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Parliamentary questions
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1 March 2016
Question for written answer E-001879-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Michel Dantin (PPE) , Franck Proust (PPE) , Alain Lamassoure (PPE) , Maurice Ponga (PPE) , Angélique Delahaye (PPE) , Tokia Saïfi (PPE) , Anne Sander (PPE) , Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE) , Renaud Muselier (PPE) , Alain Cadec (PPE) , Brice Hortefeux (PPE) , Arnaud Danjean (PPE) , Marc Joulaud (PPE) , Rachida Dati (PPE) , Françoise Grossetête (PPE)

 Subject:  Discriminatory measures against foreign retailers in Hungary
 Answer in writing 

For several years, the Hungarian Government and Parliament have been pursuing a regulatory and fiscal policy that discriminates against big, often foreign food chains, in the form of a progressive tax on turnover (special tax), or through measures introduced in 2015 with similar effects (tax on advertising, monitoring of food chains, exclusion from the market following two financial years of negative growth for operators with significant turnover, mandatory numbers of employees on the basis of sales space).

Those measures put foreign retailers at a competitive disadvantage. Between 2010 and 2014, some 20 foreign businesses left Hungary.

1. In 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union already found the law on special tax to be illegal, on the grounds that the principle of progressive tax was contrary to EC law. In light of that and given the new measures that Hungary has adopted, does the Commission intend to speed up the infringement procedures launched against that Member State?

2. Can the Commission provide an update on the state of play for those infringement proceedings?

3. Has the Commission initiated a dialogue with Hungarian authorities, and will it take upstream actions in an effort to prevent Hungary from introducing new discriminatory measures for foreign operators?

Original language of question: FR 
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