Energy taxation discussed at the Informal ECOFIN in Helsinki

“While Malta is aware that the Energy Taxation Directive needs to be updated to reflect present day realities, and to help promote the use of renewable and clean energy sources, the removal of tax exemptions on aviation and shipping fuels will have serious repercussions on many member states, including Malta, unless tackled internationally. Ships will bunker tax-free outside the EU waters while new aviation taxes would hamper connectivity of peripheral regions.”


This was stated by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna during the Informal ECOFIN meeting which was held in Helsinki, Finland on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th of September.

At the Informal ECOFIN, the finance ministers also debated the resilience of financial market infrastructure and the role of the financial sector in countering hybrid threats, the next steps needed by the EU to enhance the Capital Markets Union (CMU) as well as the European Fiscal Rules.

Whilst discussing Fiscal Rules, Minister Scicluna remarked that there are elements of the fiscal framework which need to be reviewed – including the overreliance on unobservable indicators such as the output gap, and the complexity of the rules.

“However, changing the rules will not be enough. What is truly imperative is ensure that the rules are observed and properly enforced. If we do not address this core issue, the framework will remain weak.”

The Informal ECOFIN was preceded by Eurogroup meeting, where Ministers held an exchange of views on the quality of public finances, focusing in particular on public investment. During the discussion Ministers shared best practices in conducting spending reviews and their experiences on measures to boost the efficiency of public investment.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.


Saturday 14th September 2019


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