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European Finance Ministers on VAT in the digital age

At the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting, ministers discussed, among other things, the value added tax (VAT) in the digital age package and the retail investment package. Minister Boštjančič also attended two annual meetings and a meeting of the Eurogroup, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first meeting.

Ministers exchanged views on the legislative package on VAT in the digital age as presented by the Commission in December 2022 and consisting of three proposals: proposal for a Directive amending Directive as regards VAT rules for the digital age, proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation as regards the VAT administrative cooperation arrangements needed for the digital age, and a proposal for an Implementing Regulation amending Implementing Regulation as regards information requirements for certain VAT schemes. Slovenia supports the proposals, whose main objective is to modernise VAT reporting obligations by standardising information, to increase the role of online platforms in VAT collection, to extend the use of the One-Stop-Shop and reverse charge systems, and to introduce a single identification for VAT purposes in the EU.

In its 2020 Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan, the European Commission announced that one of its primary objectives is to make retail investing in the European Union (EU) safer for the long term. The retail investment package aims to achieve this objective and build retail investors' trust in and participation in EU capital markets.

In the context of the meeting, ministers held a first discussion on the three legislative proposals for reforming the EU fiscal framework, which the Commission presented in April. The proposals aim to address the current framework’s shortcomings. They take into account the need to reduce soaring levels of public debt and prepare the EU for the challenges ahead by supporting the creation of a green, digital, inclusive and resilient economy while boosting EU competitiveness. Slovenia welcomes the proposals, as it considers that the current rules do not correspond to the new reality.

Ministers also discussed the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and endorsed the revised Estonian Recovery and Resilience Plan.

In the context of the European Semester, the Commission published its spring package and ministers endorsed the Council Report on the National Reform Programmes for 2023 and the Council Opinions on the updated convergence and stability programmes.

The day before the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting, Minister Boštjančič attended a meeting of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first meeting in 1998. The meeting continued with discussions on macroeconomic and fiscal developments in the Eurozone and on the introduction of the digital euro.

Mr Boštjančič also attended two annual meetings. The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) took note of the Bank's activities in 2022, the Audit Committee Annual Report for 2022 and the Board of Directors' report on the assessment of the EIB's review and evaluation process. The participants also appointed new members and alternates to the Board of Directors. The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) approved the Annual Report for the 2022 financial year and took stock of the ESM's key activities.