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C 235 E/230 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.


Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(22 March 2001)

The Commission held two discussions on this important proposal for a Council Regulation on the statute
and funding of European political parties (1) and adopted it on 24 January 2001.

Articles 1 and 3 of the proposed regulation, as proposed by the Commission, clearly set out the criteria
that a European political party would have to fulfil in order to qualify for funding under the regulation.

Those are to table a statute with the Parliament; to have a political group in Parliament or intend to form
or join a political group; to respect democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law in their statute and
activities; to show an adequate degree of European representativeness by having elected members in the
Parliament, the national parliament or regional parliaments in at least five Member States, or by having
obtained at least 5 % of the vote at the previous European election in each of not less than five Member

As the regulation is not yet adopted, it would be premature to assess what parties may prove eligible for
funding under this proposal.

(1) COM(2000) 898 final.

(2001/C 235 E/271) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0615/01

by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(1 March 2001)

Subject: Tax

In a recent interview with ‘La Tribune’, Commissioner Lamy stated that taxation was ‘at the heart of the
problem of coordinating political and economic structures’.

Which taxes doe the Commissioner feel need to be coordinated in order to make the EU function better?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2001)

The Commission takes the view that, in a single market and an economic and monetary union, certain
components of taxation are a matter of common interest. The interview given by the Member of the
Commission responsible for trade, to which the question refers, was intended to develop this idea.

As to which taxes have a role in improving the functioning of the Community’s internal market, the
EC Treaty invites the Commission to propose the measures necessary for the harmonisation of indirect
taxation and turnover taxes. Moreover, the Commission obtained the support of Parliament and the
Council for a joint initiative on the taxation of savings income and the eradication of business taxation
schemes that involve harmful tax competition. The Commission intends to step up this work in the future
to ensure that taxation contributes to the smooth running of the internal market and the economic and
monetary union, while preserving the power of Member States to finance essential public expenditure.
However, the current institutional framework, in which decisions on taxation require unanimity, is not
conducive to rapid decision-making in this area.