EU to pursue web tax plan alone if no global accord: Gentiloni

EU Commissioner-designate for Economy Paolo Gentiloni poses for a photo during a seminar of the new European Commission designated executives at the Chateau du Lac hotel in Genval, Belgium, September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

MILAN (Reuters) - The European Union plans to introduce a tax on digital services even in the absence of a global accord on a so-called ‘web tax’, the Commissioner-designate for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni was quoted as saying on Monday.

“My first task will be to see whether it is possible to introduce a web tax at the OECD/G20 level, that is to say at a global level, because that would be the most effective solution,” Gentiloni, a former Italian prime minister, told daily La Stampa in an interview.

“The Commission will seek to reach an accord by 2020 but if that’s not possible my mission will be to propose a European web tax ... we’re not prepared to wait,” he added.

Gentiloni said he would also oversee European efforts to harmonize corporate taxes across member states and review the bloc’s current regulation on energy taxation.

He praised the European Central Bank’s monetary policy adding, however, that it would not be enough to counter a slowdown in the European economy.

“We also need economic and budget policies that drive growth,” he said.

Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman