Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud: My Mandate

We are living in challenging times. Concerns about economy, climate change and personal security, amongst other things, are never far from people's minds. But with each challenge, comes an opportunity; a chance to look at things afresh and work together to build a sustainable and successful future.

As European Commissioner responsible for taxation, customs, anti-fraud, budgetary discharge and audit, I am responsible for policies that can actively contribute to developing a highly competitive, social market economy, which full exploits the benefits of the internal market. This is essential for the good of citizens and businesses, to boost our global competitiveness and, at the same time,  to ensure that European tax-payers get real value for their money. To get there, I work in close partnership with the European Parliament, the Council and stakeholders.

In terms of Taxation, I believe it is time to re-examine our tax systems. Not only should they should deliver in terms of raising revenues, but they must also promote economic prosperity and support environmental and social goals. For businesses, we must eliminate cross-border company tax problems and reduce compliance costs. For citizens, we need to remove tax obstacles when it comes to economic transactions in other Member States. National economies should benefit from a much-needed increase in revenue through new tax initiatives at a global level and from an effective battle against tax evasion and fraud. Finally, I intend to develop a "green" tax policy, including a new approach to energy and CO2 taxation, in order to contribute to the important global efforts to address climate change.

Every cent paid by the European tax-payer should be accountable and well spent. As Commissioner responsible for the Audit of EU accounts and for the budgetary discharge,I will ensure that transparency, simplicity, accountability and responsibility remain the pillars upon which EU expenditure rests. My mandate will be driven by the objective of permanently improving the quality of spending to ensure that the EU budget is executed in accordance with the principles of sound financial management and is positively assessed by the Court of Auditors and the discharge authority.

Closely linked to sound financial management is the Fight against Fraud, in both revenue collection and expenditure, at institutional and Member State level. I will promote a strong fraud prevention policy to reduce the risk of illegal use of EU funds. The European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, is a very important instrument in this task.  I will endeavor, together with Parliament and Council, to conduct the reform it needs to work independently and with maximum efficiency.

The Customs Union of the 21st century is crucial in facilitating fair trade, protecting our consumers from dangerous products and preserving our businesses from unfair or illegal practices. Modernised, effective and interconnected customs administrations will be an important asset for the EU economy in a global and competitive environment. I will therefore ensure that the Customs Union is fully equipped to face the challenges of today and in the future.

Under my responsibility as Commissioner, and helping me to achieve these objectives are: DG Taxation and Customs Union, DG Budget, the Internal Audit Service (IAS) and OLAF. You can visit their websites for more information about their work by clicking on the links above. To contact me with your questions and suggestions regarding the issues I am working on, click here your input is always welcome!

Algirdas Šemeta
EU Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit

Last update: 18/07/2014 |  Top