We need to have in mind that democracy is not a given; it is susceptible and fragile. Many societies of the European countries (and the US too) confirm the thesis that democracy is in crisis and the elite are desperately looking for the cure. How to stop populism and the threat of authoritarianism in Europe (and elsewhere)?
Posting of workers plays an essential role in the Internal Market and the cross-border provision of services. Simply put, posting of workers allows a worker from a sending country to work in a recipient country while observing regulations of the former.
The politicized use of EU funds distorts the motivation of market participants, impairs free competition, discourages an effective allocation of limited resources, incentivizes corruption, drives inflation in recipient countries and brings benefits primarily to particular interest groups rather than to all EU citizens.
The proposed restrictions to posting of workers disproportionally hit the poorer Member States from Eastern and Southern Europe. However, these countries should not push for retaliatory regulations to protect their home markets, but to block “equal pay for equal work in the same place” and further liberalise trade in services.
The VAT base in Poland has its weaknesses due to both domestic and EU polices. National authorities overuse reduced rates, making the VAT system too complicated and problematic for businesses while a zero rate on intra-EU trade incentivizes fraud.
The European Commission has launched a legislative initiative on cash payment restrictions aimed at exploring the rationale for the introduction of upper limits on cash transactions. LFMI presents its position on the issue of restricting cash payments as a measure to fight against criminal activity, terrorism and the shadow economy.
Possibility to set statutory VAT rate below 15% for a wider set of different goods and services may lead to lower effective VAT rates in various Member States. Therefore, countries, which have fewer exemptions and/or reduced rates, may maintain the same principles of taxation but lower their standard VAT rate.
As usual, the wording of this political declaration is vague and the purpose is unclear. Will it bring more flexibility to the EU economy and labor markets or will it make them more rigid? The whole text is permeated with the spirit of having your cake and eating it at the same time.
Unified tax rules can hardly contribute to trade liberalisation. A diversity of tax systems is not a roadblock for free trade. Quite the opposite, differences in tax systems might serve as a stimulus to trade. Taxes constitute a significant share of costs and a large share of the price of factors of production, labour in particular.
It is estimated that even though the sharing-economy now contributes only EUR 28 billion to the EU economy per year it can grow to up to EUR 572 billion per year. In order to use as much potential as possible, both the EU and its Member States have to implement a regulatory model that is flexible and applicable to different business models.