12.2.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 41/1


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 41 E/01)

Contents

E-005527/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: eHealth services

Versión española

English version

E-005528/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: NGOs and civil-society organisations in Cantabria

Versión española

English version

E-005529/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Dependency and austerity

Versión española

English version

E-005530/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Participation in the emissions trading scheme

Versión española

English version

E-005531/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Inequality in Cantabria

Versión española

English version

E-005532/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Socioeconomic impact of the crisis on Spanish families: across Spain and in individual regions

Versión española

English version

E-005533/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Boosting employment in Cantabria

Versión española

English version

E-005534/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Forest fires

Versión española

English version

E-005535/13 by Ricardo Cortés Lastra to the Commission

Subject: Culture cuts

Versión española

English version

P-005536/13 by Corien Wortmann-Kool to the Commission

Subject: Corporation tax for port undertakings

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-005537/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Pricing in the over-the-counter oil trade

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005538/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Recognition of the División Azul by the Spanish Government's delegate to Catalonia

Versión española

English version

E-005539/13 by Alfredo Antoniozzi to the Commission

Subject: Administrative burden encountered by clusters under FP7

Versione italiana

English version

E-005540/13 by Georgios Stavrakakis to the Commission

Subject: Passenger transport in the EU's island regions

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-005541/13 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) consultation

English version

E-005542/13 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Spanish ‘habitages d'us turistic’ law

English version

E-005543/13 by Roger Helmer to the Commission

Subject: Freedoms in Croatia

English version

E-005544/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: EU funds for action on youth employment

Versione italiana

English version

E-005546/13 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Protection of lobsters and crawfish

Versione italiana

English version

E-005547/13 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Revising and increasing maximum yessotoxin limit values

Versione italiana

English version

E-005548/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Cost of EU battlegroups

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005549/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Transposition of legislation on the internal energy market

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005550/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Energy agreement with Switzerland

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005551/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: ‘Barrosogate’ and the effectiveness of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Versión española

English version

E-005552/13 by Martin Ehrenhauser to the Commission

Subject: Police Working Group on Terrorism

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005553/13 by Constance Le Grip to the Commission

Subject: Changes to European legislation on allergens in perfumes

Version française

English version

E-005554/13 by Susy De Martini, Cristiana Muscardini, Carlo Fidanza, Giovanni La Via, Clemente Mastella, Aldo Patriciello, Marco Scurria, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Fabrizio Bertot, Lara Comi, Salvatore Tatarella, Roberta Angelilli, Mara Bizzotto and Claudio Morganti to the Commission

Subject: Accident at the Port of Genoa

Versione italiana

English version

E-005555/13 by Judith Sargentini to the Commission

Subject: Unlawful repatriation of asylum-seekers and the role of the EU

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-005556/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: EU-Ukraine association agreement

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-005558/13 by Janusz Wojciechowski to the Commission

Subject: Information on current proceedings against Poland under Article 31 of Council Directive (EC) No 1290/2005

Wersja polska

English version

E-005559/13 by Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă to the Commission

Subject: Dairy sector

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-005560/13 by Inês Cristina Zuber and João Ferreira to the Commission

Subject: International Museum Day

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005561/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Consumer protection in the air

Version française

English version

E-005562/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Application of the precautionary principle to nanomaterials in the European Union

Version française

English version

E-005563/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Framework for the mutual recognition of diplomas

Version française

English version

E-005564/13 by Philippe Boulland to the Commission

Subject: Establishment of a European abduction alert system

Version française

English version

E-005565/13 by Sonia Alfano to the Commission

Subject: Reasoned opinion on infringement procedure No 2010/4227 and referral to the European Court of Justice

Versione italiana

English version

E-005566/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Use of European Structural Funds: updates

Versione italiana

English version

E-005567/13 by Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou to the Commission

Subject: Shortage of human resources for long-term care/planning evaluation

Ελληνική έκδοση

English version

E-005568/13 by Sirpa Pietikäinen to the Commission

Subject: Actions of e-Prior group within the Commission

Suomenkielinen versio

English version

E-005569/13 by Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Kinga Göncz and Edit Herczog to the Commission

