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C 110 E/204 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


entering Greek territorial waters. The same source reports that the Greek Parliament adopted a law in
1999 imposing such a tax on vessels of 7 metres or more in length which enter Greek waters and have no
permanent mooring in any Greek port.

Is this information correct? What sanctions might be taken against Greece in the event of a Court ruling
against that country? Which other Member States impose similar taxation?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(23 December 2002)

It is correct that the Commission has initiated proceedings against Greece on account of its tax law. While
the Commission has not been informed of similar rules in force in other Member States, it has been
notified of a provision under Greek tax law levying a tax on private pleasure craft of more than 7 metres
in length entering Greek waters. According to the Commission’s interpretation, this constitutes a tax with
equivalent effect which is prohibited by the EC Treaty, in particular Articles 23 and 25.

Once the Court of Justice has delivered its judgment and if that judgment supports the Commission’s
interpretation, the Commission will open a dialogue with Greece in accordance with the procedures
prescribed by the EC Treaty for infringements of Community law. That dialogue is intended to enable a
process of reform of the national tax law. On completion of the reform, the Commission will re-examine
the Greek legislation and decide whether it is compatible with Community law.

A press release of 23 July 2002 (1) is attached for the Honourable Member’s attention, describing the legal
thinking behind the Commission’s decision to take Greece to Court over its tax on pleasure boats.

(1) IP/02/1120.

(2003/C 110 E/227) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3333/02

by Glenys Kinnock (PSE) to the Commission
(26 November 2002)

Subject: Women-owned businesses’ access to public procurement

Is the Commission aware that there is currently no document available on the access of women-owned
businesses to public procurement?

Does the Commission intend to undertake any research into this issue?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(8 January 2003)

The Commission is grateful to the Honourable Member for drawing its attention to the apparent absence
of any document available on the access of women-owned businesses to public procurement within the

Over the past few years the Commission has endeavoured to improve the data available about public
procurement in general, and for procurement covered by the relevant Community Directives in particular,
and to make it more freely available.

Currently, further research is being carried out to investigate the access of small and medium sized
enterprises to public procurement and a panel study is being started with the aim of comparing cross
border procurement, procurement price trends and the use of social or environmental clauses in
procurement contracts. These studies should provide further information which may be useful to women-
owned businesses interested in access to public procurement opportunities within the Member States.