The European heads of state and government focused on two main subjects: energy and taxation.
On energy, the leaders emphasised that supply of affordable and sustainable energy is crucial to support competitiveness, jobs and growth. They agreed on a series of priorities:
- the internal energy market should be completed by 2014 and interconnections developed in order for all member states to be connected to European gas and electricity networks by 2015
- significant investments in new and intelligent energy infrastructure are necessary to secure the uninterrupted supply of energy at affordable prices to households and companies
- the EU must intensify the diversification of its energy supply and develop local energy resources in order to ensure security of supply and reduce its external energy dependency
- work on the impact of high energy prices and costs must be taken forward. This includes work on energy efficiency and innovative financing methods.
On taxation, the leaders focused on effective ways to combat tax evasion and tax fraud. It is important to protect revenues and ensure public confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of tax systems.
The European Council called for rapid progress on a number of issues, setting automatic exchange of information as a priority, also at international level.
Other issues discussed were:
- taxation of savings income
- fighting VAT fraud, aggressive tax planning and profit shifting
- elimination of harmful tax measures
- combating money laundering, in the EU and globally
- challenges of taxation in the digital economy.
They also welcomed the agreement reached by the Ecofin Council on a negotiating mandate for strengthened savings tax agreements with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino.