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C 304/146 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/217) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0686/98


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Council
(16 March 1998)

Subject: Taxation of energy products

The proposal for a Council directive restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products
− (COM(97)30 final − 97/0111 CNS) (1) allows Member States some freedom of manoeuvre with regard to the
technical definition of taxes on energy products, provided that these do not lead to distortions of competition
within the internal market.

Regrettably, no clear guidance is provided concerning tax neutrality, but it should be emphasized that experience
has shown that recently introduced taxes on energy are not offset by a corresponding reduction in the overall tax
burden.

Would the Council undertake, at the same time as adopting the directive in Council, to use any increase in tax
revenues to reduce the tax burden on labour? Given that it is mainly families that will bear the brunt of any
increase in minimum tax levels, it would be expedient to adopt compensatory measures in the social field, which
should primarily benefit people falling within the lowest income brackets.

(1) OJ C 139, 6.5.1997, p. 14.

Answer
(28 May 1998)

Article 1(2) of the proposal the Honourable Members cite provides that:

‘When implementing this Directive, Member States shall endeavour to avoid any increase in their overall tax
burden. In order to attain this objective, Member States shall endeavour in particular to reduce at the same time
statutory charges on labour.’

The Council’s subordinate bodies are currently examining this proposal. In this context the Council would
remind the Honourable Members that, under the terms of the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council
on Employment held in Luxembourg in November 1997:

‘Each Member State will set a target, if necessary and taking account of its present level, for gradually reducing
the overall tax burden and, where appropriate, a target for gradually reducing the fiscal pressure on labour and
non-wage labour costs, in particular on relatively unskilled and low-paid labour, without jeopardizing the
recovery of public finances or the financial equilibrium of social security schemes. It will examine, if
appropriate, the desirability of introducing a tax on energy or on pollutant emissions or any other tax measure.’

(98/C 304/218) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0693/98


by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(2 March 1998)

Subject: Implementation of operational programme for the tourist industry

In its answer to my Question No. H-0813/96 (1) concerning the implementation of the Greek operational
programme for the tourist industry, the Commission pointed out the low take-up rate of the relevant
appropriations and urged the Greek authorities to use up the remainder. Furthermore, it was awaiting the national
authorities’ final decisions and planning for the marinas and the integrated tourist development regions (ITDRs).

More than a year has passed since the Commission’s answer and the operational programme expires on
31 December 1999. Will the Commission, therefore, say:
1. what the current take-up rate is for the operational programme for the tourist industry,
2. whether the locations for setting up the ITDRs have been selected and what they are,
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/147

3. whether it has been decided what type of project will receive funding, and
4. whether funding will be provided for projects on public land only or on privately owned land as well?

(1) Debates of the European Parliament (October 1996).

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission


(23 March 1998)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its findings as
soon as possible.

(98/C 304/219) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0695/98


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(10 March 1998)

Subject: Pollution-related diseases

In connection with the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision adopting a programme of
Community action 1999-2003 on pollution-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field
of health (COM(97) 266 final − 97/0153 (COD)) (1) and in order to avoid pointless duplication of effort, can the
Commission check the consistency and complementarity between the proposed measures and those envisaged in
the Community action programme on health monitoring and other measures concerning pollution-related
diseases?

(1) OJ C 214, 16.7.1997, p. 7.

(98/C 304/220) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0696/98


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Pollution-related diseases

In connection with the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision adopting a programme of
Community action 1999-2003 on pollution-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field
of health (COM(97) 266 final − 97/0153 (COD)) (1), can the Commission present at least an outline of the
financial requirements for the period 2000-2003 and ensure that the budgetary authority meets these
requirements?

(1) OJ C 214, 16.7.1997, p. 7.

(98/C 304/221) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0697/98


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Pollution-related diseases

In connection with the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision adopting a programme of
Community action 1999-2003 on pollution-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field
of health (COM(97) 266 final − 97/0153 (COD)) (1), as regards the first specific objective of the action
programme (’improvement of information’) can the Commission demonstrate the importance of collecting
scientific data on the causal links between pollution and illness and the comparison and assessment of the
available data on causation in collaboration with the Member States?

(1) OJ C 214, 16.7.1997, p. 7.

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