During the ECOFIN Council of 3 December, the EU’s finance ministers again failed to reach a compromise on the proposed taxation of energy products. Germany is the only country still opposing the Danish Presidency’s compromise proposal, which needs unanimity to be adopted.
The main outstanding issues are the following:
- the possibility to set national levels below the minimum: Member States would be allowed to apply zero taxation for energy-intensive businesses and 50 per cent of the minimum levels for businesses that are not energy-intensive;
- the arrangements for the use of diesel oil: especially controversial here is the reduced rate some countries provide for their road haulage industry;
- the taxation of energy products and electricity for the agriculture, horticulture and forestry;