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Document JOC_2014_020_E_0001_01

Written questions by Members of the European Parliament and their answers given by a European Union institution

OJ C 20E , 23.1.2014, p. 1–621 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

23.1.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 20/1


http://www.europarl.europa.eu/QP-WEB
WRITTEN QUESTIONS WITH ANSWER

Written questions by Members of the European Parliament and their answers given by a European Union institution

(2014/C 20 E/01)

Contents

E-004180/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Euro area — unemployment

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-003877/13 by Monika Flašíková Beňová to the Commission

Subject: Record high unemployment in the European Union

Slovenské znenie

English version

E-003908/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: New borrowing by France in 2013

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003909/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — East African refugees in Yemen

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003921/13 by Sandrine Bélier to the Commission

Subject: Kaliakra Natura 2000 site

Version française

English version

E-003911/13 by Julie Girling to the Commission

Subject: Follow-up question on the Kaliakra peninsula case in Bulgaria

English version

E-003912/13 by Jean-Luc Bennahmias to the Commission

Subject: Collagen removed from persons sentenced to death

Version française

English version

E-003913/13 by Jean-Luc Bennahmias to the Commission

Subject: Endocrine disrupters

Version française

English version

E-003915/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Istanbul as the smuggler capital for EU-bound migrants (follow-up question)

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-003916/13 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen to the Commission

Subject: Sharia Courts

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-003917/13 by Ismail Ertug to the Commission

Subject: Rail freight corridors and their impact

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003918/13 by Sylvana Rapti to the Commission

Subject: Social impact of fiscal adjustment programmes

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-003919/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Need for effective remedies for public works

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

P-003920/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Recapitalisation of National Bank and Eurobank

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-003922/13 by Jill Evans to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinians prisoners

English version

E-003923/13 by Jill Evans to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinian minors being kept as prisoners

English version

E-003924/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Revote on the grounds of Commission's misguidance (follow-up)

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-003927/13 by Sophocles Sophocleous to the Commission

Subject: Measures to support the people of Cyprus following the ‘haircut’ on deposits

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-003928/13 by Georgios Stavrakakis to the Commission

Subject: Level of payments as of 31 March 2013

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-003929/13 by Ana Miranda, François Alfonsi, Jill Evans and Mark Demesmaeker to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinian prisoners

Versión española

Version française

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-003930/13 by Astrid Lulling to the Commission

Subject: Distance selling of wine: internal market inefficiencies

Version française

English version

E-003931/13 by Jörg Leichtfried to the Commission

Subject: Training of pilots

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003941/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Children and adolescents with high blood pressure.

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003942/13 by Ismail Ertug to the Commission

Subject: Limiting the transport of animals over long journeys

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003943/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Israeli gas extraction in the Tamar Field — disputed sea borders

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003944/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Protection of the bee population

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003945/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Euro crisis leads to poorer access to healthcare services

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003946/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Evergreening of medicinal product patents

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003947/13 by Salvatore Iacolino, Raffaele Baldassarre, Barbara Matera and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: The case of the ILVA steelworks in Taranto

Versione italiana

English version

P-003948/13 by Monica Luisa Macovei to the Council

Subject: Offshore leaks financial scandal

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-003949/13 by Amelia Andersdotter to the Commission

Subject: Why is the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products an IP right?

Svensk version

English version

E-003950/13 by Amelia Andersdotter to the Commission

Subject: Why are utility models an IP right at EU level if they do not exist at national level in all Member States?

Svensk version

English version

E-004009/13 by Amelia Andersdotter to the Commission

Subject: Utility models considered as intellectual property rights at the European level

Svensk version

English version

E-004188/13 by Amelia Andersdotter to the Commission

Subject: Plant variety rights and intellectual property rights

Svensk version

English version

E-003951/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Western Sahara and the EU-Morocco Free Trade Agreement

English version

E-003952/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Auken report and property rights in Spain

English version

E-003953/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: Important new tax charges on small and medium-sized properties in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-003954/13 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Accessibility of trains for wheelchair users

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-003955/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Expropriation of land from the Masai people in Tanzania

Versión española

English version

E-003956/13 by Julie Girling to the Commission

Subject: Human rights abuses in Equatorial Guinea

English version

E-003957/13 by Dominique Vlasto to the Commission

Subject: Internet domain name extensions and the wine industry

Version française

English version

E-003958/13 by Nikolaos Salavrakos to the Commission

Subject: Support for Greece in paying for damage caused by forest fires

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

P-003959/13 by Janusz Władysław Zemke to the Commission

Subject: Construction of bypasses around Kamień Krajeński and Sępólno Krajeńskie on national road 25 in Poland

Wersja polska

English version

P-003960/13 by Raffaele Baldassarre to the Commission

Subject: Rules governing services for ships in the port of Brindisi and EC law on free competition and the award of concessions

Versione italiana

English version

E-003961/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Human rights violations in Saudi Arabia

Versión española

English version

E-003962/13 by Satu Hassi to the Commission

Subject: Protection of the Siberian flying squirrel in Finland

Suomenkielinen versio

English version

E-003963/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Monitoring of organ trafficking

English version

E-003964/13 by Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă to the Commission

Subject: Rural economy — financial stability

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-003966/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Support for Myanmar

Version française

English version

E-003967/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of illegal downloading

Version française

English version

E-003968/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Creation of the ‘Leaders Club’

Version française

English version

E-003969/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Computer hacking: distinguishing between good hackers and bad hackers

Version française

English version

E-003970/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Exploitation of water resources in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara

Versión española

English version

E-003971/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Export of Moroccan-labelled products from the Western Sahara

Versión española

English version

E-003972/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Council of Europe report on environmental health

Versión española

English version

E-003973/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Deportation of a transsexual Panamanian national

Versión española

English version

E-003974/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Local authority-owned power generation

English version

E-003975/13 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: Payments for ecosystem services in the EU

Version française

English version

E-003976/13 by Aldo Patriciello to the Commission

Subject: Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 for Romania

Versione italiana

English version

E-003977/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Intimidation of a Spanish political delegation in the Gaza Strip

Versión española

English version

E-003978/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists list of tax havens leaked

Versión española

English version

E-003979/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Changes in VAT refund figures

Versión española

English version

E-003980/13 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: ‘Germany in control of the antifraud service of Europe’

Deutsche Fassung

English version

P-003981/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Gang rape of an underage girl: infringement of fundamental rights and double victimisation

Versione italiana

English version

P-003982/13 by Carmen Fraga Estévez to the Commission

Subject: Food safety monitoring of tinned food from Thailand

Versión española

English version

P-003983/13 by Cornelia Ernst to the Commission

Subject: Implementation of the extremism clause in the Free State of Saxony in respect of the allocation of funds for the Elbe/Labe Euroregion

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-003984/13 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Rejection of Romania's application to extend the deadline for applying reverse taxation to cereals

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-003985/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Infanrix vaccine

Versión española

English version

E-003986/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Council

Subject: Arms Trade Treaty

Versión española

English version

E-003987/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Arms Trade Treaty

Versión española

English version

E-003988/13 by Edite Estrela to the Commission

Subject: Commission representative in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-003989/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Use of direct and indirect funds by the Municipality of Siena (Tuscany)

Versione italiana

English version

E-003990/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Enforcing Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

English version

E-003991/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Qatari project to ‘Islamise’ East Jerusalem

Versione italiana

English version

E-003992/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Calls for the release of Chinese anti-corruption activists

Versione italiana

English version

E-003993/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Raid on Iraqi newspapers

Versione italiana

English version

E-003994/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — New attack by Israel on the Gaza Strip

Versión española

English version

E-003995/13 by Aldo Patriciello to the Commission

Subject: Disparities among EU Member States in accessing funds

Versione italiana

English version

E-003996/13 by Nuno Teixeira to the Commission

Subject: Proposals for renegotiating Portugal's adjustment conditions

Versão portuguesa

English version

P-003997/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Rights of Greek National School of Public Administration graduates — training for fast-stream public service recruitment in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

P-003998/13 by Giancarlo Scottà to the Commission

Subject: Distance selling of wine to private customers

Versione italiana

English version

E-003999/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: The situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry and Directive 2011/7/EU on late payment

Versión española

English version

E-004000/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry and late payments by public administrations

Versión española

English version

E-004001/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Late payments to pharmacies by Spanish public administrations

Versión española

English version

E-004002/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry: promised collective investments in new information and communication technologies

Versión española

English version

E-004003/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry and potential European lines of funding

Versión española

English version

E-004004/13 by Ana Miranda to the Commission

Subject: Possible infringement of the common rules for the internal market in natural gas

Versión española

English version

E-004005/13 by Ana Miranda to the Commission

Subject: Possible infringement of the common rules for the internal market in natural gas (2)

Versión española

English version

E-004006/13 by Phil Bennion to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Allegations of torture in Palestinian Authority-run jails

English version

E-004007/13 by Charles Tannock and Fiorello Provera to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Property rights of EU citizens in Egypt

Versione italiana

English version

E-004008/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Enforced segregation in Gaza schools

Versione italiana

English version

E-004010/13 by Giommaria Uggias to the Commission

Subject: Aerial firefighting coordination plan

Versione italiana

English version

E-004022/13 by Rebecca Taylor to the Commission

Subject: Airport body scanners

English version

E-004023/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Stability Pact and co-financing of EU funds: new criteria for investments in the public interest

Versione italiana

English version

P-004035/13 by Jörg Leichtfried to the Commission

Subject: EASA investigation into cases of contaminated cabin air in aircraft

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004036/13 by Christine De Veyrac and Maurice Ponga to the Commission

Subject: Possible infringement of the principles of non-discrimination and respect for human dignity

Version française

English version

E-004037/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: Retaliatory measures by the US following a failure to comply with the transatlantic air transport agreement

Version française

English version

E-004038/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: Flagrant discrimination against Palestinian passengers travelling to Israel

Version française

English version

P-004039/13 by Theodoros Skylakakis to the Commission

Subject: Interest on business loans in the euro area

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004040/13 by Martina Anderson to the Commission

Subject: Horsemeat

English version

E-004041/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Cessation of the Cyprus investigative commission inquiry

Nederlandse versie

English version

P-004042/13 by Agnès Le Brun to the Commission

Subject: Imports of Ukrainian eggs

Version française

English version

P-004043/13 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: Dredging for oil extraction in the Arctic

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004044/13 by Sabine Wils to the Commission

Subject: Subsidies for the Stuttgart 21 railway project

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004045/13 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: Relocation grants

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004259/13 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: Removal subsidies II

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004046/13 by Marina Yannakoudakis to the Commission

Subject: Athens office of the Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs

English version

E-004047/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Breach of Directive 1999/74/EC on the protection of laying hens

English version

E-004048/13 by Derk Jan Eppink to the Commission

Subject: Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy Commission investigations into Chinese solar products

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004049/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Consequences for the Italian vehicle repair sector of the proposal for a regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (COM(2012)0380)

Versione italiana

English version

E-004050/13 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — dredging for oil extraction in the Arctic

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004051/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Commissioner Kroes's interference with the Italian elections

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004052/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Cataloguing, study and preservation of European heritage throughout the world II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004053/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Commission proposal on official controls

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004054/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Investigations into fraudulent food labelling

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004055/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Arab Spring — EU financial assistance

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004056/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Single portal — funding opportunities

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004057/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: European funding — examples of successful applications

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004058/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: European Maritime Day — European Parliament support

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004059/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Pork found in elk lasagne

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004060/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Antibiotic resistance

Versão portuguesa

English version

P-004061/13 by Daniël van der Stoep to the Commission

Subject: The Belgian vignette

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004062/13 by Santiago Fisas Ayxela to the Commission

Subject: Late payments by the Catalan Government to the pharmacy industry

Versión española

English version

E-004063/13 by Sven Giegold to the Commission

Subject: Subsidies granted to Vattenfall or third parties for the Jänschwalde CCS project

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004064/13 by Martin Ehrenhauser to the Commission

Subject: Recovery of EU funds — cohesion policy

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004065/13 by Martin Ehrenhauser to the Commission

Subject: Recovery of EU funds — EAFRD

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004066/13 by Martin Ehrenhauser to the Commission

Subject: Recovery of EU funds — EAGF

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004067/13 by Cornelia Ernst to the Commission

Subject: Seizure of passports in Macedonia

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004068/13 by Brian Simpson to the Commission

Subject: Monetary sanctions against foreign transport companies for infringements of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005

English version

E-004069/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Chinese fur exports

English version

E-004070/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: EU economy

English version

E-004071/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Arthritis and acute pain medication

English version

E-004072/13 by Amelia Andersdotter to the Commission

Subject: Difference between intellectual property rights and industrial rights

Svensk version

English version

E-004073/13 by Debora Serracchiani to the Commission

Subject: Restructuring of Nova Ljubljanska banka

Versione italiana

English version

E-004074/13 by Debora Serracchiani to the Commission

Subject: Renewable energy in Romania

Versione italiana

English version

E-004075/13 by Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy to the Commission

Subject: Certification standards for trains using European railways

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004076/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: The future of the European Union

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004077/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Psychosocial risks at work as a result of the crisis

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004078/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Haircut to bank deposits in Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004079/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Rising unemployment in the EU

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004080/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Commission's initiative in finding additional means of funding for Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004081/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Combating unemployment

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004082/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: IMF participation in the rescue of the Cyprus economy

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004083/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Supporting the people of Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004084/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Task force for Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004085/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of the Eurogroup decision on Cyprus and the eurozone

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004086/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Economic crisis in Europe

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004087/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Cypriot banks' exposure to the Greek debt crisis

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-004088/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of Eurogroup decisions on Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

P-004089/13 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: North Korea's ‘state of war’ declaration

Versión española

English version

P-004090/13 by Pavel Poc to the Commission

Subject: Possible breach of the European energy framework — compensation for damages

České znění

English version

P-004091/13 by Françoise Castex to the Commission

Subject: PNR agreement and personal data

Version française

English version

E-004092/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: European Investment Bank financing for the ‘Crea Escola’ programme in Valencia (Spain)

Versión española

English version

E-004093/13 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: Relations between the EU and Venezuela after the elections

Versión española

English version

E-004094/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Reduction in EU nitric oxide limits

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004095/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Regulation on seeds — Biodiversity

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004097/13 by Michael Cramer to the Commission

Subject: Cost-benefit analysis as referred to in Article 37 of Directive 2007/59/EC

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004098/13 by Michael Cramer to the Commission

Subject: Loss of international passenger trains in Greece

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004099/13 by Michael Cramer to the Commission

Subject: Ticketing and travel information in the Single European Railway Area

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004100/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Freeze on French mimolette cheese in the United States

Version française

English version

E-004101/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Incinerator at Montale (Pistoia): possible violation of health and environmental protection rules

Versione italiana

English version

E-004102/13 by Silvia-Adriana Ţicău to the Commission

Subject: Review of air passenger rights legislation

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-004103/13 by Sophia in 't Veld to the Commission

Subject: FISA/Patriot Act-free services and public procurement rules

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-004104/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Measures to stimulate lending

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004105/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Banking sector in Luxembourg

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004106/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Interest rates in the euro area

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004107/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Credit contraction in the European periphery

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004108/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Adjustment process in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004109/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Bank closures in the euro area

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004110/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Sale of Cyprus's gold reserves to fund the bailout

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004111/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Constitutional Court ruling

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004112/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Next loan instalment from the Troika expected in May

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004113/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of the ruling by the Constitutional Court on the memorandum of understanding

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004114/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Issue of 10-year bonds by Portugal I

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004115/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Issue of 10-year bonds by Portugal II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004116/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Offshore havens I

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004117/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Lack of funds in Cyprus

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004118/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Injection of capital for Portuguese hospitals and an increase in the deficit

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004119/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economic indicators

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004120/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Catastrophe in Madeira II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004121/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: USA: New farm bill in response to the drought II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004122/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Future of the EU distant-water fishing fleet II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004123/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: European unitary patent II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004124/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Colour identification system

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-004125/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Transgenic corn II

Versão portuguesa

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E-004126/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Sardine stocks off the Iberian coast II

Versão portuguesa

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E-004127/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Report by the American Petroleum Institute

Versão portuguesa

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P-004128/13 by Francesco Enrico Speroni to the Commission

Subject: Competition between high-speed trains and motorways

Versione italiana

English version

E-004131/13 by Ole Christensen to the Commission

Subject: Ryanair's use of temporary-work agencies

Dansk udgave

English version

E-004132/13 by Othmar Karas to the Commission

Subject: Potential circumvention of EU State aid rules in connection with the liquidation of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC)

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-004133/13 by Arlene McCarthy to the Commission

Subject: Payday loans

English version

E-004134/13 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Italian draft interdepartmental decree (Act No 542) in violation of Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste

Versione italiana

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E-004135/13 by Edward McMillan-Scott to the Commission

Subject: Ongoing discrimination against foreign language teachers (lettori) in Italy

English version

E-004136/13 by Nicole Sinclaire to the Commission

Subject: Amendments to the proposed tobacco directive tabled by the Commission

English version

E-004137/13 by Catherine Stihler to the Commission

Subject: Thyroid conditions

English version

E-004138/13 by Cristian Silviu Buşoi, Jörg Leichtfried, Paul Rübig and Andrey Kovatchev to the Commission

Subject: Exemption for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project

българска версия

Deutsche Fassung

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-004139/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Freezing of quotas within the framework of the revision of the ETS Directive

Version française

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E-004140/13 by Frédérique Ries to the Commission

Subject: Ban of associations promoting paedophilia

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E-004141/13 by Frédérique Ries to the Commission

Subject: Launch of a second European Environment and Health Action Plan

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E-004142/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Stability and Growth Pact: qualitative measures for productive public investment expenditure — introduction of the golden rule

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E-004143/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Water management works on the Timonchio river and potential failure to comply with Directive 2003/4/EC on access to environmental information

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E-004144/13 by Krišjānis Kariņš to the Commission

Subject: Levels of degrees in higher-education systems in the European Union

Latviešu valodas versija

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E-004145/13 by Krišjānis Kariņš to the Commission

Subject: Opportunities for consumers to contact businesses by e-mail

Latviešu valodas versija

English version

E-004363/13 by Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra to the Commission

Subject: European pre-university examination

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E-004146/13 by Krišjānis Kariņš to the Commission

Subject: Systems for grading educational attainment in the European Union

Latviešu valodas versija

English version

E-004147/13 by Zbigniew Ziobro to the Commission

Subject: The problem of road safety in the different EU Member States

Wersja polska

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E-004148/13 by Zbigniew Ziobro to the Commission

Subject: Violence in schools

Wersja polska

English version

E-004149/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Chemical weapons — Syria suspends UN observers

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E-004150/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Women beheaded in Papua New Guinea

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E-004151/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Deteriorating political situation in Mozambique

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E-004152/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — New uranium production unit in Iran

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E-004153/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Serbia rejects agreement with Kosovo

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E-004179/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Serbia rejects agreement with Kosovo

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E-004155/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — military mission in the DRC

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E-004156/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Resignation of the President of the Syrian National Coalition

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E-004157/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: China — the world's largest oil importer

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E-004158/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Statements by George Soros

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E-004159/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Innovative aquaculture project

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E-004160/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Great bustard — a species under threat

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E-004161/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Increased xenophobia in European health services

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E-004162/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: OECD report — Risk of Slovenia requesting financial aid

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E-004163/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Credit is more expensive for companies in Southern Europe

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E-004164/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Credit to families falls by 85% since its 2007 peak

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E-004165/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: On the EU proposal for the validation of non-formal and informal learning

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E-004166/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: European Small Claims Procedure I

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E-004167/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Availability of Memoranda of Understanding and technical documents in Portuguese

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E-004168/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Divide between north and south in Europe

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E-004169/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Child mortality in Europe

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E-004170/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Reactivation of nuclear plants in Japan

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E-004171/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Oesophageal cancer — new discoveries

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E-004172/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Breast cancer — new research

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E-004173/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Rise in the number of child abuse cases

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E-004174/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Over 26 million unemployed in the EU

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E-004175/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Fukushima — Radioactive water spillage

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E-004176/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: New cancer therapy

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E-004177/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: H7N9 virus

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E-004178/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Ambush in South Sudan

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E-004181/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: BCG vaccine shortage due to lack of laboratory capacity

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E-004182/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: The impact of the economic crisis on the fall in birth rates

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E-004183/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Consumer access to justice in cross-border disputes

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E-004184/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: EU investigates MasterCard for breaching competition law

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E-004185/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Microsoft and Nokia report Google to the Commission

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E-004186/13 by Nuno Melo to the Council

Subject: Chemical weapons in Syria

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P-004187/13 by Michèle Rivasi to the Commission

Subject: European aid for the modernisation of the Polish energy system

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E-004189/13 by Jim Higgins to the Commission

Subject: Alcohol advertising and sponsorship

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E-004190/13 by Emer Costello to the Commission

Subject: Sandblasted jeans and the ‘clean clothes’ campaign

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E-004191/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Personal data protection: suitable further European measures

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E-004192/13 by Claudio Morganti to the Commission

Subject: Developments relating to competition in the car and motorcycle insurance sector in Italy

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E-004193/13 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Unequal income distribution in the fruit and vegetable sector

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E-004194/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Future of the relationship between sport, health and social life

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E-004195/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: The future of European disability legislation: prospects for effective implementation

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E-004196/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Measures to deal with the tuberculosis crisis

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E-004197/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Dealing with the emergency of psychotropic drugs being prescribed to children: measures in the Member States

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E-004198/13 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Cross-border crime in South-West Flanders

Nederlandse versie

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E-004199/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Funding of innovation and development measures

Wersja polska

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E-004200/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Situation of Syrian women in Jordanian refugee camps

Wersja polska

English version

E-004201/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Treatment of Rohingya refugees in Thailand

Wersja polska

English version

P-004202/13 by James Elles to the Commission

Subject: UK High Speed 2 Rail (HS2)

English version

E-004203/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — End to the blockade of Palestine

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E-004204/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Construction of housing in the occupied Palestinian territories

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E-004205/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Israeli prison policy violations

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E-004206/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Recognition of the Palestinian State

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E-004207/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Economic aid for Guinea-Bissau

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004208/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Complaint of social dumping filed against Germany by Belgian Ministers

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004209/13 by Axel Voss, Timothy Kirkhope, Sophia in 't Veld, Carmen Romero López, Jan Philipp Albrecht and Cornelia Ernst to the Commission

Subject: Passenger name records (PNR) — targeted call for proposals

Versión española

Deutsche Fassung

Nederlandse versie

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E-004210/13 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Violation of human rights in Tibet and the worrying phenomenon of protest suicides

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E-004211/13 by Minodora Cliveti to the Commission

Subject: Strategy for global approach to tackling the problem of smoking among young people

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E-004212/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: Overcrowding in prisons

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004213/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Child mortality in the EU and Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004214/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Homicide in the EU and Europol

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004215/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Online sales of dangerous drugs

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004216/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Return of deposits to the Greek banking system

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004217/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Child welfare in the EU

Ελληνική έκδοση

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E-004218/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Adoption of guidelines for traineeships: delay in their regional implementation

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E-004219/13 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

Subject: Gang rape of a minor in Turkey

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P-004220/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Important military exercises in the Natura 2000 site of Monte Bivera, municipality of Sauris, during the wildlife breeding period

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E-004221/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Glacial melting in Europe and climate targets

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004222/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Monsanto's plans to patent cucumbers, broccoli and melons

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004223/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: The Bitcoin virtual currency

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004224/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Improving literacy among girls in Pakistan

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004225/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Use of EU subsidies in the Czech Republic

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004226/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Follow-up question on Syria — Children as human shields

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004227/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Use of chemical weapons in Syria

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004228/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Italy's economic development, despite the absence of a new government

Deutsche Fassung

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E-004229/13 by Véronique Mathieu Houillon to the Commission

Subject: Marketing of absinthe

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E-004230/13 by Ana Miranda to the Commission

Subject: Situation regarding the agreement signed by the EU and the Republic of Mauritania

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(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-004180/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(12 de abril de 2013)

Assunto: Zona euro — desemprego

Considerando que:

De acordo com o relatório do executivo comunitário sobre o emprego e a situação social na União Europeia (UE), «a disparidade no desemprego entre o sul/periferia e o norte da zona do euro atingiu uma diferença sem precedentes de 10 pontos percentuais em 2012»;

O mesmo relatório refere ainda que «a contenção dos orçamentos públicos afetou negativamente o emprego, tanto diretamente, através da redução do emprego no setor público, como indiretamente, através da redução da procura macroeconómica agregada».

Pergunto à Comissão:

Que medidas pensa poder vir a tomar para inverter a referida situação?

Resposta conjunta dada por László Andor em nome da Comissão

(7 de junho de 2013)

A solidez das finanças públicas não é uma alternativa, mas sim um pré-requisito para o crescimento sustentável e o emprego. Continuamos a sentir as repercussões — designadamente nos mercados de trabalho — de uma crise económica e financeira e os seus efeitos levam inevitavelmente tempo a ser ultrapassados. A Comissão empreende iniciativas em diferentes frentes, com vista não só a apoiar a sustentabilidade orçamental, mas também a eliminar os obstáculos ao crescimento e ao emprego, tal como sublinhado na Análise Anual do Crescimento de 2013 (1). A Comissão apelou, nomeadamente, à prossecução da consolidação orçamental diferenciada e favorável ao crescimento; à promoção do crescimento e da competitividade; ao combate ao desemprego e às consequências sociais da crise.

Na sequência da adoção do Pacote do Emprego (2), a Comissão aconselhou os Estados-Membros sobre medidas relacionadas com a criação de postos de trabalho, as competências e a concretização do mercado de trabalho da UE. No Pacote de Emprego dos Jovens (3), a Comissão propôs uma Garantia para a Juventude, apoiada atualmente pela Iniciativa para o Emprego dos Jovens. O Pacote de Investimento Social (4) convidou os Estados-Membros a gastar de forma mais eficaz e eficiente para assegurar uma proteção social adequada e sustentável.

Através do Semestre Europeu, são promovidas reformas estruturais para eliminar os obstáculos ao crescimento e dar resposta aos desafios dos mercados de trabalho e da política social. A Comissão avaliará as medidas adotadas pelos Estados-Membros para promover o crescimento e o emprego e proporá recomendações políticas. Fará um relatório sobre os progressos realizados no sentido de atingir os objetivos da estratégia Europa 2020.

O Quadro Financeiro Plurianual irá representar um contributo substancial para os esforços dos Estados-Membros para a realização da estratégia Europa 2020. A Comissão propôs que uma quota mínima de 25 % do orçamento afetado à política de coesão fosse dedicada ao Fundo Social Europeu.

(Slovenské znenie)

Otázka na písomné zodpovedanie E-003877/13

Komisii

Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D)

(8. apríla 2013)

Vec: Rekordne vysoká nezamestnanosť v Európskej únii

Podľa najnovších prieskumov nezamestnanosť v eurozóne stúpla na rekordne vysokých 12 %. Hospodárska kríza a s ňou súvisiaca politika úsporných opatrení túto situáciu ešte viac zhoršuje. Akoby absentovala stratégia a snaha kombinovať dlhodobú fiškálnu zodpovednosť s investíciami do rastu a zamestnanosti.

Má Komisia vôľu konkrétnymi krokmi hľadať alternatívy, ktoré by mohli byť prínosom a mohli by prispieť k ekonomicky rozumnej a sociálne vyváženej politike zameranej na znižovanie zadlženosti a poklesu vysokej miery nezamestnanosti?

Spoločná odpoveď pána Andora v mene Komisie

(7. júna 2013)

Zdravé verejné financie nie sú alternatívou, ale skôr predpokladom pre trvalo udržateľný rast a zamestnanosť. Stále vidíme dedičstvo hospodárskej a finančnej krízy, a to aj na trhu práce, a na to, aby sa jej dôsledky mohli zasa vstrebať, bude nevyhnutne potrebný určitý čas. Komisia na viacerých frontoch uskutočňuje iniciatívy zamerané nielen na podporu fiškálnej udržateľnosti, ale aj na odstránenie prekážok pre rast a zamestnanosť, ako sa uvádza v ročnom prieskume rastu na rok 2013 (5). Komisia okrem iného vyzvala na realizáciu diferencovanej fiškálnej konsolidácie zameranej na rast, ako aj na podporu rastu a konkurencie schopnosti, riešenie otázok nezamestnanosti a sociálnych dôsledkov krízy.

Po prijatí balíka opatrení v oblasti zamestnanosti (6) Komisia odporučila členským štátom opatrenia týkajúce sa tvorby pracovných miest, zručností a dobudovania trhu práce EÚ. V balíku opatrení v oblasti zamestnanosti mladých ľudí (7) Komisia navrhla systém záruk pre mladých, ktorý teraz získal oporu v podobe iniciatívy na podporu zamestnanosti mladých ľudí. V balíku o sociálnych investíciách (8) boli členské štáty vyzvané, aby prostriedky vynakladali účinnejšie a efektívnejšie na zabezpečenie primeranej a udržateľnej sociálnej ochrany.

Prostredníctvom európskeho semestra sa presadzujú štrukturálne reformy na odstránenie prekážok rastu a riešenie problémov na trhu práce a v oblasti sociálnej politiky. Komisia posúdi opatrenia členských štátov na podporu rastu a zamestnanosti a navrhne odporúčania pre tvorbu politík. Bude podávať správy o pokroku dosiahnutom pri plnení cieľov stratégie Európa 2020.

Viacročný finančný rámec bude predstavovať významný príspevok k úsiliu členských štátov o splnenie cieľov stratégie Európa 2020. Komisia navrhla, aby sa minimálny podiel vo výške 25 % rozpočtu určeného na politiku súdržnosti vyhradil pre Európsky sociálny fond.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003877/13

to the Commission

Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Record high unemployment in the European Union

According to the latest surveys, unemployment in the eurozone has risen to a record high of 12%. The economic crisis and the related policy of austerity measures make the situation even worse. It is as if there was no strategy or effort to combine long-term fiscal responsibility with investment in growth and jobs.

Does the Commission have the will to take concrete steps towards finding alternatives that might be beneficial and might contribute to an economically sensible and socially balanced policy aimed at reducing debt and lowering the high unemployment rate?

Question for written answer E-004180/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(12 April 2013)

Subject: Euro area — unemployment

Given that:

The Commission’s report on the EU employment and social situation states that ‘The unemployment rate gap between the south/periphery and the north of the euro area reached an unprecedented 10 percentage points in 2012’;

The same report also mentions that ‘Tightening of public budgets has adversely affected employment both directly through reduced public sector employment and indirectly through lower aggregate macroeconomic demand’;

What measures does the Commission think it could take to reverse this situation?

Joint answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

Sound public finances are not an alternative but rather a pre-requisite for sustainable growth and employment. We still observe the legacy — including in labour markets — of an economic and financial crisis and its effects inevitably take time to be re-absorbed. The Commission puts in place initiatives on different fronts, aiming not only to support fiscal sustainability but also to eliminate obstacles to growth and employment, as outlined in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (9). The Commission called, among others, for pursuing differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation; promoting growth and competitiveness; tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis.

Following the adoption of the Employment Package (10), the Commission has advised Member States on measures related to job creation, skills and completion of the EU labour market. In the Youth Employment Package (11), the Commission proposed the Youth Guarantee, supported now by the Youth Employment Initiative. The Social Investment Package (12) invited Member States to spend more effectively and efficiently to ensure adequate and sustainable social protection.

Through the European Semester, structural reforms are promoted to tackle bottlenecks to growth and address challenges in labour markets and social policy. The Commission will assess Member States' measures to boost growth and jobs and propose policy recommendations. It will report on the progress towards the Europe 2020 targets.

The Multiannual Financial Framework will represent a substantial contribution to Member States' efforts to deliver on Europe 2020. The Commission proposed that a minimum share of 25% of the budget allocated to the Cohesion policy was dedicated to the European Social Fund.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003908/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(8. April 2013)

Betrifft: Frankreichs Neuverschuldung 2013

Frankreich hat jetzt das von der EU vorgegebene Ziel, die Neuverschuldung 2013 auf 3,0 % zu senken, aufgegeben und will sich dieses Ziel für 2014 setzen.

Wie schätzt die Kommission angesichts der momentanen Entwicklungen in Frankreich und im Euro-Raum die möglichen Auswirkungen dieser Entscheidung Frankreichs auf den Euro-Raum ein?

Könnte es hier einen weiteren „Rettungsschirm“-Kandidaten geben?

Antwort von Herrn Rehn im Namen der Kommission

(6. Juni 2013)

Die Wirtschafts‐ und Haushaltsentwicklung in Frankreich wird von der Kommission kontinuierlich und sorgfältig überwacht. Frankreich hat seit Beginn der Krise mehrere Maßnahmen umgesetzt, um strukturelle und budgetäre Herausforderungen anzugehen. So kann das Land seit 2010 auch eine deutliche strukturelle Konsolidierung um durchschnittlich rund 1 Prozentpunkt des BIP pro Jahr vorweisen und erfüllt damit die Vorgaben der im Rahmen des Defizitverfahrens abgegebenen Empfehlung des Rates.

Unter den derzeitigen wirtschaftlichen Bedingungen wird dieses Anpassungstempo jedoch nicht ausreichen, um das nominale Defizit im Jahr 2013 unter 3 % des BIP zu senken. Der Stabilitäts‐ und Wachstumspakt bietet in diesem Fall die Möglichkeit, die Frist für die Korrektur des übermäßigen Defizits zu verlängern. Die Gewährung einer solchen Fristverlängerung für Frankreich erscheint auch aufgrund der schwachen Wachstumsaussichten sowohl in Frankreich als auch im Euroraum gerechtfertigt. Die Kommission plant, bis Ende Mai auf der Grundlage ihrer Frühjahrsprognose eine Empfehlung für eine Empfehlung des Rates im Rahmen des Defizitverfahrens gegen Frankreich vorzulegen.

Die Kommission bleibt zuversichtlich, dass das Land die nötigen Reformen weiter umsetzt, und schließt die Notwendigkeit einer Rettungsaktion für Frankreich deshalb kategorisch aus.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003908/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: New borrowing by France in 2013

France has now abandoned the goal specified by the EU of reducing new borrowing in 2013 to 3.0% and wishes to set this as its goal for 2014.

In view of the current developments in France and the euro area, what potential impact does the Commission believe this decision by France could have on the euro area?

Could we have another candidate for a ‘rescue package’ here?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

Economic and budgetary developments in France are subject to continued and close monitoring by the Commission. Since the beginning of the crisis France has implemented measures to address its structural and budgetary challenges. In particular, France has been implementing a sizeable structural effort since 2010, averaging around 1 pp. of GDP per year, which is in line with the effort recommended by the Council in the context of the excessive deficit procedure.

However, under the current economic conditions, this sustained adjustment pace will not be sufficient to bring the nominal deficit below 3% of GDP in 2013. In such circumstances, the Stability and Growth Pact allows a postponement of the deadline for correcting the excessive deficit. Granting extra time to France appears also warranted in light of the weak growth prospects both in France and in the euro area. On the basis of the spring economic forecast, the Commission intends to present a recommendation for a Council Recommendation concerning the French excessive deficit procedure by the end of May.

The Commission remains confident that the country will keep on implementing the necessary reforms and therefore excludes categorically that France may need a bailout programme.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003909/13

an die Kommission (Vizepräsidentin/Hohe Vertreterin)

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(8. April 2013)

Betrifft: VP/HR — Ostafrikanische Flüchtlinge im Jemen

Im vergangenen Jahr wurden mehr als 100 000 Flüchtlinge, vorwiegend Äthiopier und Somalis, auf die Arabische Halbinsel geschleppt.

Diese Menschen flüchten vor politischer Verfolgung in ihrem Land, Armut und — natürlich — auch Dürre. Auf ihrer Flucht erfahren gerade junge Mädchen und Frauen einen unvorstellbaren Albtraum an mehrfachen Vergewaltigungen und schweren Misshandlungen.

1.

Es wird davon ausgegangen, dass der Hohen Vertreterin diese katastrophalen humanitären Missstände bekannt sind. Welche Maßnahmen/Unterstützungen hat sie hier bereits herbeigeführt, um dieses unmenschliche Leid der Flüchtlinge zu lindern beziehungsweise diese Misshandlungen an den Frauen zu verhindern?

2.

Ist der Hohen Vertreterin bekannt, ob diese misshandelten Frauen in den Flüchtlingscamps nicht nur Sicherheit, sondern auch wenigstens entsprechende psychologische Betreuung zur Aufarbeitung der schrecklichen Ereignisse erhalten?

(Mit der Bitte um ausführliche Erläuterungen.)

Antwort von Frau Ashton — Hohe Vertreterin/Vizepräsidentin im Namen der Kommission

(19. Juni 2013)

Der EU ist die katastrophale Lage bekannt, in der sich eine hohe Anzahl von Migranten wiederfindet, die das Meer zwischen dem Horn von Afrika und Jemen überqueren.

Die somalischen Migranten werden als Flüchtlinge „prima facie“ anerkannt und erhalten entsprechenden Schutz, vor allem durch das Hochkommissariat der Vereinten Nationen für Flüchtlinge (UNHCR), das von der EU aus ihrem Haushalt für humanitäre Hilfe finanziell unterstützt wird. Das betreffende Programm umfasst medizinische Versorgung, rechtliche Unterstützung und psychosoziale Betreuung für Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt. Dieser Ansatz wird mit anderen in Jemen tätigen Gebern und Organisationen eng abgestimmt.

Äthiopier, die den größten Teil der Wirtschaftsflüchtlinge ausmachen, haben in Jemen nicht dieselben Rechte. Sie durchqueren Jemen auf dem Weg nach Saudi-Arabien oder in die Golfstaaten. Diese Gruppe ist besonders stark von Not und Kriminalität betroffen. Die Hilfsorganisationen leisten Unterstützung in Form von Nahrungsmitteln und medizinischer Versorgung, während die bedürftigsten Gruppen unter den Neuankömmlingen (vor allem Frauen und Kinder) Schutz und Unterstützung durch die Bereitstellung von Unterkünften sowie durch medizinische Versorgung und psychosoziale Betreuung erhalten, vor allem von der Internationalen Organisation für Migration (IOM), die ebenfalls Finanzmittel von der EU erhält.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003909/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — East African refugees in Yemen

Last year more than 100 000 refugees, mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia, were taken to the Arabian Peninsula.

These people were fleeing political persecution in their country, poverty and — of course — also drought. During their journey, young girls and women in particular experience an unimaginable nightmare, being repeatedly raped and seriously ill-treated.

1.

I assume the High Representative is aware of this appalling humanitarian situation. What steps/assistance has she already put in place here to relieve the inhuman suffering of the refugees or to prevent this ill-treatment of women?

2.

Does the High Representative know whether, in the refugee camps, these ill-treated women are provided not only with safety, but also at least with appropriate psychological support to enable them to come to terms with these horrific events?

(Please provide detailed information.)

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(19 June 2013)

The EU is aware of the dire situation that large numbers of the migrants crossing the sea to Yemen from the Horn of Africa find themselves in.

Somali migrants are recognised as ‘prima facie refugees’ and receive protection accordingly, notably through UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), financially supported by EU through the humanitarian aid budget. This programme includes medical care, legal assistance and psychosocial counselling for victims of gender violence. This approach is closely coordinated with other donors and organisations active in Yemen.

The Ethiopians, who constitute the bulk of the economic migrants, do not have the same rights in Yemen. They use Yemen as a country of transit to Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States. This group is particularly exposed to hardship and crime. Aid agencies provide some support in the form of food and medical care, while the most vulnerable groups among the new arrivals (particularly women and children) receive protection and support in the form of shelter, medical care and psychosocial counselling, notably through IOM (International Organisation for Migration) also funded by the EU.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003921/13

à la Commission

Sandrine Bélier (Verts/ALE)

(8 avril 2013)

Objet: Site Natura 2000 de Kaliakra

La Commission n'a de cesse de répéter son engagement à assurer la mise en œuvre pleine et entière du droit de l'environnement de l'UE. La Commission avait ouvert, dès novembre 2008, une procédure d'infraction à l'encontre de la Bulgarie pour mauvaise application des directives relatives aux oiseaux et aux habitats naturels dans les zones importantes pour la conservation des oiseaux (ZICO) et dans les zones de protection spéciale (ZPS) de Kaliakra. Or, pas moins de quatre ans plus tard, et plus de six ans après l'adhésion de la Bulgarie à l'Union européenne, la ZICO n'a pas encore été pleinement désignée, et les dégâts causés sur le site n'ont pas encore été réparés.

La Commission peut-elle indiquer si elle compte saisir la Cour de justice de cette affaire avant l'adhésion de la Croatie à l'Union, prévue dans le courant de l'année, en vue de garantir la pleine désignation de la ZICO de Kaliakra, le déplacement les parcs éoliens construits illégalement sur le site Natura 2000 de Kaliakra, et la restauration des habitats endommagés par ces constructions? En agissant de la sorte, la Commission renforcerait l' engagement qu'elle a pris de traduire la mise en œuvre du droit dans l'action.

Réponse commune donnée par M. Potočnik au nom de la Commission

(11 juin 2013)

La Commission confirme qu'une procédure d'infraction est ouverte concernant les questions soulevées par l'Honorable Parlementaire et qu'elle a émis un avis motivé le 22 juin 2012.

La Commission décidera des prochaines étapes sous peu.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003911/13

to the Commission

Julie Girling (ECR)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Follow-up question on the Kaliakra peninsula case in Bulgaria

In its answers to my written questions E-000104/2011 and E-6100/2010, and to the Question Time Question H-000150/2011 concerning implementation of the birds and habitats directives in Bulgaria, and the ongoing damage to the Kaliakra Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Special Protection Areas (SPA), the Commission stated that it needed time to check and analyse large amounts of technical information.

This was two years ago. Could the Commission advise whether the Bulgarian authorities, who have now had more than four years to correct the situation, have removed the wind turbines from Kaliakra and made good the damage done to the protected habitats on this site?

If not, could the Commission advise whether it intends to take any action to ensure that the Kaliakra IBA is fully designated, and that the SPA is restored and protected? If so, by when?

Question for written answer E-003921/13

to the Commission

Sandrine Bélier (Verts/ALE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Kaliakra Natura 2000 site

The Commission has repeatedly stated that it is committed to securing full implementation of EU environmental law. The Commission initiated infringement proceedings against Bulgaria for poor application of the birds and habitats directives in relation to the Kaliakra Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Special Protection Areas (SPA) as long ago as November 2008, yet more than four years later, and more than six years after Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, the IBA has still not been fully designated and the damage done to the site has not been repaired.

Could the Commission advise whether it plans to refer this case to the European Court of Justice before Croatia’s accession to the EU later this year, in order to secure full designation of the Kaliakra IBA; to remove illegally constructed wind farms from the Kaliakra Natura 2000 site; to restore the habitats damaged as a result of these actions, and by doing so, back up its commitment to implementation through action?

Joint answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2013)

The Commission confirms that it has an infringement procedure open on the issues raised by the Honourable Member and that it issued a Reasoned Opinion on 22 June 2012.

The Commission will decide on the next steps shortly.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003912/13

à la Commission

Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE)

(8 avril 2013)

Objet: Collagène prélevé sur des condamnés à mort

Le 13 septembre 2005, le quotidien anglais The Guardian livrait une enquête stupéfiante en matière d'industrie cosmétique qui révélait qu'une entreprise chinoise prélevait du collagène sur les corps de condamnés à mort exécutés et sur des fœtus pour fabriquer des produits de beauté vendus en Grande-Bretagne et probablement dans le reste de l'Union. Repris depuis lors régulièrement par la presse, cet article faisait part des préoccupations des autorités britanniques qui entendaient saisir la Commission européenne de cette question. Une question orale posée le 27 octobre 2005 (H-0772/2005) demandait à ce que la Commission propose une règlementation permettant d'encadrer les traitements cosmétiques afin de prévenir de tels abus. Dans sa réponse, la Commission affirmait qu'elle allait se saisir de cette question et que la commercialisation du collagène humain n'était pas dépourvue de cadre juridique puisqu'elle relevait de la directive (2004/23/CE) sur les tissus et les cellules, qu'elle interdisait leur usage pour fabriquer des produits cosmétiques.

Enfin la Commission faisait valoir qu'il revenait aux États membres de veiller:

à ce que les importations de tissus et cellules humains en provenance de pays tiers soient effectuées par des établissements de tissus accrédités à cette fin;

à ce que ces produits satisfassent à des normes de qualité et de sécurité équivalentes à celles qui sont établies par la directive et

à ce que l'obtention de tissus ou de cellules humains satisfasse aux exigences de consentement ou d'autorisation en vigueur dans l'État membre concerné.

Depuis 2005, la Commission s'est-elle saisie de manière plus approfondie de cette question? Le cas échéant, quelles ont été ses conclusions?

La Commission a-t-elle l'intention d'interdire explicitement la commercialisation de collagène humain utilisé pour des produits cosmétiques?

Pourquoi, après avoir rappelé l'interdiction de principe d'une telle commercialisation, la Commission a‐t‐elle rappelé les conditions de commercialisation des tissus et cellules humains (accréditation, sécurité et consentement du donneur) et affirmé qu'il revenait aux États membres de prendre leurs responsabilités en la matière?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(30 mai 2013)

La Commission partage les préoccupations de l'auteur de la question quant à la suspicion d'utilisation de collagène humain dans la préparation de certains produits vendus dans l'Union européenne. La directive 76/768/CEE (13) interdit depuis 1995 l'utilisation de tissus, de cellules ou de produits d'origine humaine (14), y compris de collagène, dans les produits cosmétiques. Toutefois, les «combleurs collagène» — seringues préremplies de collagène — ne répondent pas à la définition de «produit cosmétique» et ne relèvent donc pas du champ d'application de ladite directive.

La directive 2004/23/CE (15) s'applique aux tissus et cellules humains destinés à des applications humaines et aux produits manufacturés dérivés de tissus et cellules humains et destinés à des applications humaines, dont elle régit les importations. En 2005, la Commission a adopté des exigences techniques précises relatives au don, à l'obtention et au contrôle de ces tissus et cellules et, en particulier, elle a défini les conditions à respecter s'agissant du consentement du donneur, de l'identification et de l'évaluation au sens de la directive 2006/17/CE de la Commission (16).

Récemment, à l'occasion de la révision de la législation relative aux dispositifs médicaux (17), la Commission a proposé de réglementer certains produits fabriqués à partir de cellules ou de tissus humains non viables qui ont fait l'objet d'une manipulation substantielle et qui ne sont pas visés par le règlement (CE) n° 1394/2007 concernant les médicaments de thérapie innovante (18), de manière à étendre à ces seringues remplies de collagène le champ d'application de la législation de l'UE relative aux dispositifs médicaux.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003912/13

to the Commission

Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Collagen removed from persons sentenced to death

On 13 September 2005, the English daily newspaper The Guardian published an alarming investigation into the cosmetics industry which revealed that a Chinese company was taking collagen from persons who had been sentenced to death and executed and from foetuses in order to manufacture beauty products sold in Great Britain and probably in the rest of the Union. The British authorities expressed their concern about this article, which has been regularly syndicated in the press since, and their intention to refer the question to the European Commission. An oral question asked on 27 October 2005 (H-0772/2005) called on the Commission to propose regulations that would provide a framework for cosmetic treatments in order to prevent such abuse. In its reply, the Commission confirmed that it intended to address this question and that the marketing of human collagen was not bereft of all legal framework, because it came under Directive 2004/23/EC on tissues and cells, which prohibited their use for the preparation of cosmetic products.

Finally, the Commission emphasised that it was up to the Member States to ensure:

that human tissues and cells from third countries were imported by tissue establishments accredited for that purpose;

that these products complied with quality and security standards equivalent to those laid down in the directive and

that the human tissues or cells obtained satisfied consent or authorisation requirements in force in the Member State concerned.

Has the Commission addressed this question in greater depth since 2005? If so, what conclusions has it drawn?

Does the Commission intend to explicitly prohibit the marketing of human collagen used for the preparation of cosmetic products?

Why, having reiterated the ban in principle on such marketing, did the Commission reiterate the marketing conditions for human tissue and cells (accreditation, security and donor consent) and affirm that it was up to the Member States to assume their responsibilities in the matter?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

The Commission shares the Honourable Member's concern on the suspected use of human collagen in the preparation of certain products sold within the European Union. Directive 76/768/EEC (19) has prohibited the use of tissues, cells or products of human origin (20), including collagen, in cosmetics products since 1995. However, syringes pre-filled with collagen, so-called ‘collagen filler’, do not meet the definition of a ‘cosmetic product’ and therefore do not fall within the scope of this directive.

Directive 2004/23/EC (21) applies to human tissues and cells intended for human applications and to manufactured products derived from human tissues and cells intended for human applications. This directive regulates the import of human tissues and cells. Since 2005, the Commission has adopted detailed technical requirements on the donation, procurement and testing of human tissues and cells and, in particular, the conditions to be met in terms of donor consent, identification and evaluation in the form of Commission Directive 2006/17/EC (22).

Lastly, in the context of the revision of the medical devices legislation (23), the Commission has proposed to regulate certain products manufactured utilising non-viable human tissues or cells that have undergone substantial manipulation and are not covered by Regulation (EC) No 1394/2007 on advanced therapy medicinal products (24) which would thus bring such collagen-filled syringes within the scope of EU medical devices legislation.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003913/13

à la Commission

Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE)

(8 avril 2013)

Objet: Perturbateurs endocriniens

L'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) et le programme des Nations unies pour l'environnement (PNUE) ont récemment pointé du doigt les perturbateurs endocriniens. Soupçonnés d'avoir des conséquences néfastes sur la fertilité, sur les milieux naturels ou encore de faire partie des facteurs causant des troubles neurocomportementaux, ils sont désormais perçus comme une menace mondiale pour la santé publique. Le 14 mars 2013, le Parlement européen a également pris position en adoptant le rapport d'initiative relatif à la protection de la santé publique contre les perturbateurs endocriniens qui demande à ce que la Commission européenne se saisisse rapidement du sujet, notamment par la voie d'une révision de sa stratégie sur les perturbateurs endocriniens. Le 2 avril 2013, l'association de consommateurs «UFC que choisir» a publié une enquête alarmante sur les perturbateurs endocriniens révélant les résultats des tests réalisés sur 66 produits cosmétiques et d'hygiène de la grande distribution.

À des fins de protection des consommateurs, j'adresse les questions suivantes à la Commission:

La Commission a-t-elle l'intention de renforcer le cadre règlementaire, en application du principe de précaution, via la prise en compte de l'effet cocktail des molécules dans l'évaluation de la toxicité des produits? Le cas échéant, dans quels délais?

La Commission a-t-elle l'intention d'organiser des recherches indépendantes sur l'impact de ces molécules sur la santé humaine et sur l'environnement?

La Commission a-t-elle l'intention de renforcer le cadre règlementaire en ce qui concerne l'obligation d'information des professionnels en les obligeant à réaliser des étiquetages complets sur la composition réelle de leurs produits et à retirer de leurs formulations les molécules étant des perturbateurs endocriniens avérés ou suspectés?

Réponse donnée par M. Potočnik au nom de la Commission

(27 juin 2013)

La question des «effets cocktail» de molécules (notamment des perturbateurs endocriniens) est évoquée dans la communication de la Commission sur les effets combinés des produits chimiques (25). Conformément à la communication, la Commission a établi un groupe de travail ad hoc constitué des services et agences concernés afin de renforcer la coordination dans l'ensemble de la législation et de promouvoir l'évaluation intégrée des mélanges prioritaires. Le groupe travaille actuellement sur l'identification des mélanges prioritaires devant faire l'objet d'une évaluation intégrée dans le cadre de la législation en vigueur.

Depuis l'adoption, en 1999, de la stratégie communautaire relative aux perturbateurs endocriniens (26), 38 projets collaboratifs concernant la perturbation endocrinienne ont été financés au titre des programmes-cadres, à hauteur de plus de 110 millions d'euros de fonds de l'UE. La proposition de la Commission relative au programme-cadre «Horizon 2020» (27) prévoit de poursuivre le soutien en faveur de l'étude des effets des substances chimiques sur la santé humaine (28), notamment des perturbateurs endocriniens.. Il n'est toutefois pas possible de prévoir l'affectation des fonds en faveur de ce domaine de la recherche à ce stade de la procédure législative.

REACH (29), le règlement relatif aux produits phytopharmaceutiques (30), et le règlement relatif aux produits biocides (31) exigent déjà, dans certaines conditions, la suppression progressive des perturbateurs endocriniens. En outre, le règlement relatif aux produits cosmétiques (32) prévoit que la Commission réexamine ce règlement en ce qui concerne les perturbateurs endocriniens, une fois que des critères permettant d'identifier les perturbateurs endocriniens seront disponibles, ou au plus tard en janvier 2015. L'évaluation et la révision en cours de la stratégie concernant les perturbateurs endocriniens et l'élaboration de critères relatifs à l'identification des perturbateurs endocriniens visent à rendre ces exigences opérationnelles.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003913/13

to the Commission

Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Endocrine disrupters

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently highlighted the problem of endocrine disrupters. Suspected of having harmful effects on fertility and the natural environment and even of being one of the factors that causes neurobehavioural problems, they are now seen as a global threat to public health. On 14 March 2013, the European Parliament took a stand by adopting an own initiative report on the protection of public health from endocrine disrupters, in which it calls on the European Commission to take prompt action to address the matter, basically by revising its strategy on endocrine disrupters. On 2 April 2013, the consumer association UFC Que Choisir published an alarming survey on endocrine disrupters containing the results of tests carried out on 66 widely-used cosmetic and hygiene products.

For the purpose of consumer protection, can the Commission answer the following:

Does it intend to strengthen the regulatory framework, in applying the precautionary principle, by taking account of the cocktail effect of molecules when evaluating the toxicity of products? If so, by when?

Does the Commission intend to organise independent research into the impact of these molecules on human health and on the environment?

Does the Commission intend to strengthen the regulatory framework governing the duty of information of professionals, by requiring them to provide full labelling of the real composition of their products and to remove molecules which are proven or suspected endocrine disrupters from their formulae?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 2013)

The issue of cocktail effects of molecules (including of endocrine disruptors) is addressed in the Commission Communication on the combination effects of chemicals (33). In line with the communication, the Commission established an ad hoc working group of relevant services and Agencies to strengthen coordination across the legislation and to promote the integrated assessment of priority mixtures. The group is currently working on the identification of priority mixtures to be subject to integrated assessment within the frame of existing legislation.

Since the adoption of the Community Strategy for Endocrine Disruptors (34) in 1999, 38 collaborative projects related to endocrine disruption have been funded under Framework Programmes, receiving over 110 million euro from the EU. The Commission proposal for Horizon 2020 (35), envisages further support for studying impact of chemicals on human health (36), which includes also endocrine disruptors.. However, at this stage of the legislative process, it is not possible to predict the possible allocation of funds to this area.

REACH (37), the Plant Protection Products Regulation (38) and the Biocidal Product Regulation (39) already require under certain conditions the phasing out of endocrine disruptors. Furthermore, the Cosmetic Products Regulation (40) requires the Commission to review this regulation with regard to endocrine disruptors, when criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors are available, or at the latest by January 2015. The ongoing review and revision of the Endocrine Strategy and the development of criteria for identification of endocrine disruptors intend to make these requirements operational.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003915/13

aan de Commissie

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(8 april 2013)

Betreft: Istanbul als smokkelnest voor emigranten naar de EU (vervolgvraag)

In antwoord op schriftelijke vraag E-000467/2013 schrijft de Commissie: „De Europese Commissie heeft geen enkele overeenkomst gesloten met de Turkse regering die erop is gericht, op te treden tegen mensensmokkelaars, maar hoopt zo snel mogelijk de overnameovereenkomst namens de Europese Unie te tekenen. […] Turkije ontvangt financiële steun via het instrument voor pretoetredingssteun (IPA), onder meer voor de omschakeling en institutionele opbouw op het gebied van justitie en binnenlandse zaken. In het kader van de financiële vooruitzichten 2007-2013 is ongeveer 272 miljoen euro toegewezen aan 32 projecten op dit gebied.”

In antwoord op schriftelijke vraag E-002733/2012 schrijft de Commissie echter: „Een intensievere samenwerking met Turkije zou aanzienlijk helpen om de illegale migratie een halt toe te roepen. De Commissie bevordert bijgevolg de dialoog met Turkije om de concrete samenwerking te versterken, met name door de bestrijding van criminele netwerken die zich bezighouden met de smokkel van illegale migranten.”

1.

Heeft de Commissie op enigerlei wijze nu wel of niet een dialoog met Turkije gehad? Zo ja, welke resultaten heeft deze dialoog gehad, en waarom heeft deze dialoog niet tot afspraken met Turkije geleid? Zo neen, waarom heeft de Commissie een dergelijke dialoog dan wel in het vooruitzicht gesteld?

2.

Waarom is er geld toegezegd zonder resultaatverplichting?

In antwoord op schriftelijke vraag E-001128/2011 schrijft de Commissie bovendien: „Turkije en de Europese Unie moeten meer inspanningen leveren om illegale migratie naar de EU aan te pakken en de overname van illegale migranten moet een belangrijk onderdeel worden van een dergelijke samenwerking.”

3.

Is de Commissie voornemens voorts nog iets te doen aan het door haarzelf geconstateerde feit dat Turkije een belangrijk doorvoerland voor illegale immigratie is, óf blijft de Commissie vertrouwen op een land waarmee zij geen enkele overeenkomst heeft weten te sluiten ondanks miljoenenbetalingen?

Antwoord van mevrouw Malmström namens de Commissie

(11 juni 2013)

De Commissie benut elke gelegenheid om illegale migratie van Turkije naar de EU met de Turkse autoriteiten te bespreken en om hen aan te sporen maatregelen te nemen om dit fenomeen te voorkomen, of ten minste de gevolgen ervan aan te pakken. Bovendien heeft op 20 maart 2012 in Ankara een aan illegale migratie gewijde ad-hocvergadering plaatsgevonden.

De dialoog tussen de Commissie en de Turkse autoriteiten over illegale migratie heeft geleid tot een betere samenwerking tussen Turkije en de EU in dit opzicht. Het memorandum van overeenstemming met Frontex is in mei 2012 ondertekend en de overnameovereenkomst tussen de EU en Turkije is in juni 2012 geparafeerd. De Turkse autoriteiten hebben hun inspanningen om illegale migratie te bestrijden, verhoogd. Deze inspanningen hebben bijgedragen tot een sterke daling van het aantal illegale grensoversteken van de Griekse landgrens.

De Commissie heeft de Turkse autoriteiten voorgesteld om een meer structurele dialoog over migratie, mobiliteit en veiligheidskwesties aan te gaan en ziet ernaar uit om via de IPA-fondsen de uitvoering van maatregelen te steunen die zouden bijdragen tot een sterkere samenwerking tussen de EU en Turkije in deze aangelegenheden, en tot de opbouw van de capaciteit van Turkije.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003915/13

to the Commission

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Istanbul as the smuggler capital for EU-bound migrants (follow-up question)

In response to Written Question E-000467/2013, the Commission writes: ‘The European Commission has not concluded with the Turkish government any agreement aimed at combating the criminals engaged in human smuggling, but looks forward to sign as soon as possible, on behalf, of the European Union, the readmission agreement. […] Turkey receives financial support via the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), including for transition assistance and institution building in the area of Justice and Home Affairs. For the 2007-2013 framework an approximate allocation of EUR 272 million have been allocated for 32 projects in this area.’

However, in response to Written Question E-002733/2012 the Commission writes: ‘A dialogue and reinforced cooperation with Turkey could seriously help to tackle irregular migration. The Commission is therefore promoting such a dialogue that is also aimed at identifying ways to strengthen concrete cooperation, including by combating criminal networks that are behind the smuggling of irregular migrants.’

1.

Has the Commission conducted any kind of dialogue with Turkey? If so, what results has this dialogue produced, and why has it not led to agreements with Turkey? If not, why did the Commission then envisage such a dialogue?

2.

Why was money pledged without an obligation to produce a result?

The Commission writes in response to Written Question E-001128/2011: ‘Turkey and the European Union should step up their efforts to tackle irregular migration coming to the EU and that the readmission of irregular migrants is to be an important part of such cooperation.’

3.

Does the Commission intend to do anything more about the fact that, as it has stated itself, Turkey is a major transit country for illegal immigrants, or will the Commission continue to trust a country with which it has failed to reach a single agreement despite paying it millions of euros?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2013)

The Commission takes any available opportunity to discuss with Turkish authorities irregular migration reaching the EU from Turkey and to encourage them to take measures to prevent its phenomenon or at least address its consequences. Furthermore, an ad-hoc meeting specifically destined to discuss irregular migration took place on 20 March 2012 in Ankara.

The dialogue between the Commission and Turkish authorities on irregular migration lead the latter to enhance their cooperation with the EU in this matter. The Memorandum of Understanding with Frontex was signed in May 2012 and the EU-Turkey readmission agreement initialled in June 2012. The Turkish authorities have also increased their efforts to combat irregular migration, efforts that have contributed to the serious decrease of unauthorised border crossings of the Greek land border.

The Commission has proposed to Turkish authorities to hold a dialogue on migration, mobility and security matters in a more structured manner and looks forward to assist through the IPA funds the implementation of actions which would contribute to further strengthen the EU-Turkey cooperation in these matters as well as to build up the capacities of Turkey.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003916/13

aan de Commissie

Laurence J. A. J. Stassen (NI)

(8 april 2013)

Betreft: Shariarechtbanken

Het televisieprogramma „BBC Panorama” heeft met een verborgen camera vastgelegd hoe shariarechtbanken in Groot-Brittannië functioneren: een vrouw vertelt dat zij door haar echtgenoot geregeld wordt geslagen én dat zij daarvan aangifte wil doen bij de politie. De shariarechter stelt dat het inschakelen van de politie „de laatste optie” zou zijn. Het zou volgens hem beter zijn wanneer de vrouw samen met haar man voor de shariarechtbank zou verschijnen.

