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IN his recent letter headlined ‘EU taxing issue’, Brian McDermott claimed that article 311 of the Lisbon Treaty will give the EU power to establish new categories of own resources and therefore power to raise an EU tax.
This is not correct. The EC treaty currently provides that member states may agree unanimously to provide for mechanisms to raise the EU budget. This arrangement is continued by the Lisbon Treaty under Article 311.
In its recent judgment on the treaty, the German constitutional court held that article 311 “will still have to be understood as a statement of intent regarding policies and programmes which does not establish a competence”.
Finally, the guarantees provided to Ireland in June state that “nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon makes any change of any kind, for any member state, to the extent or operation of the competence of the European Union in relation to taxation.” This could not be clearer. Lisbon does not change the position of either the EU or Ireland on matters of taxation.
Chairman Solicitors for Europe
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