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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/93

To date this dossier has not been completed and the training and attestation of professional competence
for cabin crews in civil aviation remain in the hands of the operators, since it has not yet been established
that their training should be carried out by independent bodies appointed by the Member States.

In the meantime, and according to information from trade unions representing cabin staff, an increasing
number of airlines are employing crews on a temporary and seasonal basis, and some of them have even
reduced the period of basic training.

In view of current security concerns in air transport and the importance and responsibility of cabin crews
in this area, can the Council say why the proposal for a directive has not yet been followed up and what
the prospects are for its definitive adoption?

(1) COM/97/0382, OJ C 263, 29.8.1997, p. 5.

Reply

(18 February 2003)

Following the events of 11 September, on 16 October 2001 the Council resumed its examination of the
proposal for a Directive on the professional competence of cabin crews so as to push forward work on
this dossier. It has turned out, however, that advances in this area are closely linked to progress on another
dossier, that relating to the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the
field of civil aviation (transposition of JAR OPS 1). It has thus proved desirable that these two dossiers be
examined in parallel. The proposal for a Directive on the professional competence of cabin crews will
therefore be examined together with the proposal for a Regulation on JAR OPS, currently being revised by
the Commission, in particular as regards Annex III.

(2003/C 137 E/106) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2583/02


by Ioannis Marínos (PPE-DE) to the Council

(10 September 2002)

Subject: Harmonisation of Turkish legislation with Community law

A few days ago, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mr M. Yilmaz, convened a meeting of the
ambassadors of the 15 Member States of the Union to inform them of the package of measures designed
to bring Turkish legislation into line with Community law.

However, the following observations have been made from numerous quarters:

 the package does not refer to the personal assets of individuals of Member State origin who were or
are resident in Turkey but only to the purchase and sale of property by the religious institutions of the
communities to which such individuals belong,

 neither does the package make reference to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul since it is not 
even now  recognised as having legal personality and is compelled to register its property in the
name of clerics and private individuals. The result of this situation is that the Patriarchate has only one
main property (the orphanage on the island of Prinkipos) which a document describes as being
‘occupied’ by the Turkish Directorate-General for Church Property. There are misgivings in this respect
that the Turkish administration is manoeuvring to prevent the change in the law being used and to
annul the registration of the orphanage in the name of the Patriarchate,

 the provisions announced by Turkey do not have retroactive effect, as Mr Yilmaz stressed to the
Community ambassadors. Article 4A of the package refers only to future acquisition or sale of real
property. The purchase or sale of property by institutions will still require authorisation by the
Turkish Council of Ministers, which may cause insuperable problems for institutions wishing to do so.
C 137 E/94 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

However, the positive aspect of this entire affair is that  for the first time  Turkey recognises that it
has pursued a discriminatory policy for decades against minorities living on its territory and is now
trying, under pressure from the EU, to allow the acquisition of property by minority institutions and
communities.

When exactly will these (albeit limited) provisions enter into force? How will the Council ensure that these
provisions take effect retroactively to make amends, even in part, for the unprecedented injustices suffered
by Christians of all denominations and Jews who lived in Turkey who were deprived of their property en
masse and forced to leave the country?

Reply

(18 February 2003)

The provisions referred to by the Honourable Member are part of a reform package adopted by the
Turkish Parliament on 3 August which the EU had welcomed in a declaration on 6 August as an
important step forward. They have been examined in detail, in particular in the context of preparation of
the Commission Regular Report on Turkey held on 9 October. The Regular Report provides a full and
thorough assessment of the new provisions on religious Foundations and identify possible shortcomings.

As also underlined in the declaration of 6 August, the EU expects swift and comprehensive
implementation of those reforms. In that respect, the Turkish government has given instructions for the
necessary measures to be taken rapidly. In this respect, however, the by-law on religious foundations
issued in the meantime appears to be highly restrictive. This point was made to Turkey on the occasion of
the Political Directors troika in Ankara on 31 October, when Turkey gave assurances that possible
difficulty in implementation would be adequately addressed with the necessary flexibility. A specific date
for entry into force can not, however, be indicated yet.

The Council would invite the Honourable Member to approach the Commission regarding the
implementation of the Accession Partnership.

(2003/C 137 E/107) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2588/02


by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(16 September 2002)

Subject: VAT harmonisation

A UK company wishing to provide a service in France or Ireland is required to register for domestic VAT
in that country, charge it to the customer and remit the proceeds to the authorities. This is before the
company is even paid by its customer. This is a direct result of lack of VAT harmonisation.

However, Ireland and France benefit from UK harmonisation and therefore can trade into the UK for
services and product/services without the need to hold a UK VAT registration.

One local firm in my South West constituency has estimated that adding up the costs incurred for
professional advisers to research legislation and deal with their corresponding partners in those countries
to effect the application and give advice amounts to start-up costs of approximately GBP 2 500 in Ireland,
GBP 5 000 in France. Added to this are translation costs for the translation of forms and correspondence.

Can the Commission indicate what plans it has to bring about greater VAT harmonisation?