1.

Is de Commissie bekend met het beeldmateriaal

1.

Is de Commissie bekend met het beeldmateriaal

„Secret filming at Sharia council shows women at risk” (41)? Hoe beoordeelt de Commissie dit?

2.

Hoe staat de Commissie tegenover shariarechtspraak in de EU? Deelt de Commissie de mening dat shariarechtspraak illegaal is in de EU? Deelt de Commissie de mening dat shariarechtspraak in strijd is met artikel 2 VEU? Zo neen, waarom niet?

3.

Deelt de Commissie de mening dat uit het beeldmateriaal overduidelijk blijkt dat de shariarechtspraak de nationale wetgeving resp. de Europese wetgeving ondermijnt en dat dat kwalijk is? Zo neen, waarom niet?

4.

Deelt de Commissie de mening dat het verwerpelijk is als een shariarechter een vrouw, die door haar echtgenoot geregeld wordt geslagen, ervan weerhoudt naar de politie te stappen? Deelt de Commissie de mening dat dit het probleem van geweld jegens islamitische vrouwen niet oplost maar juist in de hand werkt? Zo neen, waarom niet?

Antwoord van mevrouw Reding namens de Commissie

(14 juni 2013)

De Commissie is niet bekend met de beelden die door het televisieprogramma „Panorama” van de BBC zijn gemaakt.

De Commissie herinnert eraan dat „sharia” een algemeen concept is dat verschillende juridische aspecten omvat en op verschillende manieren wordt geïnterpreteerd (42). De Commissie herinnert er eveneens aan dat alle EU-wetgeving in overeenstemming moet zijn met het Handvest van de grondvesten van de Europese Unie (43).

De Commissie streeft naar een krachtige beleidsaanpak om alle vormen van geweld tegen vrouwen te bestrijden, zoals in het programma van Stockholm en de Strategie voor de gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen (2010-2015) (44) is uiteengezet De Commissie zet zich in voor de zelfbeschikking van vrouwen, bewustmaking, het bevorderen van de uitwisseling van goede praktijken, een betere gegevensverzameling en financiële steun aan transnationale projecten via het Daphne III-programma.

De Commissie maakt volledig gebruik van de EU-bevoegdheden om doeltreffende maatregelen op het gebied van burgerlijk recht en strafrecht te nemen om de lidstaten te ondersteunen bij de uitroeiing van geweld tegen vrouwen.

Richtlijn 2012/29/EU waarin minimumnormen voor de rechten en de bescherming van slachtoffers van misdrijven en voor slachtofferhulp zijn vastgesteld (termijn voor omzetting 16 november 2015), zal een aanzienlijke meerwaarde bieden ten opzichte van het huidige wettelijke kader uit hoofde van het kaderbesluit inzake de status van het slachtoffer in de strafprocedure. Het recht op steun is een van de belangrijkste rechten in deze richtlijn. Ze is erop gericht slachtoffers en hun familieleden kosteloos toegang te verschaffen tot ondersteuningsdiensten die op vertrouwelijke basis informatie en advies, emotionele en psychologische steun en praktische bijstand verlenen. Slachtoffers van strafbare feiten zouden zo snel mogelijk na de feiten steun moeten kunnen krijgen, ongeacht of de feiten zijn aangegeven of niet.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003916/13

to the Commission

Laurence J.A.J. Stassen (NI)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Sharia Courts

The BBC television program, Panorama, secretly filmed how Sharia courts function in Great Britain: a woman tells a Sharia judge that her husband regularly hits her and that she wants to report this to the police. The judge says that involving the police should be ‘the last resort’. It would be better, according to him, if the woman and her husband appeared before the Sharia court.

1.

Is the Commission familiar with the video footage

1.

Is the Commission familiar with the video footage

‘Secret filming at Sharia council shows women at risk’ (45)? What is the Commission’s view of it?

2.

What is the Commission's stand on Sharia law in the EU? Does the Commission agree that Sharia law is illegal in the EU? Does the Commission agree that Sharia law is in conflict with Article 2 of the TEU? If not, why not?

3.Does the Commission agree that the footage clearly shows that Sharia law undermines national and European legislation and that that is wrong? If not, why not?

4.

Does the Commission agree that it is reprehensible that a Sharia judge should advise a woman regularly hit by her husband against going to the police? Does the Commission agree that this does not solve the problem of violence against Muslim women but just makes it worse? If not, why not?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(14 June 2013)

The Commission is not aware of the video footage filmed by the BBC television programme, Panorama.

The Commission recalls that ‘Sharia’ is a general concept that encompasses several legal aspects and is the subject of varying interpretations (46). The Commission also recalls that any EU legislation must comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (47).

The Commission is committed to a strong policy response to combat all forms of violence against women, as seen in the Stockholm Programme and the strategy for equality between women and men (2010-2015) (48). The Commission works for the empowerment of women, awareness raising, the promotion of exchanges of good practices, the improvement of data collection, and financial support for transnational projects through the Daphne III programme.

Making full use of EU competences, the Commission is also taking effective civil and criminal justice measures to support the Member states in eradicating violence against women.

Directive 2012/29/EU, which establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of the victims of crime (transposition deadline 16 November 2015), will bring significant value added compared to the current legal framework under the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings. The right to support is one of the core rights in the directive. Its purpose is to ensure that victims, and their family members, have access to confidential and free of charge support services which provide information and advice, emotional and psychological support and practical assistance. Support should be available from the earliest possible moment after the commission of a crime irrespective of whether it has been reported.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003917/13

an die Kommission

Ismail Ertug (S&D)

(8. April 2013)

Betrifft: Schienengüterverkehrskorridore und ihre Folgen

Die EU erklärt Schienenbestandsstrecken zu Hochleistungskorridoren für den Güterverkehr (P7_TA(2010)0203). Das hat Auswirkungen auf Mensch und Umwelt.

Durch welche rechtlichen Vorgaben schützt die EU im Gegenzug die Bevölkerung vor den Folgen dieser Entscheidung in Bezug auf Gesundheitsschädigung durch Lärm und Vernichtung von Vermögenswerten?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(3. Juni 2013)

1.

In der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 913/2010

1.

In der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 913/2010

 (49) werden die Hauptrouten von neun Güterverkehrskorridoren festgelegt. Darin werden keine Eisenbahnstrecken zu Hochleistungskorridoren für den Güterverkehr erklärt. Dieses Konzept existiert in den EU-Rechtsvorschriften nicht. Ziel der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 913/2010 ist eine bessere grenzübergreifende Koordinierung von Investitionen (Artikel 11). In der Verordnung sind weder Verpflichtungen für Investitionen enthalten noch werden Investitionen festgelegt. Sie wirkt sich somit nicht unmittelbar auf Eigentumsverhältnisse oder die Lärmsituation aus.

2.

Folgende Legislativmaßnahmen betreffen Schienengüterverkehrslärm und Vermögenswerte:

Gemäß der Richtlinie 2011/92/EU (50) müssen die Mitgliedstaaten gewährleisten, dass Projekte, bei denen mit erheblichen Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt zu rechnen ist, erst nach einer Prüfung der Umweltauswirkungen genehmigt werden. Diese Prüfung muss sich unter anderem auf durch den Betrieb des Projekts verursachte Geräuschemissionen sowie die Auswirkungen auf Bevölkerung und Sachgüter und die Wechselwirkungen zwischen diesen Faktoren erstrecken.

Gemäß der Richtlinie 2002/49/EG (51) müssen die Mitgliedstaaten für wichtige Infrastrukturen einschließlich der Eisenbahn Lärmkarten und Aktionspläne ausarbeiten, um die Lärmbelastung in der Umgebung der in den Karten ermittelten Problempunkte zu verringern.

Die Richtlinie 2012/34/EU (52) bietet die Möglichkeit, nach dem Lärmpegel der Wagen gestaffelte Trassenentgelte zu erheben.

In der technischen Spezifikation für die Interoperabilität (TSI) „Lärm“, die derzeit überarbeitet wird, sind für neue Schienenfahrzeuge Lärmgrenzwerte festgelegt. Die Senkung der aktuellen Grenzwerte für neue Wagen und Lokomotiven wird in Betracht gezogen.

Zu beachten ist außerdem, dass auf Eisenbahnstrecken geplante Investitionen gemäß Artikel 345 AEUV den einschlägigen Bestimmungen des nationalen Eigentumsrechts unterliegen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003917/13

to the Commission

Ismail Ertug (S&D)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Rail freight corridors and their impact

The EU has classified certain railway lines as high-speed freight corridors (P7_TA(2010)0203). This impacts on man and the environment.

What legal specifications does the EU impose in order to protect the public from the impact of this decision in terms of the damage to their health from the noise and the destruction of property?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

1.

Regulation (EU) No 913/2010

1.

Regulation (EU) No 913/2010

 (53) defines principal routes of nine Rail Freight Corridors (RFC). It does not classify any railway lines as high-speed freight corridors. The latter concept does not exist in EU legislation. Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 aims at a better cross-border coordination of investments (Art 11). It does not contain any obligations for and does not define any investments. Thus it does not directly affect property ownership or noise conditions.

2.

The following legal measures relate to rail freight noise and property:

Directive 2011/92/EU (54) requires Member States to ensure that before consent is given projects likely to have significant effects on the environment are made subject to an assessment of their environmental effects. Such an assessment has to cover inter alia issues like noise emission from the operation of the project as well as impact on population and material assets and the interrelationship between these factors.

Directive 2002/49/EC (55) requires Member States to elaborate noise maps concerning major infrastructures including rail and draw up action plans in order to reduce noise exposure near hot spots identified in the mapping;

Directive 2012/34/EU (56) provides for a possibility to differentiate infrastructure charges in respect of the noise levels of wagons;

The Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI) on Noise sets maximum levels of noise for new railway vehicles and is currently under revision; lowering existing noise limits for new wagons and locomotives is under consideration;

Finally, it needs to be stressed that investments foreseen on any railway lines are subject to relevant provisions of national law on property ownership, in accordance with Article 345 TFEU.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003918/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Sylvana Rapti (S&D)

(8 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Κοινωνικές επιπτώσεις των προγραμμάτων δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής

Στην τριμηνιαία επισκόπηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής (26.3.2013) για την «Απασχόληση και την κοινωνική κατάσταση στην ΕΕ», είναι εμφανείς οι αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στην απασχόληση και την ανάπτυξη, κυρίως στις χώρες που ακολουθούν προγράμματα δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής.

Όπως επισημαίνεται στην εν λόγω επισκόπηση, η δημοσιονομική προσαρμογή στα κράτη μέλη έχει επιδεινώσει άμεσα και έμμεσα την απασχόληση. Άμεσα, λόγω του περιορισμού του δημοσίου τομέα (13% στην Ελλάδα) και των δημόσιων χρηματοδοτήσεων και, έμμεσα, λόγω της προκαλούμενης ύφεσης, καθώς αναγνωρίζεται ότι οι παρούσες οικονομικές συνθήκες ευνοούν μεγαλύτερους δημοσιονομικούς πολλαπλασιαστές. Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι στην Ελλάδα η ανεργία έχει ανέλθει, τον Φεβρουάριο του 2013, στο 26,4%, από το 9,6% που ήταν στα τέλη του 2009.

Επιπλέον, η μείωση, λόγω των αναγκών δημοσιονομικής εξυγίανσης και των κοινωνικών δαπανών, η οποία είναι πολύ μεγαλύτερη σε σχέση με παλαιότερες περιόδους οικονομικής ύφεσης, εξουδετερώνει τη λειτουργία της οικονομικής σταθεροποίησης των συστημάτων κοινωνικής προστασίας σε πολλά κράτη μέλη και οδηγεί στην επιδείνωση της ύφεσης. Τα νοικοκυριά χαμηλού εισοδήματος έχουν πληγεί ακόμα περισσότερο από την υποβάθμιση των συστημάτων κοινωνικών παροχών αλλά και από τις περικοπές στους μισθούς και την φορολογία, αντιμετωπίζοντας δραματική μείωση του βιοτικού τους επιπέδου. Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τα δεδομένα αυτά και με βάση τους στόχους των Συνθηκών στο άρθρο 3 της ΣΕΕ και τα άρθρα 151, 152 και 153 της ΣΛΕΕ για την κοινωνική πρόοδο, την προώθηση της απασχόλησης και τη βελτίωση των συνθηκών διαβίωσης, ερωτάται η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή:

Σε ποια νομική βάση στηρίζεται προκειμένου να προτάσσει ως προτεραιότητα τους οικονομικούς δείκτες έναντι της απασχόλησης και της κοινωνικής συνοχής;

Πώς σκοπεύει να αξιοποιήσει τα συμπεράσματα της τριμηνιαίας επισκόπησης για την Απασχόληση και την Κοινωνική Κατάσταση στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση;

Τι μέτρα προτίθεται να προτείνει για την αντιμετώπιση των δυσμενών κοινωνικών επιπτώσεων των προγραμμάτων δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής που η ίδια έχει εισηγηθεί και επιβλέπει την τήρησή τους ως μέλος της τρόικα;

Εξετάζει την πιθανότητα αναθεώρησης του ρυθμού δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής των κρατών μελών, όπως έχει προταθεί και από το ψήφισμα 2013 του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου σχετικά με το Ευρωπαϊκό Εξάμηνο για τον συντονισμό των οικονομικών πολιτικών: απασχόληση και κοινωνικές πτυχές στην ετήσια επισκόπηση της ανάπτυξης 2013 (P7_TA(2013)0053 της 7.2.2013);

Απάντηση του κ. Andor εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(6 Ιουνίου 2013)

Η Επιτροπή δεν έχει προβεί σε καμία πρόταση για πρόταξη των οικονομικών δεικτών έναντι της απασχόλησης και των κοινωνικών δεικτών. Παρακολουθεί και αναλύει με ιδιαίτερη προσοχή και ενδιαφέρον την απασχόληση και την κοινωνική κατάσταση στην Ευρώπη.

Η ετήσια ανασκόπηση για την «Απασχόληση και Κοινωνικές Εξελίξεις στην Ευρώπη» και οι τριμηνιαίες ανασκοπήσεις για την «Εργασιακή και Κοινωνική Κατάσταση» αποτελούν ανάλυση των υπηρεσιών της Επιτροπής που τροφοδοτεί την ανάπτυξη πολιτικών.

Η Ετήσια Έρευνα για την Ανάπτυξη το 2013 ήδη καθιστά σαφές ότι χρειάζεται πιο αποφασιστική πολιτική δράση για την επιστροφή στην ανάπτυξη και τη μείωση των υψηλών επιπέδων ανεργίας. Η δημοσιονομική εξυγίανση ήταν απαραίτητη σε πολλά κράτη μέλη για να θέσουν τις οικονομίες τους σε βιώσιμη βάση, αλλά η Επιτροπή έχει υπογραμμίσει ότι αυτό πρέπει να γίνεται κατά τρόπο κοινωνικά δίκαιο, όσο το δυνατόν πιο φιλικό προς την ανάπτυξη και ότι η κατάλληλη φορολογική πολιτική θα εξαρτηθεί από την ιδιαίτερη κατάσταση του κάθε κράτους μέλους.

Τον Φεβρουάριο του 2013, η Επιτροπή εξέδωσε δέσμη μέτρων για τις κοινωνικές επενδύσεις, η οποία παρέχει καθοδήγηση στα κράτη μέλη για τη χάραξη αποδοτικότερων και αποτελεσματικότερων κοινωνικών πολιτικών, που να ανταποκρίνονται στις σημαντικές προκλήσεις που αυτά αντιμετωπίζουν.

Με βάση την ανάλυση που έχει ήδη πραγματοποιηθεί, η Επιτροπή θα εξακολουθήσει να αξιολογεί τις κοινωνικές επιπτώσεις των μακροοικονομικών προγραμμάτων σταθεροποίησης στα οποία συμμετέχει ως μέλος της «Τρόικα» και θα επιδιώξει να βοηθήσει τα κράτη μέλη να ελαχιστοποιούν τις αρνητικές κοινωνικές επιπτώσεις.

Ο ρυθμός της δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής που συνιστά η Επιτροπή το 2013 είναι χαμηλότερος από ό,τι το 2012, γεγονός που αντικατοπτρίζει την πραγματικότητα μιας απροσδόκητα παρατεταμένης ύφεσης και την ανάγκη στήριξης της οικονομικής ανάπτυξης. Η Επιτροπή αναζητεί επίσης τρόπους ώστε οι επενδυτικές δαπάνες να τυγχάνουν ευνοϊκότερης μεταχείρισης στο πλαίσιο του Συμφώνου Σταθερότητας και Ανάπτυξης σε σχέση με τα μέχρι σήμερα δεδομένα.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003918/13

to the Commission

Sylvana Rapti (S&D)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Social impact of fiscal adjustment programmes

The European Commission’s EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review dated 26 March 2013 clearly illustrates the negative impact on employment and growth, especially in countries under fiscal adjustment programmes.

As noted in the aforementioned review, fiscal adjustment in the Member States has affected employment both directly and indirectly: directly due to cutbacks in the public sector (13% in Greece) and in public spending and indirectly due to the recession which it has caused, as it is widely recognised that the present economic conditions favour larger fiscal multipliers. For example, unemployment in Greece has risen from 9.6% at the end of 2009 to 26.4% in February 2013.

Furthermore, reduced social spending due to the demands of fiscal consolidation, which is much higher than in previous periods of economic recession, is negating the effects of economic stabilisation of social protection systems in numerous Member States and exacerbating the recession. Low-income households have been worst hit by the reduction in social security benefits and wage cuts and taxation and have seen their living standards plummet. In view of these data and based on the objectives set out in Article 3 TEU and in Articles 151, 152 and 153 TFEU to achieve social progress, promote employment and improve living conditions, will the Commission say:

On what legal basis is its proposal to give economic indicators priority over employment and social cohesion based?

To what use does it intend to put the conclusions of the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review?

What measures does it intend to propose in order to address the adverse social impact of the fiscal adjustment programmes which it introduced and imposed as a member of the Troika?

Is it considering the possibility of reviewing the rate of fiscal adjustment of the Member States, as proposed in the European Parliament’s 2013 resolution ‘European semester for economic policy coordination: employment and social aspects in the annual growth survey 2013’ (P7_TA(2013)0053 dated 7 February 2013)?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The Commission has not made any proposal to give economic indicators priority over employment and social ones. It monitors and analyses the employment and social situation in Europe with great care and concern.

The annual ‘Employment and Social Developments in Europe’ review and the quarterly ‘Employment and Social Situation’ reviews constitute Commission services' analysis that feeds into policy development.

The 2013 Annual Growth Survey already makes clear that more decisive policy action is needed to return to growth and reduce the dramatic levels of unemployment. Fiscal consolidation has been necessary in many Member States to put their economies on a sustainable footing, but the Commission has emphasised that this must be done in a manner that is socially fair, as growth-friendly as possible, and that the appropriate fiscal policy would depend on the specific situation of the Member State.

In February 2013, the Commission adopted a Social Investment Package which offers guidance to Member States on more efficient and effective social policies in response to the significant challenges they face.

Building on the analysis already undertaken, the Commission will continue to assess the social impact of macroeconomic stabilisation programmes in which it is involved as member of the ‘Troika’ and will seek to help Member States to minimise any negative social impacts.

The pace of fiscal adjustment recommended by the Commission in 2013 is lower than in 2012, reflecting the reality of a longer-than-expected recession and the need to support economic growth. The Commission is also looking into ways how investment expenditure could be treated more favourably in the context of the Stability and Growth Pact than has been the case so far.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003919/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(8 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Ανάγκη αποτελεσματικής προσφυγής για δημόσια έργα

Με προσφυγή του στην Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, ο Πανελλήνιος Σύνδεσμος Τεχνικών Εταιριών (ΣΑΤΕ) ζητά την παρέμβασή της για την κατάργηση της θέσπισης παραβόλου ύψους 50 000 ευρώ για την κατάθεση αίτησης ασφαλιστικών μέτρων, πριν από τη σύναψη σύμβασης για την ανάθεση δημοσίων έργων, τονίζοντας ότι, «το υπερβολικό παράβολο παραβιάζει το ενωσιακό δίκαιο, αλλά και κάθε έννοια προστασίας από παράνομες ενέργειες των υπηρεσιών». Πιο συγκεκριμένα, ο ΣΑΤΕ καταγγέλλει ότι ο Νόμος 4111/25-1-2013 (άρθρο 28), δεν συνάδει με την Οδηγία 2007/66/ΕΚ, σύμφωνα με την οποία «Τα κράτη μέλη λαμβάνουν τα αναγκαία μέτρα ώστε, όσον αφορά τις συμβάσεις που εμπίπτουν στο πεδίο εφαρμογής της οδηγίας 2004/18/ΕΚ, οι αποφάσεις που λαμβάνουν οι αναθέτουσες αρχές να υπόκεινται στην άσκηση αποτελεσματικών και, ιδίως, όσο το δυνατόν ταχύτερων προσφυγών …».

Δεδομένου ότι, το προηγούμενο νομικό καθεστώς για την κατάθεση αίτησης προσφυγής είχε γίνει μετά από καταδικαστική για την Ελλάδα, απόφαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου (C-236/95), σύμφωνα με την οποία, η Ελλάδα δεν είχε θεσπίσει «τις αναγκαίες νομοθετικές, κανονιστικές και διοικητικές διατάξεις … περί της εφαρμογής των διαδικασιών προσφυγής στον τομέα της συνάψεως συμβάσεων κρατικών προμηθειών και δημοσίων έργων» για την πλήρη συμμόρφωσή της με την οδηγία 89/665/ΕΟΚ,

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Η απαίτηση του Άρθρου 28 του Ν. 4111/2013, συνάδει με την ανωτέρω απόφαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου αλλά και με την απαίτηση της Οδηγίας 2007/66/ΕΚ «οι αποφάσεις που λαμβάνουν οι αναθέτουσες αρχές να υπόκεινται στην άσκηση αποτελεσματικών και, ιδίως, όσο το δυνατόν ταχύτερων προσφυγών»;

Τι μέτρα θα λάβει η Επιτροπή για να καθησυχάσει την κοινή γνώμη στην Ελλάδα, η οποία αντιλαμβάνεται ότι με το άρθρο 28 του Ν. 4111/2013 το μόνο που επιτυγχάνεται είναι η προστασία όσων αυθαιρετούν και παρατυπούν στην ανάθεση δημοσίων έργων, ενώ ενθαρρύνονται φαινόμενα έμμεσων και άμεσων εκβιασμών, παράνομων συναλλαγών, αλλά και εκδηλώσεις διοικητικής αλαζονείας και αυθαιρεσίας;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(29 Μαΐου 2013)

Οι οδηγίες για τις προσφυγές (δηλ. οι οδηγίες 89/665/ΕΟΚ και 92/13/ΕΟΚ, όπως τροποποιήθηκαν με την οδηγία 2007/66/ΕΚ) έχουν μεταφερθεί στην ελληνική νομοθεσία με τον νόμο 3886/2010. Επιπλέον, το άρθρο 28 του ν. 4111/2013, που τέθηκε σε ισχύ τον Ιανουάριο του 2013, προβλέπει ότι για το παραδεκτό της αίτησης ασφαλιστικών μέτρων, κατά τη διάρκεια της διαδικασίας του διαγωνισμού, πρέπει να κατατεθεί εκ των προτέρων παράβολο, το ύψος του οποίου ανέρχεται σε ποσοστό 1% της προϋπολογισθείσας αξίας της σύμβασης (περιλαμβανομένου του ΦΠΑ). Η νομοθεσία προβλέπει επίσης ότι το παράβολο αυτό δεν μπορεί να υπερβαίνει το ποσό των 50 000 ευρώ και ότι, σε περίπτωση αποδοχής της αίτησης ασφαλιστικών μέτρων, το ποσό αυτό αποδίδεται στον αιτούντα.

Οι οδηγίες για τις προσφυγές δεν ρυθμίζουν το ζήτημα των παραβόλων. Ωστόσο, τα παράβολα θα πρέπει να είναι ανάλογα με την αξία της σύμβασης και να μην είναι υπερβολικά, με αποτέλεσμα να καθίσταται αδύνατη ή κατ' ουσία πιο δυσχερής η άσκηση αποτελεσματικών μέσων προσφυγής από τους ζημιωθέντες υποψηφίους. Από την άλλη πλευρά, το επίπεδο στο οποίο καθορίζεται το ύψος του παραβόλου θα μπορούσε να λειτουργήσει ως κατάλληλο αποτρεπτικό στοιχείο, σε περιπτώσεις όπου η λήψη ασφαλιστικών μέτρων επιδιώκεται καταχρηστικά σε αδικαιολόγητες και αβάσιμες περιπτώσεις, έχοντας επομένως αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στη διεξαγωγή και την ταχεία ολοκλήρωση των διαδικασιών υποβολής προσφορών.

Η Επιτροπή θα επιθυμούσε να διαβεβαιώσει το Αξιότιμο Μέλος ότι παρακολουθεί εκ του σύνεγγυς την εφαρμογή του συστήματος προσφυγών στα κράτη μέλη.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003919/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Need for effective remedies for public works

The Association of Greek Contracting Companies (SATE) has filed an application with the European Commission, asking it to intervene in order to obtain annulment of the EUR 50 000 injunction fee payable before entering into a public works contract, on the grounds that the ‘extortionate fee is in breach of Union law and any concept of protection from illegal action on the part of the authorities’. SATE complains that Article 28 of Law 4111 passed on 25 January 2013 conflicts with Directive 2007/66/EC, which states: ‘Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that, as regards contracts falling within the scope of Directive 2004/18/EC, decisions taken by the contracting authorities may be reviewed effectively and, in particular, as rapidly as possible […]’.

The previous scheme for applying for a remedy was introduced following judgment against Greece by the European Court of Justice (C-236/95), which held that Greece had failed to adopt ‘the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply fully with Council Directive 89/665/EEC […] relating to the application of review procedures to the award of public supply and public works contracts’.

1.

Is the requirement laid down in Article 28 of Law 4111/2013 in keeping with the above judgment by the European Court of Justice and with the requirement of Directive 2007/66/EC that

‘decisions taken by contracting authorities must be subject to effective and, in particular, rapid review’?

2.

What measures will the Commission take to reassure the public in Greece, who realise that all Article 28 of Law 4111/2013 achieves is to protect those acting in an arbitrary and illegal manner in the award of public works contracts and to encourage indirect and direct coercion, illegal transactions and arrogance and high-handedness on the part of the administration?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 2013)

The Remedies Directives (i.e. Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC, as amended by Directive 2007/66/EC) have been transposed into Greek law by means of Law 3886/2010. In addition, Article 28 of Law 4111/2013 which came into force in January 2013 provides that for the purposes of seeking interim relief during the tendering procedure a fee has to be paid in advance, the amount of which is set at 1% of the estimate contract value (VAT included). The legislation also provides that this fee cannot exceed the amount of 50 000 euros and that in case interim relief is granted, this will be returned to the applicant.

The Remedies Directives do not regulate the question of fees. However, the fees should be proportionate with the contract value and not be excessive so as to render the enforcement of effective means of redress by aggrieved tenderers impossible or substantially more difficult. On the other hand, the level at which the fee is set could act as an appropriate deterrent in cases where interim relief is abusively sought in unjustified and unfounded cases, thereby having a negative impact on the conduct and prompt completion of tendering procedures.

The Commission would like to reassure the Honourable Member that it closely monitors the application of the remedies system in the Member States.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης P-003920/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(8 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Ανακεφαλαιοποίηση Εθνικής Τράπεζας και Eurobank

Η Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση, το Ελληνικό Ταμείο Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας (ΕΤΧΣ) και η Τράπεζα της Ελλάδας, αρχικά είχαν δεσμευτεί υπέρ της προώθησης της συγχώνευσης Εθνικής Τράπεζας - Eurobank, πριν την ανακεφαλαιοποίησή τους από το ΕΤΧΣ και ζητούσαν παράταση ενός μήνα προκειμένου να ολοκληρωθεί η σχετική συγχωνευτική διαδικασία. H τρόικα, αιφνιδιαστικά, απαίτησε να γίνουν ξεχωριστές αυξήσεις μετοχικού κεφαλαίου, ακυρώνοντας έτσι στην πράξη τις διαδικασίες συγχώνευσης.

Είναι ευρύτατη η πεποίθηση στην Ελλάδα ότι η μεταστροφή της τρόικας συνδέεται με την πρόθεση τραπεζικών συμφερόντων που σχετίζονται με δανειστές της Ελλάδας, να αποτρέψουν τη συγχώνευση, διότι επιθυμούν να έχουν προνομιακή θέση ενόψει της εκποίησης της Εθνικής Τράπεζας.

Με δεδομένο ότι ο Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος της Εθνικής Τράπεζας, όσον αφορά τη συγχώνευση των δύο τραπεζών δήλωσε ότι «όλες οι εγκρίσεις έχουν δοθεί από όλους τους θεσμικούς παράγοντες της Ελλάδας και του εξωτερικού», ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Πού στηρίζει τις αντιρρήσεις της, όσον αφορά τη συγχώνευση του σχήματος Εθνικής - Eurobank και την μετέπειτα ανακεφαλαιοποίησή του;

Υπάρχουν υπηρεσίες της Επιτροπής που να έχουν τοποθετηθεί θετικά στη συγχώνευση των δύο τραπεζών; Τι έχει γνωμοδοτήσει μέχρι σήμερα η αρμόδια Γενική Διεύθυνση Ανταγωνισμού της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής;

Μπορεί να πείσει τον ελληνικό λαό ότι η αιφνιδιαστική αλλαγή της στάσης της, δεν συνδέεται με τραπεζικά συμφέροντα που επιθυμούν την αγορά της Εθνικής Τράπεζας;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(30 Μαΐου 2013)

Ούτε η Eurobank ούτε η Εθνική Τράπεζα της Ελλάδας (ΕΤΕ) πρόκειται να εκκαθαριστούν, όπως άφησε να εννοηθεί το Αξιότιμο Μέλος του Κοινοβουλίου. Αντίθετα, θα ανακεφαλαιοποιηθούν από το ΕΤΧΣ  (57) και, ει δυνατόν, με τη συμμετοχή ιδιωτών επενδυτών. Αμφότερες οι τράπεζες θα παραμείνουν πλήρως λειτουργικές χωρίς να μεταβληθεί το νομικό τους καθεστώς.

Δεδομένου ότι οι δύο τράπεζες δήλωσαν πως η νόμιμη συγχώνευση δεν μπορεί να γίνει πριν από τη λήξη της προθεσμίας ανακεφαλαιοποίησης, στα τέλη Απριλίου, όπως συμφωνήθηκε στο πλαίσιο του ΜΣ (58), οι ελληνικές αρχές ζήτησαν από τις διοικήσεις των δύο τραπεζών να προβούν σε ανακεφαλαιοποίηση ως ξεχωριστές νομικές οντότητες με το ίδιο πλαίσιο που εφαρμόζεται σε όλες τις ελληνικές τράπεζες. Αν οι δύο τράπεζες δεν καταφέρουν να συγκεντρώσουν την ελάχιστη συμμετοχή 10% του ιδιωτικού τομέα (59), το πλήρες ποσό θα καλυφθεί από το ΕΤΧΣ.

Σε περίπτωση που και οι δύο τράπεζες ανακεφαλαιοποιηθούν πλήρως από το ΕΤΧΣ, ο νέος βασικός μέτοχος θα μπορεί να αποφασίζει για κάθε ενδεχόμενη συνένωση των βασικών τραπεζών, αφού αναπτύξει μια ολοκληρωμένη στρατηγική για τον τραπεζικό τομέα.

Η επανεξέταση της εξαγοράς δεν ενέπιπτε στις αρμοδιότητες της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής βάσει των κανόνων για τον έλεγχο των συγκεντρώσεων. Για τον λόγο αυτό, η συγκεκριμένη εξαγορά επανεξετάστηκε από την Ελληνική Επιτροπή Ανταγωνισμού (60), η οποία και την ενέκρινε. Η Γενική Διεύθυνση Ανταγωνισμού της Επιτροπής ενεπλάκη μόνο σε ό,τι αφορούσε τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις. Η ΕΤΕ έλαβε πράγματι κρατική ενίσχυση, έπρεπε όμως να διασφαλιστεί ότι καμία κρατική ενίσχυση δεν χρησιμοποιήθηκε για τη χρηματοδότηση της εξαγοράς, καθώς και ότι η τελευταία δεν θα ήταν εις βάρος της μακροπρόθεσμης βιωσιμότητας τόσο της ΕΤΕ όσο και της Eurobank. Με βάση τα κριτήρια αυτά, η ανάλυση της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής δεν αποκάλυψε στοιχεία που να δικαιολογούν την ακύρωση της εξαγοράς βάσει των κανόνων περί κρατικών ενισχύσεων. Ως εκ τούτου, η Επιτροπή κοινοποίησε στις ελληνικές αρχές ότι, βάσει των κανόνων περί κρατικών ενισχύσεων, δεν είχε καμία αντίρρηση για την προτεινόμενη εξαγορά.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003920/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Recapitalisation of National Bank and Eurobank

The Greek Government, the Greek Financial Stability Fund (GFSF) and the Bank of Greece initially undertook to promote the National Bank-Eurobank merger prior to their recapitalisation by the GFSF, and accordingly sought a one-month extension for completion of the necessary formalities. The Troika then abruptly announced that the two banks must be recapitalised separately, effectively freezing the merger.

It is widely felt in Greece that this sudden change of heart by the Troika was motivated by a desire to protect the banking interests of Greece’s creditors, who are seeking to ensure favourable treatment in connection with the winding up of the National Bank and are accordingly opposed to the projected merger.

In view of the statement issued by the National Bank governing board that full official approval for the prospective merger between the two banks had been secured from all quarters both in Greece and abroad:

What were the reasons for the Commission’s objections to the National Bank-Eurobank merger and subsequent recapitalisation?

Were any of the Commission services in favour of the proposed merger? What has been the position of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition to date?

Is the Commission able to convince the Greek public that its sudden change of course was in no way prompted by those with vested interests in the liquidation of the National Bank?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

Neither Eurobank nor NBG will be resolved as the Honourable Member implied. On the contrary, they will be recapitalised by the HFSF (61) and if possible also with private investors contribution. Both banks will remain fully operational without any change in their legal status.

As the two banks indicated that the legal merger cannot take place before the recapitalisation deadline of end-April as agreed in the MoU (62), the Greek authorities requested the management of the two banks to execute their recapitalisation as separate legal entities under the same framework applicable to all Greek banks. In case the two banks will not be able to collect the minimum private sector participation of 10% (63) the full amount will be provided by the HFSF.

If both banks will be recapitalised fully by the HFSF, the new majority owner may decide on any potential consolidation among the core banks, after having developed a comprehensive banking sector strategy.

The review of the acquisition did not fall under the Commission's jurisdiction under merger control rules, but it has been reviewed by the Hellenic Competition Commission (64), which authorised it. The Directorate-General for Competition of the Commission has been involved only from a state aid perspective. NBG has indeed received state aid but it had to be ensured that no state aid was used to fund that acquisition and that the acquisition was not damaging the long-term viability of both NBG and Eurobank. Based on these criteria, the analysis of the Commission did not reveal elements which would allow for blocking the acquisition under state aid rules. On that basis, the Commission communicated to the Greek authorities that, under state aid rules, it had no objections to the proposed acquisition.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003922/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Jill Evans (Verts/ALE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinians prisoners

There are currently over 4 700 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, of whom170 are administrative detainees. Israeli authorities use administrative detention to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Neither the detainees nor their lawyers are informed of the accusations or evidence against them. Some prisoners are held without charge or trial for years on end.

This form of detention is a clear violation of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that anyone who is arrested must be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and which condemns arbitrary arrest or detention.

Samer Issawi was arrested in July 2012. This was his third arrest. He has been on hunger strike since 1 August 2012 in protest to his unjust detention. Mr Issawi’s health has now deteriorated to dangerous levels and his life is at risk.

1.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative condemn the detention of Palestinians by use of administrative detention?

2.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative believe that the Israeli policy on prisons must be changed?

3.

What steps will the Vice-President/High Representative take to ensure that the Israeli authorities respect international law, stop the arbitrary detention of Palestinians and allow all prisoners to have a fair trial?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 2013)

The European Union (EU) has on various occasions drawn the attention of the Israeli authorities to its concerns particularly with regard to hunger strikers and to the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charge. Under international law, detainees have the right to be informed about the reasons underlying any detention and to have the legality of their detention determined without undue delay.

On 16 February, the HR/VP publicly called for the full respect of international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian detainees and prisoners. She has also publicly welcomed the agreement reached last year between Israeli prison authorities and representatives of Palestinian prisoners aimed at improving conditions of detention and guaranteeing family visiting rights and also called for the agreement to be fully implemented.

The EU has also called for solutions to be found to enable hunger strikers to end their hunger strike and in this regard welcomes the deal that was reached in the case of Samer Issawi who will eventually be released and will be able to return to Jerusalem.

The EU shall continue engaging with the Israeli authorities at all levels with a view to ensuring the respect of all international human rights obligations for all prisoners.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003923/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Jill Evans (Verts/ALE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinian minors being kept as prisoners

There are currently over 4 700 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, of whom about 240 are minors. During their imprisonment, they are subjected to shocking forms of interrogation, including intimidation, threats and physical violence. The majority of Palestinian children have been arrested for nothing more than throwing stones.

The maximum penalty for minor inmates aged between 12 and 13 years is six months, and up to 20 years for those over the age of 14.

Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that no child should be subjected to cruel treatment or punishment, nor should they ‘be deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily’. Furthermore, the detention of a child should be in conformity with the law and only used as a last resort for the shortest appropriate period of time. The Israeli authorities are in clear violation of the Convention in their treatment of Palestinian minors.

1.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative condemn the unjust detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli authorities?

2.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative condemn the abusive treatment by Israeli authorities of minors detained in Israeli prisons?

3.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative believe that the Israeli policy on prisons must be changed?

4.

What steps will the Vice-President/High Representative take to ensure that the Israeli authorities respect international law and stop the arbitrary detention of Palestinians?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The EU has repeatedly voiced its concerns about the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli judicial and detention system. As reported in the 2013 ENP (65) Country Progress Report on Israel, by the end of 2012 there were 21 children under 16 years of age and 156 between the age of 16 and 18 in custody.

Although the raising of the majority age from 16 to 18 in the military law applicable to Palestine in September 2011 was a welcome development, concerns remain about insufficient protection of children during arrest and detention, in particular the failure in the majority of cases to permit children to be accompanied by a lawyer and parent during questioning. Palestinian minors do not enjoy the same level of protection as is provided for under Israel's Youth Law or required by international law. The new military order (No 1685), which reduces from eight to four days the time within which detained children must be brought before the military court, does not provide enough protection for children, who are at their most vulnerable in the first 48 hours of detention.

The EU has repeatedly conveyed its concerns about these practices in the framework of its regular political and human rights dialogue with Israel. It has stated, most recently at the July 2012 EU-Israel Association Council, that any future upgrade in relations must be based on the shared values of both parties, including democracy and respect for human rights. The EU welcomes Israel's positive response to the report published by Unicef on 6 March 2013, ‘Children in Israeli detention — observations and recommendations’, and the statement made by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it will study the conclusions of the report and will work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with Unicef.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003924/13

aan de Commissie

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(8 april 2013)

Betreft: Nieuwe stemming wegens misleiding door de Commissie (follow-up)

Volgens een rapport dat is opgesteld in opdracht van de City of London Corporation kan de door de Europese Unie geplande belasting op financiële transacties de kosten van de uitgifte van een staatslening door het VK verhogen met 3,95 miljard GBP. Deze kosten zouden ontstaan, ondanks het feit dat Groot-Brittannië zich niet achter het voorstel schaart (66). Soortgelijke gevolgen van de belasting op financiële transacties worden verwacht in andere lidstaten die niet aan de nauwere samenwerking deelnemen.

Tsjechisch premier Petr Nečas heeft ook de aandacht gevestigd op het feit dat de geplande belasting op financiële transacties schadelijk zal zijn voor de EU-economie, deze op het gebied van financiële diensten minder concurrerend zal maken en in sommige gevallen zelfs schadelijk kan zijn voor de lidstaten die niet aan de nauwere samenwerking deelnemen. Hij bracht de mogelijkheid te berde hierover een zaak aanhangig te maken bij het Hof van Justitie van de Europese Unie (67).

1.

Is de Commissie zich bewust van de reële gevolgen van de belasting op financiële transacties? Hoe reageert zij op de twee bovenvermelde verklaringen?

2.

Op basis van welke rechtsgrond zijn de lidstaten die niet aan de nauwere samenwerking deelnemen, verplicht voor kosten als gevolg van de belasting op financiële transacties op te draaien?

3.

Kan de Commissie uitleggen hoe zij de artikelen 326 en 327 van het Verdrag betreffende de werking van de Europese Unie (VWEU) interpreteert, wat het basisprincipe van nauwere samenwerking betreft, namelijk dat deze geen gevolgen mag hebben voor de lidstaten die niet aan de nauwere samenwerking deelnemen?

4.

Handhaaft de Commissie nog steeds haar standpunt dat de voorgestelde belasting op financiële transacties voldoet aan alle criteria waarin is voorzien in de Verdragen?

5.

Welke gevolgen zou een uitspraak van het Hof van Justitie van de Europese Unie hebben dat de belasting op financiële transacties niet strookt met de Europese wetgeving? Hoe kan de reeds aangerichte schade worden hersteld?

Antwoord van de heer Šemeta namens de Commissie

(3 juni 2013)

1.

De Commissie is op de hoogte van deze verklaringen en beschouwt ze als ongegrond.

2.

Het voorstel van de Commissie voor een richtlijn van de Raad betreffende de totstandbrenging van een nauwere samenwerking inzake een belasting op financiële transacties (68), dat momenteel in behandeling is bij de Raad, bevat geen regels voor de inning van de FTT in niet-deelnemende lidstaten. Indien de voorgestelde richtlijn wordt aangenomen en overeenkomstig de behoeften van specifieke gevallen, kunnen de belastingdiensten van de deelnemende lidstaten, zoals ook het geval is bij andere nationale belastingen en heffingen, met inbegrip van belastingen op financiële transacties, een beroep doen op bijstand van de belastingdiensten uit andere lidstaten uit hoofde van Richtlijn 2010/24/EU om de geharmoniseerde FTT te innen. De dekking van extra kosten die het gevolg zijn van een dergelijke bijstand, wordt in deze richtlijn uitvoerig behandeld.

3.

De Commissie heeft reeds geanalyseerd of de nauwere samenwerking die door 11 lidstaten is gevraagd, in overeenstemming is met de Verdragen. Uit deze analyse is gebleken dat een dergelijke samenwerking in overeenstemming is met de toepasselijke artikelen van de Verdragen. Dit standpunt werd eveneens gedeeld door de Raad, die de door de Commissie voorgestelde machtiging met gekwalificeerde meerderheid heeft goedgekeurd (zie Besluit 2013/52/EU (69)). Zoals hierboven reeds is vermeld, is het voorstel van de Commissie voor een richtlijn van de Raad betreffende de totstandbrenging van de nauwere samenwerking in kwestie nog in behandeling bij de Raad.

4.

Ja, zie ook het antwoord op vraag 3.

5.

Zie het antwoord op vraag 1.

Tot dusver heeft het Verenigd Koninkrijk de nietigverklaring van Besluit 2013/52/EU van de Raad gevorderd. Zoals reeds is vermeld, is de richtlijn betreffende de totstandbrenging van een nauwere samenwerking nog niet goedgekeurd. De richtlijn kan pas na goedkeuring worden aangevochten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003924/13

to the Commission

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Revote on the grounds of Commission's misguidance (follow-up)

According to a report commissioned by the City of London Corporation, the European Union’s planned tax on financial transactions could add GBP 3.95 billion to the cost of issuing UK Government debt. This expense would arise even though Britain has not signed up to the proposal (70). Similar consequences of the financial transaction tax are also expected in other Member States not participating in enhanced cooperation.

The Czech Prime Minister, Petr Nečas, also drew attention to the fact that the planned financial transaction tax will harm the EU economy, will make it less competitive in the area of financial services and, in some cases, may even harm those Member States not participating in enhanced cooperation. He raised the possibility of litigation before the European Court of Justice in this matter (71).

1.

Is the Commission aware of the real consequences of the financial transaction tax? What does it think of the two aforementioned statements?

2.

What is the legal basis of the obligation of Member States who do not participate in enhanced cooperation to cover amounts incurred from the financial transaction tax?

3.

Could the Commission share its interpretation of Articles 326 and 327 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) with me in light of the basic principle of enhanced cooperation, i.e. that it shall not have any effect on Member States which do not participate in enhanced cooperation?

4.

Does the Commission still maintain its opinion that the proposed financial transaction tax meets all of the criteria defined in the Treaties?

5.

What would be the consequences of a judgment by the European Court of Justice that the financial transaction tax is not in line with European law? How would it be possible to repair the damage already done?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of these statements which it considers unfounded.

2.

The Commission proposal for a Council Directive implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax

2.

The Commission proposal for a Council Directive implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax

 (72), currently pending before the Council, does not contain any rules regarding collection of FTT in non-participating Member States. As it is the case with other national taxes and duties, including taxes on financial transactions, the tax administrations from the participating Member States could — if the Council were to adopt the directive proposed, and according to the needs of individual cases — resort to the assistance of tax administrations of other Member States under Directive 2010/24, for the purposes of collecting the harmonised FTT. The coverage of any costs incurred due to such assistance is exhaustively dealt with in that directive.

3.

The Commission already conducted an analysis on whether the enhanced cooperation requested by the 11 Member States is in line with the Treaties. The outcome of the analysis was that such cooperation is in line with the relevant articles in the Treaties. This view was shared by the Council, who adopted the authorisation proposed by the Commission by qualified majority (cf. Decision 2013/52/EU

3.

The Commission already conducted an analysis on whether the enhanced cooperation requested by the 11 Member States is in line with the Treaties. The outcome of the analysis was that such cooperation is in line with the relevant articles in the Treaties. This view was shared by the Council, who adopted the authorisation proposed by the Commission by qualified majority (cf. Decision 2013/52/EU

 (73)). As mentioned above, the Commission proposal for a directive implementing the enhanced cooperation in question is still pending before the Council.

4.

Yes, cf. also answer to question 3.

5.

Cf. answer to question 1. So far, annulment of Council Decision 2013/52/EU has been sought by the UK. As mentioned, the directive implementing enhanced cooperation has not yet been adopted and could be challenged only after such adoption.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003927/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Sophocles Sophocleous (S&D)

(8 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Μέτρα στήριξης του κυπριακού λαού μετά το κούρεμα καταθέσεων

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Ποια είναι τα μέτρα που λαμβάνει για την προστασία του λαού της Κύπρου από τις αποφάσεις του Eurogroup για εξοντωτικό κούρεμα των καταθέσεων στις κυπριακές τράπεζες και την καταστροφή του χρηματοπιστωτικού συστήματος της χώρας;

Ποια είναι τα μέτρα που προτίθεται να πάρει για να προστατεύσει τους Κύπριους-Ευρωπαίους πολίτες από την βέβαιη εκτίναξη της ανεργίας, την μαζική φτώχεια και την κοινωνική δυστυχία;

Ποια είναι η θέση της απέναντι στην πρωτοφανή και χωρίς προηγούμενο απόφαση του Εurogroup να εξαναγκάσει την Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία να επιβάλει κούρεμα καταθέσεων, κατά παραβίαση του χάρτη Δικαιωμάτων της ΕΕ, που προβλέπει την προστασία του δικαιώματος ιδιοκτησίας;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(3 Ιουνίου 2013)

Η Κύπρος αποτελεί μοναδική περίπτωση εξαιτίας του μεγέθους και της δομής του τραπεζικού της τομέα, του βαθμού ανάληψης κινδύνου και της ανεπαρκούς εποπτείας. Τα μέτρα που λαμβάνονται είναι προσαρμοσμένα στις πολύ ιδιαίτερες συνθήκες της Κύπρου και στοχεύουν στην αποκατάσταση της βιωσιμότητας ενός μικρότερου τραπεζικού τομέα και, ταυτόχρονα, στην προστασία όλων των καταθέσεων κάτω των 100 000 ευρώ, σύμφωνα με τις αρχές της ΕΕ.

Η Επιτροπή έχει επίγνωση των προβλημάτων που δημιουργεί η τρέχουσα οικονομική και χρηματοπιστωτική κρίση σε ό,τι αφορά τις κοινωνικές επιπτώσεις και βρίσκεται στο πλευρό των κρατών μελών σ' αυτούς τους εξαιρετικά δύσκολους καιρούς.

Η αύξηση της ανεργίας υπογραμμίζει την ανάγκη για μια συνολική αξιολόγηση των πολιτικών ενεργοποίησης καθώς και των διαθέσιμων μέσων για τη στήριξη του εισοδήματος μετά τη λήξη των ασφαλιστικών παροχών ανεργίας. Με τις κυπριακές αρχές συμφωνήθηκε η μεταρρύθμιση της δημόσιας βοήθειας, έτσι ώστε η κοινωνική πρόνοια να λειτουργεί ως δίχτυ προστασίας για την εξασφάλιση ενός ελάχιστου εισοδήματος για όσους δεν είναι σε θέση να έχουν ένα στοιχειώδες βιοτικό επίπεδο. Παράλληλα, συμφωνήθηκε να δοθούν κίνητρα για απασχόληση και να διασφαλιστεί η συνοχή με τη μεταρρύθμιση του συστήματος κοινωνικής πρόνοιας.

Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τη σοβαρότητα της οικονομικής κατάστασης, η Επιτροπή συγκροτεί αυτή τη στιγμή ομάδα στήριξης για την ανάκαμψη της κυπριακής οικονομίας. Προτίθεται δε να συνδράμει τις κυπριακές αρχές στις προσπάθειές τους να αναμορφώσουν το συντομότερο δυνατό το μοντέλο ανάπτυξης της κυπριακής οικονομίας. Στόχος της Επιτροπής είναι να καταβάλει κάθε δυνατή προσπάθεια για την ελάφρυνση των κοινωνικών επιπτώσεων της οικονομικής κρίσης, διευκολύνοντας την ταχεία ανάπτυξη νέων οικονομικών δραστηριοτήτων, διαθέτοντας πόρους από διάφορους μηχανισμούς της ΕΕ και στηρίζοντας τις κυπριακές αρχές στις προσπάθειές τους να αποκαταστήσουν τη χρηματοπιστωτική, οικονομική και κοινωνική σταθερότητα.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003927/13

to the Commission

Sophocles Sophocleous (S&D)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Measures to support the people of Cyprus following the ‘haircut’ on deposits

Will the Commission say:

What measures is it taking to protect the people of Cyprus from the Eurogroup’s decision to carry out a savage ‘haircut’ on deposits in Cypriot banks and destroy the country’s financial system?

What steps does it intend to take to protect Cypriots — who are EU citizens — from the certainty of soaring unemployment, mass poverty and social misery?

What is its position regarding the unprecedented decision by the Eurogroup to force the Republic of Cyprus to impose a haircut on deposits, in violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which provides for the protection of the right to property?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

Cyprus is a unique case because of the size of its banking sector combined with its structure, level of risk-taking and suboptimal supervision. Measures taken are tailor-made to the very exceptional situation in Cyprus in order to restore the viability of a smaller banking sector while, at the same time, protecting all deposits below EUR 100,000 in accordance with the EU principles.

The Commission is aware of the challenges posed by the current economic and financial crisis in terms of social consequences. The Commission stands fully at the side of the Member States during these very challenging times.

The increase in unemployment underlines the need for an overall assessment of activation policies and available instruments for income support after the expiration of unemployment insurance benefits. A reform of public assistance has been agreed with the Cypriot authorities and should ensure that social assistance serves as a safety net to ensure a minimum income for those unable to support a basic standard of living, while safeguarding incentives to take up work, ensuring consistency with the reform of the welfare system.

Considering the gravity of the economic situation, the Commission is setting up a Support Group for the recovery of the Cypriot economy. It will assist the Cypriot authorities in their efforts to reform the growth model of the Cypriot economy as soon as possible. Its objective is to do everything possible to alleviate the social consequences of the economic shock by allowing a quick emergence of new types of economic activity, by mobilising funds from EU instruments and by supporting the Cypriot authorities' efforts to restore financial, economic and social stability.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003928/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Georgios Stavrakakis (S&D)

(8 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Επίπεδο των πληρωμών από 31ης Μαρτίου 2013

Μετά την έγκριση του σχεδίου διορθωτικού προϋπολογισμού 6/2012, η Επιτροπή υπέβαλε, κατόπιν αιτήματος της αρμόδιας επί του προϋπολογισμού αρχής το σχέδιο διορθωτικού προϋπολογισμού 2/2013, που ανέρχεται σε 11,2 δισ. ευρώ και θα επιτρέπει την κάλυψη όλων των νομίμων υποχρεώσεων πληρωμών οι οποίες εκκρεμούσαν στα τέλη του 2012 από τον προϋπολογισμό του 2013.

Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη το σύνολο των ανωτέρω και δεδομένου ότι το επίπεδο των πληρωμών για τον προϋπολογισμό του 2013 είναι κατά 5 δισ. κατώτερο σε σχέση με τις εκτιμήσεις της Επιτροπής στο σχέδιο προϋπολογισμού για τις ανάγκες πληρωμών, θα μπορούσε η Επιτροπή να παράσχει λεπτομερή στοιχεία για το επίπεδο των πληρωμών που παρελήφθησαν έως την 31η Μαρτίου 2013; Θα μπορούσε συγκεκριμένα η Επιτροπή να παράσχει πληροφορίες για τις πληρωμές που ελήφθησαν κατά τους μήνες Ιανουάριο, Φεβρουάριο και Μάρτιο του 2013, κατανεμημένες κατά κράτος μέλος και τομέα πολιτικής ή πρόγραμμα;

Απάντηση του κ. Lewandowski εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(7 Ιουνίου 2013)

Λεπτομερής ανάλυση των έγκυρων αιτημάτων πληρωμών (74) που υποβλήθηκαν τον Μάρτιο για τα χρηματοδοτούμενα από το ΕΚΤ, το ΕΤΠΑ και το ΤΣ επιχειρησιακά προγράμματα της περιόδου 2007-2013 παρατίθεται στο Παράρτημα I της παρούσας απάντησης, ενώ τα στοιχεία σχετικά με το ΕΓΤΑΑ και το ΕΤΑ παρατίθενται στο παράρτημα II. Τα αριθμητικά στοιχεία του πίνακα προκύπτουν από τη σύγκριση των αιτημάτων πληρωμής που υποβλήθηκαν έως το τέλος Μαρτίου 2013 με εκείνα που υποβλήθηκαν έως το τέλος Φεβρουαρίου 2013. Η Επιτροπή μπορεί να αποφασίσει την αλλαγή χαρακτηρισμού ενός αιτήματος πληρωμής από «Αποδεκτό» σε «Πλήρως απορριφθέν» ή «Επιστραφέν προς διόρθωση» και, συνεπώς, τα αριθμητικά στοιχεία των παραρτημάτων της παρούσας απάντησης ενδέχεται να αποτελέσουν αντικείμενο περαιτέρω προσαρμογών.

Ανάλογα δεδομένα για τους μήνες Ιανουάριο και Φεβρουάριο διατέθηκαν στην απάντηση της Επιτροπής στις γραπτές ερωτήσεις E-001090/2013 και E-003237/2013 (75), αντίστοιχα.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003928/13

to the Commission

Georgios Stavrakakis (S&D)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Level of payments as of 31 March 2013

After the approval of Draft Amending Budget No 6/2012, the Commission, at the request of the budgetary authority, came forward with Draft Amending Budget No 2/2013, amounting to EUR 11, 2 billion, which will allow for all of the legal payment obligations left pending at the end of 2012, as well as those arising before the end of 2013, to be covered in the 2013 budget.

Taking all of the above into consideration and given the fact that the level of payments for the 2013 budget is EUR 5 billion lower than the Commission’s draft budget estimates for payment needs, could the Commission provide detailed information on the level of payments received by 31 March 2013? Specifically, could the Commission provide information on payments received in the months of January, February and March 2013, broken down by Member State and policy area/programme?

Answer given by Mr Lewandowski on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

A detailed breakdown of the valid payment claims (76) received in March for the 2007-2013 ESF, ERDF and CF-funded operational programmes is provided in Annex I to this reply while for EFF and EAFRD the data is included in Annex II. The figures in the table result from comparing valid payment claims submitted until the end of March 2013 with those submitted until the end of February 2013. The Commission may decide to change the status of a payment claim from ‘Accepted’ to ‘Fully rejected’ or ‘Returned for corrections’ and therefore the figures presented in the annexes to this reply could still undergo further adjustments.

Similar data for the months of January and February were provided by the Commission to Written Questions E-001090/2013 and E-003237/2013 (77), respectively.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003929/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE), François Alfonsi (Verts/ALE), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE) y Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(8 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Derechos de los presos palestinos

Desde 1967, han sido detenidos y encarcelados más de 750 000 palestinos en virtud de la legislación militar israelí. Esto supone el índice de encarcelación más alto del mundo. Esta situación sigue siendo crítica, dado que hay más de 4 740 presos políticos palestinos en cárceles israelíes, entre ellos menores de edad. Además, los servicios de seguridad israelíes detuvieron a más de 3 800 palestinos en 2012 esgrimiendo como justificación motivos de seguridad. Según el Comité Público contra la Tortura en Israel, tales detenciones también se han producido en manifestaciones pacíficas.

El trato que Israel da a los detenidos viola el Derecho internacional de varias maneras, como son la detención de palestinos por periodos de tiempo indefinidos, la aplicación de la Ley sobre combatientes ilegales (un tipo de detención sin cargos, juicio ni garantías judiciales) y la violación del derecho a recibir visitas de familiares. También es importante destacar que los presos y detenidos palestinos están siendo cada vez más víctimas de torturas y malos tratos frecuentes y arbitrarios, como en el caso de Arafat Yaradat, que murió tras sufrir torturas en la cárcel en febrero de 2012.

El 13 de marzo de 2013, el Parlamento aprobó una Resolución sobre el caso de Arafat Yaradat y la situación de los presos palestinos en cárceles israelíes. La Resolución pide a las autoridades israelíes que respeten los derechos de los presos palestinos y que protejan su salud, su dignidad y sus vidas.

1.

¿Condena la vicepresidenta y alta representante estos actos de violencia contra el pueblo palestino?

2.

A la vista de estos hechos, ¿cree la vicepresidenta y alta representante que la política penitenciaria israelí tiene que cambiar?

3.

¿Qué medidas va a tomar la vicepresidenta y alta representante para garantizar que el trato dado a los presos palestinos será acorde con el Derecho internacional?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante/Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(31 de mayo de 2013)

La UE ha manifestado en repetidas ocasiones ante las autoridades israelíes su preocupación por la situación de los detenidos palestinos, especialmente la de aquellos que se encuentran en huelga de hambre o bajo detención administrativa.

El 16 de febrero, la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta solicitó que se restableciera inmediatamente el derecho de visita de los familiares y se garantizara el pleno respeto de las obligaciones internacionales en materia de derechos humanos en relación con todos los detenidos y presos palestinos. La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta recordó además la importancia de la plena adhesión de todas las partes al Acuerdo de 14 de mayo de 2012 sobre los derechos de los presos palestinos.

La UE viene manifestando desde hace tiempo su preocupación por el uso de las órdenes de detención administrativa por parte de Israel. En virtud del Derecho internacional, cualquier detenido tiene derecho a ser informado acerca de los motivos que han llevado a su detención, y la propia orden de detención debe someterse a un riguroso proceso de evaluación. La UE solicita a Israel que proceda a la imputación formal de todo detenido, de forma que pueda ser sometido a un juicio justo, sin demoras injustificadas. La UE aborda periódicamente la cuestión de los presos palestinos con Israel a todos los niveles, incluso a nivel del Consejo de Asociación. La cuestión se examina periódicamente en el grupo de trabajo de derechos humanos en el marco del actual Acuerdo de Asociación y las preocupaciones de la UE quedan reflejadas en sus informes de actividad anuales.

Israel rechaza la acusación de que Arafat Jaradat muriera tras haber sido torturado. La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta apoya el llamamiento de las Naciones Unidas para que se lleve a cabo una investigación independiente y transparente de las circunstancias que rodearon la muerte del Sr. Jaradat, cuyo resultado se haga público lo antes posible.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003929/13

à la Commission (Vice-Présidente/Haute Représentante)

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE), François Alfonsi (Verts/ALE), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE) et Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(8 avril 2013)

Objet: VP/HR — Droits des prisonniers palestiniens

Plus de 750 000 Palestiniens ont été arrêtés, détenus et emprisonnés au nom de la loi militaire israélienne depuis 1967. Il s'agit du taux d'incarcération le plus élevé du monde. La situation demeure critique, étant donné que quelque 4 740 prisonniers politiques palestiniens, dont des mineurs, sont toujours détenus dans des prisons israéliennes. En outre, les services de sécurité israéliens ont détenu plus de 3 800 Palestiniens en 2012, arguant de raisons de sécurité. Des détentions de cette nature ont également fait suite à des manifestations pacifiques, selon le Comité public contre la torture en Israël.

Le sort que réserve Israël à ses détenus représente une violation du droit international à plusieurs niveaux, notamment via la détention de Palestiniens pour des durées indéterminées, l'application de l'Unlawful Combatant Law (qui est une forme de détention administrative, sans chef d'accusation ni procès ni garantie judiciaire) et la violation des droits de visite des membres de la famille. Il est également important de noter que les prisonniers et détenus palestiniens font de plus en plus régulièrement l'objet d'actes arbitraires de torture et de violence physique, comme dans le cas d'Arafat Jaradat, décédé après avoir été torturé en prison en février 2012.

Le 14 mars 2013, le Parlement a adopté une résolution sur le cas d'Arafat Jaradat et la situation des prisonniers palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes. La résolution invite les autorités israéliennes à respecter les droits des prisonniers palestiniens et à protéger leur santé, leur dignité et leur vie.

1.

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante condamne-t-elle ces actes de violence à l'encontre du peuple palestinien?

2.

Compte tenu de ces faits, la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante est-elle d'avis que la politique israélienne en matière de prisons doit être modifiée?

3.

Quelles mesures la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante prendra-t-elle afin de garantir que le traitement des prisonniers palestiniens soit conforme au droit international?

Réponse donnée par Mme Catherine Ashton, Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante au nom de la Commission

(31 mai 2013)

À plusieurs reprises, l'UE s'est émue auprès des autorités israéliennes de la situation des détenus palestiniens, notamment les grévistes de la faim et les détenus administratifs.

Le 16 février, la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a demandé le rétablissement immédiat du droit de visite des familles et le plein respect des obligations internationales contractées en matière de Droits de l'homme pour tous les détenus et prisonniers palestiniens. Elle a en outre rappelé combien il est important que toutes les parties respectent pleinement l'accord du 14 mai 2012 sur les droits des prisonniers palestiniens.

Le recours aux ordonnances de détention administrative par Israël préoccupe l'UE depuis longtemps. En vertu du droit international, les détenus ont le droit d'être informés des raisons de leur détention et la décision de mise en détention elle-même doit faire l'objet d'une véritable procédure d'examen. L'UE demande à Israël d'inculper officiellement les personnes détenues pour leur permettre de bénéficier d'un procès équitable, sans délai excessif. Elle aborde régulièrement la question des prisonniers palestiniens avec Israël à tous les niveaux, y compris à l'échelon du Conseil d'association.Ce dossier est examiné périodiquement au sein du groupe de travail sur les Droits de l'homme dans le cadre de l'actuel accord d'association et l'UE fait part de ses préoccupations dans ses rapports annuels de suivi.

Israël conteste qu'Arafat Jaradat soit mort après avoir été torturé. La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante soutient la demande des Nations unies relative à l'ouverture d'une enquête indépendante et transparente sur les circonstances de la mort de M. Jaradat, dont les résultats devraient être rendus publics dans les meilleurs délais.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003929/13

aan de Commissie (Vicevoorzitter / Hoge Vertegenwoordiger)

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE), François Alfonsi (Verts/ALE), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE) en Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(8 april 2013)

Betreft: VP/HR — Rechten van Palestijnse gevangenen

Sinds 1967 zijn meer dan 750 000 Palestijnen gearresteerd, vastgehouden en gevangen gezet op grond van het Israëlische krijgsrecht. Dit is het hoogste opsluitingscijfer  ter wereld. De situatie is nog steeds kritiek, met meer dan 4 740 Palestijnse politieke gevangenen in Israëlische gevangenissen, inclusief minderjarigen. Voorts hielden de Israëlische veiligheidsdiensten in 2012 meer dan 3 800 Palestijnen vast, met als verantwoording veiligheidsredenen. Volgens het Openbaar comité tegen foltering in Israël is er ook sprake van dit soort van detenties bij vreedzame betogingen.

Israëls behandeling van zijn gevangenen schendt het internationale recht op diverse manieren, met name door de detentie van Palestijnen voor onbepaalde duur; de toepassing van de wet op onwettige strijders (een vorm van detentie zonder aanklacht, proces of gerechtelijke garanties); en de schending van het bezoekrecht voor familieleden. Belangrijk is ook de vaststelling dat de Palestijnse gevangenen en opgeslotenen steeds vaker worden onderworpen aan geregelde en willekeurige foltering en mishandeling, als in het geval van Arafat Jaradat, die in februari 2013 is overleden na in de gevangenis te zijn gefolterd.

Op 13 maart 2013 keurde het Parlement een resolutie over de zaak van Arafat Jaradat en de situatie van Palestijnse gedetineerden in Israëlische gevangenissen goed. In deze resolutie wordt er bij de Israëlische autoriteiten op aangedrongen dat zij de rechten van Palestijnse gedetineerden eerbiedigen en hun gezondheid, waardigheid en levens beschermen.

1.

Veroordeelt de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger de hierboven beschreven gewelddaden tegen het Palestijnse volk?

2.

Is de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger gelet op bovenstaande feiten van mening dat het Israëlische gevangenissenbeleid moet worden veranderd?

3.

Welke stappen zal de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger nemen om ervoor te zorgen dat de behandeling van Palestijnse gevangenen voldoet aan de eisen van het internationale recht?

Antwoord van hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter Ashton namens de Commissie

(31 mei 2013)

De EU heeft de aandacht van de Israëlische autoriteiten reeds herhaaldelijk gevestigd op haar bedenkingen met betrekking tot Palestijnse gedetineerden, en met name in verband met hongerstakingen en administratief gedetineerden.

Op 16 februari heeft de hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter opgeroepen tot de onmiddellijke herinvoering van familiebezoekrecht en de volledige naleving van internationale mensenrechtenverbintenissen ten aanzien van alle Palestijnse gedetineerden en gevangenen. Daarnaast heeft de hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter herinnerd aan het belang van de volledige naleving door alle partijen van de overeenkomsten betreffende de rechten van Palestijnse gevangenen van 14 mei 2012.

De EU heeft reeds lange tijd bedenkingen bij het gebruik van administratieve aanhoudingsbevelen door Israël. Krachtens internationaal recht hebben gedetineerden het recht geïnformeerd te worden over de redenen voor hun hechtenis en moet de hechtenis zelf onderworpen worden aan een adequate evaluatieprocedure. De EU roept Israël op om formele aanklachten in te dienen tegen personen die worden vastgehouden om hun zonder onnodige vertraging een eerlijk proces te geven. De EU kaart de kwestie van de Palestijnse gevangenen geregeld aan bij Israël op alle niveaus, ook in de associatieraad. De kwestie wordt geregeld besproken in de werkgroep mensenrechten in het kader van de bestaande associatieovereenkomst. De bezwaren van de EU komen eveneens tot uiting in de jaarlijkse voortgangsverslagen.

Israël betwist dat Arafat Jaradat is overleden ten gevolge van folteringen. De hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter steunt de oproep van de Verenigde Naties tot een onafhankelijk en transparant onderzoek naar de omstandigheden van de dood van Arafat Jaradat. De resultaten van daarvan zouden zo spoedig mogelijk bekend moeten worden gemaakt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003929/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE), François Alfonsi (Verts/ALE), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE) and Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Rights of Palestinian prisoners

Since 1967, more than 750 000 Palestinian people have been arrested, detained and imprisoned under Israeli military law. This represents the highest rate of incarceration worldwide. The situation is still critical, since there are over 4 740 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, including minors. Furthermore, Israeli security services detained more than 3 800 Palestinians in 2012, using reasons of security as justification. Detentions of this nature have also occurred at peaceful demonstrations, according to the Public Committee against Torture in Israel.

Israel’s treatment of its detainees violates international law in a number of ways, including the detention of Palestinians for indefinite periods; the application of the Unlawful Combatants Law (which is a form of detention without charge, trial or judicial guarantees); and the violation of family visitation rights. Also, it is important to note that Palestinian prisoners and detainees have been increasingly subjected to regular and arbitrary torture and ill-treatment, as in the case of Arafat Jaradat, who died after being tortured in jail in February 2012.

On 13 March 2013, Parliament approved a resolution on the case of Arafat Jaradat and the situation of Palestinian prisons in Israeli jails. The resolution calls on the Israeli authorities to respect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and to protect their health, dignity and lives.

1.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative condemn these acts of violence against the Palestinian people?

2.

In light of these facts, does the Vice-President/High Representative believe that the Israeli policy on prisons needs to be changed?

3.

What steps will the Vice-President/High Representative take to ensure that the treatment of Palestinian prisoners will respect international law?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The EU has repeatedly drawn the attention of the Israeli authorities to its concerns regarding Palestinian detainees, notably with regard to hunger-strikers and to administrative detainees.

On 16 February, the HR/VP called for the immediate restoration of family visiting rights and the full respect of international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian detainees and prisoners. The HR/VP further recalled the importance of full adherence by all sides to the 14 May 2012 agreement on the rights of Palestinian prisoners.

The EU has longstanding concerns over Israel’s use of administrative detention orders. Under international law, detainees have the right to be informed about the reasons underlying any detention, and the decision on detention itself must be subject to a meaningful review process. The EU calls on Israel to bring formal charges against any individuals detained, with a view to bringing them to a fair trial without undue delay. The EU regularly raises the issue of Palestinian prisoners with Israel at all levels, including at the level of the Association Council. The question is regularly discussed in the human rights working group under the existing Association Agreement and EU concerns are reflected in its annual progress reports.

Israel disputes the claim that Arafat Jaradat died after being tortured. The HR/VP supports the call by the United Nations for an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Jaradat's death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003930/13

à la Commission

Astrid Lulling (PPE)

(8 avril 2013)

Objet: Barrières au fonctionnement du marché intérieur pour la vente à distance de vin

La vente directe de vin est la première source de revenus des petites et moyennes entreprises vitivinicoles, qui sont pour la majeure partie des entreprises familiales. Le développement de l'œnotourisme et les circuits courts de vente directe sont d'ailleurs encouragés par la politique européenne de développement rural.

Même si le particulier peut, comme le prévoit la directive 2008/118/CE du Conseil, acquérir jusqu'à 90 litres de vins tranquilles et jusqu'à 60 litres de vins mousseux pour besoin personnel et les transporter lui-même vers un État membre autre que l'État membre où les produits sont acquis, on constate cependant de sévères disfonctionnements du marché intérieur en ce qui concerne la vente à distance.

Les droits d'accises doivent être réglés dans l'État membre de destination si l'acquéreur ne se rend pas physiquement dans l'État membre d'acquisition. Les vignerons souhaitant exporter des quantités réduites de vins à des particuliers sont obligés de passer par un représentant fiscal pour le paiement des accises dans le pays de destination, ce qui entraîne inévitablement une hausse considérable du prix de vente, au point de décourager les clients potentiels d'acheter le produit. Les procédures administratives varient d'ailleurs sensiblement d'un État membre à l'autre.

Ces complications administratives inutiles ne posent certainement que peu de problèmes au grand négoce qui peut compter sur la couverture intracommunautaire de son réseau de distribution mais excluent les petites et moyennes entreprises vitivinicoles du marché intérieur.

1.

La Commission entend-elle prendre des mesures visant à permettre aux petites et moyennes entreprises de participer pleinement au marché intérieur par le biais d'une simplification administrative?

2.

Les fonds destinés au développement rural, et notamment à la promotion de l'œnotourisme, ne seraient-ils pas plus efficaces si on permettait aux viticulteurs d'entretenir une relation commerciale avec les touristes, et ce au-delà de leur séjour dans la région?

3.

Convenez-vous du fait que ce sujet touche aux responsabilités de plusieurs commissaires, notamment MM. Cioloş, Semeta, De Gucht, Tajani, Hahn et Barnier?

Réponse donnée par M. Šemeta au nom de la Commission

(27 mai 2013)

1.

La Commission a connaissance des dysfonctionnements du marché intérieur liés au régime des ventes à distance de marchandises soumises à accise mises à la consommation, et en particulier dans le commerce du vin, qui touche principalement les petites et moyennes entreprises vitivinicoles.

La Commission a mis en place un groupe de projet composé de 19 États membres (78) afin de contribuer à la simplification et à l'harmonisation des procédures de suivi pour les mouvements de marchandises soumises à accise mises à la consommation. Celui-ci devrait faire rapport sur ses travaux d'ici le milieu de l'année 2014.

La Commission souhaite réduire les charges et les complications administratives auxquelles font face tous les acteurs concernés par ces opérations pour rendre le marché unique plus efficace, ce qui réduirait forcément les coûts pour ce secteur de l'économie.

2.

Dans sa proposition de politique de développement rural pour la période de programmation 2014-2020

2.

Dans sa proposition de politique de développement rural pour la période de programmation 2014-2020

 (79), la Commission a présenté le cadre qui permettrait de soutenir le tourisme rural. Conformément au principe de subsidiarité, il appartient aux États membres de définir le soutien qu'ils veulent accorder au tourisme du vin dans leurs programmes de développement rural, ainsi que de choisir les projets les plus efficaces.

3.

La question soulevée par l'Honorable Parlementaire porte essentiellement sur la fiscalité et relève donc de la compétence du commissaire chargé de la fiscalité, des douanes, des statistiques, de l'audit et de la lutte antifraude. À cet égard, il convient de rappeler que toutes les décisions adoptées par la Commission doivent respecter le principe de collégialité.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003930/13

to the Commission

Astrid Lulling (PPE)

(8 April 2013)

Subject: Distance selling of wine: internal market inefficiencies

Small and medium-sized wine producers, the majority of which are family businesses, generate most of their income through direct sales. What is more, European rural development policy encourages wine tourism and the use of direct marketing methods which bypass wholesalers and retailers.

Although Council Directive 2008/118/EC authorises private individuals to purchase up to 90 litres of still wine and up to 60 litres of sparking wine for their personal use in one Member State and transport the wines themselves to another Member State, the internal market is much less efficient when it comes to distance selling.

If the buyer does not travel to the Member State in which the goods are purchased, excise duty must be paid in the Member State of destination. Wine growers who wish to export limited quantities of wine to private individuals are forced to appoint a tax representative, who then pays the excise duty in the country of destination. This inevitably increases the price of the wine substantially, to the extent that potential customers are put off. The administrative procedures involved also vary considerably from one Member State to another.

Whilst large concerns with EU-wide distribution networks can shrug them off, these unnecessary administrative complications serve to exclude small and medium-sized wine producers from the internal market.

1.

Does the Commission intend to simplify the administrative arrangements in question so that small and medium-sized firms can participate fully in the internal market?

2.

Does it not agree that funding for rural development, and in particular for the promotion of wine tourism, would be more effective if wine growers were able to continue selling their products directly to tourists even after the latter have returned home?

3.

Does it agree that this matter falls within the remit of several Commissioners, including Mr Cioloş, Mr Semeta, Mr De Gucht, Mr Tajani, Mr Hahn and Mr Barnier?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(27 May 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of the internal market inefficiencies due to the arrangements for distance selling of excise goods released for consumption and in particular in the trade of wine, which mostly affects small and medium-sized wine producers.

The Commission has launched a Project Group with 19 Member States (80) in order to contribute to the simplification and harmonisation of procedures for the movement of excise goods released for consumption. It is expected to report by the middle of 2014.

The Commission wishes to reduce the administrative burdens and complications, which hit all the actors involved in these transactions in order to make the single market more efficient, which would inevitably lead to reducing the costs for this sector of the economy.

2.

The Commission, in its proposal for the rural development policy for the next programming period 2014-2020

2.

The Commission, in its proposal for the rural development policy for the next programming period 2014-2020

 (81), has provided the necessary framework to support rural tourism. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, it is up to the Member States to define further support for wine tourism in their rural development programmes as well as chose the most effective projects.

3.

The issue raised by the Honourable Member basically relates to taxation and falls within the remit of the Member of the Commission responsible for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud. In this respect, please bear in mind that all decisions adopted by the Commission must respect the collegiality principle.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003931/13

an die Kommission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Ausbildung von Piloten

Personen, die auf privater Basis eine Ausbildung zum Linienflugzeug-Piloten absolviert haben, benötigen, um eine feste Anstellung bei einer Airline als Pilot zu bekommen, eine aufrechte Musterberechtigung (Type-Rating) zum Führen eines bestimmten Flugzeugtypen. Um diese zu erlangen, fallen bei vielen europäischen Linienfluggesellschaften Kosten in einer Bandbreite von etwa 25.000,00 EUR bis zu 45.000,00 EUR für den Piloten/die Pilotin an. Nur wenige Airlines übernehmen die Kosten für den Erwerb der Musterberechtigung und meist müssen sich die Piloten im Gegenzug für einige Jahre verpflichten.

1.

Ist es von den Airlines rechtens, für die benötigten Musterberechtigungen einen Kostenbeitrag in derartiger Höhe einzufordern?

2.

Gedenkt die Kommission, die Modalitäten für den Erwerb einer Musterberechtigung europaweit zu vereinheitlichen, insbesondere was das offensichtlich sehr unterschiedliche Kostenniveau angeht?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(3. Juni 2013)

Die gemeinsamen Anforderungen bezüglich der Ausbildung für Musterberechtigungen sowie der Ausbildungsorganisationen, die die Ausbildung für die Musterberechtigung erteilen, sind in der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1178/2011 der Kommission in der geänderten Fassung der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 290/2012 der Kommission (82) festgelegt. Diese technischen Anforderungen wurden von der Europäischen Agentur für Flugsicherheit (EASA) entwickelt. Sie dienen der Schaffung eines einheitlichen, hohen Sicherheitsniveaus der Zivilluftfahrt in der gesamten Europäischen Union.

Die Kosten der Ausbildung sind in diesen Rechtsinstrumenten nicht geregelt, da sie in den Zuständigkeitsbereich der Mitgliedstaaten und der Luftverkehrsunternehmen fallen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003931/13

to the Commission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Training of pilots

People who have trained privately as an airline pilot need a good type rating that entitles them to fly a particular type of aircraft if they are to find permanent employment with an airline as a pilot. In order to achieve this, the pilot faces costs ranging between about EUR 25 000 and EUR 45 000, which are charged by many European airlines. Only a small number of airlines absorb the costs for acquiring the type rating and in return pilots have to commit to several years’ service in most of these cases.

1.

Is it right for the airlines to demand such high charges for the necessary type ratings?

2.

Is the Commission considering standardising the arrangements for acquiring a type rating throughout Europe, in particular in relation to the obviously very variable cost level?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

The common requirements concerning training for type ratings as well as training organisations providing type rating training are laid down in Commission Regulation 1178/2011 as amended by Commission Regulation 290/2012 (83). These technical requirements have been developed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and serve the purpose of establishing a high uniform level of civil aviation safety throughout the European Union.

These legal instruments do not cover the pricing for training as this issue falls under the responsibility of the Member States and airlines.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003941/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Kinder und Jugendliche mit Bluthochdruck

Der Gesundheitszustand europäischer Kinder und Jugendlicher wird offenbar immer schlechter.

In Deutschland gibt es geschätzt 700 000 Kinder und Jugendliche, die an Bluthochdruck leiden; dies sei auf Bewegungsmangel und Adipositas zurückzuführen.

1.

Kann die Kommission eine Einschätzung dazu abgeben, wie viele Kinder und Jugendliche europaweit betroffen sind?

2.

Wie viele Kinder und Jugendlicher sind in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten betroffen?

3.

Gedenkt die Kommission, diesbezüglich langfristige Studien zu veranlassen, um eine deutliche Besserung der gegenwärtigen Situation herbeizuführen?

4.

Welche Maßnahmen wird die Kommission den Mitgliedstaaten empfehlen, um diesem gravierenden Gesundheitsproblem der Jugendlichen entgegenzuwirken und damit gleichzeitig die Gesundheits‐ und Sozialkosten langfristig zu senken?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(6. Juni 2013)

Die Kommission erfasst nicht, wie viele Kinder unter Bluthochdruck leiden.

Wie im Dokument „Ernährung, Übergewicht, Adipositas: Eine Strategie für Europa“ (84) festgelegt, fördert die Kommission seit 2007 EU-Maßnahmen für mehr Bewegung und eine gesündere Ernährung. Diese Strategie wird in Zusammenarbeit mit den Mitgliedstaaten und den Interessenträgern in der EU umgesetzt.

Vorrangiges Ziel der EU-Strategie sind Maßnahmen zugunsten von Kindern und Menschen aus den unteren sozioökonomischen Gruppen. Die übrigen Prioritäten sind besser informierte Verbraucher, die Bereitstellung gesunder Lebensmittel, die Bewegungsförderung und der Aufbau von Überwachungssystemen und einer Evidenzbasis zur Unterstützung des Vorgehens. Wichtig ist, dass die Mitgliedstaaten weiterhin Maßnahmen auf regionaler und lokaler Ebene ausarbeiten und durchführen.

Im Einklang mit den Zielen der Strategie hat die Kommission 2007 eine hochrangige Gruppe für Ernährung und Bewegung (85) eingerichtet. Da der Salzkonsum bei der Regulierung des Blutdrucks eine wichtige Rolle spielt, hat die hochrangige Gruppe 2008 einen gemeinsamen EU-Rahmen für einzelstaatliche Salz-Initiativen mit dem gemeinsamen Ziel eines europäischen Ansatzes zur Senkung des Salzverbrauchs vereinbart.

Ferner werden die Ziele der Strategie mithilfe von Projekten verwirklicht, die aus dem 7. Forschungsrahmenprogramm der EU finanziert werden und u. a. folgende Themenbereiche abdecken: Neuformulierung von Lebensmittelrezepturen, Bereitstellung gesunder Lebensmittel und Verstehen des Verbraucherverhaltens.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003941/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Children and adolescents with high blood pressure.

The health of Europe’s children and adolescents is obviously deteriorating.

It is estimated that there are 700 000 children and adolescents in Germany who suffer from hypertension due to obesity and a lack of exercise.

1.

Can the Commission offer an estimate of the number of children and adolescents affected throughout Europe?

2.

How many children and adolescents are affected in the individual Member States?

3.

Does the Commission propose to launch long-term studies on this issue aimed at significantly improving the current situation?

4.

What measures will the Commission recommend to the Member States in order to counter this serious health problem among young people, thereby also reducing health and social costs in the long term?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The Commission does not collect data on the number of children suffering from hypertension.

Since 2007, the Commission promotes EU action to enhance physical activity levels and promote healthier diets, as set out in the strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues (86). The strategy is implemented through cooperation with Member States and EU Stakeholders.

Action targeted at children and people from low socioeconomic groups is a priority of the EU Strategy. The other priority areas are better informed consumers; making the healthy option available; encouraging physical activity; and developing monitoring systems and the evidence base to support policy making. It is essential that actions continue to be developed and carried out by Member States at regional and local levels.

In line with the objectives of the strategy, the Commission established in 2007 a High Level Group for Nutrition and Physical Activity (87). As salt intake plays a critical role in regulating blood pressure, the High Level Group jointly agreed in 2008 to a common EU Framework for National Salt Initiatives with common vision for a European approach towards salt reduction.

Furthermore, projects funded under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme aim to contribute to the objectives of the strategy, e.g. in the area of reformulation, making the healthy option available and understanding consumer behaviour.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003942/13

an die Kommission

Ismail Ertug (S&D)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Begrenzung langer Beförderungen von Tieren bei Tiertransporten

Wie aus dem Kommissionsbericht (88) hervorgeht, hat sich die Anzahl der langen Beförderung von Tieren nicht verringert, sondern sich zwischen 2005 (dem Jahr des Inkrafttretens der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1/2005) und 2009 um 32 % (89) erhöht. Das in Erwägungsgrund 5 der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1/2005 erklärte Ziel, dass „aus Tierschutzgründen […] lange Beförderungen von Tieren — auch von Schlachttieren — auf ein Mindestmaß begrenzt werden [sollten]“, wurde somit nicht erreicht.

Welche Maßnahmen hat die Kommission unternommen und welche Maßnahmen plant die Kommission in naher Zukunft, um die Anzahl der langen Beförderungen von Tieren zu reduzieren?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(29. Mai 2013)

Erwägungsgründe enthalten keine verbindlichen Bestimmungen. Mit ihnen wird dargelegt, warum der Rechtsakt erlassen wird, und es werden die wesentlichen Bestimmungen des verfügenden Teils begründet. Daher ist der Wortlaut von Erwägung 5 der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1/2005 über den Schutz von Tieren beim Transport (90) als Begründung für die Rechtsvorschriften zu betrachten und nicht als Ziel, zu dessen Erreichung die Kommission bestimmte Maßnahmen ergreifen muss.

Erwägungsgrund 5 besagt, dass lange Beförderungen von Tieren — auch von Schlachttieren — aus Tierschutzgründen auf ein Mindestmaß begrenzt werden sollten. Dieser Erwägungsgrund spiegelt sich in den Vorschriften des Artikels 3 Buchstaben a und f wider, denen zufolge die Beförderung so zu planen ist, dass ihre Dauer so kurz wie möglich ist, und der Transport zum Bestimmungsort ohne Verzögerungen erfolgen sollte.

Damit das Ziel nach Maßgabe des Erwägungsgrunds erreicht werden kann, muss die Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1/2005 ordnungsgemäß durchgesetzt werden. Dies ist Aufgabe der Mitgliedstaaten. Wie im Bericht der Kommission über den Schutz von Tieren (91) dargelegt, ergreift die Kommission aber Maßnahmen, um die Durchsetzung zu verbessern. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist die Annahme eines Kommissionsbeschlusses betreffend die Jahresberichte der Mitgliedstaaten über Kontrollen von Tiertransporten (92). Gemäß Anhang II Teil 2 Nummer 4 dieses Beschlusses erstatten die Mitgliedstaaten Bericht über ihre Kontrollen zur Überprüfung der Anwendung des Artikels 3 Buchstaben a und h der Verordnung.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003942/13

to the Commission

Ismail Ertug (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Limiting the transport of animals over long journeys

As the report of the Commission (93) points out, the transport of animals over long journeys has not reduced, but has rather increased by 32% (94) between 2005 (the year in which Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 entered into force) and 2009. Thus, the declared aim of the fifth recital of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 that ‘for reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys, including animals for slaughter, should be limited as far as possible’ has not been achieved.

What steps has the Commission taken and what steps is it planning in the near future to reduce the transport of animals over long journeys?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 2013)

A recital to legislation does not include normative provisions; it rather specifies the statement of reasons for the adoption of the legislation and motivates the chief provisions of the enacting terms. Hence, the wording of recital (5) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport (95) should be seen as an explanation to why the requirements of the legislation is in place, and not as an objective in relation to which the Commission is supposed to take specific actions.

Recital 5 states that ‘For reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys, including animals for slaughter, should be limited as far as possible.’This recital is reflected through the requirements of Articles 3(a) and (f), according to which the journey should be planned so that its length is minimised, and the transport should be carried out without delay to the place of destination.

The proper enforcement of Regulation 1/2005 is what ensures that the objective of the recitals is fulfilled. Enforcement is the responsibility of Member States. The Commission is however taking steps to improve enforcement by carrying out a number of actions as described in the Commission Report on animal welfare during transport (96). One example is the adoption of a Commission Decision on Member States' annual reports on controls of animal transports (97). According to Annex II, Part 2, point 4 to that Decision, Member States shall report on their controls of the implementation of Articles 3(a) and (h).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003943/13

an die Kommission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Israelische Gasförderung im Tamar-Feld — Streit um Seegrenzen

Anfang April 2013 wurde erstmals Erdgas aus der 2009 entdeckten Lagerstätte im östlichen Mittelmeer — in der 255 Milliarden Kubikmeter Erdgas lagern sollen — über eine kilometerlange Pipeline zum israelischen Festland transportiert. Im Hinblick auf die (außer mit Zypern) rechtlich nicht abgesicherten Seegrenzen ist bei Förderungen im Tamar-Feld und im Leviathan-Feld ein Streit um Seegrenzen praktisch vorprogrammiert. Insbesondere die Seegrenze zum Libanon gilt als umstritten. Die dort regierende iranfreundliche schiitische Hisbollah hat schon mehrfach angekündigt, sich von Israel nicht ihr Gas „stehlen“ zu lassen

Welche Vorbereitungen werden auf EU-Ebene für die absehbare Verschlechterung der Sicherheitslage im Nahen Osten getroffen?

Antwort von Frau Ashton — Hohe Vertreterin/Vizepräsidentin im Namen der Kommission

(6. Juni 2013)

Der EU ist die fragile Sicherheitslage in der Region voll und ganz bewusst und sie engagiert sich aktiv an mehreren Fronten. So hat sie immer wieder zu einer umfassenden Friedenslösung in Nahost aufgerufen, die auch Syrien und Libanon einbezieht. Die EU hat die arabische Friedensinitiative begrüßt, die unter anderem die Aussicht auf eine Normalisierung der Beziehungen zwischen Israel und der arabischen Welt bietet. Die Entdeckung umfangreicher Gasvorkommen im östlichen Mittelmeer zeigt deutlich, welcher Nutzen aus einer Zusammenarbeit gezogen werden könnte. Die Kommission wird im Rahmen ihrer bilateralen Beziehungen weiter die Ratifizierung und konzertierte Umsetzung des Seerechtsübereinkommens der Vereinten Nationen sowie eine bessere Bewirtschaftung der Meeresgebiete auf subregionaler Ebene im Mittelmeerraum fördern, wie sie in ihrer Mitteilung vom 9. September 2009 (98) hervorgehoben hat.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003943/13

to the Commission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Israeli gas extraction in the Tamar Field — disputed sea borders

At the beginning of April 2013, natural gas was brought ashore in Israel for the first time using a pipeline measuring several kilometres in length from a field that was discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in 2009 and that is believed to contain 255 billion cubic metres of natural gas. In view of the fact that the sea borders are not legally secured (except with Cyprus), a dispute over sea borders is almost inevitable in relation to extractions from the Tamar and Leviathan Fields. The sea border with Lebanon is particularly contentious. The Shiite Hezbollah Government there is friendly towards Iran and has already stated several times that is not going to allow Israel to ‘steal’ its gas.

What preparations are being made at EU level for a foreseeable deterioration of the security situation in the Middle East?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The EU is acutely aware of the fragile security situation in the region and remains actively engaged on several fronts. It has consistently called for comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including the Syrian and the Lebanese track. The EU has welcomed the Arab Peace Initiative, which also holds out the prospect of normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab world. The discovery of extensive gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean underlines the benefits which could be secured from cooperation. The Commission will continue to encourage the ratification and concerted implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention of the Law of the Sea in its bilateral relations, as well as improved governance of the marine space at sub-regional level in the Mediterranean, as underlined in its communication of 11 September 2009 (99).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003944/13

an die Kommission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Bienenschutz

Auf EU-Ebene widmet man sich ja nun dem massiven Bienensterben. Wichtig für die Bienen ist indes auch eine ökologische Gestaltung von öffentlichen Flächen und eine Sensibilisierung der Bevölkerung. Beispielsweise ist es hilfreich, wenn Wiesenflächen nicht allzu oft gemäht werden, so dass sie blühen können. Biologische Landwirtschaft, bei der auf den Einsatz von Insektiziden verzichtet wird, spielt auch eine wichtige Rolle für den Bienenschutz.

1.

Werden auf EU-Ebene Initiativen für Bienenschutz gefördert?

2.

Laufen EU-weite Projekte, um Gemeinden und Bevölkerung hinsichtlich des Bienenschutzes zu sensibilisieren?

Antwort von Herrn Cioloş im Namen der Kommission

(6. Juni 2013)

Maßnahmen zur Unterstützung des Bienenzuchtsektors werden auf EU-Ebene im Rahmen der Verordnung über die einheitliche Gemeinsame Marktorganisation (EG) Nr. 1234/2007 (100) und der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1698/2005 über die Förderung der Entwicklung des ländlichen Raums (101) bezuschusst. Mehrere dieser Fördermaßnahmen haben sich positiv auf den Schutz der Bienenpopulation ausgewirkt.

Insbesondere ist in Artikel 105 der Verordnung über die einheitliche GMO vorgesehen, dass die Mitgliedstaaten nationale Dreijahresprogramme zur Förderung der Bienenzucht auflegen können. Zu den Maßnahmen, die für entsprechende Beihilfen infrage kommen, zählen laut Artikel 106 dieser Verordnung die technische Hilfe für Imker und Imkereivereinigungen, die Bekämpfung der Varroatose, die Rationalisierung der Wanderimkerei, die Förderung der Analyse physikalisch-chemischer Merkmale des Honigs durch Labors, die Wiederauffüllung des gemeinschaftlichen Bienenbestands und die Zusammenarbeit mit Organisationen, die auf die Durchführung von Programmen der angewandten Forschung auf dem Gebiet der Bienenzucht und der Bienenzuchterzeugnisse spezialisiert sind. In allen Mitgliedstaaten sind nationale Bienenzuchtprogramme in Kraft, und die EU finanziert 50 % der von den Mitgliedstaaten hierfür getätigten Ausgaben.

Außerdem werden im Rahmen der Reform der gemeinsamen Agrarpolitik mehrere allgemeine Maßnahmen für mehr Nachhaltigkeit in der Landwirtschaft vorgeschlagen. Über spezielle Maßnahmen wie die Förderung des Erhalts bestimmter Flächen, auf denen Honigpflanzen wachsen, wird ebenfalls diskutiert.

Die EU hat schon in der Vergangenheit mehrere Projekte zum Schutz der Bienen durchgeführt und tut dies auch weiterhin. Einige dieser Projekte beinhalten die Verbreitung entsprechender Informationen in der Öffentlichkeit, insbesondere über die Website der Kommission (102) und in wissenschaftlichen Veröffentlichungen, so z. B. in einem Buch zur Standardisierung von Forschungsarbeiten zu Bienen (103).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003944/13

to the Commission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Protection of the bee population

The EU is now focusing on the massive collapse of the bee population. Important measures to encourage bees include the environmental design of public spaces and the raising of awareness among the public. For example, it is helpful if meadows are not mown too frequently to allow them to flower. Organic farming practices avoiding the use of insecticides also play an important role in protecting bees.

1.

Are initiatives to protect the bee population funded at EU level?

2.

Are there any EU-wide projects aimed at raising awareness among the public of the importance of protecting bees?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

Measures to support the apiculture sector are funded at EU level in the framework of the single Common Market Organisation Regulation (104) (EC) No 1234/2007 and of Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 on support for rural development programme (105). Several of these support measures have a positive effect on the protection of bee population.

In particular, Article 105 of the single CMO Regulation provides that Member States may draw up a triennal national apiculture programme. In line with Article 106 of this regulation, the measures eligible for aid include technical assistance to beekeepers and grouping of beekeepers, control of varroasis, rationalisation of transhumance, support for laboratories carrying out analyses of honey, restocking of hives and cooperation with specialised bodies for the implementation of applied research programmes in the field of beekeeping and apiculture products. All Member States have national apiculture programmes in place and the Union provides part financing for these apiculture programmes equivalent to 50% of the expenditure borne by Member States.

Additionnally, several general measures to promote a more sustainable agriculture are proposed in the frame of the reform of the common agricultural policy. Specific measures such as encouraging the maintenance of certain areas with melliferous plants are also discussed.

The EU has conducted and is continuing to carry out several projects in relation to the protection of bees. Several of these projects include the dissemination of information towards the public in particular through the website of the Commission (106) and scientific publications such as a book dedicated to the standardisation of research studies on bees (107).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003945/13

an die Kommission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Euro-Krise verschlechtert Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung

Das Europäische Observatorium für Gesundheitssysteme und Gesundheitspolitik kam in einer Studie zu dem Schluss, dass die rigide Sparpolitik in den Krisenstaaten der Euro-Zone mitverantwortlich ist für eine drastische Verschlechterung des Gesundheitszustands der Bürger vor allem in Griechenland, Spanien und Portugal. In Griechenland hätten Krankenhäuser Probleme, überhaupt die medizinischen Mindeststandards zu halten. Es soll bereits zu besorgniserregenden Ausbrüchen von Krankheiten wie Malaria, West-Nil‐ oder Denguefieber gekommen sein. Erstmals brechen in Europa also Epidemien wie Malaria aus.

1.

Ist der Kommission diese Studie bekannt?

2.

Was wird auf EU-Ebene diesbezüglich unternommen?

3.

Welche Auswirkungen auf andere Mitgliedstaaten werden in diesem Zusammenhang, etwa hinsichtlich Ausbreitung von Epidemien, Arztkostenerstattung für Touristen, Operationstourismus, Migration von Ärzten etc. erwartet?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(4. Juni 2013)

Die Kommission kennt die Veröffentlichung „Finanzkrise, Sparzwänge und Gesundheit in Europa“ von Karanikolos et al in der Online-Version von The Lancet vom 27. März 2013.

Übertragbare Krankheiten wie Malaria, West-Nil‐ oder Denguefieber sind in der Entscheidung Nr. 2119/98/EG des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates über die Schaffung eines Netzes für die epidemiologische Überwachung und die Kontrolle übertragbarer Krankheiten in der EU routinemäßig erfasst. Daher werden sie auf europäischer Ebene aktiv beobachtet. Die Koordinierung von Maßnahmen, darunter Information der Öffentlichkeit sowie aktive Überwachungs‐ und Vektorbekämpfungsmaßnahmen, wurden in den Ländern, in denen Fälle ermittelt wurden, unverzüglich ergriffen.

Informationen über die möglichen Auswirkungen solcher Ausbrüche werden unter den öffentlichen Gesundheitsbehörden auf EU-Ebene ausgetauscht. Spezifische Konsultationen werden mit den Mitgliedstaaten, dem Europäischen Zentrum für die Prävention und die Kontrolle von Krankheiten und der Weltgesundheitsorganisation durchgeführt. Die Kommission überwacht weiterhin die Situation im Hinblick auf diese Krankheiten. Bisher ist die Lage unter Kontrolle.

In der angesprochenen Studie wird auch erwähnt, dass eine allgemeine Bewertung der Auswirkungen der rezenten Politikreformen im Bereich des Zugangs zu Pflege‐ und Gesundheitsleistungen noch nicht möglich ist. Es heißt weiter, das volle Ausmaß der Konsequenzen in ernsthaft betroffenen Ländern werde erst in einigen Jahren erkennbar werden. Daher hat die Kommission zu diesem Zeitpunkt keinen umfassenden Überblick über die allgemeinen Gesundheitsfolgen der jüngsten Reform der Haushaltspolitik.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003945/13

to the Commission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Euro crisis leads to poorer access to healthcare services

A study carried out by the European Observatory on Health Policies and Health Systems has come to the conclusion that rigid austerity policies in the crisis countries of the euro area are partly responsible for a drastic deterioration in the health of citizens, particularly in Greece, Spain and Portugal. In Greece, hospitals are apparently experiencing problems maintaining even minimum medical standards. Reports suggest that there have already been worrying outbreaks of illnesses such as malaria, West Nile fever or Dengue fever virus. This is the first time that Europe has experienced outbreaks of epidemics like malaria.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this study?

2.

What steps are being taken at EU level in this respect?

3.

What impact on other Member States is expected in this context, for example in terms of the spread of epidemics, the reimbursement of medical costs for tourists, medical tourism, the migration of doctors, etc.?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2013)

The Commission is aware of the publication ‘Financial crisis, austerity and health in Europe’ by Karanikolos et al in the Lancet online version of 27 March 2013.

Communicable diseases such as malaria, West Nile fever and dengue are routinely covered under Decision 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a European network for surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the EU. Thus they are actively monitored at European level and coordination of measures, including information to the public, active surveillance and vector control measures have been promptly undertaken in the countries in which cases have been identified.

Information about the potential impact of any such outbreaks is shared among the public health authorities at EU level. Specific consultation with the Member States, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation is carried out. The Commission continues to monitor the situation with these diseases which so far has been under control.

The study in question further notes that a general assessment of the effects of recent policy reforms on access to care and health outcomes is not yet possible. It further states that ‘the full scale of consequences in severely affected countries will become apparent only in several years’. Consequently, the Commission does not have, at this stage, a comprehensive overview of overall health impacts resulting from recent fiscal reform measures.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003946/13

an die Kommission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Evergreening von Arzneimittel-Patenten

Für 20 Jahre sichern Patente den großen Pharmakonzernen ein exklusives Verkaufsrecht für Medikamente. Nach Ablauf der Frist können auch andere Firmen die Präparate als Generika herstellen und zu einem Bruchteil des Originalpreises herstellen. Kritiker werfen Pharmafirmen vor, vor Ablauf des Patentes Arzneimittel zurückzuziehen, um sie danach, in leicht veränderter Form, wieder teuer auf den Markt zu bringen — sog. „Evergreening“. Bis 2015 sollen weltweit Patente für Arzneimittel mit einem Jahresumsatz von 150 Milliarden US-Dollar auslaufen.

Aus diesem Grund werden etwa in Indien nur noch neue Medikamente geschützt, wenn eine „erhöhte therapeutische Wirksamkeit“ nachweisbar ist. Anfang April 2013 hat der Pharmakonzern Novartis den Patentstreit um sein Krebsmittel Glivec in Indien vor dem Höchstgericht verloren.

Ist der Kommission das Problem des sog. „Evergreening“ von Medikamenten bewusst und wie wird damit auf EU-Ebene umgegangen?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(3. Juni 2013)

Forschung, die auf eine schrittweise Weiterentwicklung abzielt, ist wichtig, da sie zu erheblichen Verbesserungen der bestehenden Produkte führen kann. Die Ergebnisse dieser Forschung können durch Patente geschützt werden, sofern die normalen Patentierbarkeitserfordernisse Neuheit, erfinderische Tätigkeit und gewerbliche Anwendbarkeit erfüllt sind.

Jedoch kann die Lancierung eines Produktes der zweiten Generation in der Tat als Szenario gesehen werden, in dem der Originalpräparatehersteller unter Umständen von Instrumenten Gebrauch machen möchte, die den Marktzugang von Generika verzögern, die den Produkten der ersten Generation entsprechen. Patentstrategien wie das sogenannte „Evergreening“ wurden von der Kommission im Rahmen ihrer Untersuchung des Wettbewerbs im Pharmasektor geprüft. Je nach Fallkonstellation können bestimmte Praktiken in diesem Zusammenhang in den Anwendungsbereich des Wettbewerbsrechts fallen. Die Kommission verfolgt ihre sektorspezifische Untersuchung weiter und achtet genau auf die Einhaltung des Wettbewerbsrechts.

Darüber hinaus ist der Regelungsrahmen für Arzneimittel in der Europäischen Union, nämlich die Richtlinie 2001/83/EG und die Verordnung (EG) Nr. 726/2004, so konzipiert, dass „Evergreening“-Strategien weniger attraktiv sind. In der Regel wird eine Umstellung auf Nachfolgeerfindungen oder Produkte der zweiten Generation Generikahersteller nicht davon abhalten, generische Kopien der Produkte der ersten Generation auf den Markt zu bringen, sobald die vorgeschriebene Datenschutzfrist für diese Produkte abgelaufen ist. Dies gilt auch dann, wenn der Originalpräparatehersteller sein Produkt der ersten Generation vom Markt zurückzieht. Folglich muss der Originalpräparatehersteller den betreffenden Markt unter Umständen mit konkurrierenden Generikaherstellern teilen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003946/13

to the Commission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Evergreening of medicinal product patents

Patents allow the large pharmaceuticals companies to enjoy exclusive sales rights for medicinal products for 20 years. After this period, other companies can produce generic forms of the preparations at a fraction of the original price. Critics accuse the pharmaceuticals companies of withdrawing products before the patent runs out only to relaunch them on the market in a slightly altered form but at the same high price — a process known as ‘evergreening’. By 2015, patents with an annual value of USD 150 billion worldwide are set to run out.

This is why in India, for example, new medicinal products are only protected if it is established that they offer ‘increased therapeutic effectiveness’. At the beginning of April 2013, the Novartis pharmaceutical group lost the patent case for its cancer drug Glivec in the Indian Supreme Court.

Is the Commission aware of the problem of ‘evergreening’ in relation to medicinal products and how is this dealt with at EU level?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

Incremental research is important as it can lead to significant improvements of existing products. Result of such research can be protected by patents provided the normal patentability requirements of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability are met.

Yet the launch of a second generation product can indeed be a scenario in which an originator company might want to make use of instruments that delay the market entry of generic products corresponding to the first generation product. Patent strategies such as ‘evergreening’ were examined by the Commission in its competition sector inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector. Depending on the individual circumstances of each case certain practices in this context may fall within the scope of competition law. The Commission is following up its sector inquiry and carefully ensuring compliance with competition law.

Moreover, the regulatory framework for medicinal products within the European Union, namely Directive 2001/83/EC and Regulation (EC) No 726/2004, is designed in a way that makes ‘evergreening’ strategies less attractive. Under normal circumstances, a switch to follow-up inventions or second generation products will not prevent generic companies from entering the market with generic copies of the first generation product, once the regulatory data protection period for that product has expired. This is even the case, where the originator company will withdraw its first generation product from the market. Consequently, the originator company may have to share the particular market with generic competitors.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003947/13

alla Commissione

Salvatore Iacolino (PPE), Raffaele Baldassarre (PPE), Barbara Matera (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(9 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Caso Ilva di Taranto

Il 16 luglio 2012 la magistratura di Taranto ha ordinato il sequestro dello stabilimento siderurgico Ilva di Taranto perché le sue emissioni tossiche avrebbero causato seri danni ambientali. Lo Stato italiano con la legge n. 231 del 24 dicembre 2012 ha autorizzato la ripresa dell'attività produttiva dello stabilimento dichiarandolo sito di interesse nazionale, obbligando però la società ad ottemperare alle prescrizioni previste dalla nuova autorizzazione integrata ambientale (AIA). L'Ilva, secondo l'Agenzia Regionale Protezione Ambiente, non starebbe rispettando le prescrizioni dell'AIA continuando di fatto ad inquinare e le manifestazioni dei cittadini di Taranto dei giorni scorsi confermerebbero tale circostanza.

Nell'ipotesi inauspicabile di una chiusura o della necessità di riconvertire il sito industriale e preso atto che lo stabilimento Ilva di Taranto è il più grande stabilimento siderurgico europeo, sarebbe secondo la Commissione possibile:

la riallocazione delle somme non spese previste dai fondi Fesr e FSE destinati alla Regione Puglia al fine di promuovere un piano di riconversione industriale della società nonché un reinserimento occupazionale dei lavoratori;

l'accesso ad un cofinanziamento da parte della BEI ed eventualmente con quali modalità;

il ricorso al Fondo europeo di adeguamento alla globalizzazione per un sostegno all'impiego ed alla riqualificazione dei lavoratori;

la previsione di innovativi percorsi produttivi compatibili con il rispetto della salute dei cittadini e dell'assetto del territorio?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(12 giugno 2013)

Gli strumenti finanziari FESR (108) non investono in imprese in difficoltà (109). Tuttavia, il programma per la Puglia cofinanziato dal FESR prevede la dotazione di 260 milioni di euro per «progetti integrati per la rigenerazione urbana e rurale».

L'FSE (110) può intervenire per sostenere il reimpiego e la riqualificazione di lavoratori in mobilità in seguito alla possibile chiusura o riconversione di impianti. Gli interventi possono essere effettuati su iniziativa dell'autorità di gestione del PO FSE (111) in Puglia, in conformità con il contenuto del programma e con le risorse disponibili.

La BEI è pronta a prendere in considerazione il sostegno finanziario (112) per lo sviluppo sociale, ambientale ed economico e per la rigenerazione dell'area, congiuntamente con l'intervento dei Fondi strutturali, malgrado le ben note complessità connesse all'impianto siderurgico ILVA di Taranto.

Nel contesto dell'attuale regolamento FEG sono ammissibili solo i licenziamenti provocati dalla globalizzazione del commercio; sembra che nella fattispecie la globalizzazione non sia la causa dei licenziamenti. Se tuttavia licenziamenti si verificano all'ILVA e se l'Italia può stabilire un collegamento tra di essi e la globalizzazione del commercio (113), l'Italia può decidere di applicare il sostegno del FEG (114), in modo tale che i lavoratori licenziati possano essere assistiti nel trovare nuovi posti di lavoro quanto prima possibile.

Per il periodo 2014-2020 la Commissione ha proposto di introdurre un criterio di crisi come uno dei criteri di ammissibilità al potenziale sostegno FEG. Il sostegno del Parlamento sarà essenziale nel processo legislativo al fine di garantire l'adozione finale di questo elemento.

La Commissione appoggia la creazione di percorsi innovativi di produzione nell'UE con varie iniziative e strumenti (115).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003947/13

to the Commission

Salvatore Iacolino (PPE), Raffaele Baldassarre (PPE), Barbara Matera (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: The case of the ILVA steelworks in Taranto

On 16 July 2012, the judiciary in Taranto ordered the seizure of the ILVA steelworks in Taranto on the grounds that its toxic emissions had caused serious environmental damage. By Law No 231 of 24 December 2012, the Italian State authorised resumption of production at the plant, declaring it to be a site of national interest, though compelling the company to comply with the requirements of the new integrated environmental authorisation (IEA). According to Italy’s Regional Environmental Protection Agency, ILVA is failing to meet the IEA requirements, and is thus continuing to pollute, as protests by the citizens of Taranto in recent days would seem to confirm.

In the undesirable event of closure or of the need to convert the industrial site, and given that the ILVA works in Taranto is the largest steel plant in Europe, does the Commission believe it would be possible:

to reallocate unspent ERDF and ESF funds earmarked for the Puglia Region in order to promote a plan for the industrial redevelopment of the company as well as for the re-employment of workers;

to access EIB co-financing and if so how;

to use the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to provide employment support and worker retraining;

to provide innovative production paths compatible with respect for citizens’ health and spatial planning?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2013)

ERDF (116) financial instruments shall not invest in firms in difficulty (117). However, the programme for Puglia co-financed by the ERDF provides for an allocation of EUR 260 million for ‘integrated projects for urban and rural regeneration’.

The ESF (118) could intervene to support the re-employment and requalification of workers in mobility following the possible closure or the reconversion of the plant. The interventions can take place under the initiative of the Management Authority of the ESF OP (119) in Puglia, in accordance with the content of the programme and with the available resources.

EIB is ready to consider financial support (120) for the social, environmental and economic development, and regeneration of the area, jointly with the Structural Funds intervention, notwithstanding the well-known complexities related to the ILVA steelwork plant in Taranto.

Under the current EGF Regulation only redundancies caused by trade related globalisation are eligible and it would seem here that globalisation is not the cause of the redundancies. However, if redundancies occur in ILVA, and if Italy can establish a link between these redundancies and trade-related globalisation (121), Italy may decide to apply for support from the EGF (122), so that the redundant workers can be helped to find new jobs as quickly as possible.

For the period of 2014-2020, the Commission has proposed to introduce a crisis criterion as one of the criteria for potential EGF support. Parliament’s support will be critical in the legislative process to ensure the final adoption of this element.

The Commission supports the creation of innovative production paths in the EU with various initiatives and instruments (123).

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris P-003948/13

adresată Consiliului

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(9 aprilie 2013)

Subiect: Scandalul financiar Offshore Leaks

În aprilie 2013, în urma a câtorva ani de investigații efectuate de Consorțiul Internațional al Jurnaliștilor de Investigație, împreună cu 36 de ziare internaționale, scandalul financiar Offshore Leaks a divulgat detalii privind 130 000 de conturi offshore. De asemenea, organizația Tax Justice Network a estimat că între 16 și 25 de trilioane EUR se află ascunse în conturi offshore. În ultimele decenii, paradisurile fiscale s-au înmulțit rapid și au provocat perturbări grave pe piețele financiare internaționale, inclusiv la nivel european, așa cum s-a dovedit recent în cazul economiei Ciprului. Evaziunea fiscală și evitarea plății impozitelor afectează interesele financiare ale Uniunii. Statele membre împreună cu Comisia sunt responsabile de propria lor protecție, în conformitate cu dispozițiile Tratatului privind funcționarea Uniunii Europene.

În urma scandalului financiar Offshore Leaks, ce măsuri concrete intenționează să pună în aplicare Consiliul pentru a proteja interesele financiare ale Uniunii și pentru a elimina posibilitatea deturnării fluxurilor financiare de la circuitele financiare normale? Vă rog să precizați termenul preconizat pentru punerea în aplicare a acestor măsuri.

Răspuns

(1 iulie 2013)

Combaterea fraudei constituie o prioritate principală pentru Consiliu. În cadrul reuniunii sale din 22 mai 2013, Consiliul European a subliniat importanța combaterii evaziunii fiscale și a fraudei fiscale și a lansat un apel în vederea realizării de progrese rapide cu privire la o gamă de măsuri menite să abordeze acest aspect.

Consiliul European a reamintit de asemenea concluziile Consiliului din 14 mai 2013, care sprijină eforturile suplimentare la nivel național, al UE, al G8, al G20, al OCDE și la nivel global în ceea ce privește schimbul automat de informații și îmbunătățirea punerii în aplicare și a asigurării respectării standardelor în materie de informații privind beneficiarul real care sunt pertinente pentru scopuri fiscale.

Consiliul a subliniat de asemenea instrumentul-pilot de schimb multilateral cu privire la care anumite state membre desfășoară activități. Instrumentul este menit să asigure transparența prin schimbul automat de informații între administrații, cu scopul de a contribui la un nou standard global.

Noi progrese în acest domeniu au fost înlesnite prin adoptarea, de către Consiliul din 14 mai, a unui mandat de negociere cu Elveția, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra și San Marino, în scopul extinderii schimbului de informații la aceste țări terțe în domeniul impozitării veniturilor din economii.

Această nouă evoluție ar trebui să permită Directivei privind impozitarea veniturilor din economii, în forma sa revizuită care ar acoperi lacune importante din forma existentă, să fie adoptată curând, astfel cum a solicitat Consiliul European.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003948/13

to the Council

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Offshore leaks financial scandal

In April 2013, the offshore leaks financial scandal disclosed the details of 130 000 offshore accounts, following years of investigations carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, together with 36 international newspapers. Moreover, the Tax Justice Network estimated that between EUR 16 and 25 trillion is hidden in offshore accounts. Over recent decades, tax havens have mushroomed in quantity and have led to major disruptions in international financial markets, including at EU level, as recently demonstrated with the Cyprus economy. Tax evasion and avoidance are affecting the financial interests of the Union. Member States, together with the Commission, are responsible for their own protection as enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

In the wake of the offshore leaks financial scandal, what concrete measures does the Council intend to enforce in order to protect the Union’s financial interests and eliminate the possibilities of diverting financial flows from the normal financial circuits? Please provide an expected timeframe for the enforcement of these measures.

Reply

(1 July 2013)

Fighting against fraud is a key priority for the Council. At its meeting on 22 May 2013, the European Council underlined the importance of fighting tax evasion and fraud, and called for rapid progress to be made on a range of measures to tackle this issue.

The European Council also recalled the conclusions of the Council of 14 May 2013 supporting further efforts at national, EU, G8, G20, OECD and global level on automatic exchange of information and on improving the implementation and enforcement of standards of beneficial ownership information that is relevant for tax purposes.

The Council also highlighted the pilot multilateral exchange facility on which some Member States are working. The facility is designed to ensure transparency through the automatic exchange of information between administrations, with the aim of contributing to a new global standard.

Further progress in this area has been made possible through the adoption, by the Council on 14 May, of a mandate for negotiations with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino with a view to extending exchange of information to those third Countries in the area of savings interest taxation.

This new development should allow the revised Savings Directive, which would close important loopholes in the existing Savings Directive, to be adopted soon, as requested by the European Council.

(Svensk version)

Frågor för skriftligt besvarande E-003949/13

till kommissionen

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(9 april 2013)

Angående: Varför anses rättsligt skydd av kretsmönster i halvledarprodukter vara en immateriell rättighet?

I sitt svar på den skriftliga frågan E-001176/2013 (124) besvarar kommissionen inte den ställda frågan. Kommissionen hänvisar till skäl 13 i direktiv 2004/48/EG, men ger ingen förklaring till varför det rättsliga skyddet av kretsmönster i halvledarprodukter bör anses vara en immateriell rättighet. Rådets direktiv 87/54/EEG (125) ger inte heller någon förklaring på detta.

Kan kommissionen ange vilka särskilda kriterier den använde för att inkludera rättsligt skydd av kretsmönster i halvledarprodukter på listan i uttalande 2005/95/EG (126)?

Frågor för skriftligt besvarande E-003950/13

till kommissionen

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(9 april 2013)

Angående: Anledningen till att bruksmodeller betraktas som immateriella rättigheter på EU-nivå när de inte finns på nationell nivå i samtliga medlemsstater

I sitt svar på skriftlig fråga E-001409/2013 (127) uppger kommissionen att bruksmodeller betraktas som immateriella rättigheter i medlemsstaterna och därför har tagits upp på den icke-uttömmande förteckningen i kommissionens uttalande 2005/295/EG om tolkningen av artikel 2 i direktiv 2004/48/EG. Bruksmodellskydd är dock inte fastställt i lagstiftningen i samtliga medlemsstater och kan därför rimligen inte betraktas som immateriella rättigheter i dessa medlemsstater.

Kan kommissionen ingående förklara sitt beslut att fastställa bruksmodeller som en immateriell rättighet på EU-nivå?

Frågor för skriftligt besvarande E-004009/13

till kommissionen

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(10 april 2013)

Angående: Bruksmodeller betraktas som immateriella rättigheter på EU-nivå

I sitt svar på skriftlig fråga E-001653/2013 uppger kommissionen följande: ”Förteckningen tar […] även upp andra rättigheter som i vissa medlemsstater betraktas som immateriella rättigheter och som i sådana fall kan omfattas av direktivet.” (kommissionens uttalande 2005/295/EG)

Kan kommissionen uppge exakt vilka rättigheter på den specifika förteckningen som hör till denna kategori?

Frågor för skriftligt besvarande E-004188/13

till kommissionen

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(12 april 2013)

Angående: Växtförädlarrättigheter och immateriella rättigheter

I sitt svar på skriftlig fråga E-001610/2013 (128) skriver kommissionen att förteckningen över immateriella rättigheter, som omfattas av artikel 2 i direktiv 2004/48/EG, har baserats på de harmoniserade immateriella rättigheterna i gemenskapens regelverk. I förordningen om gemenskapens växtförädlarrätt står det uttryckligen att en definition av en växtsort för att säkerställa att ordningen fungerar tillfredsställande inte är ”avsedd att ändra definitioner som redan kan ha fastställts inom området för immateriellt rättsskydd” (129). Detta antyder att lagstiftaren inte ansåg att växtförädlarrättigheter betraktades som immateriella rättigheter när förordningen om gemenskapens växtförädlarrätt utarbetades.

Kan kommissionen förklara vilka specifika omständigheter som ledde till dessa skillnader vid tolkningen av gemenskapens växtförädlarrätt?

Samlat svar från Michel Barnier på kommissionens vägnar

(7 juni 2013)

Så som kommissionen angett i sitt svar på E-000953/13 innehåller kommissionens uttalande 2005/295/EG (130) om direktiv 2004/48/EG (131) (direktivet) en förteckning över harmoniserade immateriella rättigheter enligt gemenskapens regelverk och/eller rättigheter som betraktas som immateriella rättigheter i vissa medlemsstater och som därför kan omfattas av direktivet.

Bruksmodeller finns med i förteckningen, eftersom sådana skyddas som immateriella rättigheter i flera medlemsstater. Eftersom bruksmodeller inte skyddas av EU-lagstiftning omfattas de dock endast av direktivet i den mån som de skyddas av den berörda medlemsstatens nationella lagstiftning.

Andra exempel rör geografiska angivelser och firmanamn, som betraktas som immateriella rättigheter i vissa medlemsstater och därför kan omfattas av direktivet i dessa medlemsstater.

Växtförädlarrättigheter finns också med i förteckningen. I artikel 1 i förordning 2100/1994 (132), som inrättar ett gemenskapssystem för immaterialrättsligt skydd för nya växtsorter, anges tydligt att dessa är en industriell äganderätt i gemenskapen. Växtförädlarrättigheter som skyddas av nationella system omfattas också av direktivet.

Det rättsliga skyddet av kretsmönster i halvledarprodukter finns också med i förteckningen eftersom dess syfte innebär att det ingår i begreppet immateriella rättigheter (133). Det betraktas också som en immateriell rättighet i flera medlemsstater, och kretsmönster registreras ibland av de organ som ansvarar för immateriella rättigheter (134).

Växtförädlarrättigheter togs även med i förordning 1383/2003. Kretsmönster i halvledarprodukter anses också som immateriella rättigheter enligt den föreslagna förordningen om tullens kontroll av att immateriella rättigheter efterlevs (135) som för närvarande håller på att antas av EU.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003949/13

to the Commission

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Why is the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products an IP right?

In its reply to Written Question E-001176/2013 (136), the Commission does not answer the specific question raised. It recalls Recital 13 of Directive 2004/48/EC, but it does not provide an explanation as to why the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products should be considered an intellectual property (IP) right. Council Directive 87/54/EEC (137) provides no further clues.

Could the Commission please indicate the specific criteria it used in including the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products on its list in statement 2005/95/EC (138)?

Question for written answer E-003950/13

to the Commission

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Why are utility models an IP right at EU level if they do not exist at national level in all Member States?

In its reply to Written Question E-001409/2013 (139), the Commission states that utility models are considered intellectual property (IP) rights in Member States and are therefore included on the non-exhaustive list provided by the Commission in statement 2005/295/EC on the interpretation of Article 2 of Directive 2004/48/EC. However, utility model rights are not defined in the legislation of all Member States and, therefore, cannot reasonably be considered IP rights in these Member States.

Could the Commission explain in detail its decision to define utility models as an IP right at EU level?

Question for written answer E-004009/13

to the Commission

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Utility models considered as intellectual property rights at the European level

In its reply to Written Question E-001653/2013, the Commission writes that ‘rights which are considered to be intellectual property rights in certain Member States, and which can therefore in this case be covered by the directive, were included in the list [provided in Statement 2005/295/EC]’.

Could the Commission specify exactly which rights in the specified list fall into this category?

Question for written answer E-004188/13

to the Commission

Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE)

(12 April 2013)

Subject: Plant variety rights and intellectual property rights

In its reply to Written Question E-001610/2013 (140), the Commission writes that it has based its list of intellectual property rights, covered by Article 2 of Directive 2004/48/EC, on the harmonised intellectual property rights contained in the acquis communautaire. However, in the regulation on Community Plant Variety Rights, it is specifically stated that ‘[the] definition [of a plant variety, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the system] is not intended to alter definitions which may have been established in the field of intellectual property rights’ (141). This insinuates that when the regulation on Community Plant Variety Rights was written, plant variety rights were not considered intellectual property rights by the legislator.

Could the Commission explain what specific circumstances led to this variation in its interpretation of the regulation on Community Plant Variety Rights?

Joint answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

As indicated in its reply to E-000953/13, the Commission’s Statement 2005/295/EC (142) relating to Directive 2004/48/EC (143) (the directive) draws a list of harmonised intellectual property rights (IPR) contained in the acquis communautaire and/or rights which are considered to be IPR in certain Member States and which can therefore be covered by the directive.

Utility models are included in the list because they are protected as IPR in several Member States. However, since they are not provided for by EC law, utility models are included in the scope of the directive only in so far are they are protected by the national law of the Member State concerned.

The other examples relate to geographical indications and trade names, which are considered to be IPR in certain Member States and can therefore be covered by the directive in these States.

Plant variety rights are also included in the list. Article 1 Regulation 2100/1994 (144) which creates a Community regime for the intellectual protection of new plant varieties clearly indicates that they are a Community industrial property right. In addition, plant variety rights protected by national systems are also included in the scope of the directive.

The legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products is also included in the list because it results from its purpose (145) that it falls within the notion of IPR. It is considered as an IPR in several Member States and topographies are sometimes registered by agencies in charge of intellectual property (146).

Plant variety rights were already included in the regulation 1383/2003. Topographies of semiconductor products are also considered as IPR for the purpose of the proposed Regulation concerning customs enforcement of IPR (147) which is currently being adopted by the EU.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003951/13

to the Commission

Fiona Hall (ALDE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Western Sahara and the EU-Morocco Free Trade Agreement

Negotiations between Morocco and the European Union on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) are due to begin in Rabat on 22 April 2013. Previous trade agreements between the EU and Morocco have, controversially, been implemented without reference to the Saharawi people in the occupied zones of Western Sahara, the territory that has been illegally annexed by Morocco since 1975.

If the occupied zones of Western Sahara are not explicitly excluded from the Agreement, the DCFTA risks impacting negatively on the UN-sponsored peace process in Western Sahara. The agreement could allow Morocco to make substantial economic gains from its occupation of Western Sahara, acting as a further disincentive to cooperate with the UN decolonisation process.

31 Saharawi civil society organisations wrote to the Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, on 26 June 2012 urging that Western Sahara be clearly and explicitly excluded from all future trade deals between the EU and Morocco. The letter stated that none of the signatory organisations (which represent the vast majority of Saharawi civil society organisations in Western Sahara, along with the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria) had ever been consulted on any of the previous EU-Morocco trade agreements which were, nevertheless, implemented in Western Sahara.

The Polisario Front — the Saharawi people’s political representative at the UN peace negotiation table — has referred EU-Morocco trade agreements covering fish and agricultural produce to the European Court of Justice.

1.

Will the Commission explicitly exclude the territories of Western Sahara from the DCFTA?

2.

If the Commission does not intend to exclude the territories of Western Sahara from the DCFTA, what will be the strategy for ensuring that the Saharawi people are genuinely and transparently consulted on the Agreement?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

The future Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) will be an integral part of the existing Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco. The Association Agreement applies to the territories of the EU and of Morocco.

When implementing international agreements, Morocco has to comply with international law. According to the United Nations position on the subject, followed by the EU, Morocco is considered the de facto administering power of the ‘non-self-governing territory’ of the Western Sahara. In that context, according to the legal adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (12 February 2002) and on the basis of international law, activities related to natural resources undertaken by an administering power in a non-self-governing territory are not illegal so long as they are not undertaken in disregard of the needs, interests and benefits of the people of that territory.

As is the case for all trade negotiations conducted by the EU, a Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (TSIA) will be conducted by an external consultant that the Commission has contracted. As part of the TSIA process, consultations with the civil society will take place both in the EU and locally in Morocco, where civil society organisations, including NGOs which are monitoring the situation in the Western Sahara, will have the possibility to express their views and concerns.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003952/13

to the Commission

Fiona Hall (ALDE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Auken report and property rights in Spain

Since the Auken report, which was adopted by an overwhelming majority of MEPs in 2009, what measures has the Commission taken or proposed in order to address the issue of property rights in countries such as Spain?

Properties built in Murcia, Spain, by a company called ‘MASA’ were recently embargoed, leaving EU citizens who have paid for these properties but not yet received their title deeds in very difficult circumstances. Will the Commission consider any action to prevent such problems occurring for property buyers in the EU, in order to strengthen consumer rights?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The Commission is conscious of the difficulties faced by some European citizens as a result of the application of the Spanish Coastal Law and has taken contact with the Spanish authorities in this regard.

Whilst the competences of the European Union regarding real estate property ownership are limited, EU consumers are protected by Community law in situations where property developers engage in unfair practices by virtue of Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices (148) and Directive 93/13/EEC on unfair terms in consumer contracts (149).

Cross-border unfair practices fall under the competences of the EU-wide enforcement network established by the regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation (150), which empowers national enforcement authorities to detect, investigate and stop such infringements. Any alleged breach of EU legislation should be brought to the attention of national authorities and courts (151).

As regards the lack of issuance of title deeds, the Commission has recently sent a letter to the Spanish authorities enquiring as to the actions engaged at national level to address the issue.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003953/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(9 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Νέες σημαντικές φοροεπιβαρύνσεις για τη μικρή και μεσαία ιδιοκτησία στην Ελλάδα

Στο πλαίσιο των Προγραμμάτων Δημοσιονομικής Εξυγίανσης, οι Έλληνες πολίτες έχουν υποστεί τεράστιες οικονομικές απώλειες, σημαντικό μέρος των οποίων απορρέει και από την επιβολή πλήθους νέων φόρων (άμεσων και έμμεσων), η ένταση και η έκταση των οποίων — κατά κοινή ομολογία και παραδοχή — έχουν εξαντλήσει κάθε φοροδοτική ικανότητα των μεσαίων και χαμηλών εισοδηματικών τάξεων. Υπό την πίεση της υστέρησης των δημοσίων εσόδων, η υπερφορολόγηση αυτή συνεχίζεται και κλιμακώνεται στο πεδίο της ακίνητης περιουσίας, καθώς μόνο μέσα στο 2013 οι Έλληνες πολίτες υποχρεούνται να καταβάλουν πολλαπλούς και με αναδρομική ισχύ φόρους [Φόρος Ακίνητης Περιουσίας (ΦΑΠ) για 3 έτη: 2011.12.13, Έκτακτο Τέλος Ηλεκτροδοτούμενων Επιφανειών (χαράτσι), Ενιαίος Φόρος Ακινήτων (αντικατάσταση του προηγουμένου)] για ακίνητα που κατέχουν και έχουν ήδη φορολογηθεί για την απόκτησή τους, την ώρα που η εμπορική τους τιμή-αξία υποχωρεί.

Με δεδομένη τη μεγάλη πτώση του μέσου πραγματικού εισοδήματος στην Ελλάδα (μειώσεις μισθών-συντάξεων, ανεργία κ.λπ.) μια τέτοια εξέλιξη αναμένεται να οδηγήσει μια μεγάλη μερίδα του ελληνικού πληθυσμού σε αδυναμία εκπλήρωσης των επαχθών φορολογικών της υποχρεώσεων, καταδικάζοντάς την ακόμη και σε βίαιη εκποίηση της μικρής ακίνητης περιουσίας που διαθέτει. Σε αυτήν την κατεύθυνση, και ως μέλος της Τρόικας, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Πώς αποδέχεται αυτό το πλέγμα των φορολογικών μέτρων που οδηγούν σε περαιτέρω δυσβάσταχτες φορολογικές επιβαρύνσεις, υπονομεύοντας την κοινωνική συνοχή και προστασία;

Πόσο συμβατή είναι μια τέτοια φορολογική πολιτική με τους κοινωνικούς στόχους της Στρατηγικής «Ευρώπη 2020», καθώς και με τη θεμελιώδη αρχή για την Προστασία της Περιουσίας, όπως αυτή περιγράφεται στο άρθρο 1 του 1ου Πρόσθετου Πρωτοκόλλου της ΕΣΔΑ;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(7 Ιουνίου 2013)

Τα υγιή και βιώσιμα δημόσια οικονομικά αποτελούν προϋπόθεση για την επιστροφή της μεγέθυνσης και της δημιουργίας θέσεων εργασίας στην Ελλάδα. Η μεσοπρόθεσμη δημοσιονομική στρατηγική για το 2013-2016, η οποία εγκρίθηκε τον Νοέμβριο του 2012, περιλαμβάνει αυξήσεις των φόρων και μεταρρυθμίσεις όσον αφορά την άμεση φορολογία και τη φορολογική διοίκηση, αλλά τα εν λόγω μέτρα αντιπροσωπεύουν μόνο το ¼, περίπου της συνολικής δέσμης μέτρων. Οι τρέχουσες εκτενείς μεταρρυθμίσεις της άμεσης φορολογίας και της φορολογικής διοίκησης αποτελούν πολύ σημαντικά διαρθρωτικά μέτρα τα οποία, όταν εφαρμοστούν πλήρως, θα συμβάλουν στη βελτίωση της είσπραξης των φόρων, στον πιο δίκαιο επιμερισμό της φορολογικής επιβάρυνσης καθώς και στην καταπολέμηση της φοροδιαφυγής και της διαφθοράς.

Σε κάθε περίπτωση, στόχος του προγράμματος δεν είναι η υπονόμευση της κοινωνικής συνοχής και προόδου εν όψει της επίτευξης των κοινωνικών στόχων της στρατηγικής Ευρώπη 2020. Αντιθέτως, η Επιτροπή έχει μεριμνήσει ώστε το πρόγραμμα να περιλαμβάνει συναφή μέτρα για τη στήριξη των ανέργων και τη βελτίωση των ενεργών πολιτικών στον τομέα της αγοράς εργασίας, καθώς και πρωτοβουλιών για τη βελτίωση του δικτύου κοινωνικής προστασίας. Οι προαναφερόμενες φορολογικές αυξήσεις, μεταξύ άλλων στην ακίνητη περιουσία, δεν κρίνονται ασύμβατες με τις συναφείς διατάξεις που αφορούν το δικαίωμα στην ακίνητη περιουσία (άρθρο 17 του Χάρτη Θεμελιωδών Δικαιωμάτων της ΕΕ και άρθρο 1 του πρώτου πρόσθετου πρωτοκόλλου της ΕΣΔΑ).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003953/13

to the Commission

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Important new tax charges on small and medium-sized properties in Greece

Greek citizens have suffered massive financial losses under the fiscal consolidation programmes, most of which have been caused by a raft of new direct and indirect taxes of such level and scope that, by common admission, average‐ and low-income families simply cannot afford to pay any more taxes. With government revenues lagging behind, this over-taxation is being pursued and is escalating in the property sector. In 2013 alone, Greek citizens will have to pay numerous retroactive taxes on properties which they own (3 years’ property tax for 2011, 2012 and 2013, power supply tax, single property tax to replace the previous tax), at a time when the market value of their properties is falling and despite the fact that tax was paid on them when they were acquired.

In light of the massive drop in average real incomes in Greece (due to cuts to wages and pensions, unemployment etc.), any such development is expected to put a large proportion of the Greek population in a position whereby they are unable to pay such heavy taxes and are at risk of sudden eviction from the small properties which they own. In view of this, as a member of the Troika, will the Commission say:

Why has it accepted this bundle of tax measures resulting in more unbearable taxes which are undermining social cohesion and protection?

How compatible is this sort of tax policy with the social objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and with the fundamental principle of protection of property, as described in Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol to the ECHR?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

Sound and sustainable public finances are a precondition for the return of growth and job creation to Greece. The Medium Term Fiscal Strategy 2013-2016 adopted in November 2012 includes increases in taxes and reforms of direct taxation and the tax administration, but these measures represent only about ¼ of the overall package. The ongoing comprehensive reforms of direct taxation and the tax administration are very important structural measures which, when fully implemented, will help improve tax collection, share more equally the tax burden and fight tax evasion and corruption.

In any case, the aim of the programme is not to undermine social cohesion and progress towards Europe2020 social objectives. On the contrary, the Commission has ensured that the programme includes relevant measures to support the unemployed and improve active labour market policies, as well as initiatives to improve the social safety net. It does not appear that the above tax increases, including on property, are inconsistent with relevant provisions concerning the right to property (Article 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol to the ECHR).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003954/13

aan de Commissie

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(9 april 2013)

Betreft: Toegankelijkheid treinen voor rolstoelgebruikers

De integratie van personen met een handicap en het bevorderen van hun deelname aan het gemeenschapsleven is vastgelegd in artikel 26 van het Handvest van de Grondrechten van de Europese Unie.

De Europese Unie heeft hieromtrent al verschillende maatregelen genomen.

Zo is in Verordening (EG) nr. 1371/2007 over de rechten en verplichtingen van reizigers in het treinverkeer een hoofdstuk opgenomen over personen met een beperkte mobiliteit. Toch ondervinden veel rolstoelgebruikers nog veel problemen wanneer zij gebruik willen maken van de trein.

Vooral gebruikers van een rolstoel van het scootmobieltype — waarvan het aantal jaar na jaar stijgt — stuiten door de omvang van hun „voertuig” op allerlei moeilijkheden wat betreft toegang tot treinen.

Kan de Commissie meedelen wat de minimumafmetingen van rolstoelen zijn waarvoor de spoorwegondernemingen en stationsondernemers voorzieningen moeten treffen wat de toegankelijkheid betreft van stations, perrons en het rollend materieel?

Welke maatregelen zal de Commissie nemen om ook gebruikers van scootmobiels de mogelijkheid te geven zich via het openbaar vervoer te verplaatsen?

Antwoord van de heer Kallas namens de Commissie

(21 mei 2013)

Als partij bij het Verdrag inzake de rechten van personen met een handicap van de Verenigde Naties, neemt de EU haar verplichtingen uit hoofde van het Verdrag ernstig, met inbegrip van het nemen van passende maatregelen om ervoor te zorgen dat personen met een handicap op voet van gelijkheid met anderen toegang hebben tot vervoer.

De EU-wetgeving inzake passagiersrechten legt voor alle vormen van vervoer specifieke verplichtingen op aan vervoerders en infrastructuurbeheerders. Deze omvatten onder meer het verstrekken van informatie over toegankelijkheid en gratis bijstand aan personen met een handicap en/of een beperkte mobiliteit zodat zij op gelijke voet met andere passagiers kunnen reizen. Om deze bijstand ten volle te kunnen benutten en om ervoor te zorgen dat dienstverleners zich kunnen voorbereiden, moeten passagiers hun behoefte aan bijstand van tevoren melden.

Wat de toegankelijkheid van treinen betreft, wil de Commissie het geachte Parlementslid wijzen op Beschikking 2008/164/EG van de Commissie (152) (TSI personen met beperkte mobiliteit) die ten doel heeft de toegankelijkheid van het vervoer per spoor te verbeteren. De vereisten van deze beschikking zijn onder meer van toepassing op het ontwerp van voertuigen en in bijlage M bij deze beschikking zijn de fundamentele parameters van een „vervoerbare rolstoel” vastgesteld (153).

Het Europees Spoorwegbureau legt momenteel de laatste hand aan een aanbeveling aan de Commissie voor een herziene „TSI personen met beperkte mobiliteit” en zal, naar aanleiding van opmerkingen van gebruikers, aanbevelen om het gewicht van een vervoerbare rolstoel te verhogen.

Ten slotte heeft de Commissie, via haar CIVITAS-initiatief voor een beter en duurzamer stadsverkeer, steden en exploitanten van openbaar vervoer bijgestaan bij het testen van nieuwe maatregelen om openbaar vervoer voor alle gebruikers efficiënter, aantrekkelijker en toegankelijker te maken. Relevante voorbeelden van beste praktijken worden verzameld en uitgewisseld via het waarnemingscentrum stedelijke mobiliteit van de EU, de ELTIS-website (154).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003954/13

to the Commission

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Accessibility of trains for wheelchair users

The integration of persons with disabilities and promotion of their participation in the life of the community are laid down in Article 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The European Union has already taken several measures in this regard.

In particular, Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations contains a chapter on persons with reduced mobility. Yet many wheelchair users still encounter a lot of problems when they want to use the train.

Especially users of the scooter-type wheelchair — whose numbers are growing every year — face all kinds of difficulties with regard to access to trains because of the size of their ‘vehicle’.

Can the Commission please indicate the minimum dimensions of wheelchairs which railway companies and station operators must provide for to ensure the accessibility of stations, platforms and rolling stock?

What measures will the Commission take to also make it possible for the users of mobility scooters to travel by public transport?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(21 May 2013)

As a Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU takes seriously its obligations under the Convention including undertaking appropriate measures to ensure access to transport on an equal basis with others for persons with disabilities.

EU passenger rights legislation for all modes of transport puts specific obligations on carriers and infrastructure managers. These include i. a. the provision of information on accessibility and free of charge assistance to persons with disabilities and/or reduced mobility to enable them to travel under equal conditions with other passengers. In order to fully benefit from such assistance and to allow service providers to prepare, passengers should notify their needs in advance of travel.

As regards accessibility of trains, the Commission would draw the Honourable Member's attention to Commission Decision 2008/164/EC (155) (PRM TSI) which objective is to enhance the accessibility of rail transport. Its requirements apply i.a.to vehicle design and in its Annex M the basic parameters of a ‘transportable wheelchair’ are set out (156).

The European Railway Agency is currently finalising a recommendation to the Commission for a revised PRM TSI and, following concerns raised by users, will recommend that the maximum weight of a transportable wheelchair should be increased.

Finally, through its CIVITAS Initiative for better and more sustainable urban mobility, the Commission has supported cities and public transport operators to test new approaches to rendering public transport services more efficient, more attractive, and more accessible for all users. Relevant best-practice examples are collected and shared via the EU urban mobility observatory, the ELTIS website (157).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003955/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Expropiación de tierras al pueblo Masai en Tanzania

A finales del pasado mes de marzo, el Gobierno de la República Unida de Tanzania hizo pública su intención de crear una nueva zona de « conservación » natural en la región de Loliondo, en la zona norte del país. La creación de dicha zona supone una serie de graves consecuencia para la población de las tribus Masais que habitan en la región.

El proyecto del Gobierno de Tanzania sostiene que dicha reserva es necesaria para la composición de un corredor ecológico entre el Parque Nacional del Serengeti, en Tanzania, y el Parque Nacional Masai Mara, en Kenia. Sin embargo, los terrenos que comprendería dicho corredor para animales salvajes fueron arrendados a la empresa de safaris Otterlo Business Corporation en 1992. De esta manera se emplea el pretexto de la conservación y protección de animales como vía para justificar la expulsión de las comunidades de la tribu Masai.

Este grupo étnico es el único ejemplo de población humana que ha sabido mantener un equilibrio sostenible con la biodiversidad de la región, encontrándose perfectamente capacitados para la conservación de las especies que viven en ella. Mantener el estilo de vida de este pueblo es una de las pocas garantías de que el ecosistema del Serengeti y el Masai Mara puedan continuar existiendo. Con la introducción de la « conservación » gestionada por empresas de safaris, solo se conseguirá la expulsión de sus tierras de las tribus Masais, que no podrán usar las praderas para el alimento de su ganado, y llegarán turistas a emplear la región para su disfrute con la « caza mayor » , actividad que el Gobierno sí permitirá en la citada reserva.

¿Considera la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante que debe promover la ratificación de la convención 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo en sus negociaciones de acuerdos entre UE-África? ¿En qué forma la Unión Europea promueve la defensa de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y tribales en África? ¿Y en el citado caso de las comunidades Masai? ¿Está siendo financiada la creación de este área de conservación con los fondos de la cooperación regional reforzada para la gestión sostenible de la biodiversidad en la región Este y Sur de África-Océano Índico firmada el pasado 17 de enero? ¿Está evaluando el impacto que este tipo de proyectos puede tener sobre pueblos indígenas o tribales, como los Masai, que tradicionalmente han mantenido los ecosistemas y no están protegidos en países que no han firmado el convenio 169? ¿Considera « gestión sostenible de la biodiversidad » este tipo de reservas para la caza mayor?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(3 de junio de 2013)

La Delegación de la UE y las misiones diplomáticas de los Estados miembros en Tanzania siguen de cerca el debate sobre Loliondo a través, entre otras vías, de sus contactos con la comunidad masai, las autoridades gubernamentales y las organizaciones de defensa de los derechos humanos. La UE alienta a todas las partes a encontrar una solución pacífica por medio de un auténtico proceso de consulta que respete el Estado de Derecho y los derechos humanos.

La UE apoya los derechos de los pueblos indígenas a través de medidas políticas, económicas y técnicas, con el objetivo de que se lleve a la práctica la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas. Por ejemplo, la UE es un socio fundamental del programa para promover el Convenio n° 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) sobre pueblos indígenas y tribales (PRO 169) a través de los proyectos financiados por el Instrumento Europeo para la Democracia y los Derechos Humanos (IEDDH).

Tanzania no ha ratificado el Convenio n° 169 de la OIT por considerar que toda su población es indígena. A pesar de ello, la UE confiere prioridad a los derechos humanos de los indígenas, entendiendo fundamentalmente por tales a los pastores semi-nómadas y los cazadores-recolectores, manteniendo debates periódicos con las autoridades tanzanas sobre cuestiones relacionadas con las tierras en las que habitan esos pueblos. Varios proyectos de Estados miembros en favor de los pastores masai abordan cuestiones fundiarias y la UE dedicó una campaña de sensibilización a su causa en 2012.

El proyecto de la UE en la región de África oriental y meridional y el océano Índico (ESA-IO) al que se hace referencia en la pregunta de Su Señoría promueve la gestión de la biodiversidad específica de costas, océanos e islas. De acuerdo con las políticas pertinentes de la UE, los derechos de los pueblos indígenas se abordan como un aspecto transversal en todos los sectores y niveles de la cooperación al desarrollo. El mantenimiento de la biodiversidad y la actividad cinegética no son conceptos excluyentes si se abordan y gestionan desde la perspectiva de la sostenibilidad a largo plazo de la biodiversidad.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003955/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Expropriation of land from the Masai people in Tanzania

In late March, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania announced its intention to create a new nature ‘conservation’ area in the Loliondo region, in the north of the country. The creation of this area entails a number of serious consequences for the Masai tribes that live in the region.

According to the Tanzanian Government’s plan, this reserve is necessary in order to establish a green corridor between the Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania, and the Masai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya. However, the land that would be included in this wildlife corridor was leased to a safari company, the Otterlo Business Corporation, in 1992. Animal conservation and protection is thus being used as a pretext to justify the expulsion of Masai tribal communities.

This ethnic group is the only example of a human population that has learned how to live in a sustainable equilibrium with the biodiversity of the region. They are perfectly capable of conserving the species that live there. Preserving this people’s way of life is one of the few ways of ensuring the continued existence of the ecosystem of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. Introducing ‘conservation’ managed by safari companies will result only in the expulsion of the Masai tribes from their lands. The tribes will not be able to use the grasslands to feed their livestock, and tourists will come to use the region for their own enjoyment with ‘big game hunting’, an activity that the government will allow on this reserve.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative take the view that she should encourage the ratification of International Labour Organisation Convention 169 when negotiating agreements between the EU and Africa? How does the European Union promote the defence of the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples in Africa, and in this case, of the Masai communities? Is the creation of this conservation area being financed with the funds for enhanced regional cooperation for sustainable biodiversity management in the Eastern and Southern Africa/Indian Ocean region, which were the subject of an agreement signed on 17 January 2013? Is the Vice-President/High Representative assessing the impact that projects of this kind can have on indigenous or tribal peoples, like the Masai, who have traditionally maintained the ecosystems and who are not protected in countries that have not signed Convention 169? Does she take the view that ‘sustainable biodiversity management’ of reserves of this kind includes big game hunting?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

The EU Delegation and Member States missions in Tanzania monitor closely the Loliondo land debate also through contacts with the Maasai community, government authorities and human rights organisations. The EU encourages all parties to seek a peaceful solution through a proper consultation process with respect to the rule of law and human rights.

The EU supports the rights of indigenous peoples through political, financial and technical measures, with the aim to put the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into practice. For instance, the EU is a key partner in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) programme on indigenous and tribal peoples (PRO 169) through European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)-funded projects.

Tanzania has not ratified ILO Convention 169 as they consider the entire population indigenous. This notwithstanding, the EU prioritizes the human rights of indigenous peoples, meaning mainly pastoralists and hunters-gatherers, and has regularly engaged with Tanzanian authorities on related land matters. Several Member State projects address land issues in support of the Maasai pastoralists, and an EU public advocacy campaign was dedicated to their cause in 2012.

The Eastern and Southern Africa — Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) regional EU project that is referred to in the Honourable Member's question promotes coastal, marine and island specific biodiversity management. In accordance with relevant EU policies, the rights of indigenous peoples are addressed as a cross-cutting aspect in all sectors and levels of development cooperation. Biodiversity management and game hunting are not exclusive concepts if managed and steered with regard to the long-term sustainability of biodiversity.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003956/13

to the Commission

Julie Girling (ECR)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Human rights abuses in Equatorial Guinea

According to Amnesty International, the justice system in Equatorial Guinea remains deeply flawed. Those who dare to speak out against human rights abuses or criticise the government often face legal proceedings. Such was the case in 2011 for six men who were arrested and imprisoned without warrant on alleged politically motivated charges.

At the time, there was no cooperation between the EU and Equatorial Guinea, due to the latter’s exit from the Cotonou Agreement.

— Firstly, what is the current state of EU cooperation with Equatorial Guinea?

— Secondly, how is the EU using its influence in order to improve the justice system in Equatorial Guinea, including the establishment of an independent judiciary?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

Equatorial Guinea did not ratify the Revised Cotonou Agreement and subsequently does not benefit from the European Development Fund (EDF). The EU moreover, does not have a delegation in Malabo but covers the country from Libreville, Gabon.

Cooperation programmes, targeting good governance and judicial police capacity building under the 9th EDF have now come to an end. If the situation remains unchanged, Equatorial Guinea will not benefit from the 11th EDF. If it does ratify the Revised Cotonou Agreement, the EU would consider whether an allocation under the 11th EDF would be justified in the light of the country's middle income status and the EU's policy of differentiation.

The EU remains concerned about the overall situation of protection of human rights and fundamental values in Equatorial Guinea. Much remains to be done with regard to the separation of powers. The EU will therefore monitor the reforms introduced by the new Constitution very closely. The reforms, including the creation of an Ombudsman position, are due to be introduced after the next legislative elections which are scheduled for 26 May 2013.

Equatorial Guinee is not part of the regional EPA negotiations since in 2008 it announced that it does not want to negotiate again and that it should be treated as observer only.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003957/13

à la Commission

Dominique Vlasto (PPE)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: Extension des noms de domaine sur l'internet et secteur viticole

Depuis 2012, les entreprises et organismes spécialisés peuvent demander à l'ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) l'attribution d'une nouvelle extension de nom de domaine sur l'internet (gTLD). Cette innovation vise à améliorer la visibilité et l'identification d'un produit, d'un secteur ou d'une ville (exemple: «.auto», «.hotel», «.paris», etc.).

Alors que la protection des indications géographiques du secteur viticole n'est pas prévue par les règles de l'ICANN et qu'aucune des demandes d'attribution d'extension de nom de domaine «.wine» ou «.vin» ne s'y engage, les inquiétudes des organisations professionnelles du secteur européen du vin sont réelles.

La société qui obtiendra la gestion du domaine générique de premier niveau «.wine» ou «.vin» pourra ainsi vendre l'utilisation, permettant à tout futur acquéreur de ces gTLD de les combiner à un nom de domaine de second niveau pour créer une adresse web personnalisée comme «sancerre.vin» ou encore «champagne.wine».

Les vins d'origine bénéficient pourtant d'une protection juridique en tant qu'indications géographiques, en particulier dans le cadre de l'accord sur les aspects des droits de la propriété intellectuelle qui touchent au commerce (ADPIC) de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce et au sein de l'Organisation internationale de la vigne et du vin (OIV).

L'utilisation des indications géographiques «sancerre» et «champagne», par exemple, en tant que noms de domaine de second niveau exigerait donc de respecter strictement les droits de propriété intellectuelle afférents et devrait bénéficier strictement au territoire et aux acteurs concernés.

Au regard de ces éléments et sachant que la 46e réunion de l'ICANN s'est tenue à Pékin du 7 au 11 avril 2013:

Dans quelle mesure la Commission entend-elle faire respecter les droits de propriété intellectuelle relatifs aux indications géographiques dans le cadre de l'attribution de nouvelles extensions de nom de domaine sur l'internet (gTLD)?

Réponse donnée par Mme Kroes au nom de la Commission

(22 mai 2013)

La Commission européenne est déterminée à faire respecter le droit aussi bien en ligne qu'hors ligne, notamment par le contrôle de l'application, sur l'internet, du corpus législatif de l'UE et des accords internationaux auxquels celle-ci est partie en matière de droits de propriété intellectuelle. Conscients de ce que l'introduction des deux nouveaux domaines génériques de premier niveau (gTLD) «.vin» et «.wine» peut se traduire par de nouveaux défis concernant l'application en ligne du cadre réglementaire de l'UE sur les indications géographiques pour les vins, les membres du comité consultatif des gouvernements (GAC) de l'ICANN ont réussi à aborder la question lors de leur 46e réunion à Pékin.

En conséquence, le GAC a fait savoir au comité directeur de l'ICANN qu'un examen plus approfondi des gTLD «.vin» et «.wine» peut se justifier, notamment lors de la prochaine réunion à Durban (mi-juillet 2013), et que le comité directeur de l'ICANN devait s'en tenir pour l'instant à l'évaluation initiale de ces deux nouveaux gTLD. Le comité directeur de l'ICANN ne devrait donc pas attribuer les deux nouveaux gTLD tant que le GAC n'aura pas élaboré et adopté des dispositions adéquates permettant de garantir le respect de la législation de l'UE sur les indications géographiques. En vue de trouver une telle solution, la Commission européenne coopère étroitement avec les États membres de l'UE producteurs de vin et d'autres membres du GAC.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003957/13

to the Commission

Dominique Vlasto (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Internet domain name extensions and the wine industry

Since 2012, specialised companies and organisations have been able to ask the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to assign them a new Internet domain name extension (generic top-level domain (gTLD)). This innovation is aimed at improving the visibility and identification of a product, a sector or a town (e.g. ‘.auto’, ‘.hotel’, ‘.paris’, etc.).

While geographical indications in the wine sector are not protected by ICANN rules and while none of the applications for assigning the domain name extension ‘.wine’ or ‘.vin’ makes commitments to protect them, professional organisations in the European wine sector have very real concerns.

The company which will be allowed to manage the generic top-level domain ‘.wine’ or ‘.vin’ will therefore be able to sell its use, enabling any future purchaser of these gTLDs to combine them with a second-level domain name in order to create a personalised web address, such as ‘sancerre.vin’ or ‘champagne.wine’.

However, origin wines enjoy legal protection in the form of geographical indications, in particular in the context of the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and within the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

The use of the geographical indications ‘sancerre’ and ‘champagne’, for example, as second-level domain names would require strict respect for the related intellectual property rights and should strictly benefit the region and stakeholders concerned.

In view of the above, and given that the 46th ICANN meeting was held in Beijing from 7 to 11 April 2013, to what extent does the Commission intend to enforce the intellectual property rights relating to geographical indications in the context of assignment of new Internet domain name extensions (gTLD)?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2013)

The European Commission is committed to uphold rule of law on and off line. This includes the enforcement on the Internet of the body of the EU legislation and international agreements to which the EU is a member in the area of intellectual property rights. Mindful that the two new gTLDs .vin and .wine may imply new challenges to the online application of EU's regulatory framework on the Geographical Indications on wines, the issue was discussed and successfully defended at the 46th ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) in Beijing.

Consequently, the GAC advised the ICANN board that further considerations may be warranted on ‘.vin’ and ‘.wine’, including at the next meeting in Durban (mid-July 2013) and that the ICANN board should not proceed beyond initial evaluation of these two new gTLDs. It is therefore expected that the ICANN board will not delegate the two new gTLDs as long as suitable safeguards ensuring that the European legislation on geographical indications is uphold are elaborated and agreed by GAC. In order to find such a solution, the European Commission is closely cooperating with the wine producing EU member states and other members of the GAC.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003958/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD)

(9 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Ενίσχυση της Ελλάδας ώστε να καλύψει τις ζημιές απο τις πυρκαγιές στα δάση της

Η Ελλάδα πλήττεται τα τελευταία 30 χρόνια από τεράστιες πυρκαγιές. Ιδίως από το 2007, οι πυρκαγιές έχουν καταστρέψει οικολογικά και οικονομικά ολόκληρες περιοχές, όπως έγινε π.χ. στην Πελοπόννησο το 2007, στην Βορειανατολική Αττική το 2009 (με την καταστροφή του μεγαλύτερου μέρους του Εθνικού Δρυμού της Πάρνηθας), στην Χίο το 2012 κοκ.

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Ποια είναι τα ποσά που έλαβε από το 2007 ως τώρα η Ελλάδα από όλες τις κοινοτικές πρωτοβουλίες για την αποκατάσταση των ζημιών από πυρκαγιές;

Ποια είναι τα ποσά που δεν εισεπράχθησαν ακόμη και εκκρεμούν και ποιοι είναι οι λόγοι αυτής της εκκρεμότητας;

Απάντηση του κ. Cioloş εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(6 Ιουνίου 2013)

1.

H Ελλάδα έλαβε οικονομική ενίσχυση ύψους 89 769 000 ευρώ από το Ταμείο Αλληλεγγύης της ΕΕ για τις πυρκαγιές του 2007. Όμως, η επιλεξιμότητα 9 240 000 ευρώ της ενίσχυσης αυτής αμφισβητείται από τις ελληνικές αρχές ελέγχου και μπορεί να χρειαστεί να επιστραφούν στην Επιτροπή. Δεν ζητήθηκαν επιπλέον ποσά από την Ελλάδα για τις πρωτοβουλίες αποκατάστασης ζημιών από δασικές πυρκαγιές ή για δράσεις πρόληψης μέσω του Ελληνικού Προγράμματος Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης 2007-2013, για την πρόληψη των κινδύνων και της περιβαλλοντικής υποδομής στις πυρόπληκτες περιοχές μέσω του Ευρωπαϊκού Ταμείου Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης και του Ταμείου Συνοχής ή για βοήθεια αντιμετώπισης καταστροφών μέσω του Μηχανισμού Πολιτικής Προστασίας της ΕΕ.

2.

Η Επιτροπή δεν έχει λάβει γνώση της ύπαρξης διεκδικητέων εκκρεμούντων ποσών από τις ελληνικές αρχές σχετικά με τα μέτρα αποκατάστασης από τις δασικές πυρκαγιές.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003958/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Support for Greece in paying for damage caused by forest fires

Greece has suffered massive fires over the last 30 years. Since 2007 in particular, fires have been the cause of the ecological and economic destruction of entire areas, as in the Peloponnese in 2007, in northeast Attica in 2009 (when most of the Parthina National Forest was destroyed), in Chios in 2012 and so on.

1.

How much money has Greece received since 2007 under all the Community initiatives to restore forest fire damage?

2.

How much money has not yet been collected and is pending and why?

Answer given by Mr Cioloș on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

1.

Greece received financial aid amounting to EUR 89.769 million from the EU Solidarity Fund for the 2007 fires. The eligibility of EUR 9.24 million of this aid is however questioned by the Greek audit authorities and may have to be returned to the Commission. No further amounts were claimed by Greece for initiatives to restore forest fire damage or for prevention actions via the Greek Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, for risk prevention and environmental infrastructure in the fire-damaged areas via the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund or for disaster response assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

2.

The Commission has no knowledge of pending amounts to be claimed by the Greek authorities concerning restoration measures from forest fires.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej P-003959/13

do Komisji

Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D)

(9 kwietnia 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Budowa obwodnic miast Kamień Krajeński i Sępólno Krajeńskie w ciągu drogi krajowej nr 25 w Polsce

Unia Europejska przeznacza znaczne środki na poprawę płynności i podniesienie poziomu bezpieczeństwa ruchu drogowego. Cele te będą także realizowane w następnej perspektywie finansowej sięgającej lat 2014-2020. Oznacza to, że obecnie poszczególne państwa przygotowują szczegółowe propozycje zamierzeń inwestycyjnych, współfinansowanych przez Unię Europejską.

Prosiłbym w związku z tym o udzielenie konkretnej informacji, czy w zamierzeniach przekazywanych przez rząd RP do Komisji Europejskiej znajduje się budowa obwodnic miast Kamień Krajeński i Sępólno Krajeńskie w ciągu drogi krajowej nr 25 w Polsce?

Budowę obu tych obwodnic uważam za szczególnie istotną nie tylko dla poprawy płynności ruchu, lecz także dla ochrony substancji mieszkaniowej i środowiska w obu tych miastach. Obecnie, rosnący z roku na rok ruch tranzytowy przebiega przez centrum obu tych miast niszcząc zabudowania i stwarzając codziennie zagrożenia dla mieszkańców. Chcę podkreślić, że władze obu tych jednostek z własnych środków sfinansowały już dokumentację projektową, w tym raporty oddziaływania na środowisko naturalne, co miało przyspieszyć prace nad modernizacją tej sieci drogowej.

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Johannesa Hahna w imieniu Komisji

(26 kwietnia 2013 r.)

Komisja nie jest w stanie przekazać konkretnych informacji na temat projektów, które władze polskie zamierzają uwzględnić w programowaniu polityki spójności na lata 2014‐2020, ponieważ dyskusje prowadzone z Polską znajdują się na wstępnym etapie, tj. na poziomie polityki strategicznej. Komisja na tym etapie nie otrzymała i też nie wymaga szczegółowych informacji dotyczących konkretnych projektów, które mają być ujęte w tych programach.

W miarę postępów w negocjacjach, pod koniec bieżącego roku oraz w 2014 r., a także w trakcie przyjmowania umów o partnerstwie i programów, Komisji zostaną udostępnione bardziej szczegółowe informacje.

Z uwagi na zasadę zarządzania dzielonego stosowaną przy realizacji polityki spójności władze krajowe odpowiadają za wykonanie programów na najbardziej odpowiednim szczeblu terytorialnym oraz zgodnie z systemem instytucjonalnym obowiązującym w każdym państwie członkowskim.

Komisja nie ingeruje zatem w wybór projektów (z wyjątkiem tych ważniejszych), gdyż leży to w kompetencjach krajowych organów zarządzania, pod warunkiem że dokonują one takich wyborów zgodnie z dokumentacją programowania przyjętą po konsultacji z Komisją oraz przestrzegają obowiązujących przepisów prawa unijnego i krajowego.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003959/13

to the Commission

Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Construction of bypasses around Kamień Krajeński and Sępólno Krajeńskie on national road 25 in Poland

The European Union provides a great deal of funding to improve traffic flows and enhance road safety. Efforts to meet these objectives will continue under the forthcoming multiannual financial framework for the period between 2014 and 2020. This means that countries are currently preparing detailed proposals setting out their plans as regards investment projects for co-financing by the European Union.

Could the Commission please provide specific information as to whether the plans that the Polish Government has submitted to the Commission include the construction of bypasses around the towns of Kamień Krajeński and Sępólno Krajeńskie on Poland’s national road 25?

In my view, these bypasses are absolutely crucial, not only in order to improve the flow of traffic, but also to protect housing stock and the environment in both towns. The level of traffic passing through the centre of both towns is rising every year, ruining buildings and posing a daily threat to residents. I should like to emphasise the fact that the local authorities in both towns have, at their own expense, had planning documentation drawn up, including reports on the environmental impact that speeding up efforts to modernise this road network would have.

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(26 April 2013)

The Commission is not in position to provide specific information on the projects which the Polish authorities intend to include in cohesion policy programming for 2014-2020 because the discussions with Poland are at an initial stage, i.e. at strategic policy level. The Commission has not received and does not require at this stage detailed information on specific projects to be included in the programmes.

As the negotiations advance, later this year and in 2014, and in the course of adopting the partnership agreements and programmes, more detailed information will become available to the Commission.

Due to the shared management principle of implementing cohesion policy, national authorities are responsible for the implementation of the programmes, at the most appropriate territorial level and according to the institutional system of each Member State.

The Commission therefore does not intervene in the selection of the projects (except for major projects), as this comes under the competence of the national management authorities, provided that their choices are in line with the programming documents adopted in consultation with the Commission, and that they comply with the applicable EU and national legislation.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-003960/13

alla Commissione

Raffaele Baldassarre (PPE)

(9 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Regolamento per il servizio delle navi del porto di Brindisi e normativa comunitaria in materia di libera concorrenza e rilascio di concessioni

Il vigente regolamento per il servizio delle navi del porto di Brindisi, entrato in vigore il 1.1.2002, prevede che le domande di concessione possono essere prese in considerazione solo quando l'elenco dei rimorchiatori di cui dispone il richiedente comprenda almeno un numero minimo di quattro rimorchiatori (Art. 1). Lo stesso articolo 1 stabilisce, inoltre, i rispettivi presupposti minimi di potenza dei rimorchiatori, ovvero: 2 rimorchiatori da 4500 BHP cadauno, un rimorchiatore da 3500 BHP e un rimorchiatore da 3000 BHP.

L'articolo 8 del regolamento limita invece il numero di concessioni ad un singolo atto per l'intero servizio, stabilendo al contempo che, qualora venga presentata una domanda di concessione durante il periodo di validità di un precedente atto, la domanda non possa essere esaminata se non previo accertamento dell'inadempienza del concessionario in carica e dopo l'avvio della procedura di decadenza.

La specificità e la natura restrittiva dei criteri sovraesposti hanno determinato negli anni una situazione che favorisce sproporzionatamente la posizione del concessionario in carica, limitando l'accesso da parte di richiedenti esterni al servizio di rimorchio delle navi all'interno del porto di Brindisi. Di fatto, un potenziale richiedente dovrebbe, non solo soddisfare i presupposti tecnici per presentare una domanda di concessione (art. 1), ma attendere l'eventuale accertamento dell'inadempienza della concessione in atto e l'avvio della procedura di decadenza.

In considerazione di quanto precede, può la Commissione far sapere:

se è a conoscenza dei fatti qui esposti;

se considera che i precetti contenuti nel succitato regolamento per il servizio delle navi del porto di Brindisi siano compatibili con i principi dei trattati Ue in materia di concorrenza;

se le norme menzionate sono compatibili con la legislazione comunitaria in materia di concessioni e con gli obiettivi di trasparenza e accesso ai mercati della proposta di direttiva in esame sull'aggiudicazione dei contratti di concessione?

Risposta di Michel Barnier a nome della Commissione

(8 maggio 2013)

1.

La Commissione non era a conoscenza dei fatti esposti. Nell’ambito dei preparativi per la revisione della politica europea sui porti, la Commissione ha individuato numerosi casi di restrizioni all’accesso al mercato dei servizi portuali, comprese le operazioni di rimorchio. La Commissione sta valutando l’ipotesi di proporre entro l’estate una serie di misure relative ai porti, comprese delle misure per facilitare l’accesso al mercato ed evitare tariffe abusive nei servizi portuali.

2.

In base agli articoli 101 e 102 del TFUE, le regole di concorrenza si applicano ai comportamenti delle imprese, e in principio non alle misure come il regolamento in questione.

3.

In base alle informazioni disponibili, è impossibile determinare se la concessione in questione sia una concessione di servizi ai sensi della comunicazione 2000/C 121/02 della Commissione. In caso affermativo, va osservato quanto segue.

Attualmente le concessioni di servizi non sono regolamentate dalla legislazione dell'UE sugli appalti pubblici. Essendo soggetti ai principi sanciti dal Trattato, tali contratti devono essere aggiudicati mediante procedure trasparenti e non discriminatorie. La proposta relativa all’aggiudicazione dei contratti di concessione costituisce una concretizzazione dei principi del Trattato e punta ad accrescere la certezza giuridica a vantaggio delle autorità pubbliche e delle imprese.

Non è, di per sé, contraria al principio del Trattato di subordinare l’aggiudicazione di un contratto di concessione di servizi a requisiti tecnici, a condizione che questi ultimi siano non discriminatori e proporzionati. Per quanto riguarda la durata, la giurisprudenza prevede alcune limitazioni. In particolare, le concessioni di durata illimitata andrebbero escluse. In base alle informazioni disponibili, è impossibile valutare se tali limitazioni siano state rispettate nel caso in questione.

La Commissione è disposta ad esaminare eventuali ulteriori informazioni che l’onorevole desidera fornire.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003960/13

to the Commission

Raffaele Baldassarre (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Rules governing services for ships in the port of Brindisi and EC law on free competition and the award of concessions

The current regulation governing services for ships in the port of Brindisi, which entered into force on 1 January 2002, provides that applications for a concession may be taken into consideration only when at least four tugs are available to the applicant (Article 1). The same article also lays down minimum requirements for the respective power of the tugs, namely: two 4 500 BHP tugs, one 3 500 BHP tug and one 3 000 BHP tug.

Article 8 of the regulation, however, limits the number of concessions to a single act for the entire service, whilst establishing that, where an application for a concession is submitted during the period of validity of a previous act, the application cannot be examined unless the non-performance of the current concession-holder has been ascertained and a revocation procedure launched.

The specific and restrictive nature of the above criteria has resulted, over the years, in a situation that disproportionately favours the position of the current concession-holder, limiting the access of external applicants to ship towing services within the port of Brindisi. Indeed, potential applicants not only have to meet the technical requirements for submitting a concession application (Article 1), but also have to wait for the non-performance of the existing concession-holder to be ascertained and the revocation procedure to be initiated.

In view of the above, can the Commission say:

whether it is aware of these facts;

whether it believes that the rules laid down in the regulation governing services for ships in the port of Brindisi are compatible with the principles relating to competition enshrined in the EU treaties;

whether these rules are compatible with EC law on concessions and with the objectives relating to transparency and market access set out in the proposal for a directive, currently under consideration, on the award of concession contracts?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2013)

1.

The Commission was not aware of this situation. As part of the preparation of the European Port Policy review, the Commission identified many instances of restrictions to the access of the market of port services including towage. The Commission is considering to propose by summer a set of measures on ports, including to facilitate market access and avoid price abuses of port services.

2.

Under Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, competition rules apply to undertakings’ behaviors, in principle not to measures such as the regulation in question.

3.

On the basis of available information, it is impossible to determine whether the concession at issue is a service concession in the sense of the Commission Communication (2000/C 121/02). In the positive, the following remarks should be made.

Service concessions are not currently regulated by EU public procurement legislation. Being subject to Treaty principles, such contracts have to be awarded through non-discriminatory and transparent procedures. The proposal on the award of concession contracts constitutes a concretization of Treaty principles and is aimed at increasing legal certainty to the benefit of public authorities and companies.

It is not, in itself, contrary to the Treaty principles to make the award of a service concession contract subject to technical requirements, provided that these are non-discriminatory and proportionate. As regards duration, the case law provides for some limitations. In particular, concessions of unlimited duration should be ruled out. On the basis of the information available, it is impossible to assess whether these limitations were respected in this case.

Should the Honourable Member wish to provide further information, the Commission is ready to examine it.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003961/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Violación de los derechos humanos en Arabia Saudí

El pasado 13 de marzo de 2013, Arabia Saudí ejecutó a siete jóvenes acusados de haber cometido un atraco. Algunos de los siete ejecutados eran menores de edad. El 2 de abril, un tribunal saudí condenó a quedarse paralítico a un joven de 24 años por haber apuñalado a un amigo a los 14 años. El joven permanece en prisión desde entonces.

No se trata de casos nuevos, pero el primero provocó una avalancha de críticas y una campaña internacional de apoyo y solidaridad para evitar los fusilamientos de los siete jóvenes. Todas las críticas no sirvieron para nada, puesto que Arabia Saudí es un país donde tradicionalmente se violan los derechos humanos haciendo caso omiso a cualquier denuncia. A su vez, Arabia Saudí es uno de los principales aliados de la Unión Europea en la región, y su carácter autoritario parece invisible a los ojos de la diplomacia de la Unión Europea.

El papel de la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante de la Unión Europea ha sido condenado en repetidas ocasiones por ONG como Human Rights Watch por mantener un completo mutismo ante las sistemáticas violaciones de los derechos humanos cometidas por el régimen saudí. En esta ocasión, la Delegación de la Unión Europea en Arabia Saudí publicó un comunicado tras los fusilamientos, de apenas tres frases, en el que hacía un llamamiento para una moratoria global, pero sin exigir responsabilidad ni acciones al Gobierno Saudí. Mientras que la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante lanza firmes condenas exigiendo el respeto de los derechos humanos en otros países, como, por ejemplo, Siria, llegando a financiar a sus opositores aduciendo el nulo respeto de los derechos humanos por el Gobierno de Al Asad, la jefa de la diplomacia europea mantiene un tímido rol respecto a Arabia Saudí, haciendo llamamientos para moratorias globales de la pena de muerte en lugar de exigir responsabilidades y condenar las ejecuciones.

¿Qué acciones plantea la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante ante esta nueva violación de los derechos humanos en Arabia Saudí? ¿Qué acciones diplomáticas plantea ante el caso omiso prestado a los anteriores comunicados de la UE? ¿Cuáles son las razones que justifican que no se condene la violación de los derechos humanos con la misma intensidad que en otros países? ¿Exigirá que no se lleve a cabo la condena destinada a dejar paralítico al citado joven saudí?

¿Considera que debería reconsiderar las negociaciones con el Consejo de Cooperación para los Estados Árabes del Golfo hasta que Arabia Saudí respete los derechos humanos y colabore con la diplomacia europea en esta materia?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(31 de mayo de 2013)

La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta tiene conocimiento de cuanto refiere Su Señoría.

De hecho, el comunicado de 13 de marzo de 2013 al que alude en su pregunta y en el que se condena la ejecución de siete jóvenes ciudadanos saudíes por asalto a mano armada fue emitido por la propia Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta. Dicho comunicado constituía el colofón de los intensos esfuerzo desplegados y de los diversos llamamientos urgentes realizados a través de los canales diplomáticos abogando por el indulto de los condenados. La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta no ha cejado en su denuncia de las ejecuciones en Arabia Saudí antes las autoridades de ese país, como la efectuada el 10 de enero de 2013 tras la ejecución de Rizana Nafeek, un ciudadano de Sri Lanka. Este último caso ha dado lugar a permanentes contactos con las autoridades desde la sentencia dictada en 2007.

La UE aprovecha todas las oportunidades a su alcance para reiterar su firme oposición a la pena de muerte, no solo en Arabia Saudí, sino en todo el mundo, como ha hecho recientemente con motivo de la reanudación de las ejecuciones en Kuwait tras siete años de moratoria de facto.

Como sin duda sabe Su Señoría, la emisión de comunicados, aun siendo necesaria en algunos casos, es solo una forma más de acción diplomática. Las representaciones diplomáticas de la UE, así como los Estados miembros presentes en la región, debaten de forma permanente sobre las violaciones de los derechos humanos en terceros países que tanta preocupación suscitan en la EU.

Por lo que respecta al caso del joven condenado a la parálisis, la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta entiende que, por decisión de un juez saudí, la sentencia no se ejecutará.

Desde los años noventa, la UE venía negociando un acuerdo de libre comercio con el Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo que debía incluir una cláusula estándar relativa al respeto de los derechos humanos, pero dichas negociaciones llevan suspendidas desde 2008.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003961/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Human rights violations in Saudi Arabia

On 13 March 2013, seven young men accused of committing a robbery were executed in Saudi Arabia. Some of the seven put to death were minors. On 2 April, a Saudi court ordered that a 24-year-old man be paralyzed because he had stabbed a friend at the age of 14. He has been in prison ever since.

These cases are not new, but the first unleashed a flood of criticism and an international campaign of support and solidarity to prevent the seven young men being executed by firing squad. All of the criticism was in vain, since Saudi Arabia is a country where human rights are routinely violated and any condemnation goes unheeded. At the same time, Saudi Arabia is one of the European Union’s main allies in the region and EU diplomats turn a blind eye to its authoritarian nature.

Non-governmental organisations like Human Rights Watch have repeatedly criticised the Vice-President/High Representative of the European Union for remaining totally silent in the face of systematic human rights violations committed by the Saudi regime. On this occasion, following the executions, the Delegation of the European Union to Saudi Arabia issued a statement, just three sentences long, which called for a global moratorium but stopped short of holding the Saudi Government to account or calling on it to take action. The Vice-President/High Representative is very vocal in condemning other countries, like Syria, and demanding that they respect human rights, and even goes as far as funding the opposition, citing the al-Assad government’s total lack of respect for human rights as justification. Nevertheless, the head of the EU diplomatic service is shy when it comes to Saudi Arabia, calling for global moratoriums on the death penalty instead of calling it to account and condemning executions.

What action does the Vice-President/High Representative plan to take in response to this new human rights violation in Saudi Arabia? What diplomatic action does she plan to take, given that the EU’s previous statements have been ignored? What is her justification for failing to condemn human rights violations as forcefully as those in other countries? Will she call for the punishment that will leave the aforementioned young Saudi man paralyzed to be abandoned?

Does she take the view that she should reconsider negotiations with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf until Saudi Arabia respects human rights and cooperates with the EU diplomatic service on this issue?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The HR/VP is aware of the events referred to by the Honourable Member.

The statement of 13 March 2013 referred to in the question condemning the execution of seven young Saudi citizens convicted for armed robbery was in fact issued by the HR/VP herself. It complemented intensive efforts and several urgent appeals made through diplomatic channels to advocate for the pardonning of the convicted men. The HR/VP has consistently voiced her concern at executions in Saudi Arabia towards the Kingdom's authorities, as was done on 10 January 2013 following the execution of Sri Lankan national Ms Rizana Nafeek. This latter case had been the subject of continuous contacts with the authorities since the judgment issued in 2007.

The EU seizes all opportunities to reaffirm its principled opposition to the death penalty, not only in Saudi Arabia, but worldwide, as was done recently on the occasion of the resumption of executions in Kuwait following a seven years de facto moratorium.

As the Honourable Member will know, the issuance of public statements, while necessary in some instances, is only one form of diplomatic action. EU diplomatic representations, as well as Member States in the region, discuss the EU's concern on Human Rights violations in third countries on a continuous basis.

As for the case of the young man sentenced to paralysis, the HR/VP understands that his sentence will not be carried out, as per a Saudi judge's decision.

The EU has been engaged in negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council since the 1990's, which would include a standard Human Rights clause, but negotiations have been suspended since 2008.

(Suomenkielinen versio)

Kirjallisesti vastattava kysymys E-003962/13

komissiolle

Satu Hassi (Verts/ALE)

(9. huhtikuuta 2013)

Aihe: Liito-oravan suojelu Suomessa

Liito-oravien (Pteromys volans) lisääntymis‐ ja levähdyspaikkojen hävittäminen ja heikentäminen on EU:ssa kielletty luontodirektiivillä (artikla 12, liite IV(a)). Valtaosa EU:n liito-oravista esiintyy Suomessa, jossa lajin suurin uhka on metsätalous. Laji on vähentynyt ja se on todettu Suomen lajien uhanalaisuus 2010 ‐kirjassa vaarantuneeksi (VU).

Suomi on tehnyt vuonna 2004 kansalliset ohjeet liito-oravien huomioon ottamisesta metsätaloudessa. Nyt on kuitenkin uusissa tutkimuksissa huomattu, että ohjeet jättävät liian vähän metsää liito-oraville, eivätkä lisääntymis‐ ja levähdyspaikat säily. Ohjeiden mukaan käsitellyistä metsistä levähdyspaikka on jäänyt toimimaan vain 21‐61 prosentissa. Tulos vaihtelee alueittain ja riippuu myös tulkintatavasta. Lisääntymis‐ ja levähdyspaikan säilymisen arviointiperusteena tulisi olla lajin jatkuva lisääntyminen eli liito-oravanaaraan reviirin säilyminen alueella. Suomen liito-oravaohjeiden ja luontodirektiivin väliset ristiriitaisuudet ovat aiheuttaneet Suomessa pitkiä suojelukiistoja muun muassa Forssan Konikalliolla.

Pitääkö komissio Suomen käytäntöä ja ohjeita liito-oravien huomioon ottamisesta metsänkäytössä EU:n luontodirektiivin mukaisena? Ellei, mihin toimiin komissio aikoo ryhtyä?

Janez Potočnikin komission puolesta antama vastaus

(17. toukokuuta 2013)

Arvoisan parlamentin jäsenen kannattaa tutustua vastaukseen, jonka komissio on antanut liito-oravan (Pteromys volans) suojelua koskevaan kirjalliseen kysymykseen E-000916/98 (158), jossa selostetaan elinympäristödirektiivissä (1992/43/ETY (159)) säädetyt, kyseisen lajin suojeluun Suomessa sovellettavat yleiset velvoitteet ja tarkastellaan Konikallion senhetkistä tilannetta.

Suomessa pantiin tuolloin vireille liito-oravaa koskeva rikkomusmenettely. Suomen viranomaiset mukauttivat kansallista lainsäädäntöä elinympäristödirektiivin säännösten mukaiseksi, minkä jälkeen menettely päätettiin vuonna 2004.

Komissio tarkastelee saatavilla olevia tietoja, jotka koskevat voimassa olevien toimenpiteiden toimivuutta, ja ottaa tarkastelussa huomioon myös arvoisan parlamentin jäsenen toimittamat tiedot. Tarvittaessa komissio ottaa yhteyttä Suomen viranomaisiin tarkistaakseen, että mainitut toimenpiteet ovat elinympäristödirektiivin mukaisia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003962/13

to the Commission

Satu Hassi (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Protection of the Siberian flying squirrel in Finland

The deterioration and destruction of breeding sites and resting places of the Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) is prohibited in the European Union under the Habitats Directive (Article 12, Annex IV (a)). The majority of Siberian flying squirrels are to be found in Finland, where the biggest threat to the species is forestry. The species is in decline and was declared an endangered species on the 2010 Red List of Finnish Species.

In 2004, Finland issued national instructions on protecting the Siberian flying squirrel from the effects of forestry. Now, however, new studies have shown that the instructions leave too little forest space for the squirrels, and that their breeding sites and resting places are not preserved. In only 21‐61% of the forests managed according to the instructions have the squirrels’ resting places been left undisturbed. The results vary from region to region and also depend on how they are interpreted. The basis for assessing the preservation of a breeding site or resting place should be the species’ continuous reproduction, which means ensuring that the territory of the female of the species remains in the area. The contradictions that exist between the instructions issued for the Siberian flying squirrel and the Habitats Directive have led to lengthy debates on conservation in Finland; for example, with regard to the forest area of Konikallio near Forssa.

Will the Commission ensure that Finnish practice and the instructions that Finland has issued with regard to the protection of Siberian flying squirrels from the effects of forestry remain in line with the EU’s Habitats Directive? If not, what steps does it intend to take?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(17 May 2013)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its reply to Written Question E-000916/98 (160) on the protection of the Siberian Flying Squirrel (Pteromys Volans), which explains the general obligations laid down by the Habitats Directive (1992/43/EEC (161)) for the protection of the species in Finland and addresses the situation of Konikallio at the time.

Infringement procedures had been opened in the past on the subject of the Siberian Flying Squirrel in Finland. The Finnish authorities adapted their legislation to comply with the provisions of the Habitats Directive leading to the closure of the procedures in 2004.

The Commission will examine the information available on the effectiveness of the current measures, also in the light of the information provided by the Honourable Member, and if necessary will contact the Finnish authorities to verify the compliance of said measures with the Habitats Directive.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003963/13

to the Commission

Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Monitoring of organ trafficking

On 24 April 2013, the Scottish Parliament will host an event on the subject of organ trafficking. China is a leading organ transplant country which encourages ‘transplant tourism’ as a lucrative state-run business. Unlike the situation in any other country, virtually all Chinese organs for transplants come from prisoners. Many of these are prisoners of conscience who have not given prior free and voluntary consent as a donor, and a huge number are being killed to provide organs, according to objective findings.

Is the Commission aware of the issue of organ trafficking, and what is being done at the European level to monitor this issue?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

The HR/VP is indeed aware of China’s practice of organ ‘harvesting’ and trafficking and shares the Honourable Member's concern. This issue is regularly raised in contacts with the Chinese authorities including in the framework of past rounds of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue and will continue to do so. The EU believes that the practice is closely linked to the Re-Education through Labour system and the death penalty, as most cases have been linked to prisoners in Re-Education through Labour camps, especially Falun Gong practitioners.

The HR/VP has taken note of a statement by the Chinese Vice-Minister of Health in March 2012 that China intends to abolish organ donation from prisoners condemned to death within the next five years. Indeed, China has adopted a regulation on human organ transplants which came into effect on 1 July 2006 and now requires the written agreement of the donor. However, the regulation does not adequately address the issue of donor consent, especially for those who have died in custody or have been executed.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-003964/13

adresată Comisiei

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(9 aprilie 2013)

Subiect: Economie rurală — stabilitate financiară

În actualul context economic al crizei financiare care s-a transformat într-o criză a datoriilor suverane în unele părți ale zonei euro, sectorul bancar și stabilitatea fiscală a multor guverne europene sunt grav amenințate. Au fost afectate în mod grav și fluxurile de creditare a economiei rurale europene. Ca atare, concurența loială continuă să rămână o condiție esențială a realizării integrale a pieței agricole interne și o componentă-cheie a unei strategii comune care să contribuie la redresarea acestei economii rurale la nivel european.

Criza a creat dezechilibre majore în majoritatea statelor membre și unele dintre acestea nu au avut altă opțiune decât să solicite asistență externă din partea Comisiei Europene. Stabilitatea financiară are, fără îndoială, o importanță majoră pentru Uniunea Europeană.

În acest cadru economic dificil, cum încurajează Comisia statele membre să aplice regulile de disciplina financiară impuse de criză și care să permită agricultorilor să rămână competitivi pe piața europeană?

Răspuns dat de dl Rehn în numele Comisiei

(31 mai 2013)

Reforma guvernanței economice, în special consolidarea Pactului de stabilitate și creștere în contextul pachetului de șase acte legislative care a intrat în vigoare în decembrie 2011 și al pachetului de două acte legislative care a fost adoptat recent de Parlamentul European au sporit în mod semnificativ stimulentele pentru ca statele membre să respecte normele fiscale convenite la nivelul UE. O discuție detaliată cu privire la Pactul de stabilitate și creștere consolidat și trimiteri la informații suplimentare sunt disponibile pe site-ul internet al Comisiei (162).

În același timp, este esențial să se restabilească activitățile normale de creditare a economiei, pentru a sprijini investițiile în sectorul agricol și în zonele rurale. În acest scop, PAC joacă un rol important în ceea ce privește susținerea unui sector agricol mai durabil și mai competitiv, precum și finanțarea investițiilor în ferme și a oportunităților de afaceri în zonele rurale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003964/13

to the Commission

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Rural economy — financial stability

Against the current economic background of the financial crisis, which has turned into a sovereign debt crisis in some parts of the euro area, many European governments are facing a serious threat in terms of their banking sector and fiscal stability. Credit flows in Europe’s rural economy have also been hit hard. Therefore, fair competition continues to be an essential condition for fully achieving the internal agricultural market and a key component of a common strategy contributing to the recovery of this rural economy at European level.

The crisis has led to major imbalances in most Member States and some have had no option but to request external assistance from the Commission. Financial stability is undoubtedly of paramount importance to the European Union.

In this tough economic climate, how does the Commission encourage Member States to apply the financial discipline rules imposed by the crisis, which will enable farmers to remain competitive on the European market?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The reform of economic governance, in particular the strengthening of the Stability and Growth Pact in the context of the six-pack legislation that entered into force in December 2011 and the two-pack legislation which was recently adopted by the European Parliament have significantly sharpened the incentives for Member States to comply with the fiscal rules agreed at EU level. A detailed discussion of the strengthened Stability and Growth Pact and references to further material are available on the Commission's website (163).

At the same time, it is essential to restore normal lending to the economy to support investment in the agricultural sector and in rural areas. To this end, the CAP plays an important role in supporting a more sustainable and competitive agricultural sector as well as funding farm investments and business opportunities in rural areas.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003966/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: Soutien du Myanmar

Ce jeudi, la commission du commerce international a voté en faveur du soutien du Myanmar dans ses efforts de réforme, en particulier en vue d'éradiquer le travail forcé. Ce vote fait suite à un excellent rapport produit par la Commission européenne en la matière.

1.

Comment la Commission propose-t-elle de réinstaurer l'accès en franchise et hors quota du Myanmar au marché de l'Union?

2.

Comment la Commission entend-elle inciter les entreprises européennes à appliquer des mesures de responsabilité sociale dans les entreprises pour les opérations en Birmanie, à garantir un haut niveau de transparence et de notification et à encourager les meilleures pratiques entre investisseurs?

3.

Les exigences juridiques étant remplies pour que les préférences du système de préférences généralisées soient réinstaurées, que compte faire la Commission en ce qui concerne le point sensible du travail forcé, qui reste une préoccupation dans certains domaines du pays, en particulier dans le secteur militaire?

Réponse donnée par M. De Gucht au nom de la Commission

(30 mai 2013)

La proposition présentée par la Commission le 17 septembre 2012 visant à réintégrer le Myanmar/la Birmanie dans le Système des préférences tarifaires généralisées (SPG), et donc à réinstaurer en sa faveur des réductions des droits de douane, s'inscrit dans le prolongement de la décision prise en juin 2012 par la Conférence internationale du travail de lever ou de suspendre les mesures adoptées par l'Organisation internationale du travail à l'encontre de ce pays. Cela supposait, conformément au règlement SPG de l'UE, que les conditions juridiques motivant le retrait du bénéfice des préférences tarifaires du SPG n'étaient plus remplies.

L'encouragement de pratiques commerciales responsables est un objectif louable que la Commission poursuit par des pistes parallèles, telles que la réforme en cours de la directive sur la transparence et de la directive comptable, ou la promotion de normes internationalement reconnues en matière de responsabilité sociale des entreprises. Ces initiatives constituent une contribution complémentaire à la réalisation de l'important objectif du SPG qui est de produire les ressources nécessaires pour un développement inclusif et durable.

Quant au travail forcé, comme pour toute autre question en rapport avec les principales conventions internationales dans le contexte du SPG, la Commission reste vigilante et sera prête à prendre des mesures si les conditions légales sont remplies, qu'il s'agisse du Myanmar/de la Birmanie ou de tout autre pays bénéficiaire.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003966/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Support for Myanmar

On Thursday, the Committee on International Trade voted to support Myanmar in its reforms, in particular its efforts to eradicate forced labour. This vote followed an excellent report produced by the European Commission on this matter.

1.

How does the Commission propose to reinstate Myanmar’s duty‐ and quota-free access to the EU market?

2.

How does the Commission intend to urge European businesses to apply corporate social responsibility measures to their operations in Myanmar, to ensure a high level of transparency and reporting and to encourage best practice amongst investors?

3.

Given that the legal requirements have been met for the Generalised Scheme of Preferences to be reinstated, what does the Commission intend to do with regard to the sensitive issue of forced labour, which is still a concern in some sectors of the country, particularly in the military sector?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

The Commission proposal to reinstate Generalised Scheme of Preferences’ (GSP) tariff reductions for Myanmar/Burma, presented on 17 September 2012, follows the decision of the International Labour Conference (June 2012) to lift and/or suspend measures which the International Labour Organisation had taken against that country. According to the EU GSP Regulation, this implied that the legal conditions for withdrawal of GSP preferences no longer existed.

Promoting responsible business practices is a worthy objective, which the Commission pursues via parallel avenues like the current reform of the Transparency Directive and of the Accounting Directive, or the promotion of internationally recognised standards of Corporate Social Responsibility. Those initiatives complement GSP’s important goal to generate the resources which are necessary to achieve inclusive, sustainable development.

On forced labour, as for any other issue which is related to the core international conventions in the context of GSP, the Commission remains vigilant and will be ready to take actions if the legal requirements are met, in the case of Myanmar/Burma or any other beneficiary country.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003967/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: Conséquences du téléchargement illégal

Une étude commandée par la Commission européenne montre, une fois de plus, que le téléchargement illégal de musique n'est pas forcément une mauvaise affaire pour les plateformes de musique légales en ligne.

L'Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, en charge de l'étude, a débuté ses recherches en composant un panel de 16 290 individus représentatif de la population européenne. Pour ce faire, les analystes se sont basés sur les statistiques de 2 759 sites de contenus musicaux. Il ressort de l'examen du comportement de ce panel que, même si 72,6 % des internautes étudiés téléchargent illégalement et que 20 % de ces pirates ne visitent jamais les sites légaux, 56,6 % des personnes du panel achètent légalement de la musique en ligne. Un pourcentage équivalent (57,2 %) utilise un service de streaming légal. Mieux: sans le piratage, des plateformes enregistreraient une perte de visiteurs évaluée à 7 % et 2 % de clics en moins.

L'étude montre enfin que 26 % des internautes étudiés téléchargent, à la fois légalement et illégalement, de la musique, tandis que seulement, 11 % achètent leur musique en ligne uniquement de façon légale. De même, 9 % des personnes étudiées utilisent exclusivement le streaming légal. En conclusion, le piratage ne serait pas uniquement une question de malhonnêteté mais bien une question d'offre. Télécharger illégalement ne serait, en définitive, qu'une réaction négative à des attentes non remplies et serait moins néfaste à l'industrie de la musique que ce que cette même industrie prétend…

1.

Quelle est la réaction de la Commission à cette étude?

2.

La Commission partage-t-elle l'avis selon lequel

«le piratage ne serait pas uniquement une question de malhonnêteté mais bien une question d'offre»?

3.

La Commission partage-t-elle l'avis selon lequel

«Télécharger illégalement ne serait, en définitive, qu'une réaction négative à des attentes non remplies et serait moins néfaste à l'industrie de la musique que ce que cette même industrie prétend»?

4.

Quelles sont les prochaines étapes envisagées par la Commission?

Réponse donnée par M. Barnier au nom de la Commission

(9 juillet 2013)

L'analyse figurant dans l'étude réalisée par le Centre commun de recherche de la Commission à laquelle l'Honorable Parlementaire fait référence porte sur le nombre de connexions à des services légaux et à des services ne respectant pas les droits de propriété intellectuelle, et non sur les chiffres des ventes ou des téléchargements effectifs à partir de sites internet. L'analyse part du principe qu'il existe une corrélation objective entre connexions aux sites concernés et ventes/téléchargements. Il convient donc d'interpréter avec circonspection les conclusions relatives à l'incidence sur les ventes ou téléchargements réalisés à partir de sites respectant les droits de propriété intellectuelle.

En réponse à la question posée par l'Honorable Parlementaire, cette étude ne saurait permettre de conclure que «télécharger illégalement ne serait, en définitive, qu'une réaction négative à des attentes non remplies et serait moins néfaste à l'industrie de la musique que ce que cette même industrie prétend». On ne saurait pas davantage inférer de l'étude que «le piratage ne serait pas uniquement une question de malhonnêteté mais bien une question d'offre». Il va de soi qu'on doit s'attaquer à la question du piratage comme à toute autre forme de violation des droits intellectuels reconnus. La Commission reconnaît cependant qu'il est également nécessaire d'améliorer l'accès aux offres légales. Tel est l'objectif des travaux lancés sous l'intitulé «Des licences pour l'Europe».

En conclusion, la Commission envisagera d'approfondir l'analyse de manière à déterminer si les résultats de l'étude mentionnée ci-dessus demeurent valables lorsque la base de recherche n'est plus le nombre de connexions mais bien le nombre des ventes/téléchargements effectifs.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003967/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Consequences of illegal downloading

A study commissioned by the European Commission shows, once again, that illegal downloading of music is not necessarily a bad thing for legal online music platforms.

The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, which carried out the study, began its research by putting together a panel of 16 290 individuals, representative of the EU population. To do so, the analysts looked at statistics from 2 759 music-hosting sites. The evaluation of this panel’s behaviour shows that, even though 72.6% of the Internet users in the study illegally download music, and 20% of these illegal users never visit legal sites, 56.6% of the panel buy music online legally. An equivalent percentage (57.2%) uses a legal streaming service. Moreover, without piracy, certain platforms would lose visitors, estimated at between 7% and 2% fewer clicks.

Lastly, the study shows that 26% of the Internet users studied download music, both legally and illegally, whereas only 11% buy their music online solely in a legal manner. Similarly, 9% of the people in the study only use legal streaming. In conclusion, it would appear that piracy is not simply a question of dishonesty but also a question of supply. Ultimately, downloading illegally is merely a negative reaction to unfulfilled expectations and is less harmful to the music industry than the industry itself claims.

1.

What is the Commission’s reaction to this study?

2.

Does the Commission agree that

‘piracy is not simply a question of dishonesty but also a question of supply’?

3.

Does the Commission agree that

‘ultimately, downloading illegally is merely a negative reaction to unfulfilled expectations and is less harmful to the music industry than the industry itself claims’?

4.

What steps does the Commission intend to take next?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2013)

The analysis in the study by the Commission's Joint Research Centre the Honourable Member refers to relates to data of clicks on legal and IP infringing services and not to actual sales or downloads from websites. The study assumes that clicks and sales/downloads are positively correlated. The conclusions regarding the impact on sales or downloads from non-IP infringing services should, therefore, be interpreted with caution.

In answer to the Honourable Member's question this study cannot be used to conclude that ‘ultimately downloading illegally is merely a negative reaction to unfulfilled expectations and is less harmful to the music industry than the industry itself claims’. Neither does the study suggest that ‘piracy is not simply a question of dishonesty but also a question of supply’. The issue of piracy must certainly be addressed, as any form of violation of established property rights. Nevertheless, the Commission acknowledges that there is also a need to enhance access to legal offer. The work-streams that have been set up under ‘Licenses for Europe’ are aimed at this.

In conclusion, the Commission will consider deepening the analysis to see whether the results of the aforementioned study still hold when based on actual sales/downloads rather than clicks.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003968/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: Création du «Leaders Club»

Initiative très attendue par les entrepreneurs du web, la Commission européenne crée le «Leaders Club», l'occasion pour des milliers de jeunes entrepreneurs européens de recevoir les conseils avisés d'experts dans le développement des jeunes pousses.

On ne peut que se féliciter d'une initiative qui permettra que les meilleures idées commencent en Europe et, si possible, restent sur le sol européen.

1.

Le panel qui constitue le

«Leaders club» est-il composé d'esprits créatifs qui donneront à l'Europe des conseils avisés sur l'entrepreneuriat? Comment a-t-il été élaboré? Une logique géographique ou une ligne conductrice particulière ont-elles été suivies en l'occurrence?

2.

Quel est le calendrier des rencontres avec le panel?

3.

Comment les jeunes pousses vont-elles postuler? Vont-elles toutes recevoir un support ou y aura-t-il une sélection? Si tel est le cas, sur quels critères cette sélection sera-t-elle basée?

4.

Quels sont en l'espèce les objectifs de la Commission (nombre de demandes, création potentielle d'emplois des dites jeunes pousses, chiffres d'affaires à moyen terme, etc.)?

Réponse donnée par Mme Kroes au nom de la Commission

(28 mai 2013)

Le «Leaders Club», ou club des entrepreneurs, créé dans le cadre du plan StartUp Europe, est une initiative de la Commission qui souligne l'importance de l'innovation sur internet pour l'emploi et la croissance en Europe. Des entrepreneurs européens qui ont forgé leur succès sur internet se sont unis pour initier un débat européen sur la spécificité de l'innovation sur internet et sur les questions et les problèmes auxquels sont confrontés les entrepreneurs internet pour développer leurs activités. Cette initiative a été présentée, dans la communication de la Commission intitulée «Plan d'action Entrepreneuriat 2020» (164), comme l'une des actions devant permettre d'ouvrir de nouvelles perspectives commerciales à l'ère du numérique. D'autres informations générales sur l'entrepreneuriat du web sont également disponibles dans le document de travail publié récemment sur ce thème (165).

Il s'agit d'un espace de dialogue dont les membres doivent émettre des avis sur ce que l'Europe devrait faire pour promouvoir et améliorer l'environnement d'affaires des jeunes pousses technologiques au niveau européen. Ce club vise également à promouvoir l'esprit d'entreprise en valorisant le succès des fondateurs de jeunes pousses et en renforçant leur visibilité et leur statut d'exemple dans toute l'Europe.

Il est composé d'un petit nombre d'entrepreneurs internet européens de haut niveau. Les membres du club ont été choisis parmi les entrepreneurs technologiques qui avaient la plus grande notoriété et le plus grand nombre d'usagers. Actuellement, le groupe se compose de Niklas Zennstrom — Atomico, Skype, Kaj Hed — Rovio, Daniel Ek / Martin Lorentzon — Spotify, Joanna Shields — TechCity, Reshma Sohoni — SeedCamp, Boris Veldbuijzen van Zanten — The Next Web, et Zaryn Dentzel — Tuenti. Il est ouvert aux nouveaux membres.

En principe, le Leaders Club se réunira deux fois par an, sur convocation de la Commission.

Son objectif n'est pas de donner des conseils ou d'apporter un soutien aux entreprises ou aux chefs d'entreprise, mais de contribuer à l'émergence d'un environnement européen qui soit plus favorable à l'économie du web.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003968/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Creation of the ‘Leaders Club’

The creation, by the Commission, of the ‘Leaders Club’, an initiative keenly awaited by Internet entrepreneurs, offers thousands of young European entrepreneurs the opportunity to receive advice from experts on the development of start-up companies.

We can only applaud an initiative which will allow the best ideas to start in Europe and, where possible, remain on European soil.

1.

Is the Leaders Club panel composed of creative minds who will give expert advice on entrepreneurship to Europe? How has it been set up? Has a geographical rationale or specific guiding principle been followed in this case?

2.

What is the schedule of meetings with the panel?

3.

How can start-up companies apply? Will they all receive support or will there be a selection process? In the latter case, what criteria will the selection be based on?

4.

What are the Commission’s objectives for this initiative (number of applications, potential creation of jobs in the above start-up companies, turnover in the medium term, etc.)?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(28 May 2013)

The Startup Europe Leaders Club is a Commission initiative highlighting the importance Internet innovation plays to jobs and growth in Europe. Successful European Internet entrepreneurs have come together to lead a European debate on the specificity of innovating on the Internet and on the issues and problems faced by Internet entrepreneurs when growing their business. It was announced in the Commission Communication Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan (166) as one of the action to unleash business opportunities in the digital age. Further background information on web-entrepreneurship is also available in the recently published staff working document (167).

It is a forum to advice on what Europe should do to promote and improve the tech startup environment at European level. It also aims at promoting an entrepreneurial culture by celebrating successful startup founders and increasing their visibility as role models throughout Europe.

It consists of a few high-profile European Internet entrepreneurs. The members of the Club were selected based on the criteria of the most recognised tech entrepreneurs and in terms of user reach. The Club presently includes Niklas Zennstrom — Atomico, Skype, Kaj Hed — Rovio, Daniel Ek / Martin Lorentzon — Spotify, Joanna Shields — TechCity, Reshma Sohoni — SeedCamp, Boris Veldbuijzen van Zanten — The Next Web, Zaryn Dentzel — Tuenti. The group is open to new members.

In principle, the Startup Europe Leaders Club will meet twice a year, upon invitation by the Commission.

The purpose of the Startup Europe Leaders Club is not to provide advice or support to individual companies or entrepreneurs, but contribute to a European environment which is more web-business friendly.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003969/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: «Piratage»: distinction entre gentils hackers et méchants hackers

Une décision a fait grand bruit, lundi, aux États-Unis: un homme a été condamné à 41 mois de prison pour avoir exploité une faille du site Internet d'un opérateur téléphonique en 2010, dévoilant plus de 100 000 adresses électroniques d'utilisateurs d'iPad. Selon le verdict d'un jury populaire, cet homme s'est rendu coupable d'«usurpation d'identité» et d'«accès à un ordinateur sans autorisation». La justice s'est appuyée sur la loi de 1986 relative à la fraude informatique (Computer Fraud Act), déjà très critiquée par plusieurs élus pour son caractère trop vague.

Le problème dans cette affaire, c'est que l'individu n'a pas piraté de base de données. Il a simplement exploité une faille du site. Il suffisait en effet de rentrer un numéro d'identifiant d'iPad (généré automatiquement) pour obtenir l'adresse électronique d'un utilisateur. Son cas divise l'interweb. Car l'homme n'a pas signalé la faille à l'entreprise comme l'aurait fait un gentil hacker, baptisé «white hat». Il n'a pas non plus vendu son carnet d'adresses, qui comprenait notamment celles de Michael Bloomberg et de plusieurs membres du Pentagone, pour plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars, comme l'aurait fait un «black hat». À la place, il a fourni la liste aux médias, davantage, selon ses détracteurs, pour attirer l'attention sur son exploit que sur la faille.

1.

Quelle est la position de la Commission dans des cas similaires de divulgation de données?

2.

La Commission pourrait-elle se montrer conciliante avec de

«gentils hackers» dans la mesure où, en matière de sécurité informatique, il faut par nature exploiter un bug pour prouver son existence?

3.

La Commission fait-elle la distinction entre

«white hat» et «black hat», entre «gentil hacker» et «méchant hacker»? Si oui, comment?

Réponse donnée par Mme Malmström au nom de la Commission

(12 juin 2013)

La Commission européenne n'a eu connaissance d'aucun cas similaire dans l'Union européenne et elle n'intervient pas dans les cas particuliers. La législation de l'UE en vigueur ne fait pas de distinction entre «gentils» et «méchants» pirates informatiques («white hat» et «black hat» hackers); comme le montre l'exemple cité par l'Honorable Parlementaire, une telle distinction n'est pas toujours facile à établir. La Commission a présenté une proposition de directive relative aux attaques visant les systèmes d'information et abrogeant la décision-cadre 2005/222/JAI du Conseil [COM(2010) 517], qui est actuellement négociée par le Parlement européen et le Conseil. Cette proposition de directive tient pleinement compte de la charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne, qui prévoit des garanties importantes pour les personnes ainsi que la défense et la sauvegarde des libertés fondamentales. Dans le cadre des discussions relatives à cette directive, des propositions visant à inclure des références au piratage informatique «bienveillant» ont été étudiées; la décision d'inclure ou non de telles références dans la directive telle qu'adoptée n'a pas encore été prise. La Commission observe que certains fournisseurs privés de logiciels et de services encouragent déjà le piratage informatique «bienveillant», notamment la notification de failles dans la sécurité, en choisissant de récompenser de telles notifications.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003969/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Computer hacking: distinguishing between good hackers and bad hackers

On Monday, a decision caused a considerable stir in the United States: a man was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment for exploiting a flaw in the Internet site of a telephone operator in 2010, revealing over 100 000 email addresses of iPad users. According to the civilian jury, this man was guilty of ‘identity fraud’ and of ‘accessing a computer without authorisation’. The court relied on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, which several elected representatives have already severely criticised for being too vague.

The problem here is that the individual concerned did not hack into a database. He simply exploited a flaw in the site. In fact, all that was required was to enter an iPad serial number (generated automatically) to obtain the email address of its user. His case has divided the Internet community: he did not report the flaw to the company as a good hacker, or ‘white hat’, would have done, but neither did he sell his address book, which included in particular the addresses of Michael Bloomberg and several members of the Pentagon, for several hundred thousand dollars as a ‘black hat’ would have done. Instead, he gave the list to the media in order, according to his detractors, to draw attention to his achievement rather than to the flaw.

1.

What is the Commission’s position in similar cases where data are disclosed?

2.

Could the Commission be accommodating towards

‘good hackers’ insofar as, when it comes to IT security, by its very nature a bug must be exploited to prove its existence?

3.

Does the Commission differentiate between

‘white hats’ and ‘black hats’, that is, between ‘good hackers’ and ‘bad hackers’? If so, how?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2013)

The European Commission is not aware of a similar case in the EU and does not intervene in individual cases. Current EU legislation does not differentiate between ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ hackers; as the case cited by the Honourable Member demonstrates, such a distinction may not always be easy to draw. The Commission has put forward a proposal for a directive on attacks against information systems and repealing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA (COM(2010) 517), which is currently being negotiated by the European Parliament and the Council. This proposed directive takes fully into account the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which provides important safeguards for individuals as well as the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms. During the discussions on this directive, proposals to include language on ‘white hat’ hacking were considered; it remains to be seen whether or not such language will be included in the directive as adopted. The Commission notes that some private providers of software and services already encourage ‘white hat’ hacking, in particular the notification of security breaches, by choosing to reward such notifications.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003970/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Explotación de los recursos hídricos de los Territorios Ocupados del Sahara Occidental

La ONG Western Sahara Resource Watch ha denunciado la explotación de los recursos hídricos subterráneos que la industria agrícola marroquí está llevando a cabo en las zonas ocupadas del Sahara Occidental.

Estas reservas de aguas subterráneas son recursos no renovables, considerablemente escasos y de una importancia crucial para el pueblo saharaui. En las proximidades de la ciudad de Dajla se están desarrollando numerosas plantaciones que explotan los recursos hídricos de una manera irracional, insostenible y, por supuesto, perforando pozos sin ningún tipo de licencia.

El saqueo de los recursos naturales que Marruecos está llevando a cabo en los territorios de Sahara Occidental es una estrategia deliberada que supone un obstáculo para la paz. Marruecos pretende esquilmar al máximo los recursos naturales en los Territorios Ocupados, donde actúa en claro incumplimiento del Derecho Internacional, dejando al pueblo saharaui privado del derecho a la explotación sostenible de los recursos que les pertenecen.

¿Está la Comisión realizando algún seguimiento de las empresas de origen europeo que importan bienes agrícolas producidos en los Territorios Ocupados del Sahara Occidental para comprobar la correcta trazabilidad de su producción?

¿Considera que la explotación insostenible de los recursos naturales de los Territorios Ocupados del Sahara Occidental, especialmente sus aguas, supone un nuevo obstáculo que Marruecos pone a una resolución justa del conflicto? ¿Exigirá el fin de tales explotaciones?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(6 de junio de 2013)

El pasado 28 de febrero de 2013, durante la última reunión del Subcomité UE-Marruecos sobre agricultura y pesca, organismo común en el marco del actual Acuerdo de Asociación, la Comisión reunió información sobre la producción agrícola del Sáhara Occidental y de las cinco provincias del sur de Marruecos.

La mayor parte de la producción de frutas y hortalizas de Marruecos procede de Sous-Massa (región próxima a Agadir que aporta casi el 90 % de la producción nacional) y cuenta con las tecnologías de riego más avanzadas, entre ellas el riego por goteo o los circuitos cerrados de cultivo hidropónico y la recuperación del agua sobrante, que permiten ahorrar grandes cantidades de agua. Estas tecnologías modernas se emplean también en la producción en invernaderos de Dajla, cuya área no supera las 600 hectáreas según la información disponible hasta la fecha. Las superficies cultivadas del Sáhara Occidental y de las cinco provincias del sur de Marruecos representan en su conjunto tan solo el 1,2 % del total de la superficie de tierra de cultivo de Marruecos. Las cuestiones relacionadas con la gestión del agua preocupan a las autoridades locales y forman parte de los correspondientes programas de desarrollo agrícola.

En lo referente al etiquetado de origen, este, según el principio general de la UE, tiene un carácter voluntario, salvo que su omisión induzca a engaño al consumidor. No obstante, en virtud de las normas de carácter vertical de la política agrícola común, dicho etiquetado es obligatorio para determinados alimentos, como frutas y hortalizas, aceite de oliva, pescado, etc., pero la Comisión no tiene constancia de que las importaciones agrícolas a las que se refiere Su Señoría incumplan estas normas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003970/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Exploitation of water resources in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara

According to the non-governmental organisation Western Sahara Resource Watch, underground water resources in the occupied areas of the Western Sahara are being exploited by the Moroccan agricultural industry.

These underground water reserves are very scarce, non-renewable resources that are vitally important to the Sahrawi people. Around the city of Dakhla, a large number of plantations are being set up which exploit water resources in a senseless, unsustainable manner, which, of course, includes drilling wells without any kind of licence.

Morocco’s plundering of the natural resources in the territories of the Western Sahara is a deliberate strategy that presents an obstacle to peace. Morocco is attempting to harvest as much as it can of the natural resources in the occupied territories. Its actions are in clear breach of international law and they deprive the Sahrawi people of the right to sustainably exploit the resources that belong to them.

Is the Commission monitoring European companies that import agricultural goods produced in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara, in order to ensure proper traceability in terms of their production?

Does it take the view that the unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources of the occupied territories of the Western Sahara, especially the water there, is a new obstacle that Morocco is putting in the way of a fair resolution to the conflict? Will it demand an end to such exploitation?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

At the occasion of the last meeting of the EU-Morocco Subcommittee on agriculture and fisheries on 28 February 2013, a joint body under the existing Association Agreement, the Commission gathered information on agricultural production in the Western Sahara and five provinces of south Morocco.

The majority of the fruit and vegetable production in Morocco comes from Sous-Massa (region close to Agadir producing nearly 90% of the national production) and incorporates the latest technology in irrigation. This includes drip or hydroponics closed circuits and recovery of excess water which can save large amounts of water. This modern technology is equally used in the greenhouse production area of Dakhla which do not exceed 600 ha according to information made available so far. The arable land of the Western Sahara and the five provinces of south Morocco combined represents only 1,2% of the total arable land of Morocco. Water management issues are a general concern of local authorities and are included in relevant agriculture development programmes.

Regarding origin labelling, the general EU principle is the voluntary character unless its omission would mislead consumers. However origin labelling is mandatory for certain foods such as fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, etc. under the vertical rules within the common agricultural policy. The Commission has not received any indication that these agricultural imports would not comply with these rules.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003971/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Exportación de productos de Sáhara Occidental como marroquíes

Cuatro cadenas de distribución suecas han dejado de comercializar productos procedentes de los Territorios Ocupados de Sáhara Occidental, y han denunciado la comercialización de los productos procedentes de la zona con la etiqueta de Marruecos.

Las cadenas de distribución Axfood, Coop, ICA y Bergendahls han expresado su preocupación por los riesgos de la violación del derecho internacional que conlleva la compra de los productos Made in Marruecos. Dicho país incumple deliberadamente el Derecho Internacional y las normas internacionales de etiquetado al considerar unilateralmente lo producido en los Territorios Ocupados como producido en Marruecos. Estos incumplimientos de las normativas de etiquetado y de comercio internacional deberían desembocar en una sanción al Made in Marruecos.

El saqueo de los recursos naturales que Marruecos está llevando a cabo en los territorios de Sáhara Occidental no puede ser tolerado por los ciudadanos europeos. Permitiendo el acceso a los mercados europeos de todos los productos de Marruecos se permite la importación de bienes producidos en Sáhara Occidental.

¿Puede la Comisión garantizar que, de todos los productos Made in Marruecos que circulan en el mercado europeo, no hay ninguno producido en los Territorios Ocupados de Sáhara Occidental y falsamente etiquetado como marroquí?

¿Está la Comisión realizando seguimiento de las empresas de origen europeo que introducen bienes agrícolas producidos en los Territorios Ocupados de Sáhara Occidental para comprobar la correcta trazabilidad de su producción?

¿Piensa la Comisión exigir sanciones por el falso etiquetado marroquí de estos productos o prohibir su importación hasta que cumpla con las normas internacionales de etiquetado?

¿Considera la Comisión que pueden producirse casos de competencia desleal si existen cadenas de comercialización que introducen productos producidos en los Territorios Ocupados en el mercado europeo? ¿Cómo piensa intervenir para garantizar que no se produzcan estas importaciones?

Respuesta del Sr. Cioloş en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de junio de 2013)

La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a la respuesta dada a la pregunta escrita E-6205/2012.

Ni el Acuerdo de asociación (168) ni el Acuerdo en materia de agricultura (169) prevén normas específicas sobre los requisitos que ha de cumplir el etiquetado de los productos. Así pues, los productos originarios de Marruecos importados en la Unión no pueden diferenciarse por territorios.

Por lo general, en el marco de la normativa de la UE vigente, el etiquetado de origen es voluntario, a menos que su omisión pueda inducir a error al consumidor. Es obligatorio, sin embargo, en el caso de determinados productos alimenticios regulados por una normativa específica, como la miel, las frutas y hortalizas, los productos de la pesca, la carne de vacuno y los productos a base de carne de vacuno, el aceite de oliva, el vino, los huevos, la carne de aves de corral importada y las bebidas espirituosas.

El Acuerdo de asociación crea organismos oficiales para que efectúen el seguimiento de la aplicación del Acuerdo. El 28 de febrero de 2013, en el marco del subcomité de agricultura y pesca establecido por el Acuerdo de asociación, la Comisión solicitó información sobre todos los ámbitos pertinentes de la aplicación del Acuerdo.

Siempre que se respete la normativa de la UE, no existe motivo alguno para que la Comisión imponga sanciones a las empresas de la UE que importan productos agrícolas de Marruecos. La Comisión no ha recibido información alguna que indique que estas importaciones agrícolas no cumplen la normativa de la UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003971/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Export of Moroccan-labelled products from the Western Sahara

Four Swedish retail chains have stopped selling products from the occupied territories of the Western Sahara, and have condemned the marketing of Moroccan-labelled products from the area.

The Axfood, Coop, ICA and Bergendahls retail chains have expressed concern that purchasing ‘Made in Morocco’ products might breach international law. Morocco deliberately flouts international law and international labelling rules by unilaterally regarding products from the occupied territories as having been produced in Morocco. These violations of labelling and international trade regulations warrant sanctions against ‘Made in Morocco’ products.

The plundering of natural resources by Morocco in the territories of the Western Sahara cannot be tolerated by the European public. Allowing all Moroccan products access to European markets also allows goods produced in the Western Sahara to be imported.

Can the Commission ensure that, of all the ‘Made in Morocco’ products available on the European market, none is produced in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara and falsely labelled as Moroccan?

Is the Commission monitoring European companies that import agricultural goods produced in the occupied territories of the Western Sahara, in order to ensure proper traceability in terms of their production?

Does the Commission plan to demand sanctions against products falsely labelled as Moroccan, or to ban them from being imported until Morocco complies with international labelling rules?

Does the Commission take the view that there may be instances of unfair competition if some retail chains place products from the occupied territories on to the European market? What action does it plan to take to ensure that such products are not imported?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2013)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-6205/2012.

Neither the Association Agreement (170), nor the Agriculture Agreement (171) foresees any specific rules regarding requirements as to the labelling of products. Products originating in Morocco and imported into the Union can thus not be differentiated on a territorial basis.

In general, under current EU legislation origin labelling is voluntary unless its omission would mislead consumers. It is, however, mandatory for certain foods such as honey, fruit and vegetables, fish, beef and beef products, olive oil, wine, eggs, imported poultry and spirits drinks under product-specific legislation.

The Association Agreement establishes formal bodies that aim to ensure follow-up on the implementation of the Agreement. On 28 February 2013, in the framework of the agricultural and fisheries subcommittee established by the Association Agreement, the Commission requested information on all relevant areas of the implementation of the Agreement.

Provided EU legislation is respected, there are no grounds for the Commission to sanction EU companies that import agricultural products from Morocco. The Commission has not received any indication that these agricultural imports do not comply with the EU rules.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003972/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Comunicación del Consejo de Europa relativa a Salud Ambiental

Debido a la proliferación y nueva detección de numerosas enfermedades relacionadas con las condiciones ambientales y la presencia de determinadas sustancias químicas en el ambiente urge adoptar medidas a nivel europeo para la protección de este tipo de enfermos.

Las cantidades permitidas de sustancias químicas tóxicas, ondas electromagnéticas, etc. no son suficientemente estrictas para la protección de todos los enfermos europeos. Las personas afectadas por la Sensibilidad Química Múltiple, Hipersensibilidad Electromagnética y otros trastornos parecidos sufren una completa indefensión por parte de las autoridades de los Estados miembros que no reconocen su enfermedad. En la reciente comunicación del Consejo de Europa titulada Environment health: better prevention of environment-related health hazards del pasado 20 de enero, se establece en el punto 14.13 de las conclusiones que: improve provision, by better reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic expenses, for persons suffering from illnesses associated with the environment, who often face major protracted suffering involving high personal costs.

¿De qué forma plantea la Comisión llevar a cabo estas recomendaciones para mejorar la calidad de vida de los afectados por enfermedades relacionadas con el medio ambiente? Teniendo en cuenta la existencia de tratamientos experimentales para enfermedades como la Sensibilidad Química Múltiple o la Hipersensibilidad Electromagnética ¿considera necesario legislar para implementar las citadas recomendaciones y garantizar el tratamiento y la protección de las personas que sufren estas enfermedades?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de junio de 2013)

El establecimiento de una normativa reguladora del reembolso de los gastos que tienen que soportar por las pruebas de diagnóstico y por las terapias las personas afectadas por enfermedades relacionadas con el medio ambiente es responsabilidad exclusiva de los Estados miembros. La Comisión no tiene competencias para proponer ninguna legislación europea que permita conseguir un mayor reembolso de los gastos que tienen que soportar por las pruebas de diagnóstico y por las terapias las personas afectadas de enfermedades relacionadas con el medio ambiente tal como recomienda el Consejo Europeo.

Ahora bien, la UE sí cuenta con una legislación muy completa, que protege a los ciudadanos de cualquier riesgo que entrañe el medio ambiente. Concretamente, el Reglamento (CE) n° 1907/2006 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 18 de diciembre de  2006, relativo al registro, la evaluación, la autorización y la restricción de las sustancias y preparados químicos (REACH) (172), tiene por objeto garantizar un alto nivel de protección de la salud humana y del medio ambiente mediante la obtención de información sobre las propiedades y los usos de las sustancias químicas que se introducen en el mercado de la UE y mediante la posibilidad de que las autoridades públicas nacionales y europeas adopten medidas para garantizar un adecuado control de los riesgos que presentan dichas sustancias.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003972/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Council of Europe report on environmental health

In view of the proliferation and recent discovery of a large number of illnesses related to environmental conditions and the presence of certain chemicals in the environment, steps need to be taken urgently at EU level to protect people suffering from these illnesses.

The permitted levels of toxic chemicals, electromagnetic waves, etc. are not strict enough to protect all European citizens living with these illnesses. People suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and other similar disorders are left completely helpless by the authorities of the Member States, which do not recognise their illness. The recent Council of Europe report entitled Environment and health: better prevention of environment-related health hazards, published on 20 January 2009, establishes, in point 14.13 of the conclusions, the need to ‘improve provision, by better reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic expenses, for persons suffering from illnesses associated with the environment, who often face major protracted suffering involving high personal costs.’

How does the Commission intend to implement these recommendations to improve the quality of life of people suffering from environment-related illnesses? Given the existence of experimental treatments for illnesses such as multiple chemical sensitivity and electromagnetic hypersensitivity, does it think it should legislate to implement these recommendations and ensure the protection and treatment of people suffering from these illnesses?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2013)

Responsibility for determining the rules governing reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic expenses, including for persons suffering from illnesses associated with the environment, is the exclusive responsibility of the Member States. In this context, the Commission cannot propose EU legislation to secure better reimbursement of diagnostic and therapeutic expenses for persons suffering from illnesses associated with the environment, as recommended by the Council or Europe.

The EU does however have comprehensive legislation to protect people from environmental hazards. In particular, the regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) (173) aims at ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment, via the generation of information on the properties and uses of the chemical substances which are placed on the EU market, and the possibility for national and European public authorities to adopt measures to ensure a proper control of the risks of these substances.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003973/13

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Expulsión de una ciudadana panameña transexual

La Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) y la Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (FELGTB) han denunciado la deportación por parte del Ministerio del Interior de una ciudadana panameña de 29 años que desde los 13 es víctima de agresiones sexuales y maltrato policial en su país por ser transexual. Llegó a Madrid el día 7 de marzo, intentando huir de una persecución, y solicitó protección internacional.

Pese a que la Ley de Asilo 12/2009 recoge específicamente el supuesto de persecución por identidad sexual, a pesar de contar con un informe favorable del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), a pesar de encontrarnos en la fase de admisión a trámite, donde no es exigible indicio probatorio alguno, el Ministerio del Interior español denegó su petición. El pasado día 14 de marzo la ciudadana panameña fue expulsada del Estado español.

CEAR y FELGTB denuncian que la denegación de este caso no es un hecho aislado, sino una práctica seguida por el Ministerio del Interior. La persecución por naturaleza sexual y por motivos de género no está siendo tenida en cuenta en la práctica en la mayoría de las solicitudes que se presentan a España, pese a estar incorporada en la Ley de Asilo.

¿Qué opinión tiene la Comisión respecto a la denegación sistemática del derecho de asilo en España a personas perseguidas en sus países de origen por su orientación sexual?

¿Piensa llevar a cabo alguna acción ante el Gobierno español respecto al caso de la expulsión de esta ciudadana panameña?

Respuesta de la Sra. Malmström en nombre de la Comisión

(3 de junio de 2013)

Los Estados miembros tienen obligación de evaluar todas las solicitudes de protección internacional de acuerdo con las normas estipuladas por la UE y, en particular, en virtud de la Directiva relativa a los requisitos de asilo. Dicha Directiva contempla la posibilidad de conceder protección a personas que tengan fundados temores de ser perseguidas por motivo de pertenencia a un determinado grupo social. De acuerdo con la misma, en función de las circunstancias imperantes en el país de origen, podría incluirse en el concepto de grupo social un determinado grupo basado en una característica común de orientación sexual.

La Comisión no dispone de datos que indiquen que las autoridades españolas hayan aplicado incorrectamente el acervo de la UE en materia de asilo en ningún caso particular. Sin embargo, la Comisión se pondrá en contacto con las organizaciones a las que se refiere Su Señoría y, si resulta necesario, planteará el asunto ante las autoridades españolas. La Comisión hace un continuo seguimiento de la correcta aplicación del acervo de la UE en materia de asilo, también en este ámbito concreto, y adoptará las medidas oportunas en caso de que existan pruebas de una aplicación incorrecta de la legislación.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003973/13

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Deportation of a transsexual Panamanian national

The Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) and the Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB) have condemned the deportation by the Ministry of the Interior of a 29-year-old Panamanian national who, since the age of 13, has suffered sexual assaults and police brutality in her home country for being transsexual. She arrived in Madrid on 7 March 2013, seeking to escape persecution, and applied for international protection.

Although Asylum Law No 12/2009 specifically includes the case of persecution due to sexual identity, and despite the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) having made a favourable report and the Panamanian’s case being at the admissibility stage — at which point no evidence is required — the Spanish Ministry of the Interior rejected her application. On 14 March 2013, this Panamanian national was deported from Spain.

CEAR and FELGTB claim that this rejection is not an isolated incident, but standard practice of the Ministry of the Interior. Persecution due to sexual orientation and for reasons of gender is, in practice, not taken into account in most applications submitted to the Spanish authorities, despite being covered by the Asylum Law.

What view does the Commission take of individuals persecuted in their home countries because of their sexual orientation being systematically denied the right of asylum in Spain?

Will it take any action against the Spanish Government over the deportation of this Panamanian national?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2013)

Member States are required to assess all applications for international protection in line with the standards set out in EC law, and in particular with the Asylum Qualification Directive. The directive foresees the possibility of protection being granted to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on the ground of their membership of a particular social group. According to the directive, depending on the circumstances in the country of origin, a particular social group might include a group based on a common characteristic of sexual orientation.

The Commission is not in possession of information indicating that the Spanish authorities have failed to properly apply the EU acquis on asylum in any particular case. However, the Commission will take contact with the organisations referred to by the Honourable Member and, if appropriate, will take the matter up with the Spanish authorities. The Commission continuously monitors the correct implementation of the EU acquis on asylum, including in this area, and will take the appropriate steps in case of evidence of an incorrect implementation of the law.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003974/13

to the Commission

Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Local authority-owned power generation

I have been contacted by one of my constituents in Aberdeen, Scotland, who would like to see local authority-owned companies expand and supply their services to a wider range of public bodies within Aberdeen. Under current EU legislation and the ‘Teckal Test’, a local business is unable to expand beyond Aberdeen City Council properties.

The creation of a local authority-owned power generation scheme has brought down the cost of energy for Aberdeen City Council tenants and for the local authority. The cost of further infrastructure work would be greatly reduced if it was able to supply heat and power to a greater range of public bodies.

1.

Has the Commission looked recently at the use of local authority-owned power generation?

2.

Will the Commission consider changing public procurement regulations to allow public bodies to supply heat and power to other public bodies?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

1.

The decision whether electricity is generated at local level and whether generation capacity is owned by public or by private bodies falls within the competence of Member States. The Commission has not undertaken any assessment on the use of local authority-owned power generation.

2.

In 2011 the Commission adopted three proposals for directives in relation to public procurement and concessions

2.

In 2011 the Commission adopted three proposals for directives in relation to public procurement and concessions

 (174). These proposals contain provisions which allow for the cooperation between public authorities under certain conditions pursuant to which the contracts will not be subject to the competitive tendering and transparency requirements of those directives.

In the utilities sector, contracting entities are often organised as an economic group where members have a specialized role in the context of the group and mainly operate with each other. This justifies the exclusion of certain public contracts and concessions awarded to the members of the group from the scope of those Directives.

In liberalised markets such as for gas and electricity services are provided by an entity such as a local authorities-owned power generation undertaking to end users on the basis of individual contracts and not on public contracts or concessions. Hence, those services shall not be considered as services provided to the public authorities themselves for the purpose of determining whether the essential part of the undertaking’s activity is directed to the cooperating authorities.

The three proposals are currently under negotiation between the European Parliament and the Council, and aim overall at giving more legal certainty to different types of cooperation between local authorities as described above.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003975/13

à la Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(9 avril 2013)

Objet: Paiements pour services écosystémiques au sein de l'Union

L'évaluation économique des services écosystémiques permet de quantifier les bénéfices économiques retirés de la nature et de la biodiversité.

Les systèmes de «paiements pour services écosystémiques» (PSE) permettent, dans une logique d'incitation, le maintien de ces services. Aux États-Unis par exemple, de plus en plus d'arboriculteurs rémunèrent des apiculteurs jusqu'à l'équivalent de 100 euros par ruche en période de floraison pour les services qu'elles rendent en termes de pollinisation.

Autre exemple, un bon entretien de la forêt contribue au maintien d'une bonne qualité de l'eau et des sols. Or, ce service rendu, tout comme d'autres, n'est pas pris en compte de manière traditionnelle sur le marché. Cela n'incite pas à entretenir nos forêts et, partant, les services qu'elles rendent, vu les coûts engendrés. Les PSE pourraient contribuer à concilier enjeux de développement économique et de conservation.

La proposition de 7e programme d'action pour l'environnement de l'Union prévoit de favoriser la conception et la mise en place de systèmes de paiement pour les services environnementaux.

Cependant, il n'existe pas à ce jour de système harmonisé de calcul et de rémunération des services écosystémiques au sein de l'Union.

Dans le cadre européen et international, la Commission pourrait-elle faire état de ses réflexions et de ses éventuels projets en la matière?

Réponse donnée par M. Potočnik au nom de la Commission

(27 mai 2013)

Les paiements pour les services écosystémiques sont présentés dans plusieurs documents d'orientation de l'UE (175) comme un instrument en faveur de la conservation de la biodiversité.

Les paiements pour les services écosystémiques ont été intégrés dans la politique agricole commune (PAC) il y a plus de vingt ans, sous la forme de mesures agroenvironnementales. Ils continueront de faire partie intégrante de la PAC, qui prévoit des mesures agroenvironnementales et climatiques mais aussi un nouveau paiement en faveur de l'écologisation (176) dans le cadre du premier pilier. Dans ce contexte, la Commission lance actuellement, pour le compte du Parlement européen, un projet pilote sur la protection de la biodiversité, dans le cadre de régimes de paiements agroenvironnementaux fondés sur les résultats.

Dans une étude récente (177), les paiements pour les services écosystémiques sont considérés comme une source potentiellement importante de financement du secteur privé pour la protection de la biodiversité. La Commission a lancé deux études supplémentaires, qui s'achèveront d'ici à la fin 2013. Celles-ci portent sur les besoins de financement et les instruments nécessaires pour atteindre l'objectif 2 de la stratégie en faveur de la diversité biologique, et sur la mise au point d'un cadre de hiérarchisation pour une restauration de la biodiversité, qui permettra d'obtenir des informations supplémentaires sur le rôle potentiel des paiements pour les services écosystémiques au niveau de l'UE et au niveau national.

En outre, la Commission européenne étudie actuellement, avec la Banque européenne d'investissement, la possibilité d'établir un mécanisme de soutien à l'investissement dans les régimes de paiements pour les services écosystémiques, parmi d'autres projets liés au patrimoine naturel.

Enfin, la Commission européenne soutient les mécanismes de financement innovants, dont les paiements pour les services écosystémiques, dans le cadre de la convention sur la diversité biologique. La Commission a également encouragé, ces trois dernières années, un dialogue international avec le gouvernement brésilien sur les paiements pour les services écosystémiques. La Commission étudiera la possibilité d'entamer des dialogues de ce type avec d'autres pays partenaires.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003975/13

to the Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Payments for ecosystem services in the EU

The economic valuation of ecosystem services enables the economic benefits derived from nature and biodiversity to be quantified.

‘Payment for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes enable these services to be maintained, based on an incentive rationale. In the United States, for example, increasing numbers of fruit farmers pay beekeepers up to the equivalent of EUR 100 per hive during the flowering period for the services the hives provide in terms of pollination.

Another example is that good forest upkeep helps maintain good water and soil quality. Like other services rendered, however, this service is not taken into account on the market in the traditional way. This does not encourage the upkeep of our forests and, consequently, the services they provide, given the costs involved. PESs could help reconcile the challenges of economic development with those of conservation.

The proposed seventh EU Environment Action Programme aims to promote the design and implementation of payment systems for environmental services.

However, there is currently no harmonised system to calculate and pay for ecosystem services in the EU.

In a European and international context, could the Commission share its ideas and report on any projects in this area?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(27 May 2013)

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are highlighted as a tool for biodiversity conservation in a number of EU policy papers (178).

PES have been integrated into the common agricultural policy (CAP) in the form of agri-environmental measures for over 20 years. PES will continue to be part of the CAP via agri-environment-climate measures but also the new greening payment (179) under the first pillar. In that context, the Commission is launching a pilot project on behalf of the European Parliament on the protection of biodiversity through result-based agri-environmental payment schemes.

In a recent study (180), PES were identified as a potentially important source of private sector financing for biodiversity protection. The Commission is undertaking two additional studies to be completed by end 2013, on financing needs and instruments to meet Target 2 of the Biodiversity Strategy and on the development of a restoration prioritisation framework, which will provide further information on the potential role of PES at EU and national level.

In addition, the European Commission is currently exploring with the European Investment Bank the possibility of establishing a Facility to support investments in PES schemes, amongst other natural capital-related projects.

Finally, the European Commission is promoting innovative financing mechanisms, including PES, in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Commission has also been supporting for the past three years an international dialogue on PES with the Brazilian government. The Commission will be exploring the potential for such dialogues with other partner countries.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003976/13

alla Commissione

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(9 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Programma Operativo Regionale 2007-2013 per la Romania

Conformemente a quanto dichiarato nel bando del Programma Operativo Regionale 2007-2013 per la Romania, riguardante l'asse prioritario di crescita, sviluppo e modernizzazione di infrastrutture di turismo per la valorizzazione delle risorse naturali e la crescita della qualità dei servizi turistici all'interno dell'Unione;

considerato che obiettivo del suddetto bando è la promozione di partenariati tra enti pubblici e privati, all'interno di direttive operative promosse dall'Unione, attraverso la messa a disposizione di fondi specifici per il raggiungimento di tali obiettivi da parte della Romania;

considerato che in questi ultimi mesi la Commissione europea è intervenuta relativamente ai fondi con sospensioni di pagamento per verifiche, intervenendo più approfonditamente per controllare come i fondi siano stati distribuiti e come in futuro s'intenda procedere per l'assegnazione del bando del Programma Operativo Regionale 2007-2013 per la Romania;

alla luce del fatto che è stata più volte posta alla mia attenzione, nella mia qualità di eurodeputato, la disparità riscontrata all'interno dei diversi Stati membri, per le aziende con capitale sociale italiano insediate in Romania, per quanto riguarda l'accesso alle informazioni relative e la presentazione delle domande per il suddetto bando;

considerato che le politiche europee mirano all'armonizzazione del settore in ambito comunitario e che il bando in oggetto è a deposizione continua, ma che dopo soli due mesi dall'apertura il deposito è stato sospeso per esaurimento fondi; considerato inoltre che non si spiega come abbiano fatto società rumene a presentare progetti a tempo di record in concomitanza dell'apertura del bando e i depositi siano stati tutti ampiamente autorizzati;

considerato inoltre che i principi fondativi dell'Unione riguardo alla libera circolazione di persone e capitali e all'armonizzazione del diritto comunitario tra gli Stati membri sulla gestione d'impresa non sono stati assolutamente recepiti dalla legislazione rumena, e che tale ritardo è di grande ostacolo al progresso economico e sociale;

tutto ciò premesso, voglia la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

reputa la Commissione che sia necessaria la nascita di una commissione d'inchiesta per valutare la regolare assegnazione dei fondi messi a disposizione dall'UE attraverso i suoi bandi?

reputa che sia auspicabile un maggior controllo nella stipula dei bandi stessi?

reputa che sia auspicabile una revisione dei criteri di scelta per l'assegnazione dei fondi europei attraverso i bandi?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(23 maggio 2013)

1.

Alla Commissione non è stata segnalata nessuna irregolarità che richieda un'indagine. Le regole per lo stanziamento di finanziamenti sono fissate dagli Stati membri. Stando alle informazioni ottenute dalla Commissione, le autorità rumene hanno pubblicato i bandi in linea con gli stanziamenti previsti per gli interventi e per le regioni interessati. In alcune regioni erano ancora disponibili fondi; pertanto sono stati rilanciati gli inviti e la procedura è ancora in corso.

2.

Spetta al comitato di sorveglianza considerare e approvare i criteri per la selezione dei progetti cofinanziati dai Fondi strutturali. L'autorità di gestione assicura che i progetti siano selezionati conformemente a tali criteri e che rispettino le regole stabilite. Né dalle relazioni annuali di controllo né dal parere annuale dell'autorità di audit emergono prove che indichino gravi carenze in proposito o una mancata ottemperanza ai regolamenti applicabili.

3.

Il comitato di sorveglianza può approvare eventuali revisioni dei criteri di selezione conformemente ai bisogni di programmazione. Finora, non si è registrata nessuna esigenza di modificare i criteri di selezione. La Commissione ritiene che per determinare l'ammissibilità dei candidati non siano stati applicati fattori di discriminazione che impedissero la partecipazione di imprese a capitale straniero.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003976/13

to the Commission

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 for Romania

The priority of the call for proposals for the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 for Romania is the growth, development and modernisation of the tourism infrastructure in order to enhance natural resources and raise the quality of tourism services within the Union.

The objective of the above call is to promote partnerships between public and private institutions, within the operational guidelines promoted by the EU, by providing specific funds to help Romania achieve these objectives.

In recent months, the Commission has suspended payment of those funds pending investigations, looking in greater detail at how these funds were distributed and how to proceed in future when awarding tenders under the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 for Romania.

It has been repeatedly been brought to my attention, in my capacity as an MEP, that there is disparity within several Member States for Italian-owned companies based in Romania, with regard to access to information on and submission of applications for this call for proposals.

EU policies aim to harmonise the sector within the EU and the call for proposals in question is always open, but only two months after opening it was suspended due to funds being exhausted. There is no good explanation as to how Romanian companies managed to present projects in record time as soon as the call was published and as to how all submissions were fully authorised.

The founding principles of the Union relating to the free movement of people and capital, and the harmonisation of EC law among Member States on business management have not been integrated at all into the Romanian legal system, and the delay in doing this is a major obstacle to economic and social progress.

1.

Does the Commission think a commission of inquiry needs to be set up to assess the regular allocation of funds provided by the EU through its calls?

2.

Does it consider it desirable to exercise greater control when drawing up the calls themselves?

3.

Does it consider it desirable to review the selection criteria for allocating European funds through calls?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2013)

1.

The Commission has no indication of any irregularity which would need an inquiry. The rules for allocating funding are set by the Member States. According to the information obtained by the Commission, the Romanian authorities launched the calls in line with the earmarked allocations for the interventions and the regions concerned. Funding was still available in some regions, and therefore calls have been re-launched and are still ongoing.

2.

It is the task of the Monitoring Committee to consider and approve the criteria for selecting projects co-financed by the Structural Funds. The managing authority ensures that projects are selected in accordance with the criteria and that they comply with the rules. Neither the annual control reports nor the annual opinion of the audit authority indicated evidence of a serious deficiency in this regard or of a non-compliance with the applicable regulations.

3.

The Monitoring Committee may approve any revision of selection criteria in accordance with programming needs. So far, there has been no specific need to amend the selection criteria. The Commission considers that no discriminatory factors preventing the participation of foreign-capital owned companies were applied in assessing the eligibility of applicants.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003977/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Intimidación a una delegación política española en la Franja de Gaza

Durante la primera semana del mes de abril se desplazó a la Franja de Gaza una delegación con diferentes cargos públicos y militantes de Izquierda Unida, entre ellos el diputado al PE Willy Meyer, para conocer de primera mano la situación en la que se encuentra la población de Gaza tras la última ofensiva del ejército de Israel.

La delegación mantuvo contactos con diferentes organizaciones políticas palestinas y con ONG que operan en la zona. El objetivo de la delegación era dar voz y visibilidad a la situación de la población de Gaza y denunciar el bloqueo criminal al que se está sometiendo a la Franja. En la Franja habitan más de un millón de personas que se encuentran bajo un aislamiento político internacional que Israel impone unilateralmente, violando el Derecho Internacional pero con el beneplácito de importantes bloques políticos, entre ellos la propia Unión Europea.

La delegación española ejerció durante su visita como escudo humano para proteger la actividad de campesinos palestinos que son hostigados a diario por el ejército israelí. Disparar a los civiles mientras cultivan o salen a pescar es una actividad habitual en los puestos fronterizos israelíes, y la comunidad internacional no se da por enterada. Esta delegación ha confirmado la beligerante actitud del ejército israelí contra la población civil de la Franja, compartiendo testimonios y siendo testigos de los riesgos que la población civil debe soportar a diario para ejercer su actividad normal. La delegación se acercó a menos de 300 metros de las vallas fronterizas para permitir a los campesinos recoger su cosecha y los soldados israelíes dispararon a cinco metros de la delegación claramente desarmada para intimidarla.

El Gobierno de Israel está masacrando a la población palestina a su antojo y no atiende a ningún tipo de mediación pacífica. Esta delegación política nos ha brindado el ejemplo de la actitud violenta y beligerante de Israel, que no se detiene ante nadie.

¿Exigirá responsabilidades la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante a la diplomacia israelí por los actos de intimidación y hostigamiento a la citada delegación pacífica? ¿Considera que una delegación de representantes políticos de un Estado miembro de la UE puede ser recibida a balazos en un lugar donde Israel debería carecer de competencias? ¿Exigirá la inmediata congelación del Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel como medida de presión para que se respete a las delegaciones internacionales pacíficas y para el cumplimiento de los derechos humanos y del Derecho Internacional?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(17 de junio de 2013)

La AR/VP está de acuerdo con la afirmación de que «el Gobierno israelí esté masacrando a la población palestina a su antojo». Además, la AR/VP está firmemente comprometida con las dos partes del conflicto israelo-palestino para garantizar el retorno a unas negociaciones de fondo. La AR/VP ha pedido al Jefe de Delegación de la UE ante el Estado de Israel que solicite aclaraciones sobre el incidente específico planteado en esta pregunta en lo que respecta a la delegación española que visitó la Franja de Gaza. La posición de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta respecto a la posibilidad de congelar el Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel fue expuesta en la respuesta a la anterior pregunta escrita E-010294/2011 (181).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003977/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Intimidation of a Spanish political delegation in the Gaza Strip

During the first week of April, a delegation of several officials and activists from the United Left, including MEP Willy Meyer, travelled to the Gaza Strip to learn first-hand about the situation of the population in Gaza following the Israeli armed forces’ latest offensive.

The delegation met with several Palestinian political organisations and non-governmental organisations that operate in the area. The delegation’s aim was to raise awareness and the profile of the situation of the people in Gaza, and to condemn the illegal blockade of Gaza. Over one million people live in the Gaza Strip in a state of international political isolation that is unilaterally imposed by Israel, in breach of international law but with the endorsement of major political blocs, including the European Union itself.

During its visit, the Spanish delegation served as a human shield to protect Palestinian farmers, who are harassed on a daily basis by the Israeli armed forces, as they worked. At Israeli border posts, civilians are routinely fired upon as they are farming or fishing, but the international community fails to acknowledge this. This delegation has confirmed the belligerent attitude of the Israeli armed forces towards the civilian population of the Gaza Strip. The delegation heard about and witnessed the risks that civilians must endure every day in order to go about their normal business. The delegation came within less than 300 metres of the border fence in order to allow farmers to gather their harvest, and Israeli soldiers fired shots just five metres away from the clearly unarmed delegation in order to intimidate its members.

The Israeli Government is massacring the Palestinian population at will and is not interested in any kind of peace mediation. This political delegation has provided us with an example of Israel’s violent, belligerent attitude: Israel stops for no one.

Will the Vice-President/High Representative call Israeli diplomats to account for the acts of intimidation and harassment committed against this peaceful delegation? Does she think that a delegation of political representatives from an EU Member State should be welcomed with gunfire in a place where Israel has no jurisdiction? Will she demand the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, as a way of exerting pressure to encourage respect for peaceful international delegations, as well as respect for human rights and international law?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2013)

The HR/VP does not accept the suggestion that ‘the Israeli Government is massacring the Palestinian population at will’. The HR/VP is also closely engaged with both parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to ensure a return to substantive negotiations. The HR/VP has asked the EU Head of Delegation to the State of Israel to seek clarifications concerning the specific incident raised in the question in relation to the Spanish delegation that visited the Gaza Strip. The HR/VP's position with regard to the possibility of freezing the EU-Israel Association Agreement was set out in the reply to previous Written Question E‐010294/2011 (182).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003978/13

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Filtración de lista de paraísos fiscales ICIJ

Según ha publicado el Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación (ICIJ por sus siglas en inglés), se ha producido una filtración que destapa la identidad de miles de cuentas en paraísos fiscales de todo el mundo. En dicha lista, habría multitud de ciudadanos y ciudadanas europeos afectados. En el caso de otras filtraciones recientes, como el de la famosa «Lista de Liechtenstein» o la «Lista de Falciani», países como Alemania y Francia tuvieron reacciones contundentes al investigar los casos de evasión fiscal. Dichas actuaciones contrastaron con la respuesta de otros Estados, como es el caso del Estado español que se caracterizó en ambos casos por una respuesta débil y permisiva, a pesar de tener también a ciudadanos afectados en ambas listas. Teniendo en cuenta que el pasado 6 de diciembre la Comisión presentó un plan de lucha contra la evasión y la elusión fiscales que «prevé la adopción en la EU —más allá de las medidas internacionales actuales— de una posición de fuerza contra los paraísos fiscales». En el Consejo Europeo de marzo de 2012, los Estados miembros pidieron a la Comisión que estableciera con rapidez medios concretos para mejorar la lucha contra el fraude y la evasión fiscales, en relación también con terceros países.

¿Tiene conocimiento la Comisión de una nueva lista de «usuarios» de paraísos fiscales?

¿Piensa realizar alguna acción ante las personas que utilicen paraísos fiscales para eludir sus obligaciones fiscales y legales?

Respuesta del Sr. Šemeta en nombre de la Comisión

(28 de junio de 2013)

La Comisión está al corriente de las recientes filtraciones sobre depósitos en paraísos fiscales (offshore leaks), pero no tiene acceso a los datos correspondientes. En sus Conclusiones de 14 de mayo de 2013, el Consejo Ecofin tomó nota de la intención de la Presidencia irlandesa de dirigirse por escrito al Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación para solicitarle que facilite a los Estados miembros a través de las autoridades competentes los nombres y los datos de todos los ciudadanos de la UE que figuren en la lista de depositantes en paraísos fiscales. Ese Consorcio se ha negado a hacerlo hasta ahora. La Comisión reconoce desde hace mucho tiempo la importancia de los mecanismos transfronterizos y de los paraísos fiscales para ocultar la renta y los activos imponibles y ha actuado en consecuencia. La adopción de la Directiva sobre el ahorro en 2003, incluidos los acuerdos relacionados con jurisdicciones de fuera de la UE, y la Directiva de 2011 sobre la cooperación administrativa son los dos ejemplos significativos.

El 14 de mayo de 2013, el Consejo Ecofin aprobó un mandato para que la Comisión negociara modificaciones de los acuerdos de la Unión Europea con Suiza, Liechtenstein, Mónaco, Andorra y San Marino sobre la fiscalidad del rendimiento del ahorro. Además, el 22 de mayo de 2013, el Consejo Europeo reclamó que se adoptara la Directiva del ahorro revisada antes de acabar el año. Por último, la Comisión propuso el 12 de junio de 2013 enmiendas a la Directiva sobre la cooperación administrativa para que el intercambio automático de información en la EU abarcara una gama más amplia de rentas. Todo esto representa una importante contribución al debate internacional más amplio sobre la lucha contra el fraude y la evasión fiscales en que participan la OCDE, el G-20 y el G-8, foros en los que la Comisión seguirá fomentando decididamente el intercambio automático de información como la futura norma mundial en cuestiones fiscales.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003978/13

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists list of tax havens leaked

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a leak has identified the holders of thousands of accounts in tax havens around the world. Many European nationals are named on the list. In response to other recent leaks, such as the well-known ‘Liechtenstein list’ or the ‘Falciani list’, countries like Germany and France took decisive action by investigating cases of tax evasion. Such action stood in contrast to the response taken by other Member States, such as Spain. There, the response in both cases was feeble and lenient, even though Spanish nationals also appeared on both lists. On 6 December 2012, the Commission presented a plan to clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance, which ‘foresees a strong EU stance against tax havens, going beyond the current international measures.’ At the European Council of March 2012, the Member States called on the Commission to rapidly develop concrete measures to step up the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion, including in relation to third countries.

Is the Commission aware of a new list of tax haven ‘users’?

Does it plan to take any action against those who use tax havens to avoid their tax and legal obligations?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(28 June 2013)

The Commission is aware of the recent ‘offshore leaks’ affair, but it does not have access to the related data. The Ecofin Council in its Conclusions of 14 May 2013 noted the Irish Presidency's intention to write to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) asking them to supply Member States through the relevant competent authorities with the names and details regarding all EU citizens on the ‘offshore leaks’ list. So far the ICIJ has refused this. The Commission has long recognised the significance of cross-border and offshore arrangements in concealing taxable income and assets and acted accordingly. The adoption of the Savings Directive in 2003 — including related agreements with non-EU jurisdictions — and the Administrative Cooperation Directive of 2011 are two main examples.

On 14 May 2013 the Ecofin Council approved a mandate for the Commission to negotiate amendments to the EU's agreements with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino on the taxation of savings income. In addition, on 22 May 2013 the European Council called for the adoption of the revised Savings Directive before the end of the year. Finally on 12 June 2013, the Commission proposed amendments to the directive on administrative cooperation in order for the automatic exchange of information in the EU to cover a wider range of income. These represent important contributions to the wider international debate on tackling tax fraud and evasion involving the OECD, the G20 and the G8, where the Commission will continue to strongly promote the automatic exchange of information as the future global standard in tax matters.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003979/13

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Variaciones en las cifras de la devolución del IVA

En una nota de prensa con fecha del pasado 12 de marzo, el ministro de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas español explicó que se había cumplido el objetivo de ingresos tributarios para 2012 y afirmaba que «la recaudación tributaria alcanzó los 168 567 millones de euros. Ello supone un incremento del 4,2 % (6 807 millones de euros) sobre el ejercicio anterior». En la misma nota se afirma que «los ingresos por IVA crecieron en 2012 un 2,4 % (1 162 millones) hasta 50 464 millones de euros. Los dos factores que explican este crecimiento son el impacto de la subida de tipos en septiembre (valorada en 2 441 millones) y la disminución de las devoluciones». Según los números que muestran los informes mensuales de recaudación de la Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), la recaudación bruta por IVA ha bajado de 75 759,05 millones euros en 2011 a 74 174,43 millones de euros en 2012, es decir un descenso en la recaudación bruta durante 2012 de 1 584,62 millones de euros. Por el contrario, las devoluciones de IVA han bajado en 2012 a 23 710,93 millones de euros, mientras que en 2011 fueron de 26 457,06 millones de euros. Es decir, durante 2012 las devoluciones fueron 2 746,13 millones de euros menores en 2011. Se observa un comportamiento similar en las devoluciones del Impuesto sobre Sociedades. Estas cifras podrían deberse a una manipulación de las cifras del déficit de 2012 que tendría como consecuencia una importante pérdida de recaudación en 2013.

¿Tiene la Comisión alguna información sobre el motivo de estas elevadas diferencias en las bajas cifras de las devoluciones del Impuesto de Sociedades y del IVA de finales de 2012 respecto a las elevadas cifras del primer mes de 2013?

¿Comparte la Comisión la opinión generalizada de que estas diferencias se deben a un maquillaje en las cifras del déficit?

¿Qué explicación tiene la Comisión para el descenso de la recaudación bruta acumulada por IVA durante el 2012 respecto a la recaudación total de 2011 a pesar del incremento de tipos del año pasado?

Respuesta del Sr. Šemeta en nombre de la Comisión

(27 de mayo de 2013)

Los datos publicados por la Agencia Tributaria española se registran de acuerdo con la contabilidad de caja, mientras que los datos que deben transmitirse a Eurostat a efectos de las cuentas nacionales y del procedimiento de déficit excesivo deben generarse según el principio de devengo. Los datos sobre 2012 que se facilitaron a Eurostat el 1 de abril de 2013 se han corregido y la parte de los reembolsos abonados en 2013, pero relativos al año anterior, se han trasferido de nuevo al ejercicio 2012 (con un impacto de -3 400 millones de euros).

1.

El cambio destacado en el patrón de las devoluciones de impuestos en 2012-2013 se debió al registro de las devoluciones tributarias según la contabilidad de caja (véase

supra

). La Comisión, sin embargo, ha acordado con las autoridades estadísticas españolas un nuevo método de cálculo de las devoluciones de impuestos.

2.

Debido a la contabilidad de caja de las devoluciones de impuestos, los retrasos en los pagos de dichas devoluciones pudieron desplazar el gasto público destinado a estos efectos de finales de 2012 a los primeros meses de 2013.

3.

El aumento extremadamente reducido de la recaudación por impuestos indirectos en 2012, incluido el IVA, a pesar del incremento de los tipos impositivos, parece deberse principalmente al comportamiento de las bases impositivas. El valor del consumo privado permaneció prácticamente invariable en 2012, mientras que las importaciones disminuyeron casi un 1 %. Los cambios en la composición del consumo, por ejemplo hacia bienes gravados a tipos reducidos, también pueden explicar esta evolución.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003979/13

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Changes in VAT refund figures

In a press release dated 12 March 2013, the Spanish Minister for Finance and Public Administration explained that the tax revenue target for 2012 had been met, stating that tax revenue totalled EUR 168.567 billion, up by 4.2% (EUR 6.807 billion) from the previous fiscal year. According to the same press release, VAT revenue grew by 2.4% (EUR 1.162 billion) in 2012 to EUR 50.464 billion. The two factors behind this growth were the effect of the rate increase in September (put at EUR 2.441 billion) and the decrease in refunds. According to the figures in the National Tax Office’s monthly revenue reports, gross VAT revenue fell from EUR 75.75905 billion in 2011 to EUR 74.17443 billion in 2012, representing a fall of EUR 1.58462 billion in gross revenue during 2012. However, VAT refunds fell to EUR 23.71093 billion in 2012, down from the 2011 figure of EUR 26.45706 billion. In other words, during 2012, refunds amounted to EUR 2.74613 billion less than in 2011. There was a similar trend in corporation tax refunds. These figures could be due to a manipulation of the 2012 deficit figures, which would lead to a significant loss of revenue in 2013.

Does the Commission have any information to explain these significant differences in the low figures for corporation tax and VAT refunds in late 2012, compared with the high figures for the first month of 2013?

Does the Commission share the general view that these differences are the result of an attempt to disguise the deficit figures?

How does the Commission explain the decline in cumulative gross VAT revenue during 2012, compared with the total revenue in 2011, in spite of the rate increase last year?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(27 May 2013)

Data published by the Spanish Tax Agency are recorded on a cash basis while data for the purposes of the national accounts and EDP reporting to Eurostat should be based on accrual data. The 2012 data reported to Eurostat on 1 April 2013 has been corrected and the part of the reimbursements paid in 2013, relating to 2012, have been moved back to the year 2012 (impact of ‐3.4 billion).

1.

The notable change in the pattern of tax reimbursement in 2012/2013 was due to the recording of tax refunds on a cash basis (see above). The Commission has however agreed with the Spanish statistical authorities on a revised method of calculation of tax refunds.

2.

Due to the cash recording of tax refunds, delays in the payments of tax refunds could shift the related government expenditure from end 2012 to the first months of 2013.

3.

The very weak growth of indirect taxes, including VAT, in 2012 — despite the increase in tax rates — seems to be mainly due to the behaviour of underlying tax bases. The value of private consumption remained almost unchanged in 2012, while imports decreased by almost 1%. Changes in the composition of consumption, for example towards goods taxed at reduced rates may also explain this development.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003980/13

an die Kommission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: „Germany in control of the antifraud service of Europe“

Presseberichten (Maltastar, 17. März 2013) und NewEurope (15. März 2013 und 7. April 2013) zufolge war das Amt für Betrugsbekämpfung OLAF unter dem früheren deutschen Generaldirektor „vollständig von Deutschland kontrolliert“.

1.

Wie sah diese Kontrolle Deutschlands aus?

2.

Welche Untersuchungen hat Deutschland angeblich beeinflusst? Wie?

3.

Was hat der Generaldirektor und der auch für die Unabhängigkeit des OLAF zuständige Kommissar unternommen, um die Unabhängigkeit der Untersuchungen zu sichern?

4.

Welche Informationen hatte der damalige Überwachungsausschuss?

5.

Wie kam der Überwachungsausschuss seiner Aufgabe nach, die Unabhängigkeit des Amtes zu sichern?

6.

Wie stellt die Kommission sicher, dass weder der Mitgliedstaat noch nationale Industrieinteressen die Untersuchungstätigkeit des OLAF-Generaldirektors beeinflussen?

7.

Wie viele deutsche AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2013 im OLAF?

8.

Wie viele deutsche AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2012 im OLAF?

9.

Wie viele deutsche AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2011 im OLAF?

10.

Wie viele deutsche AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2010 im OLAF?

11.

Wie viele italienische AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2013 im OLAF?

12.

Wie viele italienische AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2012 im OLAF?

13.

Wie viele italienische AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2011 im OLAF?

14.

Wie viele italienische AD-Mitarbeiter gab es zum 1. März 2010 im OLAF?

Antwort von Herrn Šemeta im Namen der Kommission

(7. Juni 2013)

1.-6. Das Europäische Amt für Betrugsbekämpfung (OLAF) übt die Untersuchungsbefugnisse in voller Unabhängigkeit aus (183). Bei der Wahrnehmung dieser Befugnisse fordert der Direktor des Amtes keine Anweisungen von der Kommission, einer Regierung oder einer anderen Institution oder einem Organ und nimmt auch keine Anweisungen von diesen entgegen (184). Die Kommission ist überzeugt, dass das OLAF nie der Kontrolle oder dem Einfluss eines Mitgliedstaates ausgesetzt gewesen ist. Um die Unabhängigkeit des Amtes sicherzustellen, führt der Überwachungsausschuss des OLAF regelmäßige Kontrollen der Untersuchungstätigkeit des OLAF durch (185).

Der Überwachungsausschuss wurde gemäß der Verordnung (EG) 1073/1999 stets unterrichtet. In seinen Stellungnahmen und Tätigkeitsberichten befasst er sich unter anderem mit dem Themenkomplex des Schutzes der Unabhängigkeit des OLAF.

7.-14. Von der Frau Abgeordneten erbetene Angaben:

Datum

Deutsche AD-Mitarbeiter

Italienische AD-Mitarbeiter

Doppelte Staatsangehörigkeit: Deutsch-italienische AD-Mitarbeiter

1.3.2010

17

21

1.3.2011

21

23

1.3.2012

18

25

1.3.2013

17

26

1

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003980/13

to the Commission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: ‘Germany in control of the antifraud service of Europe’

According to press reports (Maltastar, 17 March 2013 and NewEurope (15 March 2013 and 7 April 2013), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), was ‘completely controlled by Germany’ under the former German General Director.

1.

What was the nature of this German control?

2.

What investigations is Germany supposed to have influenced? How?

3.

What steps did the General Director and the Commissioner with responsibility for the independence of OLAF take to ensure the impartiality of investigations?

4.

What information was available to the Supervisory Committee at the time?

5.

How did the Supervisory Committee fulfil its duties in ensuring the independence of the office?

6.

How does the Commission ensure that neither the Member State nor national industrial interests influence the investigations by the General Director of OLAF?

7.

How many German AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2013?

8.

How many German AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2012?

9.

How many German AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2011?

10.

How many German AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2010?

11.

How many Italian AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2013?

12.

How many Italian AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2012?

13.

How many Italian AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2011?

14.

How many Italian AD staff did OLAF have on 1 March 2010?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

1-6. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) acts, while exercising its powers of investigation, in complete independence (186). In exercising these powers, the Director of the Office neither seeks nor takes instructions from the Commission, any government or any other institution or body (187). The Commission is confident that OLAF has never been under the control or influence of any Member State. In order to enforce the independence of the Office, OLAF is regularly monitored in its investigative function by the Supervisory Committee of OLAF (SC) (188).

The SC has always been provided with information as required by the regulation (EC) 1073/1999. The SC delivers opinions and activity reports which address inter alia the issue of safeguarding OLAF's independence.

7-14. The exact numbers the Honourable Member was requesting are the following:

Date

German AD category staff

Italian AD category staff

Dual nationality German/ Italian AD category staff

1.3.2010

17

21

1.3.2011

21

23

1.3.2012

18

25

1.3.2013

17

26

1

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-003981/13

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(9 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Stupro di gruppo ai danni di una minorenne: violazione dei diritti fondamentali e doppia vittimizzazione

Nell'aprile 2007, a Montalto di Castro (Viterbo), una ragazza allora minorenne (quindici anni) è stata stuprata per ore a turno da otto ragazzi, che all'epoca dei fatti avevano tra i 14 e i 17 anni.

Ad oggi, dopo oltre sei anni, il processo non è ancora concluso. Pochi giorni fa il Tribunale dei minori di Roma ha accolto la richiesta di una nuova messa in prova per gli otto ragazzi accusati di violenza, interrompendo così per l'ennesima volta la conclusione del lunghissimo iter processuale e relativa sentenza.

Già nel 2009 c'era stata una sospensione del processo in seguito alla decisione del Tribunale dei minori di concedere la prima messa in prova per due anni agli imputati, che avevano dichiarato di essere pentiti del reato compiuto. Nel 2010 la Corte di Cassazione aveva bloccato la messa in prova, facendo riprendere il processo. Lo stesso Ministro della Giustizia italiano è intervenuto sulla vicenda, che necessita quanto mai di chiarezza, anche perché dopo oltre 6 anni strazianti di offese e umiliazioni, a fronte dell'ennesima interruzione a favore del percorso di reinserimento sociale degli autori del reato, la ragazza ha espresso l'intenzione di non fare ricorso per evitare di affrontare ulteriori lungaggini burocratiche e processuali: non ha più la forza di combattere, vorrebbe solo dimenticare e rifarsi una vita. In base all'articolo 47 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'UE, ogni individuo, i cui diritti e le cui libertà garantiti dal diritto dell'Unione siano stati violati, ha diritto a un ricorso effettivo dinanzi a un giudice e ha diritto che la sua causa sia esaminata entro un termine ragionevole.

Considerando che è inaccettabile un iter così lungo per un processo di stupro di gruppo ai danni di una vittima minorenne e che queste lungaggini rappresentano una palese violazione dei diritti e della dignità umana,

può la Commissione chiarire:

cosa intende fare per sollecitare l'Italia ad una urgente trasposizione della direttiva 2012/29/UE che istituisce norme minime in materia di diritti, assistenza e protezione delle vittime di reato, anche al fine di ridurre al minimo le conseguenze negative di un reato, i rischi di vittimizzazione secondaria e ripetuta nonché la stigmatizzazione e l'onere che costituisce, per le vittime, l'interazione reiterata con gli organi di giustizia penale?

qual è lo stato del recepimento della direttiva nella legislazione degli Stati membri UE?

Risposta di Viviane Reding a nome della Commissione

(22 maggio 2013)

La Commissione garantisce il principio dell'equo processo nei procedimenti penali sia per gli imputati che per le vittime di reato.

La direttiva 2012/29/UE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 25 ottobre 2012, che istituisce norme minime in materia di diritti, assistenza e protezione delle vittime di reato è uno strumento giuridico importante per ridurre al minimo gli effetti negativi del reato e i rischi di vittimizzazione secondaria e ripetuta. Il termine per il recepimento è il 16 novembre 2015.

La Commissione assisterà attivamente tutti gli Stati membri, compresa l'Italia, affinché recepiscano questa direttiva nell'ordinamento nazionale entro i termini e nel modo più efficace. In tale contesto, nel 2013 si tengono i primi incontri tra esperti con gli Stati membri e con specialisti esterni per l'attuazione della direttiva.

Gli Stati membri hanno attuato, in varia misura, alcune disposizioni della direttiva basate sugli obblighi imposti dalla decisione quadro del 2001 relativa alla posizione della vittima nel procedimento penale (cfr. la relazione della Commissione del 2009 sullo stato di attuazione (189)). Tuttavia, la nuova direttiva contiene obblighi più specifici e più ampi che devono essere recepiti in tutti gli Stati membri. La Commissione è consapevole dei vantaggi di azioni coordinate tra gli Stati membri e pertanto, durante il periodo di recepimento, collaborerà a stretto contatto con una molteplicità di soggetti interessati, tra cui le autorità nazionali, gli operatori del settore, la società civile e il settore privato.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003981/13

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Gang rape of an underage girl: infringement of fundamental rights and double victimisation

In April 2007 in Montalto di Castro (Viterbo), a girl, who was underage at the time (15 years old), was raped for hours by eight boys in turn who at the time were aged between 14 and 17.

Today, after more than six years, the trial has not yet ended. A few days ago the Rome Juvenile Court accepted the request for the eight boys accused of violence to be placed once again on probation, thereby postponing, for the umpteenth time, the conclusion of the lengthy legal procedure and relevant judgment.

There had already been a stay of proceedings in 2009 following the decision by the Juvenile Court to grant the defendants an initial two-year probation period, given that they claimed that they regretted committing the crime. In 2010, the Court of Cassation suspended the probation and the proceedings resumed. Even the Italian Minister of Justice has intervened in this affair, which, at the very least, calls for clarity. Not least because, after over six years of harrowing insults and humiliation, after the umpteenth stay of proceedings for the benefit of the social reintegration of the offenders, the girl has expressed her intention not to appeal, in order to avoid having to deal with yet more red tape and never-ending proceedings — she no longer has the strength to fight and simply wants to forget and move on.

Under Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal and is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

What will it do to urge Italy to transpose, as a matter of urgency, Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, also in order to minimise the negative impact of a crime, the risks of secondary and repeated victimisation and stigmatisation, in addition to the burden placed on victims by repeated interaction with the criminal courts?

What is the current state of transposition of the directive into the national laws of the EU Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2013)

The Commission is committed to ensuring the fair trial principle in criminal proceedings for both the accused and the victims of crime.

The directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is an important legal tool in order to minimise the negative impact of a crime and the risks of secondary and repeated victimisation. The transposition deadline is 16 November 2015.

The Commission will actively assist all Member States, including Italy, to implement this directive into national legislation as effectively as possible by the deadline. In this context, the first experts meetings with Member States and external specialists on the implementation of the directive are taking place in 2013.

Member States have, to a varying degree, implemented some of the provisions in the directive based on the obligations in the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings (see the Commission's implementation report from 2009 (190)). However, the new Directive contains more specific and far-reaching obligations, which will require transposition by all Member States. The Commission is aware of the advantages of coordinated actions across the Member States and will therefore cooperate closely with a wide range of stakeholders, including national authorities, practitioners, civil society and the private sector during the transposition period.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita P-003982/13

a la Comisión

Carmen Fraga Estévez (PPE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Control de la seguridad alimentaria en las conservas procedentes de Tailandia

En 2012, la UE rechazó 19 partidas de importaciones de conservas de atún procedentes de Tailandia al detectar en sus controles de entrada de productos de terceros países que no cumplían la normativa higiénico-sanitaria por presentar un tratamiento térmico inadecuado, lo cual suponía en riesgo para la seguridad alimentaria del consumidor.

En relación con este problema, la solución tomada fue la de borrar únicamente a uno de los establecimientos que habían generado estas alertas del listado de establecimientos tailandeses autorizados a exportar a la Unión Europea, lo cual tuvo efectos a partir del 6 de noviembre de 2012.

Sin embargo, la página web de DG Sanco refleja que este establecimiento volverá a estar autorizado a partir del 27 de marzo de 2013. Es sorprendente la agilidad que este establecimiento ha tenido para identificar, analizar, corregir y solucionar el problema, así como la rapidez de la autoridad competente de Tailandia para verificar y auditar la solución, y volver a solicitar a las autoridades de la UE la reincorporación de esta empresa, con la consiguiente aceptación por parte de estas. Toda esta agilidad y rapidez contrasta con la lentitud de las autoridades tailandesas y de la UE en tomar alguna medida de prevención de la entrada de estas conservas al mercado comunitario, ya que, aunque el sistema de control de la Unión detectó este grave problema de salud pública en el mes de febrero, las autoridades de Tailandia autorizaron la salida de estos productos hasta el mes de octubre de 2012 al menos hasta en 19 ocasiones.

Por todo ello:

¿Puede la Comisión exponer qué controles y auditorías ha realizado en Tailandia para verificar que este grave problema ha sido solventado en un periodo de tiempo tan breve?

¿Puede garantizar por tanto la Comisión que no existe el riesgo de que dichos episodios se reproduzcan dado que está en juego algo tan importante como la seguridad alimentaria del consumidor comunitario?

A la vista de este grave precedente ¿puede la Comisión explicar cómo no ha sido considerado el sector pesquero de Tailandia como prioritario para la realización de una auditoría por parte de la FVO (DG Sanco) en 2013, dado que dicha inspección no está contemplada en el Plan de Auditorías para 2013, publicado en la página web de este organismo?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(17 de mayo de 2013)

La Comisión evaluó las condiciones de salud pública para la producción de productos de la pesca destinados a la exportación a la Unión en el transcurso de una auditoría en Tailandia efectuada entre el 5 y el 15 de septiembre de 2011. Además, en octubre de 2012 se realizó una investigación in situ y se valoró el problema del atún en conserva. Se llegó a la conclusión de que el problema de la industria conservera no consistía en un tratamiento térmico insuficiente, sino en una recontaminación limitada con bacterias mesófilas durante la refrigeración de las latas de conserva. Las autoridades competentes de Tailandia facilitaron a la Comisión las garantías requeridas, y esta las consideró adecuadas.

A la vista de las garantías proporcionadas por las autoridades competentes de Tailandia, la Comisión decidió volver a incluir este establecimiento de elaboración de conservas en el listado de establecimientos autorizados a exportar. Corresponde al propio establecimiento y a la autoridad competente de Tailandia garantizar que este problema no se repita en el futuro. Las importaciones seguirán siendo objeto del mismo seguimiento en los puestos de inspección fronterizos en los puntos de entrada en la EU. Si en dichos controles se detectaran otros problemas, se adoptarían las medidas adecuadas para proteger la salud de los consumidores de la UE. Las autoridades tailandesas son plenamente conscientes de la gravedad de la situación y de las consecuencias de cualquier nueva deficiencia.

Tras la reincorporación en la lista del establecimiento, a la vista de garantías presentadas, a priori no hay ninguna razón para suponer que el problema se repita en el futuro. Cualquier reaparición del problema supondría una nueva auditoría y/o la adopción de las medidas necesarias para proteger a los consumidores de la UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003982/13

to the Commission

Carmen Fraga Estévez (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Food safety monitoring of tinned food from Thailand

In 2012, the EU refused entry to 19 consignments of imported tinned tuna from Thailand, on grounds of their failing to comply with public health and hygiene regulations. Entry checks for goods from third countries had detected that the heat treatment for goods in these consignments was inadequate which posed a risk to consumer food safety.

The solution found to this problem consisted in removing just one of the plants behind these food safety alerts from the list of Thai plants authorised to export to the European Union. This took effect on 6 November 2012.

However, according to DG Sanco’s webpage, this plant will become an authorised importer once again on 27 March 2013. The plant has managed to identify, analyse, correct and resolve the problem with surprising alacrity. The competent Thai authority has also been surprisingly swift to check and audit the solution found, and to apply to the EU for this firm to be placed back on the list, a request that the EU authorities have subsequently agreed to. Such swiftness and alacrity is notably different from the sluggishness shown by the Thai and EU authorities in taking measures to stop these tinned goods entering the EU market. Although the EU’s inspection system detected this serious public health problem in February 2012, the Thai authorities authorised the export of these goods on at least 19 occasions until October 2012.

— Could the Commission explain what checks and audits it has carried out in Thailand to verify that this serious problem has indeed been resolved in such a short period of time?

— Can the Commission guarantee therefore that there is no danger of a repetition of these incidents, given the importance of what is at stake, namely food safety for EU consumers?

— Given this serious precedent, can the Commission explain why an FVO (DG SANCO) audit of the Thai fisheries sector has not been made a priority for 2013? There is no mention of this sector in the 2013 Audit Programme published on the FVO’s webpage.

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(17 May 2013)

The Commission evaluated the public health conditions for the production of fishery products intended for export to the Union during an audit in Thailand carried out from 5 to 15 September 2011. In addition, in October 2012, an on-the-spot investigation took place and evaluated the problem in canned tuna. It was concluded that the problem in the cannery did not consist in an inadequate heat treatment but in a limited recontamination with mesophilic bacteria during the cooling of the cans. Guarantees requested to the Competent Authority of Thailand have been provided to the Commission and have been judged as adequate.

The Commission has decided on the basis of the guarantees provided by the Competent Authority of Thailand to relist the canning establishment in question. It is up to the establishment itself and to the Competent Authority of Thailand to ensure that this problem does not occur anymore in future. Imports will continue to be monitored at the border inspection posts at the points of entry into the EU. If further problems are detected arising from such checks, appropriate measures will be taken to protect the health of EU consumers. The Thai authorities are well aware of the seriousness of the situation and of the consequence of any repeated failings.

Following the relisting of the establishment on the basis of the guarantees provided there is a priori no reason to assume that the problem will reoccur. Any re-emergence of the problem would lead to a further audit and/or any necessary measures to protect the EU consumers.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-003983/13

an die Kommission

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)

(9. April 2013)

Betrifft: Anwendung der Extremismusklausel im Freistaat Sachsen bei der Vergabe von Fördermitteln für die Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Die Euroregion Elbe/Labe wurde am 24. Juni 1992 gegründet. Sie bemüht sich, ein Netzwerk grenzüberschreitender Zusammenarbeit aufzubauen und zu entwickeln. Die Zusammenarbeit zwischen deutschen und tschechischen Regionen basiert auf den Prinzipien der Gleichberechtigung unter Beachtung des „Europäischen Rahmenübereinkommens über die grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Gebietskörperschaften“ von 1980 des Europarats. Für die Förderung der Zusammenarbeit werden Mittel aus dem Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) bereitgestellt.

Seit dem Jahr 2013 verlangt der Freistaat Sachsen bei der Beantragung von Fördermitteln für die Euroregion Elbe/Labe die Unterschreibung der „Extremismusklausel“. Die Extremismusklausel ist eine schriftliche Einverständniserklärung, die ein Bekenntnis zur freiheitlich demokratischen Grundordnung enthält und die Verpflichtung, „dafür Sorge zu tragen, dass die als Partner ausgewählten Organisationen, Referenten etc. sich ebenfalls zu den Zielen des Grundgesetzes verpflichten“.

— Wie verträgt sich die Anforderung, diese Klausel zu unterschreiben, mit Artikel 16 der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1083/2006, der vorschreibt, dass die Mitgliedstaaten und die Kommission die erforderlichen Maßnahmen gegen jede Form der Diskriminierung aufgrund des Geschlechts, der Rasse oder ethnischen Herkunft, der Religion oder Weltanschauung bei der Durchführung der Fondstätigkeit treffen?

— Wie ist es mit den Zielen der Kohäsionspolitik und insbesondere der territorialen Zusammenarbeit zu vereinbaren, wenn im Rahmen der Extremismusklausel von tschechischen Projektpartnern ein Bekenntnis zum Grundgesetz verlangt wird?

Antwort von Herrn Hahn im Namen der Kommission

(14. Mai 2013)

Die Verwaltungsbehörde eines ETZ (191)-Programms ist dafür zuständig sicherzustellen, dass Projekte in Übereinstimmung mit den Auswahlkriterien des Programms ausgewählt werden und dass sie den Vorschriften auf EU‐ und nationaler Ebene entsprechen.

Gemäß den Vorschriften für die Kohäsionspolitik (192) treffen die Mitgliedstaaten und die Kommission während der Programmdurchführung und insbesondere in Bezug auf den Zugang zu den Fonds die erforderlichen Maßnahmen gegen jede Form der Diskriminierung aufgrund des Geschlechts, der Rasse oder ethnischen Herkunft, der Religion oder Weltanschauung, einer Behinderung, des Alters oder der sexuellen Ausrichtung. Darüber hinaus sind kohäsionspolitische Verordnungen unter vollständiger Einhaltung des Artikels 18 AEUV (193) durchzuführen.

Im vorliegenden Fall ist die Projektauswahl an die Unterzeichnung einer Klausel gebunden, der zufolge ein „Bekenntnis zur freiheitlich demokratischen Grundordnung“ sowie die Verpflichtung „zu den Zielen des Grundgesetzes“ erforderlich sind. (194) Diese Anforderung fällt jedoch nicht in den Anwendungsbereich von Artikel 16, da keine Diskriminierung aufgrund der in diesem Artikel festgelegten Elemente vorzuliegen scheint. Im Rahmen eines ETZ-Programms sollten sich die teilnehmenden Länder auf die einschlägigen nationalen Vorschriften einigen, auf deren Grundlage die Förderfähigkeit von Ausgaben festgelegt wird, es sei denn, es gelten EU-Rechtsvorschriften. Zur Festlegung der Förderfähigkeit im Rahmen von ETZ-Programmen sollten Anforderungen an die Projektauswahl, die mehr als einen Mitgliedstaat betreffen, und an die erforderliche Zustimmung aller teilnehmenden Mitgliedstaaten berücksichtigt werden. Die Kommission prüft gemeinsam mit der Verwaltungsbehörde, ob in dieser Hinsicht eine Einigung erzielt wurde.

Personen, die der Ansicht sind, die Anforderung bezüglich der Einhaltung dieser Klausel stelle für sie einen Nachteil gegenüber anderen Personen dar, haben die Möglichkeit, bei der Kommission eine Beschwerde einzureichen.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003983/13

to the Commission

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Implementation of the extremism clause in the Free State of Saxony in respect of the allocation of funds for the Elbe/Labe Euroregion

The Elbe/Labe Euroregion was established on 24 June 1992 with the aim of building and developing a network of cross-border cooperation. Cooperation between German and Czech regions is based on the principles of equality in accordance with the Council of Europe’s 1980 ‘European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Cooperation between Territorial Communities or Authorities’. In order to promote cooperation, funds are made available under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Since 2013, the Free State of Saxony has made the signing of the ‘extremism clause’ a condition for applying for funding for the Elbe/Labe Euroregion . This is a written agreement that includes a commitment to the free democratic order and the obligation to ensure that organisations, experts, etc., selected as partners are also committed to the objectives of the Basic Law.

— How is the requirement to sign this clause compatible with Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, which stipulates that the Member States and the Commission shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief in the implementation of funding?

— Is the fact that Czech project partners are required to declare their adherence to the Basic Law under the terms of the extremism clause compatible with the objectives of Cohesion Policy and in particular territorial cooperation?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(14 May 2013)

The managing authority of an ETC (195) programme is responsible for ensuring that projects are selected in accordance with the programme's selection criteria and that they comply with EU and national rules.

Under cohesion policy rules (196), Member States and the Commission must take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation during programme implementation and, in particular, in the access to funds. Moreover, cohesion policy regulations shall be implemented in full compliance with Article 18 of the TFEU (197).

In the present case, project selection is conditional on the signing of a clause requiring a ‘commitment to the free democratic order’ as well ‘to the objectives of the Basic Law’ (198). This requirement does not appear to fall within Article 16, as there does not appear to be discrimination on any of the bases set out in this Article. For an ETC programme, the participating countries should agree on the relevant national rules which shall apply to determine the eligibility of expenditure, except where EU rules are laid down. The notion of eligibility for ETC programmes should include any such requirements for project selection, which affect more than one Member State, and that the agreement of all participating Member States should be necessary. The Commission will verify with the managing authority if they agreed to this requirement.

Persons who consider the requirement to adhere to the clause puts them at a particular disadvantage compared to other persons, have the possibility to file a complaint with the Commission.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-003984/13

adresată Comisiei

Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE)

(9 aprilie 2013)

Subiect: Respingerea solicitării României privind prelungirea termenului de aplicare a taxării inverse la cereale

Comisia Europeană a respins cererea Guvernului României de a prelungi termenul de aplicare a taxării inverse la cereale, ceea ce, potrivit autorităților române și asociațiilor de producători, va determina transferarea unui număr important de „firme-fantomă” din Ungaria în România, precum și scumpirea produselor de panificație.

Totodată, conform Jurnalului Oficial al UE, Comisia Europeană a aprobat taxarea inversă la unele cereale și plante oleaginoase în Ungaria pentru perioada 1 iulie 2012-30 iunie 2014. Bulgaria a solicitat, de asemenea, prelungirea perioadei pentru care are dreptul de a aplica aceeași măsură fiscală.

Comisia este rugată să răspundă la următoarele întrebări:

Autoritățile române afirmă că posibilitatea taxării inverse la cereale și plante tehnice a fost acordată României „în circumstanțe excepționale, pentru a da timp țării noastre să implementeze anumite reforme în vederea combaterii fraudei”. Care ar fi trebuit să fie reformele menționate și care este stadiul implementării acestora?

Dacă această solicitare a fost respinsă doar pentru România și aprobată pentru Ungaria și Bulgaria, Comisia nu consideră că este o discriminare?

Asociațiile de producători din România au adus în discuție o propunere de directivă, aflată în analiza Comisiei Europene, vizând combaterea fraudei în materie de TVA și introducerea unui mecanism de reacție rapidă, bazat pe acordarea de competențe Comisei Europene pentru a acorda derogări temporare; de asemenea, producătorii menționează o altă propunere, de extindere a domeniului de aplicare a taxării inverse prin includerea sectoarelor care fac deja obiectul unor cereri de derogare, printre care produsele agricole. Care este calendarul privind aceste două propuneri?

Răspuns dat de dl Šemeta în numele Comisiei

(22 mai 2013)

În primul rând, ar trebui reamintite circumstanțele juridice și politice în care a fost acordată derogarea. Consiliul a fost încă de la început reticent în a acorda României derogarea și a afirmat, printre altele, că o derogare ar trebui acordată doar în ultimă instanță și ar trebui să constituie o măsură de urgență în cazuri dovedite de fraudă; că procedura de taxare inversă implică întotdeauna un risc ca frauda să fie transferată altor state; și că nu poate accepta ca procedura de taxare inversă să fie utilizată în mod sistematic pentru a compensa supravegherea inadecvată. România, în schimb, și-a luat angajamentul de a nu solicita reînnoirea acestei derogări după data expirării.

1.

În ceea ce privește anumite măsuri de control al TVA instituite în acest context, România a informat Comisia cu privire la măsurile referitoare la înscrierea în registrul TVA a operatorilor intracomunitari, sancțiuni, utilizarea unor instrumente de control electronic, monitorizarea sporită a comerțului intracomunitar și utilizarea datelor din declarațiile recapitulative, precum și anumite obligații de declarare a TVA.

2.

Ungaria a obținut (și a convenit cu privire la) o derogare similară în exact aceleași condiții; și anume, o perioadă de doi ani, care nu poate fi reînnoită. Comisia nu consideră că aceasta ar constitui o discriminare.

3.

Cele două propuneri sunt în prezent discutate în cadrul Consiliului, însă, din păcate, statele membre nu au reușit încă să ajungă la un acord cu privire la acestea. Având în vedere cerința unanimității în materie fiscală, este aproape imposibilă prezentarea unui calendar de adoptare.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003984/13

to the Commission

Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Rejection of Romania's application to extend the deadline for applying reverse taxation to cereals

The Commission has rejected the Romanian Government’s request to extend the deadline for applying reverse taxation to cereals. According to the Romanian authorities and producer associations, the upshot of this will be that a large number of ‘phantom traders’ will move from Hungary to Romania and the price of bakery products will rise.

At the same time, according to the Official Journal of the European Union, the Commission approved the reverse taxation for some cereals and oleaginous plants in Hungary for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2014. Bulgaria also requested an extension to the period entitling it to apply the same fiscal measure.

1.

The Romanian authorities state that Romania was granted the option to apply reverse taxation to cereals and industrial crops

‘in exceptional circumstances in order to give time to Romania to implement certain reforms to combat fraud’. What were the reforms in question supposed to be, and at what stage of implementation are they?

2.

If this application was rejected only in the case of Romania and approved in the case of Hungary and Bulgaria, does the Commission not regard this as discrimination?

3.

Producer associations in Romania have raised for discussion a proposal for a directive being analysed by the Commission, aimed at combating VAT fraud and introducing a rapid reaction mechanism, based on giving the Commission powers to grant temporary derogations. The producers are also mentioning another proposal for extending the scope of application of reverse taxation to include sectors which are already subject to requests for derogation, including agricultural products. What is the timetable for both these proposals?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2013)

The legal and political circumstances under which the derogation was granted should first be recalled. The Council was from the start reluctant to grant Romania the derogation and stated, inter alia, that a derogation could not be more than a last resort and an emergency measure in proven cases of fraud; that the reverse charge procedure always entails a risk of the fraud being transferred to other States; and that they could not accept that the reverse charge procedure would systematically be used to make up for inadequate surveillance. Romania, in return, committed itself not to seek renewal of this derogation beyond the expiration date.

1.

As to specific VAT control measures put into place in this context, Romania informed the Commission of measures regarding the VAT registration of intra-community operators, penalties, use of electronic control tools, enhanced monitoring of intra-community trade and use of data from recapitulative statements, and specific VAT declaration obligations.

2.

Hungary obtained (and agreed to) a similar derogation under exactly the same conditions; i.e. a non-renewable period of two years. The Commission does not regard this as discrimination.

3.

The two proposals are currently discussed at the Council but Member States have, unfortunately, not been able yet to reach an agreement on these proposals. Given the unanimity requirement in tax matters, it is close to impossible to come forward with a timetable for adoption.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003985/13

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Vacuna Infanrix

Tras la filtración del documento confidencial de la sección belga de la farmacéutica Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) sobre la seguridad de su vacuna Infanrix hexa (contra la difteria, tétanos, tos ferina, hepatitis B, poliomielitis y Haemophilus tipo b), se ha sabido que reconocen 36 posibles muertes de bebés que recibieron la vacuna, en sólo dos años. Desde el lanzamiento del preparado en 2000, la suma de fallecimientos podría alcanzar al menos 73 muertes. Además de los fallecimientos, el estudio de GSK revela 1 742 reacciones adversas constatadas durante los trabajos. Al parecer no ha habido ningún tipo de alerta sanitaria sobre la vacuna Infanrix.

¿Tiene conocimiento la Comisión de estas posibles reacciones a la vacuna Infanrix Hexa?

¿Cuáles son los criterios de las alertas sanitarias? ¿Qué número de notificaciones de reacciones adversas a los medicamentos (RAM), incluidas muertes, son necesarias? ¿Cuántos bebés han de morir para que las autoridades nos adviertan de la peligrosidad de un fármaco?

¿Cree la Comisión que se deberían realizar pruebas de alergias y metales pesados antes de las vacunaciones para evitar reacciones adversas en las personas sensibles a los mismos?

¿No coincide la Comisión con la petición de transparencia de la información científica de los ensayos de medicamentos formulada por investigadores y editores científicos? ¿No cree la Comisión que los investigadores deberían tener acceso a los datos de los ensayos sobre medicamentos que las empresas farmacéuticas no hacen públicos?

¿Va a tomar alguna medida al respecto?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(31 de mayo de 2013)

Infanrix Hexa está autorizada desde el año 2000, pues la relación entre beneficios y riesgos se consideró positiva. En el expediente de solicitud de autorización de comercialización, el solicitante tenía que demostrar que los pacientes desarrollaban inmunidad y tenía que comunicar todas las reacciones adversas. Los resultados de ensayos clínicos permitieron establecer el riesgo de alergia y de reacciones a los metales pesados.

Desde su autorización, se viene controlando la seguridad de Infanrix Hexa para que, en caso de que aparezcan reacciones adversas con un nivel de riesgo inaceptable, se tomen las medidas oportunas. Hasta octubre de 2011 se habían distribuido casi setenta y tres millones de dosis de Infanrix Hexa. En el marco de la supervisión periódica, GSK comunicó en 2011 información sobre las reacciones adversas. En el período de referencia 2009 a 2011 se comunicaron veintiocho fallecimientos, frente a veintitrés y a diecinueve en los dos períodos de notificación precedentes. No hubo pruebas claras de una relación entre la administración de la vacuna y los fallecimientos notificados. La Agencia Europea de Medicamentos evaluó los informes y llegó a la conclusión de que la relación entre beneficios y riesgos de Infanrix Hexa sigue siendo positiva. Esta relación beneficio/riesgo sigue supervisándose habitualmente.

Los efectos adversos de los medicamentos se evalúan en relación con sus beneficios, y no es posible definir criterios numéricos generales de aceptabilidad de las reacciones adversas.

En cuanto a la información sobre ensayos clínicos, la Comisión está de acuerdo con Su Señoría en la necesidad de mejorar la transparencia, por lo que ha presentado una propuesta de Reglamento (199) que mejorará considerablemente la situación actual.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003985/13

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Infanrix vaccine

Following the leak from the Belgian division of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of a confidential document on the safety its Infanrix hexa vaccine (used to vaccinate against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b), it has come to light that 36 possible deaths of babies who were given the vaccine have been acknowledged in just a two-year period. Since the vaccine was launched in 2000, there may have been at least 73 deaths in total. In addition to these deaths, the GSK study reveals that 1 742 adverse reactions were reported during the vaccination period. Apparently, no health alert of any kind has been issued about the Infanrix vaccine.

Is the Commission aware of these possible reactions to the Infanrix hexa vaccine?

What are the criteria for health alerts? How many adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports, including deaths, are necessary? How many babies have to die before the authorities warn the public of the dangers of a drug?

Does the Commission believe that allergy and heavy metal testing should be performed prior to vaccinations in order to avoid adverse reactions in people sensitive to them?

Does the Commission not agree with the request made by researchers and science publishers for scientific information from tests on medicinal products to be transparent? Does the Commission not believe that researchers should have access to the data from tests on medicinal products, which pharmaceutical companies do not make public?

Will the Commission take any action in this regard?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

Since 2000, Infanrix Hexa has been authorised as the benefit/risk balance has been considered positive. In the marketing authorisation dossier, the applicant had to show that patients developed immunity and had to report all adverse reactions. The clinical trials outcomes allowed identifying of the risk of allergy and reactions to heavy metals.

Since its authorisation, the safety of Infanrix Hexa is monitored to ensure that, in case of adverse reactions that present an unacceptable level of risk, appropriate action is taken. Until October 2011 nearly 73 million doses of Infanrix Hexa had been distributed. As part of the regular monitoring, GSK reported in 2011 information on adverse reactions. A total of 28 cases with a fatal outcome were received during the reporting period 2009 to 2011, compared to 23 and 19 cases reported in the previous two reporting periods. There was no clear evidence of a link between the administration of the vaccine and the reported fatalities. The European Medicines Agency assessed the reports and concluded that the benefit/risk profile of Infanrix Hexa remained positive. The benefit/risk profile continues to be routinely monitored.

Unfavourable effects of medicines are assessed in relation to their benefits. It is not possible to define general numerical criteria for the acceptability of adverse reactions.

With respect to information on clinical trials, the Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that increased transparency is necessary. Therefore the Commission has put forward a proposal for a regulation (200), which will greatly improve the current situation.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003986/13

al Consejo

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas

Tras seis años de negociaciones, la Asamblea General de la ONU ha aprobado el Tratado sobre Comercio de Armas (TCA) prácticamente por unanimidad (155 votos a favor, 3 en contra y 22 abstenciones), lo que representa un logro histórico para la comunidad internacional en la protección de los derechos humanos, en su esfuerzo por disminuir la violencia en el mundo, y consagra en el Derecho internacional un conjunto de reglas para las transferencias de armas y municiones. El Tratado estará abierto a la firma y ratificación a partir del 3 de junio de 2013 en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas y entrará en vigor al poco tiempo de haber sido ratificado por 50 Estados. La coalición Armas bajo Control y organizaciones como Amnistía Internacional hacen un llamamiento a todos los Estados para que den prioridad a la firma y ratificación del Tratado.

Se pide a todos los gobiernos que se comprometan a aprobar la legislación nacional necesaria para que el Tratado entre en vigor lo antes posible. Asimismo, aseguran que es imperativo que todos los gobiernos que han votado a favor del Tratado demuestren su compromiso de establecer los más altos estándares internacionales posibles en su aplicación. Por ejemplo, pueden empezar incluyendo todas las armas convencionales y todo tipo de transferencia en sus listas nacionales de control y haciendo explícito que siempre van a rechazar las transferencias de armas cuando exista un riesgo sustancial de vulneración de los derechos humanos y del Derecho humanitario.

¿Va a llevar a cabo el Consejo alguna acción para garantizar que los Estados miembros firmen y ratifiquen el Tratado lo antes posible?

Respuesta

(10 de junio de 2013)

El Consejo ha manifestado reiteradamente su firme compromiso con el éxito de las negociaciones relativas al Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas (TCA) (201).

El Consejo ha autorizado a la Comisión a negociar el TCA para los puntos que sean competencia exclusiva de la Unión. Tras la conclusión de la Conferencia diplomática tica de las Naciones Unidas de 28 de marzo de 2013 y la posterior adopción del TCA por la Asamblea General, el 12 de abril de 2013, la Comisión presentó una propuesta de Decisión del Consejo sobre la firma del TCA. El Consejo tonó nota de la fecha de apertura a la firma, el 3 de junio de 2013. Estudiará la propuesta de la Comisión como asunto prioritario de forma que se garantice que los Estados miembros puedan firmar lo antes posible el TCA.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003986/13

to the Council

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Arms Trade Treaty

After six years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) practically unanimously (155 votes for, 3 against and 22 abstentions). This represents a historic achievement for the international community in protecting human rights, as part of its effort to reduce violence in the world, and enshrines in international law a set of rules for the transfer of arms and ammunition. The Treaty will be open for signature and ratification as of 3 June 2013 at the General Assembly of the United Nations and will enter into force soon after it is ratified by 50 states. The Control Arms coalition and organisations such as Amnesty International are calling on all states to sign and ratify the Treaty as a priority.

All governments are called on to commit to adopting the national legislation necessary for the Treaty to enter into force as soon as possible. It is also vital that all governments that voted in favour of the Treaty demonstrate their commitment to setting the highest possible international standards when applying it. For example, they can start by including all conventional weapons and all types of transfer in their national control lists and explicitly state that they will always reject arms transfers where there is a substantial risk of human rights and humanitarian law being violated.

Will the Council take any action to ensure that Member States sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible?

Reply

(10 June 2013)

The Council has regularly expressed its firm commitment to the successful outcome of negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) (202).

The Council has authorised the Commission to negotiate the ATT on those matters coming under the exclusive competence of the Union. Following the conclusion of the UN Diplomatic Conference on 28 March 2013 and the subsequent adoption of the ATT by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013. The Commission has submitted a proposal for a Council Decision regarding the signing of the ATT. The Council has taken note of the opening date for signing on 3 June 2013. It will examine the Commission's proposal as a matter of priority so as to ensure that Member States can sign the ATT as soon as possible.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003987/13

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas

Tras seis años de negociaciones, la Asamblea General de la ONU ha aprobado el Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas (TCA) prácticamente por unanimidad (155 votos a favor, 3 en contra y 22 abstenciones), lo que representa un logro histórico para la comunidad internacional en la protección de los derechos humanos, en su esfuerzo por disminuir la violencia en el mundo, y consagra en el Derecho internacional un conjunto de reglas para las transferencias de armas y municiones. El Tratado estará abierto a la firma y ratificación a partir del 3 de junio de 2013 en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas y entrará en vigor al poco tiempo de haber sido ratificado por 50 Estados. La coalición Armas bajo Control y organizaciones como Amnistía Internacional hacen un llamamiento a todos los Estados para que den prioridad a la firma y ratificación del Tratado.

Se pide a todos los gobiernos que se comprometan a aprobar la legislación nacional necesaria para que el Tratado entre en vigor lo antes posible. Asimismo, aseguran que es imperativo que todos los gobiernos que han votado a favor del Tratado demuestren su compromiso de establecer los más altos estándares internacionales posibles en su aplicación. Por ejemplo, pueden empezar incluyendo todas las armas convencionales y todo tipo de transferencia en sus listas nacionales de control y haciendo explícito que siempre van a rechazar las transferencias de armas cuando exista un riesgo sustancial de vulneración de los derechos humanos y del Derecho humanitario.

¿Va a llevar a cabo la Comisión alguna acción para garantizar que los Estados miembros firmen y ratifiquen el Tratado lo antes posible?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(29 de mayo de 2013)

A raíz de la adopción del Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas (TCA) por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas el 2 de abril de 2013 y la consiguiente apertura a la firma a partir del 3 de junio de 2013, la Comisión está tomando medidas para garantizar que se lleven a cabo lo antes posible los procedimientos internos de la UE que permitan y animen a los Estados miembros a firmar el Tratado desde el primer día en que esté abierto a la firma.

Para que sea posible la ratificación del TCA por los Estados miembros se necesita primero la aprobación del Parlamento, de conformidad con el artículo 218, apartado 6, del TFUE. La subsiguiente ratificación a nivel nacional dependerá de los respectivos marcos constitucionales que a menudo requieren la aprobación previa del Parlamento nacional.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003987/13

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(9 April 2013)

Subject: Arms Trade Treaty

After six years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) practically unanimously (155 votes for, 3 against and 22 abstentions). This represents a historic achievement for the international community in protecting human rights, as part of its effort to reduce violence in the world, and enshrines in international law a set of rules for the transfer of arms and ammunition. The Treaty will be open for signature and ratification as of 3 June 2013 at the General Assembly of the United Nations and will enter into force soon after it is ratified by 50 states. The Control Arms coalition and organisations such as Amnesty International are calling on all states to sign and ratify the Treaty as a priority.

All governments are called on to commit to adopting the national legislation necessary for the Treaty to enter into force as soon as possible. It is also vital that all governments that voted in favour of the Treaty demonstrate their commitment to setting the highest possible international standards when applying it. For example, they can start by including all conventional weapons and all types of transfer in their national control lists and explicitly state that they will always reject arms transfers where there is a substantial risk of human rights and humanitarian law being violated.

Will the Commission take any action to ensure that Member States sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 2013)

In the wake of the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013 and the subsequent opening for signature as of 3 June 2013, the Commission is undertaking action to ensure the earliest possible completion of the EU internal procedures allowing and encouraging Member States to sign the Treaty as of the first day it is open for signature.

Authorising the ratification of the ATT by Member States will first require the consent of Parliament pursuant to Article 218 (6) TFEU. The subsequent ratification at national level will depend on the respective constitutional frameworks that very often require the prior approval of the national parliament.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-003988/13

à Comissão

Edite Estrela (S&D)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Assunto: Representante da Comissão Europeia em Portugal

No dia 22 de março, o Secretário para as Relações Internacionais do Partido Socialista tomou a iniciativa de contactar os embaixadores dos países da UE acreditados em Portugal, para lhes dar conhecimento da decisão de o PS apresentar, na Assembleia da República, uma moção de censura ao Governo português e explicar sucintamente as suas motivações. Todos os Embaixadores agradeceram a atenção e informaram o Secretário Internacional de que iriam informar as respetivas capitais. O mesmo não aconteceu com o Representante da Comissão Europeia em Portugal, que se pronunciou politicamente contra a iniciativa, aduzindo argumentos sobre as possíveis consequências da moção de censura.

Tendo em conta o Estatuto dos Funcionários das Instituições Europeias, bem como o mandato dos chefes das Representações da Comissão Europeia nos Estados-Membros, manifesto a minha estranheza e descontentamento pelo sucedido e pergunto à Comissão com que base estatutária ou política está aquele funcionário autorizado a tecer considerações políticas e a criticar a atuação de um partido político, no caso, o maior partido da oposição.

Para melhor perceber o que se passou, solicito à Comissão cópia do relatório que sobre o assunto o Chefe da Representação certamente enviou à hierarquia.

Resposta dada por Viviane Reding em nome da Comissão

(27 de maio de 2013)

A Comissão confirma que o seu Representante em Lisboa recebeu em 22 de março de 2013 um telefonema do secretário do Partido Socialista encarregado das relações internacionais e da comunicação, que o informou da intenção do Partido Socialista de apresentar uma moção de censura ao Governo.

A Comissão não se pronuncia sobre as tomadas de posição dos partidos políticos nacionais. No caso específico de Portugal, a Comissão exprimiu várias vezes a importância da estabilidade política e de um amplo consenso político para que o país possa ultrapassar as dificuldades atuais.

O pedido de acesso a documentos que a Senhora Deputada apresentou será tratado em separado, nos termos do Regulamento (CE) n.° 1049/2001 relativo ao acesso do público aos documentos do Parlamento Europeu, do Conselho e da Comissão.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003988/13

to the Commission

Edite Estrela (S&D)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Commission representative in Portugal

On 22 March 2013, the international relations secretary of the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) contacted the accredited ambassadors of the Member States in Portugal to inform them of the decision taken by the PS to table a motion of censure against the government in the Portuguese Parliament and to briefly explain the reasons behind the decision. All the ambassadors expressed their gratitude and informed the international secretary that they would pass the information on to their respective capitals. The Commission representative in Portugal did not do likewise, instead expressing his political opposition to the initiative and setting out the potential consequences of the motion of censure.

In view of the EU institutions’ Staff Regulations, as well as the mandate of heads of Commission representations in the Member States, I am astonished and dissatisfied with what has happened. Can the Commission explain on what statutory or political grounds this official is authorised to express political opinions and to criticise the actions of a political party, the largest opposition party in this case?

In order better to understand what happened, can the Commission provide a copy of the report on this matter that the head of the representation will certainly have submitted to his superiors?

(Version française)

La Commission confirme que son Représentant à Lisbonne a reçu le 22 mars 2013 un appel du secrétaire du Parti Socialiste chargé des relations internationales et de la communication par lequel il a été informé de l'intention du Parti Socialiste de présenter une motion de censure au gouvernement.

La Commission ne se prononce pas sur les positions prises par les partis politiques nationaux. Dans le cas spécifique du Portugal, la Commission a exprimé à plusieurs reprises l'importance de la stabilité politique et d'un large consensus politique pour que le pays puisse surmonter à ses difficultés actuelles.

La demande d'accès à des documents introduite par l'Honorable Parlementaire sera traitée séparément conformément au règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 relatif à l'accès du public aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003989/13

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Utilizzo dei fondi comunitari diretti e indiretti da parte del Comune di Siena (Toscana)

Considerando che in Italia la spesa certificata al 31 dicembre 2012 relativa all'utilizzo dei fondi comunitari per il periodo 2007-2013 si attesta al 37 %, per quanto riguarda il Comune di Siena (Toscana), può la Commissione:

fornire i dati e le percentuali relativi ai fondi comunitari, diretti e non, disponibili per Siena e al loro utilizzo?

fornire un quadro dei finanziamenti cui il Comune di Siena potrebbe accedere per promuovere attività e progetti che rientrano nel settore della cultura;

fornire un quadro dei finanziamenti cui il Comune di Siena potrebbe accedere per promuovere attività e progetti che rientrano nel settore del turismo e dei servizi correlati, con particolare riguardo alla promozione del suo patrimonio naturale, culturale e architettonico;

fornire un quadro dei finanziamenti cui il Comune di Siena potrebbe accedere per promuovere attività imprenditoriali, con particolare riferimento alle PMI, anche in vista del nuovo programma COSME 2014-2020?

precisare se e in che modo il Comune di Siena potrebbe usufruire dei fondi attualmente in corso di discussione relativamente agli orientamenti TEN-T?

chiarire se e in che modo il Comune di Siena potrebbe usufruire dei fondi attualmente in corso di discussione relativi ai nuovi regolamenti che rientrano nella politica di coesione, destinati allo sviluppo e alla riqualificazione delle aree urbane?

Risposta di Janusz Lewandowski a nome della Commissione

(4 giugno 2013)

1.

Per quanto riguarda l’utilizzo dei fondi dell’UE disponibili per Siena, si invita l’onorevole parlamentare a consultare il sistema di trasparenza finanziaria per i progetti gestiti direttamente dalla Commissione al seguente indirizzo:

http://ec.europa.eu/beneficiaries/fts/index_en.htm

Si invita inoltre l’onorevole parlamentare a contattare le autorità italiane che gestiscono i progetti nell’ambito della gestione concorrente, in quanto non esiste un’unica banca dati generale contenente tutti i progetti gestiti dai singoli Stati membri. I dati per contattare le autorità italiane competenti figurano nei siti web riportati in nota (203).

2.-4. Per informazioni sulle opportunità di finanziamento dell’UE relative ai tipi di attività e progetti richiesti è possibile visitare i siti web riportati in nota (204).

5.

Le informazioni riguardanti la revisione degli orientamenti TEN-T sono disponibili al seguente indirizzo:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/revision-t_en.htm

È possibile consultare schede informative sulle buone pratiche pubblicate dalla Commissione, che indicano come utilizzare al meglio tali fondi, semplificando e razionalizzando le procedure ad essi relative, al seguente indirizzo:

http://tentea.ec.europa.eu/en/beneficiaries_info_point/good_practice_working_group/good_practice_working_group_02.htm

6.

Il quadro legislativo proposto per il periodo 2014-2020 offre diverse possibilità per sostenere lo sviluppo urbano integrato attraverso i Fondi strutturali e di investimento. L’articolo 7 del Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale (FESR) prevede che almeno il 5 % dello stanziamento FESR per ogni Stato membro sia destinato allo sviluppo urbano integrato sostenibile, con il coinvolgimento delle autorità urbane per mezzo di strategie urbane integrate. Le esigenze dello sviluppo potrebbero essere soddisfatte anche tramite investimenti settoriali.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003989/13

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Use of direct and indirect funds by the Municipality of Siena (Tuscany)

Given that, in Italy, certified expenditure as at 31 December 2012 for the use of EU funds for the period 2007-2013 stood at 37%, with regard to the Municipality of Siena (Tuscany) can the Commission:

Provide data and percentages for the direct and indirect EU funds available to Siena and how they have been used?

Give an overview of the funding to which the municipality of Siena could have access to promote activities and projects in the field of culture;

Give an overview of the funding to which the municipality of Siena could have access to promote activities and projects in the field of tourism and related services, most notably with regard to promotion of its natural, cultural and architectural heritage;

Give an overview of the funding to which the municipality of Siena could have access to promote entrepreneurial activities, most notably with regard to small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in preparation for the new COSME programme for 2014-2020?

State whether and how the municipality of Siena could make use of the funds currently being discussed in relation to the TEN-T Guidelines?

State whether, and how, the municipality of Siena could use the funds currently being discussed with regard to the new regulations that fall under the cohesion policy, for the development and revitalisation of urban areas?

Answer given by Mr Lewandowski on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2013)

1.

Concerning the use of EU funds available to Siena, the Honourable Member is invited to consult the Financial Transparency System for projects managed directly by the Commission at: http://ec.europa.eu/beneficiaries/fts/index_en.htm and to contact relevant authorities in Italy for projects managed under the shared management as there is no unique comprehensive database with all projects managed by individual Member States (MS). The contact details of relevant Italian authorities can be found on the websites below

1.

Concerning the use of EU funds available to Siena, the Honourable Member is invited to consult the Financial Transparency System for projects managed directly by the Commission at: http://ec.europa.eu/beneficiaries/fts/index_en.htm and to contact relevant authorities in Italy for projects managed under the shared management as there is no unique comprehensive database with all projects managed by individual Member States (MS). The contact details of relevant Italian authorities can be found on the websites below

 (205).

2-4. Information on EU funding opportunities regarding the types of activities and projects requested is available on the websites hereafter (206).

5.

Information on the revision of the TEN-T Guidelines the question relates to is available on: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/revision-t_en.htm

Good practice information sheets issued by the Commission giving guidance on how to best make use of these funds by simplifying and streamlining the associated procedures can be accessed via: http://tentea.ec.europa.eu/en/beneficiaries_info_point/good_practice_working_group/good_practice_working_group_02.htm

6.

The proposed 2014-2020 legislative framework is offering several possibilities to support integrated urban development using Structural and Investment Funds. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Article 7 states that a minimum 5% of a MS ERDF allocation is to be spent on integrated sustainable urban development with the involvement of urban authorities through integrated urban strategies. The development needs could be tackled also by sectorial investments.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003990/13

to the Commission

Fiona Hall (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Enforcing Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

In 2010, I tabled a question to the Commission (E-005020/2010) about UK companies breaching their obligations under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The Commission answered that since 2007 it had been organising regular (general and bilateral) meetings with the National Enforcement Authorities (NEB) to harmonise and strengthen enforcement procedures. Nevertheless, travel companies continue to refuse compensation to passengers who are entitled to such under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

— Whilst the responsibility for enforcement and sanctioning lies with the NEB, what other measures can the Commission take to ensure that these rules are enforced and upheld by travel companies and airlines?

— Does the Commission have any data regarding the number of European airline passengers that have been refused compensation owed?

— Furthermore, how many cases have there been of companies being successfully prosecuted for not adhering to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 in each year since the legislation was passed?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The Commission has put in place a series of measures in view of improving the application and enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 on air passenger rights. In addition to monitoring the work of the NEBs (207), and as mentioned by the Honourable Member, the Commission organises regular meetings with the NEBs to harmonise and strengthen enforcement procedures. In these occasions, particular attention is given to key areas of the legislation, including the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which exempts air carriers from paying compensation (but not from providing care and assistance). This ensures that NEBs have a common understanding of this concept across the EU which, in accordance with the CJEU's (208) case-law (209), should be interpreted strictly. Finally, the amendments proposed by the Commission for the revision of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 (210) also lay down measures to improve especially the handling of individual complaints and the access to out-of-court redress, the exchange of information between the different NEBs and their cooperation with the support of the Commission, and the availability of statistics on their activities including on the sanctions imposed on air carriers.

The Commission does not have data on the number of cases where the airline refused (or accepted) to pay compensation, or on the outcome of court proceedings against airlines.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003991/13

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) e Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Progetto del Qatar per «islamizzare» Gerusalemme Est

Il 28 marzo 2013, il Times di Londra ha riferito che durante il vertice della Lega araba di codesta settimana, l'emiro del Qatar, sceicco Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, si era impegnato a spendere 250 milioni di dollari per finanziare un progetto a Gerusalemme Est, al fine di mantenere il «carattere arabo e islamico della città e rafforzare la fermezza della sua gente». Ciò farà parte di un fondo di 1 miliardo di dollari e dovrebbe essere gestito dalla Banca islamica per lo sviluppo, che ha sede a Jeddah, in Arabia Saudita.

Allo stato attuale, sia gli israeliani che i palestinesi considerano Gerusalemme la propria capitale. Un portavoce del ministero degli Esteri israeliano, Yigal Palmos, ha detto che la nuova iniziativa è «un distintivo di vergogna» per il Qatar. Nel frattempo, gli Stati Uniti hanno dichiarato che forniranno 500 milioni di dollari per aiutare l'Autorità nazionale palestinese (Anp), e Israele ha anche ripreso il trasferimento del gettito fiscale per ridurre le difficoltà finanziarie dell'Anp. Quanto all'offerta da parte dell'Emiro del Qatar, il presidente dell'Anp ha accolto con favore la notizia.

1.

Qual è la posizione della Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante quanto all'annuncio della creazione di un fondo per Gerusalemme Est da parte dell'Emiro del Qatar?

2.

La Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante sta considerando di effettuare passi onde chiedere alle autorità del Qatar di mantenere contatti o discutere con le controparti israeliane prima di tentare di avviare progetti a Gerusalemme Est?

3.

Alla luce dei progetti dell'UE e dell'assistenza finanziaria UE all'Autorità nazionale palestinese, la Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante vorrà consultare l'Emiro del Qatar, sulla natura dei progetti che il Qatar intende sviluppare a Gerusalemme Est?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(6 giugno 2013)

L'UE ha preso atto del fatto che l'emiro del Qatar si è impegnato a costituire un fondo a favore di Gerusalemme Est. Responsabili dell'attuazione dei progetti finanziati a titolo del fondo sono i donatori del fondo, tra i quali non figura l'UE.

L'UE si coordina tuttavia regolarmente con tutti gli altri donatori attivi a Gerusalemme Est.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003991/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) and Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Qatari project to ‘Islamise’ East Jerusalem

On 28 March 2013, the UK’s Times reported that during the Arab League summit this week, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, had pledged to spend USD 250 million to finance a project in East Jerusalem in order to maintain the ‘Arab and Islamic character of the city and reinforce the steadfastness of its people’. This will be part of a USD 1 billion fund and is expected to be managed by the Islamic Development Bank, which is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

At present, both the Israelis and the Palestinians consider Jerusalem to be their capital. A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, said that the new initiative was ‘a badge of shame’ for Qatar. Meanwhile, the United States has said it will provide USD 500 million to aid the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and Israel has also resumed the transfer of tax revenue to ease the PNA’s financial difficulties. With regard to the offer by the Qatari Emir, the PNA President welcomed the news.

1.

What is the position of the Vice-President/High Representative regarding the Emir of Qatar’s announcement about setting up a fund for East Jerusalem?

2.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative considering taking steps in order to request the Qatari authorities to liaise or have discussions with their Israeli counterparts before attempting to launch projects within East Jerusalem?

3.

In light of the EU’s own projects and financial assistance to the Palestinian National Authority, will the Vice-President/High Representative consult with the Qatari Emir over the nature of the projects Qatar wishes to develop in East Jerusalem?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

The EU has taken note of the pledge made by the Emir of Qatar to set up a fund for East Jerusalem. Matters relating to the implementation of projects to be assisted from such a fund are the responsibility of donors to the fund, in which the EU is not involved.

There is regular coordination between the EU and all other donors who are active in East Jerusalem.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003992/13

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) e Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Richieste di liberazione di attivisti anticorruzione cinesi

Human Rights Watch (HRW) ha riferito che il 31 marzo 2013, quattro attivisti anticorruzione — Hou Xin, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng e Ma Xinli — sono stati arrestati a Pechino. HRW è del parere che la loro detenzione sia l'azione più dura mai intrapresa contro attivisti di base che chiedono al governo di onorare le promesse di combattere la corruzione. I quattro avevano chiesto che i funzionari del governo rivelino pubblicamente il loro patrimonio.

Il gruppo aveva mostrato striscioni con slogan quali: «esigere che i funzionare dichiarino pubblicamente i loro beni» e «a meno che non mettiamo fine alla corruzione dei funzionari, il sogno cinese sarà solo un sogno a occhi aperti». Sono stati arrestati dalla polizia per «adunata sediziosa», che in Cina comporta una pena fino a cinque anni di carcere.

In Cina, i funzionari di governo sono tenuti a dichiarare i propri beni, ma non a divulgare le informazioni al pubblico. Nel dicembre 2012, un gruppo di intellettuali ha pubblicato una lettera con cui si chiedeva ai membri del Comitato centrale del Partito comunista cinese di dichiarare i rispettivi beni, infatti gli attivisti anticorruzione vogliono che il governo cinese passi una legge che richieda la dichiarazione pubblica delle attività finanziarie dei funzionari. Sebbene il Presidente cinese Xi Jinping abbia lanciato una campagna per combattere la corruzione, i singoli attivisti che fanno campagna su questo tema sono soggetti a vessazioni e detenzione.

1.

La Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante è a conoscenza dell'arresto dei quattro attivisti anticorruzione cinesi, ed è disposta a sollevare la questione con il governo di Xi Jinping e a chiedere il loro rilascio?

2.

La Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante è disposta a chiedere che la questione dell'attivismo per la lotta alla corruzione in Cina sia messa all'ordine del giorno del prossimo dialogo UE-Cina sui diritti umani?

3.

Qual è la valutazione dei funzionari della delegazione dell'UE a Pechino sulla diffusione della corruzione tra i funzionari del governo cinese?

Risposta dell’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(7 giugno 2013)

L’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente è effettivamente a conoscenza dell’arresto dei quattro attivisti anticorruzione — Hou Xin, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng e Ma Xinli — e condivide le preoccupazioni dell’onorevole parlamentare. L’UE considera la corruzione una questione grave che sembra aver avuto un impatto fortemente negativo sulla società cinese. Di conseguenza, l’UE accoglie con favore l’importanza che il Presidente cinese Xi Jinping ha attribuito alle misure anticorruzione, sottolineando più volte la necessità di ridurre l’uso non autorizzato dei fondi pubblici da parte dei funzionari governativi, soprattutto per coprire spese di viaggio, trasporto e rappresentanza.

L’Alta Rappresentate/Vicepresidente chiederà che il tema dell’attivismo anticorruzione in Cina venga messo all’ordine del giorno del prossimo dialogo UE-Cina sui diritti umani, previsto per la fine di giugno.

Secondo la valutazione della delegazione dell’UE a Pechino, il governo cinese, i mezzi di comunicazione ufficiali e l’opinione pubblica (come risulta dai social media e dai sondaggi d’opinione cinesi) sono molto preoccupati per l’aumento della corruzione tra i funzionari governativi. Il tema è molto sentito dai cittadini che si sono serviti dei social media per denunciare pubblicamente i funzionari corrotti. Diversi fattori indicano, quindi, che la corruzione fra i funzionari del governo cinese è una pratica molto diffusa. Alcuni analisti e commentatori hanno richiesto che siano rese pubbliche le dichiarazioni patrimoniali dei funzionari cinesi sia per ostacolare la corruzione sia per dimostrare la serietà del governo nell’affrontare il problema; ad ogni modo, tale misura non è stata ancora adottata.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003992/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) and Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Calls for the release of Chinese anti-corruption activists

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that on 31 March 2013, four anti-corruption activists — Hou Xin, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng and Ma Xinli — were arrested in Beijing. HRW considers their detention to be the harshest action yet taken against grassroots activists calling on the government to honour its promises to fight corruption. The four individuals had asked that government officials disclose their assets publicly.

The group had been displaying banners with slogans such as ‘Require officials to make public disclosures of assets’ and ‘Unless we put an end to corrupt officials, the China Dream can only be a daydream’. They were arrested by the police for ‘illegal assembly’, which in China carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

In China, government officials are expected to report their assets, but they do not have to disclose the information publicly. In December 2012, a group of public intellectuals issued a letter calling on members of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to declare their assets, as anti-corruption activists want the Chinese Government to pass a law requiring public disclosure of officials’ financial assets. Even though Chinese president Xi Jinping has launched a campaign to tackle corruption, individual activists campaigning on this issue are subject to harassment and detention.

1.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of the arrest of four Chinese anti‐corruption activists, and is she prepared to raise the issue with Xi Jinping’s government and ask for their release?

2.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to ask that the issue of anti‐corruption activism in China be put on the agenda for the next EU-China human rights dialogue?

3.

What is the assessment of EU delegation officials in Beijing regarding the extent of corruption among Chinese Government officials?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2013)

The High Representative/Vice-President is indeed aware of the arrest of the four anti-corruption activists Hou Xin, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng and Ma Xinli and shares the Honourable Member's concern. The EU regards corruption as a serious issue which appears to have produced a profoundly negative impact on Chinese society. Consequently, the EU welcomes the high priority that Xi Jinping has accorded to anti-corruption measure, repeatedly stressing the need to reduce government officials' unauthorised use of public funds, particularly for travel, vehicles and entertainment.

The High representative/Vice-President will ask that the subject of anti‐corruption activism in China be put on the agenda of the next EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, which is expected to take place at the end of June.

To the assessment of the EU Delegation in Beijing, the Chinese government, official media and public opinion (as reflected in Chinese social media and opinion polls) are all seriously concerned about the extent of corruption among government officials. Citizens feel strongly about the subject and have been using social media to ‘out’ corrupt officials. A number of factors therefore suggest that corruption among Chinese government officials is widespread. Some analysts and commentators have called for the public declaration of Chinese officials' assets, both as a way of making corruption more difficult and as a sign of the government's seriousness in tackling the problem; however, such a measure has yet to be taken.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003993/13

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) e Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Aggressione ai danni di giornali iracheni

Il 2 aprile 2013, numerose agenzie stampa hanno riferito che uomini armati avevano effettuato una scorreria negli uffici di quattro giornali indipendenti in Iraq picchiando e accoltellando numerosi dipendenti. I giornali i cui uffici sono stati attaccati erano Al-Dastour, Al-Parliament, Al-Mustaqbal e Al-Nas. Tutti sono stati presi di mira dopo che avevano riferito di materiale critico concernente un religioso sciita chiamato Mahmud al-Sarkhi. Gli individui armati hanno anche fracassato computer e mobili con coltelli e manganelli. Un redattore ha osservato che gli aggressori sembravano essere sciiti legati a un gruppo militante sciita. Il redattore capo di Al-Mustaqbal, Ali Darraji, ha anche riferito: «Hanno dato fuoco alla mia macchina, e sono entrati in ufficio, hanno spaccato tutti i computer e tutto il resto intorno».

Si ritiene che l'Iraq sia uno dei paesi più pericolosi al mondo per l'attività dei giornalisti. Nella classifica sulla libertà di stampa di Reporters senza frontiere l'Iraq si colloca al 150esimo posto su 179 paesi. Secondo il Committee to Protect Journalists, che ha sede a New York, almeno 150 giornalisti sono stati uccisi in Iraq dal 2003 al 2011. Ancor più preoccupante è che l'organizzazione osserva che nessuno è ancora stato accusato in Iraq per l'uccisione di un giornalista.

1.

Qual è la posizione della Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante quanto ai recenti raids ai danni di quattro giornali iracheni?

2.

Qual è la valutazione dei funzionari della delegazione dell'UE a Baghdad, sulle minacce per la società civile rappresentate dai gruppi di militanti sciiti?

3.

Quali passi è disposta ad effettuare la Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante onde contribuire a fornire una maggiore protezione ai membri della società civile irachena, tra cui i giornalisti, che sono a rischio di attacchi da parte di siffatti gruppi di militanti?

4.

Quali aiuti umanitari fornisce attualmente l'UE per sostenere i membri della società civile irachena che vivono nel paese?

Risposta dell’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(31 maggio 2013)

L’UE segue con la massima attenzione la situazione dei diritti umani in Iraq, che suscita forte preoccupazione. L’UE è a conoscenza dell’episodio di violenza contro i media e giornalisti cui fanno riferimento gli onorevoli parlamentari e condanna tale aggressione. La stampa ha un ruolo fondamentale da svolgere nello sviluppo di un sistema democratico sano in Iraq che l’UE ha sempre cercato di promuovere.

Gruppi armati di ogni tipo, tra cui quelli ritenuti responsabili dell’aggressione in questione, costituiscono una costante minaccia per la società civile e la società irachena in generale. Rientra nelle responsabilità del governo iracheno adottare le misure necessarie per garantire la sicurezza delle organizzazioni della società civile e della stampa.

Proprio nel contesto della difficile situazione dei diritti umani in Iraq, l’UE ha insistito sulla necessità che costituiscano una componente essenziale dell’accordo di partenariato e di cooperazione. Grazie all’attuazione dell’accordo, l’UE sarà in grado di rafforzare il dialogo con le autorità irachene e non intende lesinare i propri sforzi nell’esprimere le proprie preoccupazioni e nel ricordare a tali autorità i loro obblighi internazionali, nonché gli ulteriori impegni assunti nel corso dell’esame periodico universale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003993/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) and Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Raid on Iraqi newspapers

On 2 April 2013, a number of news agencies reported that armed gunmen had attacked the offices of four independent newspapers in Iraq and started to beat and stab a number of employees. The newspapers whose offices were attacked were Al-Dastour, Al-Parliament, Al‐Mustaqbal and Al-Nas. All were targeted after they had reported critical material on a Shi’ite Muslim cleric called Mahmud al-Sarkhi. The armed individuals also smashed computers and furniture with knives and batons. One editor noted that the attackers seemed to be Shi’ites linked to a Shi’ite militant group. The editor-in-chief of Al-Mustaqbal, Ali Darraji, also reported that: ‘They set fire to my car, and they entered the office, broke all the computers and everything around’.

Iraq is believed to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work in. Reporters without Borders ranks Iraq 150th out of 179 countries in its Press Freedom Index. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, at least 150 reporters were killed in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. More worryingly, the organisation notes that no one has yet been charged in Iraq for killing a reporter.

1.

What is the position of the Vice-President/High Representative regarding the recent raid on four Iraqi newspapers?

2.

What is the assessment of EU delegation officials in Baghdad regarding the threats to civil society posed by militant Shi’ite groups?

3.

What steps is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to take in order to help provide greater protection to members of Iraq’s civil society, such as journalists, who are at risk of attacks by such militant groups?

4.

What humanitarian aid is the EU currently providing to support members of Iraqi civil society living inside the country?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The EU has been following very closely the human rights situation in Iraq, which gives grounds for concern. The EU is aware of the assault against the media organisations and journalists that the Honorable Members are referring to and condemns any such attacks. The press has a vital role to play in the development of a healthy democratic system in Iraq, which the EU has consistently endeavoured to promote.

Armed groups of all kinds, including those who were allegedly responsible for this assault, do pose a continued threat to civil society, and to Iraqi society in general. It is the responsiblity of the Government of Iraq to take steps to ensure the security of civil society organisations and the press.

It was against the background of the challenging human rights situation in Iraq that the EU insisted on including human rights as a prominent element of the partnership and cooperation agreement. With the implementation of the Agreement, the EU will be able to enhance its dialogue with the Iraqi authorities and will spare no efforts to raise its concerns, and to remind them of their international obligations and further commitments made during the Universal Periodic Review.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003994/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Nuevo ataque de Israel a la Franja de Gaza

El pasado 2 de abril de 2013 el ejército de Israel volvió a realizar un ataque aéreo sobre territorio palestino, el primero desde la tregua alcanzada con Hamás el pasado mes de noviembre. Tras un supuesto ataque con misiles lanzados desde la Franja, Israel lanzó un ataque aéreo sobre dos posiciones en Gaza.

El Gobierno de Israel ha declarado que éste supone el tercer ataque con misiles a territorio israelí desde la declaración de la tregua, culpando, como viene siendo habitual, a Hamás de dichos ataques y ejerciendo represalias bélicas sin ningún tipo de investigación. De esta forma, Israel vuelve a actuar unilateralmente de espaldas a la comunidad internacional, bombardeando posiciones civiles en la Franja sin ningún tipo de miramiento por el respeto del Derecho internacional.

Más allá de estos recientes bombardeos, el ejército de Israel no ha detenido sus maniobras de intimidación a la población civil frente a inofensivas actividades como la recolección de cultivos, confirmando una estrategia militar de exterminio que considera a la población civil como objetivo militar. Los palestinos sufren a diario el fuego y las maniobras de intimidación del ejército israelí sin que la comunidad internacional se haga eco de tales violaciones.

Ante esta gravísima situación de atropello de los derechos humanos, la Unión Europea está actuando como aliado de Israel, permitiendo que ejercite su política de exterminio sin exigir en ningún momento el cese de las violaciones y ataques a la población civil, y manteniendo un Acuerdo de Asociación que fomenta las relaciones con un país que viola diariamente la práctica totalidad del Derecho internacional.

¿Considera la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante la inmediata congelación del Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel como medida de presión para que Israel respete los derechos humanos y el Derecho internacional? ¿Está haciendo un seguimiento de los ataques e intimidaciones que el ejército de Israel realiza a diario sobre la población civil? ¿Qué acciones piensa desarrollar para impedirlos?

¿Considera que el Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel está promoviendo la impunidad de un Estado criminal en la región al colaborar con el país que más viola el Derecho internacional?

Respuesta de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(30 de mayo de 2013)

La UE sigue de cerca la situación en la Franja de Gaza. Se ha producido una notable mejora de la situación sobre el terreno a raíz del alto el fuego del 21 de noviembre de 2012 en Gaza y el sur de Israel. Por ello, a la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta le han preocupado especialmente las violaciones del alto el fuego producidas sobre todo en abril. Todas las partes deben respetar el alto el fuego del 21 de noviembre. La UE está decidida a aprovechar el alto el fuego y contribuir a un cambio fundamental en la situación de la Franja de Gaza en beneficio de la población local. Los reiterados ataques con cohetes y los bombardeos aéreos en represalia de Israel ponen en peligro ese objetivo.

La UE no admite que Israel esté llevando a cabo una política de «exterminación». La UE plantea su preocupación por la situación en la Franja de Gaza ante todas las partes con las que mantiene una relación cada vez que resulta necesario. La UE no es partidaria del uso de sanciones en el contexto de las relaciones bilaterales UE-Israel. El Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel es fundamental en nuestras relaciones con Israel. De hecho, este Acuerdo es la base jurídica de nuestro diálogo permanente con las autoridades israelíes, incluso sobre asuntos políticos y cuestiones internacionales así como el respeto de los derechos humanos. La UE cree firmemente que un compromiso con Israel es la manera más eficaz de transmitir las preocupaciones de la Unión Europea sobre los asuntos planteados por Su Señoría.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003994/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — New attack by Israel on the Gaza Strip

On 2 April 2013, the Israeli army conducted a new air strike on Palestinian territory, the first since the truce with Hamas last November. After an alleged missile attack launched from the Gaza Strip, Israel launched an air strike on two positions in Gaza.

The Israeli Government stated that this was the third missile attack on Israeli territory since the truce was declared and, as usual, blamed Hamas for the attacks and carried out military reprisals without any investigation. Israel has thus once again ignored the international community and acted unilaterally, bombing civilian positions in the Gaza Strip without any respect for international law.

Beyond these recent bombings, the Israeli army has continued to intimidate the civilian population, in response to harmless activities such as harvesting crops, confirming a military strategy of extermination that considers the civilian population as a military target. Palestinians are shot at and intimidated by the Israeli army on a daily basis, without the international community calling attention to such violations.

In the face of this extremely serious situation of human rights abuse, the European Union acts as Israel’s ally, allowing it to carry out its extermination policy without calling at any time for an end to the violations and attacks on civilians, while maintaining an Association Agreement that promotes relations with a country that commits daily breaches of international law, practically in its entirety.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative considering an immediate freeze on the EU-Israel Association Agreement to put pressure on Israel to respect human rights and international law? Is she monitoring the attacks and intimidation carried out daily by the Israeli army against the civilian population? What action does she intend to take to prevent the attacks and intimidation?

Does she think that the EU-Israel Association Agreement is promoting the impunity of a criminal state in the region, by cooperating with the country that is the most prolific violator of international law?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

The EU closely monitors the situation in the Gaza Strip. There was a noticeable improvement in the situation on the ground following the 21 November 2012 ceasefire in Gaza and southern Israel. The HR/VP has therefore been particularly concerned by breaches of the ceasefire, notably in April. All parties must respect the 21 November ceasefire. The EU is determined to build on the ceasefire and work towards a fundamental change in the situation of the Gaza Strip for the benefit of the local population. Repeated rocket attacks and Israeli retaliatory air strikes threaten to undermine this.

The EU does not accept that Israel is carrying out a policy of ‘extermination’. The EU raises its concerns about the situation in the Gaza Strip with all parties with whom it enjoys a relationship as and when necessary. The EU does not promote the use of sanctions in the context of bilateral EU-Israel relations. The EU-Israel Association agreement is as the cornerstone of our relations with Israel. Indeed, this agreement is the legal basis for our ongoing dialogue with the Israeli authorities, including on political and international issues, as well as on respect for human rights. The EU firmly believes that engagement with Israel is the most effective way to convey the European Union’s concerns on the issues to which you refer.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003995/13

alla Commissione

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Disparità tra i paesi dell'Unione nell'accesso ai fondi

Considerando il bando POS CCE 2007-2013 per la Romania riguardo all'asse prioritario in materia di competitività da ricerca, sviluppo tecnologico e innovazione e considerati i criteri di eleggibilità stabiliti dalle autorità locali;

considerando che numerose società di diritto romeno ma a capitale straniero hanno riscontrato difficoltà ad accedere a tali fondi, in particolare per quanto concerne la complessità di redazione del bando e l'eccessiva rigidità ed incongruenza della documentazione da allegare;

considerando che molti progetti presentati da società a capitale straniero sono stati ritenuti non ammissibili sulla base di giustificazioni formali e/o di valutazioni economiche non fondate su evidenze scientifiche;

considerando inoltre che l'obiettivo dell'Unione consiste nell'integrazione economica e sociale all'interno dei suoi paesi membri, attraverso l'attuazione di politiche tese all'omologazione legislativa e considerando che una disparità nell'attuazione di tali politiche andrebbe a minare le fondamenta di eguaglianza su cui si basa l'Unione;

considerando che le aziende costituite in Romania, seppur con capitale straniero, devono legittimamente concorrere sulla base di criteri esclusivamente meritocratici all'assegnazione dei fondi e che eventuali discriminazioni spingerebbero tali realtà societarie a non partecipare a bandi la cui accessibilità è de facto disciplinata su «base nazionale»;

considerando che le finalità perseguite dai fondi strutturali sono: la riduzione delle disparità regionali in termini di ricchezza e benessere, l'aumento della competitività e dell'occupazione e il sostegno della cooperazione transfrontaliera.

Alla luce di quanto sopra riportato, e nella convinzione che molte imprese si siano trovate nella stessa situazione di difficoltà, si chiede che venga fatta chiarezza sui diversi sistemi nazionali di assegnazione dei bandi, sottolineando anche come la progettazione stessa da presentare al fine di sperare nell'accesso ai fondi comporti impegni di spesa non indifferenti.

Tutto ciò premesso, si chiede alla Commissione di rispondere al seguente quesito:

non reputa la Commissione che condizioni di accesso diverse possono alterare il corretto funzionamento del mercato comune ponendo un freno allo sviluppo della competitività, obiettivo ultimo del POS CCE 2007-2013?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(11 giugno 2013)

Dalle verifiche condotte in Romania ad opera dei servizi della Commissione e delle autorità nazionali non sono emersi casi di discriminazione contro i candidati a un finanziamento sulla base dell'origine del capitale né sono giunte denunce in relazione a tale aspetto dalle imprese che hanno chiesto un finanziamento UE.

In base alle regole che disciplinano la politica di coesione, i criteri di selezione dei progetti sono stabiliti a livello nazionale dalle autorità responsabili dell'attuazione del programma. Tali criteri devono essere conformi anche alle norme nazionali poiché sono cofinanziati con fondi nazionali.

I criteri di selezione sono delineati in modo trasparente e dettagliato nelle linee guida per i candidati pubblicate per ciascun invito a presentare progetti dalle autorità di gestione dei programmi. La Commissione segue l'attuazione dei programmi finanziati dall'UE per assicurare il rispetto delle pertinenti norme UE e nazionali e per accertare in che modo questi raggiungano gli obiettivi della politica di coesione incentivando la crescita e la creazione di posti di lavoro per i cittadini europei. La Commissione interviene ogni qualvolta vengano individuate o portate alla sua attenzione delle irregolarità.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003995/13

to the Commission

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Disparities among EU Member States in accessing funds

Considering the POS CCE 2007-2013 call for tenders for Romania with regard to the priority axis of competitiveness through research, technological development and innovation, and given the eligibility criteria established by the local authorities;

Considering that many Romanian companies with foreign capital have found it difficult to access these funds, especially given the complexity of the text of the call for tenders and the disproportionate rigidity and inconsistency of the documentation to be attached;

Considering that many projects submitted by foreign companies were deemed ineligible on formal grounds and/or following financial assessments not backed by scientific evidence;

Considering that the aim of the EU is economic and social integration among its Member States, by implementing policies aimed at legislative harmonisation and considering that a disparity in implementing such policies would undermine the principles of equality on which the EU is founded;

Considering that enterprises incorporated in Romania, albeit with foreign capital, must legitimately compete for funds exclusively on the basis of merit, and that any discrimination would push companies not to participate in tenders, if the de facto accessibility criteria were to exclude anyone who was not a Romanian national;

Considering that the aims of the structural funds are to reduce regional disparities in terms of wealth and well-being, increase competitiveness and employment, and support cross-border cooperation.

In view of the above, and in the belief that many businesses have found themselves in similar difficult situations, we call for clarification on the various national systems for allocating tenders, emphasising that the applications presented in the hope of accessing these funds involve considerable expense.

Can the Commission answer the following:

Does the Commission not consider that different conditions of access can distort the proper functioning of the common market by putting a brake on the growth of competitiveness, which is the ultimate objective of POS CCE 2007-2013?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2013)

Verifications perfomed in Romania by the Commission services and national authorities have not identified deficiencies related to discrimination against applicants for funds on the basis of the origin of the capital nor has a particular complaint been received from companies applying for EU funds in relation to this aspect.

According to cohesion policy rules project selection criteria are established at national level by the authorities responsible for programme implementation. These criteria must comply with national rules as well, as they are co-financed with national funds.

Selection criteria are set out in a transparent and detailed manner in the guidelines for applicants published for each call for projects by the managing authorities of the programmes. The Commission monitors the implementation of EU-funded programmes to ensure compliance with relevant EU and national legislation and how they reach the objectives of cohesion policy, enabling growth and jobs for European citizens. It will act if irregularites are detected or brought to its attention.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-003996/13

à Comissão

Nuno Teixeira (PPE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Assunto: Propostas de renegociação das condições de ajustamento a Portugal

Tendo em conta que:

O Tribunal Constitucional português chumbou três normas da lei orçamental portuguesa que representam um buraco orçamental de mais de 1200 milhões de euros, em termos líquidos, tornando impossível cumprir a meta do défice para este ano de 5,5 %;

A queda no produto interno bruto é bastante superior à prevista no Orçamento de Estado para este ano, atingindo 2,3 %, e não 1 % como estava previsto;

Se instalou uma crise política em Portugal, no âmbito da qual o líder do Partido Socialista sublinhou a necessidade de uma renegociação das condições de ajustamento com metas e prazos exequíveis e credíveis;

A Comissão já anunciou que iria avaliar com os parceiros a possibilidade de uma flexibilização das condições acordadas na sétima avaliação da «troika»;

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Se considera possível que o Banco Central Europeu possa reembolsar os lucros obtidos pelas operações de compra de dívida soberana portuguesa, que se estimam em 3 mil milhões de euros;

Se considera prudente renegociar as condições de ajustamento com metas e prazos que possibilitem uma alavancagem da economia portuguesa;

Se pondera renegociar o alargamento dos prazos de pagamento de parte da dívida pública e a renegociação de juros a pagar pelos empréstimos obtidos.

Resposta dada por Olli Rehn em nome da Comissão

(31 de maio de 2013)

A Comissão não intervém nas políticas do Banco Central Europeu (BCE), uma instituição independente que possui um conjunto de regras próprio para a distribuição de lucros.

As condições de ajustamento económico são avaliadas e negociadas pela Comissão, juntamente com o BCE e o FMI, durante cada missão e no melhor interesse do país, nomeadamente os objetivos e os prazos estipulados para o seu cumprimento. São revistas sempre que necessário, tomando em consideração as evoluções e projeções mais recentes. Os objetivos orçamentais, entre outros elementos, foram revistos no passado e podem vir a ser revistos no futuro, se tal se considerar necessário e nos termos dos procedimentos pertinentes.

Sob reserva dos procedimentos nacionais, o Conselho (Ecofin) e o Eurogrupo acordaram, em princípio, em alargar os prazos de vencimento dos empréstimos do MEEF e do FEEF a Portugal e à Irlanda, mediante o aumento do limite médio ponderado de vencimento do prazo por sete anos, e desde que a «Troika» confirme a execução continuada e bem sucedida do programa, bem como a 7.a revisão do programa português, que acabará por ser concluído com sucesso, e a 9.a revisão do programa de ajustamento irlandês.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003996/13

to the Commission

Nuno Teixeira (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Proposals for renegotiating Portugal's adjustment conditions

The Portuguese Constitutional Court has rejected three sections of the Portuguese budget law, leaving a real-terms budget shortfall of over EUR 1.2 billion and making it impossible to hit this year’s deficit target of 5.5%.

At 2.3% rather than the forecast 1%, the decline in Portuguese gross domestic product is far higher than envisaged in this year’s national budget.

A crisis has broken out in Portugal, in which the leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party has stressed the need to renegotiate the adjustment conditions with feasible and realistic targets and deadlines.

The Commission has already announced that it will examine with its partners the possibility of agreeing more flexible conditions in the seventh evaluation conducted by the Troika.

1.

Does the Commission think it will be possible for the European Central Bank to pay back the profits gained from transactions to purchase Portuguese sovereign debt, estimated at EUR 3 billion?

2.

Does it think it is wise to renegotiate the adjustment conditions, with targets and deadlines that make it possible to stimulate the Portuguese economy?

3.

Is it considering renegotiating or extending the payment deadlines for part of the public debt, and renegotiating the interest paid on the loans granted?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The Commission does not intervene into policies of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is an independent institution that has a set of rules for its profit distribution.

The economic adjustment conditions are assessed and negotiated by the Commission, together with the ECB and the IMF, during each mission in the best interest of the country, including the targets and the deadlines to reach them. They are revised whenever necessary taking into consideration the latest developments and projections. The fiscal targets, among others, have been revised in the past and can also be revised in the future if deemed necessary, in accordance with the relevant procedures.

The Council (Ecofin) and the Eurogroup have agreed in principle, subject to national procedures, to lengthen the maturities of the EFSM and EFSF loans to Portugal and Ireland by increasing the weighted average maturity limit by seven years provided their continued successful programme implementation is confirmed by the Troika together with the 7th review of the Portuguese programme, which has just been successfully completed, and the 9th review of the Irish adjustment programme.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης P-003997/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE)

(10 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Δικαιώματα αποφοίτων Ελληνικής ΕΣΔΔΑ — Κατάρτιση στελεχών και ταχεία εξέλιξη στην Ελλάδα

H Εθνική Σχολή Δημόσιας Διοίκησης (πλέον Εθνική Σχολή Δημόσιας Διοίκησης και Αυτοδιοίκησης ή ΕΣΔΔΑ) λειτουργεί ως παραγωγική Σχολή Στελεχών του ελληνικού κράτους από το 1983 (ν. 1388/83). Συνολικά έχουν αποφοιτήσει περίπου δύο χιλιάδες στελέχη, τα οποία υπηρετούν σε όλο το φάσμα της Δημόσιας Διοίκησης, στην Ελλάδα και στο εξωτερικό. Με κοινή απόφαση της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης και της Επιτροπής το 1992 τα προγράμματα σπουδών της σχολής εντάχθηκαν στις συγχρηματοδοτούμενες δράσεις του Β' ΚΠΣ. Η χρηματοδότηση της ΕΣΔΔΑ από κοινοτικούς πόρους — η οποία συνεχίζεται έως σήμερα μέσω του Γ' ΚΠΣ και του ΕΣΠΑ — πρόσφερε ξεχωριστή ώθηση και αναβάθμισε ποσοτικά και ποιοτικά το παραγόμενο αποτέλεσμα. Σύμφωνα με τα τεχνικά δελτία, στόχο της Σχολής αποτελεί η κατάρτιση στελεχών ταχείας εξέλιξης. Ωστόσο, στο πλαίσιο των διαπραγματεύσεων με την τρόικα, ορισμένες προβλέψεις σχετικά με την αναδιάρθρωση του δημοσίου τομέα στην Ελλάδα δεν εξυπηρετούν τον παραπάνω στόχο, καθώς δεν αξιοποιούνται οι απόφοιτοι της ΕΣΔΑΑ αλλά και δεν είναι εγγυημένη η παραμονή τους στη δημόσια διοίκηση.

Κατόπιν των ανωτέρω, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Ως συγχρηματοδοτούμενη δράση, ποια στοιχεία διαθέτει σχετικά με την επίτευξη του προγραμματικού στόχου της ταχείας ανέλιξης των αποφοίτων της ΕΣΔΔΑ και σε ποιες δράσεις προτίθεται να προβεί προκειμένου να αξιοποιηθούν στο μέγιστο δυνατό βαθμό οι απόφοιτοι της ΕΣΔΔΑ οι οποίοι πρόσφατα υποβαθμίστηκαν βαθμολογικά (ν. 4024/11);

Πώς θα διασφαλίσει με απόλυτο τρόπο ότι, στο πλαίσιο της αναδιάρθρωσης των δομών, δεν θα απομακρυνθεί όχι μόνο από την θέση για την οποία επελέγη και εκπαιδεύθηκε αλλά και γενικά από το ελληνικό κράτος κανείς απόφοιτος της ΕΣΔΔΑ, ώστε να μην ακυρωθεί η στοχευμένη αυτή επένδυση για την αναβάθμιση της ελληνικής Δημόσιας Διοίκησης;

Καθώς οι απόφοιτοι της ΕΣΔΔΑ διακρίνονται για τις άριστες ικανότητες και δεξιότητες που διαθέτουν και για τον υψηλό επαγγελματισμό τους, απόρροια του ιδιαιτέρως απαιτητικού και αξιοκρατικού τρόπου εισαγωγής, αλλά και του επιπέδου σπουδών σε αυτή και ενώ λόγω της δημοσιονομικής κατάστασης της χώρας έχει συμφωνηθεί με την τρόικα ο περιορισμός των προσλήψεων στο δημόσιο (1 πρόσληψη — 5 αποχωρήσεις) — με ποιο τρόπο προτίθεται η Επιτροπή να διαφυλάξει τη λειτουργία της σχολής και τη στελέχωση του δημοσίου με μέλη της — όπως άλλωστε προβλέπεται από τη λειτουργία της σχολής, την οποία και η ΕΕ συγχρηματοδοτεί, ιδίως στο πλαίσιο της φερόμενης πρότασης για προσλήψεις νέων προσοντούχων υπαλλήλων;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(23 Μαΐου 2013)

Στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος, οι απολύσεις ή οι μετατάξεις των εργαζομένων στο καθεστώς κινητικότητας θα πρέπει να βασίζονται σε αυστηρή αξιολόγηση των διοικητικών δομών και υπαλλήλων από μέρους της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης, για να διατηρηθεί διαχρονικά ο ορθός συνδυασμός δεξιοτήτων των εργαζομένων. Το πρόγραμμα δεν έχει ως σκοπό να στερήσει τον ελληνικό δημόσιο τομέα από εργαζόμενους με υψηλά προσόντα. Αντιθέτως, το πρόγραμμα έχει ως στόχο να βελτιώσει την ποιότητα της δημόσιας διοίκησης και να διασφαλίσει ότι τα καθήκοντα που είναι απαραίτητα επί του παρόντος ασκούνται από εργαζόμενους με υψηλά προσόντα.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003997/13

to the Commission

Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Rights of Greek National School of Public Administration graduates — training for fast-stream public service recruitment in Greece

The Greek National School of Public Administration (ESDDA) has been training recruits to fill senior public service posts in Greece since 1983 (Law 1388/83), around 2000 of its graduates having been appointed to serve in this capacity in all departments, both at home and abroad. In 1992, the Greek Government and the Commission jointly decided to accord EU funding for this purpose under the Second CSF. This measure proved to be of substantial assistance, greatly enhancing standards in qualitative and quantitative terms, and was accordingly continued under the third CSF and the NSRF. According to the relevant fact sheets, the purpose of this institution is to supply fast-stream administrative recruits. It appears, however that this is now being called into question since, following the anticipated restructuring of the Greek public service being discussed with the Troika, ESDDA graduates will no longer enjoy career advancement or even any guarantee of continued public service employment.

In view of this:

What information does the Commission have regarding the effectiveness of the co-funded ESDDA fast-stream graduate recruitment programme? What action can it take to ensure that ESDDA graduates, who have recently suffered downgrading (under Law 4024/11), are able to achieve their full potential?

How will it ensure that restructuring measures do not cause any ESDDA graduates to be removed from the posts to which they were recruited, having undergone the necessary training, or indeed be forced to abandon the Greek public service altogether and thereby guarantee that investment to date in improving public service efficiency is not effectively nullified?

Given that ESDDA, with its extremely exacting enrolment requirements and high academic standards, turns out graduates distinguished by their excellent qualifications, skills and professional abilities, how does the Commission intend to ensure the continued functioning of the school and the public service recruitment of its graduates, this being the purpose for which it was accorded EU funding, particularly in view of current proposals agreed in consultation with the Troika, given the financial situation of Greece, to restrict newly-qualified public service intake (one recruitment for every five departures)?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2013)

In the context of the programme, dismissals or transfers of employees to the mobility scheme should be based on a rigorous evaluation by the Greek Government of administrative structures and personnel, in order to maintain the right skill mix of employees over time. It is not the intention of the programme to deprive the Greek public sector of highly qualified employees. On the contrary, the goal is to increase the quality of the public administration and ensure that highly qualified staff covers functions currently needed.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-003998/13

alla Commissione

Giancarlo Scottà (EFD)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Vendita a distanza di vino a privati

La vendita diretta è uno strumento efficace per controbilanciare il potere della grande distribuzione. Stiamo lavorando alla riforma della Politica agricola comune e anche in tale ambito essa viene richiamata come importante strumento a favore dei piccoli produttori.

Le vendite dirette rappresentano per diversi settori un importante guadagno. Per il settore del vino la percentuale è considerevole. In Italia, ad esempio, ben il 37 % dei consumatori preferisce acquistare direttamente dai produttori.

Le piccole realtà produttive rappresentano spesso un'attrattiva turistica. Lo sviluppo del settore enoturistico può rappresentare una soluzione alla crisi attuale per diverse realtà. Sono diversi però gli ostacoli che si incontrano: i turisti che visitano le cantine di altri paesi e che vogliono ordinare vino una volta rientrati nel proprio Stato membro si scontrano con la burocrazia.

Attualmente la direttiva 2008/118/CE autorizza un privato che acquista vino, in uno Stato membro diverso dal suo, a trasportarlo e introdurlo nel proprio Stato, senza dover pagare le accise. Sono previsti limiti, ossia 90 litri per il vino e 60 per lo spumante.

Qualora un privato volesse acquistare a distanza piccole quantità da un produttore di un altro Stato membro, le difficoltà sono notevoli: bisogna passare attraverso un rappresentante fiscale che paghi le accise e il prezzo della bottiglia aumenta velocemente.

Queste barriere, di fatto, impediscono al piccolo produttore di beneficiare del mercato comune e colpiscono al tempo stesso il consumatore.

Quali sono i motivi che impediscono di assimilare l'acquisto da parte dei privati alle vendite a distanza nei limiti dei quantitativi previsti dalla normativa sopra citata?

Quali misure intende intraprendere la Commissione per conseguire una soluzione a questa distorsione del mercato, per cui vengono agevolate solo le grandi aziende?

Risposta di Algirdas Šemeta a nome della Commissione

(6 maggio 2013)

In base alla direttiva 2008/118/CE, se un privato acquista per uso personale prodotti sottoposti ad accisa e li trasporta da uno Stato membro a un altro, è tenuto a pagare l’accisa solo nello Stato membro in cui è avvenuto l’acquisto, il che costituisce un’eccezione alla regola generale in base alla quale l’accisa è esigibile nello Stato membro in cui i prodotti vengono consumati.

Considerando il calo nel gettito delle accise che registrerebbero alcuni Stati membri se tale principio fosse esteso alle vendite a distanza, la Commissione ritiene che la proposta di modificare in tal senso la direttiva 2008/118/CE rischierebbe di produrre effetti di distorsione sproporzionati sul mercato unico.

La Commissione è impegnata a ridurre gli oneri amministrativi a carico dei piccolo produttori di vino. Essa ha istituito un gruppo di esperti (211) composto da rappresentanti della Commissione e degli Stati membri per studiare come migliorare gli attuali accordi in materia di conformità fiscale, in particolare quelli basati sull’articolo 36 della direttiva 2008/118/CE. Entro giugno 2014 verrà pubblicata una relazione preliminare sulle migliori prassi nel quadro degli attuali accordi.

In base all’articolo 45, paragrafo 2, della direttiva 2008/118/CE, nel 2015 la Commissione presenterà al Parlamento europeo e al Consiglio una relazione sull'attuazione della direttiva, comprese le disposizioni in materia di vendita a distanza. Laddove la Commissione ritenga che sia necessario apportare modifiche all’attuale quadro giuridico per ridurre gli oneri amministrativi, tali modifiche saranno incluse nella relazione.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-003998/13

to the Commission

Giancarlo Scottà (EFD)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Distance selling of wine to private customers

Direct selling is an effective tool to counterbalance the power of the large retailers. We are currently working on the reform of the common agricultural policy and, in this regard, too, it is being referred to as an important tool for small-scale producers.

Direct sales are a major source of income for a number of sectors. The wine sector has a very high percentage of direct sales. In Italy, for example, as many as 37% of consumers prefer to buy directly from producers.

Small-scale producers are often a tourist attraction. The development of wine tourism can be a solution to the current crisis in many different areas. There are, however, several obstacles that can be encountered: for instance tourists who visit wine cellars in other countries and want to order wine once they are back in their own country often have problems with red tape.

At present, Directive 2008/118/EC allows an individual who buys wine in a Member State other than his own to take it home to his own country without having to pay excise duty. There are, however limits — 90 litres for wine and 60 for sparkling wine.

But if an individual wants to purchase, from a distance, small quantities from a producer of another Member State, the difficulties are considerable, as the person has to go through the intermediary of a tax representative who pays the excise duty, and the price per bottle thus increases rapidly.

These barriers are actually preventing small-scale producers from benefiting from the common market whilst at the same time affecting consumers.

What are the reasons preventing distance selling from being put on the same footing as purchases made by private individuals, within the limits of the quantities laid down by the abovementioned rules?

What measures will the Commission take to find a solution to this market distortion, which is to the benefit of large companies alone?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(6 May 2013)

Under Directive 2008/118/EC when a private individual acquires excise goods for his own use, and transports them from one Member State to another he is charged excise duty only in the Member State of purchase. This is an exception to the general rule that excise duty is chargeable in the Member State where the goods are consumed.

Given the loss of excise revenue that some Member States would suffer if this principle were extended to distance selling the Commission is of the opinion that a proposal to change Directive 2008/118/EC in this way would risk distorting the Single Market in a disproportionate way.

The Commission is committed to reducing administrative burdens on small scale producers of wine. The Commission has established a Project Group (212) consisting of the Commission and representatives of the Member States to investigate how current arrangements for fiscal compliance can be improved, particularly those based on Article 36 of Directive 2008/118/EC. An initial report on best practice under the current arrangements will be produced by June 2014.

Under Article 45(2) of Directive 2008/118/EC the Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council in 2015 on the implementation of the directive, including the provisions on distance selling. Where the Commission considers changes to the current legal situation to be necessary to reduce administrative burden such changes will be included in the report.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003999/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán y la Directiva 2001/7/UE sobre morosidad

La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán se muestra a modo de resumen en el siguiente enlace: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

Las administraciones del Reino de España están incumpliendo el marco contractual que han firmado con las oficinas de Farmacia catalanas, la Directiva 2011/7/UE sobre morosidad y las disposiciones legales del Reino de España, entre otras el Real Decreto‐ley 4/2013.

¿Puede intervenir de oficio la Comisión solicitando explicaciones al Reino de España sobre esta situación?

¿Puede notificar la Comisión al Reino de España el cumplimiento de la legislación vigente?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004000/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Situación del sector oficina de Farmacia y retraso en el pago de las administraciones públicas

La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán se muestra a modo de resumen en el siguiente enlace: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

El acceso de la población a los tratamientos farmacológicos es un objetivo social básico. Los atrasos acumulados por las administraciones españolas a las oficinas de Farmacia catalanas dificultan el cumplimiento de este objetivo. Además del impacto social, la propia Comisión ha elaborado informes donde demuestra el impacto económico negativo de la morosidad de las administraciones públicas sobre la economía de los Estados y el crecimiento económico. En rueda de prensa de 8 de abril de 2009, el entonces Vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea Günter Verheugen, dijo que el retraso en el pago de las administraciones públicas no se toleraría por más tiempo.

¿Puede intervenir de oficio la Comisión solicitando explicaciones al Reino de España sobre esta situación?

¿Puede la Comisión exigir al Reino de España el cumplimiento de la legislación vigente?

Respuesta conjunta del Sr. Tajani en nombre de la Comisión

(12 de junio de 2013)

Por norma general, una vez se han adoptado de forma satisfactoria las medidas nacionales de transposición de la Directiva 2011/7/UE por la que se establecen medidas de lucha contra la morosidad en las operaciones comerciales, las infracciones de la legislación nacional deberían normalmente resolverse ante los tribunales nacionales competentes. La Comisión tiene asimismo conocimiento del mecanismo de financiación español para enfrentarse a los pagos atrasados a partir de 2012 (213).

Por lo que se refiere a la medida de transposición española, España ha implementado la Directiva 2011/7/UE por el Real Decreto-ley 4/2013, que se notificó el 22 de febrero de 2013. El Gobierno español ha decidido que el Real Decreto-ley solo se aplicará a los contratos concluidos después de febrero de 2013.

La Comisión está realizando actualmente un análisis jurídico de las medidas nacionales notificadas, incluida la legislación nacional española, para comprobar que las medidas se ajustan a lo dispuesto en la Directiva. A este respecto, la Comisión está en contacto con las autoridades españolas competentes.

La Comisión supervisará de cerca la correcta aplicación de la Directiva a nivel nacional a través del grupo de expertos sobre morosidad, que será convocado para una tercera reunión que tendrá lugar en los próximos meses. La Comisión también apoya la correcta aplicación a través de la campaña de información sobre la morosidad en los pagos (214), en marcha desde octubre de 2012 en todos los países de la UE (215).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-003999/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: The situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry and Directive 2011/7/EU on late payment

An overview of the situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry is available at the following link: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136.

The public administrations of the Kingdom of Spain are failing to comply with the contractual framework they signed with Catalan pharmacies, Directive 2011/7/EU on late payment, and the legal provisions of the Kingdom of Spain, including Royal Decree-Law No 4/2013.

Can the Commission act on its own initiative to ask the Kingdom of Spain to explain this situation?

Can the Commission update the Kingdom of Spain on compliance with current legislation?

Question for written answer E-004000/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry and late payments by public administrations

The following link provides a summary of the situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

Public access to drug treatment is a primary social objective. The arrears accumulated by the Spanish Government with regard to Catalan pharmacies make it difficult to achieve this objective. Besides the social impact, the Commission itself has issued reports showing the negative economic impact of government default on Member States’ economies and on economic growth. At a press conference on 8 April 2009, the then Vice-President of the European Commission, Günter Verheugen, said that late payments by public administrations should be no longer tolerated.

Can the Commission act on its own initiative to demand explanations from the Kingdom of Spain for this situation?

Can the Commission demand that the Kingdom of Spain complies with current legislation?

Joint answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2013)

As a general rule, once satisfactory national transposition measures of Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment have been adopted, infringements of the national legislation ought normally to be resolved before the national competent courts. The Commission is also aware of the Spanish financing mechanism to cope with the arrears from 2012 (216).

As regards the Spanish transposition measure, Spain has implemented Directive 2011/7/EU by Royal Decree Law No 4/2013, which was notified on 22 February 2013. The Spanish Government has decided that the Decree law will only apply to contracts concluded after February 2013.

The Commission is currently undertaking a legal analysis of the notified national measures, including the Spanish national law, to verify whether the measures comply with the directive. With regard to this, the Commission is in contact with the competent authorities in Spain.

The Commission will closely monitor the correct implementation of the directive at national level through the late payment expert group that will be called for its third meeting in the following months. The Commission also supports correct implementation through the Late Payment Information Campaign (217) that has been running since October 2012 in all EU countries (218).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004001/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: El retraso en el pago a las oficinas de Farmacia por parte de las administraciones españolas

La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán se muestra a modo de resumen en el siguiente enlace: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

La cadena del medicamento se financia en el caso catalán a través de los ingresos de las oficinas de Farmacia, que liquidan directamente a sus proveedores. El retraso en el pago a las oficinas de Farmacia por parte de las administraciones españolas está poniendo en peligro la viabilidad económica de las propias oficinas de Farmacia, de los mayoristas, de los distribuidores y de la industria farmacéutica. Un fallo financiero sectorial sería negativo para la economía productiva y dificultaría la mejora económica de la Unión Europea.

¿Dispone la Comisión de líneas de financiación que aporten financiación competitiva para las oficinas de Farmacia catalanas?

En caso negativo, ¿puede solicitar la Comisión la creación de líneas de crédito del Banco Europeo de Inversiones para financiar estas facturas pendientes de cobro?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004002/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Situación del sector oficina de Farmacia: inversiones colectivas en nuevas tecnologías de la información y comunicación comprometidas

La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán se muestra a modo de resumen en el siguiente enlace: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

El sector de oficina de Farmacia de Cataluña proyecta realizar inversiones colectivas en nuevas tecnologías de la información y comunicación, en equipamientos tecnológicos y en infraestructuras que mejoren su posición de valor tanto asistencial como de eficiencia operativa. Esta inversión debe contribuir al crecimiento económico de la Unión Europea. La descapitalización que el sector está sufriendo a causa de los retrasos expuestos impide su ejecución.

¿Dispone la Comisión de líneas de financiación que aporten financiación competitiva para las oficinas de Farmacia catalanas?

En caso negativo, ¿puede solicitar la Comisión la creación de líneas de crédito del Banco Europeo de Inversiones para financiar estas facturas pendientes de cobro?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004003/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Situación del sector oficina de Farmacia y posibles líneas de financiación europeas

La situación del sector oficina de Farmacia catalán se muestra a modo de resumen en el siguiente enlace: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136

La inversión farmacéutica a través de las oficinas de Farmacia no tiene efecto inflacionista (inferior al 19 % en el período 2009-2012). Las asignaciones de recursos para financiar facturas pendientes de cobrar no generan inflación. Por el contrario, se canalizan a través de un sector productivo con elevada tasa de ocupación profesional y capacidad de desarrollo de servicios sanitarios.

¿Dispone la Comisión de líneas de financiación que aporten financiación competitiva para las oficinas de Farmacia catalanas?

En caso negativo, ¿piensa la Comisión crear líneas de crédito del Banco Europeo de Inversiones para financiar estas facturas pendientes de cobro?

Respuesta conjunta del Sr. Tajani en nombre de la Comisión

(12 de junio de 2013)

Pagar las facturas atrasadas de los organismos públicos y evitar que se acumulen nuevos atrasos sigue siendo una prioridad para la Comisión. Según la Directiva 2011/7/UE sobre la morosidad en las operaciones comerciales, las autoridades públicas tendrán que pagar en 30 días naturales los bienes y servicios que se les hayan suministrado, con la posibilidad de ampliar el plazo de pago a un máximo de 60 días naturales para entidades públicas que presten servicios de asistencia sanitaria y que estén debidamente reconocidas para ello.

Las autoridades nacionales españolas han adoptado un acto (219) que ha puesto en marcha un mecanismo de financiación para que las autoridades locales y las comunidades autónomas cumplan sus obligaciones pendientes con respecto a sus proveedores. Por lo tanto, la Comisión aconseja a Su Señoría que se ponga directamente en contacto con el Gobierno español.

La UE no cuenta con una financiación específica para los productos farmacéuticos que se destinan directamente a las farmacias. No obstante, en el marco del PIC (220) 2007-2013, la Comisión apoya a las empresas de la UE con instrumentos facilitados por el FEI (221) a través de intermediarios financieros (en su mayoría bancos, fondos de garantía y fondos de capital riesgo). En particular, los sistemas de garantía financiados con cargo a este programa van dirigidos a ayudar a las empresas en todos los sectores, incluidas las farmacias, a tener mejor acceso a los préstamos bancarios (222).

Las competencias fundamentales del BEI consisten en proporcionar financiación y conocimientos para proyectos de inversión sólidos y sostenibles que contribuyan a los objetivos políticos de la UE, pero no interviene en los retrasos en los pagos. A través de los préstamos a las PYME de que es intermediario, el BEI (223) garantiza la disponibilidad de financiación específica para las PYME, incluidas las farmacias, lo que ayuda a la economía real, incrementando el volumen de financiación disponible (224) y reduciendo el coste de los créditos por parte de las PYME gracias a la bajada de los tipos de interés y a la concesión de préstamos a más largo plazo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004001/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Late payments to pharmacies by Spanish public administrations

An overview of the situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry is available at the following link: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136.

In Catalonia, the drug chain is financed through the revenue of pharmacies, which pay their suppliers directly. Late payments to pharmacies by Spanish public administrations are endangering the economic viability of the pharmacies themselves, of wholesalers, distributors and the pharmaceutical industry. Financial collapse in the industry would have a negative impact on the productive economy and would hamper the EU’s economic recovery.

Does the Commission have lines of funding that can provide competitive financing for Catalan pharmacies?

If not, can the Commission call for European Investment Bank credit lines to be established to fund these outstanding invoices?

Question for written answer E-004002/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry: promised collective investments in new information and communication technologies

The following link provides a summary of the situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136.

The pharmacy industry in Catalonia is planning to make collective investments in new information and communication technologies, in technology and in infrastructure to improve its status as an operationally efficient healthcare provider. This investment should aid economic growth in the European Union. The industry’s performance is hampered by a lack of capital caused by late payments.

Does the Commission have lines of funding that can provide competitive financing for Catalan pharmacies?

If not, can the Commission call for the creation of European Investment Bank loans to fund these outstanding invoices?

Question for written answer E-004003/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Situation of the pharmacy industry and potential European lines of funding

The following link provides a summary of the situation of the Catalan pharmacy industry: http://www.cofb.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=ea5f6a90-ec8c-42f9-a6d3-1f74ee76c77f&groupId=10136.

Pharmaceutical investment through pharmacies has no inflationary impact (less than 19% in the period 2009-2012). Allocating resources to finance outstanding invoices does not cause inflation. On the contrary, resources are channelled through a manufacturing sector with a high rate of employment and which is capable of developing health services.

Does the Commission have lines of funding that can provide competitive financing for Catalan pharmacies?

If not, will the Commission create European Investment Bank loans to fund these outstanding invoices?

Joint answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2013)

Clearing arrears in payments by public bodies and avoiding the build-up of new arrears remains a priority for the Commission. According to Directive 2011/7/UE on late payment in commercial transactions, public authorities will have to pay within 30 calendar days for the goods and services they procured, with the possibility to extend the payment period to a maximum of 60 calendar days to public entities providing healthcare which are duly recognised for that purpose.

Spain's National Authorities have adopted a regulation (225) that has put in place a funding mechanism for both the Local Authorities and the Autonomous Communities to meet outstanding obligations to their providers. The Commission would therefore suggest that the Honourable Member contacts the Spanish Government directly.

The EU does not have specific funding for pharmaceuticals going directly to pharmacies. However, within the CIP (226) 2007-2013, the Commission supports EU companies with instruments provided by the EIF (227) through financial intermediaries (mainly banks, guarantee funds and venture capital funds). In particular, guarantee schemes supported by this programme are available to help businesses across sectors, including pharmacies, to have better access to bank loans (228).

EIB’s core remit is to provide finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects that contribute to EU policy objectives, not to intervene in payment delays. Through its intermediated SME loans, the EIB (229) ensures the availability of dedicated funding for SMEs, including pharmacies, that helps the real economy by increasing the amount of funding available (230), reducing the cost of borrowing by SMEs through lower interest rates and providing longer-term loans.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004004/13

a la Comisión

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Posible vulneración de las normas comunes para el mercado interior del gas natural

El proyecto Castor de almacenamiento de gas natural, situado en el término municipal de Vinaroz (Castellón), limítrofe con otros términos municipales de la Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña, ha provocado el desequilibrio del sector gasístico ante el aumento de los costes asociados al proyecto, que se han triplicado de forma alarmante pasando de 500 millones de euros a 1 500 millones de euros en la actualidad, por lo que se pone en entredicho la necesidad de este proyecto.

Eurogas Corporation (Eurogas), el Grupo ACS y Enagás firmaron un acuerdo que impulsará el Proyecto Castor de Almacenamiento Subterráneo de gas natural, situado en la provincia de Castellón. Mediante este acuerdo, ACS aumentó su participación en Escal UGS S.L. (la compañía española que desarrolla el proyecto) desde el 5 % hasta el 66,67 %. Castor Limited Partnership (CLP), de la que Eurogas posee un 73,7 %, tendrá el 33,33 % de Escal UGS. Cuando entre en funcionamiento el almacenamiento Castor, ACS venderá a Enagás la mitad de su participación del 66,67 %. A partir de ese momento CLP, ACS y Enagás poseerán un 33,33 % de Escal UGS cada una.

La Directiva 2009/73/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 13 de julio de 2009, sobre normas comunes para el mercado interior del gas natural, por la que se deroga la Directiva 2003/55/CE, establece que «las empresas de gas natural, cualquiera que sea su régimen de propiedad o su personalidad jurídica, establecerán, publicarán y someterán su contabilidad anual a una auditoría con arreglo a las normas de la legislación nacional sobre contabilidad anual de las sociedades de responsabilidad limitada […]. Las empresas de gas natural llevarán en su contabilidad interna cuentas separadas para cada una de sus actividades de transporte, distribución, GNL y almacenamiento tal como se les exigiría si dichas actividades fueran realizadas por empresas distintas, a fin de evitar discriminaciones, subvenciones cruzadas y distorsión de la competencia».

¿Qué medidas piensa adoptar la Comisión para verificar que, en cumplimiento de la citada Directiva, el Reino de España ha obligado, y en qué términos, a las empresas accionistas de dicho proyecto, a llevar una contabilidad interna de cuentas separadas, al objeto de evitar discriminaciones, subvenciones cruzadas y distorsión de la competencia?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004005/13

a la Comisión

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE)

(10 de abril de 2013)

Asunto: Posible vulneración de las normas comunes para el mercado interior del gas natural (2)

El proyecto Castor de almacenamiento de gas natural, situado en el término municipal de Vinaroz (Castellón), limítrofe con otros términos municipales de la Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña, ha incrementado sus costes pasándose de 500 millones de euros inicialmente a aproximadamente 1 300 millones de euros, alarmando incluso al sector energético nacional. El interés económico general se encuentra comprometido en la medida en que el precio final, como es el caso, es trasladado al consumidor y se produce una conducta abusiva respecto de los principios de competitividad y transparencia, como es el caso de este proyecto.

La Comisión Nacional de la Energía, en su informe sobre el sector energético español —medidas para garantizar la sostenibilidad económico-financiera del sistema gasista, de 7 de 3 de 2012, señalaba que «la aparición del déficit obedece a dos factores esenciales: de una parte al significativo crecimiento de los costes regulados por la puesta en servicio de un número importante de infraestructuras […], y en particular, por la prevista puesta en servicio en 2012-2013 de instalaciones con un elevado volumen de inversión, tales como los Almacenamientos Subterráneos (AA.SS.) de Castor […]». El impacto en los costes regulados para 2012 se estima en 230 millones de euros, y para 2013 en 378 millones de euros, cantidades que agravan la magnitud del déficit actual.

Por otro lado, se aconseja analizar la posibilidad de reconocer por norma los efectos que en la retribución reconocida de las infraestructuras podría tener la asignación mediante mecanismos no concurrenciales de determinadas partidas de inversión. Asimismo se pone de manifiesto la existencia de partidas adjudicadas directamente en el AASS de Castor que pueden haber supuesto costes adicionales para el sistema, así como contrataciones externas de actividades de operación y mantenimiento, que se puedan producir sin la existencia de procedimientos competitivos para su adjudicación.

¿Qué medidas piensa adoptar la Comisión para verificar el grado de cumplimiento de los principios comunitarios de transparencia y concurrencia en los procedimientos de contratación administrativa del proyecto, tanto por las administraciones implicadas como por las empresas concesionarias o beneficiarias de autorizaciones administrativas sobre el dominio público?

Respuesta conjunta del Sr. Oettinger en nombre de la Comisión

(28 de mayo de 2013)

La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a su respuesta conjunta a las preguntas escritas E-005051/2012 y E-005052/2012 (231) presentadas en su día por Su Señoría.

En relación con el aspecto concreto de la contratación pública, la Comisión es consciente de la importancia del respeto a los principios de transparencia y libre competencia en los procedimientos de contratación del proyecto, en particular en lo que se refiere a las actividades reguladas habida cuenta del impacto potencial sobre los costes regulados.

La actividad de almacenamiento es una actividad económica regulada con acceso de terceros también regulado en virtud del marco jurídico español. El artículo 68 de la Ley española 34/1998 del sector de hidrocarburos garantiza que los operadores del sector del almacenamiento lleven a cabo sus actividades dentro del respeto a determinadas obligaciones. Entre estas figura la obligación de facilitar determinada información sobre sus planes anuales y plurianuales de inversión. Las autoridades españolas responsables de la fijación y aprobación de los regímenes de tarifas deben verificar la exactitud de los incrementos de los costes asociados a la construcción y explotación del proyecto y la coherencia con la información proporcionada por el operador de las instalaciones de almacenamiento en sus planes anuales y plurianuales de inversión. En principio, solamente se incluirán en las tarifas reguladas los costes justificados como consecuencia de procedimientos de contratación pública transparentes y competitivos.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004004/13

to the Commission

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Possible infringement of the common rules for the internal market in natural gas

The Castor natural gas storage project, in the municipality of Vinaroz (province of Castellón), bordering other municipalities in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, has caused an imbalance in the gas sector in view of the increase in the project’s costs, which have tripled alarmingly, rising from EUR 500 million to EUR 1.5 billion at present, which calls the need for this project into question.

Eurogas Corporation (Eurogas), ACS Group and Enagás signed an agreement that will boost the Castor underground natural gas storage project, in the province of Castellón. Through this agreement, ACS increased its stake in Escal UGS S.L. (the Spanish company that is carrying out the project) from 5% to 66.67%. Castor Limited Partnership (CLP), of which Eurogas owns 73.7%, will hold a 33.33% stake in Escal UGS. When the Castor storage facility comes into operation, ACS will sell half of its 66.67% stake to Enagás. From that time on, CLP, ACS and Enagás will each own 33.33% of Escal UGS.

Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/CE, lays down that ‘natural gas undertakings, whatever their system of ownership or legal form, shall draw up, submit to audit and publish their annual accounts in accordance with the rules of national law concerning the annual accounts of limited liability companies […] . Natural gas undertakings shall, in their internal accounting, keep separate accounts for each of their transmission, distribution, LNG and storage activities as they would be required to do if the activities in question were carried out by separate undertakings, with a view to avoiding discrimination, cross-subsidisation and distortion of competition.’

What measures does the Commission intend to take to establish that, in compliance with the aforementioned directive, the Kingdom of Spain has required, and on what terms, the shareholding companies in this project to carry out internal accounting with separate accounts, with a view to avoiding discrimination, cross-subsidisation and distortion of competition?

Question for written answer E-004005/13

to the Commission

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Possible infringement of the common rules for the internal market in natural gas (2)

The costs of the Castor natural gas storage project, in the municipality of Vinaroz (province of Castellón), bordering other municipalities of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, have risen from an initial EUR 500 million to approximately EUR 1.3 billion, to the alarm even of the national energy sector. The general economic interest has been compromised insofar as the final cost, as is the case here, is passed on to the consumer and there is improper conduct as regards the principles of competitiveness and transparency, as is the case with this project.

The National Energy Commission, in its report on the Spanish energy sector — measures to guarantee the economic and financial sustainability of the gas system, of 7 March 2012, noted that the emergence of the deficit was due to two basic factors: the significant increase in regulated costs due to the commissioning of a large number of infrastructures and, in particular, the planned commissioning in 2012-2013 of plant requiring high levels of investment, such as Castor’s underground storage facilities. The estimated impact on the regulated costs for 2012 is EUR 230 million, and for 2013, EUR 378 million, sums which make the current deficit even larger.

Moreover, it is advisable to examine the possibility of making it a rule to recognise the effects that the allocation of certain investment items through non-competitive mechanisms could have on the recognised remuneration of infrastructures. It has also been shown that there are items awarded directly to the Castor underground storage facility that may have involved additional costs for the system, and outsourcing of operational and maintenance activities, which may occur without any competitive procedures being in place for their procurement.

What measures does the Commission intend to adopt to establish the degree of compliance with the EU principles of transparency and competition in the project’s procurement procedures, both by the authorities involved and the licensee companies and companies holding administrative licences for the public domain?

Joint answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(28 May 2013)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its joint answer to written questions E-005051/2012 and E-005052/2012 (232) by the Honourable Member.

On the specific aspect of public procurement, the Commission is aware of the importance to respect the principles of transparency and competition in the project's procurement procedures, in particular for the regulated activities given the potential impact on regulated costs.

The activity of storage is a regulated business with regulated third party access under the Spanish legal framework. Article 68 of the Spanish Hydrocarbons Law 34/1998 ensures that storage operators carry out their activities respecting certain obligations. These include the obligation to provide certain information on the annual and multiannual investment plans. The Spanish authorities responsible for fixing and approving tariffs and methodologies should verify the accuracy of the increased costs associated with the construction and operation of the project and the consistency with the information provided by the storage operator in its annual and multiannual investment plans. As a matter of principle, only costs incurred attributed to transparent and competitive procurement procedures shall be included in the regulated tariffs.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004006/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Phil Bennion (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Allegations of torture in Palestinian Authority-run jails

The European Union provides financial and other forms of support to the Palestinian Authority in order to cover, amongst other things, administrative costs for the general running of the administration.

— Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of allegations relating to the torture of prisoners in prisons run by the Palestinian Authority, particularly with regard to the Palestinian General Intelligence Service (GIS)?

— Can the Vice-President/High Representative outline what steps are being taken to ensure that EU funds are not used by authorities to breech basic human rights principles set out in the European Charter and international humanitarian law?

— Can the Vice-President/High Representative outline possible actions the EU could take, should there be sufficient evidence to substantiate claims that such breeches of human rights are being carried out by an authority which is in receipt of European funds?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

As noted in the ENP 2013 progress report for Palestine, detention conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be a matter of concern, with ongoing serious violations of detainees' rights by security agencies and patterns of ill-treatment and torture across Palestine.

The EU constantly raises these issues with the PA particularly in the framework of the subcommittee on ‘Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law’. The next session of this subcommittee is scheduled to take place later this year. The new ENP Action Plan also addresses the importance of taking all the necessary measures to uphold the absolute prohibition of the use of torture and to put in place internal and external investigation mechanisms to ensure accountability for those who commit ill-treatment and torture in detention and under interrogation.

The General Intelligence Service (GIS) is not a recipient of EU funds.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004007/13

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Charles Tannock (ECR) e Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Diritti di proprietà dei cittadini dell'UE in Egitto

Sotto la presidenza di Mubarak, gli egiziani benestanti residenti all'estero e gli investitori stranieri sono stati incoraggiati ad acquistare terreni nella regione del Sinai. In tal modo, i cittadini britannici (e sicuramente molti altri cittadini dell'UE) hanno potuto costruire case e avviare nuove attività, contribuendo allo sviluppo di un settore turistico di successo.

Il 13 settembre 2012, tuttavia, il governo egiziano ha varato una nuova legge che ha limitato la proprietà degli immobili e dei terreni nella suddetta regione (ad eccezione della città di Rafah), destinandola ai cittadini egiziani che non possiedono doppia nazionalità e che sono nati da genitori egiziani. Il generale Shawky Rashwan, capo dell'agenzia governativa responsabile dell'attuazione della riforma, ha dichiarato che le autorità mirano semplicemente a ottenere «giustizia fondiaria» per gli egiziani e a proteggere la sicurezza nazionale alla luce degli attacchi contro i soldati, delle incursioni di bande armate dall'Egitto in Israele e dell'attività dei tunnel. Il governo ha inoltre affermato che, nonostante il riferimento esplicito alla doppia nazionalità nella legge, i possessori di doppio passaporto non ne saranno colpiti.

Sono tuttavia in molti a non essere convinti delle dichiarazioni del governo egiziano. Indubbiamente la legge risente di una formulazione ambigua che fa temere che le suddette misure possano essere applicate in modo retroattivo e possano colpire anche chi possiede il doppio passaporto. Oltretutto le autorità locali hanno concesso agli stranieri soltanto sei mesi per vendere le loro proprietà a cittadini egiziani, con la conseguenza che non solo si privano i cittadini europei delle loro proprietà, ma viene anche meno un pilastro fondamentale dell'economia del luogo.

1.

Quali misure ha adottato il Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante negli ultimi sei mesi allo scopo di proteggere la proprietà privata dei cittadini dell'UE in Egitto?

2.

Come intende reagire il Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante qualora non siano tutelati i diritti dei cittadini europei al mantenimento di proprietà in Egitto, in particolare alla luce dell'importanza assunta dal consistente pacchetto di misure di sostegno e stabilizzazione dell'UE?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(31 maggio 2013)

L'Unione europea ha seguito con attenzione la questione dei diritti di proprietà in Egitto.

Il 3 febbraio 2013 l'Unione europea ha presentato al ministero degli Esteri egiziano una nota verbale in cui chiedeva chiarimenti in merito al decreto legge n. 14/2012 sullo sviluppo integrato della penisola del Sinai e alla decisione n. 959, pubblicata nella Gazzetta ufficiale il 13 settembre 2012, che introduce i regolamenti esecutivi del decreto legge.

In risposta alla nota verbale, il ministero degli Esteri egiziano ha confermato che il decreto legge n. 14/2012 è stato convertito e che i suoi regolamenti esecutivi non hanno effetto retroattivo. Poiché la decisione è stata adottata il 13 settembre 2012 ed entra in vigore dopo sei mesi, il decreto si applica dal 13 marzo 2013.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004007/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Charles Tannock (ECR) and Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Property rights of EU citizens in Egypt

Under Mubarak’s presidency in Egypt, wealthy Egyptian expatriates and foreign investors were encouraged to buy land in the Sinai region, leading British (and no doubt many other EU citizens) to build houses and set up businesses to fuel a successful tourist industry.

However, on 13 September 2012 the Egyptian Government passed a new law restricting land and property ownership in the Sinai region (with the exception of Rafah town) to Egyptians who hold no other nationality and have been born to Egyptian parents. Major-General Shawky Rashwan, head of the government agency charged with implementing the changes, claimed that officials were simply trying to seek ‘justice’ for Egyptians over land rights, and protect national security in the light of the attacks on soldiers, armed gangs’ incursions into Israel from Egypt and tunnel activity. The government also claims that despite the explicit references to dual nationals in the legislation, holders of two passports would not be affected.

Yet many are not convinced by the Egyptian Government’s statements. Certainly, the law suffers from ambiguous wording that has led to fears that the measures could be applied retroactively and dual passport holders may still be affected. Moreover, the Egyptian Government has given foreign nationals just six months to sell their property to Egyptian nationals. This will not only have the effect of depriving European nationals of their property, but remove a fundamental pillar that the local economy depends on.

1.

What measures has the Vice-President/High Representative taken over the past six months to try to protect EU citizens’ private property in Egypt?

2.

How does the Vice-President/High Representative intend to respond if the rights of European citizens to maintain property in Egypt are not upheld, particularly given the leverage gained by the large EU aid and stabilisation package?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2013)

The EU has followed closely the issue on property rights in Egypt.

The EU presented a verbal note on 3 February 2013 to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for clarifications concerning the Decree-Law No 14/2012 regarding the Integrated Development of the Sinai Peninsula and Decision No 959 published in the Official Gazette on 13 September 2012 introducing the Executive regulations for this Decree-Law.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in reply to the verbal note, confirmed that the Decree-Law No 14/2012 is confirmed and its executive regulations are not enforceable retroactively. Accordingly, given that the decision was adopted on 13 September 2012 and enters into force after six months, it is applicable from 13 March 2013.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004008/13

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) e Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Applicazione della segregazione nelle scuole di Gaza

Il 1° aprile 2013 il quotidiano britannico The Telegraph ha riportato che a partire dall'anno prossimo nelle scuole di Gaza sarà applicata la segregazione di genere, che interesserà anche le scuole cristiane e private come pure quelle gestite dalle Nazioni Unite. Waleed Mezher, un consulente giuridico presso il ministero dell'Istruzione, ha affermato che con questa legge il governo di Hamas ha cercato di tutelare i valori islamici conservativi: «Siamo un popolo musulmano. Non abbiamo la necessità di convertire le persone all'islamismo, ci adoperiamo a favore della nostra popolazione e della sua cultura».

Tuttavia Hala Qishawi, direttore del Centro per le questioni femminili a Gaza, afferma: «Sono fondamentalisti che credono che l'Islam dica che le donne dovrebbero stare a casa e non uscire senza l'hijab. Si tratta di un partito fondamentalista che vuole avere il controllo su ogni fascia della società, compresi la società civile, i giovani e le donne».

Questa nuova decisione è solo l'ultima di una serie di restrizioni stabilite dal governo di Hamas per segregare le donne. Quest'anno è stata cancellata una maratona perché Hamas non voleva che le donne del posto o straniere gareggiassero con gli uomini e in precedenza il governo di Hamas aveva cercato di imporre alle studentesse universitarie e alle donne avvocato di indossare il velo. Questa disposizione è stata tuttavia ritirata a causa della forte opposizione.

1.

Alla luce della dichiarazione del governo di Hamas in merito all'applicazione della segregazione in tutte le scuole di Gaza indipendentemente dalla confessione, e dato il sostegno fornito dall'Unione europea ai palestinesi che vivono a Gaza, quali provvedimenti è pronto ad adottare il Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante per affrontare questa controversa questione?

2.

Qual è la sua posizione in merito alle diverse norme approvate dal governo di Hamas che aumentano le restrizioni sociali nei confronti delle donne che vivono nella Striscia di Gaza?

3.

È pronto a ridurre i contributi per gli aiuti umanitari alla Striscia di Gaza qualora Hamas continui a introdurre norme così restrittive?

Risposta dell'Alto Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(30 maggio 2013)

La Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante esprime la propria profonda preoccupazione e netta opposizione a qualsiasi tentativo di accrescere le restrizioni sociali nei confronti delle donne che vivono nella striscia di Gaza. Fintanto che la Striscia di Gaza rimane politicamente separata dalla Cisgiordania, però, i mezzi a disposizione dell'UE per affrontare adeguatamente tale questione sono limitati. Per quanto riguarda le scuole di Gaza, comprese quelle gestite dall'UNRWA, l'Unione europea è consapevole del fatto che nella Striscia di Gaza la maggior parte dei ragazzi e delle ragazze frequentano classi separate. Tuttavia, la recente decisione delle autorità de facto di attuare la separazione in tutte le scuole sembra rientrare in una preoccupante tendenza delle autorità ad imporre la loro ideologia sulla società di Gaza.

Gli interventi umanitari dell'UE continueranno ad essere guidati dalle esigenze umanitarie e non saranno pertanto modificati in base alle decisioni prese dalle autorità de facto, con le quali l'Unione europea non mantiene contatti. Gli interventi umanitari sono rivolti verso gli strati più vulnerabili della popolazione, vale a dire essenzialmente donne e bambini. La parità di accesso al sostegno umanitario dell'UE (che non comprende l'istruzione) continuerà ad essere garantita.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004008/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD) and Charles Tannock (ECR)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Enforced segregation in Gaza schools

On 1 April 2013, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported that from next year, gender segregation in Gaza’s schools will be enforced. This will include Christian, private and even UN-run schools. Waleed Mezher, a legal adviser to the Ministry of Education, has said that the Hamas government was making an attempt to protect conservative Muslim values with legislation: ‘We are a Muslim people. We do not need to make people Muslims and we are doing what serves our people and their culture’.

However, Hala Qishawi, the director of the Women’s Affairs Centre in Gaza, says: ‘They are fundamentalists who believe Islam says women should stay at home and not go out without a hijab. They are a fundamentalist party who want every section of society under their control, including civil society, the young and women’.

This new ruling is just the latest in a string of restrictions issued by the Hamas government to segregate women. A marathon was cancelled this year because Hamas did not want local or foreign women to run with men, and previously, the Hamas government tried to force women university students and lawyers to wear the veil. However, this was dropped due to intense opposition.

1.

In light of the Hamas government’s declaration enforcing segregation in all Gaza schools irrespective of confession, and given the EU’s support for Palestinians living in Gaza, what steps is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to take to address this controversial issue?

2.

What is the position of the Vice-President/High Representative regarding the raft of legislation passed by the Hamas government increasing social restrictions on women living in the Gaza Strip?

3.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative prepared to reduce humanitarian aid contributions to the Gaza Strip if Hamas continues to introduce such restrictive legislation?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

The HR/VP is deeply concerned by and strongly opposed to all attempts to increase social restrictions on women living in the Gaza Strip. However, as long as the Gaza Strip remains politically separated from the West Bank, the EU has limited means to adequately address this issue. Concerning Gaza's schools, the EU is aware of the fact that most boys and girls are already taught separately in the Gaza Strip, including in UNRWA schools. Nevertheless, the recent decision by the de facto authorities to enforce segregation for all schools is part of a worrying trend whereby the authorities appear to be imposing their ideology on Gaza society.

The humanitarian interventions of the EU shall continue to be governed by humanitarian imperatives and will hence not be adjusted in response to decisions taken by the de facto authorities, with which the EU maintains no contact. Humanitarian interventions target the most vulnerable, who are mostly women and children. Equal access to the EU humanitarian supported services (which do not include education) will continue to be ensured.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004010/13

alla Commissione

Giommaria Uggias (ALDE)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Piano di coordinamento per intervento aereo antincendio

L'Italia ha recentemente annunciato una restrizione delle attività antincendio; prevedibilmente, dunque, la prossima estate sarà caratterizzata da un alto rischio per l'incolumità delle persone e di beni preziosi quali boschi e foreste.

Le limitate disponibilità di mezzi e risorse da parte degli Stati Membri non possono determinare una rassegnata accettazione di nefaste conseguenze, ma richiedono un intervento dell'UE in applicazione dei principi di solidarietà e di sussidiarietà.

In attesa del perfezionamento dell'iter legislativo per la costituzione, nell'ambito della cooperazione rafforzata, di un meccanismo unionale di protezione civile, si impone l'esigenza di verificare cosa fin d'ora l'UE possa fare per evitare disastri come quelli verificatisi lo scorso anno in Attica e in diverse regioni di altri Stati Membri.

Vista l'urgenza che, per definizione, accompagna la preparazione degli interventi della protezione civile, può dire la Commissione che cosa sta facendo per attivare tutte le iniziative necessarie a livello di UE nel settore antincendio e, in particolare, nel coordinamento delle specifiche forze aeree, così da rendere effettivi ed efficaci gli interventi della protezione civile?

Risposta di Kristalina Georgieva a nome della Commissione

(21 giugno 2013)

Il centro europeo di risposta alle emergenze della Commissione (CERE) organizza una riunione preparatoria e varie videoconferenze settimanali con gli Stati membri sia all'inizio che durante ogni stagione di incendi forestali per condividere le migliori prassi in materia di preparazione e di reazione, di emergenze in caso di gravi incendi boschivi, considerando anche la disponibilità/tempestività di flotte nazionali di aerei antincendio.

Il sistema europeo di informazione sugli incendi forestali (EFFIS) coordinato dalla Commissione è uno strumento fondamentale per la previsione degli incendi boschivi e viene utilizzato dal CER per rafforzare il coordinamento e la pianificazione degli interventi dei mezzi aerei.

Dal 2006 al 2010 sono stati eseguiti progetti pilota e azioni preparatorie, compresa la riserva tattica antincendio dell'UE (EUFFTR) del 2010, sono stati effettuati per aumentare le risorse operative e gli interventi d'emergenza disponibili per l'estinzione degli incendi.

Ai fini dell'efficacia dell'azione, la Commissione ha incluso elementi simili nella sua proposta di decisione del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio su un meccanismo unionale di protezione civile (COM(2011)934), tra cui la possibilità di preimpegnare risorse per un pool volontario e la possibilità di erogare finanziamenti UE per le capacità di riserva.

Nei programmi di sviluppo rurale, nel periodo 2007-2013, il Fondo europeo agricolo per lo sviluppo rurale (FEASR) ha stanziato per l'Italia 295 milioni di euro, ovvero 522 milioni di euro della spesa pubblica, per la «Ricostituzione del potenziale produttivo forestale e interventi preventivi».

La proposta di regolamento sullo sviluppo rurale da parte della Commissione per il periodo 2014-2020 [COM(2011)627/3], oggetto di discussione del legislatore, prevede di continuare a finanziare le attività che prevengono i danni alle foreste dovuti agli incendi o ad altre calamità naturali.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004010/13

to the Commission

Giommaria Uggias (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Aerial firefighting coordination plan

Italy has recently announced a round of firefighting cuts; presumably, next summer will therefore see a much higher risk to the safety of people and to valuable natural heritage sites such as woods and forests.

The fact that Member States have limited equipment and resources does not have to mean a resigned acceptance of dire consequences, but requires EU intervention in applying the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

Pending completion of the legislative process to establish a Community mechanism for civil protection within the framework of enhanced cooperation, there is an impelling need to ascertain what the EU can do as of now to prevent disasters such as the ones last year in Attica and in various regions of other Member States.

Given the urgency which, by definition, underlies preparations for civil protection interventions, can the Commission say what it is doing to take all the steps needed in the fire-fighting field at EU level and, in particular, to coordinate specific aerial resources so as to make civil protection operations both efficient and effective?

Answer given by Ms Georgieva on behalf of the Commission

(21 June 2013)

The Commission's Emergency Response Centre (MIC/ERC) organises a preparatory meeting and weekly videoconferences with Member States at the start of and during each forest fire season to share best practices on preparedness and response issues, major forest fires emergencies, including the availability/readiness of national fire fighting aerial fleets.

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) coordinated by the Commission is a key instrument regarding forest fire forecasting. It is also used by the ERC to enhance coordination and planning of interventions by aerial means.

From 2006 to 2010, pilot projects and preparatory actions were carried out, including the 2010 EU forest fire tactical reserve (EUFFTR) to increase the available operational resources and emergency support for fire fighting capacities.

The effectiveness of the action prompted the Commission to include similar elements in its Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (COM(2011) 934), including the possibility to pre-commit assets to a voluntary pool and the possibility of EU funding for reserve capacities.

Within the Rural Development Programmes, during 2007-2013 for Italy, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) allocates EUR 295 million, or EUR 522 million of public expenditure, to ‘Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention actions’

The Commission's Rural Development Regulation proposal for 2014-2020 [COM(2011) 627/3], under discussion by the legislator, proposes continued funding for activities preventing forest damage from fires and other natural disasters.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004022/13

to the Commission

Rebecca Taylor (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Airport body scanners

The UK Government denies passengers the right to opt out from full-body scanners when passing through security checks at certain airports.

The Commission has confirmed that it is undertaking a legal assessment that aims to verify whether this constitutes a breach of EC law.

Can you state when this legal assessment will be completed?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(14 May 2013)

The Commission expects to finalise by July 2013 the legal assessment whether UK measures to deny passengers an opt-out from security scanner screening constitutes a breach of EU legislation. As already committed to at earlier occasions the Commission will inform the European Parliament as soon as it takes a position on this subject.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004023/13

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 aprile 2013)

Oggetto: Patto di stabilità e cofinanziamento dei fondi dell'UE: nuovi criteri per investimenti di pubblica utilità

In Italia la spesa certificata per i programmi finanziati con i fondi strutturali dell'UE si attesta al 37 %. Il buon utilizzo delle risorse unionali è l'elemento principale delle negoziazioni in corso per la programmazione 2014 — 2020, che si concentra infatti su una migliore pianificazione, gestione, utilizzo delle risorse e su una maggiore partecipazione degli enti nazionali e locali.

Per le amministrazioni locali, infatti, uno dei fattori che rende difficile la loro partecipazione al co-finanziamento relativo alla programmazione dell'UE è dato dai vincoli imposti dal patto di stabilità.

Durante il Consiglio europeo di marzo è stato chiesto alla Commissione europea di portare avanti un risanamento di bilancio differenziato e favorevole alla crescita al fine di, tra le altre cose, permettere investimenti pubblici produttivi per contrastare gli effetti della recessione.

Premesso che un maggiore e migliore uso delle risorse dell'UE è fondamentale per stimolare la crescita e l'occupazione, può la Commissione comunicare:

se intende promuovere delle iniziative affinché la quota delle spese nazionali per il cofinanziamento di fondi europei possa essere scorporata dai criteri di deficit e di debito degli Stati membri, in particolare per i paesi con un deficit sotto il 3 %;

se, e in che modo, possano essere esclusi dagli aggregati rilevanti del Patto di stabilità interno le spese sostenute da enti locali e regioni per il cofinanziamento dei fondi strutturali europei;

se, e in che modo, i cofinanziamenti nazionali dei fondi strutturali dell'UE possano essere inseriti nei fattori di calcolo all'interno del Patto di stabilità;

un quadro della situazione negli altri paesi UE in termini di risorse assegnate e spesa certificata?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(29 maggio 2013)

Mediante la comunicazione dal titolo «Piano per un'Unione economica e monetaria autentica e approfondita» (233) la Commissione garantisce una flessibilità maggiore nell'ambito del patto di stabilità e crescita (PSC) per quanto riguarda i programmi di investimenti pubblici aventi un effetto dimostrato sulla sostenibilità delle finanze pubbliche. Il cofinanziamento nazionale dei programmi dell'Unione figurava esplicitamente tra le spese imputabili nel quadro di tale «clausola sugli investimenti».

Ciò mira a introdurre una maggiore flessibilità nel percorso di avvicinamento all'obiettivo a medio termine (OMT) così da agevolare il cofinanziamento dei programmi UE, ivi compresa la politica di coesione, le Reti Transeuropee e il Meccanismo per collegare l'Europa (Connecting Europe Facility).

La clausola sugli investimenti sarà implementata nell'ambito della parte preventiva del PSC. È opportuno che la deviazione dal percorso di avvicinamento all'obiettivo a medio termine sia solo temporanea, cosicché il termine fissato per il conseguimento dell'OMT rimanga invariato. Gli Stati membri che avranno già conseguito tale obiettivo potranno temporaneamente discostarsene. La clausola sugli investimenti sarà applicabile ai soli Stati membri la cui posizione di bilancio garantisca un margine di sicurezza sufficiente contro il rischio di superare il valore di riferimento del 3 % stabilito per il deficit pubblico.

La clausola sugli investimenti prende in considerazione il cofinanziamento dei programmi UE gestito dalla pubblica amministrazione (incluse le autorità locali e regionali).

La Commissione invierà direttamente all'onorevole parlamentare e al segretario del Parlamento i dettagli relativi all'attuazione dei fondi strutturali e di coesione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004023/13

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Stability Pact and co-financing of EU funds: new criteria for investments in the public interest

In Italy, certified expenditure for projects financed with EU structural funds stands at 37%. Good use of EU resources is the main element of ongoing budget negotiations for 2014-2020, which focuses on better planning, management, resource utilisation and on greater involvement of national and local authorities.

One of the factors that makes it difficult for local government bodies to take part in EU co-financing projects are the constraints imposed by the Stability and Growth Pact.

At the European Council of March 2013, the Commission was asked to carry out differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation in order, amongst other things, to allow productive public investment to counter the effects of the recession.

Given that more and better use of EU resources is essential to stimulate growth and employment, can the Commission state:

whether it will promote initiatives to ensure that the portion of national expenditure for co-financing of EU funds can be separated from Member States deficit and debt criteria, particularly for those countries with a deficit of below 3%;

whether, and how, expenses incurred by local authorities and regions for co-financing of European structural funds can be excluded from the money supply pertaining to the domestic Stability and Growth Pact;

whether, and how, domestic co-financing of EU structural funds could be included in the calculation factors under the Stability and Growth Pact;

an overview of the situation in other EU countries in terms of resources allocated and certified expenditure?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 2013)

In its communication on a ‘Blueprint for a deep and genuine economic and monetary union’ (234), the Commission committed itself to allowing some flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) for public investment programmes with a proven impact on sustainability of public finances. The national co-financing of EU programmes was explicitly cited as expenditure which could be eligible to such an ‘investment clause’.

The mechanism envisaged is to provide some flexibility in the adjustment path towards the Medium Term Objective (MTO) to facilitate the co-financing of EU programmes including cohesion policy, Trans-European Networks and the Connecting Europe Facility.

The investment clause will be implemented within the preventive arm of the SGP. The deviation from the adjustment path towards the MTO should only be temporary implying that the deadline for reaching the MTO should be maintained. Member States which have already reached the MTO would be allowed to temporarily deviate from it. Finally, the investment clause would only be accessible to Member States whose budgetary position ensures a safety margin against breaching the 3% deficit limit.

The investment clause takes into account the co-financing of EU programmes by the general government sector (including local and regional authorities).

The Commission will send directly to the Honourable Member and the Parliament's Secretariat the details on the implementation of Structural and Cohesion Funds.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-004035/13

an die Kommission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(10. April 2013)

Betrifft: EASA-Untersuchung zu Fällen von kontaminierter Kabinenluft in Flugzeugen

In ihrer Antwort auf meine Anfrage zum Thema kontaminierte Kabinenluft in Flugzeugen (E‐002295/2013) stellt die Kommission fest, dass aufgrund der EASA-Untersuchung des Sachverhalts kein Sicherheitsproblem und damit kein Handlungsbedarf besteht.

Allerdings hatte die EASA bei der Durchführung besagter Untersuchung nur beschränkt Zugang zu allen relevanten Informationen, wie etwa zu Daten der nationalen Aufsichtsbehörden im European Central Repository (diesen Zugang würde die EASA erst durch die neue Occurrence Reporting Regulation erhalten). Aufgrund dieses beschränkten Datenzugangs kann die Untersuchung nicht als ausreichend repräsentativ angesehen werden.

Ist daher die Schlussfolgerung der Kommission, dass keine Gesundheitsgefährdung besteht, nicht verfrüht?

Gedenkt die Kommission, eine umfassendere Studie, welche alle relevanten Daten mit einbezieht, in Auftrag zu geben?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(13. Mai 2013)

Die in der Anfrage E-002295/2013 erwähnte Entscheidung der Europäischen Agentur für Flugsicherheit (EASA) beruht auf einer umfassenden Prüfung aller Informationen, die aus den Berichten der beteiligten Akteure hervorgingen, einschließlich gemeldeter Vorfälle, sowie auf den Ergebnissen von Messungen während eines speziellen Flugüberprüfungsprogramms.

Wie bereits betont, wird die EASA auch weiterhin laufende Forschungsarbeiten, Untersuchungen anderer Stellen in diesem Bereich und die von den Mitgliedstaaten gemeldeten Daten verfolgen und die Kommission über alle relevanten Ergebnisse unterrichten.

Um die Mitgliedstaaten stärker für das Thema zu sensibilisieren, wurden sie bei der Ratstagung „Verkehr“ vom 29. Oktober 2012 zudem darauf hingewiesen, dass Ereignisse im Zusammenhang mit kontaminierter Kabinenluft über die entsprechenden Meldesysteme mitgeteilt werden sollten.

Wenngleich dies mit dem vorliegenden Dossier nicht in direktem Zusammenhang steht, möchte ich außerdem darauf hinweisen, dass die Kommission in ihrem Vorschlag für eine Verordnung über die Meldung von Ereignissen in der Zivilluftfahrt (235) vorsieht, den Zugang der EASA zum Europäischen Zentralspeicher auf alle darin gespeicherten Informationen auszuweiten, einschließlich Fällen von kontaminierter Kabinenluft.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004035/13

to the Commission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: EASA investigation into cases of contaminated cabin air in aircraft

In its reply to my question about contaminated cabin air in aircraft (E‐002295/2013), the Commission states that, on the basis of the EASA investigation of the situation, no safety issue exists and therefore no action is required.

While the aforementioned investigation was being conducted, however, EASA had only limited access to all relevant information, such as data from the national supervisory authorities in the European Central Repository (EASA will only receive this access as a result of the new Occurrence Reporting Regulation). Given this limited access to data, the investigation cannot be considered sufficiently representative.

Is the Commission's conclusion that no risk to health is present not therefore premature?

Does the Commission intend to instigate a more comprehensive investigation which would take into account all relevant data?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2013)

The decision referred to in the Question E-002295/2013 was made by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the basis of the conclusions of a comprehensive study of all information, including reported occurences, provided by the stakeholders reports and of the results of measurements done during a specific flight test programme.

As already underlined, EASA continues to follow ongoing research, assessments done by other bodies in this area and data that are provided by the Member States, and keeps the Commission informed of any relevant outcome.

With a view to allowing a better awareness of this issue, Member States were also reminded during the Transport Council of 29 October 2012 that events of cabin air contamination should be reported through occurrence reporting systems.

Finally, while not directly linked to this specific file, it is to be noted that in its proposal for a regulation on occurrence reporting in civil aviation (236), the Commission has suggested to extend EASA access to all pertinent information contained in the European Central Repository, including information on contaminated cabin air occurences.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004036/13

à la Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE) et Maurice Ponga (PPE)

(10 avril 2013)

Objet: Possible atteinte aux principes de non-discrimination et de respect de la dignité humaine

Depuis mars 2013, une compagnie aérienne desservant les îles du Pacifique et notamment la Polynésie française a mis en place une nouvelle offre commerciale. Désormais elle fera payer le billet d'avion en fonction du poids du passager. Ainsi plus le poids d'un passager est élevé, plus son billet d'avion sera cher.

Cette mesure commerciale semble être une forme de discrimination fondée sur le poids, puisque les passagers minces et ceux considérés comme étant en surpoids ne seront désormais plus traités de la même manière. Le principe de non-discrimination est pourtant un des principes fondamentaux du droit communautaire. L'article 21 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne précise que toute forme de discrimination est interdite.

Par ailleurs, cette offre commerciale semble aussi être une atteinte au principe du respect de la dignité humaine. L'article 1er de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne précise que «La dignité humaine est inviolable. Elle doit être respectée et protégée».

La France étant partie à la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne, cette dernière s'applique à l'ensemble des pays et territoires d'outre-mer et notamment à la Polynésie française dont les ressortissants sont également des citoyens européens à part entière.

1.

Alors que l'Union européenne ne cesse de réaffirmer le principe de non-discrimination et le principe du respect de la dignité humaine comme des principes fondamentaux du droit communautaire, la Commission européenne ne pense-t-elle pas que cette offre commerciale est une atteinte à ces deux principes?

2.

Par ailleurs, la législation européenne prévoit-elle des sanctions pour le non-respect de ces deux principes fondamentaux par une entreprise non européenne mais opérant sur des territoires où la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne s'applique?

3.

Alors que cette offre commerciale fait suite à l'idée déjà évoquée par plusieurs compagnies aériennes d'obliger les personnes en surpoids à acheter deux places dans un avion, la Commission européenne prévoit-elle de prendre les mesures nécessaires à une application plus effective du principe de non-discrimination?

Réponse donnée par M. Kallas au nom de la Commission

(6 juin 2013)

1 et 2. La compagnie aérienne en question n'offre pas de liaisons au départ ou à destination de régions des États membres situées sur le territoire de l'Union européenne. La Polynésie française est soumise uniquement au régime spécial d'association défini dans la quatrième partie du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'UE. La Commission ne peut donc prendre position sur les questions soulevées par l'Honorable Parlementaire. En outre, la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne ne s'applique pas à tous les cas de violation présumée des droits fondamentaux. Conformément à son article 51, paragraphe 1, la Charte s'applique aux institutions, organes, organismes et agences de l'Union et aux États membres uniquement lorsqu'ils mettent en œuvre le droit de l'Union européenne.

3.

Conformément à l'article 4, paragraphe 2, du règlement (CE) n° 1107/2006

3.

Conformément à l'article 4, paragraphe 2, du règlement (CE) n° 1107/2006

 (237), les transporteurs aériens peuvent exiger, dans des circonstances très particulières liées à la sécurité, qu'une personne handicapée ou à mobilité réduite soit accompagnée lorsqu'elle effectue un voyage aérien. Le règlement ne précise pas si le siège pour l'accompagnateur devrait être offert gratuitement. Les lignes directrices relatives à l'application du règlement (238) recommandent que le siège soit offert gratuitement ou à un tarif très réduit (239). Le même raisonnement pourrait être appliqué en l'espèce: si une personne en surpoids a besoin, pour des raisons de sécurité ou autres, d'un siège supplémentaire, les compagnies aériennes pourraient le proposer gratuitement ou à un taux réduit.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004036/13

to the Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE) and Maurice Ponga (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Possible infringement of the principles of non-discrimination and respect for human dignity

In March 2013, an airline serving the Pacific Islands, in particular French Polynesia, put in place a new commercial offer: from now on, airfares will be charged according to how much passengers weigh. Therefore, the heavier the passenger, the more expensive the ticket will be.

This commercial measure appears to be a form of discrimination based on weight, since slim passengers and those considered overweight will no longer be treated in the same way. The principle of non-discrimination is, however, one of the fundamental principles of EC law. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union specifies that all forms of discrimination are prohibited.

Moreover, this commercial offer also seems to undermine the principle of respect for human dignity. Article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union specifies that ‘human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected’.

France being a party to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, this Charter applies to all countries and overseas territories, including the French Polynesia, whose nationals are also European citizens in the full sense of the term.

1.

While the European Union constantly reaffirms the principle of non-discrimination and the principle of respect for human dignity as fundamental principles of EC law, does the Commission not believe that this commercial offer undermines these two principles?

2.

Furthermore, does EU legislation provide for sanctions in the event of non-compliance with these two fundamental principles by a non-European business operating in territories where the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union applies?

3.

While this commercial offer follows the idea already put forward by several airlines to require overweight people to buy two seats on an aeroplane, does the Commission intend to take the necessary measures to ensure a more effective application of the principle of non-discrimination?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2013)

1 and 2. The airline in question does not offer services to and from the EU territory of Member States. French Polynesia is only subject to the special arrangement for association set out in Part Four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The Commission cannot therefore take a position on the issues raised by the Honourable Member. In addition, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union does not apply to every situation of an alleged violation of fundamental rights. According to its Article 51(1), the Charter applies to the institutions, bodies offices and agencies of the Union and to Member States only when they are implementing European Union law.

3.

According to Article 4(2) of Regulation 1107/2006

3.

According to Article 4(2) of Regulation 1107/2006

 (240) air carriers can require in very specific circumstances related to safety that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility is accompanied when travelling by air. The regulation is silent on whether the seat for the accompanying person should be offered for free. In the guidelines on the application of the regulation (241), it is recommended that the seat be offered for free or at a significantly discounted rate (242). The same approach could be followed in the present case: if an overweight person needs, for safety reasons or others, an additional seat, air carriers could offer it for free or at a discounted rate.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004037/13

à la Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE)

(10 avril 2013)

Objet: Mesure américaine de représailles face à un non-respect de l'accord transatlantique sur le transport aérien

En avril 2007 est signé entre l'Union européenne et les États-Unis un accord concernant le transport aérien, visant à faciliter le transport transatlantique, notamment pour les compagnies européennes.

En mars 2013, le Département du transport américain menaçait d'interdire à une compagnie italienne d'effectuer des vols dans le ciel nord-américain mais aussi de vendre des billets de compagnies partenaires en partage de code pour cause de «concurrence déloyale» des aéroports italiens. Le Département du transport américain reproche notamment aux aéroports italiens de facturer des taxes plus élevées au départ et à l'arrivée des vols internationaux par rapport aux taxes imposées aux vols intra-européens. Ces mesures sont jugées par les États-Unis comme «une discrimination injustifiable ou anticoncurrentielle déraisonnable contre les transporteurs américains».

Néanmoins, le préjudice porté aux compagnies américaines effectuant des vols au départ et à destination de l'Italie proviendrait non pas de la compagnie italienne mais de la décision prise par les aéroports italiens de mettre en place des taxes potentiellement discriminatoires. Il semblerait alors que les mesures de représailles souhaitées par les États-Unis en direction de la compagnie aérienne ne soient pas fondées.

1.

Comment la Commission qualifierait-elle la réaction des États-Unis face à cette discrimination commerciale? Ne semble-t-elle pas infondée au vue de la non-responsabilité de la compagnie italienne concernant la mise en place de taxes discriminatoires?

2.

Au vu du préjudice que cette mesure de représailles pourrait constituer pour la compagnie italienne, la Commission a-t-elle prévu de se saisir de la question?

Réponse donnée par M. Kallas au nom de la Commission

(23 mai 2013)

Les États-Unis envisagent, en vertu de leur acte pour des pratiques de concurrence loyale en matière de services aériens internationaux («International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act», IATFCPA), de prendre des mesures contre les redevances d'atterrissage et de décollage imposées, dans les aéroports italiens, aux vols à destination et en provenance de pays hors UE, car ils les jugent contraires aux dispositions de l'accord UE/États-Unis sur les services aériens.

La Commission examine actuellement cette question. Les autorités italiennes lui ont communiqué des informations dans lesquelles elles justifient la perception de redevances d'atterrissage et de décollage différentes selon qu'il s'agit de vols intra-UE ou hors UE. Le bien-fondé de ces justifications fait l'objet d'une vérification à la lumière des dispositions de l'accord UE/États-Unis sur les services aériens et de la directive sur les redevances aéroportuaires.

La Commission ne doute pas qu'il sera possible de trouver une solution dans le cadre de la bonne application du droit de l'UE à l'aide des procédures internes de l'UE. Dans le cas contraire, la Commission est d'avis que l'accord UE/États-Unis prévoit les mécanismes appropriés pour traiter ce type de questions.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004037/13

to the Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Retaliatory measures by the US following a failure to comply with the transatlantic air transport agreement

In April 2007, the EU and the US signed an air transport agreement with the aim of facilitating transatlantic transport, in particular for European airlines.

In March 2013, the US Department of Transportation threatened to ban an Italian airline from flying in North American airspace, and also from selling tickets issued by code-share partners owing to ‘unfair competition’ by Italian airports. In particular, the US Department of Transportation has criticised Italian airports for charging extra-European flights higher take-off and landing fees than those imposed on intra-European flights. The United States considers these measures to be ‘an unjustifiable or unreasonable discriminatory or anticompetitive practice against US air carriers’.

Nevertheless, the disadvantage suffered by US airlines flying to and from Italy does not appear to be the fault of the Italian airline but instead stems from a decision made by the Italian airports to charge potentially discriminatory fees. The retaliatory measures which the United States intends to take against the airline therefore seem groundless.

1.

How would the Commission describe the United States’s reaction to this commercial discrimination? Does it not consider it unjustified given that the Italian airline was not responsible for putting discriminatory charges in place?

2.

Given the harm that these retaliatory measures could cause the Italian airline, does the Commission intend to address this issue?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2013)

The United States has envisaged taking action under their International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act (IATFCPA) concerning landing and take-off charges imposed upon flights to/from non-EU destinations at Italian airports they indeed consider as non-compliant with the provisions of the EU-US air services agreement.

The Commission is investigating the matter and has received information from the Italian authorities regarding the justification for levying different landing and take-off charges upon EU and non-EU flights. Such justification is being checked against the EU-US air services agreement and the Airport Charges Directive.

The Commission trusts that it will be possible to resolve this issue in the framework of proper application of EC law via the EU's internal procedures. Should it not be the case, it is the Commission's opinion that the agreement provides for the appropriate mechanisms to adress this kind of issues.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004038/13

à la Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE)

(10 avril 2013)

Objet: Discrimination caractérisée de passagers palestiniens à destination d'Israël

Le 15 avril 2012, une compagnie aérienne européenne obligeait le débarquement d'une passagère avant le décollage du vol Nice-Tel Aviv, au motif qu'elle était palestinienne et qu'elle ne pouvait de fait atterrir en Israël. La compagnie aérienne avait justifié cette décision en expliquant que, comme toutes compagnies aériennes et conformément à la Convention de Chicago, elle devait refuser l'embarquement de toute personne «déclarée inadmissible par le pays de destination». Dans le cas présent, Israël aurait alors refusé le débarquement de passagers palestiniens.

La passagère a porté plainte contre la compagnie aérienne pour «discrimination caractérisée». En effet, comme le précise le procureur en charge de l'affaire, dès lors que la compagnie «s'arroge le droit de poser des questions sur la nationalité et de surcroît sur la religion, elle commet le délit de discrimination». L'argument de la demande formulée par l'État d'Israël a été rejeté puisque la compagnie «était parfaitement en droit de refuser».

Cette décision de la compagnie pourrait être définie comme une discrimination fondée sur la nationalité et la religion. L'article 21 de la Charte européenne des Droits de l'homme interdit toute forme de discrimination et notamment celle fondée sur la nationalité. Le débarquement de la passagère semble alors être contraire à un principe fondamental de l'Union, à savoir le principe de non-discrimination.

Le 4 avril 2013, un tribunal français a d'ailleurs condamné cette compagnie à 10 000 euros d'amende et 3 000 euros de dommages et intérêts pour discrimination caractérisée.

Il convient néanmoins de souligner que cet exemple n'est pas un cas isolé, puisque d'autres affaires du même type, dans lesquelles une compagnie aérienne refuse l'embarquement ou le voyage de passagers palestiniens à destination d'Israël, se sont produites au sein de l'Union européenne.

1.

Au vu de cette affaire, la Commission ne trouve-t-elle pas que la décision de la compagnie aérienne est contraire au principe de non-discrimination, principe fondamental de l'Union européenne?

2.

D'autres cas similaires ayant été recensés, la Commission a-t-elle prévu de prendre les mesures nécessaires afin que ce genre de discrimination, contraire aux principes fondamentaux du droit communautaire, devienne désormais impossible sur le territoire des États membres de l'Union européenne?

Réponse donnée par la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante Ashton au nom de la Commission

(30 mai 2013)

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante Ashton a suivi les questions posées par l'Honorable Parlementaire et sa position au sujet des compagnies aériennes qui refusent l'embarquement de passagers déclarés inadmissibles par le pays de destination est énoncée dans la réponse à la question écrite E-4056/2012 (243). S'agissant de l'incident spécifique auquel il est fait référence dans la question, à savoir le refus d'embarquement opposé à un voyageur le 15 avril 2012, il semble que la compagnie aérienne ait interrogé la personne en cause sur sa confession religieuse avant de la forcer à débarquer. Toutefois, comme il ressort clairement de la question, il semble désormais que cette affaire ait été tranchée par le tribunal compétent de l'État membre concerné.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004038/13

to the Commission

Christine De Veyrac (PPE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Flagrant discrimination against Palestinian passengers travelling to Israel

On 15 April 2012, a European airline forced a passenger to disembark prior to the take-off of the Nice-Tel Aviv flight, on the ground that she was Palestinian and could not in fact land in Israel. The airline justified its decision by explaining that, like all other airlines and in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it had to refuse boarding to anyone ‘declared inadmissible in the country of destination’. In this case, Israel would not have allowed Palestinian passengers to disembark.

The passenger filed a complaint against the airline for ‘flagrant discrimination’. Indeed, as the public prosecutor for the case stated, when the airline ‘takes it upon itself to ask questions about nationality and, moreover, religion, it commits the offence of discrimination’. The argument of the request formulated by the State of Israel was rejected since the airline was ‘perfectly within its rights to refuse’.

The airline’s decision could be defined as discrimination based on nationality and religion. Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits all forms of discrimination, in particular discrimination on grounds of nationality. The removal of the passenger therefore appears to run counter to a fundamental principle of the EU, namely the principle of non-discrimination.

Moreover, on 4 April 2013, a French court ordered the airline to pay a fine of EUR 10 000 and EUR 3 000 in damages for flagrant discrimination.

It should nevertheless be stressed that this example is not an isolated case, since other episodes of this kind, where an airline refuses to allow Palestinian passengers going to Israel to board or travel, have occurred in the EU.

1.

Does the Commission not find that the airline’s decision runs counter to the principle of non-discrimination, a fundamental principle of the European Union?

2.

Given that other similar cases have been recorded, does the Commission intend to take the necessary measures so that this kind of discrimination, which runs counter to the fundamental principles of EC law, will from now on be impossible in the EU Member States?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2013)

The HR/VP has followed the issues raised by the Honourable Member and her position with regard to airlines refusing to allow passengers to board if they have been decleared inadmissable in the country of destination can be found in answer to Written Question E-4056/2012 (244). Subsequently in the specific incident of one passenger refused boarding on 15 April 2012, referred to in the question, it appears the airline questioned the religious affiliation of the person concerned before forcing the passenger to disembark. However, as the question makes clear, the matter now appears to have been settled by the competent court in the member state concerned.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης P-004039/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE)

(10 Απριλίου 2013)

Θέμα: Επιτόκια επιχειρηματικών δανείων στην Ευρωζώνη

Ερωτάται η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή:

Ποια είναι τα επιτόκια χορηγήσεων των επιχειρηματικών δανείων στις επί μέρους χώρες της Ευρωζώνης;

Ποια είναι η πορεία τους τα τελευταία πέντε χρόνια και ποια αναμένει ότι θα είναι η πορεία τους την επόμενη τριετία;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(13 Μαΐου 2013)

Το Αξιότιμο Μέλος του Κοινοβουλίου θα μπορούσε να συμβουλευθεί τη βάση δεδομένων της Ευρωπαϊκής Κεντρικής Τράπεζας, η οποία παρέχει ενδελεχή ανασκόπηση της τρέχουσας κατάστασης και των τάσεων του παρελθόντος όσον αφορά τα επιτόκια των δανείων προς τις μη χρηματοπιστωτικές εταιρείες (http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu). Όπως διαπιστώνεται εκεί, τα επιτόκια των νέων δανείων προς επιχειρήσεις, διάρκειας έως ενός έτους, κυμαίνονται σήμερα από 2% στη Γερμανία και τη Γαλλία σε 6,5% στην Ελλάδα. Η διαφορά των επιτοκίων μεταξύ των χωρών της ευρωζώνης είναι απότοκο της οικονομικής κρίσης.

Οι μελλοντικές τάσεις στα επιτόκια είναι δύσκολο να προβλεφθούν και ως εκ τούτου η Επιτροπή δεν προβαίνει σε προβλέψεις των εξελίξεων των επιτοκίων.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004039/13

to the Commission

Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Interest on business loans in the euro area

What are the interest rates on business loans in the individual countries of the euro area?

What have been the trends in this respect over the last five years and what are the anticipated trends over the next three years?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2013)

The Honourable Member might consult the database of the European Central Bank that provides a detailed overview over the current situation and past trends of interest rates on loans to to non-fiancial corporations (http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu). As can be seen there, interest rates on new loans to enterprises ‐maturities of up to one year‐ are currently ranging from 2% in Germany and France to 6.5% in Greece. The divergence in interest rates among euro area countries began in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Future trends in interest rates are difficult to predict and the Commission does therefore not provide a forecast of interest rate developments.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004040/13

to the Commission

Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Horsemeat

As a result of EU-wide testing following the exposure of the horsemeat scandal, traces of the drug bute have been discovered in some food samples. Given that this substance is not permitted to enter the human food chain:

Is the Commission concerned by these developments?

Could the Commission outline what it intends to do in order to determine how bute-contaminated horse products were permitted to enter the human food chain, whether legitimately labelled as horsemeat or not?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2013)

The EU wide testing of horsemeat for the presence of residues of phenylbutazone (‘bute’) as part of the coordinated control program established by Commission Recommendation 2013/99/EC (245) has revealed 16 non-compliant results on a total of 3 115 samples (0.51%).

In their joint statement, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medicines Agency concluded that the risks associated to phenylbutazone were of ‘low concern for consumers due to the low likelihood of exposure and the overall low likelihood of toxic effects and that, on a given day, the probability of a consumer being both susceptible to developing aplastic anaemia and being exposed to phenylbutazone was estimated to range approximately from 2 in a trillion to 1 in 100 million.’

Even though none of the products related to the 16 non-compliant test results reached the final consumer and although the joint EFSA and EMA statement is rather reassuring, the Commission remains concerned and recently addressed a five-point action plan to be carried out over the short, medium and longer term to Member States' national authorities. This action plan aims to restore consumer confidence in Europe's food supply chain by strengthening an array of controls through a series of measures falling under five key areas: 1) Food fraud; 2) Testing program; 3) Horse passport; 4) Official controls and penalties and 5) Origin labelling.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004041/13

aan de Commissie

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(10 april 2013)

Betreft: Stopzetting van de werkzaamheden van de onderzoekscommissie op Cyprus

Op 2 april kondigde de regering van Cyprus de oprichting aan van een commissie die onderzoek zou gaan doen naar de uitstroom van geld uit het land voorafgaand aan de goedkeuring van het financieel reddingsplan. Volgens een op 9 april in de Nederlandse krant De Telegraaf gepubliceerd artikel was de informatie die de centrale bank van Cyprus deze onderzoekscommissie heeft verstrekt onvolledig, aangezien ze slechts betrekking had op een periode van twee weken, hoewel gevraagd was om gegevens met betrekking tot transacties van het hele afgelopen jaar. Als gevolg hiervan heeft de onderzoekscommissie haar werkzaamheden moeten opschorten (246).

Daarnaast is in de Belgische krant De Morgen gemeld dat bankiers van de zwaar getroffen Bank of Cyprus bewijsmateriaal met betrekking tot meerdere gevallen van misbruik hebben vernietigd (247). Volgens een in opdracht van de centrale bank van Cyprus uitgevoerd onderzoek bevonden zich op de computers van twee voormalige managers slechts heel weinig of helemaal geen gesavede e-mails met betrekking tot de periode 2009-2012, en is gebleken dat er gebruik is gemaakt van speciale software die e-mails verwijdert. Dit betekent dat informatie over de aankoop van Griekse obligaties ook verdwenen kan zijn.

1.

Is de Commissie op de hoogte van de bovenstaande feiten?

2.

Is de Commissie het met mij eens dat aangezien belangrijke gegevens en informatie met betrekking tot transacties van de Bank of Cyprus ontbreken, de centrale bank van Cyprus haar toezichthoudende taken niet naar behoren heeft uitgevoerd?

3.

Is de Commissie van oordeel dat de centrale bank van Cyprus zich naar behoren aan haar verplichtingen als lid van het eurosysteem heeft gehouden?

4.

Hoe gaat de Commissie waarborgen dat er een gedegen onderzoek komt naar de uitstroom van geld uit Cyprus?

5.

Hoe komt het dat tijdens de hoorzitting van de Commissie economische en monetaire zaken van het Europees Parlement op 21 maart de voorzitter van de eurogroep, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, geen antwoord kon geven op een vraag van mij over de uitstroom van geld uit Cyprus?

Antwoord van de heer Rehn namens de Commissie

(11 juni 2013)

De commissie die door de Cypriotische autoriteiten is opgericht om de oorzaken van de economische en financiële crisis in Cyprus te onderzoeken, is officieel aangewezen op 2 april 2013.

De Europese Commissie kan niet vooruitlopen op de bevindingen van deze commissie.

De nationale centrale banken zijn onafhankelijke instellingen en de Europese Commissie is niet bevoegd om opmerkingen te maken over de werking ervan.

In het kader van de huidige beperkingen op kapitaalverkeer in Cyprus, volgt de Europese Commissie de kapitaalbewegingen op de voet. Vóór de oplegging van deze beperkingen, die slechts tijdelijk zouden moeten zijn, waren kapitaalbewegingen in Cyprus vrij. De Europese Commissie vertrouwt erop dat juridische onregelmatigheden met betrekking tot kapitaalbewegingen, indien deze door de betrokken partijen worden gesignaleerd, door de bevoegde rechterlijke organen grondig worden onderzocht.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004041/13

to the Commission

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(10 April 2013)

Subject: Cessation of the Cyprus investigative commission inquiry

On 2 April, the Cypriot government announced the setting up of a commission tasked with investigating the outflow of money from the country ahead of the approval of the financial rescue plan. According to an article published in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on 9 April, data provided to this commission by the Central Bank of Cyprus were insufficient, because although the commission had asked for data covering transactions from the past year, the information provided only covered a period of fifteen days. As a consequence, the commission has been forced to suspend its inquiry (248).

Furthermore, the Belgian newspaper De Morgen reported that bankers in the hard-hit Bank of Cyprus have destroyed evidence relating to several abuses (249). According to a report commissioned by the Central Bank of Cyprus, few or no saved e-mails were found on the computers of two former managers for the period 2009-12 and special e-mail removal software was found to have been in use. Therefore, data relating to the purchase of Greek bonds may have also disappeared.

In the light of this: