During an informal video conference on 25 February 2021, a majority of EU Member States (through their Ministers of Internal Market and Industry) expressed support for the compromise text of a proposed Directive on public country-by-country reporting (pCbCR). The disclosure of certain tax information by undertakings and branches is now supported by 15 Member States, including the current Presidency (Portugal) as a non-tax matter that requires a ‘qualified majority’ of votes to proceed.
While the Council obtained a legal interpretation that it was a tax measure that would require unanimous support, Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs has concluded that the proposal is essentially a transparency and disclosure provision - this informal debate suggests the matter will be brought to a head soon. According to the Commissioner responsible for the file, the compromise is technically mature and can serve for entering into trilogue negotiations. Next, the text will be sent to the committee of permanent representatives (the ‘Coreper’) to formalise the decisions that have been taken as part of this process and get a mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament.