24 Feb 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 24 FEBRUARYBrussels Daily
Orientation debate on the 2016 European Semester: country reports
Today, the College held an orientation debate on the economic and social challenges of Member States, on the progress they made in addressing their 2015 country specific recommendations and in tackling macroeconomic imbalances. This debate took place against the background of the priorities identifies in the Annual Growth Survey 2016 and recommendation for the economic policy of the euro area. Subject to College discussions, this orientation debate should pave the way to the publication of individual country reports. For 18 Member States identified in the 2016 Alert Mechanism Report last November, the Reports will also contain the results of in-depth reviews, which evaluate whether macroeconomic imbalances exist in these countries. The Commission intends to engage in dialogue with Member States ahead of the preparation of their National Reform Programmes and their Stability Programmes (for euro area countries) or Convergence programmes (for non-euro area countries) to be presented in April. Vice-President Dombrovskis will come to the press room to present the outcome of todays’ discussions. This readout can be followed on EbS.
European Commission holds orientation debate on the future for VAT in the EU
The College of Commissioners today held an orientation debate on the way forward for VAT in the EU. The Commission plans to put forward an Action Plan on this issue in March. The VAT system needs reform: the ‘VAT gap’, which is the difference between the expected VAT revenue and VAT actually collected in Member States, was almost €170 billion in 2013. Cross border fraud itself is estimated to be responsible for a VAT revenue loss of about €50 billion annually in the European Union. At the same time, the current VAT system remains fragmented and creates significant administrative burdens, especially for SMEs and online companies. Finally, the system needs to be modernised to reflect innovative business models and technological progress in today’s digital environment.
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