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Fighting Harmful Tax Competition through EU State Aid Law: Will the Hardening of Soft Law Suffice?

Edoardo Traversa, Alessandra Flamini

This article illustrates how the use of the State aid control instrument to fight against harmful tax competition evolved during the last eighteen years. All the major steps of this story are presented: from the parallel genesis of a Code of Conduct for business Taxation and of the Notice on the application of State aid rules to measures relating to direct business taxation, to the Gibraltar case, to the recent opening decisions on preferential tax rulings. Lastly, some open reflections on those decisions from a tax law point of view are presented.
Keywords: Fiscal State aid, Harmful tax competition, Selectivity, Gibraltar, Amazon, Starbucks


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