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Impact Assessment sought for Financial Transactions Tax

Fri, Nov 16, 2012

EU Member States not wishing to join the Enhanced Cooperation system for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) requested a more detailed assessment of its impact on the internal market at Tuesday’s ECOFIN meeting in Brussels.

The Commission's proposed Directive, submitted on 23 October, would allow Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia to introduce the FTT using the EU enhanced cooperation mechanism. The Netherlands indicated at Tuesday’s meeting that it would also be interested in participating in enhanced co-operation for FTT under certain conditions.

The proposal for FTT involves a harmonised minimum 0.1% tax rate for transactions in all types of financial instruments except derivatives (0.01% rate).

The 27 Member States are expected to vote on the proposal for enhanced cooperation in December, once the European Parliament has issued its assent.  The proposal requires a qualified majority by Council in order to be introduced.  Adoption of the legislative act defining the substance of enhanced cooperation requires unanimous agreement by the participating Member States.

Qualified majority voting implies that a European law is adopted as soon as a certain threshold of votes in the Council of Ministers is reached. Voting is weighted on the basis of a Member State's population and adjusted in favour of less-populated countries.

For details of Tuesday’s ECOFIN discussions on FTT see here.



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