French Presidency​ offers compromise proposal to Pillar Two directive, countries withhold support

Finance ministers from Sweden, Poland, Malta, and Estonia have withheld their support for the compromise proposal on the Pillar Two draft directive introduced in December 2021. Although the proposed directive still lacks unanimous support, the lack of support from only four member states is an improvement over the previous Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting in January 2022.

In between meetings, France, which is currently holding the presidency of the EU Council, offered a compromise proposal on March 12. The compromise text extended the deadline to transpose the rules into domestic law to 31 December 2023. The deadlines for other rules were also extended. Since member states requested that the implementation of both pillars of the plan be directly linked, France suggested including a statement confirming the commitment of all member states to the ongoing process on Pillar Two.

However, speaking during today’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting (15 March 2022), the countries cited various concerns related to the timeframe (not enough time), and to the linking of the two Pillars (work and schedule of both Pillars need to be linked).

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire remains optimistic that an agreement is reached by the next ECOFIN meeting on 5 April 2022.