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Week Ahead (10 May)

Monday 10 May - Deadline for European Banking Authority (EBA) to send board minutes of meeting that handled the Pilatus Bank case to the European Ombudsman 

By today, the European Banking Authority must provide voting records and the minutes of a board meeting during which a decision was taken not to punish Malta for AML failings vis-à-vis Pilatus Bank, following a request by the European Ombudsman.  This will be the first step in an investigation which will also scrutinise why Denmark was not punished for similar failings vis-à-vis Danske Bank.  The investigation comes amid plans for the European Commission to launch a standalone AML watchdog.   

Wednesday, 12 May - Amazon/Engie Tax judgments due at EU General Court

The General Court of the European Union will rule on Wednesday on Amazon's appeal of the Commission's 2017 decision that it must pay €250 million in back taxes to Luxembourg. In October 2017 the company was found to have benefited from a Luxembourgish tax scheme which contravened state aid rules. The Commission said that Luxembourg had permitted Amazon to channel profits through a holding company tax-free, allowing it to avoid tax on three quarters of all profits booked in the European Union. Luxembourg also appealed the decision of the Commission to the General Court, saying that it did not confer a selective advantage to Amazon and so its tax treatment of the company was legal.

On the same day the General Court will rule on a similar appeal, brought by the French utility company Engie, over a Commission order that it repay €120 million to Luxembourg in back taxes.

Friday, 14 May - Central Statistics Office to release goods exports/imports data from March

The Central Statistics Office will release data on goods exports from and imports to Ireland for March on Friday. When compared to February 2020, the unadjusted value of goods exported from Ireland rose by €787 million, or 7%, this year. Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €1,183 million (+35%) to €4.572 billion in February 2021 compared with February 2020. This amounts to 37% of the value of total exports. As a reminder, The European Commission's winter 2021 economic forecast showed that Ireland was the only member state in which GDP grew last year.  The country recorded growth of 3%, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and Brexit, underpinned by strong performances in the pharmaceutical and medical exports sector. 

€650 million worth of goods were imported from the UK in February 2021, a fall of 53% on the February 2020 total. Exports to the UK also fell, by €107 million to €859 million in the same period. The EU accounted for €4.661 billion (38%) of total goods exports in February 2021 of which €1.437 billion went to Germany and €993 million went to Belgium.

Friday, 14 May - Democratic Unionist Party to elect new leader

On 14 May the DUP will elect its new leader, following the resignation of Arlene Foster two weeks ago.  Edwin Poots, the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Jeffrey Donaldson MP, the party's leader in Westminster, have announced their candidacies.  The choice of new leader will determine the party's policy on the key issue of the Northern Ireland protocol, which has sparked anger in unionist/loyalist communities since coming into effect in January 2021.

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