Tax harmonization within the European Union is very difficult to achieve. Most legislative measures of the European Union in this area require the consensus of all 28 member states. The only real engine of harmonisation seems to be the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ itself cannot harmonize the tax systems, however, the Court can force the member states to open their tax systems for tax competition within Europe. The judgments delivered by the ECJ are most of the time very surprising, even to experts.
The course focuses on very recent judgments of the Court of Justice. By analysing some selected judgements, students should learn about the guiding principles of European tax law, as they have been developed by the ECJ on a case to case basis, and about the approach of the Court and the role the Court plays. Students should get an impression about possible future developments of European tax law.