Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on LinkedIn

16 September 2017

Remarks by Vice-President Dombrovskis at the informal ECOFIN

Default: Change to:

Economic and financial affairs ministers of the EU discussed deepening the EU, Fintech and centralising European IT systems to make customs more efficient. They also agreed to develop new digital taxation rules.

The Commission believes that future EMU development should happen within the EU or community legal framework.

This applies to a possible future transformation of the European Stability Mechanism into a European Monetary Fund, which then should be firmly anchored in the community framework. And it also concerns possible creation of a European Minister for Economy and Finance. This new Minister should also work to promote structural reform efforts building on the work which we do already since 2015 with the Structural Reform Support Service. The Minister of Economy and Finance is one of the initiatives which we intend to launch with a 2025 perspective.      

We discussed the link between the EMU and the EU budget, and in particular the link with structural reforms and Euro area fiscal stabilisation function. So this part of our idea to have a euro area budget line within the EU budget.

All these topics that I mentioned will feature in the Commission's EMU package, which we intend to put forward on 6 December. Today's discussions provide us with valuable input for our preparatory work.

Today we also discussed one of the key Capital Market Union files – FinTech and FinTech revolution, which we are facing.

We already see FinTech services such as mobile payments, peer-to-peer lending, and online investments benefiting millions of Europeans. Looking ahead to the future, technologies like artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers and cloud computing hold even greater potential.

Ministers agreed that Europe should support the development of FinTech sector, emphasising the importance of technology neutrality.

This will only work if our companies will be able to take advantage of our single market, meaning to scale up, so that they can compete with their rivals in China and the US, where FinTech is booming. [...]

As to regulation, many spoke in favour of adopting existing rules to the challenges that FinTech brings, such as cyber threats and data privacy. But it is also important that FinTech is not ‘regulated to death', even before this sector has evolved.

The Commission is currently working on a FinTech Action Plan, which we intend to present early next year. [...]

Full remarks at the first informal ECOFIN

At EU level, the CCCTB can also help to provide a long-term solution to the issue of taxing digital giants, as it would also address issues such as virtual permanent establishment.

But there are also strong arguments for more immediate action. The Commission will be setting out its thinking on the way forward in a Communication before the digital summit on 29 September.

We will work to arrive at a common EU position by December so that we can speak with the same voice within the OECD.

In parallel, we will start working on a proposal at EU-level on fair taxation of the digitalised economy, in line with President Juncker's announcement in his State of the Union address. 

In preparing our proposal, we will of course take account of the different ideas raised by Member States, including for a so-called quick fix solution such as an equalisation tax. We will also be mindful of international discussions on this issue. We aim to be ready with the Commission's proposal by next Spring.

On customs, we welcome the fact the Presidency put this on the agenda. We remain convinced that the best way forward is to gradually centralise our IT systems to make customs more efficient and cost-effective.

There was strong support for a pilot project to pave the way and ministers agreed to return to this issue in November. [...]

Full remarks at the second ECOFIN

EU finance ministers agreed to develop new digital taxation rules

EU finance ministers examined the future of EMU

© European Commission

< Next Previous >
 Hover over the blue highlighted text to view the acronym meaning
Hover over these icons for more information

Add new comment