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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/13

(2003/C 137 E/014) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1598/02

by Helena Torres Marques (PSE) to the Commission

(5 June 2002)

Subject: Levies on the purchase of motor vehicles

The application of the new regulation on the distribution of motor vehicles and the resulting increase in
competition should lead to a reduction in the price of new cars and a more diversified range of vehicles.
Since in a number of countries, especially Portugal, those working in the sector are forecasting price rises
of up to 25 %, can the Commission say what taxes are levied on the purchase of new motor vehicles in
each of the EU countries?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(30 July 2002)

The Commission informs the Honourable Member of the current rates of taxes applied to new cars in the
Union. The source is a study undertaken by COWI Consulting Engineers and Planners SA in November
2001. This study is available under the website address:

Furthermore, three tables on the various taxes levied on the purchase of new cars in each of the Member
States is sent direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s secretariat.

(2003/C 137 E/015) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1618/02

by Gabriele Stauner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(6 June 2002)

Subject: Shortcomings in the Commission’s accounting system

At the end of May, the Commission removed its new Accounting Officer from her post after not even five
months in office. She was demoted because she had dared to criticise the changes to the Financial
Regulation currently being made by the Commission and to point out that they would increase the risk of
fraud and irregularities.

The Accounting Officer had also drawn attention to the shortcomings and risks associated with Sincom2,
the Commission’s present accounting system. Although the Commission has apparently been aware of
these problems for some years now, no start on any changes thereto has been made.

With regard to Sincom2, can the Commission confirm that:

1. After migration to this system, information was lost with the result that, in the research sector, for
example, it is, in many cases, no longer possible to find out exactly how much the Commission
disbursed on particular projects?

2. The system is so insecure that data from financial years in respect of which the accounts have already
been closed can be manipulated at a later date, for example in order to cover up mistakes and

3. The Commissioner with special responsibility for the budget has deliberately delayed an audit of the
accounting system by the Commission’s Internal Audit Service?

Can the Commission state whether the Director-General responsible for the budget has correctly described
the problems and risks associated with Sincom2 in the annual Statement of Assurance for his Directorate-
General and, if this is the case, provide me with a copy of the passages concerned?