For five years, I formed a harmonious and friendly tandem at the European Commission with Margrethe Vestager, to fight as a team against fraud and tax evasion. She was able to open a breach by equating certain abusive tax incentives, certain aberrant situations, such as the ridiculous corporate tax rate applied to Apple in Ireland, to undue state aid, subject to competition law. I was able to get 20 directives voted to fundamentally modify applicable European law, improve transparency, and make intermediaries accountable.
Together, thanks to the support of Jean-Claude Juncker, we have been able to make Europe a world leader in this area, and respond to a citizen’s demand: that everyone pay their fair share of tax, that multinationals do not escape to their duty. The direct battles of Margrethe against the giants of the Net, which she has staged with talent, have, in particular, highlighted: I was delighted. So I know well the one the Trump administration has dubbed the “Tax Lady”. She knew how to impose a personality made of innovation, simplicity and skill.
A direct and sober style
To force large global companies to pay their fair share of tax, it had to open, or rather impose, a new page of European competition law: it did so with great finesse and authority, in creating a new jurisprudence, which I believe to be strong even if it is today
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