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March 2017

European Parliament says no to robot tax

In February, the European Parliament voted on a report with proposals for creating robot laws. A separate vote was conducted on the controversial passage suggesting to tax robots. The parliament rejected this idea - although by a small margin. EUnited Robotics welcomes the decision of the Parliament to vote against the idea of a robot tax. To tax production tools instead of the profits generated by those tools would have a negative impact on competitiveness and employment. Robot tax would be a job killer.

Prior to the vote, there had been intensive communication efforts: VDMA Brussels Office organized a Parliamentary Breakfast, EUnited Robotics was in dialogue with policy-makers and media - and produced a position paper on the draft report by the Legal Committee of the European Parliament on civil law rules on robotics. Nevertheless, the lawmakers’ recommendations/report contained in a resolution was adopted by the parliament by a large margin (396 to 123, with 85 abstentions). The adopted resolution contains a number of critical suggestions which mainly bolster bureaucracy with no clear sustainable benefits. 

The parliament’s resolution is not binding but seeks to push the issue of regulation of robotics up the agenda of the commission, which is responsible for proposing common rules for the 28 EU countries. The commission must respond to the resolution, even if it is to say it will not follow up on the recommendations or it will take up only parts of the recommendations. 

EUnited Robotics will continue its dialogue with European institutions and will keep you informed about the progress made.

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