Lawmakers insist on adoption of legally binding revenue timetable

The decision will allow the Commission to raise €750bn on the markets for the recovery fund

Photo: EP Jose Manuel Fernandes.

Speeding up the voting schedule, MEPs backed on Wednesday a legislative opinion on the Own Resources Decision and asked the Council to swiftly adopt it as to trigger the process leading to the ratification by national parliaments. Thus, it will allow the Commission to raise €750bn on the markets for the recovery fund.

MEPs insisted on a legally binding calendar to introduce these new own resources as of 1 January 2021. Parliament has been a long-standing advocate of in-depth reform of the EU own resources. The new decision will revamp the architecture of the revenue system of the EU, 32 years after the last introduction of a new type of own resource, namely the GNI contributions.

As Jose Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), co-rapporteur on the own recourses file explained the new own resources need to be sufficient at least to pay for the interest and amortisation. He told media that for 2021-2027 will be needed €12.9bn for payment of interests.

We do not want to penalise future generations or make cuts to EU programmes or policies, he said urging that the new own resources need to be enough to be able to repay the borrowing.

Lawmakers underlined that the considered own resources will not be a burden on citizens and in the same time are in line with the political priorities of the EU.

The principle is simple, those that benefit most from the internal market and don’t pay should pay, said rapporteur Fernandes noting that the Parliament is asking for a tax on the digital giants that will be effective across the EU. MEPs also ask that 30% of the ETS revenues be available. Products coming into the EU from third countries that not respect the same standards should also be taxed.

In the basket of new own resources is a share of a common consolidated corporate tax base, a national contribution on non-recycled plastic packaging waste, financial transaction tax as well as carbon border adjustment mechanism.

We will now ensure that the debt is repaid by tech giants, tax dodgers, big foreign polluters and others who do benefit from our single market but do not contribute fairly to our prosperity and the protection of our planet,  Valerie Hayer (RENEW, FR), co-rapporteur, underlined.

Do you think it’s right that multinationals can engage in tax optimization, she asked adding that “these are the players that need to foot the bill for the recovery, it shouldn’t be European citizens”.

According to Italian MEP Elisabetta Gualmini, S&D spokeswoman on own resources, the financial gap of €12bn per year in the EU budget, generated by the departure of the UK, together with the emergence of other challenges, such as Covid-19, climate change and instability in the EU neighbourhood, and the urgency to fully finance the Next Generation EU in the next years, makes the need to find new resources even more pressing. About the basket with new resources she commented that “this is not a closed list” and further own resources such as a single market levy for the big multinationals that benefit from the participation in the Single Market can be added.

The traditional own resources that beef up now the budget are customs duties, VAT-based own resource, and GNI-based residual own resource.

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