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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.