Advertising concept: Head With Finance Symbol on digital backgroundThe European Commission (i.e. the European Union’s Executive Body) has started a new 5-year political mandate on 1 December 2019 under the leadership of its new President, the German Ursula von der Leyen. Three overarching priorities are woven into the EC policy agenda 2019-2024: (1) sustainability/climate neutrality (under the new European Green Deal), (2) digitalization and (3) supporting the European economy. The COVID-19 outbreak in Q1 2020 has inevitably had a strong impact on these policy priorities – but it did not change the planned direction of travel, quite on the contrary: many of the planned policy initiatives now play a major role in the COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. At the forefront of these recovery efforts is the EU Recovery Instrument, (see overview) aiming at revitalizing the suffering European economies in the years to come.

In this European Commission term, Executive Vice-President (EVP) for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvian) and the Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni (Italian), lead the financial services and taxation portfolios. It is worth noting that EVP for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager (Danish) leads on the Digital Taxation file and EVP Frans Timmermans (Dutch) the European Green Deal portfolio. The EC has revised its work program for 2020 on 27 May, and we set out in our update the revised timelines for the selected policy initiatives.

This overview provides selected EU policy developments in the area of financial services and taxation – and how we can support businesses in managing and shaping these policy discussions to their advantage.

Our Observations

  • Despite COVID-19, the EU lawmaking machinery in the financial services sector and on taxation is in full swing.
  • Now is the best time for businesses to engage in these discussions. 

Developments covered in this update include:

  • Recently Published Initiatives in Financial Services
    • Action Plan on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing Terrorism
    • EU Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism
    • Sustainable Finance
    • Digital/Cyber Resilience of the Financial Services Sector
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Retail Payments Action Plan
    • Fintech/Digital Finance Action Plan
    • Review of the Regulatory Framework for Investment Firms and Market Operators
    • Review of the Capital Requirements Legislation
    • Protection and Facilitation of Investment Within the EU
  • Outstanding Policy Initiatives in Financial Services
    • EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Investment
  • Selected Outstanding Policy Initiatives in Taxation
    • Digital Taxation
    • Outstanding Corporate Taxation Files

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Cover page for European Public Policy Update_Financial Services and Tax Developments_H1 2020