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C 310/134 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.

98

(98/C 310/180) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0805/98


by Florus Wijsenbeek (ELDR) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: Discriminatory taxation affecting international road hauliers in the countries of Central and Eastern
Europe

Is the Commission aware that, in ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe, countries which are also applicants
for accession to the EU, international road hauliers are faced with a multitude of unjustified and discriminatory
forms of taxation which vary from country to country and range from tax on fuel, road tolls and eco-taxes as far
as ‘taxes on sanitary services and for sending goods’, ‘maintenance taxes for border crossings’ and ‘taxes for the
control of radioactive matter’ (see Agence Europe, 29.1.1998, p. 15).

Is the Commission aware that the Czech Republic and Macedonia apply different rates depending on the
vehicle’s country of origin, thereby discriminating against foreign hauliers?

Does the Commission intend to urge the governments of these Central and Eastern European countries to
abandon these transit taxes and local taxes and every form of discrimination in the application of their rules on
taxation, to bring their taxation system more into line with the EU’s system and to set a realistic level of taxation?

Will the Commission address this problem during the accession negotiations? If so, how will it proceed? If not,
why not?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(27 April 1998)

The Commission is fully aware that Community international transport companies are faced with a number of
discriminatory fiscal measures, varying from country to country, in the Central and Eastern European region.
A recent PHARE project analysing the conditions for the progressive integration of inland transport markets
identified the principal barriers to market access in all inland transport sectors.

The Commission is therefore conscious of the fact that road tax is much lower for national operators in the
CEECs than in the Community and that, except when bilateral agreements are in force, the charging of users is
discriminatory between national and foreign operators.

The 10 accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe are bound by their respective Europe agreements to
adapt their transport legislation progressively to that of Community legislation in order to facilitate mutual access
to markets and to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods. This process is underway and is monitored by
the bilateral sub-committees set up to oversee the implementation of the Europe agreements. It is within this
forum that the Commission is discussing and insisting upon the necessary changes in the CEEC legislation which
will be required before the applicant countries can become members of the Community.

Finally, the Commission is about to launch a specific project on road transport charges in order to provide
decision makers in the 13 PHARE countries with guidelines on how to align their present systems of road
transport charges for motorised vehicles to those in the Community. This study will also cover the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which has not signed a Europe agreement with the Community and which has
not presented an application for membership to the Community.

(98/C 310/181) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0806/98


by Frederik Willockx (PSE) and Anne Van Lancker (PSE) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: Unlawful practices in connection with applications for subsidies

We have recently been receiving an increasing number of enquiries from all kinds of institutions and
organizations in connection with practices employed by European Business Services.