Paolo Gentiloni, EU Commissioner for Economy, has said the EU’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement is “unwavering”.
Commissioner Gentiloni made his remarks in an online address to the Institute of International and European Affairs this afternoon.
He said this was why the Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed “by both sides…both with their eyes wide open”.
He said the EU was not taking a “legally purist stance” or “being inflexible”.
But he said, the core of the protocol must be implemented in good faith.
On the issue of tax reform, the Commissioner said EU member states are losing between €35 and €70 billion a year as a result of corporate tax avoidance.
He also said an estimated €50 billion a year is lost through cross-border VAT fraud and over €40 billion a year to international tax evasion by individuals.
He said the current international taxation system was designed more than a century ago and is based on outdated principles.
Commissioner Gentiloni said globalisation and digitalisation have made tax rules “increasingly difficult” to apply to modern business.
He acknowledged that some countries, including Ireland, remained “wary” of the changes to corporate tax rules under discussion at the OECD-G20.
He said the Commission is considering that if there’s a future OECD agreement on the first area of reform, which is about taxing company profits where most of the their sales are made, an EU Directive would be put forward to “ensure its uniform implementation in all EU Member States”.
The second part of the reform process, the global minimum rate of corporate tax, would be based on a consensus agreement.