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 measures 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 was integrated into 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 the 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 analyse judicial behaviour with regard to legislative gridlock and (professional) public support.

Current stage: 

In 2014, we predominantly examined the compliance with European tax law in the member states of the EU27. In addition to country size and bureaucratic requirements, the minister’s policy position and the threat of intervention appeared to be significant influential factors. In order to continue our work by analysing the judgments of the European Court of Justice, we successfully applied for follow-up funding from the Leibniz ScienceCampus MaTax.

Fact sheet

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