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AK EUROPA, the Brussels office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour, and ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation, would like to cordially invite you to our traditional New Year's reception.

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Important dossiers concerning European tax policy – from digital tax to Common Consolidated Corporate Tax – cannot be finalised, because the Council of the European Union requires unanimity in tax issues. However, the European Commission has presented a proposal on 15th January 2019 to make qualified majority decisions in Council in regards to tax matters possible from now on.

 

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Heaping a lot of self-praise on it, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz celebrated the only just ended Austrian Presidency in the European Parliament on 15th January 2019. However, as the targets and priorities, which were defined in advance, hardly made room for the rights of European workers, it needed strident acclamations from the outside to ensure that understandable progress with regard to important dossiers would still be made in the last weeks of the Austrian Presidency.

 

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3 years ago, the UN Member States defined 17 goals for a sustainable development. One goal: gender equality. What is the position of women now and how will things have developed by 2030?

 

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Following the ministers’ approval of a General Approach on the Labour Authority within the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) last week (6th December 2018), this week (11th November 2018), the EU Parliament’s plenary also gave the green light for the trilogue: the negotiation mandate of Parliament was approved by a large majority, 459 MEPs voted in favour, 160 against.

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Following the negotiations in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on 3rd December 2018, which ended with a slimmed down version of the digital tax, the reports on the “significant digital presence” of a company and on the digital tax were put to the vote in the European Parliament. In doing so, an important first step has been taken towards taxing digital giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

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The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi provides the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs with a current outlook on economic policy for the Union and demands a greater expansion of the Economic and Monetary Union.

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Following lengthy negotiations, a political agreement on Great Britain’s exit from the European Union was reached at the EU Summit last Sunday. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks of the best possible negotiation result. However, the British Trades Union Congress TUC still sees the rights of the working population being at risk.

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The European Court of Auditors has presented a report on the Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2021. In it, it criticises in particular the lack of environmental and climate policy incentives in the proposed agricultural aid of the Multiannual Financial Framework.