Ireland and The Netherlands stand firm on tax
Ahead of an informal summit meeting of EU leaders in Sibiu, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday, where the two leaders discussed tax policy. Both leaders represent member states that have attracted particular criticism from their EU partners over their taxation policies.
In a joint press conference both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their unwavering view that the issue of tax is a sovereign issue which individual member states should have autonomy in shaping. The Irish leader also expressed support for what he said was ‘good progress’ being made at OECD level in developing proposals that will attempt to bring a global response to the taxation of major multinationals. His comments come against the backdrop of recent efforts by the EU to agree a unified position on digital taxation which were ultimately shelved due to concerns from Ireland and a number of other smaller member states, now known as the “Hansa” group. .
On Thursday EU leaders gathered for an informal summit in Romania where they discussed the bloc’s priorities over the next five years. The Heads of State and Prime Ministers issued a ten-point declaration reaffirming European unity. They also produced the outline of a strategic agenda for the incoming European Commission, the leadership of which will be heavily influenced by this month’s European elections.