Taxation and workers’ mobility discussed at the Informal ECOFIN Meeting in Bucharest

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna attended the Informal Meeting of the Economic and Financial Council in Bucharest on 5th and 6th April. The meeting was preceded by a Eurogroup meeting where the finance ministers held an exchange of views with the Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Robert Gualtieri and were debriefed on the developments related to the Banking Union by the Chair of the ECB’s Supervisory Board Andrea Enria and by the Chair of the Single Resolution Board Elke König. The ministers also discussed the governance features of the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness, which forms part of the workstream to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union.


During the working session of the Informal ECOFIN Meeting, the ministers held an exchange of views on the EU mobile workers and the challenges posed to public finances. During the debate, Minister Scicluna remarked that Malta’s experience in this regard had been overall positive, although a number of challenges have to be faced. Remittances, especially to non-EU countries, are meeting some difficulties in view of the banks’ de-risking measures.

The ministers also discussed the role of taxation in supporting economic growth. Minister Scicluna said that there is no such thing as a good tax which supports economic growth. In fact, any discussion on taxation should be in the context of incurring the least damage to economic growth. Taxes, especially new ones, have to be closely evaluated as to their economic impact. Similarly, cross-border taxation including a change to corporate taxation must be discussed at the global level through international fora such as the OECD.

Other topics discussed at the informal ECOFIN meeting included the priorities for the next Institutional cycle of the EU and the way forward for the Capital Markets Union.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri. The Central Bank of Malta was represented at the meeting by its Governor Dr Mario Vella and the Deputy Governor Alexander Demarco.

7th April 2019


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