- Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
Chapter 1: The Ultimate Result of EC Legislation and Case Law in the Field of Companies’ Taxation: An Increased Scope for Tax Competition Among Member States
In spite of the absence in the Treaty of Rome (‘the Treaty’) of provisions specifically dealing with companies’ direct taxation, the general wording of Article 293 EC reveals one of the key aims of the Treaty’s drafters. With a view to creating a level playing field for ‘companies and firms’ (defined by Article 48 EC) of all Member States (in connection with the establishment of a system of undistorted market competition under Article 3 EC) they regarded tax obstacles to cross-border economic activity within the Community (such as double taxation) as barriers to be eliminated. Such a goal, set out by Article 293 EC without distinctions (‘the abolition of double taxation’), was bound to affect the developments in the important field of company (direct) taxation. The achievement of this level playing field becomes even more important in view of the ambitious Lisbon objective, set out in 2000: that of making the European Union (EU) the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledgebased economy by 2010, capable of sustainable growth while attaining social and environmental standards. In fact, both before and after the 2005 revision of the ‘Lisbon strategy’ which attributed priority to economic growth, the Commission consistently stressed that the elimination of all company tax obstacles to cross-border business activity within the Community has a key role in providing the proper legal framework towards the Lisbon objective, and has committed itself to this end. Nevertheless, it can be demonstrated that the developments of EC legislation and case law in the field...
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