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Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 12/03/2019 - Main results

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 12 maart 2019, 16:00.

Main results

Infographic - Taxation: EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

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EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The Council adopted adopted a revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

In addition to the 5 jurisdictions that were already - American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and US Virgin Islands, the revised EU list now also includes the following 10 jurisdictions: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Oman, United Arabic Emirates, Vanuatu.

Those jurisdictions did not implement the commitments they had made to the EU by the agreed deadline.

Annex II of the conclusions, which covers jurisdictions with pending commitments, also reflects the deadline extensions granted to 11 jurisdictions to pass the necessary reforms to deliver on their commitments.

Today we completed our first comprehensive revision of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. Since it was first adopted in late 2017, the list has proven its worth in promoting forward in a cooperative manner the EU's agenda of improving global tax practices, fighting tax avoidance and improving good governance and transparency: more than 30 jurisdictions have already delivered on their commitment to pass tax reforms.

Eugen Teodorovici, minister for finance of Romania

Part of the EU's external strategy for taxation as defined by the Council, the list is intended to contribute to ongoing efforts to prevent tax avoidance and promote tax good governance worldwide.

Taxation: Council revises its EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions (press release, 12/03/2019)

Excise duty

The Council discussed measures to improve the business environment for excise goods, in particular alcohol and alcoholic beverages, by ensuring fair competition and reducing administrative burden for companies.

The Council debated on the following proposals:

the directive on general arrangements for excise duty

the regulation on administrative cooperation on the content of electronic registers

the directive on the structures of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages.

Although experts made significant progress on these files, there are some open issues that could be solved at the May Ecofin.

Excise duties are indirect taxes on the sale or use of specific products, such as alcohol, tobacco and energy. The revenue from these taxes goes entirely to the country to which they are paid. Since 1992, EU countries have had in place common rules to make sure that excise duties are applied in the same way and to the same products everywhere in the EU.

Digital tax

The Council took note of the progress achieved in the negotiations on the digital services tax, since the issue was last discussed at the ECOFIN meeting of 4 December 2018, on the basis of a new compromise text setting out a scope limited to digital advertising services.

The discussion revealed that despite the broad support from a large number of member states on this text, some delegations maintain reservations either on some specific aspects of the proposal or more fundamental objections.

In parallel, the Presidency will conduct work on the EU position in international discussions on digital tax, in particular in view of OECD's report on the issue, due by mid-2020.

Digital taxation (background information)


The Council discussed the issue of the location of InvestEU's investment committee secretariat at the Commission or at the European Investment Bank, without reaching any conclusion. The Presidency encouraged a dialogue between the two institutions in order to unlock the situation keeping in mind that the attention should not focus on the location per se, but on the proper set up that will ensure efficiency, transparency and best results.

On 20 February, EU ambassadors endorsed the Council's position on the Commission proposal on the InvestEU programme. On this basis, the Presidency has initiated negotiations with the European Parliament. A first trilogue was held on 4 March.

InvestEU is a new EU programme bringing together 14 existing financial instruments currently available to support investment and job creation in the EU, in the context of the next multiannual financial framework (2021-2027).

InvestEU: Council agrees its position on an improved instrument to support investment, growth and jobs in the EU (press release, 20/2/2019)

European Semester

The Commission presented an overview of the country reports, and the in-depth reviews in the framework of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure, as published on 27 February. Ministers discussed the implementation of investment-related country-specific recommendations.

Commission's webpage on country reports for the 2019 European semester

VAT on e-commerce

The Council agreed implementing rules on the VAT regime for e-commerce adopted in December 2017.

Those new detailed measures will ensure a smooth transition to the new regime that comes into force in January 2021.

Texts of VAT implementing rules on e-commerce

Meeting information

Meeting n°3678



Preparatory documents

Background brief

Provisional agenda

List of A items, legislative deliberations

List of A items, non-legislative activities

Indicative programme

Outcome documents

List of participants

Video footage


Relevante EU dossiers

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