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Ceturtdiena 17.08.2017 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta

Energy and taxes to be discussed in EU summit

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

EU heads of state and government are convening in Brussels to enhance energy market and limit tax avoidance.

Following the lengthy and almost uncompromising debate over the EU budget there may be more consensus on these issues, which are seen as vital in restoring EU’s competitiveness.

Tax avoidance costs in EU member states reach 1 trillion euros a year. The European Parliament calls on the EU to reduce the figure by half until 2020, by preventing tax loopholes and limiting the use of tax havens, BBC reports.

In addition, the European Commission is pushing for automatic exchange of people’s earnings data between member state tax authorities. President of the Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has told that the EU should aim to put in place such data exchange on 1 January 2015.

The other key theme is energy policy – in particular the need to improve EU’s energy infrastructure, develop renewable energy sources and remove obstacles to competition. Much of Eastern and Central Europe depends on Russia’s gas; in recent years, price disputes have resulted in supply shortages in the middle of winter.

The Commission is urging EU governments to implement energy legislation that was adopted in 2011, warning that if the current trend continues, imports of gas would rise to 80% of the gas consumed in the EU by 2035.

EU annually imports oil, gas and coal in the value of 406 billion euros, comprising 3.2% of total EU economic output (GDP).

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