Subject: Far-right violence in Ukraine

Magyar változat

English version

E-005570/13 by Nuno Melo to the Council

Subject: European seed law

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005571/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Why not: ‘Goethe Programme’

Versión española

English version

E-005572/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Communicating EU achievements

Versión española

English version

E-005573/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Difference in tax rates for e-books

Versión española

English version

E-005574/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Insecurity and attacks on communities, leaders reclaiming land and human rights organisations in Colombia

Versión española

English version

E-005575/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Humiliating controls on internal flights within the European Union

Versión española

English version

E-005576/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Likelihood of visas being abolished for Poles travelling to the US

Wersja polska

English version

E-005578/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Security of personal data on the Internet

Wersja polska

English version

E-005579/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: G7 announcement of global action on tax standards

Wersja polska

English version

E-005580/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Yamal-II gas pipeline project

Wersja polska

English version

E-005581/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Use of the term ‘Polish concentration camps’

Wersja polska

English version

E-005582/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Contracts for Belarusian citizens

Wersja polska

English version

E-005583/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Improvement in relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

Wersja polska

English version

E-005584/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Myanmar/Burma — Crimes against humanity

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005585/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Islamist attack in Nigeria

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005587/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — General elections in Guinea-Bissau

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005588/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Tension in north-east Asia

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005589/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — US spying on the press agency Associated Press

Versión española

English version

E-005590/13 by Daciana Octavia Sârbu to the Commission

Subject: Use of cyanide in the mining sector

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-005591/13 by Matteo Salvini and Giancarlo Scottà to the Commission

Subject: Restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids blamed for high bee mortality in agriculture

Versione italiana

English version

E-005592/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Moroccan army drone training

Versión española

English version

E-005593/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: LIFE projects and killing of wild animals

Versione italiana

English version

E-005594/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Measures to update, simplify and strengthen the agri-food chain in Europe

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005595/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Interbank fee reduction does not cover Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005596/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Portuguese is the fifth most used language online

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005597/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Customs duties in Angola could rise to 50% this year

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005598/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: European Policy Network of National Literacy Organisations

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005600/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005601/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Foreign bank operating in Portugal without a licence

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005602/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Delegated and implementing acts

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005603/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Increased transparency and ease of opening bank accounts in the EU

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005604/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Portuguese researchers identify compounds lethal to dangerous bacterium in mushrooms

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005605/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Maldives — Human rights violation

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005606/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: The strengthening of neo-Nazi parties

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005608/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Diabetic retinopathy

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005609/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Effects of austerity on human rights

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005610/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Austerity causes suicide, depression and infectious diseases

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005611/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Rheumatoid arthritis — Access to biological drugs

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005612/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: New cancer biomarker

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005613/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Female genital mutilation

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005614/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Coronavirus in Europe

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005615/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005616/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: CO2 concentration

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005618/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Global Distribution Systems (GDS) surcharges for travel agents

English version

E-005619/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Malaysian election results

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005620/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Long-term unemployment in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005621/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Water shortages by 2030

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005622/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Possible debt crisis in China

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005623/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Unemployed people in Portugal aged over 45

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005624/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Sale of Banco Efisa

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005625/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Preventing mosquitoes from transmitting malaria

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005626/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Cellular mechanism limits tumour development

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005627/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: European seed law

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005628/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: UK — New immigration rules

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005629/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: The EU could run out of money this year

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005630/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Food fraud in China

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005632/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: School-age children with vision problems

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005634/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Food crisis in Niger

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005635/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005636/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Illegal hunting in Malta II

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005637/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Spread of the H7N9 virus

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005638/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Chemicals in the air inside homes

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005639/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Gene therapy for heart failure

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005640/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Syria conflict

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005641/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Conflict in the South China Sea

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005642/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Price fixing by oil companies?

