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C 155 E/6 Official Journal of the European Union EN 3.7.


Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(7 October 2002)

The Commission understands the question to refer to personal income tax  an area not covered by
Community legislation.

Although Member States are, of course, free to make their own rules for income tax, these have to be
compatible with the four fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Treaty and must not discriminate on
the ground of nationality.

Since income tax is not harmonised, Member States do not routinely inform the Commission of their tax
rules and neither does the Commission monitor these. Hence, to date, the Commission has not collected
information on the tax treatment of membership subscriptions to professional organisations or trade
unions nor does it consider it necessary, at present, to co-ordinate this type of tax allowance at
Community level.

(2003/C 155 E/006) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1670/02

by Charles Tannock (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(5 June 2002)

Subject: The use of EU funding in the Palestinian territories

Could the Commission indicate whether it has reason to believe that the claim by the Israeli Government
that EU funds administered by the Palestinian Authority under the direct control of President Arafat have
been used to fund terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians is correct, and, if not, has the Commission studied
the evidence produced by the Israeli authorities to support that claim?

Could the Commission also comment on allegations that Palestinian children have been provided with
textbooks paid for by the European Union containing inflammatory passages such as:

The final and inevitable result will be the victory of the Muslims over the Jews (1).

This religion will defeat all other religions and it will be disseminated, by Allah’s will through the
Muslim Jihad fighters (2)?

(1) Our Arabic language for 5th grade # 542 page 67.
(2) Islamic Education 7th grade # 564 page 125.

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(19 July 2002)

The Commission examined the allegations that have been made by the Israeli authorities on the misuse of
Community funds. The Commission has looked carefully at the evidence provided by the Israeli
government (Minister Naveh) and by the Israeli Defence Forces. The Commission also invited the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to comment on the allegations. The
Commission, on the basis of the material it has examined, has not found any evidence of Community
funds being used for purposes other than those agreed between the Community and the PA. The
Commission takes this matter extremely seriously and will continue to give utmost priority to the
examination of any further allegtions of misuse of Community funds.

The Commission has never paid for text books used by the Palestinian Authority. As regards the contents
of text books, the Commission would like to refer to the Council Document ‘Palestinian Schoolbooks: The
EU View’ published on the Council’s web site