Procedure : 2011/0341B(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0399/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0399/2012

Debates :

PV 21/11/2013 - 4
CRE 21/11/2013 - 4

Votes :

PV 21/11/2013 - 8.9

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0508

REPORT     ***I
PDF 294kWORD 416k
6 December 2012
PE 491.223v04-00 A7-0399/2012

on the amended proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Fiscalis 2020) and repealing Decision No°1482/2007/EC

(COM(2012)0465 – C7-0242/2012 – 2011/0341B(COD))

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

Rapporteur: Theodor Dumitru Stolojan

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the amended proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an action programme for customs and taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Fiscalis 2020) and repealing Decision No°1482/2007/EC

(COM(2012)0465 – C7-0242/2012 – 2011/0341B(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the amended Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0465),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 114, 197 and 212 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0242/2012),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 22 February 2012(1),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0399/2012),

A. Whereas the financial envelope specified in the Commission proposal constitutes only an indication to the legislative authority and cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the proposal for a regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020;

B.  Whereas in its resolution of 8 June 2011 on Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe(2), Parliament stressed that sufficient additional resources are needed in the next MFF in order to enable the Union to fulfil its existing policy priorities and the new tasks provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; whereas even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5 % compared to 2013, only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union’s agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity; whereas the Council, if it does not share this approach, should clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value;

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1a) The programme as such and its success are vital in the present economic situation, bearing in mind that the Union needs to move towards closer economic, fiscal, and budgetary policy cooperation and coordination.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1b) The free movement of capital cannot be used as a way to evade tax, in particular for Member States whose currency is the euro and which are experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability in the euro area.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The programme activities, i.e. the European Information Systems, the joint actions for tax officials and the common training initiatives, are expected to contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In providing a framework for activities which strive for more efficient tax authorities, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses, promote employment and contribute to the protection of the Union's financial and economic interests, the programme will actively strengthen the functioning of the taxation systems in the internal market.

(2) The programme activities, i.e. the European Information Systems, the joint actions for tax officials and the common training initiatives, are expected to contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the functioning of the internal market, providing a framework to support activities enhancing productivity of the public sector and pushing technical progress and innovation. In providing a framework for activities which strive for more efficient tax authorities, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses, promote employment and contribute to the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Union, the Member States and Union tax payers, the programme will actively strengthen the functioning of the taxation systems in the internal market, while gradually eliminating existing barriers and distortions within the market.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) The scope of the Fiscalis 2020 programme should be brought into line with current needs so as to allow for supporting activities in regard to all taxes harmonised at Union level and to Union legislation in relation to taxation. This programme should therefore not only cover taxes harmonised at Union level but also other taxes falling within the scope of Union tax legislation in the meaning of Council Directive 2010/24/EU of 16 March 2010 concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures.

(3) The scope of the Fiscalis 2020 programme should be brought into line with current needs so as to allow for supporting activities in regard to all taxes harmonised at Union level and to Union legislation in relation to taxation. This programme should therefore not only cover taxes harmonised at Union level but also, as appropriate, other taxes falling within the scope of Union tax legislation in the meaning of Council Directive 2010/24/EU of 16 March 2010 concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures.

Justification

The Fiscalis programme should focus on its key purpose, to support cooperation between Member States' national tax authorities.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) To support the process of accession and association by third countries, the programme should be open for the participation of acceding and candidate countries as well as potential candidates and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy if certain conditions are fulfilled. Considering the increasing interconnectivity of the world economy, the programme continues to provide for the possibility to involve external experts, such as representatives of governmental authorities, economic operators and their organisations or representatives of international organisations, in certain activities. .

(4) To support the process of accession and association by third countries, the programme should be open for the participation of acceding and candidate countries as well as potential candidates and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy if certain conditions are fulfilled, and limited to fighting tax fraud and tax evasion, especially cross-border carousel fraud, and training of tax authorities' staff. Considering the increasing interconnectivity of the world economy, the programme should continue to provide for the appropriate involvement of external experts in certain activities. .

Justification

With respect to cooperation with non-EU countries, the Fiscalis programme should be limited to fighting tax fraud and tax evasion, especially cross-border carousel fraud, and training of tax authorities' staff.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) The programme objectives take into account the problems and challenges identified for taxation in the next decade. The programme should continue to play a role in vital areas like the coherent implementation of Union law, administrative cooperation, the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Union, enhancing the administrative capacity of tax authorities. Given the problem dynamics of new challenges identified, additional emphasis should be put on fighting tax fraud, reduction of administrative burden and enhancing cooperation with third countries and parties.

(5) The programme objectives take into account the problems and challenges identified for taxation in the next decade. The programme should continue to play a role in vital areas like the coherent implementation of Union law, administrative cooperation, the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Union, the Member States and Union taxpayers, enhancing the administrative capacity of tax authorities. Given the problem dynamics of new challenges identified, additional emphasis should be put on fighting tax fraud, tax evasion and all forms of double taxation and double non-taxation, aggressive tax avoidance, reducing administrative burden and, where appropriate, enhancing cooperation with third countries and parties, in particular to increase transparency and tighter control to prevent the misuse of tax havens.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) The programme tools which applied before 2014 have proven to be adequate and have therefore been retained. In view of the need for more structured operational cooperation, additional tools have been added namely expert teams composed of Union and national experts to perform jointly tasks in specific domains, and public administration capacity building actions which should provide specialised assistance to those participating countries needing administrative capacity building.

(6) The programme tools which applied before 2014 have proven to be adequate and have therefore been retained. In view of the need for more structured operational cooperation, additional tools have been added namely expert teams composed of Union and national experts to perform jointly tasks in specific domains, and public administration capacity building actions which should provide specialised assistance to those participating countries needing administrative capacity building. The establishment of capacity building actions recognises the role of Fiscalis 2013 in enhancing the administrative capacity of Member States where required.

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) Estimates indicate that the governments of the Member States lose approximately EUR 860 000 million through tax evasion and approximately EUR 150 000 million through tax avoidance. The scale of tax evasion and tax avoidance undermines citizens' trust and confidence in the fairness and legitimacy of tax collection. By halving the tax gap, Member States could achieve new tax revenue without raising tax rates. Both the European Parliament, in its resolution of 19 April 20121 and the European Council, in its conclusions of 1-2 March 2012, called for concrete ways to combat tax fraud and tax evasion, including through administrative cooperation and coordination between tax systems. It is thus important to put an additional focus on the fight against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance compared to the programming period 2007-2013 and as a way to support an Action Plan of the Union with a comprehensive timetable and quantitative target.

 

________________

 

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0137.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) Given the increasing globalisation, an efficient fight against fraud should equally have an international dimension. It is therefore useful to enable the Union to conclude agreements on technical cooperation with developed third countries to allow those countries to use the Union components of the European Information Systems to support a secure exchange of information between them and the Member States in the framework of bilateral tax agreements.

(8) Given the increasing globalisation, an efficient fight against tax fraud and tax evasion should equally have an international dimension. It is therefore essential to enable the Union and the Member States to conclude agreements on technical cooperation with developed third countries to allow those countries to use the Union components of the European Information Systems or relevant national information systems to support a secure exchange of information between them and the Member States in the framework of bilateral tax agreements.

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The financial interests of the Union should be protected through appropriate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties.

(14) The financial interests of the Union should be protected through appropriate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties. The protection of the financial interests of the Union is clearly in the self-interest of the Member States and could also be seen as an important instrument for Member States to increase their own national revenues.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The Commission should be assisted by the Fiscalis 2020 Committee for the implementation of the programme.

(17) The Commission should be assisted by the Fiscalis 2020 Committee for the implementation of the programme including its evaluation on a regular basis.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. A multi-annual action programme “Fiscalis 2020” (“the programme”) is hereby established to improve the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market.

1. A multi-annual action programme “Fiscalis 2020” (“the programme”) is hereby established to improve the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and cooperation and coordination in relation thereto.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy provided that those countries have reached a sufficient level of approximation of the relevant legislation and administrative methods to those of the Union. The partner countries concerned shall participate to the programme in accordance with provisions to be determined with those countries following the establishment of Framework Agreements concerning their participation in Union programmes.

