And Estonia makes 11

Financial Transaction Tax campaign
Financial Transaction Tax campaign (Photo credit: Leonardo Domenici)

Late yesterday, Estonia joined the 10 countries that plan on implementing a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), due to the lack of agreement on implementing an EU wide Tax.

The 11 countries who will implement the tax next year are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

According to Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso

“This tax can raise billions of euros of much-needed revenue for member states in these difficult times. [..] This is about fairness – we need to ensure the costs of the crisis are shared by the financial sector instead of shouldered by ordinary citizens.”

But where will this money go? One suggestion is that this tax revenue would go into a Eurozone budget as all 11 countries use the Euro. While Development NGOs argue that the revenue should go towards those most in need in developing countries.

The Tax this has a way to go before it comes into force, and still has to be approved by the majority of Member State’s at council level as well as the European Parliament.

The EU-wide tax was shelved following opposition from Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, who fear being at a disadvantage in the absence of a World-Wide Tax.

More states can still sign up to this, but until details on the amount of tax charged on financial transaction and where the revenue goes is agreed, it is doubtful if the number of states involved in this enhanced co-operation will increase..

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European Parliament Consents to the Enhanced Co-Operation Procedure

Yesterday I blogged about the attempt by 12 member states the use the Enhanced Co-Operation Procedure in the area of divorce. This morning the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee voted to accept a report by MEP Tadeusz Zwiefka (EPP/PL) to allow the procedure to be used by the 12 countries.

The draft recommendation can be read here (PDF)

The Parliament has requested that the ordinary legislative procedure be used when it comes to the final regulation. We will see what the Council decides.

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A European Divorce

divorce-decree

Tomorrow the European Parliaments Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will hear about the state of play on the first use of the Enhanced Co-Operation Procedure. 12 member states are proposing new rules in regards to Divorce and when it is of a trans-national nature.

To me this is a perfect use of the Enhanced Co-operation procedure as it can mean couples can choose the law that suits them most. For example a German married to Italian but living in Spain, have the choice to choose between German, Italian and Spanish law when it comes to their case. It also means that these rules will have no bearings on Malta, where divorce is illegal, and Ireland, where divorce is a long wait.

The 12 member states who want this are:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Slovenia
  • Luxembourg
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Latvia

Greece was initially on board but withdrew.

Under the current rules 9 member states are the minimum required to use the enhanced co-operation procedure. No member state can veto the use of procedure (except in the area of Foreign Affairs).

It will be interesting to see this in action.

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