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International Economic Observatory

Since its creation in 2017, the Fide International Economic Observatory has focused on the analysis of international tax initiatives (preferably originating from European institutions but also those coming from the OECD or the United States), with the aim of creating a bridge between international institutions, especially the European Commission and the Spanish Administration and the private sector, where incipient legal initiatives, good practices, problems and possible solutions, concerns and concerns of both parties can be discussed (both from the EU and from the administration and the Spanish private sector) and, in general, to promote a constructive debate with the aim of reaching a better understanding and a more fluid relationship on both sides, which may allow the Spanish reality to be more present at the time of legislating.

The sessions are attended by professionals from European institutions, the Spanish public administration, professional firms and companies. 

Patricia Lampreave Marquez

Director.
Accredited Professor of Financial and Tax Law. Former policy officer (on-leave) in fiscal state aid, DG competition, European Commission. Member of the Academic Council of FIDE.

Jesús Gascón Catalan

Director.
General Director, Tax Agency. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Eduardo Gracia Espinar

Director.
Managing Partner of the Tax Practice, Ashurst LLP. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Publications

Discover all the publications, session summaries and other documents related to the activity of this forum:

24 September 2019

Speaker: Jorge Ferreras Gutiérrez, Coordinator Finance Counselor. Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union

Moderator: Patricia Lampreave Márquez, Accredited Professor of Financial and Tax Law. Former policy officer (on-leave) in fiscal state aid, DG competition, European Commission. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Summary: 

The president-elect of the European Commission sent the mission letter to the candidate for Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni with the lines to be followed in the next 5 years in terms of Taxation.

The session focused on analyzing the challenges that arise in the different fiscal areas, taking into account the current situation.

20 November 2019

Speaker: Jose Luis Buendia Sierra, Lawyer and Partner at Garrigues, Brussels, and Visiting Professor of State Aid, King's College London

Moderator: Patricia Lampreave Márquez, Accredited Professor of Financial and Tax Law. Former policy officer (on-leave) in fiscal state aid, DG competition, European Commission. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Summary:

In recent years the European Commission has classified certain incompatible State aid as "Tax rulings" adopted by the tax authorities of countries such as Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands or Belgium in relation to multinational groups such as Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, Fiat, Engie or McDonald's among others. The Commission has also ordered those states to require beneficiary companies to pay underpaid taxes with interest. From a political point of view, the Commission has placed great emphasis on these decisions, linking them to the broader context of the fight against the erosion of tax bases. The companies and Member States concerned, for their part, filed actions for annulment, in which various aspects of the legal analysis of the decisions were questioned in the light of State aid law. The recent judgments of the General Court of the EU in Starbucks, Fiat and Belgium v. EC have confirmed one of those decisions, but have annulled two others. In doing so, they have ruled on legal issues such as the advantageous nature of tax rulings in light of the "Arm's lenght principle", the relationship between the advantage and its eventual selective nature, the burden of proof and the intensity of judicial review, the need to examine the various tax rulings individually or the possibility of ruling on them as a single aid scheme. It therefore seems appropriate to analyze the reasoning used in the judgments and try to understand their implications for the future application of the State aid rules in the tax field.

25 November 2019

Speakers:

  • Juan Lopez Rodriguez, Legal affairs direct taxation, TAXUD / D3.
  • Marcos Alvarez Suso, Deputy Director General of Legal Organization in the Inspection Department, AEAT

Moderator: Eduardo Gracia Espinar, Managing Partner of the Tax Practice, Ashurst LLP

Summary:

The so-called "Danish Sentences" (C-115, 118 and 119 and C-299/16) have once again brought up, with a novel approach, the scope of the community and national anti-abuse regulations regarding the exemption at the source of the dividend, interest and royalty payments within international corporate groups mostly controlled by non-EU investors.

After the months that have passed since its publication and given the controversy that its conclusions have generated in the various areas affected by this regulation, the objective of the session was to know the most current state of the matter from the perspectives of the Commission and the Agency and discuss their interpretation among all attendees.

21 January 2020

Speaker:

  • Alfonso Church, Partner, Cuatrecasas

Moderator: Ignacio Díez-Picazo, Professor of Procedural Law, U Complutense University of Madrid. Lawyer. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Summary:

International construction arbitration is considered a subspecialty of international commercial arbitration. On the other hand, a relevant percentage of commercial arbitrations deal with infrastructure and engineering projects. The session discussed some of the characteristics that, both from a material and procedural-arbitration point of view, give international construction arbitration a certain personality.

March 2 2020

Speakers:

  • Jesús R. Mercader Uguina, Professor of Labor Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Counsel of Uría Menéndez. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.
  • Juan Antonio Lascurain, Professor of Criminal Law, Autonomous University of Madrid

 

Moderator: Carlos Espósito, Professor of Public International Law, Autonomous University of Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of Fide

Summary:

We convened two leading experts in Criminal Law and Labor Law to analyze the EU Directive 2019/1937, of October 23, 2019, on the protection of people who report violations of Union Law, whose transposition period ends at the end of December 2021. In this first approximation to the Directive on whistleblowers, we mainly talked about the matters it covers, the information channels and, in general, the obligations it imposes on the States.

13 January 2020

Speaker: Luis Cortezo, Partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in the Litigation, Insolvency and Arbitration area in the Madrid office

Moderator: Luis Sanz Acosta, Magistrate of Section 28 bis of the Provincial Court of Madrid. Professor of Commercial Law, Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid. Member of the Academic Council of Fide

Summary:

The request and practices of the test of the interrogation of the parties and testimony, presents many doubts when one of the parties is a legal person.

The reality is that the casuistry presented by art. 309 and is of the ritual standard. Many companies have difficulties when it is not entirely impossible to make their legal representative appear, giving rise to the controversial figure of the "attorney-in-fact to acquit positions" and this generates many practical problems.

Furthermore, in most cases the legal representative did not personally intervene in the controversial legal relationship and this entails a whole series of identification obligations and collaboration with the Court to enable the development of the evidence. Thus we will analyze: the indication of the person who intervened In what capacity is it? What are the consequences of its lack of indication? Is it necessary to request the court summons? How does the fictional confession operate in these cases?

Likewise, the exceptional privilege granted to public legal persons by art. 315 LEC for your written statement raises interesting questions when requesting and developing the test or how to cross-examine.

Finally, the statement of the employee of the mercantile companies as a witness forces us to reflect on aspects such as the blemish or the greater or lesser credibility that is granted by the probative assessment of our Courts.

March 3 2020

Speakers:

  • Patricia gabeiras, Founding Partner of Gabeiras & Asociados
  • Eduardo Villellas, Partner of the Litigation and Arbitration department of Deloitte Legal

Moderator: Miguel Guerra, Director of the Revista Sepinnet Enjuiciamiento Civil. Member of the Academic Council of Fide

Summary:

The counterclaim has been defined as the new claim that is accumulated by the defendant to an ongoing process and constitutes a possibility, not an obligation.

Now, do we know your requirements? Is the implicit counterclaim allowed in any case? What is the degree of connection required with the main claim? How does your approach influence the setting of the amount and delimitation of the object of the entire process? Does it open the way of resources? Do we know their differences with both legal and judicial compensation? The procedural rule does not require a counterclaim when the defendant is limited to requesting acquittal, but is it enough to answer when defensive allegations are introduced that cover up petitions and that may have effects in subsequent processes given the effect of res judicata? These and other questions have been answered in this session.

Academic coordination: Victoria Dal Lago Demmi

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