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Taxation: Commission Proposes Amendment to Savings Taxation Directive in Bid to Combat Tax Evasion
The European Commission is to present a proposal to amend the Savings Taxation Directive in an attempt to ensure more effective taxation of savings income and eliminate undesirable loopholes that facilitate tax evasion and tax fraud. Since 2005, the Directive has ensured that paying agents, such as banks, financial institutions and independent professionals, either report interest income received by taxpayers resident in other EU Member States or levy a withholding tax on the interest income received.
The first review of the Directive has shown that, at present, it is relatively easy for individuals to circumvent the rules by using interposed legal persons or arrangements that are not taxed, such as certain foundations or trusts. The Commission proposal therefore seeks to improve the Directive so as to better ensure the taxation of interest payments that are channelled through intermediate tax-exempted structures. It also proposes to extend the scope of the Directive to cover income equivalent to interest obtained through investments in certain innovative financial products and certain life insurance products. Moreover, simplification of the technical operation of the Directive should lead to a more user-friendly system and more efficient implementation.
Transport: Green Financial Aid to European Car Makers
European policy makers appear to be viewing positively the request from European car manufacturers’ for EUR 40 billion in loans to develop green technologies. On 17 October, the European Investment Bank announced that it was ready to increase loans to the car industry for both 2009 and 2010. It is expected that most of the money will be earmarked to help the industry develop greener cars in accordance with the European Union’s commitment to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. EU Commissioner for Industry, Günter Verheugen, has also advocated “exceptional measures” to help European car manufacturers in difficulty. The nature of such additional measures is as yet unclear, but Verheugen stated that this will not include direct subsidies. An economic re-launch plan is expected to be presented in
Meanwhile, European leaders have warned the
Energy: Commission Announces Second Strategic Energy Review
As part of the review, the Commission has proposed a five point EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan. This includes promoting an EU-wide energy infrastructure, improving oil and gas crisis response mechanisms and developing external energy relations. The Commission proposes that a number of infrastructure projects, such as the development of a Baltic energy interconnector and the completion of a Mediterranean energy ring, should be considered as energy security priorities.
Also included is the 2008 Energy Efficiency Package. This focuses on improving the energy efficiency of buildings and energy labelling. A Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative is being prepared with the European Investment Bank to encourage investment in energy efficient technologies and renewables.
Ultimately, the review will lead to the European Union’s energy policy agenda for 2030 and energy vision for 2050.
Financial Services – Trade: EU and
Contact Philip Bentley
In the context of WTO dispute settlement proceedings, the European Union, together with the
Telecommunications – Competition: Commission Doubts
Following criticism from the European Commission over a lack of competition on certain wholesale broadband markets (IP/07/1968),
CMT’s proposed rules would allow access to the civil works infrastructure of the incumbent as well as wholesale broadband access to the local loop, but only up to the speed of 30 MB/s. At the same time, CMT’s proposal would lighten regulation in areas where alternative operators have rolled out their own infrastructure and where broadband competition has developed.
In the Commission’s view, CMT’s proposal lacks sufficient basis for excluding high speed broadband from the rules and also improperly lightens regulation in areas where competition is developing. The Commission has two months to make a final determination on CMT’s proposed rules. Reportedly, however, CMT and the Commission are in talks to resolve their differences.
NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS
Monday 24 November –
Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (
JHA Council (27 – 28 November 2008)
Agriculture and Fisheries Council (
COURT OF JUSTICE
C-455/06 Heemskerk and Schaap
Approximation of laws
C-252/07 Intel Corporation
Common Customs Tariff
Freedom of movement for persons
C-425/07 P AEPI v Commission
C-415/07 Lodato & C.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
T-278/06 United Kingdom v Commission
T-263/06 Greece v Commission
T-147/06 En Route International v OHMI (FRESHHH)
T-100/06 Rajani v OHMI - Artoz-Papier (ATOZ)