Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission
The Commission did take note of the proposal to create a VAT and Excise Duties Forum contained in the European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2012 on the proposal for a Council regulation on Administrative Cooperation in the field of excise duties. However, the Commission could not act directly on this suggestion since it fell outside the scope of the proposed regulation.
Nevertheless the Commission already manages a forum, the Excise Contact Group, within which representatives of producers and distributors of excise goods can discuss legal and operational issues relating to excise duties with the Commission and with the Member States.
As regards VAT, greater involvement in the process of preparing EU VAT legislation was one of the major claims made by business during the course of a public consultation launched by the Commission following the publication of its Green Paper on the future of VAT(1). In this context, the Commission has been working for some time on the idea of creating a platform (or forum) to encourage an EU‑level dialogue between Member States' tax administrations and business. The most recent development in this regard was the suggestion contained in the recent Commission Communication on the future of VAT(2) to create two separate experts groups to follow-up on these initiatives — a tripartite forum on the one hand and a VAT expert group on the other. Adoption of the necessary legal instruments to create these bodies is currently underway.