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C 163 E/132 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 6.6.


(2001/C 163 E/146) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3473/00

by John Bowis (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(8 November 2000)

Subject: Lloyd’s of London

When does the Commission expect to respond to the petitions and complaints, that it has received in and
from 1997, about Lloyd’s of London and under what European Union legislation are these matters being

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(21 December 2000)

The Commission has received since 1999 a substantial volume of complaints from disaffected Lloyd’s
Names alleging that the British authorities have failed to properly supervise Lloyd’s. The Commission has
also received four petitions, one of them tabled in 1997.

The Commission is taking very seriously the matters identified by the petitioners and the large number of
complaints it has received. As already explained in its response submitted to the petitions committee at its
hearing on 27 and 28 September, 1999, the Commission confirmed that the United Kingdom has
correctly implemented the first Council Directive 73/239/EEC of 24 July 1973 on the coordination of
laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the taking-up and pursuit of the business of
direct insurance other than life assurance (1) in British law. The Commission’s current enquiries are
therefore seeking to establish whether the implementing law has been properly applied.

(1) OJ L 228, 16.8.1973.

(2001/C 163 E/147) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3474/00

by Robert Goebbels (PSE) to the Commission
(8 November 2000)

Subject: Publication of proposals for directives by the Commission

The Commission recently adopted the proposal for a directive on occupational pension institutions
(COM(2000) 507). Can the Commission explain how it was possible for this proposal, which was adopted
on the morning of 11 October 2000, to be commented on in all its details in a speech written in advance
by the chairman of the EFRP (European Federation for Retirement Provision), Mr Kees van Rees, at a
meeting of the Financial Services Forum held at 1 p.m. that same day in a hotel in Brussels?

Is it normal practice for interested parties to have access to proposals for directives before they have been
formally adopted by the Commission?

At any rate the MEPs present at that meeting were less well briefed than the lobbyists.

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(11 December 2000)

At an informal meeting with members of the economic and monetary affairs committee (EMAC) that took
place on 5 October 2000, the Member responsible for the internal market gave a presentation of the draft
proposal for a directive on institutions for occupational retirement provision that was due to be adopted
by the Commission. As the Honourable Member says, the Commission adopted the proposal for a directive
on institutions for occupational retirement provision in the morning of 11 October 2000 (1). This followed
a long and intensive consultation process with all interested parties. Bilateral contacts between the
Commission and experts from Member States, the Parliament and other interested parties were held in
the period up to the adoption of the draft directive.
6.6.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 163 E/133

The Commission representative at the Financial services forum circulated the text adopted by the
Commission in the morning. In his intervention at the meeting of the Financial services forum early in
the afternoon of 11 October 2000, the chairman of the European federation for retirement provision
based his remarks on earlier drafts of Commission working documents, which were however very similar
to the final text.

(1) COM(2000) 507 final.

(2001/C 163 E/148) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3476/00

by Mario Mastella (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(8 November 2000)

Subject: Reform of the fruit and vegetable sector

In July of this year the Commission submitted a proposal to reform the fruit and vegetable sector that will
entail palpable disadvantages for the sector and Italian products in particular.

The reform proposal is calling for a substantial reduction in the financial resources earmarked for fruit and
vegetable producers and their organisations and especially for operating plans, industrial tomatoes, nuts,
and citrus fruits.

The fruit and vegetable sector accounts for 23 % of the value of Italian farm produce. The expectations are
that the reform should be adopted by the end of the year, a fact which suggests that the need to restore a
financial balance in favour of Mediterranean products has not been taken into consideration.

Will the Commission take steps to avert such a sharp cut in funding for the fruit and vegetable sector?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(13 December 2000)

The Council of agriculture ministers arrived by qualified majority at a political compromise on the reform
of the fruit and vegetable sector on Tuesday, 21 November 2000. The main points in this agreement are
the simplification of the financial rules for producer organisations, an increase in the ceiling on financial
aid towards operational programmes introduced by producer organisations, higher thresholds for various
Mediterranean products, in particular industrial tomatoes, citrus fruit and peaches, and a rise in aid for
industrial tomatoes.

(2001/C 163 E/149) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3479/00

by Ari Vatanen (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(31 October 2000)

Subject: Current system for car taxation and its inconsistency with the internal market and free trade

The Commission is urged to consider the correction of distortions in car taxation as a matter of urgency.
In several Member States, the tax system treats car imports unfairly, especially when the importer is a
private citizen. The taxes levied on imported cars are frequently not based on the real value of the car,
particularly if the car is a used car. The excessively high taxes act as a barrier to intra-EU trade and prevent
the establishment of competitive markets in the European Union. Article 25 of the Treaty establishing the
European Community forbids custom duties on imports and exports between Member States as well as
charges having equivalent effect.