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President Barroso welcomes commitments on energy and tax evasion and fraud - 23/05/2013

The Justus Lipsius building, where EU leaders hold their summits in Brussels, Belgium. © EU

President Barroso welcomed the commitment at European Council to make progress on energy policy and tax evasion and fraud.

On energy policy, the President welcomed the fact that there was support for the Commission's approach for what he called a no regrets scenario, with action in five areas: completing the internal energy market; investing in innovation and infrastructure; committing to greater energy efficiency; exploiting renewable sources more cheaply and diversifying supplies."

He made clear that while “there is no silver bullet to solve the strategic energy challenges that Europe faces, there is much we can do if we act together through Europe. The status quo is not an option, which is why we really need to implement what has been agreed today.”

Tackling on tax evasion and fraud, he stressed that “it is also about fairness, because we estimate €1 trillion lost each year to tax evasion and avoidance, the equivalent of a year’s health spending across all member states.”

“I’m pleased that some decisions have been taken today. Indeed there was a reference to a principle that I believe it is critically important – the principle of automatic exchange of information at European Union level,” he said.

“The reality is that citizens have high expectations that we will deliver a fairer tax deal for everyone. Today's globalised world is also changing in a way that we have to look at these issues in a much more attentive way. Next week’s Country Specific Recommendations that the Commission will present will highlight the scope for member states to improve their own tax systems,” the President added.

More on energy and tax fraud

President Barroso’s statement after the Council meeting

Infographic: EU energy price map

Infographic: EU energy chart map

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