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EU and Tax Sovereignty: Discussing the Role of the EU In International Tax Law Making


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


After the 2008 financial crisis and prompted by media reports about aggressive tax planning strategies used by MNEs, the issue of base erosion and profit shifting reached the top of the political agenda. We will analyse how the EU promoted policy standards on base erosion and profit shifting both internally and externally through the EU Anti-Avoidance Package, the EU Fair and Simple Taxation Tax Package and the Standard of Tax Good Governance.

In this course we will focus on the role of the EU as a standard disseminator by using the EU Standard of Tax Good Governance as a case study. This Standard was introduced by the ECOFIN Council in 2008 (amended in 2018) as a pre-condition for third (non-EU) countries that receive EU development aid, conclude strategic partnership agreements, free trade and economic partnership agreements. More recently, it has been used as a standard that determines whether the third (non-EU) country should be included in a single EU common (black and grey) list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. In general, this Standard consists of transparency, fair taxation, and internationally agreed standards developed by the OECD with the political mandate of the G20 to tackle base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) by multinationals.

This course welcomes interaction between different areas of law, public policy and international relations.

By addressing global tax governance, fair taxation and EU Tax Good Governance this course will contribute to raise students’ awareness of the imposition of global tax (and EU) standards to developed and developing countries.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed their research, exercise public speaking, leadership, presenting, academic writing, social skills (cooperation, working in groups).

By the end of this course the students will have integrated the above mentioned skills and knowledge about the challenges that the EU members and developing countries face with respect to implementing EU tax Standards.

In addition, students will have gained a basic understanding of how the EU intervene in the discussion of fair taxation.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Seminars: 7 seminars of 3 hours (total 21 hours)

  • Literature reading: 6 hours/week (total 42 hours)

  • Memorandum and presentation: 42 hours

  • Essay: 35 hours
    Presence and participation is mandatory

Assessment method

1) Memorandum (40%)
2) Presentation (20%)
3) Essay (40%)

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class
Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.

Partial grades will remain valid for one academic year. Should a student fail the overall course, s/he can complete the course in the next academic year. In cases of exceptional circumstances, a student may apply to the board of examiners for a resit to complete the course in the same academic year.

Reading list

  • Mosquera Valderrama, I. J. A new wind change in direct taxation. 20 Challenges for the EU in 2020’s. Special Issue German Law Journal.

  • Mosquera Valderrama, I. J. The EU standard of good governance in tax matters for third (non-EU) countries. Intertax.

  • Panayi, C. H. (2017). The Europeanization of good tax governance. Yearbook of European Law, 36, 442–495.

  • Bradford, Anu. “Exporting Standards: The Externalization of the EU’s Regulatory Power via Markets.” International Review of Law and Economics 42 (2015): 158–73.

  • EU Parliamentary Hearing 1 December 2020: Harmful Tax Competition: Single Market and Outside the EU. Organized by FISC Subcommittee in Tax Matters. • EU Parliamentary Hearing 1 December 2020: Harmful Tax Competition: Single Market and Outside the EU. Organized by FISC Subcommittee in Tax Matters. Link

  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Business Taxation for the 21st Century dated 18 May 2021 (COM (2021) 251 final

  • Oei, Shu-Yi. "World Tax Policy in the World Tax Polity? An Event History Analysis of OECD/G20 BEPS Inclusive Framework Membership." Yale Journal of International Law 47 (2021).

  • Collin, Matthew. “Does the Threat of Being Blacklisted Change Behavior? Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the EU’s Tax Haven Listing Process.” Working Paper, 2020.


The programme will register the students on Usis based on the group division. Use Brightspace for course information.


Prof. Dr. Irma Johanna Mosquera Valderrama
Professor Tax Governance, EU Jean Monnet Chair on EU Tax Governance, PhD Dean and Lead Researcher ERC GLOBTAXGOV Project, Leiden Law School


This course is an elective course designed for second year MIRD students.
This elective is conditional on at least 5 students registering for this course.