13 July 2018
11:10 Public session
Press conference at the end of the meeting
The Council discussed two VAT-related proposals.
First, ministers had an exchange of views on the Commission's proposal on the "generalised reverse charge mechanism" aimed at allowing member states to apply temporarily a generalised reversal of VAT liability. In June, the European Council stressed that work should continue on how to ensure effective VAT collection and called for swift progress on the Commission proposals on short-term measures.
Ministers also discussed the "e-publications" proposal which would allow member states to apply non-standard VAT rates to electronic publications and potentially align VAT rules between physical and electronic forms for publications. This file is part of the EU's wider efforts to modernise value added tax for the digital economy in the context of the EU's digital single market strategy.
Country specific recommendations
The Council issued its 2018 recommendations and opinions to member states' on their economic, employment and fiscal policies, thereby concluding this year's European Semester exercise. The recommendations had been endorsed by the European Council in June.
The overall objective of this year's recommendations is to encourage member states to use the current favorable economic momentum to further strengthen the resilience of their economies.
The Council discussed the priorities of the Austrian presidency in the area of economic and financial affairs.
The focus of activities up to the end of 2018 will be on:
completing the banking union and developing a capital markets union.
deepening and strengthening economic policy coordination, by strengthening stability, resilience and compliance in the framework of the stability and growth pact.
improving efficiency and fairness in taxation.
ensuring that the implementation of the 2019 EU budget will adhere to the principles of sound and efficient financial management.
Ministers also discussed the relevant conclusions on economic and financial matters of the European Council of 28-29 June 2018 and finalised preparations ahead of the G20 finance meeting of 21-22 July in Buenos Aires.