On 16 December, the European Commission adopted its work plan for 2015. The document is usually eagerly awaited as it contains a list of proposals for legislative acts that the Commission, the sole institution with legislative initiative in the EU context, is going to put forward. This time, though, the Commission´s plans were quite well-known. President Juncker published the political vision of his Commission after being elected and the political guidelines for all 27 commissioners also provided some ideas. According to President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans, the EC will focus on the “big issues”, such as competitiveness and economic growth, while leaving “smaller issues” to other levels of governance. That is, according to them, what the EU citizens expect from the Union. The EU therefore wants to propose 23 new legislative acts in 2015, mainly in the areas of the energy union, digital single market, investment, taxation, migration and economic coordination. At the same time, the Commission plans to withdraw from the legislative process some 80 proposals it had made earlier. This is sometimes due to technical reasons, but in many cases for clearly political reasons – the new Commission no more considers them necessary. Several legislative acts in force will also be reviewed and possibly amended to correspond to the Commission´s view of better regulation.
In a different context, on 17 December, the Commission announced that its investigations into some Member States´ tax systems will be widened to cover all the Member States. The idea of the investigations has been to assess, if taxation regimes of some states do not in fact constitute illegal state aid to selected companies. Mainly Dutch and Irish taxation regimes have long been under public scrutiny as these allow some big multinationals to profit from close to zero per cent tax rates in practice. Now, the Commission will look at each individual Member State.
20th February 2019
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