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The PPKE Enak Research Centre of European and International Tax Law has been created within the structure of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University after the accession of the Hungarian Republic to the European Union. The Centre arises from the need to contribute to the study of more stable foundations of democracy and to a greater consolidation of the constitutional state and the rule of law in the new Member States of the European Union.

In this sense, the study of tax law from a European and international perspective is a commitment that concerns the relationship between the State and individuals, a subjective link that connects individuals not only to their own state of residence, but also to Europe, to a Europe made up of people and cultures, which, we hope, can become a common ground for all legal systems.

The PPKE Enak Research Centre of European and International Tax Law wishes, therefore, to offer to universities, public bodies and tax authorities, chambers of professions and entrepreneurial organizations, students, scholars and professionals alike a profound reflection of methods and research concerning tax matters in their delicate relations to social life and economic planning.

Consequently, the objective of the PPKE Enak Research Centre of European and International Tax Law is:

to conduct research on tax issues, with particular regard to European and international tax law, having as reference points the tax authorities of all the Central and Eastern European countries, the European Commission and the OECD;

to make research in the field of applied taxation, with particular regard to issues and cases inherent in European and international tax law, having as reference points economic and financial institutions of a private nature and medium- and large-size companies with international vocations;

In particular, the research activity will concern the basic themes inherent in the direct taxation of the single European states and the problems regarding transnational under-taxation and transnational double taxation.
All research activity is aimed at the study of European Tax Law and the Tax Law of Europe.

Our intention is, first, to clarify the distinction between, on one side, the provisions contained in the national law systems that regulate fiscal issues on a national level and form a Tax Law corpus of rules on European matters, and, on the other side, the existence in Europe (meant as a whole of national tax systems lead ad unum) of a system of common tax laws, not governed by a legislative text issued by a body with legislative powers, but arising from the simultaneous presence of juridical institutes within the national tax laws. This rendering them one of the sources of the European Corporate Tax Law system. The distinction between "Tax Law corpus of rules on European matters" and "European Corporate Tax Law" echoes the former distinction made in the international law branch between “Diritto Internazionale Tributario” and “Diritto Tributario Internazionale” drawn by M. Udina. The author, in his analysis, focusses on the nature of "Diritto Internazionale Tributario" which is part of the wider International Administrative Law and, more specifically, of International Financial Law. The rules belonging to the branch of "Diritto Tributario Internazionale" are part of the internal tax laws and deal with the international aspects of internal tax law.

Moreover we would like to underline the distinction between European Corporate Tax Law and Community Corporate Tax Law.

It is evident that Community Corporate Tax Law is not a common, collective law system, but is a corpus of laws whose source can be found in the “concurrent legislative powers” proper of the European Community, on the basis of the EC Treaty and in application of the principle of subsidiarity. With regard to “concurrent legislative powers” we refer to the in-depth analysis carried out by A. D’Atena , which assimilates EU Regulations and the German „konkurrierende Gesetzabung” as well as EU Directives and the so-called Italian „concurrent competence” (competence divided horizontally by subject and vertically by discipline).

We underline also that typically, the direct taxation system of common law countries differs substantially from that of civil law countries. Furthermore, in analysing the single tax systems contained within these two legal systems, notable differences can be found from country to country.

In the ambit of corporate income taxation, the tax systems of each State are composed of legal institutions that share similar characteristics, but that may, however, vary according to the legal system within which they are present.

In comparing the different tax systems it is useful to verify the existence of these legal institutions.

Indeed, from a comparative viewpoint, it is interesting to examine how these legal institutions have been adopted. However, our considerations go beyond merely comparing the status quo, and seek to identify the rationale behind this evolution and the outcome of future developments.

On the basis of these considerations, the activity of the PPKE Enak Research Centre will be aimed at studying the legal institutions that form the basis of European Tax Law and will focus on, in particular:

the principle of subsidiarity with regard to fiscal matters in Community law and the role of the European Court of Justice in influencing the legislation of the single Member States;

the principle of non-discrimination;

the relationship between European Tax Law and the international conventions concluded by Member States for the avoidance of double taxation;

the relationship between European Tax Law and regional agreements on cooperation (WTO, etc.);

the transnational taxation of income in the single Member States.

Budapest, 16 November, 2006

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