Ecofin and Eurogroup

Lux finance minister pushes for global corporate tax

Yuriko Backes (left) with Christian Lindner  © Le Conseil de l'Union européenne

Yuriko Backes (left) with Christian Lindner  © Le Conseil de l'Union européenne

During her first participation in the Eurogroup and Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) meetings on 17 and 18 January, Luxembourg’s recently sworn-in finance minister Yuriko Backes (DP) touched on global corporate tax among other subjects.

Arguing for a quick implementation, Backes thanked the European Commission for proposing a directive on international corporate taxation. “Luxembourg fully supports the objectives pursued by Pillar 2 on the establishment of a global minimum tax level for multinational groups within the EU and will actively engage in the European negotiations,” she said. However, she added that enough time should be left for member states to transpose the directive into national legislation.

Backes had previously explained that a revision of the existing tax system was needed as the current structure wasn’t adapted to globalisation and digitalisation.

At the Eurogroup meeting Backes also touched on the subject of the banking union saying: “Luxembourg advocates an integrated approach, which will take into account the interests of all member states, and therefore balanced solutions.” The banking union aims to provide legal and administrative standards for the financial sector in all EU member states, according to the European Central Bank.

The new finance minister also called for more transparency between member states on economic and budgetary policies, arguing that the application of consistent rules in all states would allow for more credibility. “National ownership, responsibility, innovation and investment are fundamental elements that must be at the heart of our discussions in the coming months,” she concluded.

While in Brussels, Backes took the opportunity to meet face to face with counterparts including Vinvent Van Peteghem from Belgium, new German finance minister Chrisitian Lindner, as well as Bruno Le Maire from France. While a bilateral meeting with Eurogroup president Paschal Donohoe was an opportunity to discuss the economic situation of the euro zone.