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005643/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Increase in the number of people out of work in Spain to over 6 million in April

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005644/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Illegal child labour in Europe and worldwide

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005645/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: ITER fusion reactor

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005646/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Sale of panga in large European supermarkets

Versión española

English version

E-005647/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — EU aid for reconstruction and support for Somalia

Versione italiana

English version

E-005648/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — EU developmental aid for Yemen to ensure economic stability

Versione italiana

English version

E-005649/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Jihadist threats to the stability of the Tunisian Government

Versione italiana

English version

E-005650/13 by Petru Constantin Luhan to the Commission

Subject: Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment

Versiunea în limba română

English version

E-005651/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Audiovisual Media Services Directive: advertising component

Version française

English version

E-005652/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Women's rights in the Balkans

Version française

English version

E-005653/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Media pluralism in the European Union

Version française

English version

E-005654/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Ethical journalism

Version française

English version

E-005655/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Internet media

Version française

English version

E-005656/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Audiovisual Media Services Directive: accessibility

Version française

English version

E-005657/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Agenda for adequate pensions

Version française

English version

E-005658/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Council

Subject: Agenda for adequate pensions

Version française

English version

E-005659/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Regional strategy for industrial areas

Version française

English version

E-005660/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Annual tax report

Version française

English version

E-005663/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive

English version

P-005664/13 by José Manuel Fernandes to the Commission

Subject: Project bonds

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005665/13 by José Manuel Fernandes to the Commission

Subject: European Development Fund

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005668/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Watering down austerity in Europe

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005669/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Property bubble in the Netherlands

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005670/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: François Hollande's position

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005671/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Commission position on depositor participation in bank bailouts and ‘banking union’

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005672/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Vocational training in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005673/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: OECD forecasts for Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005675/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Finance for companies in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005676/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Unemployment in Portugal in the first quarter of 2013

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005677/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Corporation tax rate in Portugal

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005678/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Retired Portuguese people unable to pay their debts

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005679/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Banking system in Slovenia

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005680/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Portuguese-Mozambican project concerning intervention and training in the area of mother-child health

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005681/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Taking into account bulk discounts when determining customs valuation

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005682/13 by Nuno Melo to the Commission

Subject: Tax fraud and evasion in Europe

Versão portuguesa

English version

E-005683/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Risk to the Posidonia beds around Ibiza and Formentera

Versión española

English version

E-005684/13 by Patricia van der Kammen to the Commission

Subject: EU to remotely monitor lorry drivers

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-005685/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — The EU's status within the Arctic Council

Wersja polska

English version

E-005686/13 by Adam Bielan to the Council

Subject: Proposals for tighter rules on the free movement of persons within the EU

Wersja polska

English version

E-005687/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: Proposals for tighter rules on the free movement of persons within the EU

Wersja polska

English version

E-005688/13 by Pavel Poc to the Commission

Subject: Invasive alien species in the European Union — Giant hogweed

České znění

English version

E-005689/13 by Filip Kaczmarek to the Commission

Subject: Increasing repression against Ales Bialiatski

Wersja polska

English version

E-005690/13 by Marie-Christine Vergiat to the Commission

Subject: Marketing using mobile devices

Version française

English version

E-005691/13 by David Campbell Bannerman to the Commission

Subject: EU staff arrests

English version

E-005692/13 by Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and Artur Zasada to the Commission

Subject: Review of rules on access to the road haulage market

Wersja polska

English version

E-005694/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Commemoration on Monte Grappa of the centenary of the Great War

Versione italiana

English version

E-005695/13 by Phil Bennion to the Commission

Subject: Animal welfare in Serbia

English version

E-005696/13 by Cornelia Ernst to the Council

Subject: Member States' compliance with the Visa Code

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005697/13 by Cornelia Ernst to the Commission

Subject: Member States' compliance with the Visa Code

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005698/13 by Brian Simpson to the Commission

Subject: Invasive alien species

English version

E-005699/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Privacy concerns relating to Google Glass

Deutsche Fassung

English version

E-005700/13 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Data protection and smart meters

