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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/79

(2003/C 137 E/087) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2378/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: GATS

In the current round of GATS negotiations, the European Commission negotiates with the WTO on behalf
of the European Union, and trade ministries from the 15 Member States inform this negotiating position.
Could the European Commission clarify whether it takes a single EU position on service sectors to be
covered by GATS rules or whether Member States retain discretion on which service sectors are to be
covered by GATS rules in their country?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(17 September 2002)

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) applies in principle to all service sectors with two
exceptions, namely ‘services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority’ and measures affecting air
traffic rights and services directly related to the exercise of such rights. Thus Members do not as such
retain discretion as to which service sectors are covered by the GATS.

But each country determines the list of service sectors to which it is prepared to offer market access and
national treatment to foreign service providers (‘bottom-up approach’). Each country can therefore exclude
from its commitments those activities that it considers politically sensitive. Even where Members decide to
make commitments they are free to tailor the sector coverage and substantive content of such
commitments as they see fit. Thus members may for example set limitations specifying the level of
market access and the degree of national treatment they are prepared to guarantee. Furthermore, Members
are able to limit commitments to one or more of the four recognised ‘modes of supply’ through which
services are provided. They may even withdraw and renegotiate commitments. Due to the built-in
flexibility the commitments made tend to reflect national policy objectives and constraints, overall and in
individual sectors. The GATS is consequently a remarkably flexible agreement that respects the diversity of
economic and social situations existing among its Member countries.

The scope and content of the EC’s initial requests to third countries in the services negotiations under the
GATS has been discussed at length with the Member States and the negotiating objectives for all sectors
are supported by all. The sectoral commitments made by the European Communities during the Uruguay
round were endorsed by all Member States although some Member States have scheduled individual
restrictions in certain sectors reflecting particular national policy objectives or constraints.

(2003/C 137 E/088) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2380/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: Death penalty

How many current Member States of the EU have allowed their nationals to be extradited to US states
(or federal authorities) which impose the death penalty?