(2) only in regard to matters relating to the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud, in particular cross-border carousel fraud and training of tax authorities staff, partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy provided that those countries have reached a sufficient level of approximation of the relevant legislation and administrative methods to those of the Union. The partner countries concerned shall participate to the programme in accordance with provisions to be determined with those countries following the establishment of Framework Agreements concerning their participation in Union programmes.

Justification

The Fiscalis programme should focus on its key purpose, to support cooperation between Member States' national tax authorities. To a limited extent this cooperation could also include acceding and candidate countries as well as potential candidates and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, but focusing on fighting tax fraud and tax evasion.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

External experts may be invited to take part in selected activities organised under the programme wherever this is useful for the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article 5. These experts shall be selected by the Commission, on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the specific activities.

Where appropriate, external experts may be invited to take part in selected activities organised under the programme wherever this is useful for the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article 5. These experts shall be selected by the Commission, on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the specific activities, taking into account any potential conflict of interest, and striking a balance between business representatives and civil society experts. The list of selected experts should be made public and regularly updated.

Justification

External experts should only be involved to a limited extent in certain activities.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The general objective of the programme shall be to strengthen the internal market through efficient and effective taxation systems.

1. The general objective of the programme shall be to strengthen the internal market through efficient and effective taxation systems and, through cooperation, to fight against tax fraud, tax evasion, and aggressive tax avoidance.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The specific objective of the programme shall be to improve the operation of the taxation systems, in particular through cooperation between participating countries, their tax authorities, their officials and external experts.

2. The specific objective of the programme shall be to improve the operation of the taxation systems and to contribute towards fighting against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, in particular through cooperation between participating countries, their tax authorities, their officials and, where appropriate and desirable, external experts.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) the availability of the Common Communication Network for the European Information Systems;

(1) the availability, full access and good development of the Common Communication Network for the European Information Systems;

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) the feedback from participants in programme actions and users of the programme.

(2) the feedback from participants in programme actions and users of the programme, based on a set of published, pre-defined criteria which are made public.

Justification

These pre-defined criteria should be made public for the sake of transparency and better accountability.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. In addition, the Commission shall devise further measurable and objectively verifiable indicators to assess the attainment of the objective.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) to support the preparation, coherent application and effective implementation of Union tax law

(a) to support coordinated preparation from the outset, coherent application, without distortions, and effective implementation of Union tax law

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, in particular by enhancing effective and efficient administrative cooperation and exchange of information

(b) to fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance and to protect the financial and economic interests of the Union, the Member States and Union taxpayers, through effective and efficient administrative cooperation and regular exchange of information, based on clear-cut, transparent rules and operational means of communication between stakeholders, which do not enhance burden or create red tape

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) to enhance a coherent application and implementation of Union tax policy.

(e) to support and enhance the coherent application and implementation of Union tax policy and law.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) to enhance cooperation with international organisations, other governmental authorities, third countries, economic operators and their organisations with a view to fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance in particular by enhancing effective and efficient administrative cooperation and exchange of information, increasing tax compliance and enhancing tax administration.

(f) to enhance cooperation with international organisations, other governmental authorities, third countries, economic operators and their organisations with a view to fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance in particular by enhancing effective and efficient administrative cooperation and exchange of information, while continuously working towards the generalisation and extension of automatic information exchange, as well as increasing tax compliance and enhancing tax administration.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Each of the priorities set out in the first paragraph shall be measured by a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. In particular, the Commission shall devise measurable and objectively verifiable indicators to measure their attainment.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – point a – subpoint 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) multilateral controls, joint audits and other activities provided in Union legislation on administrative cooperation organised by two or more participating countries, including at least one Member State, to carry out a coordinated control of the tax liability of one or more related taxable persons;

(3) multilateral controls, joint audits and other activities provided in Union legislation on administrative cooperation organised by three or more participating countries, including at least two Member States, to carry out a coordinated control of the tax liability of one or more related taxable persons;

Justification

The amendment shall ensure a true EU/ European dimension, as Fiscalis should not support bilateral tax cooperation projects.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – point a – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) public administration capacity building and supporting actions;

(6) public administration capacity building, in particular with a view to fighting against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, and supporting actions;

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – point a – point 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) any other activity in support of the general and specific objectives set out in Articles 5.