Deutsche Fassung

English version

P-005701/13 by Pilar Ayuso to the Commission

Subject: Generic descriptors

Versión española

English version

E-005704/13 by Artur Zasada and Małgorzata Handzlik to the Commission

Subject: Changes to the Community Customs Code, TIR procedure

Wersja polska

English version

E-005706/13 by Carmen Romero López to the Commission

Subject: Antequera-Granada High-Speed Line

Versión española

English version

E-005707/13 by Mario Borghezio to the Commission

Subject: EU intervention regarding the smuggling of illegal migrants into Croatia

Versione italiana

English version

E-005708/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Refusal to pay compensation and chaotic baggage handling by airline companies

Version française

English version

E-005709/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Persecution of opponents in Equatorial Guinea

Versión española

English version

E-005711/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: The Clinical Trials Directive and the need to protect limited access to trial drugs

English version

E-005712/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: Land purchases as a part-solution to the erosion of rainforests

English version

E-005713/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Solutions for the textile sector in Bangladesh

Versión española

English version

E-005714/13 by María Irigoyen Pérez to the Council

Subject: Youth guarantee

Versión española

English version

E-005715/13 by María Irigoyen Pérez to the Commission

Subject: Youth guarantee

Versión española

English version

E-005716/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Spanish Navy expenditure soars in times of economic crisis

Versión española

English version

P-005718/13 by Brian Simpson to the Commission

Subject: EU olive oil rules

English version

E-005719/13 by Andrew Henry William Brons to the Commission

Subject: Renegotiation of EU membership by the UK

English version

E-005720/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: Permissible restrictions on welfare entitlements for newly arrived EU citizens

English version

E-005721/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: The legality of state-owned or partially state-owned banks offering higher interest rates to depositors

English version

E-005722/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: High-frequency trading in the banking sector

English version

E-005723/13 by Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: Updating of the Clinical Trials Directive and problem of ‘reporting bias’

English version

E-005724/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Simplification of documents

Nederlandse versie

English version

E-005725/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Parent-Subsidiary directive

Version française

English version

E-005726/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Code of conduct for auditors

Version française

English version

E-005727/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Comprehensive strategy on tax revenue loss

Version française

English version

E-005728/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Transparency of taxes paid by enterprises

Version française

English version

E-005729/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Renewable energy storage capacity

Version française

English version

E-005730/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Viability of a European system to promote sources of renewable energy

Version française

English version

E-005731/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Energy demand

Version française

English version

E-005732/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Loop flows

Version française

English version

E-005733/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Assessment of the setting of a renewable energies target percentage

Version française

English version

E-005734/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Definition of a tax haven

Version française

English version

E-005735/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Statutory rates and actual rates of tax on companies

Version française

English version

E-005736/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: System of country reports for cross-border enterprises

Version française

English version

E-005737/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Re-use of funds confiscated following tax fraud

Version française

English version

E-005738/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Secularism under threat in Russia

Version française

English version

E-005739/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Does apostasy deserve death?

Version française

English version

E-005740/13 by Marek Henryk Migalski to the Commission

Subject: Freedom of movement within the EU

Wersja polska

English version

E-005747/13 by Ana Miranda to the Commission

Subject: Hydraulic fracturing in Aragón (VI)

Versión española

English version

E-005748/13 by Nicole Kiil-Nielsen and Yannick Jadot to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Labelling of products from the settlements

Version française

English version

E-005749/13 by Raimon Obiols to the Commission

Subject: VAT increase in Spain in the cultural sector

Versión española

English version

E-005750/13 by Lara Comi to the Council

Subject: Youth Guarantee

Versione italiana

English version

E-005751/13 by Sergio Berlato to the Commission

Subject: Requirement for hunters to keep a record of the animals they kill

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P-005754/13 by Ryszard Antoni Legutko to the Commission

Subject: Commission case under EU PILOT procedure No 277/11/ENVI

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E-005755/13 by Anna Hedh to the Commission

Subject: Protecting children from alcohol advertising

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E-005756/13 by Ana Miranda, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells and Izaskun Bilbao Barandica to the Commission

