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Completion of project on European Law and the Spanish Tax System

Throughout 2022 and 2023 a total of 8 round tables were held with the participation of the authors of the different chapters of this work, alongside a long list of guests from the public and private sectors, who have exchanged opinions on the different matters analysed in this project, giving shape to the research promoted by Fundación Impuestos y  Competitividad. 

Finally, in October 2023 editing of the work undertaken on this subject matter was completed and in keeping with the interest of Fundación Impuestos y Competitividad in European Law and its impact on the Spanish tax system, several aspects of the relationship between two closely connected legal systems were analysed, it being evident that the impact of European Law, particularly EU Law, on the tax system of the Member States – including Spain- has grown significantly in recent years.

This greater influence results, on the one hand, from greater flexibility in achieving the necessary consensus for new legislative proposals, which was virtually impossible to achieve in the past. And, in parallel with this increase in EU regulatory activity, two processes in recent years have significantly affected the tax landscape: the activity carried out by the European Commission and subsequently by European jurisdiction due to the challenging of the relevant decisions on State aid in  tax, and as regards the field of freedom of movement in the internal market and the interpretation of European tax rules, the CJEU has established new jurisdictional criteria or clearly some pre-existing criteria in certain areas through judgements which in many cases, have had a very direct impact in Spain.

Without wishing to exhaust the subject, the work has comprised the study of the different ways in which European law impacts the Spanish tax system such that the book summarises this work and offers certain considerations on positive harmonisation, negative harmonisation, the general framework of European Law in Spanish Tax Law, the impact on competence in tax legislation and the application of European Law in Spain.

The conclusions and proposals for improvement presented are ultimately addressed in some cases, to the national authorities and in others  to the appropriate EU authorities, which in this case, may be of particular interest at a time when Spain holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council for the fifth time.