Brussels Daily
12 Mar 2015


Brussels Daily

Agriculture: Commission enables the collection of dairy surplus levy in 3-year instalments

The Commission’s proposal enabling the recovery of the surplus levy related to the milk quota year 2014/2015 in 3-year instalments was approved by Member States and will enter into force after its publication in the Official Journal before the end of March. Commissioner Hogan stated: “This measure is a significant move that provides considerable flexibility to farmers as well as significant cash-flow benefit to those farmers who might otherwise face a substantial bill in 2015, at a time when they may be investing to take advantage of the post-quota environment.” Producers having exceeded their quota for 2014/2015 will have the possibility to make their payments over a maximum of three years in zero interest instalments. Member States will have to indicate the number of beneficiaries under the scheme and the amount not yet recovered every year until the end of 2017. The first yearly payment shall be made by 30 September 2015. Regulation (EC) No 595/2004 will be amended to include the newly adopted scheme.

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Hungarian advertisement tax

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into whether Hungary’s advertisement tax introduced in June 2014 complies with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission has concerns that the progressive tax rates, ranging from 0 to 50%, could selectively favour certain companies and give them an unfair competitive advantage. The Commission has therefore also taken a separate decision prohibiting Hungary from applying progressive rates until the Commission has finished its assessment (a so-called “suspension injunction”). The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties the opportunity to comment. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. Commissioner Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “It is very important that we ensure a level playing field on media markets throughout Europe. Many media today rely on advertisement income to finance their operations. I welcome the signals from the Hungarian government that they intend to make changes to the advertisement tax. Our state aid investigation will look in detail both at how the advertisement tax applies currently as well as how it is amended, to make sure there is no unfair discrimination against certain media companies.” Full press release available here.


Read full edition: Daily News 12-03-2015

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