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8.5.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/27

people. Details of all the projects supported are available on DG Employment’s social inclusion website
http://esnet.cec/comm/employment_social/soc-prot/soc-incl/prep_mes_en.htm). The Commission is cur-
rently planning to document and disseminate the lessons derived from these preparatory measures.

2. As regards studies, there are several research networks which work on immigration and migrant-
related issues. One project which deals specifically with the issue of nomadic people in Europe involves
research into the educational situation of gypsy children in Spain, France and Italy. It is being conducted
under the auspices of Universitat Jaume I, Castellon de la Plana, Spain.

More generally, the issue of ensuring good housing for all was highlighted in the Joint Report on Social
Inclusion which was endorsed at the Laeken European Council in December 2001. This was based on an
analysis of the National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion drawn up by the Member States.
Clearly, this overall challenge includes the specific challenge of supporting the accommodation and
integration needs of nomadic people, though this was only touched on by a few Member States. However,
in this regard it is interesting to note that Ireland has recently set a series of targets for integrating the
Traveller community, one of which relates to housing, in its revised National Anti-Poverty Strategy. It is
also interesting to note that the Commission has recently started a cooperation process to involve
applicant countries in the Union’s new social inclusion strategy. It is striking that in several of these
countries the integration of the Roma people is an urgent challenge, housing being a particularly salient
issue. Overall, the issue of housing for immigrants and specific migrant peoples is an important one for
the Union and likely to become increasingly so. It is thus to be hoped that it will receive more detailed
attention from the Member States in their next National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion,
which are due in 2003.

3. The right to equality before the law and protection against discrimination for everyone is a universal
right enshrined in several international conventions, notably the European Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which has been ratified by all the Member States. The
Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights also recognises these fundamental rights (see in particular
Article 21 on the right not to be subjected to discrimination on grounds of, inter alia, race, ethnic or social
origins or membership of a national minority, and Article 22 on respect for cultural, religious and
linguistic diversity).

The EC Treaty grants powers to combat discrimination on the grounds of sex, race or ethnic origin,
religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual preference (Article 13). In 2000 the Commission adopted a
package of anti-discriminatory measures, comprising an action programme to combat discrimination (3)
and two directives to give effect to these powers (4).

(1) COM(2001) 252 final.


(2) See DG RELEX’s minority rights website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/human_rights/rm/index.htm.
(3) Council Decision of 27 November 2000 establishing a Community action programme to combat discrimination,
OJ L 303, 2.12.2000.
(4) Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons
irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, OJ L 180, 19.7.2000; Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000
establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, OJ L 303, 2.12.2000.

(2003/C 110 E/026) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2016/02


by Roberta Angelilli (UEN) to the Commission

(9 July 2002)

Subject: Determining the location of European agencies’ seats

The choice of location for certain European agency seats, such as that of the European Food Agency or the
European Satellite Agency, has long been the subject of debate.

Discussion has focussed in particular on the relative benefits of either decentralising the seats or
concentrating them in Brussels.
C 110 E/28 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

1. Does a comprehensive list exist of all the agencies or similar bodies for which a seat will be decided
upon in the next few months or years?

2. Does a precise timetable exist for decisions on the location of seats?

3. Are there documents on this matter?

Answer given by Mr. Prodi on behalf of the Commission


(27 September 2002)

The Treaties specify neither the criteria for deciding the location of an agency’s headquarters nor the
procedures to be adopted to this end. Article 289 of the EC Treaty merely states that the seat of the
institutions is to be determined by common accord of the Governments of the Member States.

Various practices have consequently been followed in the past for determining the seat of the agencies that
currently exist. Mostly, Article 289 of the EC Treaty has been applied by analogy, and the government
representatives accordingly adopted a decision by common accord. More rarely, the location of some
agencies has been decided by the Council, in the regulations establishing them.

The Commission has no established any list or calendar for the designation of the headquarters of agencies
or similar structures. At the Laeken European Council (14-15 December 2001), Member State govern-
ments discussed the issue of location of several, future European agencies and bodies on the basis of a list
provided for by the Council Presidency, but did not arrive at a common accord.

It does not exist a precise timetable for this kind of decisions. In principle, when an agency is created by a
legislative act, a decision should be taken on its location, at least provisionally, in order to make the
agency operational.

The Commission is not aware of any specific document on this matter.

(2003/C 110 E/027) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2046/02


by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission
(10 July 2002)

Subject: Tariffs

Will the Commission provide the figures for an average tariff  ideally weighted by trade flows  on non-
agricultural imports into the EU and into the United States before and after each trade liberalisation round
in the post-war period?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission


(21 August 2002)

The trade liberalisation rounds organised since 1947 under first the General Agreement on Tariffs (GATT)
and Trade and later the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have led to substantial tariff dismantling on
non-agricultural products in the industrialised countries. Average customs duties on this category of
products in all industrialised countries fell from 40 % in 1947 to 4 % on average at the end of the Uruguay
Round. The highpoints in this process were the Geneva negotiations in 1947, those of Torquay in 1950,
the Kennedy Round of 1962-1967 and the Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds of 1973-1979 and 1986-1994.

While these trade negotiations have had undoubted impact, there are considerable methodological
difficulties in retrospectively estimating the exact level of customs duties before and after each round and
these difficulties restrict the scope of the data, i.e. differences between applied and bound duties,
implementation periods and occasional overlaps between them, (an example being the Information
Technology Agreement (ITA), which was concluded before the end of the implementation period for
undertakings made in the Uruguay Round), tariffication of non-tariff instruments, changes in the make-up