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C 110 E/28 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


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
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/29

of the EU, changes in the nomenclature of products, problems of weighting (simple averages are sensitive
to the nomenclature used, whereas averages weighted by imports are skewed when duties are high because
the level of imports itself depends on the level of duties), levying of specific, mixed, compound and/or
seasonal customs duties, and so on.

Consolidated post-Uruguay Round duties on industrial products stand at 3,9 % for the US and 4,1 % for the
EU (source: WTO  the averages used are simple averages). This is a 40 % drop in customs duties for the
industrialised countries.

(2003/C 110 E/028) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2059/02

by Charles Tannock (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 July 2002)

Subject: CAP reform prior to enlargement

The Commission has recently brought forward an interesting and radical series of proposals designed to
address some of the most serious flaws associated with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), including
fraud, overproduction and the consequences for both animal welfare and food safety of overindustrialised
farming. The Commission appears also to have embraced the philosophy of moving away from direct
support payments towards a wider system of subsidy designed to protect rural communities and to win
public support for those communities over the longer term. There remains the issue of disproportionate
net contributions by particular Member States and, in particular, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands,
which are set to increase dramatically if no reforms are agreed before enlargement takes place. The British,
German, Dutch and Swedish governments have all recently called for serious reform, with Chancellor
Schröder reported as showing particular impatience over the issue.

What is the current total cost of the Common Agricultural Policy? If there are no reforms to the Common
Agricultural Policy and ten candidate countries (excluding Bulgaria and Romania) accede in 2004 on the
basis of the Commission’s proposed ten-year sliding scale of payments to candidate countries starting at
25 % of those paid to farmers in existing Member States, what will be the total cost of the CAP for each of
the years from 2004 until the payments to candidate countries reach 100 %, (assuming that Bulgaria and
Romania join sometime between 2008 and 2010), and at the end of that period what will be the
approximate net budgetary contributions of Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Italy and

Does the Commission believe that an unreformed CAP prior to enlargement is economically or politically
realistic, and what consequences does the Commission foresee if no agreement is reached between the
existing Member States before enlargement? In particular, does the Commission believe that taxpayers in
the major contributing states will be prepared to foot the bill for an unreformed CAP after 2006, or at best
that there will be any agreement to agree to anything other than a year-on-year (rather than a five or six
year) financial package if reform is unforthcoming? Is the Commission concerned at the possibility of
growing anti-European feeling in certain Member States if the inequities and wastefulness of the CAP are
not addressed? Finally, aside from restructuring or scaling back the CAP, has the Commission given
thought to the idea of an equalising budgetary rebate mechanism linked to GNP and population which
would ensure that any additional budgetary contributions would be financed on an equitable basis between
all Member States?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 2002)

The Berlin European Council (24 and 25 March 1999) decided that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
should be implemented within a financial framework of on average EUR 40,5 billion per year excluding
rural development and veterinary measures in constant 1999 prices. These perspectives foresee a ceiling
for agriculture (markets and rural development) of EUR 41,66 billion in 2006 for the 15 Member States.