Tax Policy in the EU in an Environment of New Fiscal Institutions and Coordination Procedures

Research question/goal: 

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), 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 making. We intend to develop an integrated theory on European tax harmonization under the new institutional environment, which we will examine empirically. In particular, the following questions will be addressed: How can we explain the integration of tax harmonization in Europe? How will new fiscal instruments, rules and procedures impact this tax harmonization? What are the implications of the European sovereign debt crisis – does it change the existing tax competition in Europe? And how will the new compensatory instruments for the EU budget influence tax harmonization?

This project is part of an interdisciplinary network within the Pact of Research and Innovation that has been integrated by the Leibniz ScienceCampus “MannheimTaxation” (MaTax). Its main objective is to foster high-quality research in the broad field of taxation. MaTax particularly focuses on the question of how tax policy should be designed in light of European integration and new economic and social challenges. MaTax brings together researchers from economics, law, business and political science. In addition to the investigation of EU legislative and national transposition activities, our contribution consists of developing a new database on EJC case law in the area of (direct) taxation. Based on this database, we will analyze judicial behaviour with regard to legislative gridlock and (professional) public support.

Current stage: 

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.

Fact sheet

Leibniz Gemeinschaft, WissenschaftsCampus MaTax
2012 to 2015
Data Sources: 
Databases of legislative activities, implementation activities and policy preferences
Geographic Space: 
European Union