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The Limits of International Fiscal Coordination

Time, place and topic were in keeping with each other: In London, on the date Brexit had been due at the end of March 2019, leading jurists, accounting scholars and economists from academia, business and government gathered to discuss the challenge to fiscal coordination presented by the recently observed rise of unilateralism.

The multidisciplinary conference was jointly organised by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance and the  Norwegian Centre for Taxation.

The diversity of the attendants background was also reflected in the topics discussed which ranged from the repercussions of Brexit on tax competition to policy coordination in the area of digital taxation. The problem of international tax avoidance by large companies was on the conference’s agenda as well as identifying potential policies able to address this issue. Other presentations illustrated how to improve on global tax coordination and presented an outlook on potential policies following the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting agreement.

The conference was concluded by a Panel discussion led by Prof. Dr. Kai A. Konrad, Director at the MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Clemens Fuest, President of the ifo institute for Economic Research in Munich,  Dr. Giorgia Maffini, Senior Manager Transfer Pricing at PwC, Ludger Schuhnkecht, OECD Deputy Secretary-General, and Dr. John Vella, Associate Professor of Taxation in the Faculty of Law at Oxford University debated the threats to international fiscal policy coordination. The panelists agreed that the global tax system would need to undergo systemic changes in order to keep up with the challenges presented by rising unilateralism.                  Laura Arnemann