Date: 8th July 2020

On 1 July 2020, Germany took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Croatia and published the presidency programme for the next six months, including several aspects related to financial services, highlighting “a sustainable financial market architecture, stable financial policy and fair taxation”.

With regards to taxation the German Presidency is looking into the OECD idea of a minimum global effective tax rate, as well as the introduction of an EU-wide financial transactions tax (FTT).

The German Presidency also seems committed to the furthering of a European Capital Markets Union (CMU), pledging to “promote capital markets-based financing” and “further integrate the European capital markets” in order to improve the financing of the real economy and strategic investments. In its programme, it also advances plans for a Digital Financial Markets Action plan.

In as far as consumer policy is concerned, the German Presidency stresses the need to “protect consumers and be more effective in enforcing existing consumer rights”. Pointing to the upcoming publication of the new Consumer Agenda by the European Commission in the second half of 2020, it deems that “to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic we need consumers to have confidence in a strong European single market”.

As the voice of European citizens in their capacity as savers, investors and financial services users, BETTER FINANCE is very pleased to hear that “during its Presidency of the Council, Germany will work to ensure that the voice of European civil society is heard more clearly”. […] “European policy in a democratic Europe requires a European public sphere and the participation of an active civil society”. To this end, the German Presidency will organise the Conference on the Future of Europe in close collaboration with civil society representatives.

The Conference on the Future of Europe will be co-organised by the German Presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission and address topics such as “Europe’s economic and social system, sustainability, climate protection, innovation, digital transformation and the EU’s core values”.