Federal Councillor Widmer-Schlumpf receives EU Commissioner Šemeta in Bern

Bern, 17.06.2013 - Today in Bern, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and EU Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta held talks on unresolved tax issues. In the area of business taxation, Switzerland reaffirmed its willingness to adjust certain tax regimes provided the EU dispenses with defensive measures against Switzerland. Regarding the automatic exchange of information, Finance Minister Widmer-Schlumpf stressed the importance of a global standard.

During the meeting in Bern, Finance Minister Widmer-Schlumpf and EU Commissioner Šemeta noted that substantial progress had been made in the dialogue on business taxation. According to the EU, it will be possible to continue the dialogue in the second half of the year. Switzerland expects the EU to dispense with defensive measures against Switzerland and to be fair.

EU Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta also discussed with Federal Councillor Widmer-Schlumpf the recently adopted mandate of the Council of Ministers regarding negotiations with third countries on extending the savings tax agreement in a bid to close loopholes. Switzerland has been willing to discuss such an amendment of the agreement since 2009, but it expects the EU to maintain access to its markets for financial services.

Regarding the exchange of information, the Swiss side reaffirmed that a global standard for the automatic exchange of information is necessary. The most suitable body for preparing this would be the broadly based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD.

Address for enquiries

Mario Tuor, Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
+41 31 322 46 16, mario.tuor@sif.admin.ch


Federal Department of Finance