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Posted on 22-09-2017

Common corporate tax base (CCTB)

22-09-2017

The European Commission has decided to re-launch the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) project in a two-step approach, with the publication of two new interconnected proposals on a common corporate tax base (CCTB) and a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). These were published on 25 October 2016, and the 2011 CCCTB proposal (COM(2011) 121) was withdrawn on the same day. The re-launch follows the lack of progress on the 2011 proposal in the Council. The 2016 CCTB provides for ...

The European Commission has decided to re-launch the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) project in a two-step approach, with the publication of two new interconnected proposals on a common corporate tax base (CCTB) and a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). These were published on 25 October 2016, and the 2011 CCCTB proposal (COM(2011) 121) was withdrawn on the same day. The re-launch follows the lack of progress on the 2011 proposal in the Council. The 2016 CCTB provides for the determination of a single set of rules for calculation of the corporate tax base. Companies operating across borders in the EU would no longer have to deal with 28 different sets of national rules when calculating their taxable profits. The intention is that the proposed CCTB is a step on the way towards re-establishing the link between taxation and the place where profits are made, via an apportionment formula to be introduced through the new CCCTB proposal. The proposals include a number of anti-tax avoidance measures. The proposal only concerns the corporate tax base and is not intended to harmonise national corporate tax rates. The Member States would retain their sovereign right to set their own tax rates. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB)

22-09-2017

The European Commission has decided to re-launch the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) project in a two-step approach, with the publication on 25 October 2016 of two new interconnected proposals: on a common corporate tax base (CCTB), and on a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). The 2011 CCCTB proposal (COM(2011) 121) was withdrawn on the same day. Building on the 2016 CCTB proposal, the 2016 CCCTB proposal introduces the consolidation aspect of this double initiative. Companies ...

The European Commission has decided to re-launch the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) project in a two-step approach, with the publication on 25 October 2016 of two new interconnected proposals: on a common corporate tax base (CCTB), and on a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). The 2011 CCCTB proposal (COM(2011) 121) was withdrawn on the same day. Building on the 2016 CCTB proposal, the 2016 CCCTB proposal introduces the consolidation aspect of this double initiative. Companies operating across borders in the EU would no longer have to deal with 28 different sets of national rules when calculating their taxable profits. Consolidation means that there would be a 'one-stop-shop' – the principal tax authority – where one of the companies of a group, that is, the principal taxpayer, would file a tax return. To distribute the tax base among Member States concerned, a formulary apportionment system is introduced. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

North Korea [What Think Tanks are thinking]

22-09-2017

North Korea has stepped up its nuclear plans with the underground detonation of a hydrogen bomb and tests of its first suspected Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), moves perceived as a major threat to global security. Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September, US President Donald Trump threatened to 'totally destroy' North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies against that country. The isolated communist regime of Kim Jong-un has continued ...

North Korea has stepped up its nuclear plans with the underground detonation of a hydrogen bomb and tests of its first suspected Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), moves perceived as a major threat to global security. Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September, US President Donald Trump threatened to 'totally destroy' North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies against that country. The isolated communist regime of Kim Jong-un has continued its nuclear programme, despite repeated rounds of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and diplomatic efforts to diffuse the conflict.

The role of eGovernment in deepening the single market

22-09-2017

eGovernment, which involves deploying technology to deliver public services, increases administrative efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on the public and businesses. The EU has been actively promoting implementation of eGovernment practices, in particular in cross-border situations. Many studies point to significant savings for national authorities and reduced costs for businesses through further advancement of eGovernment in Europe. However, a low level of digitisation of public services ...

eGovernment, which involves deploying technology to deliver public services, increases administrative efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on the public and businesses. The EU has been actively promoting implementation of eGovernment practices, in particular in cross-border situations. Many studies point to significant savings for national authorities and reduced costs for businesses through further advancement of eGovernment in Europe. However, a low level of digitisation of public services and the lack of interoperability between eGovernment systems still present major electronic and procedural barriers to the free movement of goods, services and people in the single market. Other problems include insufficient access to information and low usability of the services offered. Many Member States are well advanced at national level, but the cross-border provision of e-services is still lagging behind. In order to address these issues, various policy initiatives have already been launched or are planned under the digital single market strategy and the eGovernment 2016-2020 action plan. A further boost should come from the current Estonian EU Council Presidency, which has made promotion of eGovernment one of its main priorities.

Economic effects of reform in professional services

15-09-2017

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer ...

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

External author

Dr Erik Van Der Marel

Posted on 21-09-2017

Setting VAT rates

21-09-2017

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive sets a framework for VAT rates. The present VAT system is based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transaction is determined by the Member State in which the seller is located. Various studies and reports show that presently several challenges are linked to the implementation of this directive. These challenges include ...

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive sets a framework for VAT rates. The present VAT system is based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transaction is determined by the Member State in which the seller is located. Various studies and reports show that presently several challenges are linked to the implementation of this directive. These challenges include a gradual move from the origin principle to the destination principle, a need to fight VAT fraud, uncertainty for companies involved in cross-border trading, different VAT rates applied in Member States, obsolete rules, and the restrictive list of cases where reduced VAT can be applied, that is included in Annex III of the directive. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to update Council Directive 2006/112/EC to respond to these challenges. Similarly, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee have recommended that this legislation be updated. Furthermore, representatives of various stakeholder groups have voiced requests regarding this piece of legislation. Finally, the European Commission has expressed a willingness to take a more effective and proportionate approach to VAT rates. It is expected that the European Commission will submit this proposal in the third quarter of 2017.