Subject: Eulogising of authoritarian regimes in Spain

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E-005757/13 by David Martin to the Commission

Subject: Revision of regulation on animal transport with regard to combined sea and land journeys

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E-005758/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: VAT exemptions for the protection of children and young people (II)

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E-005759/13 by Antolín Sánchez Presedo to the Commission

Subject: Mining in Galicia and the Natura 2000 network: Xinzo de Limia mine

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E-005760/13 by Antolín Sánchez Presedo to the Commission

Subject: Mauritius's response to illegal fishing

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E-005761/13 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Financing of land registration activities

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E-005762/13 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Correct interpretation of Council Directive 96/53/EC of 25 July 1996

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E-005763/13 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Amendment of EU legislation regarding food products treated with ionising radiation

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E-005764/13 by Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou to the Commission

Subject: Risks posed by the increase in inequality and poverty due to the fiscal adjustment measures

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E-005765/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Can an illegal proposal be legally submitted?

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E-005766/13 by Minodora Cliveti to the Commission

Subject: Situation regarding the opening of the European labour market to Romanian citizens at the start of 2014

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E-005767/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: European blacklist of tax havens

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P-005768/13 by José Bové to the Commission

Subject: Schedule of the President of the Commission

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P-005769/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: Freedom of movement for crèche workers

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P-005770/13 by Fabrizio Bertot to the Commission

Subject: Compensation at risk in Eternit trial

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E-005771/13 by Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă to the Commission

Subject: Traditional seed strands

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E-005772/13 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: Accuracy and reliability criteria in the Universal Services Directive with regard to calls to the emergency services

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E-005773/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: ECB's reduction of key interest rate

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E-005774/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Paid experts consulted by the Commission's directorates-general

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E-005775/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Liberalisation of the French energy market

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E-005776/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Liberalising the European energy market

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E-005777/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Dangers lurking behind the words ‘Made in China’

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E-005778/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Bomb attacks on Christians in Libya

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E-005779/13 by Adam Bielan to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Arrest of former Prime Minister of Georgia

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E-005780/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Conviction of Ríos Montt overturned

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E-005781/13 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Devastating 90% myth

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E-005782/13 by Maria Badia i Cutchet and Raimon Obiols to the Commission

Subject: Eulogising of authoritarian regimes in Spain

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E-005783/13 by María Irigoyen Pérez and Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto to the Commission

Subject: Delay in absorption of programmed funds

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E-005784/13 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: Plant relocations within the EU: the impact on workers

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E-005786/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Sale of Chinese agricultural products from the Laogai labour camps

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E-005787/13 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Taxation of farm subsidies: supplementary to Written Question E-006079/2012

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P-005788/13 by László Surján to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Dispute between Taiwan and the Philippines

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E-005789/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005791/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005792/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005793/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005794/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005795/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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E-005796/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

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P-005797/13 by Erminia Mazzoni to the Commission

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E-005798/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

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E-005799/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

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E-005800/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Possibility of EU funding to support social activities aimed at integrating less privileged groups into the labour market

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E-005801/13 by Auke Zijlstra and Lucas Hartong to the Commission

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E-005802/13 by Antolín Sánchez Presedo to the Commission

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E-005803/13 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

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E-005804/13 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

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E-005807/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

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E-005808/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Asia-Pacific: shortage of water resources

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E-005809/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Apple — tax ‘engineering’

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E-005810/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Combating tax fraud and evasion

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E-005811/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

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E-005813/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

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E-005814/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — New constitution of Zimbabwe

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E-005815/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Negative view of the EU

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E-005816/13 by Diogo Feio to the Council

Subject: Progress made by Greece and the challenges it faces according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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E-005817/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Increase of the Timor-Leste petroleum fund

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E-005818/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: International Nuclear Regulators' Association — Fukushima

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E-005819/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Progress made by Greece and the challenges it faces according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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E-005820/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Food fraud in China

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E-005821/13 by Diogo Feio to the Council