(9) any other activity in support of the general and specific objectives set out in Articles 5, provided that the necessity for such other activity is duly justified.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) IT capacity building: development, maintenance, operation and quality control, of Union components of European Information Systems set out in point 1 of the Annex and, new European Information Systems established under Union legislation

(b) IT capacity building to enhance the development of tax authorities and support them more effectively for the purposes of: development, maintenance, operation and quality control of Union components of European Information Systems set out in point 1 of the Annex and new European Information Systems established under Union legislation

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The resources for the eligible actions referred to in this Article shall be allocated in a balanced manner, and in proportion to the real needs of those actions. As part of the annual programme and in the mid-term evaluation, the Commission shall assess the need for introducing budgetary ceilings for the different eligible actions.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Participating countries shall ensure that officials with the adequate profile and qualifications are nominated to participate in the joint actions.

1. Participating countries shall ensure that officials with the adequate profile and qualifications, including language skills, are nominated to participate in the joint actions.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the programme shall be EUR 234.370.000 (in current prices).

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the programme within the meaning of point [17] of the Interinstitutional Agreement of XX/201Z between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and sound financial management shall be EUR 234 370 000 (in current prices), provided that that amount is compatible with the multiannual financial framework for 2014 to 2020.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Annual appropriations shall be decided while respecting the prerogatives of the budgetary authority.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The financial allocation for the programme may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required for the management of the programme and the achievement of its objectives; in particular, studies, meetings of experts, information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the European Union as far as they are related to objectives of this Regulation, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the programme.

2. The financial allocation for the programme may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required on a regular basis for the management of the programme and the achievement of its objectives; in particular, studies, meetings of experts, information and Union communication activities related to objectives of this Regulation, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the programme.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In order to implement the programme the Commission shall adopt annual work programmes, which shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action type and an indicative implementation timetable. The work programmes shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 15(2).

In order to implement the programme the Commission shall adopt annual work programmes, which shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action type and an indicative implementation timetable. The work programmes shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing. This implementing act shall be adopted on the basis of an annual Commission report assessing the implementation, concrete, and, where possible, quantified results of the previous annual programme, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 15(2).

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The Commission shall seek to define measurable and objectively verifiable performance indicators.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Evaluation

Evaluation and review

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall ensure a midterm and final evaluation of the programme, regarding the aspects referred to in paragraph 2 and 3. The results shall be integrated into decisions on possible renewal, modification or suspension of subsequent programmes. An independent external evaluator shall carry out these evaluations.

1. The Commission shall ensure regular evaluation of the programme and submit a midterm and a final evaluation to Parliament and to the Council, regarding the aspects referred to in paragraph 2 and 3. The results shall be integrated into decisions on possible renewal, modification or suspension of subsequent programmes. An independent external evaluator shall carry out these evaluations on the basis of a set of published, pre-defined indicators. On the basis of the evaluations, the Commission may, if appropriate, make a legislative proposal amending this Regulation.

(1)

     OJ C 143, 22.5.2012, p. 48.

(2)

     Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission proposal

The Commission has followed Parliament's and Council's request to split the proposed FISCUS programme, and adopted on 29 August amended proposals for two separate programmes, Fiscalis 2020 and Customs 2020.

The Fiscalis 2020 programme, as its predecessors, aims to support the cooperation between national tax authorities to help maximise their efficiency and avoid mismatches in their work, which could hinder the Internal Market. It would facilitate networking, joint actions and training amongst tax personnel, while also funding IT systems to ensure efficient exchange of information between national tax administrations.

The objectives of Fiscalis 2020 would be to protect the financial interests of the EU and Member States and improve the capacities of tax authorities. The Commission proposes that particular focus would be given to fighting fraud, reducing administrative burdens and cooperating with third countries.

The Regulation on the Fiscalis 2020 programme contains a budgetary framework of EUR 234.370.000 (in current prices) for the period of 2014-2020.

The position of the Rapporteur

· Continuation of the programme

Your rapporteur welcomes that the successful activity of the previous Fiscalis 2013 programme shall be continued in the new EU programme period. The Fiscalis 2013 programme has been assessed very positively in its Mid-term review in

2010 by all stakeholders involved (i.a. officials from national tax authorities), and national tax authorities have called for its continuation post 2013.

