Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Single Market


Future of taxation in the single market

27 January 2017
Iva Tasheva (Former Junior Policy Analyst at the EPC) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)



In recent decades, taxation policy in the EU has developed in a complex and often inconsistent way. Although member states still preserve their sovereignty over tax policies, the EU plays an active role in enhancing tax harmonisation to fulfil its ambition of completing the single market. Yet a strategic vision for the future of taxation in the EU is still needed, which alongside the high level of tax fragmentation undermines the Union’s potential in a number of areas. In this Policy Brief, Fabian Zuleeg and Iva Tasheva identify the main obstacles the EU will have to overcome to develop such a shared vision and lay out a series of priority actions. They furthermore argue that even though tax reforms are no silver bullet to solve the manifold challenges the EU and its members are currently facing, transparent, fair and effective taxation is a pre-condition for enhancing social justice and building public trust, and the basis for modernising tax systems aiming to serve three equally important strategic goals: economic stability, social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability.

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