AThe two-day G-20 finance ministers' meeting lacked in big words in Venice really not. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz spoke of a "historic" decision, his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire of a "chance of the century".
They are both right. The global Corporate tax reform, through which, according to the summit's final communiqué, a “more stable and fairer international tax architecture” is to be created, is historic and a chance of the century.
However, not because it may succeed in the one operated by individual states Tax race stop down. The real value of the agreement is different: The international community thus proves that, despite the countless regional conflicts and in parts contradicting worldviews, it is still able to unite to prescribe common goal.
The cooperation works, multilateralism, which has already been declared dead, is alive. The Americans in particular are back on the world stage after crippling years. You are not only in agreement with Germany and France on the tax issue, but also with Russia and China. That is the positive message that Venice is sending out.
A total of 132 countries under the umbrella of the industrialized countries organization OECD have now agreed across many borders on the main features of a reform through which the international tax rules are to be adapted to the - borderless - digital age.
Whether the reform will actually bring the hoped-for additional income that many countries are expecting is still completely open. Low-tax countries are already exploring how they can remain attractive as a location for large multinational companies in the future, despite the agreement. Much depends on how the upcoming detailed negotiations go - which is particularly tricky in tax law. The new regime will not come into force before 2023.
It can even fail, which would be fatal. Because that too Klimawandel is limitless and requires common answers. This is not about tax dumping, but about CO2-Price dumping. If the emission of climate-damaging greenhouse gases becomes more expensive in some countries, it must not be worthwhile for companies to move the emissions - and jobs - to other countries. There were also initial signs in Venice of closer cooperation on this topic.