Malta’s budget for 2018 has been approved by the Council on Financial and Economic Affairs (ECOFIN) following the green light given by the European Commission last November. The approval was part of the adoption of the Council Decision and Recommendation of the Stability and Growth Pact by the Council.
The ECOFIN Council adopted the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.
Addressing, the Council on the matter, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna stated that “the credibility of the EU on the matter hinges upon the ability of the Code of Conduct to continuously update the list with any developments that may arise in an objective manner.”
Minister Scicluna said that the list should be a means to an end in order to bring about reforms in these tax jurisdictions, ultimately aiming to achieve higher international standards throughout.
Meanwhile, VAT rules for cross-border online sales were also adopted by the ECOFIN Council. The new rules introduce an important simplification for start-ups and SMEs, making it easier for online traders to register for VAT in a harmonised, centralised manner. Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union was pivotal in piloting these proposals through Council, and therefore is fully supporting measures that reduce financial burdens on businesses.
Additionally, the ECOFIN Council discussed progress made in implementing the various dossiers of the Banking Union, namely: the European Deposit Insurance Scheme, the Banking Package and Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).
Minister Scicluna participated actively in the Eurogroup meeting which was held on Monday 4th December.
The Minister was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Marlene Bonnici as well as Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.