THE HAGUE/TALLINN - At the Ecofin meeting of European Union finance ministers in The Hague over the weekend, an Estonian minister said that the Baltic country would back a reduction in the administrative burden for businesses.
"We are in favor of reducing the administrative burden on European companies. This has an important role in increasing Europe's competitiveness in the world," Finance Minister Taavi Veskimagi was quoted as saying.
Estonia is in favor of removing obstacles that hinder the functioning of a common market. The country will also insist that tax competition in the EU's internal market remain; therefore, it will oppose the tax harmonization campaign that is currently gathering pace among large members such as France and Germany.
Although several countries were opposed to the European Commission's proposals, the commission decided to continue dealing with the tax initiatives and set up a working group from member-state representatives.
"That the work group will be convened creates no problems for Estonia. By participating in the work group we'll have the opportunity to present more broadly our tax system and our experience, disproving the myths that are circulating about the Estonian tax system in the European Union," said Veskimagi.
"And if the proposals formed as a result of the group's work do not suit us, we do not have to go along with them," the minister said, adding that from the basic principles of the EU the French proposals to link tax rates and structural aid are impossible to understand, though in the domestic political context, they could be.