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Structural Challenges for Europe

Edited by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Peter Mooslechner

The main thrust of the book is that the sharing of mutual experiences is important for generating an acceptable policy mix, both at EU and national levels. The contributors highlight key financial issues, including the role of FDI and of foreign banks in the still ‘under-banked’ acceding countries, the re-launch of social security systems and the fiscal challenges of financing the catch-up process. They also examine the ongoing EU debate surrounding the application of the Stability and Growth Pact in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) and go on to explore the contrasting evidence that some CEECs have shown more extensive privatisation efforts than some EU countries.
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Chapter 17: Tax structures in transition economies in a comparative perspective with EU member states

Rumen Dobrinsky


Rumen Dobrinsky1 1. INTRODUCTION2 During the past decade and a half, the system of taxation – as well as the fiscal system in general – in the transition economies has undergone enormous changes. Generally speaking, these changes reflect the fundamental transformation in the government’s role in these countries: from what it used to be in a centrally planned economy to what it is aiming to be in a market environment. In the main, this has been a process of withdrawal of the government from the economy, in terms of asset holding (governments in socialist countries held the overwhelming share of productive assets), direct control (such as the direct allocation of resources and centralized price setting) and intervention (redistribution of income and wealth). In some cases the process of state withdrawal has been more gradual, in others rather abrupt; in any case, the changes in this direction are quite obvious although the process is probably far from over. Economic transformation has impacted profoundly on the fiscal systems in the transition economies with respect to both the levels and structure of revenue and expenditure. This chapter takes a brief look at some of the changes that have taken place in the system of taxation in the economies undergoing a transition from plan to market. It does so by comparing the tax structures established in the transition economies after more than a decade of reforms with those in mature market economies, such as the present EU member states. The chapter focuses on three main...

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