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C 304/60 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.


(98/C 304/83) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0248/98
by Allan Macartney (ARE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Child welfare in the European Union

What progress has the Commission made in promoting and monitoring the implementation of policies on child
welfare in Member States consistent with those set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? What
additional resources have been allocated at European level to assist Member States to meet their obligations
under that Convention?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(3 April 1998)

Through budget line B3-4108, measures in favour of families and children, the Commission has co-funded
limited activities since 1989 in the area of child welfare and the rights of the child. In recent years the allocation
to projects of that nature has been increasing. Among these are seminars on the new instruments for child
protection such as the ombudsmen for children, on how to have children formulate their voice, an
interdisciplinary course on childrens’ rights for people working with children or in governments or about how to
create a more children friendly society.

The allocation for budget line B3-4108 is 4 MECU this year. Apart from social and demographic studies which
account for around 10% of the budget, this amount is equally shared between actions for families and actions for
children. Some of the latter are directly connected to measures linked to the rights of the child and the United
Nations (UN) convention.

In the education sector, and further to the Council conclusions of 22 September 1997 on safety at school (1), the
Commission launched in 1997 an initiative ailed at reinforcing co-operation at the European level on issues
related to violence in schools and safety at school. Within this context, an amount of 558 300 ECU within budget
line B3-1000 (general measures of co-operation in education) was committed to support projects implementing
prevention shemes using multidimensional approach whereby different parties (teachers, pupils, parents, local
authorities, police, justice) are associated in the search for concrete solutions. This initiative is co-ordinated by a
group of experts designated by the Member States and chaired by the Commission. Furthermore, one of the
questions to be examined is the role of school in preventing child abuse, within schools and outside.

(1) OJ C 303, 4.10.1997.

(98/C 304/84) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0250/98
by Richard Howitt (PSE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: The absence of a common European Noise Directive

Given the Community’s concern for the health and well-being of the citizens of Europe, and given the clear aims
of the Environmental Directives, why have these aims not been ‘streamlined’ into a Directive on Noise

Will the Commission acknowledge that this is long overdue and that it should be undertaken as a matter of some

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(18 March 1998)

The Commission is already working to produce effective measures on noise, as announced in its 1996 green
paper on future noise policy (1).
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/61

18 February 1998 the Commission adopted a proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the
approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the noise emission by equipment used outdoors (2).
Early in 1999 the Commission expects to adopt a proposal for a framework directive on environmental noise.
This will require harmonisation of aspects such as perception of effects, mathematical computation, monitoring
and measurements, the mapping of noise, and abatement plans.

A major conference is planned for May 1998, in Copenhagen at which the Parliament has been invited to be
represented. Draft terms of reference of working groups have already been widely circulated.

(1) COM(96) 540 final.
(2) COM(98) 46.

(98/C 304/85) OnWRITTEN QUESTION E-0251/98
by Marco Cellai (NI) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Taxation of companies’ net assets

In compliance with the principle that capital contributions or the raising of capital may not be taxed more than
once in the European Community so as not to create barriers to the free movement of capital, Article 1 of
Directive 69/335/EEC (1) of 17 July 1969 requires harmonization of taxation of contributions of capital to capital
companies. The directive stipulates that Member States may not apply taxes on the raising of capital by such
companies apart from capital duty, the rate of which, following the amendment introduced by Article 1 of
Directive 73/80/EEC (2) of 18 April 1973, may not exceed 1% (Article 10 of Directive 69/335/EEC).

Under Italian regulations, capital duty (the only tax allowed by the Community legislation referred to above) is
represented by the registration tax on capital contributions other than contributions of property rights: this tax is
charged at the rate of 1%. The tax on the net assets of companies thus comes on top of this registration tax and has
been applied at the rate of an additional 0.75% to the equity capital at the financial year end, year after year
despite the fact that it is neither exceptional or temporary in nature.

The tax thus has an equivalent effect equivalent to that of the ordinary capital duty and as such is in breach of the
provisions of Article 10 of Directive 69/335/EEC of 17 July 1969.

The approach consistently adopted under national and Community case law on non-compliance of this kind
would require the regulations on the tax on the net assets of companies to be repealed immediately and with
retroactive effect, without any need for intervention by the legislator. On these grounds, many Italian companies
have applied to the Ministry of Finance for the refund of amounts wrongly paid in respect of the tax on net assets
of companies together with accrued interest.

Does the Commission not consider that it should remind the Italian Government of its duty to amend the relevant
legislation and introduce new provisions without delay?

(1) OJ L 249, 3.10.1969, p. 25.
(2) OJ L 103, 18.4.1973, p. 13.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission
(8 April 1998)

The Commission is conducting a detailed investigation of the problem raised by the Honourable Member and
will inform him of the outcome as soon as possible.