EU Freedoms, Non-EU Countries and Company Taxation: An Overview and Future Prospect

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Series Details Vol.21, No.5, October 2012, p233-247
Publication Date October 2012
ISSN 0928-2750
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Practice shows that the Member States of the European Union maintain a diversified range of economic relations with non-EU Member States. A large number of non-EU-based enterprises are carrying on business in the European Union. Conversely, numerous EU-based enterprises are also carrying on business outside the territory of the Union. Accordingly, trade and investment between Member States and non-Member States is nowadays similarly promoted by abolishing or reducing tax or other obstacles to international flows of goods, services and/or investment between the Member States and third countries.

One may recall in this regard the large number of economic integration agreements which the Union has concluded over the past decades with countries all around the world, such as countries in Eastern Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean countries and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states and which, to a greater or lesser extent, provide for liberalization of trade and investment between the Union and the respective non-Member State. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union itself also provides for a substantial degree of economic openness vis-à-vis third countries, particularly by means of the Treaty provisions relating to the free movement of capital. It is this unique legal relationship between the EU Member States vis-à-vis the rest of the world that this article takes as a starting point.

It examines and assesses the extent to which the impact on Member States' corporate income tax systems of the liberalization provisions included in the above instruments is similar, or should be similar, to the impact that the free movement provisions included in the Treaty have on Member States' corporate income tax systems in an intra-Union context.

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