EP stuurt sterk signaal aan Raad over energiebelasting

Vandaag stemde EP een rapport over energiebelasting. Auteur en Ecolo'er Pierre Jonckheer blikt terug op de stemming.

MEPs send Council a strong message on energy taxation

Green/EFA MEP Pierre Jonckheer today welcomed the European Parliament's adoption of his Report on a framework for energy taxation in the European Union. He also expressed relief that a series of amendments aimed at better tailoring the original Commission Proposal to promote renewable energy were approved. The most controversial of the amendments, which proposed increasing minimum taxation levels for motor fuels, was passed with a one vote majority (271 to 270).

The Report itself, which falls under the consultation procedure requires unanimity to get through Council, was approved by a clear majority of 386 to 113 votes.

Pierre Jonckheer MEP (Ecolo – BE) said after the vote:

"Greens do not, in principle, love taxes. We proposed amendments to increase certain minimum tax levels in this Report because we are convinced of the need to shift the tax burden from labour to the sources of pollution – for the sake of both job creation and environmental protection. Similarly, we believe in making all forms of transport internalise their costs to society. Therefore we proposed increasing taxes on road traffic and the transport of goods by road especially, so as to reduce its competitive advantage over other forms of transport and over rail in particular, which incorporates a far higher degree of its external costs. Our proposals therefore seek to reduce market distortion and at the same time benefit the society and the environment."

"I am happy that MEPs approved my proposal to make tax exemptions compulsory for renewable energy sources. If we really want to exploit the environmental and economic potential of renewable energy we need a common effort across Europe – no Member State can afford to stay outside."

"The Parliament today took a wise position and reversed the disastrous decisions of the EPP-dominated Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. We have sent a strong message to the Council today and expect them to move swiftly now on approving the new directive. I hope, the Council will have the courage to step up efforts to support green taxation systems across Europe."

Note: The directive is due to enter into force on 1 January 2004. The increased minimum tax levels agreed today were the same as levels proposed by the Commission in 1997 and endorsed by the Parliament in 1999. Those levels were due to apply from 1 January 2000. MEPs voted 267 to 264 in favour of accepting an amendment to exempt commercial aviation fuel (kerosene) from taxation only as long as international commitments obliged Member States to do so. They approved tax privileges for green hydrogen and also approved a 'sunset' clause on tax exemption for motor fuels used in agriculture until 2007 – unless the Council decides otherwise.

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De Groenen/EVAGroenen en Europese Vrije Alliantie in het Europees Parlement.

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