Guernsey's Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, has met with Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.
Deputy Le Tocq's meeting, which was alongside Jersey's Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, came at the beginning of a series of engagements in Brussels.
Deputy Le Tocq said: "It is vital that we speak directly with the decision-makers of the still relatively new Juncker Commission. Meeting Commissioner Moscovici was important for two reasons – firstly, to enhance awareness and understanding of the Channel Islands, and secondly to understand future developments on tax co-operation. My message was that we are part of the European mainstream on tax transparency, and should be seen as partners, not problems, for the Commission. It was heartening to hear that that is indeed how the Commissioner also sees us."
Commissioner Moscovici said: "I very much welcome the active engagement of the Channel Islands in the key initiatives involved in the fight against tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance in which they are important partners of the EU. Their commitment to the adoption of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information, alongside the EU Member States, is particularly positive."
Senator Gorst commented: "I emphasised to Commissioner Moscovici the importance of using objective, international standards when assessing good governance by third countries such as Jersey and Guernsey on tax matters. The Channel Islands continue to meet the highest international standards on tax transparency, and it is positive that we are able to ensure that message is heard at the very senior levels of the European Commission."
Following this meeting, the Chief Ministers also met with the Dutch Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels, Ambassador Pieter de Gooijer, to understand the developing priorities for the Dutch Presidency in the first half of 2016.
The programme also included meetings with Ambassador Christian Braun, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, which holds the EU Presidency in the second half of 2015, and members of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and Special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE), including Alain Lamassoure MEP, Chair of the TAXE Committee. A meeting with Ambassador Ivan Rogers, Permanent Representative of the UK, also took place.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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