Minister Donohoe travels to Brussels to discuss digital tax

21st January, 2020

Meeting with Chancellor Javid also scheduled for UK’s last ECOFIN meeting

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, will today (Tuesday) travel to attend the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels.

At ECOFIN, European Finance and Economic Ministers will discuss a number of important items including the European Green Deal, the European Semester 2020, and tax challenges arising from digitalisation. Minister Donohoe will represent Ireland’s position.

Most notably, there will be an exchange of views at the meeting on the tax challenges arising from digitalisation, which has been prepared by the Croatian Presidency.

Minister Donohoe will also have a bilateral with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, who will be attending the meeting, in advance of the departure of UK from the EU on 31st January 2020.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Donohoe said: ‘I would like to emphasise the importance of the work of the OECD on the tax challenges arising from digitalisation. It is important that the OECD work is successful in providing certainty in the international tax framework into the future’. 

“I acknowledge the range of views among Member States on the merits of different aspects of the OECD proposals and I think the meeting of the OECD Inclusive Framework at the end of this month with be an important step in advancing this work.  Ireland will continue to play an active part in the work of the OECD and in seeking to achieve a common EU voice.

“I am also glad to have a chance to meet Chancellor Javid while in Brussels. It will be important that we retain close contact with our UK counterparts in the period after their departure from the EU. Tomorrow will present an opportunity to discuss issues in relation to Brexit and also our future relationship, which is so important.”

The European Commission will also present on the economic and financial aspects of the European Green Deal, which was launched on 11 December 2019, and which sets out an initial path of the key policies and measures to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050. 

Complementing this, as part of the European Semester, the Commission will also present the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, which aims to maintain a strong focus on sustainable growth while taking account of the environmental issues. Ministers will have an initial exchange of views on these items. 

This is the first time that Croatia has held the position of President of the Council of the European Union, and this will be the first ECOFIN Council of the new Croatian Presidency.