Transcript of "Debate de la TTF en el Ecofin(22.06.12)"
Aquí tenemos la posibilidad de seguir en vivo el debate sobre la TTFdel Ecofin del 22 de junio 2012.http://video.consilium.europa.eu/webcast.aspx?ticket=775-979-11487# -. Posicionamientos orientativos:Definitely in: France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovenia, Greece, Spain,Portugal.Very likely to say yes soon: Italy (Merkel Hollande will convince them tonight),Estonia, Finland.Possible: Poland, Luxembourg (depending on the design of the tax),Slovakia,Latvia (will judge latter), Romania, Latvia.Definitely not: Uk, Sweden, Czech (say does not have a position yet but wasagainst FTT the whole time), Malta (say will take decision latter but was vs FTTthe whole time)Did not speak: Bulgaria, Hungary (spoke but said nothing)Only countries that were ready to block the enhanced cooperation (ECP)/say itwas not the right time to decide about it: Latvia, NLDenmark: Germany has sent a letter to all of you asking to move ahead withenhancedcooperation. I would like to have the European Commissioncomments first.Semeta (EC): (frankly we could have written his speech- only the allocationpart is missing)It is clear that there is no agreement at EU 27. We need to find away forward. There is pressure from citizens, the European Parliament, andsome of you. Swift progress is expected. We need to maintain the momentum.Discussing further about the objectives, principles, alternatives is just a delayingtactic (really looks like our last letter). We already had enough debate in 2011 onthe options; the EC proposal was the result of this debate.Denmark. I would like to know if we have reached an agreement on unanimityor not?Austria: (actually lead the fight even more than Fr or Ger).The EC proposal isgood but there will be no EU 27 agreement in the near future. Alternatives arenot as good as the FTT and it would anyway be impossible to find a commonsolution soon.As said in our letter: Enhanced cooperation is possible according to art 20TEUand 226 TFUE. Invite colleagues in favour of the FTT to participate indeveloping ECP. Austria needs urgent steps forward as it is a condition for ourcoalition partner (the greens) to agree to the Fiscal Pact (ESM). Otherwise willnot be ratifiedGermany:Clear FTT in any form would fail at EU 27. We need to report to theEuropean Council next week. FTT good example of ECP. Wants to know wherewe stand. More discussions will be needed on details but know need a tour detable. 1
France:Strongly support the FTT; agrees with AT and DE that EU27 optionwon’t be adopted any time soon, thus FR wishes for those countries who wish togo forward to be able to do so quickly as a first step towards a broader basedFTT. Quick implementation possible on more limited scope like the French taxfor example.Romania: Still have concern re potential risk but not averse to continuediscussions on potential impact, costs, low growth etc; if a majority is in favour,we would “stay with them” (frankly not clear if he meant they will allow the ECPto go ahead or support it)Sweden: Supports financial sector’s contribution to the crisis (such as via FAT)but cannot support FTT; concerns on impact on growth. There should be morework put on looking at optional alternatives/compromises such as stamp dutiesand the likes, but the Commission’s proposal should be killed right now.Reserve the position on ECP, needs to see how it will affect other Europeancountries before deciding. Prefer to try compromise at EU 27.Finland: Supports FTT and EC’s proposal; important to find common EU27solution; see benefits of ECP but first needs to know the scope and the type oftax. We should continue to work.Spain:EU 27 would be better but taking into account the difficulties to get anagreement, open to explore ECP on a gradual/step by step approach. Will needto minimise distortive effects on capital flows;Poland: Has problem regarding the effectiveness of the FTT. FAT is safer but ifa group of countries feels the need to move forward with ECP and even if we areagainst creating division within the EU then we would be supportive of an ECP“by these countries” (frankly not clear for me if it means they would join theEPC or just do not prevent it from happening). We need to have more detailsand ensure that it would not have negative effects on the outsiders – it’simportant to build community spirit/more integration and ECP is a meantowards that. Favours part of FTT revenue to go to EU own resources.Italy: Supports FTT and a progressive approach (esp. on the tax base), wouldprefer a EU27 solution; but it is unlikely. The government is looking “withsympathy” to ECP but is not yet in a position to say whether it would join. It’svery important to look at other factors (e.g. link between approval of the ESMtreaty and the FTT in some national parliaments). Easier to agree if othersmeasure to address the economic crisis are agreed (guess he links this todiscussion that will take place in Italy between Fr, Ger, It, and Sp today)UK: not against transaction taxes in general – we have one of our own – andhave introduced a bank levy, we are taxing our financial sector more thanothers, but have concerned on the EC proposal and its impact on EU GDP andfinancial services flight: according to EC it will lead to decreasing GDP by 1.7%and to 90% of financial business leaving the UK (How can he publicly lie likethis and misinterpret the EC work on purpose) There doesn’t seem to be aconsensus on a EU27 option; UK would only support a global solution.However, would not stop an ECP if what is being proponed is made clearer: an 2
