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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/95

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(4 October 2002)

Pursuant to the rules laid down in the Sixth VAT Directive (Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977
on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes  Common system of
value added tax: uniform basis of assessment (1)), companies have to charge and pay VAT in each Member
State where they supply goods or services. This means that they may have to register for VAT as well as to
invoice and declare this tax in Member States where they are not established, as soon as they have a cross-
border activity.

In order to make it easier, this Directive lays down a series of cases where VAT has to be paid by the client
when the supplier is not established in the Member State: this is a general rule for all intracommunity
supplies of goods and also for the supplies of certain types of services.

In addition to this, article 21 of the Sixth VAT Directive allows Member States to extend this simplification
to all cases where the client is not established within the Member State.

The Commission is well aware that such a simplification is not applied in all Member States but this
option is the result of a difficult compromise in the Council in the framework of the discussions on
suppressing the obligation to appoint a tax representative.

A European study is currently being carried out on the simplification and modernisation of VAT
obligations in the Community. The specific problem of the need to register for VAT in Member States
where companies are not established will be dealt with in that framework.

(1) OJ L 145, 13.6.1977.

(2003/C 137 E/108) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2589/02

by Pere Esteve (ELDR) to the Council
(16 September 2002)

Subject: Single European Sky

The European Parliament has just adopted the report by Marieke Sanders-ten Holte on the Single European
Sky: Air Navigation Services / Airspace / Interoperability of the European network (A5-0266/2002).

There are significant political aspects to this resolution, and political problems relating to national interests
have always arisen in the Council whenever this matter has been addressed. I would therefore like to know
whether all these problems have now been resolved, or whether these differences still exist and are still an
obstacle to agreement.

Given that this is an urgent matter, public opinion is very sensitive to it and the public expects a swift and
definitive solution. I myself have been keeping abreast of the work done by the European Commission in
this area, but what stage have negotiations reached in the Council?

(18 February 2003)

The package of four legislative proposals aimed at creating a ‘Single European Sky’ basically envisages the
application of common principles and rules in airspace in order to tackle problems of air-traffic congestion
and aircraft delays.

Almost immediately after its presentation by the Commission, the Council started its work on the Single
European Sky package. The European Council of Barcelona pledged its support for this work. At its
meeting in March 2002, the Council discussed certain specific issues of the package, giving valuable input
to the ongoing work, and at its meeting in June 2002, it took note of the work carried out under the
Spanish Presidency on the development of this dossier.
C 137 E/96 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

The current Presidency, from the outset of its term in office, made it clear that work on the package
remains a top priority; work within the Council has been organised in consequence, allowing for
considerable results to be achieved. At its meeting on 3 October 2002, the Council took note of a
Presidency progress report outlining the current state of play regarding the work in the Council on the
Single European Sky package.

Work is now being carried forward with a view to enabling the Council to reach a political agreement on
the Single European Sky package at its December session in line with the conclusions of the European
Council of Barcelona.

(2003/C 137 E/109) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2594/02

by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE-DE) to the Council

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Illegal immigrants entering Greece via Turkey  breach of the partnership agreement

Greek observers note that Turkey is constantly in breach of the accession partnership agreement, one
consequence of which is a steady stream of illegal immigrants entering the Greek islands where they are
held (e.g. on Leros, Patmos) in squalid conditions, both in terms of accommodation and diet. Their situation
is compounded by the Greek authorities’ lax attitude towards complying with deadlines under the
deportation procedure. Consequently, since naturally Turkey also refuses to allow the illegal immigrants to
return, they remain illegally in Greece and, therefore, on the territory of the European Union.

In the light of this situation, will the Council say:

1. what its position is concerning this influx into the EU of illegal immigrants from Turkey and what
measures it will take given that Turkey should, as an applicant for accession to the EU, comply with
the terms of the partnership agreement;

2. what action it will take to ensure that the Greek authorities respect the deportation procedure
deadlines for the illegal immigrants and what stage has been reached with the readmission agreements
between the EU and Turkey in respect of signing and compliance, and

3. what provision it will make in regard to the protection of the human rights and living conditions of
the illegal immigrants both in their countries of origin and of temporary residence, such as Greece?


(18 February 2003)

1. The fight against illegal immigration is one of the priorities for European Union action, as recently
affirmed and stressed in the conclusions of the Seville European Council on 21/22 June 2002.

In this area a considerable number of instruments, such as the Comprehensive plan to combat illegal
immigration and trafficking in human beings and the Plan for the management of the external borders of
the European Union, have already been adopted. The implementation of these plans and the identification
of new effective actions and measures to forestall and control this trend are currently being examined in
the competent Council bodies.

2. As regards more particularly the case referred to by the Honourable Member in his question,
the Council is fully aware of the problems posed by the steady influx, in particular into Greece, of illegal
immigrants coming from Turkey. The issue is constantly being raised both at political (EC-Turkey
Association Council in April) and technical levels, as Turkey, under the medium-term priorities of the
Accession Partnership, is asked to ‘adopt and implement the EU acquis and practices on migration