Skip to main content
Taxation and Customs Union

EU Corporate Tax Reform: Progress and New Challenges


Progress and New Challenges: European Conference on Company Taxation, Rome 5-6 December 2003.

Rome, 5-6 December 2003


The Italian Council Presidency and the European Commission co-hosted a high-level conference entitled "EU Corporate Tax Reform: Progress and New Challenges" in December 2003.

The conference was opened with key note speeches from:

  • Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, and
  • Italian Minister of Finance Giulio Tremonti.

High-level tax specialists from the public and private sectors of Europe and beyond considered the recent Commission Communication on Company Taxation and the internal market (COM(2003) 726 of 24/11/2003). In this Communication, the Commission reviewed its current strategy in the field of company taxation, based on two 'tracks' that aim to tackle the tax-related inefficiencies and obstacles within the Internal Market via:

  1. targeted immediate solutions and
  2. steps towards a longer-term goal of providing companies with a common consolidated tax base for their EU-wide activities.

The conference programme, along with the text of papers presented at the conference, are presented below.

Background Information

  • Conference Press Release (IP/03/1395 ) of 15 October 2003
  • Conference Comunicato Stampa, Roma, 2 dicembre 2003
  • Commission Communication on Company Taxation:
    • An Internal Market without company tax obstacles - achievements, ongoing initiatives and remaining challenges (COM(2003) 726 of 24/11/2003 )
    • Commission review progress on removal of cross-border tax obstacles: press release IP/03/1593 , 25 November 2003
    • Commission company tax strategy - frequently asked questions MEMO/03/237 , 25 November 2003

Conference Agenda and Papers

Friday, 5 December 2003

Welcome Address

Gen. C.A. Roberto SPECIALE
Commanding General of Guardia di Finanza, Italy

Opening addresses

Italian Minister of Economy and Finance

Frits Bolkestein
Member of the European Commission

Session 1 - "Tackling company tax obstacles in the Internal Market"

Chair :

Brigid McManus
Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Finance, Ireland

The role of Community law

The impact of recent and forthcoming ECJ jurisprudence for the Internal Market and on the revenue-protecting features of Member States' corporate tax systems - Is co-ordination of Member States implementation of ECJ decisions via soft law and guidance desirable and feasible?

Speaker :

Melchior Wathelet
Former Judge at the European Court of Justice

Discussant :

Prof. Jörg Manfred Mössner - full text of Prof. Mössner's speech is available here ,
University of Osnabrück

Prof. Francesco TESAURO
University of Milano-Bicocca
Chairman of the European Association of Tax Law Professors (EATLP)

Consequences for the tax treaty policies of EU Member States

Tax obstacles in the Internal Market due to different Treaty policies and the impact of recent ECJ decisions. The way forward on double taxation conventions of Member States: uncoordinated changes via the ECJ, a gradual co-ordination of treaty policies, a multilateral convention or an agreed EU model treaty?

Panel Discussion

Chair :

Ministry of Economy and Finance, Head of Tax Policy Department, Italy

Gray's Inn Tax Chambers (UK)

Prof. Michael LANG
Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration

Prof. Gugliemo MAISTO
Maisto e Associati & Un iversity of Piacenza

Carl-Gustav FERNLUND
Director-General, Swedish Ministry of Finance

Saturday, 6 December 2003

Session 2 - "Pilot schemes as a concrete way of making progress towards an Internal Market without company tax obstacles"

Chair :

Chairman of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation,

Speaker :

Director-General "Taxation And Customs Union", European Commission
The follow-up to the Commission Company Tax Study and Communication of
23 October 2001 - State of Play and way forward

Discussant :

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang SCHÖN
Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law (Munich)

Panel Discussion

Chair :

Chairman of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum

Chas Roy-Chowdhury
European Association of Craft, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) & Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens (FEE)

Stella Raventos Calvo
Chair of the Direct Taxation Committee of the Confédération fiscale européenne

Michael KUTTIN
Director, Austrian Ministry of Finance

Jan van der BIJL
Chairman of UNICE Fiscal Affairs Working Group

'Home State Taxation' for small and medium-sized enterprises - the way forward in practice

A common consolidated EU tax base for the Societas Europaea - the options ; assessment of potential discrimination issues ; the role of accounting harmonisation

The 'comprehensive approaches' for removing the tax obstacles in the Internal Market of 25 Member States - an overall assessment.


Closing remarks

Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
European Parliament

Other papers submitted to the Conference