ECP on the basis of the EC proposal? A lesser version? What rate? What base?Where is the money supposed to go? Barroso said in Mexico at the G20 thatproceeds would support climate finance among other things, though this is notwhat the EC proposal says (revenue to go to EU own resources); internationalcharities who are lobbying me want to see revenue to go to development aid,some EU MS to their own budget – need more clarity on all of this. We reservethe opportunity to check that an ECP would not have consequences on theEuropean economy or other negative effects.Belgium: Support EC proposal, would prefer at EU 27 but searching foralternatives is just delaying the process. They are complementary not areplacement. Ready for EPC while preventing distortions.Portugal: Supports FTT and willing to look at alternatives including ECP.Slovenia, the new mate on board! supports FTT, would prefer at EU 27 but asnot possible in the short or medium term and as it is also demanded in Sloveniain the negotiation with the Trade Unions on the fiscal pact, SL is willing to jointhe ECP though still have many questions. Believes that fall in GDP has beengreatly overestimated; people and trade unions demand a FTT.NL: Not against an FTT per se, but need full examination of alternatives beforedeciding – supports DK presidency proposal that today should be an orientationdebate and to proceed on parallel tracks. ECP can only be triggered if allalternatives at EU27 level have been looked at and discounted in turn. It is notthe time for such a decision today.Ireland: Has a Stamp Duty but not convinced can go beyond. Cannot join ECPbecause of the risk of financial services flight; criteria for ECP have to be metrigorously and any negative impact on others must be ruled out. Concerned thatECP on such a central economic issue would set a dangerous precedence,though will not attempt to stop those who feel the need to go ahead.Latvia: All possible alternatives at EU27 must be looked at; need impactassessment of ECP on the internal market. Not the time for the ECP, we havenot exhausted all other solutions.Luxembourg (more open that we expected). Some questions remainunanswered: what is the objective, generate new income and/or reducespeculation? Where does the money go to, EU budget? What is the scope? ECPmust not undermine the internal market. Will not oppose ECP but can’t telltoday whether LUX will join (financial services represent 30% of GDP in LUX),need to see new EC proposal and to know what we are talking aboutGreece: Would prefer EU27 option but will go with the ECP (Still needdiscusión however).Malta: Has as Stamp Duty but does not support EC proposal on FTT; wouldnot objectto ECP by others – position will be taken once the details are known. 3
Czech Republic: Prefers discussion on other alternatives, does not haveposition on ECP yet as we need to know the impact.Slovakia: Has bank levy, supports EC proposal for EU27 FTT, believealternatives need to be explored, ready to explore ECP but it should be seen as alast resort solution; would not object to it.Hungary: No position. Need to respect art. 329 and minimum required forECP.Estonia: ECP could be a possibility if FTT not possible at EU27. Need todiscusswithin the governments but need to know what we are talking about.Latvia: Ready to discuss all options and flexible regarding way forward. Do notthink yet no chance to find an agreement EU 27 but would not block EHC. Needto see a framework for ECP before we can take a position on it.Cyprus: Agree that it is complicated to find an EU 27 consensus. Need toexplore procedural alternatives including ECP if all other avenues have beenexhausted; as the incoming presidency we will continue the discussion.Commission (Semeta):Unfortunately there is no unanimity for EU27 optionbut it is time to decide now. If proceeds of the tax are invested in a smart waythere would be positive effects on growth (in reply to UK comment); EC analysison the possible reduction of financial services (the 90% mentioned by Osborne)is Orly about HFT; risk of relocation has been looked at. There are a significantnumber of countries that wish to move towards to ECP: those will have tosubmit their request to the EC defining the scope and details, on the basis ofwhich the EC can produce a proposal which the Council can then look at. ECP isdefinitely better than no results at all. The impact of the internal market shouldnot be used as a way to prevente the EPC. Many EU MS already have some kindof FTT or want to introduce some, which already has impact on the internalmarket. Having 10 EU MS with the same system can only make it better.Legal services clarified 5 steps necessary for EPC:a) Note that there is an impasse (not necessarily formally by a vote)b) At least 9 member states (or one country on behalf of 9) send a requestto the EC, indicating scope and objectivesc) EC produces a proposal (though technically not obliged to draft one) andverify that basic conditions are met:1. Situation of last resort;2. There are 9 participants to begin with but the initiative is open toall;3. The initiative cannot be on an exclusive competence e.g. own resources;4. The initiative does not undermine the internal marketd) Decision by the Council by QMV (which means the UK does not have aveto!) to allow ECP to go ahead – Council will make political assessmentthat the conditions above have been mete) Implementation via normal legislative procedure: co-decision with EP if 4
it is the case (but EP does not have co decision on fiscal matters);deliberation by Council but only interested member states have a vote andthe vote is taken by QMV. EP “consent” needed.DK presidency conclusions• note had been taken that the FTT could not be supported by all 27member states (step a. above);• There is the support of a significant number of EU MS for consideringthe ECP• The steps described by legal services can be taken – the nextpresidency will take over. 5