August 4, 2021

European disagreement on GAFA and carbon taxes

Part of the difficult scaffolding which allowed Europeans to agree on a recovery plan of 750 billion euros, financed by a common loan, has just been undermined. On Monday July 19, the Commission announced that it would not present its proposal for new own resources the next day, as planned – these levies which were to come to it and allow the repayment of the common loan (12.9 billion euros). between 2021 and 2027, from 15 to 25 billion per year from 2028, when the capital will begin to be repaid) without the Member States being called upon. “We’ll see in the second part of the year. For the moment, we have not set a date ”, specified the European executive.

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We knew that the subject was not unanimous among the Twenty-Seven. The frugal (Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria), who in principle refuse that the budget of the European Union (EU) be increased, were, like Germany, more than reluctant to introduce new own resources, they were so struck by the idea of ​​giving more financial autonomy to a Europe which today depends on their contributions. That said, because a compromise had to be found between them and with the European Parliament on the recovery plan, a year ago they ended up giving lip service to the implementation of new community levies. .

It was agreed that the Commission would present its plans in June. A roadmap had even been drawn up. At 1is January 2023, three taxes were to finance Europe: a tax on digital giants, a carbon border adjustment mechanism (intended to tax imports into the EU of goods produced by third countries under conditions which do not correspond to the European standard for the fight against global warming) and a CO emissions trading system2 (Emission Trade System, ETS) expanded. What is more, it was expected that at 1is January 2026 two other own resources could be introduced, the tax on financial transactions and a common base for corporate tax.

Emptied of its substance

A year later, this roadmap is largely emptied of its substance. “We have decided to put our work on hold” on the digital tax, which was to bring in 1.3 billion per year, the European Commission first announced on July 12. To justify its decision, the community executive invoked the agreement on the taxation of multinationals, concluded under the aegis of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), thanks to the American impetus, and approved by the G20 in Venice. This is “Of a historic agreement (…) which responds to the challenges created by the digitization of the economy ”, explains a spokesperson for the institution. While the G20 must agree on its setting to music by October, for entry into force in 2023, Brussels “Will concentrate its efforts on this objective” and postpone his project until later.

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