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Parliamentary questions
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10 July 2020
Answer given by Mr Gentiloni
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002614/2020

The Commission supports the initiatives of a number of Member States to deny state aid to companies with links to jurisdictions that do not respect tax good governance standards. These initiatives are consistent with the Commission’s suggestion that Member States should apply targeted defensive measures against countries that are listed as non-cooperative for tax purposes.

The Commission also suggested that these defensive measures should extend beyond the tax area. The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions has delivered concrete results and is an effective tool in tackling tax avoidance and evasion. At the same time, the Commission continues to encourage increased coordination and ambition when it comes to the defensive measures applied to listed jurisdictions.

In December 2019, Member States agreed to a loose toolbox of measures that they will all apply to listed countries as of 2021. The Commission will monitor the implementation of such measures.

If these do not prove effective, the Commission is ready to make proposals for coordinated defensive measures. In any such proposals, the Commission takes due care to ensure that they do not harm real economic activity and legitimate cross-border investments.

Under the Anti Tax Avoidance Directives(1), for example, companies can prove whether they perform a real activity in a jurisdiction, to avoid being subject to the anti-abuse measures.

(1)Council Directive (EU) 2016/1164 of 12 July 2016 laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market and Council Directive (EU) 2017/952 of 29 May 2017 amending Directive (EU) 2016/1164 as regards hybrid mismatches with third countries .
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