Minister Scicluna at Eurogroup and informal Ecofin meeting
At the Informal Ecofin meeting in Vienna, held on 7 and 8 September, Minister Scicluna welcomed the proposal on the Invest EU programme comprising a single fund for all EU level financial instruments in the MFF 2020-2027.
He told the meeting that while the integration of all investment programmes of the Union should serve to simplify the framework, one should be careful not to introduce bureaucratic procedures and complexity especially for small member states or worse, threaten the success which the EIB has obtained so far in the investment field, including the EFSI programme.
On the proposal for a digital tax the minister conceded that the international corporation tax frameworks were conceived in a pre-internet age and continue to rely heavily on the concept of a physical presence.
Furthermore, in a digitalised world it can prove difficult to pin down the value that has been created, how it has been created and how it should be taxed.
In this context Malta’s preference is therefore for any changes to be considered under the aegis of the OECD’s BEPS Inclusive Framework which has been tasked to come up with a consensus-based solution by 2020. The proposed short-term quick fixes leave some many questions unanswered and introduce many risks.
During the exchange of views on the euro area's economic outlook with the Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Roberto Gualtieri at the Eurogroup, Minister Scicluna highlighted several potential issues confronting the euro area including Brexit, global protectionism and the expected interest rate increases.
In this context, Minister Scicluna emphasised the need to concentrate efforts on safeguarding investment to ensure future sustainable growth.
The Minister for Finance was accompanied by permanent secretary Alfred Camilleri.