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98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/75

(98/C 102/110) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2621/97

by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Council
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Cost of the new annual ‘Euro tax disc’

According to reports in the Greek press, the cost of motorway usage, i.e of a ‘Euro tax disc’, for the whole of the
EU is determined by whether or not the motor of the vehicle is ‘Euro’- standard and the number of axles.

The cost of the ‘Euro tax disc’ for lorries with up to three axles will be ECU 990 for vehicles not fitted with
‘Euro’- type motors, and ECU 840 and ECU 690 for ‘Euro I’- type vehicles and the even ‘cleaner’ ‘Euro II’- type
vehicles, respectively. For vehicles with four and more axles, the cost of the ‘Euro tax disc’ will be ECU 1 650,
ECU 1 400 and ECU 1 150, respectively.

It is clear from the above information that the charge for vehicles not fitted with ‘Euro’- type motors will be
extremely high, and the situation will be exceptionally difficult for vehicles from EU countries which are very
remote from the rest.

Will the Council say whether it intends to provide for a reduction − and, if so, on what scale − for heavy vehicles
from the particularly remote countries of the EU which have to bear the cost resulting from this geographical
distance, given that the idea of replacing the present stock of lorries with new, up-to-date and ‘clean’ lorries is
unrealistic, owing to the lack of incentives, an argument that applies with particular force to Greek road hauliers?

(10 November 1997)

The Council cannot prejudge the outcome of the ongoing discussions on the proposal for a Directive on the
charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (“Euro tax disc”) which is intended to
replace Directive 93/89/EEC, which was declared void by the Court of Justice on 5 July 1995.

The Council would like to point out, however, that the derogation from the user charges set out in Directive
93/89/EEC only allows for a temporary reduction in the rates of user charges to be granted to certain Member
States which are disadvantaged because of their limited economic development and their particular geographical
situation, aggravated in some cases by political conflicts in certain third countries.

(98/C 102/111) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2622/97

by Christine Oddy (PSE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: International exploitation of victims of Asian sex tourism

The European Conference held in Vienna on the Trafficking of Women was hailed a success and was
summarized in the Commission’s document ‘Communication on trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual
exploitation’ (COM(96) 567 final).

What developments have taken place that the Commission is aware of, particularly in relation to the
implementation of recommendations which include:
− improved facilities for the collection of reliable data and research;
− improved conditions for the dissemination of information between relevant authorities;
− increased cooperation and liaison with source country, governments, NGOs and human rights organizations;
− preventive action through the distribution of information to women in source countries who are potentially at
C 102/76 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

− devising systems to locate victims of trafficking in Europe, through the establishment of information
campaigns and assistance for victims;

− improving awareness training amongst embassy staff and immigration officers?

Answer given by Mrs Gradin on behalf of the Commission

(10 October 1997)

Since the transmission to the Council and Parliament of the Commission's communication on trafficking in
women for the purpose of sexual exploitation, adopted in November 1996, a number of actions have taken place.
The Council adopted, during the last semester of 1996 and beginning of 1997, four joint actions to combat
trafficking in human beings:

− the extension of the mandate of the Europol drugs unit (EDU) in the field of trafficking in human beings;

− the establishment of an incentive and exchange programme for combating trafficking in human beings and
sexual exploitation of children (STOP programme);

− the setting up by EDU of a list of centers of excellence;

− the joint action on trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of children aiming to strengthen the
Member States’ penal legislation in their fight against traffickers.

A number of the recommendations mentioned by the Honourable Member are being translated into concrete
projects financed within the framework of the STOP programme. Such projects cover, for instance, studies on the
improvement of reliable data and statistics, or studies on specific research work in the field of trafficking in
women and on the creation of databases or documentation networks storing lists of articles, publications and
legislation. STOP has also financed training seminars, involving judges, police and civil servants engaged in the
fight against trafficking in human beings. STOP could also be used in the field of awareness training amongst
embassy staff and immigration officers, as well as for information campaigns.

The new Daphne initiative set up by the Commission in June 1997 must also be mentioned as regards the
development of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) networks, and projects initiated by them in the field of
prevention, such as identification of victims and assistance to them.

The Commission has supported projects, such as information campaigns and reintegration schemes, in the
framework of specific provisions contained in agreements with source third countries involving the protection of
human rights and in particular the fight against trafficking and sexual exploitation.

In relation to the issue of Asian sex tourism, it has to be recalled that the Commission adopted in November 1996
a communication on combating child sex tourism. The overall strategy set out in this communication is twofold:

− on the one hand, reducing demand, in cooperation with the tourist industry and the NGOs concerned
(coordination of information and awareness-raising campaigns, strengthening of the industry’s codes of
conduct and self-regulatory mechanisms);

− on the other hand, addressing the sources of supply in countries of destination, using all appropriate means,
including the Community’s external relations and development cooperation policies.

The implementation of these proposals for action against child sex tourism has already been launched. Among
other initiatives, it has been decided to co-finance communication projects with the aim of combating child sex
tourism which are significant at European level or at least in terms of transitional cooperation. The related call for
proposals and call for tender have been published in the Official journal (1).

(1) OJ C 232, 31.7.1997.