Subject: Italy urges the EU to prioritise the fight against youth unemployment

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E-005822/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Italy urges the EU to prioritise the fight against youth unemployment

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E-005823/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Need for structural reforms in France

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E-005824/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Roberto Azevêdo — Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

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E-005825/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Syria supplying weapons to Hezbollah

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E-005826/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: New cases of coronavirus in France

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E-005827/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Medication discount cards distributed by doctors

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E-005828/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Shortage of brands of milk powder in the Netherlands

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E-005829/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Slovenia's economic recovery plan

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E-005830/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Threat to French interests around the world

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E-005831/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Alleged ethnic cleansing of Sunnis in Syria

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E-005832/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Greece's return to the markets

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E-005833/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Cash trapping: risk to consumers

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E-005834/13 by Diogo Feio to the Council

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E-005835/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Prison overcrowding in the European Union

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E-005836/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Political prisoners in Eritrea

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E-005837/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Microsoft fined over Windows 7

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E-005838/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: The European Union's contribution to the reconstruction of Mozambique

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E-005839/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Ban on solariums in the European Union

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E-005840/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Famine in southern Angola

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E-005841/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: Trafficking of babies in Morocco

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E-005843/13 by Diogo Feio to the Council

Subject: Anders Fogh Rasmussen: European ‘soft power’ is not enough

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E-005846/13 by Diogo Feio to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Kidnapping of United Nations (UN) observers in the Golan Heights

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E-005848/13 by Daniel Hannan to the Commission

Subject: Liverpool cruise terminal update

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E-005850/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: EU welfare legislation

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E-005851/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Decommissioning of waste-to-energy (WTE) plants and reduction of waste — but is that really the case?

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E-005852/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Ipilimumab: a possible breakthrough in the treatment of melanoma and other serious forms of cancer

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E-005853/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Causal link between products containing GMOs and celiac disease

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(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005527/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Teleasistencia sanitaria

El envejecimiento de nuestra sociedad nos requiere un mayor esfuerzo económico en la protección social y el derecho de acceso a la salud de nuestros mayores. De acuerdo con el artículo 35 de la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales, cada persona tiene derecho a un elevado nivel de protección de la salud.

A nivel europeo se espera que para el año 2015 la población mayor de 60 años aumente en 2 millones. Actualmente un 17,7 % de la población cántabra tiene más de 65 años, un porcentaje que irá en aumento y que se encuentra en situación crítica con el desmantelamiento de los centros de salud y servicios de atención sanitaria en zonas rurales.

Durante el 2012, Año Europeo del Envejecimiento Activo, numerosas iniciativas fueron puestas sobre la mesa para aliviar el problema del envejecimiento y el acceso a la salud a través de la innovación. El mismo año en el que el Gobierno de España eliminaba de los Presupuestos Generales del Estado el programa de teleasistencia sanitaria. Nuestra población sigue envejeciendo y esta es una situación a la que tenemos que dar prioridad más allá del 2012.

¿Nos puede informar la Comisión del estado de aplicación del plan estratégico para atajar los problemas económicos y sociales que acarrean el envejecimiento de la población europea y cómo los recortes presupuestarios afectan a dicho plan?

¿Tiene la Comisión una propuesta que aporte soluciones innovadoras para la sanidad en áreas rurales, medidas destinadas a fomentar un diagnóstico precoz, la incorporación de innovaciones tecnológicas en el diagnóstico y tratamiento, así como para mejorar el acceso a la salud de zonas remotas o modelos de atención integrada para pacientes de edad avanzada que sufren enfermedades crónicas?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(1 de julio de 2013)

En el contexto del envejecimiento de la población y la presión económica que pesa sobre los presupuestos, proporcionar asistencia accesible y de alta calidad a las personas mayores es un gran reto social. Los sistemas sanitario y de asistencia deben transformarse para responder a las necesidades de los mayores, a fin de que puedan seguir recibiendo la asistencia y la protección a las que tienen derecho. La Comisión apoya estos esfuerzos a través de una serie de iniciativas.

