Highlights of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of 22 June 2018, in Luxembourg.
The Council closed the excessive deficit procedure for France, confirming that its deficit has dropped below the EU's 3% of GDP reference value.
As a consequence, 23 of the 24 procedures that were open at the height of the euro crisis have now been closed.
From now on, France will be subject to the preventive arm of the EU's fiscal rulebook.
The Council issued recommendations to Hungary and Romania, calling on them to correct significant deviations from their medium-term budgetary objectives. It found that Romania has so far failed to take effective action.
Ministers reached agreement on measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in order to improve the prevention of VAT fraud.
“Improving cooperation between our tax administrations is essential if we are to clamp down on tax fraud”, said Vladislav Goranov, minister for finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency. “Unacceptably high amounts of VAT revenue are being lost, and this directive will help fix the problem.”
The proposed regulation addresses the most widespread forms of cross-border fraud. It boosts information exchange, strengthens the Eurofisc tax network and introduces new instruments for cooperation amongst the member states.
The Council also adopted a directive making the 15% minimum standard VAT rate a permanent feature of the VAT system, and approved an agreement aimed at boosting VAT cooperation with Norway.