according to Regulation (EU) No 472/2013(2).

The Greek Government committed to the Eurogroup of 22 June 2018 and 5 April 2019(3) to monitor fiscal risks and take offsetting measures as needed to meet the fiscal targets.

As regards the other Member States, the taxation levels in this sector vary.

(1)Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity, OJ L 283, 31.10.2003, p. 51‐70.
(2)Regulation (EU) No 472/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States in the euro area experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability, OJ L 140, 27.5.2013, p. 1.

Last updated: 7 November 2019Legal notice