This week’s plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg also included a debate on the progress of the negotiations on implementing the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
The Maltese Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg described the development of the FTT from the point of view of the Maltese EU Presidency. The negotiations had been complex and time consuming. The Maltese Presidency would support further negotiations, even though Malta was not part of the ten Member States that wanted to be the first to introduce the tax.
The last meeting of the Finance Ministers under the previous Slovak Presidency in December 2016 had produced important progress.
Hence, it might therefore be possible, provided that the negotiations would continue to be constructive, to present the draft of a legislative proposal in the coming months.
The Belgian Christian Democrat Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, who is actually in charge of employment and social issues, presented her thoughts on the progress of the negotiations on behalf of the Commission. The Commission was fully behind the work of the Member States. The Declaration of Principles between the ten Member States, which has been developed so far, now had to become a legislative proposal. A final text could be expected for mid-2017.
In this context, the contribution of the German Social Democrat MEP Udo Bullmann was both concise and apt. Many MEPs were under the impression that the finance ministers were dragging their feet introducing the FTT. This was embarrassing. Thanks to the extremely committed effort of the competent French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici it had been possible to eliminate all concerns as far as possible. It was now six years since the European Parliament had first demanded the introduction of the FTT. Hence, MEPs would have plenty of conflict experience and would not give up until the speculation tax had become reality at last. At the end of the day, finance ministers would not allow themselves to come before the European Parliament empty handed. That is why the the Parliament advises Ministers, “not to fail”, said Udo Bullmann.