On December 7, 2010 the Council of Finance Ministers of the European Union (ECOFIN) adopted a new draft legislation that provides for reinforced and more extended exchange of tax information among EU Member States to contrast international tax evasion. The new bill shall be formally presented in a future ECOFIN meeting and enacted into law as EU directive by the EU Parliament. At that point the EU Member States shall have to incorporate the new directive into their own internal legal systems so that the directive shall be generally enforceable throughout the EU.
The new directive shall eliminate the banking secret and shall prevent a Member State from denying the access to information in response to a detailed request coming from another Member State. From 2015, the exchange of information shall be automatic in at least five of the eight areas that are covered by the directive namely employment income, bonuses, dividends, capital gains, royalties, life insurances pensions and real estate.