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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 235 E/241

The Commission proposals in the area of food hygiene ( 2 ) are a response to the need to create a high level of consumer protection. In addition to the creation of a high level of consumer protection the proposals provide, more than the existing food hygiene rules contained in Council Directive 93/43/EEC of 14 June 1993 on the hygiene of foodstuffs ( 3 ), for the flexibility that is needed to accommodate the needs of businesses that are involved in traditional ways of food production. This flexibility applies without compromising the objectives of food safety. Since traditional food production is a matter that by nature differs from one Member State to another, and even within Member States, it is up to Member States to decide upon the level of flexibility that is needed. In order to ensure the correct implementation of the principle of flexibility, Member States that have recourse to this possibility shall inform the Commission and the other Member States thereof.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 of 14 July 1992 ( 4 ) lays down rules on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs at Community level. This Regulation has three main objectives: the development of regional and speciality products, the encouragement of more diversified agricultural output and the promoting of the development of rural areas. The Regulation also envisages the protection of both consumers and producers.

Many consumers care about agricultural products and foodstuffs produced and/or processed in a particular geographical area due to the fact that the specific characteristics of these products are attributable to this region. Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 provides the legal framework to guarantee that consumers are not misled in this regard. But this Regulation also backs up marketing efforts of producers who make it possible to individualise products by protecting them from abuse and unfair appropriation. In fact, the Regulation grants producers with an exclusive right to use a registered name for their products.

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 ) ( 4 )

COM(1999) 719 final. OJ C 365 E, 19.12.2000. OJ L 175, 19.7.1993. OJ L 208, 24.7.1992.

(2001/C 235 E/284)


QUESTION P-0725/01

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(6 March 2001)

Subject: UK university students attending EU universities

British students are able to attend universities on the continent providing they have the necessary education qualifications. However, there is no financial assistance for these students, and this frequently acts as a deterrent to those wishing to study abroad.

Given that a key way of encouraging European integration is to encourage our young people to live and study abroad, what measures is the Commission considering to help students to study in another EU Member States, particularly vis-à-vis financial assistance/grants etc.?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2001)

In order to enable and encourage students in one Member State to study in another Member State, which as the Honourable Member stated is a way to further European integration, the Commission established the Erasmus mobility scheme in 1987, first included under the Erasmus programme and from 1996 as part of the Erasmus action under the Socrates programme.

C 235 E/242

Official Journal of the European Communities



The Erasmus mobility scheme enables a student from one of the Member States participating in the Socrates programme to study between 3 to 12 months in another participating Member State. The student receives an Erasmus grant of € 50-500 a month. The average grant among all participating countries in the academic year 1999/2000 was € 166 per student per month.

The Erasmus student also benefits from the framework for mobility that has been built up under the Erasmus mobility scheme. Before the Erasmus student leaves for his/her study period, the home university

and the host university agree, together with the student, on a clearly defined programme of studies. At the end of the study period abroad, the host institution supplies the student and the home institution with

a certificate confirming that the agreed programme has been followed and concluded. The home university

shall ensure to all Erasmus mobility students academic recognition of their studies at the host institution as

a fully recognised part of their home country diploma/degree.

(2001/C 235 E/285)


by Ari Vatanen (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(6 March 2001)

Subject: Limits on exemptions from taxation on personal motor vehicles when moving to Finland

In 1998, when it issued an official notification concerning the taxation of second-hand motor vehicles imported into Finland from other Member States, the Commission also asked for any other related breaches of Community law to be reported to it.

The Commission has already adopted a position on the shortcomings in the taxation of imported second- hand motor vehicles.

The rules restricting imports of personal motor vehicles into Finland also require action by the Commis- sion. Finland’s motor vehicle taxation law restricts tax-free importation of such vehicles in a manner which contravenes Directive 83/183/EEC ( 1 ):

FIM 80 000 is the limit for exemption from taxation of personal motor vehicles,

there is a limit of 72 days on length of stay in Finland,

the number of personal motor vehicles is limited to one,

the importer must be at least 18 years old,

a personal motor vehicle may only be imported at the time of change of residence,

the motor vehicle taxation law does not contain any provisions concerning freedom from taxation on grounds of marriage or inheritance,

after a personal motor vehicle has been imported, it must be kept for an unreasonably long time before it can change hands.

These restrictions are an obstacle to the free movement of persons within the EU. What will the Commission do to ensure that personal motor vehicles can be imported into Finland tax-free?

( 1 )

OJ L 105, 23.4.1983, p. 64.

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2001)

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that failure to apply in full Council Directive 83/ 183/EEC of 28 March 1983 on tax exemptions applicable to permanent imports from a Member State of the personal property of individuals is an obstacle to the free movement of persons. The question of