María José Garde elected as chair of the code of conduct group

The Council preparatory body that oversees the implementation of the EU’s code of conduct on business taxation has elected a new chairperson.

María José Garde (Spain) will take up the position on 5 February 2023 for a period of two years. Appointed at the group's meeting today, she replaces Lyudmila Petkova (Bulgaria), who had chaired the group since 2019.

Ms Garde is Director General of Taxation at the Ministry of Finance in Spain. She has extensive work experience in international taxation. She also served as chair of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.


The code of conduct addresses harmful tax competition, tax evasion and tax avoidance in the EU. It is a political, intergovernmental commitment by member states to monitor possibly harmful tax measures in the EU member states and remedy tax measures that could be harmful to the tax bases of other member states. The Council's code of conduct group, established in 1998, consists of high-level taxation experts of the member states.

Its work also has an international dimension: the code of conduct group aims to promote effective changes in respect of worldwide tax good governance through cooperation. It also carries out the technical work, screening and assessment leading to the regular revision by the Council of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. This EU list is regularly revised following an in-depth review of the implementation of commitments taken by all third-country jurisdictions that are part of the process.

The chair of the group, supported by the general secretariat of the Council and with the technical assistance of the Commission, is responsible for liaising with third-country jurisdictions on the EU listing process.