The European Commission adopted, on 9 November, a proposal for a new programme - Fiscus - designed to improve the effectiveness of national customs and taxation systems and to enhance cooperation in these areas. With a budget of 777.6 million for 2014-2020, it would finance projects addressing these needs.
The Commission's initiative forms part of the proposal for the EU's next multiannual financial framework presented last June.
Fiscus, if approved by the states and the European Parliament (at the end of 2012, hopes the Commission), will merge two separate programmes for taxation and customs into one.
It will incorporate and further develop the objectives of the two existing programmes: to protect the financial interests of the EU and its member states by strengthening the fight against fraud and tax evasion, to facilitate trade by reducing administrative burdens on companies that operate transnationally and guaranteeing the proper application of EU law, to block the entry of hazardous products into the EU, etc.
Everyone stands to gain from this effort, especially during this period of crisis, notes the Commission. "We will continue to protect our citizens, businesses and budgets, while improving our capacity to meet new challenges that may lie ahead," commented Algirdas Semeta, commissioner for taxation. …