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Aides d'état, code de conduite et concurrence fiscale dans l'Union Européenne :. Les centres d'aff aires comme cibles


  • António Carlos dos Santos


STATE AIDS, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND TAX COMPETITION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION : TARGETING FINANCIAL BUSINESS CENTERS This article examines recent concerns of Community institutions, in particular of the Commission, about tax competition and about how to gain control, in that respect, over financial business centers and international financial services. Taxation came to light and was brought to the center of the debate by several relevant economic and financial events, both at the European and at international level. In the European Union, the institution of the European Financial Market and the Monetary Union, the coordination of the budgetary and economic policies of Member States, and the enlargement were amongst those events. Internationally, globalization and the development of new technologies played an important role. Such changes in the political and economic environment at first led the Commission to define a new tax policy, which, on the basis of tax coordination and within the framework of a comprehensive strategy (including direct and indirect taxation), was oriented toward stabilizing tax revenues of Member States, safeguarding the well functioning of the internal market, and promoting employment. Quickly, however, the Commission moved towards a more pragmatic approach which focused on direct taxation and the fight against harmful tax competition, as this predictably had undesired consequences, such as fiscal degradation and excessive tax burdens for less mobile factors of production. This strategy of combating harmful tax competition was essentially based on two instruments, the code of conduct on the direct taxation of enterprises (a political compromise), and the administrative control of State aids of a fiscal nature. The article analyzes more closely the relationship between these two instruments and the way they have been applied. The articles concludes by pointing out that the fight against harmful tax competition, which initially was undertaken on a broader scope than a similar exercise of OECD, ultimately became limited (as indicated by the Commission) to a fight focusing exclusively on the activities of financial business centers. And yet, even with respect to that limited field of application, there is neither a consensus as to how bring the two instruments to bearing nor a consistent policy ensuring their even and equitable operation.

Suggested Citation

  • António Carlos dos Santos, 2004. "Aides d'état, code de conduite et concurrence fiscale dans l'Union Européenne :. Les centres d'aff aires comme cibles," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 9-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_181_0009

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