The programme provides a true European added-value, and responds to the European Parliament's call for better cooperation and coordination between national tax authorities to combat tax evasion, tax fraud and double non-taxation, as well as for a reduction of administrative burden, hindrances to the Single Market and double taxation. Furthermore, the programme aims to support innovation and technical progress in Member States' tax administrations, and therefore it would also enhance the productivity of national administrations.

· Proposed legal base

The Commission proposes three legal bases for the Fiscalis 2020 programme:

- Article 197 TFEU for administrative cooperation

- Article 114 TFEU for the IT capacity building aspects

- article 212 TFEU for the cooperation with developed third countries as a supplementary third legal base.

While your rapporteur finds three legal bases highly unusual and questions the necessity of this approach, this does not in any case confine the European Parliament's competences as co-legislator, and would therefore accept the proposed legal bases.

· Proposed extension of the programme to Third Countries and involvement of external experts

The Commission proposes to extend the Fiscalis programme to acceding and candidate countries as well as potential candidates and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy if certain conditions are fulfilled.

Your rapporteur welcomes this proposal in principle, but would limit and focus this cooperation only to fighting tax evasion and tax fraud, given the limited resources of the programme.

The Commission also proposes the possibility to involve also external experts, such as officials of third countries, representatives of international organisations or economic operators in certain activities.

Your rapporteur suggests to limit this involvement to certain activities, as Fiscalis should continue to focus on cooperation between national tax authorities, which is its main objective.

· Annual work programme / Delegated Acts

The Commission proposal indicates that the implementing powers would be conferred to the Commission, and that an annual work programme would be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in the regulation laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 February 2011, n. 182/2011).

Your rapporteur is ready to support the Commission proposal regarding the implementing powers, provided that key elements and guidelines are included in the legal text, and a well defined list of the objectives, which need to take into account the interests of the European tax payers and not only that of the tax administrations as such.

· Budget

In line with the approach in other EP committees working on future EU funding programmes, this report does not pronounce itself on the budget proposal, as this will be addressed under the negotiations on the MFF 2014-2020.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (19.7.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the proposal and on the amended proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (FISCALIS) and repeal of Decision No 1482/2007/EC

(COM(2011)0706 – C7-0398/2011 and COM(2012)0465 – C7-0242/2012 – 2011/0341(COD))

Rapporteur: Hynek Fajmon

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The FISCUS programme, as proposed by the European Commission would be a single successor to the existing Customs 2013 and Fiscalis 2013 programmes. The FISCUS programme, announced in early November as part of the wider MFF package, aims to merge the two programmes together in the name of simplification.

Customs 2013, which legislates for customs activities, supporting the vital work of the Customs Union and its activities, is an exclusive competence of the Union. By contrast, Fiscalis 2013 aims to strengthen the functioning of the internal market through improved operation of the taxation systems within the EU by increasing cooperation between Member States. It is an EU programme which should not impact on tax policy, which is primarily Member State competence.

Your rapporteur holds serious reservations about the proposed merger of the two legal bases. The two programmes have divergent and distinctive aims, objectives and contexts; consequently, they should enjoy different legal arrangements for implementation, evaluation, monitoring and control.

In addition, neither of the mid-term evaluations proposed a merger and there is a lack of supporting evidence for such a proposal, despite the Commission's justification thereof. Both Fiscalis and Customs were working well as separate programmes according to the evaluations executed by independent consultants.

Furthermore, since the Commission has kept the budgetary envelopes for the two programmes separate and has expressed its interest in preserving the identity of the programmes, it would appear logical therefore that the best way of ensuring this would be to keep the programmes separate.

While your rapporteur supports the work of both the Fiscalis and Customs programmes, he recommends that either the European Parliament should consider rejecting the Commission proposal, or that Parliament's lead committees take any other form of action that would result in two separate legal bases for the Fiscalis and Customs programmes respectively. This would allow the distinct and important issues under two new proposed pieces of legislation to be examined and negotiated separately.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report(s):

Amendment  1

Draft legislative resolution

Recital -A (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

-A. Whereas the Fiscalis and Customs programmes have divergent and distinctive aims, objectives and contexts, and were working well as separate programmes according to the evaluations executed by independent consultants,

Amendment  2

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph -1 (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

-1. Points out that the financial envelope specified in the legislative proposal constitutes only an indication to the legislative authority and cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the proposal for a regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020;

Amendment  3

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph -1 a (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

-1a. Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe1; reiterates that sufficient additional resources are needed in the next MFF in order to enable the Union to fulfil its existing policy priorities and the new tasks provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; points out that even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5 % compared to the 2013 level only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union’s agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value;

 

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1Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.

