The Chief Ministers of Guernsey and Jersey visited Brussels on 22-23 November 2017 for a programme of calls with key decision makers, organised by CIBO. These included the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici; the Permanent Representatives (Ambassadors) to the EU of Austria, Germany, Malta and Portugal; the UK Permanent Representation; and three Members of the European Parliament, Burkhard Balz, Wajid Khan and Kay Swinburne, all of whom are on the EP’s Economic Affairs Committee (ECON).
The meetings focused on the continued commitment of the Channel Islands to meet EU standards on matters of tax transparency and economic substance.
During the meeting with Commissioner Moscovici, the Chief Ministers reaffirmed the Islands’ willingness to engage with the EU on tax matters. Both Islands have cooperated fully with the ongoing screening process being undertaken by the EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation, and have provided detailed technical submissions to the Code of Conduct Group as part of that exercise.
Speaking after the visit, the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst, commented:
I am grateful to Commissioner Moscovici, MEPs Burkhard Balz, Wajid Khan and Kay Swinburne, and the Permanent Representatives for taking the time to meet with Deputy St Pier and myself. We greatly value the opportunity for frank and positive dialogue on the work that is being done in both Jersey and Guernsey on tax transparency and the exchange of information. In January 2016 Commissioner Moscovici described the Channel Islands as cooperative partners of the EU. We believe that our actions since then, and recognition by international bodies including the OECD, have further validated that description. Throughout all of our meetings in Brussels we have emphasised our commitment to maintaining that status as cooperative jurisdictions and good neighbours.”
The Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Gavin St Pier, said:
“It is important for decision-makers in Brussels to understand two things. First, how Guernsey and Jersey work as well-regulated finance centres that make a significant contribution to the EU capital market, supporting investment in EU infrastructure and businesses. Second, how we play our part in developing and upholding international standards, through our active involvement in the OECD Global Forum and the OECD’s BEPS Inclusive Framework. Our message in Brussels has been clear, unambiguous, and backed by our actions and by evidence – we are good and cooperative neighbours of the EU who make a positive contribution to the European economy. We can only make sure that message is heard by being here and engaging directly.”