You are on page 1of 2


2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/65

Should we not be seeking to have the Chicago Convention, which dates back to the first half of the last
century, revised in this respect? In the meantime, flights within Europe should be classified as internal
flights and the proceeds of a kerosene tax used to fund environmental projects.

Is the Commission contemplating bold action along these lines?

(1) OJ C 225 E, 8.8.2000, p. 63.

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2000)

The conclusions of the Commission in respect of a comprehensive study on the impact of the imposition
of excise duties on kerosene have recently been presented in the communication on air transport and the
environment (1) and the communication on taxation of aircraft fuel (2). The Commission will include the
views of the Parliament on these two documents when developing further policies in this field.

There may well be a need for modernising the basic international law on aviation (Chicago convention)
but this is a much broader issue and taxation is not really an issue in this context.

It is important to recognise that the Chicago convention itself does not pose the major concern regarding
taxation of fuel used in international aviation. Current legal constraints stem from standard clauses in
bilateral air services agreements concluded between signatory states of the Chicago conventions which are
based on a decision by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that fuel for use
in international air transport shall be exempted from taxation.

The communication on air transport and environment as well as the communication on taxation of
aircraft fuel contain a detailed assessment of the impact of imposition of excise duties on aviation fuel for
intra-Community flights operated by Community air carriers.

(1) COM(1999) 640 final.
(2) COM(2000) 110 final.

(2001/C 26 E/081) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0584/00
by Mark Watts (PSE) to the Commission

(29 February 2000)

Subject: European sustainable transport policy

How can the Commission continue to actively support the Council of Ministers in setting up a strategy for
further integration and reinforcing the integration of environmental issues into transport systems?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2000)

The European Council in Helsinki approved the conclusions of the Transport Council of October 1999,
according to which the Commission must come up with a global strategy by June 2001 to integrate the
environment and sustainable mobility into transport policy and implement the appropriate measures.
C 26 E/66 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001

As announced in its work programme for 2000, the Commission will be presenting a communication on
the revision of the common transport policy. This communication will take account of the undertakings
made under the Kyoto Protocol by both the Commission and the Member States.

The Commission will be assisted in its task by the group of joint experts on the environment and
transport, whose work and findings will add to the Commission’s information and make it more detailed.

This group of experts was already involved in the preparatory phase of the integration strategy adopted by
the Transport Council on 6 October 1999.

(2001/C 26 E/082) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0585/00
by Mark Watts (PSE) to the Commission

(29 February 2000)

Subject: European sustainable transport policy

Will the Commission say how it can strengthen the environmental assessments of policy initiatives with
particular reference to CO2 emissions and the climate change issue?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(12 April 2000)

As the question relates to transport policy, the response will focus on this area. The question could also be
seen in a more general context, as policy initiatives with an impact on climate change emanate from other
policy areas as well.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transport have to be seen as part of the overall area of transport and
environment. This overall approach is important in order to avoid sub-optimal solutions that could lead to
losses in other environmental areas (for example, replacing petrol by diesel without flanking measures
would reduce CO2 emissions but could increase particulate emissions). The Commission has been
operating a joint transport and environment expert group involving experts from the Member States’
transport and environment ministries in order to support its integration efforts towards an environmen-
tally sustainable transport system. This group made recommendations that provided essential support to
the Finnish presidency in drawing up the Transport Council’s integration strategy of 6 October 1999. The
group is now involved in the follow-up and the preparation for reviewing this strategy.

Apart from this integration activity which concerns all environmental aspects in transport, climate change
included, the Commission has now adopted the communication on ‘EU Policies and Measures to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions: Towards a European Climate Change Programme (ECCP)’ (1). The communica-
tion includes a list of potential Community policies and measures, as requested by the Environment
Council in October 1999. These will be developed under the ECCP. Transport plays an important role in
this framework. The details of how transport will contribute to the ECCP are currently being worked out.

The activities mentioned above will be significant in connection with the review of the common transport
policy that is scheduled for the second half of this year, as well as for the planned green paper on urban

(1) COM(2000) 88 final.