Brussels, 29 September 2011 - Today the European Commission published its Annual Report on the Protection of the EU's Financial Interests and the Fight against Fraud in 2010. The purpose of the report is to measure the risk of EU expenditure and revenues being misused through irregularities and suspected fraud. Thanks to the implementation of modernised and improved reporting systems in most Member States, the Commission has access to more and better quality data on irregularities. As a result, the number of irregularities reported increased for almost all budget sectors. This allows the Commission to aim at better and more reliable reporting, which in turn helps to better protect taxpayers' money. With EU money more effectively monitored, the Member States and the Commission can react more quickly to changing fraud patterns and implement appropriate fraud preventive actions. This is important since the best way to fight fraud is to prevent it happening in the first place.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-Fraud, said: “The report gives us a reassuring picture. More irregularities are detected by Member States so more misused money can be returned to the EU budget. This doesn't mean, however, that the fight against fraud is over. The Commission invites those Member States that have not yet implemented the new reporting system to do so urgently. We also urge Member States that report exceptionally low levels of suspected fraud to explain how they control the spending of EU funds. EU citizens have the right to know how every last penny of their money is spent."
Taxation and Customs Union
Brussels, 28 September 2011 – Today the Commission has presented a proposal for a financial transaction tax in the 27 Member States of the European Union. The tax would be levied on all transactions on financial instruments between financial institutions when at least one party to the transaction is located in the EU. The exchange of shares and bonds would be taxed at a rate of 0.1% and derivative contracts, at a rate of 0.01%. This could approximately raise €57 billion every year. The Commission has proposed that the tax should come into effect from 1st January 2014.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "With this proposal the European Union becomes a forerunner in the global implementation of a financial transaction tax. Our project is sound and workable. I have no doubt this tax can deliver what EU citizens expect; a fair contribution from the financial sector. I am confident that our partners in the G20 will see their interest in following this path."
As announced by President Barroso before the European Parliament, today the Commission has adopted a proposal to set up a financial transaction tax in EU-27
Folowing today's adoption, Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "With this proposal the European Union becomes a forerunner in the global implementation of a financial transaction tax. Our project is sound and workable. I have no doubt this tax can deliver what EU citizens expect; a fair contribution from the financial sector. I am confident that our partners in the G20 will see their interest in following this path."
Press conference, Strasbourg press room Wed 28/09 at 13:30 available on EbS
Tax Policy Group to discuss the good governance in tax matters, e-commerce, environmental taxation and financial sector taxation
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, will today chair the fourth meeting of the Tax Policy Group (TPG). This Group brings together representatives of EU Finance Ministers to discuss key tax policy issues.
The main topic for discussion in the Group today will be the fight against tax fraud and tax avoidance. The Group will explore how Member States could coordinate their approach towards third countries that do not adhere to principles of good governance.
The Group will also address for the first time the possible impact of e-commerce on corporation tax, VAT, excise duties and customs.
Statement by Mr Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-Fraud , following the meeting with the President of France, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy:
"Taxing financial transactions is a subject for which cooperation at European level and at global level are necessary. In our exchange of views we addressed in particular the Commission's proposal for a financial transaction tax. We also discussed the necessity of tax coordination at EU level, the role a Consolidated corporate tax base can play in this context and the future of the VAT system.
During the discussion, I recalled that the European Commission is finalising a legislative proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax at EU level. We will come forward with a solid and concrete proposal in the next few weeks. I welcomed France's support in this respect and also strongly encouraged President Sarkozy to continue voicing his support during subsequent discussions in the Council.
Proposing a financial transaction tax in the EU as a first step would be a strong signal to promote such a tax at global level. I welcomed France's support to encourage work at international level on a global financial transaction tax in the G20 under the French Presidency."
The Commissioners have gathered in the College seminar to take stock of the economic and political challenges facing Europe – citizens, businesses – and define the policy responses accordingly. Commissioners have also discussed the most pressing tasks for the weeks and months ahead. Among others, the proposal of a Financial transaction tax ahead of the G20 summit.