Official Journal of the European Communities WRITTEN QUESTION E-4064/97 by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission (14 January 1998)
17. 7. 98
Subject: IRAP The Italian Finance Minister has brought in a new tax, ‘IRAP’, which does not exist in any other European country. It is calculated not on the basis of revenue from production as in the rest of Europe, but on the basis of the costs incurred in production, including labour and investment costs. Can the Commission assess whether this may obstruct the attempts at fiscal harmonization currently under way in the EU?
Joint answer to Written Questions E-4063/97 and E-4064/97 given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission (17 February 1998) According to the available information, the gross tax base for the new local tax called IRAP (Imposta regionale sulle attivita produttive) will normally include the sum of gross income from sales and services rendered by the ´ taxpayer. The IRAP net tax base could be different from net income as a consequence of the non-deductibility of certain categories of costs. The Commission would recall that, apart from the two 1990 directives 90/434/CE of 23 July 1990 on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States (1) and 90/435/CE of 23 July 1990 on the common system of taxation applicable in the case of parent companies and subsidiaries of different Member States1, there is no harmonisation at the Community level in the field of direct taxation. Any further step in this direction, even for an improved functioning of the internal market, requires a unanimous decision of the Council under Article 100 of the EC Treaty. Therefore, the Member States are substantially free to choose and design their systems of direct taxation, subject only to the condition that the general obligations arising from the Treaty, in particular those of nondiscrimination and equal treatment, are respected. On the basis of the question raised by the Honourable Member, these obligations do not appear at first sight to be affected by the introduction of the IRAP.
OJ L 225, 20.8.1990.
WRITTEN QUESTION E-4076/97 by Marie-France Stirbois (NI) to the Commission (14 January 1998)
Subject: Assistance to job creators Can the Commission supply a comparative analysis of the assistance and social security contribution exemptions which the various Member States make available to unemployed persons wishing to set up companies or work on a freelance basis? In its opinion, what impact do such heterogeneous arrangements have on competition?
17. 7. 98
Official Journal of the European Communities Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission (18 February 1998)
With regard to the aid schemes established by Member States to assist in the creation of self-employed activities, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its annual publications entitled ‘Employment Observatory. Tableau de Bord. Follow-up to the conclusions of the Essen European Council on employment policies’. With regard to the Commission position on the impact of these schemes on competition, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the documents it has published on this subject, namely the ‘Notice on monitoring of State aid and reduction of labour costs’ (1) and the ‘Guidelines on aid to employment’ (2).
OJ C 1, 3.1.1997. OJ C 334, 12.12.1995.
WRITTEN QUESTION E-4083/97 by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Council (15 January 1998)
Subject: Growth hormones The following questions are asked in relation to the hormone conflict with the USA: 1. What arguments did the EU bring with it to the appeal proceedings? 2. What is the substance of the scientific opinions submitted by the EU and with whom do they originate? 3. What arguments were advanced by which two of the scientists called by the WTO in support of the EU expert opinions? 4. What arguments were advanced by which three of the scientists called by the WTO in support of the EU expert opinions? 5. With what arguments did the panel members support their decisions for or against this or that opinion? 6. To what extent did the arbitration committee interpret SPS measures incorrectly? 7. What point is there in subjecting imports to the same health requirements as internal products when no health considerations apply under WTO rules? 8. To what extent can the SPS convention be expected to provide WTO treaty partners with opportunities to improve on existing international food standards?
Answer (11 May 1998) Under the EC Treaty, the Commission is responsible in this instance for representing the European Community in the WTO negotiations and therefore before the Panel and its Appellate Body. The Honourable Member’s questions should therefore be addressed to the Commission.