Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is “very satisfied” with the clarifications he obtained on Friday concerning the tax on financial transactions (known as the Tobin tax) with his European colleagues. “Mission accomplished: I did what I promised the Federal Parliament by asking for clarification from my European colleagues”, the prime minister said to the Belga agency at the end of the meeting.
Usually, the case is addressed by the finance ministers of the countries that negotiate this tax. The addition of the item to the agenda of the summit was the subject of intense negotiations.
The Prime Minister reminded his peers that Belgium was not blocking the process, as opposed to the “bad process” that was being attempted.
Only the French President, Emmanuel Macron, spoke after the intervention of Mr. Michel. He reiterated his support for this 0.1% tax on equity and bond transactions and 0.01% on derivatives and expressed the wish that it include more countries. Currently, ten countries are engaged in the negotiations that were launched in 2013.
The debate on the Tobin tax must, however, be linked to debates on Brexit and access to financial markets, according to the French president. This could therefore postpone the prospect of an agreement on the Tobin tax at the end of negotiations on the United Kingdom’s exit from the Union.
The Prime Minister plans to put the subject on the table when he meets with the French president during the summer.