Poland lifts its last-minute veto risk on EU minimal tax directive – EURACTIV.com


The Polish authorities agreed to drop its veto risk on the minimal tax directive, clearing the way in which for a package deal deal that included €18 billion in macrofinancial assist for Ukraine and the freezing of some EU funds for Hungary.

On the margins of the assembly of EU leaders on Thursday (15 December) in Brussels, Poland agreed to drop the veto.

The three points had develop into a package deal as a result of Hungary had used its veto on the macrofinancial assist and the minimal tax directive in a bid to strain the EU to pay out the EU cohesion funds in addition to its a part of the pandemic restoration plan.

The payout of each multibillion sources of EU funds for Hungary had been delayed over rule of regulation issues.

On Monday night, Hungary principally backed down and lifted its veto though a lot of the EU funds for Budapest stay frozen.

On Wednesday, nevertheless, the Polish authorities introduced that it had reservations regarding the minimal tax directive, placing all the package deal in jeopardy once more.

The minimal tax directive was first introduced in December 2021 and seeks to implement one a part of a two-pillar worldwide tax deal that was reached in October 2021 to place a backstop to the race-to-the-bottom of worldwide tax competitors.

The minimal tax, the so-called pillar two of the tax deal, ought to guarantee an efficient minimal taxation of at the very least 15% for company income. The opposite a part of the worldwide tax deal, pillar one, goals at reallocating a number of the taxing rights for income of huge multinational firms to the jurisdictions the place their turnover is generated as a substitute of the place of its headquarters.

Poland had already used its veto in negotiations in the course of the first half of 2022, arguing that the minimal tax shouldn’t be applied so long as the opposite a part of the tax deal was not but finalised.

Nonetheless, different member states suspected that Poland simply used the its veto on the minimal tax directive to expedite the discharge of the cash from the EU’s pandemic restoration fund, which was additionally held again attributable to rule of regulation issues.

This suspicion was additional supported by the truth that Poland dropped its veto in June 2022 after its pandemic restoration plan had been accredited. It was then that Hungary began vetoing the minimal tax directive as a substitute.

The rationale for Poland’s renewed risk to veto the minimal tax directive is unclear. In response to an EU member state diplomat, Poland argued that it was flawed to couple the macrofinancial assist for Ukraine with the minimal tax directive.

One other diplomat, in the meantime, raised the suspicion that Poland needed to place strain on the payout of the pandemic restoration funds. Though Poland’s restoration plan had formally acquired the inexperienced mild, there nonetheless haven’t been any payouts attributable to rule of regulation issues.

An extra chance that was raised is that Poland used the specter of its veto to get its manner within the sanctions package deal that was debated amongst EU leaders on Thursday.

In any case, the standoff didn’t final very lengthy. On Thursday afternoon, the Polish authorities dropped the risk, making the way in which free for EU’s minimal tax directive, macrofinancial assist for Ukraine, in addition to the freezing of funds for Hungary.

[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]

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