Tax Policy in the EU in an Environment of New Fiscal Institutions and Coordination Procedures
The environment of EU tax policy has fundamentally changed in recent times. As a reaction to the European debt crisis new fiscal instruments (EFSF, ESM), new fiscal rules (Fiscal Compact) and coordination procedures (European Semester) have been established. These open new channels of Community influence on formerly autonomous fields of national policy. With this background it is the overriding objective of an interdisciplinary network within the Pact of Research and Innovation to provide a fundamental contribution to an integrated theory and empirics of European tax harmonization under the new institutional environment. Within this general objective questions like the following will be addressed: How is the past path of European tax harmonization explainable? How will the mentioned new fiscal institutions impact on tax harmonization? Will the budgetary shock which has occurred as a consequence of the financial and the debt crises change the tax competition equilibrium in Europe? How would new compensatory instruments within the EU budget influence the perspective of tax harmonization if these new instruments would offer an equalization of distributive effects which may result from harmonization steps? What would be the effects of specific tax harmonization concepts like for example a harmonized corporate tax base as it is promoted by the European Commission (CCCTB = Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base)? The politico-economic project module C “the new strategic situation” focuses on the negotiating and decision-making situation in EU tax policy.
To examine EU legislation and national transposition after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and after the beginning of the Euro crisis, we updated in our project module “the new strategic situation” the data to December 2012. In addition, the coverage of national implementation measures was extended from the EU15 states to the EU27 states. Based on a functional and textual identification of the tax policy agenda, our analysis focused on the implication of policy conflict in the Council on the type of EU legislation and on the implication of ministerial gatekeeping power on implementation politics. An investigation of the process of veto suspension and a detailed comparison of Commission proposals and legislative acts in EU tax policy are planned.