Lisbon (AFP)

The OECD proposal on the taxation of digital giants and multinationals has led to a "rapid and ambitious", said Thursday the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager.

"Usually, there is nothing to be optimistic when it comes to taxes (...) but as regards the taxation of the digital, the advance has been rapid and quite ambitious at the level of the OECD, "she told Lisbon on the sidelines of the Web Summit, a major European startup and technology show.

In mid-October, the G20 finance ministers in Washington paved the way for crucial and complex negotiations within the OECD on this issue, with the goal of reaching a global agreement by the month of June .

With this support, the OECD can start discussions with 135 states on its "unified approach" presented a week ago and based on three pillars determining the scope of the tax, its criteria and a legal guarantee for multinationals .

This proposal "was welcomed with a lot of enthusiasm, including outside Europe," said Margrethe Vestager, renewed in the new Brussels executive with the digital portfolio in addition to that of competition.

"I hope this will bring (to the OECD) enough support (...) so that we can reach an agreement, maybe next year," she added.

Otherwise, the Commission "will try to resume (its) work to allow taxation on a European scale also on digital companies".

According to the director of the OECD Center for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, who is also present at the Web Summit, "designing fundamental changes in such a short time is not easy and you do not have to be mistaken".

"But I think it's feasible because there is so much political pressure that countries want a solution (...) The subject is extremely political, people do not want to wait anymore," he said. in an interview with AFP.

The taxation of digital giants and multinationals is a major challenge to adapt global taxation to the digitization of the economy of recent decades. It would allow states to collect taxes even if the groups are not physically present on their territory.

© 2019 AFP