Amendment  4

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 a (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1a. Considers that the Fiscalis and Customs programmes should enjoy different legal arrangements for implementation, evaluation, monitoring and control and that the best way of preserving the identity of the programmes is to keep them separate;

Amendment  5

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 b (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1b. Will therefore take appropriate actions, including possibly rejecting Commission's proposal, to secure the adoption of two separate legal bases for the Fiscalis and Customs programmes respectively;

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) The Programme activities, i.e. the European Information Systems, the joint actions for customs and tax officials and the common training initiatives, are expected to contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In providing a framework for activities which strive for more efficient customs and tax authorities, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses, promote employment and contribute to the protection of the Union's financial and economic interests, the Programme will actively strengthen the functioning of the customs union and the internal market.

(3) The Programme activities, i.e. the European Information Systems, the joint actions for customs and tax officials and the common training initiatives, will contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the functioning of the Single Market, providing a framework to support activities enhancing productivity of the public sector and pushing technical progress and innovation in national and European customs and tax administrations. In providing a framework for activities which strive for more efficient customs and tax authorities, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses, promote employment and rationalise and coordinate the Member States’ actions to protect their financial and economic interests and those of the Union, the Programme will actively strengthen the functioning of the customs union and the internal market.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) The customs sector of the programme should lead to an increased cooperation in the field of customs between the member states which is essential for the Single Market. Customs duties are also an important source of revenue both for the Union and national budgets and could therefore be seen as an important instrument for efficient public finance.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) Estimates indicate that tax evasion cost the governments of the Member States every year approximately EUR 860 billion and tax avoidance about EUR 150 billion. The scale of tax evasion and avoidance undermines citizens' trust and confidence in the fairness and legitimacy of tax collection. By halving the tax gap, Member States could achieve new tax revenue without raising tax rates. Both the European Parliament, in its resolution of 19 April 20121 and the European Council, in its conclusions of 1-2 March 2012, called for concrete ways to combat tax fraud and tax evasion, including through administrative cooperation and coordination between tax systems. It is thus important to put an additional focus on the fight against tax fraud, avoidance and evasion compared to the programming period 2007-2013 and as a way to support an EU Action Plan with a comprehensive timetable and quantitative target.

 

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1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0137.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The financial interests of the Union should be protected through appropriate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties.

(14) The financial interests of the Union should be protected through appropriate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties. The protection of the financial interests of the Union is clearly in the self-interest of the Member States and could also be seen as an important instrument for Member States to increase their own national revenues.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This objective will be measured, inter alia by the following indicator: the evolution of the perception of Programme stakeholders regarding the contribution of the Programme towards the functioning of the Customs Union and the strengthening of the internal market.

This objective will be measured, inter alia by the following indicator: the evolution of the perception of Programme stakeholders regarding the contribution of the Programme towards the functioning of the Customs Union and the strengthening of the internal market. In addition, the Commission will devise further measurable and objectively verifiable indicators of attainment of the objective.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) to prevent fraud and tax evasion and to enhance competitiveness, safety and security by enhancing cooperation with international organisations, other governmental authorities, third countries, economic operators and their organisations,

(c) to prevent fraud, tax avoidance and tax evasion and to enhance competitiveness, safety and security by enhancing cooperation with international organisations, other governmental authorities, third countries, economic operators and their organisations,

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) to protect the financial and economic interests of the European Union and its Member States through the fight against fraud and tax evasion,

(e) to protect the financial and economic interests of the European Union and its Member States through the fight against fraud, tax avoidance and tax evasion,

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Each of the specific objectives above shall be measured by an indicator based on the perception of Programme stakeholders regarding the contribution of the Programme to the realisation of the specific objectives.

