04 Sep 2015
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 04 SEPTEMBERBrussels Daily
State of the Union: President Juncker will deliver his State of the Union speech before the European Parliament on Wednesday 9 September 2015
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his first State of the Union speech before the European Parliament on Wednesday 9 September at 9:00 am. President Juncker will focus on the big challenges Europe is facing, which of course includes the current refugee crisis. This is also a moment for President Juncker to outline his political vision for the future of the EU and to set out the main elements that will guide the preparation of the Commission’s Work Programme for 2016 and beyond. The President’s speech will be followed by a plenary debate. The annual State of the European Union speech was established by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and is an annual milestone for the Commission President to set out his views on how effective European action can address our common challenges. It also serves to kick-start consultations with the Parliament and the Council on the work programme of the Commission and is an important element in the structured dialogue between the European Commission and the European Parliament. A dedicated web page will host all State of the European Union news and updates. At the heart of this will be a live stream of the speech, as well as the debate to follow.
Commission presses Member States on VAT revenue collection
VAT revenue collection has failed to show significant improvement across EU Member States according to the latest figures released by the European Commission today. Based on VAT collection figures from 2013, the overall difference between the expected VAT revenue and the amount actually collected (the so-called “VAT Gap”) did not improve on 2012. While 15 Member States saw an improvement in their figures, 11 Member States saw deterioration. The total amount of VAT lost across the EU is estimated at €168 billion, according to the report. This equates to 15.2% of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies and miscalculation in 26 Member States. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs said: “This important study highlights once again the need for further reform in VAT collection systems across the EU. I urge Member States to take the steps needed to fight tax evasion and tax fraud at all levels. This remains a burning issue and is at the top of this Commission’s agenda.” A press release is available here, along with a fact sheet which is available here.