The concept of universal European unemployment insurance and common taxation rules are to become a key priority during Slovakia's presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins next month.
The announcement was made here by Slovak finance minister Peter Kazimir after meeting with Italian economy and finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan on Monday.
"Unemployment is one of the factors that gravely influence the potential for economic growth. We're not talking about a tool that could be abused or permanently employed by irresponsible countries, but about a combination of abiding by the rules and creating opportunities to unburden national budgets from expenditures linked to a rise in unemployment," explained Kazimir at a press conference following the meeting.
The finance ministers concurred the tax systems of individual EU-member states should not be in contradiction with each other and said they would jointly push for equal taxation.
Kazimir pointed out that despite the high degree of harmonised value-added tax (VAT) in the EU, there were still cases of massive tax evasion due to a lack of cooperation.
"Transparency and exchanges of information among tax authorities are key. The tax administrations of individual member states keep to themselves too much, and that's an obstacle to exchanges of information. Further harmonization of taxes could be achieved in the area of indirect taxation," explained Kazimir, saying he would address this.
Padoan added it was also crucial to reduce the costs of European trading companies, which often complain about high taxation as well as unnecessary bureaucracy.