History and Future of EU Taxation according to Frans Vanistendael: Inspiration for a Constructive and Critical Dialogue

This contribution deals with the history and future of EU taxation based on Frans Vanistendael’s legacy on European tax law, especially on his view on the history and future of EU taxation as expressed in numerous speeches and articles, analysing and commenting on developments in EU taxation and, in his eyes, challenges, unwanted standstill situations and obstacles. Vanistendael’s publications show a constant drive: he was concerned about the deficient decision-making process in the European Union mainly because of the requirement of unanimity for decisions affecting taxation. Also, he tirelessly pointed at the tax deficits that are obstacles to achieve an internal market and, after the introduction of the euro, an effective and sustainable economic and monetary union. In this respect, Vanistendael consistently criticized the failures and weaknesses of the main European institutions – the Council, the Commission, the European Parliament and the ECJ. The present war between Russia and Ukraine proves that we need the European Union more than ever to safeguard the European way of life and to defend ourselves against totalitarian regimes that deny and despise democracy, human rights and the rule of law.