Cross-border tax rulings
The Council reached a political agreement on a draft directive aimed at improving transparency in the assurances given by member states to companies about how their taxes are calculated.
The directive is one of a number of initiatives aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. It will require member states to exchange information automatically on advance cross-border tax rulings, as well as advance pricing arrangements. Member states receiving the information will be able to request further information where appropriate. And the Commission will develop a secure central directory, where the information exchanged would be stored.
"This is a decisive step towards greater transparency in tax matters," said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, and president of the Council. "The presidency managed to obtain this agreement in record time. Europe is sending a strong signal for greater equity in taxation of businesses worldwide."
Capital markets union
The Council discussed an action plan aimed at establishing a capital markets union in the EU by the end of 2019.
The plan, proposed by the Commission on 30 September 2015, sets out a variety of measures to strengthen capital markets so as to attract more investment, including foreign investment, for European companies and infrastructure projects. One of the main aims is to improve access to finance for European SMEs and start-ups, especially in innovative industries.
The presidency indicated work would start immediately on a proposal on securitisation, one of the key measures envisaged.