Enlargement of the European Union: Opportunities for Business and Trade / Edition 1

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On 1 May 2004, almost 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the European Union was again enlarged. This time, 10 new member states have joined up: Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic enlarging the population to 450 million. The event sees the creation of the second-largest unitary market in the world (66% larger than the United States of America). The Enlargement of the European Union - Opportunities for Business and Trade is a practical guide, intended to offer a reference framework for businesses trading within the accession countries and also for businesses that do not want to miss out on the new opportunities. The book is split into three sections: -The first section outlines the new framework of the EU and how the enlargement will impact on business. It will answer questions on; migration of labour forces, border controls, European investment, economic changes and preparing business for enlargement. -The second section concentrates on the new legislation that has come into force in the accession countries since 1 May 2004 and includes practical illustration and examples. A list of Frequently Asked Questions looks at the impact of enlargement on a number of areas including proscribed state aids, intellectual property and human resources. -Finally, direct and indirect (VAT, customs and excise) taxation are also dealt with. Amongst the questions coming up for discussion here are: What are the corporation tax rates? Will the VAT rules in the 10 new member states (and in the other 15) be identical? What changes are there regarding customs and excise? And what transitional measures are there?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…rich in legislative and taxation matters.” (Insider, Scottish Business, September 2004)

“…the amount of fact and detail contained is staggering – the authors must be congratulated…” City to Cities, Jan/Feb 05

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470022535
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/20/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Van Denberghe joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1997 and was instrumental in setting up the US VAT practice. In 2001, he provided key MNC clients with a global tax service out of Ireland. From July 2002 Walter has operated outside of Belgium on international client assignments.
Walter is a chartered tax consultant and has advised clients on a wide range of subjects such as the practical implications for businesses of commissionaire structures, toll and contract manufacturing across Europe and compliance systems.
Walter lectures on international VAT issues at open seminars and for PwC's clients.

Ine Lejeune, partner, leads PricewaterhouseCoopers' European Indirect Tax Network and Belgian EU Enlargement team. She has advised companies in all industries and delivered projects including commissionaires, contract manufacturing and shared services centres in EU and non-EU countries. Cost reduction, cash flow improvement, compliance, automation (e.g. configuration of ERP), digitisation (e-invoicing & e-archiving) and risk management are focused on.
She has advised on several cases referred to the European Court of Justice and has led projects performed for the European Commission. She advises the European indirect Tax Group (EiTG), a group of indirect tax experts of MNCs. Ine is a law graduate of Ghent University (Belgium,1984) qualified in tax. She has been Guest Professor at Antwerp University since 1996. She is co-business chair of the OECD's Informal Consultation Group on the Standard Audit File and has written many articles and books.

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Table of Contents




1. Enlargement of the European Union: Facts and Figures.

1.1 Enlargement – an historic opportunity.

1.2 How did the European Union come about? An historical overview.

1.3 How has the enlargement process gone since the fall of the Wall?

1.4 What were the criteria for accession? The council meeting in Copenhagen on 21–22 June 1993.

1.5 What was the enlargement strategy?

1.6 What are the 31 chapters of the “acquis communautaire”?

1.7 Were transitional measures granted prior to accession?

1.8 Are the candidate member states prepared?

1.9 What economic changes will there be in the accession countries?

1.10 Through which programmes is the European Union investing in the candidate member states?

1.11 What is the European Union’s budget after accession?

1.12 The European Union of 25 in figures.

1.13 Are entrepreneurs investing in the new member states?

Source references for Chapter 1.

2. Frequently Asked Questions on the Impact of Enlargement of the European Union for Businesses.

2.1 What is the impact on the migration of labour?

2.2 What is the impact on the organisation of production and distribution?

2.3 Can I use the service of carriers from the new member states?

2.4 What about border controls?

2.5 Are these 10 countries joining the eurozone?

2.6 What will the impact of accession by the 10 member states be on major sectors within the European Union?

2.6.1 The steel industry.

2.6.2 The automotive industry.

2.6.3 The pharmaceutical industry.

2.6.4 Telecommunications.

2.6.5 The financial sector.

2.6.6 The chemical industry.

2.6.7 The textile and clothing industry.

2.7 Does Europe stimulate entrepreneurship?

2.8 What are the most important features of the European legislation on industrial production?

2.9 Will diplomas from the new member states automatically be recognised?

2.10 Can I directly invoke European law if a (candidate) member state has failed to implement a provision?

2.11 How do I prepare my business for enlargement?

2.12 ICT: status, opportunities and points to note?

2.12.1 What are the most important changes in the realm of ICT in the 10 new EU member states?

2.12.2 What opportunities does this situation offer for western European businesses?

2.12.3 What pitfalls do you have to watch out for when choosing your trading partners?

2.13 Are businesses ready for enlargement?

2.14 Where do you find the required information on enlargement of the European Union?

Source references for Chapter 2.

3. Enlargement of the European Union from a Legal Perspective.

3.1 What is the “acquis communautaire”?

3.2 The current status of implementation.

3.3 What can you as a business do where the “acquis communautaire” has not been or has only partially been implemented?

3.4 What is the importance of regulations and directives?

3.5 What does the “acquis communautaire” specifically contain?

3.6 What is the free movement of goods?

3.7 What is the prohibition against quantitative import and export restrictions and measures of equivalent effect?

3.8 What is the importance of product standards?

3.9 How can you know whether a member state has passed domestic measures that limit the free movement of goods?

3.10 Are there transitional measures in respect of the free movement of goods?

3.11 What is the second freedom: the free movement of persons?

3.12 What is the free movement of workers?

3.13 What is freedom of establishment?

3.14 What is the importance of the freedom of establishment?

3.15 What does this mean for companies?

3.16 Will the European Company or Societas Europaea be introduced in the accession countries?

3.17 Is there also free movement for persons other than businesses or workers?

3.18 What about public policy and public safety?

3.19 Are there any transitional measures regarding the free movement of persons?

3.19.1 Movement from the accession countries to the present member states.

3.19.2 Movement from current member states to the accession countries.

3.20 What is the third freedom: the free movement of services?

3.21 What about financial services?

3.22 Is adoption of the “acquis communautaire” in respect of financial services by the accession countries only of interest to financial service providers?

3.23 What about public contracts?

3.24 What other legislation is relevant for the free movement of services?

3.25 What is the fourth freedom: free movement of capital and payments?

3.26 Are there transitional measures for the free movement of capital and payments?

3.27 What is free competition?

3.28 What forms of cooperation between undertakings are permissible?

3.29 Are there exceptions to free competition?

3.29.1 Old rules.

3.29.2 New rules.

3.30 What is abuse of a dominant position?

3.31 Will there be checks on concentrations of undertakings in the accession countries?

3.32 What about public corporations?

3.33 Will state aids still be permitted in the accession countries?

3.34 Are there transitional measures that temporarily permit certain forms of state aid after accession?

Source references for Chapter 3.

4. Frequently Asked Questions about the Legal Impact of the Enlargement of the European Union.

4.1 Company law: I have a company in an accession country. Will there be any changes in my reporting or other company law obligations?

4.2 What about intellectual property rights in the enlarged European Union?

4.2.1 The impact of enlargement for holders of intellectual property rights.

4.2.2 The Community trade mark and the Community design.

4.2.3 The “acquis communautaire” in the field of intellectual property rights.

4.3 What is the impact of enlargement of the EU on the transport sector?

4.4 Will the transport market be liberalised as from 1 May 2004?

4.4.1 Intra-Community transport of goods.

4.4.2 Domestic transport or cabotage.

4.5 What rules on taxes and technical specifications in the transport sector fall within the “acquis communautaire”?

4.6 What social law rules from the transport sector form part of the “acquis communautaire”?

4.7 What transitional measures are there in the transport sector?

4.8 What is the impact of enlargement of the EU on the energy sector?

4.9 What is the “acquis communautaire” in the energy sector?

4.10 Do the European rules for the protection of consumers and public health apply in the accession countries as from 1 May 2004?

4.11 Are transitional measures applicable to the European rules on consumer protection and public health?

4.12 Is the European environmental legislation becoming a (r)evolution in durability?

4.13 Is a new environmental market being created for goods and services in the new member states?

4.14 What risks and opportunities are there in the environmental field if I invest in the candidate member states?

5. What is the Impact of the Enlargement of the European Union in the Field of Social and Employment Law?

5.1 Is there an “acquis communautaire” in the field of social law?

5.2 What changes are there in the field of social security law?

5.3 What social security legislation is a worker subject to?

5.3.1 What about nationals of third countries?

5.4 What about employment law?

5.4.1 Do employees from the new member states need a work permit?

5.4.2 Are there restrictions for the employment of EU workers in one of the new member states?

5.4.3 The secondment Directive.

5.4.4 Are other employment law Directives applicable?

5.4.5 General Directives.

5.4.6 Particular Directives.

Source references for Chapter 5.

6. What is the Impact of the Enlargement of the European Union in the Field of Indirect Taxation?

6.1 What changes will there be in the field of indirect taxation when goods are shipped from a current EU member state to one of the new member states?

6.2 What changes are there in the field of VAT in the accession countries?

6.2.1 Overview of the “acquis communautaire”: VAT (selected titles).

6.3 Does this mean that the VAT rules are identical in all the member states?

6.4 What changes are there for sales of goods?

6.5 What changes are there for the provision of services?

6.6 Is the case law from the Court of Justice also applicable in the new member states?

6.7 Are the VAT rates being harmonised?

6.8 Will there be a greater or lesser right to deduct VAT in the accession countries?

6.9 How far on are the new member states with the implementation of the Sixth VAT Directive? a stock-take.

6.10 What checklist can you use in order to prepare your business?

6.11 What changes are there in the field of VAT obligations?

6.12 What about the issuance of invoices?

6.13 Can I invoice electronically?

6.14 Will I be able to store my records electronically?

6.15 What impact does the altered legislation in the field of VAT have on my bookkeeping system and/or my ERP system?

6.16 What changes are there in the field of customs?

6.17 What regulations are applicable in the field of customs?

6.18 Are there transitional measures in the field of customs?

6.19 Will the new transit system (NCTS) also be applicable for shipments to the new member states?

6.20 What changes are there in the field of excise duties?

6.21 Are there transitional measures for excise duties?

Source references for Chapter 6.

7. What is the Impact of the Enlargement of the European Union in the Field of Direct Taxes?

7.1 What is the impact of accession?

7.2 What can a taxpayer do if an EU directive has not been transposed into the national laws of one of the new member states?

7.3 Is the Parent–Subsidiary Directive applicable?

7.4 Is the Merger Directive applicable as from 1 May 2004?

7.5 Is the Directive concerning mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the member states in the field of direct and indirect taxation applicable as of 1 May 2004?

7.6 Is the Interest and Royalties Directive applicable as from 1 May 2004?

7.7 What EU case law on direct taxation is also applicable to the new EU countries on 1 May 2004?

7.8 Is the EU Code of Conduct and the EU position regarding harmful tax competition also applicable in the new EU countries on 1 May 2004?

7.9 Can the European Union take action against state aids in the new member states as from 1 May 2004?

7.10 Will the European Company exist in all member states as from 8 October 2004?

7.11 Will there be a fiscal unity regime as from 1 May 2004?

7.12 Can you plan intra-group financing activities in a tax-friendly manner?

7.12.1 Self-financing by forming reserves of profits.

7.12.2 External debt financing.

7.12.3 Internal debt financing.

7.13 Is tax-friendly planning possible for intellectual property?

7.14 List of comparisons for corporate income tax in the new member states.

Source references for Chapter 7.


Standard complaint form.

PricewaterhouseCoopers EU enlargement contact details.


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