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par Joachim Denkinger | 24 septembre 2003

Rapport Jonkheer : taxation produits énergétiques
Conservatives ? with the help of GUE and a Liberal ? voted down proposals to promote renewable energies
In a close vote, the PPE, supported by some deputies from the far right, the GUE and sometimes (one) Liberal, voted down all amendments of the Green/EFA rapporteur Pierre Jonckheer on the proposal for a Council Directive restructuring the Community framework of energy products and electricity.

The strange alliance voted a new paragraph into the Directive (17:16 votes), which practically denies the sense of the Directive and this majority deleted hydrogen and fuel cells from the list of energy sources, which can be exempted from energy taxation by the Member States.

The rapporteur’s proposal to limit in time exemptions from the Directive were rejected by a narrow majority, as were proposals to make obligatory for Member States (instead of optional) tax exemptions for "green" hydrogen and small hydroelectric installations. also rejected was the proposal to bring forward, by two years (from 2010 to 2008) the (modest) increase of taxes on diesel fuel. Only the Socialist were a reliable partner for the rapporteur’s proposals

Mr. Jonckheer showed himself very disappointed by the lack of support of what he called his "minimalist" proposals. He emphasised the fact that he designed a report with only slight changes to the Council’s position in order to facilitate swift adoption in the Council, and was stunt by the fact, that the Parliament is falling behind the Council’s position as regards minimum levels of energy taxation.

He recalled the fact, that in 1999, under the rapporteurship of Mr. Cox (Liberals), the Parliament took a far more ambitious position on the same subject. Not only some MEPs from Mr. Cox own Liberal group, but also the entirety of Conservatives, who are in the meantime broadly dominated by Euro ?sceptic Tories from the UK, have obviously started a roll back as regards tax coordination and greening the tax system. While one might expect nothing else from this group (the Liberals were up to now quite supportive of green taxes), the GUE is mainly be held responsible for the disastrous outcome : Their two deputies present could have changed the majority in the votes on Mr. Jonckheers amendments (mostly 16:17, sometimes 16:16 rejected), but they preferred to vote with the right side of the House.


The report was adopted, as modified (and in fact : reversed by 180°), by 20 votes in favour, 1 against and 9 abstentions. Mr. Jonckheer (abstaining on his own report) declared that the most important thing for him remains the adoption of the Directive in the Council : We are far from welcoming the compromise in the Council, which is far too weak and littered with hundreds of exemptions, but it is a small step forward, the only we can probably achieve in the decade to come under persisting unanimity requirements in the Council. He also recalled that the vote of the Parliament has no direct implication on the text (consultation procedure) but we should avoid to give any pretext to Member States to re ?open the package agreed in the Council with the aim to further delay adoption of the Directive..
He will re ?table some of his amendments for the Plenary hoping for another majority with more conscious Conservative deputies (perhaps sitting in other Committees) and with the Liberals and GUE hopefully deciding to support, as a group, to support an environmentally responsible position of the Parliament.

À noter :

Voir la présentation de la situation.

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