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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EU-2021-21/1918 – measures in European Union

New EU business tax agenda welcomed by social partners

Country European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)
Time period Open ended, started on 18 May 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Other
Author Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound
Measure added 16 June 2021 (updated 29 June 2021)

Background information

The Communication on Corporate Taxation in the 21st Century aims to promote a sound, efficient and fair corporate tax system in the EU. It sets out both a long and short-term vision to support Europe's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure adequate public revenues. It is part of a wider EU tax reform agenda in the years to come.

It was welcomed by two leading EU social partners' organisations –the BusinessEurope and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) as a proper step towards rebuilding economy after the COVID crisis.

Content of measure

According to the Communication, firstly, the Commission will present by 2023 a new corporate tax framework in the EU that will reduce administrative burdens, remove tax obstacles and create a more business-friendly environment in the single market.

Second, a tax agenda has also been defined for the next two years of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, including measures to promote productive investment and entrepreneurship, better secure domestic revenues, and support the ecological and digital transformation. The measures will include:

  • Provide greater public transparency by proposing that some large companies operating in the EU publish their effective tax rates. Abuses related to the use of shell companies will also be combated by new anti-tax avoidance measures;
  • Supporting economic recovery by encouraging companies to finance their activities with equity rather than debt.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
EU (Council, EC, EP)
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Social partners were not directly involved, but had previously indicated the need to take similar steps.

Views and reactions

Supportive. The BusinessEurope stressed the need a modern corporate tax framework to overcome the current economic downturn, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Trade Union Confederation underlined that common rules for corporate tax across Europe, including those to neutralise the misuse of shell companies for tax purposes, will be crucial in paying fairly for the public investment needed for a real and fair recovery from the COVID crisis.


  • 18 May 2021: Corporate tax should support growth and investment (
  • 18 May 2021: Fair corporate tax crucial to Covid recovery


Eurofound (2021), New EU business tax agenda welcomed by social partners, measure EU-2021-21/1918 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.