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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/175

This attitude is contrary to every principle of tolerance and equality between all human beings irrespective
of their race, nationality, sex and religious principles. Clearly, Austria’s rights are being infringed here
when citizens are denied access to goods and services.

In view of the urgency of the matter, will the Commission state what measures it intends to take to
counteract this anti-EU discrimination against Austrian nationals and hence citizens of the Union?

Answer by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2000)

The freedom to provide services, a fundamental principle based on non-discrimination with regard to
nationality, is required of the national authorities of the Member States and of organisations responsible
for governing occupational sectors.

According to the information available to the Commission, the situation described by the honourable
Member stems from an initiative of an economic operator and not from an order issued in respect of taxi
drivers by the Belgian authorities.

In this context, the Commission has no legal means allowing it to take action to put an end to the
discriminatory measures referred to.

Private behaviour which discriminates against customers on the basis of nationality is, however, a matter
for national jurisdiction. Victims could respond to such behaviour either by initiating criminal proceedings
(with a claim for damages at the court in Brussels) or civil proceedings for exemplary damages.

(2000/C 374 E/206) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0870/00
by Alejandro Agag Longo (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 March 2000)

Subject: Austria’s Stability Programme

1 March was the deadline for submission of the Member States’ Stability Programmes. The Austrian
government had not yet submitted its programme by that date. Does the Commission know the reason for
the delay and when the Austrian Government intends to submit its programme?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(18 April 2000)

The new federal government of the Austrian Republic was sworn in on 4 February 2000. Both the budget
for the year 2000 and the stability programme are treated as high priority issues.

The Minister of Finance presented the draft budget to the Austrian Parliament on 21 March 2000. The
Minister of finance, immediately after having taken office, informed the Commission by letter that the
federal government will update the stability programme, which already has been discussed with the
Laender and communities, by the end of March 2000, after the presentation of the budget.