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European Commission Facilitates Free Mobility for Work

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The European Commission has undertaken the initiative to combat tax discrimination affecting the mobility of EU citizens.

Specifically, each member-state’s tax provisions will be scrutinized in order to ensure that they do not contain any form of discrimination against EU citizens who are moving for work purposes. The examination will expand to both economically active and inactive individuals, such as employees, self-employed people and pensioners.

According to the Commission, mobility has proven to be a determining factor for development and increase of employment in Europe.

However, taxes remain one of the main factors that prevent EU citizens from leaving their country and looking for work in another member-state. Problems with taxes may arise either in the country of origin, or the country of residence.

In 2014, the European Commission will proceed to thoroughly evaluate all member-state’s tax systems to determine whether they pose problems for European citizens traveling within the EU. If any discrimination or violations of fundamental EU freedoms are found, the Commission will notify national authorities and invite them to make any modifications necessary. If the problem is not solved, then the Commission will be forced to launch infringement procedures against the member-states concerned.

Since taxes still remain a problem for cross-border mobility, the Commission will attempt to surpass all obstacles for EU citizens by eliminating double taxation, improving the enforcement of EU citizens’ rights concerning free mobility for work, or increasing the protection of secondment employees.

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