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C 26 E/132 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.

2001

Votes against:

B DK D EL E F IRL IT L NL A P FIN S UK

1996 5 2 15 2 4 3 2 6 0 2 2 1 1 4 7
1997 0 6 9 4 2 3 2 6 1 2 2 2 4 7 7
1998 4 7 11 2 1 3 2 8 0 14 3 2 0 3 2
1999 2 4 2 1 1 3 1 8 2 4 1 1 0 0 0
2000 ( )
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
()
1 First two month.

(2001/C 26 E/163) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0921/00
by Theresa Villiers (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(25 March 2000)

Subject: Ad hoc working party on tax fraud

Could the Commission please state what meetings have been held in the last six months by the ad hoc
working party on tax fraud established on the basis of a proposal by the Spanish Government, what
conclusions have been drawn and when the final report of this working party is expected?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission
(12 May 2000)

The Commission takes part in the meetings of the ad hoc working party on tax fraud referred to by the
Honourable Member and contributes actively to its work. As that working party has been set up under the
aegis of the Council, and is chaired by the Council, the Commission feels that this question should be
addressed to the Council.

(2001/C 26 E/164) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0924/00
by Joan Colom i Naval (PSE) to the Council
(24 March 2000)

Subject: Stockholm Declaration on education about the Holocaust

What steps has the Council taken to act on the Stockholm Declaration on education about the Holocaust
in the EU and the Member States?

Reply
(8 June 2000)

The Council attaches great importance to the role of education in promoting tolerance and respect for
people, and by implication, drawing lessons from history This was exemplified by the Declaration of the
Council and the representatives of the Member States of 16 December 1997 on respecting diversity and
combating racism and xenophobia (1). Indeed, it is also important to raise awareness about these issues
among young people in general outside the formal education context, as was acknowledged in the
Declaration by the Council and the Representatives of the Member States of 24 November 1997 on the
fight against racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism in the youth field (2). However, as far as teaching about
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/133

the holocaust is concerned, it should be pointed out that Article 149 TEC (education) clearly indicates that
the European Community should fully respect ‘the responsibility of the Member States for the content of
teaching and the organisation of education systems’.

(1) OJ C 1, 3.1.1998, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 368, 5.12.1997, p. 1.

(2001/C 26 E/165) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0932/00
by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Council

(30 March 2000)

Subject: Violations of the Treaty by the French and Belgian governments

The French and Belgian governments have recently drawn attention to themselves by making an increasing
number of calls for compliance with the Treaties. This is in itself a praiseworthy initiative. However, these
calls are not of a general nature but are at present directed exclusively against Austria. The basic values
underlying European union though, should apply to all.

According to the official data currently available (1), during the period 1995-1998 a total of 724 sets of
proceedings for violation of the Treaty were brought against France, resulting in 463 letters of formal
notice, 206 reasoned opinions and 55 complaints to the Court of Justice. During the same period 589 sets
of proceedings were brought against Belgium, resulting in 333 letters of formal notice, 192 reasoned
opinions and 64 complaints to the Court of Justice. The Belgian and French governments thus not only
lead the field as self-appointed champions of the Treaties, but are also champions at violating those
Treaties. These two countries occupy an unchallenged position at the top of statistics.

By contrast, during the same period only 5 complaints were brought against Austria, compared with 64
against Belgium and 55 against France. Only 78 reasoned opinions were issued against Austria, compared
with 206 against France and 192 against Belgium. And on only 321 occasions was the behaviour of
Austria criticised in a letter of formal notice, as against 463 occasions for France and 333 for Belgium.
France and Belgium thus clearly have much ground to make up in the European integration process
compared to Austria, which has only been a Member State of the EU since 1995 and has a very good
record of compliance with the Treaty.

Can the Council Presidency say what measures it intends to take to point out to France and Belgium that
they should acknowledge their own deficiencies in the European integration process instead of criticising
these deficiencies in others?

What does the Presidency intend to do to give publicly and praise to those countries which have a good
record of implementing Community law?

(1) OJ C 354, 7.12.1999, p. 75.

Reply

(8 June 2000)

The Council would draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the fact that it is not the task of the
Council Presidency but of the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, to ensure that the provisions of the
Treaty are applied and that Member States honour their obligations under the Treaty (Articles 211 and
226 of the EC Treaty).

The Council would also point out that the Commission publishes a ‘single market scoreboard’ twice a year,
giving details of the progress made by Member States in transposing Directives relating to the single
market and the infringement proceedings brought by the Commission against Member States. Each
scoreboard is discussed in the ‘Internal Market’ Council.