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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/97

(admission, readmission, expulsion) so as to prevent illegal migrations’. At a special meeting on illegal


immigration of the EC-Turkey JHA subcommittee in July, Turkey agreed to cooperate on the preparation
of a joint action programme to combat illegal immigration. Technical work with a view to setting up such
a programme early in 2003 has started.

3. In Council conclusions adopted on 16 April 2002, Turkey was quoted as one of the third countries
for which the Commission was invited to submit a brief for the negotiation of a readmission agreement.
In the conclusions of the Seville European Council, the Commission was asked to approve these new briefs
as soon as possible (conclusion No 30). The Commission recently submitted to the Council new briefs
regarding four third countries, including Turkey. These briefs will be examined by the competent Council
bodies with a view to adoption. At the meeting on 15/16 October 2002, the Council considered that these
agreements had proved to be an extremely useful and effective instrument and decided to re-examine this
issue at its meeting in November 2002.

4. When adopting Community acts for the expulsion and repatriation of illegal immigrants, the Council
will comply with obligations resulting from Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union. For their part
Member States are bound  in the exercise of their expulsion powers - by the relevant rules of
international conventions on the protection of human rights and other fundamental principles in relation
to persons within their jurisdiction. Where deadlines have to be met in the framework of expulsion
procedures, these are laid down autonomously under the national law of each Member State.

(2003/C 137 E/110) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2595/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Motorcycle helmets and fines in Greece

Recently, the Greek authorities have been imposing fines and impounding motorcycles ridden by drivers
not wearing helmets. However, Greek motorcyclists protest that the cost of a safe, good quality helmet is
between EUR 300 and EUR 600 in Greece mainly because of the high level of duty and taxes imposed by
the Greek authorities.

What is the Commission’s view of the level of Greek duties and taxes on helmets? What is the precise
amount of tax levied in the other 14 Member States of the Union?

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(17 December 2002)

To reply to the Honourable Member’s question, the Commission has conducted a survey of Member States
besides Greece. Two types of taxation generally apply to motorcycle helmets: VAT and customs duties.

Apart from the United Kingdom, which applies a zero rate of VAT, all the other Member States apply a
normal rate, i.e.: Luxembourg 15 %; Germany and Spain 16 %; Portugal 17 %; Greece 18 %; Netherlands
19 %; France 19,6 %; Italy and Austria 20 %; Belgium and Ireland 21 % (but zero in Ireland for children’s
helmets); Finland 22 %; Sweden and Denmark 25 %.

Application of the normal rate is compatible with the Sixth VAT Directive 77/388/EEC (1), which also has
a clause allowing zero rates to be provisionally maintained subject to certain conditions.

For customs duties, the non-preferential rate applied to imports of products under codes 6506 10 10
(safety headgear made of plastic) and 6506 10 80 (safety headgear made of other materials) is 2,7 %.
C 137 E/98 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

It should also be noted that, under preferential agreements and tariff concession arrangements, imports of
the products concerned from most of our partners qualify for exemption from customs duties (0 %).

Since the above autonomous or preferential tariff measures derive from Community legislation, needless to
say they are uniformly applicable by all Member States whenever these products are imported into EU
customs territory.

(1) Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States
relating to turn-over taxes  common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment, OJ L 145,
13.6.1977.

(2003/C 137 E/111) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2610/02


by Antonio Di Pietro (ELDR) to the Council

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Development of relations between the European Union and Mongolia

In recent years, Mongolia has experienced a series of major difficulties which have largely been due to the
harsh weather conditions that have affected the country.

Despite the consequences in economic, health and social terms which this situation has had for the
population, Mongolia has continued to nurture the rule of law and a multi-party system, as was noted
by the delegation from the European Parliament when it visited that country in July 2002 for the
IVth EU-Mongolia Interparliamentary Meeting.

In view of this, and as a sign of the value of enhancing cooperation with Mongolia and extending this
cooperation into new areas not covered by the current arrangements and of its readiness to do so, will the
Council empower the Commission to conclude a partnership and cooperation agreement with the
Mongolian authorities comparable to those already implemented with other Central Asian countries, which
would replace the 1993 trade and cooperation agreement between the two parties.

Reply

(18 February 2003)

The Council would like to draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the fact that partnership and
cooperation agreements are intended only for the former Soviet republics. Against this background,
the Council does not envisage empowering the Commission to negotiate a partnership and cooperation
agreement with Mongolia.

The Council would point out that the 1993 Trade and Cooperation Agreement is an ideal legal framework
for developing cooperation between the EU and Mongolia. Relations between the EU and Mongolia have
also been consolidated over the past few years, in particular by means of assistance/action programmes
(EUR 11 million in 1999; EUR 6 million in 2000) and in the framework of ECHO (EUR 2 905 million in
2000/2001). The European Union is currently Mongolia’s sixth-largest trading partner, just behind its
closest neighbours and Switzerland. Eastward enlargement offers the prospect of increased investment and
trading opportunities.