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Europe Eurogroup meeting on 3 December 2018

At their latest meeting, eurozone finance ministers agreed on a number of important steps: Financial transactions will be taxed across the EU, with the revenue benefiting the EU. There will be appropriate taxation of the digital economy. Regarding reform of the euro, significant decisions were taken that will make the common currency and the European financial system even more secure and stable.

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After 16 hours of negotiations, the finance ministers of the eurozone countries reached agreement on a number of key issues in the early hours of 4 December 2018, making good progress in several areas.

The euro area members found a good compromise regarding the introduction of a financial transaction tax: In the future, financial transactions will be taxed, with the revenue benefiting the EU. A financial transaction tax based on the French model will be introduced EU-wide.

With regard to a digital tax, Germany reached an agreement with France that creates a basis for uniform taxation of the digital economy. It is hoped that the OECD will find a global solution by the summer of 2020. If it does not succeed in doing so, the EU will press ahead with its own approach. To this end, EU countries will develop a joint EU directive by March 2019. If a global agreement is not reached, the EU directive will enter into force in January 2021.

Regarding reform of the euro, the finance ministers agreed on key steps that will make the eurozone even stabler and more secure: The creation of a European Monetary Fund will make it possible to decisively react to crises at an early stage. There will be common rules for the resolution of banks that will prevent taxpayers having to foot the bill for bank failures. In addition, the eurozone will have its own budget, which will enhance cohesion within the currency area.