EU competitiveness ministers to discuss EU recovery package and tax reporting
At their video conference on 25 February 2021, the EU ministers responsible for the internal market and industry will discuss national recovery plans, the New Consumer Agenda of the EU and public country-by-country tax reporting. A declaration prepared by the group of ministers from digitally advanced EU countries (D9+) will moreover be presented by Finland.
Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen and Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä shall represent Finland at this informal meeting of the Competitiveness Council during which no decisions will be made.
A video conference of the competitiveness ministers responsible for research and innovation will take place on 26 February 2021. They will discuss issues related to research and innovation from the perspective of national recovery and resilience plans. State Secretary Anna-Mari Vimpari will deputise for Minister Lintilä at this meeting.
Tax reporting for better transparency of business activities and eradication of tax evasion
The ministers will have a policy debate on the proposal for an amendment of the Accounting Directive, set to impose an obligation on both large multinational groups and standalone companies to disclose income tax information. Finland is in favour of this proposal, known as the country-by-country reporting (CBCR) directive. Such public tax reporting would increase the transparency of the operations of large companies without requiring any changes to taxation.
“Tax evasion is a major global problem that distorts competition and erodes the welfare state. We need more transparency to effectively uproot tax evasion. The European Commission started to prepare its proposal for country-by-country reporting tax reporting after the Panama papers became public in 2016. It is now high time to move forward in the negotiations at the EU level,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.
Europe’s digital decade in the D9+ Declaration
At the Council meeting, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä will present a declaration prepared by the digital group of EU countries, known as the D9+ countries. The focus of the declaration is on Europe’s digital decade and the 2030 goals. Finland chaired the meeting of the D9+ countries held in January 2021.
“Artificial intelligence, quantum computers and 5G and 6G technologies, together with the data economy, are the key enablers for the digital decade. The EU must strive for global technological leadership and competitiveness, while maintaining an open single market and strengthening international cooperation,” says Minister Lintilä.
National recovery plans to promote green and digital competitiveness
The ministers will exchange views on the role of national recovery plans within the context of the European Semester in delivering on industrial policy goals. The aim is to strengthen the single market, the green and digital transitions, and Europe’s strategic autonomy.
National recovery plans can enhance a rapid recovery of the economy and of competitiveness. Finland intends to highlight the importance of a functioning single market during the pandemic. For the EU’s industry, digitalisation is the key driver of sustainable growth and competitiveness.
The meeting will also look at the New Consumer Agenda for 2020–2025, launched by the Commission. The ministers will debate, among other things, how the measures to support both national economies and businesses could strengthen consumer confidence in the functioning of the market.
Jenni Karjalainen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 295 047 224
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 047 213
Taru Löyttymäki, Special Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 177