2. Each of the specific objectives above shall be measured by a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. In particular, the Commission will devise measurable and objectively verifiable indicators of attainment of the objective for each of the points referred to in paragraph 1.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme shall be EUR 777 600 000 (in current prices).

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme within the meaning of point [17] of the Interinstitutional Agreement of XX/201Z between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and sound financial management shall be EUR 777 600 000 (in current prices).

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Annual appropriations shall be decided while respecting the prerogatives of the budgetary authority.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall implement the Programme by means of an annual work programme for each sector of the Programme, including the priorities for the Programme, the breakdown of the budget and the evaluation criteria for the grants for actions. These implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 14(2) and with the Financial Regulation.

1. The Commission shall implement the Programme by means of an annual work programme for each sector of the Programme, including the priorities for the Programme, the breakdown of the budget and the evaluation criteria for the grants for actions. These annual work programmes shall carefully respect the balance between the customs and the taxation parts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers1, the examination procedure referred to in Article 14(2) and the Financial Regulation.

 

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1 OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. A set of key performance indicators set out in Article 5(2) shall be used, inter alia, to measure the effects and impacts of the Programme. They shall be measured against pre-defined baselines reflecting the situation before implementation.

2. A set of key performance indicators set out in Article 5(2) shall be used, inter alia, to measure the effects and impacts of the Programme. The Commission shall seek to define these performance indicators as measurable and objectively verifiable. The performance indicators shall be measured against pre-defined baselines reflecting the situation before implementation.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Evaluation

Evaluation and review

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall establish a mid-term evaluation report on the achievement of the objectives of the Programme actions, the efficiency of the use of resources and the European added value of the Programme no later than mid 2018. This report shall additionally address the simplification, the continued relevance of the objectives, as well as the contribution of the Programme to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

2. The Commission shall establish a mid-term evaluation report on the achievement of the objectives of the Programme actions, the efficiency of the use of resources and the European added value of the Programme no later than mid 2018. This report shall additionally address the simplification, the continued relevance of the objectives, as well as the contribution of the Programme to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. On the basis of this evaluation, and if appropriate, the Commission may propose to the legislative authority to amend this Regulation.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – part I – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. To set up actions relating to customs and taxation involving third countries and external experts

6. To set up actions relating to customs and taxation involving third countries and external experts, notably to increase transparency and tighter control to prevent the use of tax havens.

PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of an action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (FISCALIS) and repeal of Decision No 1482/2007/EC

References

COM(2011)0706 – C7-0145/2012 – 2011/0341B(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ECON

14.6.2012

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

14.6.2012

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Hynek Fajmon

20.6.2012

Date adopted

20.6.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

3

Members present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Francesca Balzani, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Andrea Cozzolino, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ivars Godmanis, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Ivailo Kalfin, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Giovanni La Via, Barbara Matera, Claudio Morganti, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Nadezhda Neynsky, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, László Surján, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Alexander Alvaro, Jürgen Klute, Jan Mulder, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Paul Rübig, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan


PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of an action programme for taxation in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (FISCALIS) and repeal of Decision No 1482/2007/EC

References

COM(2012)0465 – C7-0242/2012 – COM(2011)0706 – C7-0145/2012 – 2011/0341B(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

23.8.2012

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ECON

14.6.2012

 

 

 

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

14.6.2012

IMCO

14.6.2012

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

IMCO

10.7.2012

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Theodor Dumitru Stolojan

25.10.2011

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

25.6.2012

8.10.2012

6.11.2012

 

Date adopted

29.11.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Jean-Paul Besset, Sharon Bowles, Udo Bullmann, Leonardo Domenici, Diogo Feio, Markus Ferber, Elisa Ferreira, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Othmar Karas, Jürgen Klute, Philippe Lamberts, Werner Langen, Arlene McCarthy, Ivari Padar, Alfredo Pallone, Anni Podimata, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Peter Simon, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Kay Swinburne, Sampo Terho, Marianne Thyssen, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Lajos Bokros, Philippe De Backer, Vicky Ford, Ashley Fox, Roberto Gualtieri, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Thomas Mann, Gianni Pittella, Nils Torvalds, Emilie Turunen

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Jan Kozłowski

Date tabled

6.12.2012

Last updated: 15 October 2013Legal notice