Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive sets a framework for VAT rates. The present VAT system is based on ‘the origin principle’, which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transaction is determined by the Member State in which the seller is located. Various studies and reports show that presently several challenges are linked to the implementation of this directive. These challenges include a gradual move from the origin principle to the destination principle, a need to fight VAT fraud, uncertainty for companies involved in cross-border trading, different VAT rates applied in Member States, obsolete rules, and the restrictive list of cases where reduced VAT can be applied, that is included in Annex III of the directive. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to update Council Directive 2006/112/EC to respond to these challenges. Similarly, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee have recommended that this legislation be updated. Furthermore, representatives of various stakeholder groups have voiced requests regarding this piece of legislation. Finally, the European Commission has expressed a willingness to take a more effective and proportionate approach to VAT rates. It is expected that the European Commission will submit this proposal in the third quarter of 2017.
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová will visit Washington D.C. on Monday September 18 to launch the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The purpose of the review is to establish whether the arrangement adopted on 12 July, now used by over 2,400 firms, properly secures transfers of personal data from the EU to the US. After discussions with US administration and gathering feedback from range of stakeholders, from businesses to NGOs, the Commission will publish a report with its assessment in the coming weeks. The Commissioner will then visit Silicon Valley September 19-20 to quiz tech companies on their experience with Privacy Shield and discuss the ongoing work on social platforms in the EU, including combating illegal online hate speech, user’s terms and conditions, gender equality, especially in a tech environment and other upcoming EU initiatives. In particular, she’ll meet Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, representatives of Google and other tech companies, start-ups and NGOs. She will give a keynote at Berkeley University on ‘Between freedom and security – The future of justice on the Internet’. More information on the Privacy Shield is available online, as well as in a short video. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel. +32 229 67083; Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)
Source: European Commission
Commissioner Moscovici represented the European Commission at today’s meeting of the Eurogroup. Both Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici attend the informal ECOFIN Council meetings today and tomorrow in Tallinn, Estonia. At today’s Eurogroup, Ministers held a thematic discussion on ways to increase the economic resilience of Member States in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in order to better withstand internal and external shocks. Ministers were also informed about the state of play of the stability support programme for Greece. Commissioner Moscovici participated in the press conference following the Eurogroup meeting. EU Ministers will exchange views during a working lunch on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union and maximising effectiveness of EU finances. This discussion will be followed by a working session on the same topic based on the Commission’s Reflection Paper on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union published in May 2017. Ministers will further debate the implications of technological innovation in the area of financial regulation as part of the Capital Markets Union. On Saturday, Ministers will hold a working session on digital economy and taxation, given the importance of adapting European tax systems to the challenges of a modern economy. The discussion comes just days after President Juncker confirmed in his State of the Union letter of intent that the Commission would come forward in 2018 with a proposal for the taxation of the digital economy. In the final working session on Saturday, the ECOFIN will look at ways to increase cost efficiency and sustainability of EU customs IT systems. Vice-President Dombrovskis will participate in the two press conferences following the ECOFIN sessions on 15 and 16 September. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 460 764687; Juliana Dahl – Tel.: +32 229 59914; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183)
Source: European Commission
Economic and financial affairs ministers of the EU member states will hold their informal meeting in Tallinn today and tomorrow, 15-16 September. The first gathering will be of ministers from the euro area for a Eurogroup meeting, which will be followed by a meeting for ministers and central bank governors from all EU member states to discuss strengthening the euro area and improving the use of the EU’s financial resources as well as the use of new technological solutions in the financial sector. Tomorrow, September 16, the ministers will focus on the need to modernise the EU tax system arising from developments in the digital economy. Additionally, the sustainable and cost-effective development of IT systems for the EU-wide customs union will be on the agenda as well.
Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies. Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves. The status of platform user is very often difficult to define, as platforms allow a rapid development of the pursued activities, which pushes the users outside the realm of consumer. These two characteristics make platforms difficult to fit with the EU market and consumer regulations.