Posted on 20-09-2017

Understanding EU customs union

20-09-2017

In December 2016, the European Commission adopted its long-term plan to strengthen the governance and management of the EU customs union. The customs union, in place since 1968, is a pillar of the single market, and vital to the free flow of goods and services. According to the Commission, a strong customs system helps foster competitive businesses, increases wealth, and also protects against terrorist, health, and environmental threats. The customs union operates under the legal framework of the ...

In December 2016, the European Commission adopted its long-term plan to strengthen the governance and management of the EU customs union. The customs union, in place since 1968, is a pillar of the single market, and vital to the free flow of goods and services. According to the Commission, a strong customs system helps foster competitive businesses, increases wealth, and also protects against terrorist, health, and environmental threats. The customs union operates under the legal framework of the Union Customs Code (UCC), in force since May 2016. However, while customs rules are the same across the EU, national customs authorities do not always apply them in a consistent manner. The Commission has therefore proposed structural and administrative changes, inter alia, on customs policy monitoring, formulation, and implementation. In addition, the Commission proposes to tackle administrative issues (e.g. application of EU law, competency building for custom officials, aligning new EU-wide IT systems dedicated to customs procedures), and border management coordination. The European Parliament is critical of the differences between customs systems at the national level, in particular regarding customs duties and customs clearance, since these create fragmentation, additional administrative burdens (in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises), and hamper e-commerce. The Parliament suggests, among other things, the creation of more uniform electronic customs requirements and risk-assessment programmes. Parliament has also called on the Commission to present an interim report evaluating EU customs policy by 2017, including a review of the problems, overlaps, gaps, and complaints filed with customs authorities, and customs infringements.

Refugee policies in Africa: Open borders but limited integration

20-09-2017

As Europe struggles with the migration crisis, the EU is trying to develop a new relationship with African countries in order to try to curb the influx of people fleeing war, poverty or persecution, as well as to address the situation of refugees in Africa. Indeed, while some African countries are transit countries, Africa also hosts significant numbers of displaced people, many of whom qualify as refugees under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol or under the 1969 Organisation for ...

As Europe struggles with the migration crisis, the EU is trying to develop a new relationship with African countries in order to try to curb the influx of people fleeing war, poverty or persecution, as well as to address the situation of refugees in Africa. Indeed, while some African countries are transit countries, Africa also hosts significant numbers of displaced people, many of whom qualify as refugees under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol or under the 1969 Organisation for African Unity Convention on Refugees. Nevertheless, while many African countries have ratified these international norms, in practice the protection provided is often inadequate. Most often, a policy of open borders allows refugees to cross freely into neighbouring countries, without however offering any long-term prospect for integration into host societies. There are exceptions to this approach, such as South Africa and Uganda, countries widely praised for their integrationist policies, but even there societal pressures are driving more restrictive policies. Many African countries lack any legal framework for granting asylum and in practice severely curtail the rights provided to refugees by the Geneva Convention. This implementation gap contributes to protracted refugee situations and is likely one of the main drivers of irregular migration to Europe. Refugees in Africa are confined to camps located in remote areas for long periods of time, with their freedom of movement severely restricted and without any access to formal employment. They have to rely on international humanitarian aid for their survival and when aid shrinks they are at risk of being sent back home, where they can face serious threats. In the context of the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees, some African countries have pledged to take steps to improve the integration of their refugees.

Posted on 15-09-2017

The EU's new approach to funding peace and security

15-09-2017

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing ...

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing cooperation with the defence sector and the military in third countries. The proposed amendment to Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of 11 March 2014 establishing the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) aims to remedy this situation by creating the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for capacity-building programmes in third countries aimed at training and mentoring, the provision of non-lethal equipment and assistance with infrastructure improvements, and help with strengthening the capacity of military actors in order to contribute to the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-09-2017

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, laid out his vision of the European Union in his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. He noted that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery. ‘The wind is back in the European sails,’ he declared. Much interest focussed on Juncker’s advocacy of various eurozone and EU institutional reforms. He proposed ...

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, laid out his vision of the European Union in his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. He noted that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery. ‘The wind is back in the European sails,’ he declared. Much interest focussed on Juncker’s advocacy of various eurozone and EU institutional reforms. He proposed the designation of a eurozone finance minister, who would preside over the Eurogroup, as well as being a member of the Commission. He supported the development of a European Monetary Fund. However, he opted against the creation of a separate eurozone budget, preferring a dedicated budget line within a general EU budget. He also said there should not be a separate eurozone parliament either. He favoured combining the presidencies of the Commission and the European Council, and he supported the idea a new, additional transnational constituency for the European elections. On the policy front, he advocated a pro-innovation industrial strategy, a reinforced social pillar, an authority to supervise fairness in the single market, better handling of migratory flows, and new trade agreements. This note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Brexit-related publications can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking. Earlier papers on the general condition of the EU are available in another edition in this series, published in April 2017.

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25-09-2017
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25-09-2017
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25-09-2017
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