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Brussels meeting for Channel Islands' Chief Ministers

13 January 2016

Jersey and Guernsey's Chief Ministers, Senator Ian Gorst and Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, have concluded two days of meetings in Brussels by holding a discussion with EU Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

The meeting with the Commissioner took place two weeks before the EU Commission publishes its Anti-Tax Avoidance package - and the Commissioner confirmed that the EU Commission sees Guernsey and Jersey as co-operative jurisdictions and partners of the EU on tax transparency.

Commissioner Moscovici said "I very much welcome the continued active engagement of Guernsey and Jersey in the key international initiatives for fighting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance, in which they are important partners of the EU. Their implementation of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information from the 1st January, and their support of the BEPS programme, alongside the EU Member States, are particularly noteworthy and reinforce their standing as cooperative jurisdictions.”

Senator Gorst said "I am pleased that the Commissioner has confirmed that Guernsey and Jersey are co-operative jurisdictions, and active partners of the EU in fight tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance."

Deputy Le Tocq said "Commissioner Moscovici made it clear that Guernsey and Jersey are co-operative jurisdictions, as well as effective partners and good neighbours to the EU, and I welcome that. The move to clear and consistent European standards in line with the G20 and OECD is one that we support."

Meetings also took place with:

  • the UK Ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers
  • the French Ambassador to the EU Pierre Sellal
  • the Slovak Ambassador to the EU, Peter Javorcik, to discuss priorities for their forthcoming Slovak Presidency of the EU from July 2016, following the Dutch Presidency
  • the Maltese Ambassador to the EU, Marlene Bonnici, to discuss priorities for their forthcoming Maltese Presidency from January 2017
  • MEPs from three Member States (the UK, Ireland and Germany) covering three different political groupings, and who are members of the Economic Affairs Committee and the Tax Committee

Issues discussed included the proposed tax package, including the implementation of the OECD’s anti-Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Actions; access for Channel Islands business to the EU market; and the prospects for the EU/UK reform negotiations.

Senator Gorst said "We have had a number of opportunities to discuss the future of the UK-EU relationship, which is of great importance. The Channel Islands need to be informed ahead of the UK referendum, as well as prepared for any developments after the UK referendum.”

Deputy Le Tocq said "We also pushed our case on the contribution we can make to the EU's Capital Markets Union initiative, and the importance of consistency and transparency in opening up the EU market to Channel Islands firms. As the KPMG Funds report showed last year, the Guernsey and Jersey finance sectors make a significant contribution to jobs, prosperity and growth in the EU as well as the in Channel Islands themselves."

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