The Juncker Presidency And EU Tax Policy

Author:Mr Rick Minor
Profession:Womble Bond Dickinson

Rick Minor has been a European policy player for more than two decades. He has frequently published articles containing his unique insights on tax policy in the European Union. His insight derives from his diversity of tax experience. He worked at both German and US law firms in Europe, served as a public company tax executive and board member, as fiscal advisor to the Luxembourg Finance Ministry under Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker (now President of the European Commission) and to date as a member of two distinguished policy institutions, the OECD and the Atlantik Bruecke.

In this reprint of his 2014 article, Rick leveraged his past working relationship to Jean Claude Juncker to accurately predict the unprecedented tax policy success of the Juncker Commission.


Jean-Claude Juncker, president-elect of the European Commission, on September 10 announced the 27-member Cabinet for his five-year term that begins in November. Pierre Moscovici, France's former finance minister (2012 - 2014) under current French President Francois Hollande, has been named commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs. It will be interesting to see how Juncker and Moscovici influence EU tax policy, particularly in the digital economy. (Prior coverage)

Juncker has organized his Cabinet differently than his predecessors, dividing it into two levels consisting of seven vice presidents and 20 commissioners, respectively. The new structure is intended to facilitate greater cooperation and execution of policy across commission disciplines, including tax policy.

The vice presidents have been delegated issue-specific authority to work with the EU commissioners on multidisciplinary portfolios of commission competency. Mission letters addressed to each Cabinet member set the priorities and, in effect, the reporting lines for that Cabinet member's competencies.

With the September 10 announcements, Juncker is off to an impressive start in setting well-defined priorities for his Cabinet. In some cases, there are already timelines for the delivery of policy plans. The mission statements reflect confidence in Juncker's choice of priorities and the selection of his team, and a no-nonsense urgency for that team to work together in collaborative ways -- not so common for past Cabinets -- to deliver tangible results.

Juncker's July 15 Political Guidelines

On July 15, before his candidacy was approved by the European Parliament, Juncker published a paper...

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