Main results of the European Council
The EU Heads of State or Government met on 20 and 21 October 2016 in Brussels for the European Council meeting. They exchanged views on the most pressing issues. On Thursday they discussed the migration issue and Russia, including its role in Syria. On Friday the EU leaders met again to discuss economic and trade issues.
The European Council reiterated its call for single market strategies to be implemented by 2018. These include:
- digital single market
- capital markets union
- energy union
- the single market agenda
The European Council also called on the Council to reach an agreement on its negotiating position on the new proposal on the European fund for strategic investments, at its meeting on 6 December 2017.
The European Council assessed as well the state of play of on-going free trade agreement negotiations with key partners. They underlined the importance of a swift decision to sign and provisionally apply the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. They called for negotiations of the outstanding issues as soon as possible.
Juncker Commission presents third annual Work Programme
On 25 October 2016, the European Commission presented its annual Work Programme for 2017: Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends.
The 2017 Work Programme proposes 21 key initiatives as well as a further 18 REFIT proposals to improve the quality of existing EU legislation and ensure our rules are fit for purpose. To ensure a focus on delivery, the Commission Work Programme identifies 34 priority pending proposals that have been made in the past two years where swift adoption by the Parliament and Council can make a tangible impact on the ground.
On the basis of the Work Programme, the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council will now work on a Joint Declaration on commonly agreed objectives and priorities for 2017, to swiftly turn proposals into action and bring concrete results for citizens.
To read the Work Programme 2017, click here.
European Commission proposes major corporate tax reform for the EU
On 25 October 2016, the European Commission announced plans to overhaul the way in which companies are taxed in the Single Market. Two proposals aim to improve the current system for dispute resolution on double taxation in the EU and to bolster existing anti-abuse rules.
To encourage swift progress, the Common Corporate Consolidated Tax Base (CCCTB) has been broken down into a more manageable, two-step process. The common base can be quickly agreed to unlock key benefits for both businesses and Member States. Consolidation should be introduced soon afterwards and would allow all the benefits of the complete system to be reaped.
On 25 October 2016, a debate on this subject was held in the European Parliament. Most Members welcomed the CCCTB proposal and said this proposal was an important step in the right direction.