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Guernsey Chief Minister Meets EU Tax Commissioner

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
06 May, 2015

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, met recently with Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation, and Customs to discuss tax transparency.

In a statement after the meeting, Le Tocq said: "It is vital that we speak directly with the decision-makers of the still relatively new Juncker Commission. Meeting Commissioner Moscovici was important for two reasons - firstly, to enhance awareness and understanding of the Channel Islands, and secondly to understand future developments on tax co-operation. My message was that we are part of the European mainstream on tax transparency, and should be seen as partners, not problems, for the Commission. It was heartening to hear that that is indeed how the Commissioner also sees us."

Moscovici said: "I very much welcome the active engagement of the Channel Islands in the key initiatives involved in the fight against tax evasion, fraud, and abusive tax avoidance in which they are important partners of the EU. Their commitment to the adoption of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information, alongside the EU member states, is particularly positive."

Jersey's Chief Minister Ian Gorst, who also attended the meeting, said: "I emphasized to Commissioner Moscovici the importance of using objective, international standards when assessing good governance by third countries such as Jersey and Guernsey on tax matters. The Channel Islands continue to meet the highest international standards on tax transparency, and it is positive that we are able to ensure that message is heard at the very senior levels of the European Commission."

Following this meeting, the Chief Ministers also met with the Dutch Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels, Pieter de Gooijer, to understand the priorities of the upcoming Dutch Presidency in the first half of 2016.

The Channel Islands delegation is also to meet with Ambassador Christian Braun, the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg in Brussels, as Luxembourg will assume the EU Presidency in the second half of 2015, and members of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), and the Special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE). A meeting with Ivan Rogers, the Permanent Representative of the UK in Brussels, is also scheduled to take place.

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