For the Press

Tax Analysts Announces New Column: Letter From Europe

February 3, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the nonprofit provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today announced the launch of a new column, Letter From Europe, written by Frans Vanistendael, professor emeritus at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.


The monthly column will appear in Tax Notes International and Worldwide Tax Daily and will provide commentary on important tax-related developments in the European Union.

Vanistendael’s inaugural column, “Sense and Nonsense of the European Elections,” highlights the upcoming elections to the European Parliament. He notes that because the European Parliament has no final say on the European Union’s laws, many voters use the elections as a way to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with current policies without creating a national political crisis.

“Unlike other parliaments, the European Parliament cannot bring down the European government by a vote of no confidence because there is no European government. The power to govern is divided between the European Commission and the Council of Ministers,” Vanistendael writes. “The commission has the exclusive power to initiate European legislation. The council has the power to finally block or approve all legislation. The European Parliament must be consulted in the legislative process and it has the power to amend some legislation, but final approval is not within its power.”

Vanistendael has been a professor of taxation since 1972 on the law faculty of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and director of the European Tax College. He is the vice chair of the European Association of Tax Law Professors and has been a member of the Brussels bar since 1974. Vanistendael founded and was the first president of the European Law Faculties Association from 1995 to 1997, and was dean of the law faculty at KULeuven from 1999 to 2005. He also advised several finance ministers in Belgium and was a member of the Belgian High Council of Finance and of the Ruding Committee. He recently retired from his position as Academic Chairman of IBFD?.

The full column is available here.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shaima Cardillo at 703-531-4852 or