La Asociación Europea para la Innovación en el Ámbito del Envejecimiento Activo y Saludable permite la colaboración entre las partes interesadas para impulsar enfoques innovadores a fin de mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas mayores, la sostenibilidad de los sistemas sanitarios y la competitividad europea. En ella participan más de 3 000 los socios (300 organizaciones que forman coaliciones, de todos los Estados miembros, que representan a 1 000 regiones y municipios). Un ámbito es la reproducción, el acompañamiento y el paso a una mayor escala de modelos de asistencia integrada que se ocupen de las enfermedades crónicas a través de la supervisión a distancia. El Plan de acción sobre la salud electrónica [COM(2012) 736 final] aborda las oportunidades de la telemedicina para mejorar la accesibilidad de los servicios sanitarios en las zonas rurales de una manera rentable.

En la actualidad varios los instrumentos de financiación se ocupan del envejecimiento activo y saludable como, por ejemplo, el Programa de Acción Comunitaria en el Ámbito de la Salud, el Séptimo Programa Marco en relación con el reto social de una sociedad que envejece, o el Programa Marco para la Innovación y la Competitividad. El Programa Conjunto «Vida Cotidiana Asistida por el Entorno» también respalda y financia la investigación aplicada destinada a mejorar las condiciones del envejecimiento. Las propuestas de la Comisión para el próximo programa marco plurianual, que incluye la propuesta de Horizonte 2020 y los Fondos Estructurales, señalan como prioridades el envejecimiento y el aumento de la calidad y la equidad de los sistemas sanitarios a través de soluciones de salud electrónica.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005527/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: eHealth services

Our ageing society requires us to make a greater financial commitment to social protection and the right of access to healthcare for the elderly. According to Article 35 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, everyone has the right to a high level of health protection.

In the EU, the number of people over 60 years-old is expected to increase by 2 million by 2015. At present, 17.7% of the population in Cantabria is over 65, a figure that is set to rise, and facing a critical situation as a result of the dismantling of health centres and health services in rural areas.

In 2012, the European Year for Active Ageing, several innovative initiatives were tabled to alleviate the problem of ageing and access to healthcare. In the same year, the Spanish Government removed the eHealth services programme from the general state budget. Our population is growing increasingly older and this is a situation which must be addressed as a priority beyond 2012.

Can the Commission say what stage has been reached in the implementation of the strategic plan to address the economic and social problems caused by an ageing European population and how budget cuts affect this plan?

Does the Commission have a proposal to bring innovative health solutions to rural areas, measures to promote early diagnosis, incorporation of innovative technologies in diagnosis and treatment, as well as to improve access to healthcare in remote areas or integrated care models for elderly patients with chronic illnesses?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(1 July 2013)

In the face of demographic ageing and the economic pressure on budgets, providing accessible, high quality care to older people is a major societal challenge. Health and care systems need to be transformed to respond to the needs of older citizens so they can keep receiving the care and the health protection that they are entitled to. The Commission supports these efforts through a number of initiatives.

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing enables collaboration between stakeholders to mobilise innovative approaches to improve the quality of life of older people, the sustainability of health systems and European competitiveness. Over 3000 partners are involved (300 organisations forming coalitions, from all Member States, representing 1000 regions and municipalities). One area is the replication, tutoring and scaling up of integrated care models addressing chronic conditions through remote monitoring. The eHealth Action Plan (COM 2012 736 final) addresses the opportunities of telemedicine to improve the accessibility of health services in rural areas in a cost-efficient manner.

Currently several funding instruments cover the topic of active and healthy ageing, e.g. the Health Programme, the FP7 related to the societal challenge of an ageing society, or the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework. The Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme further supports and funds applied research for ageing well. The Commission proposals for the next multiannual framework programme including the proposed Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds, foresee ageing and increasing the quality and equity of health systems through eHealth solutions as priorities.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005528/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Tejido asociativo en Cantabria

La actual crisis económica que afecta a Europa está perjudicando en gran medida a las ayudas y a la financiación dirigida a organismos no gubernamentales y a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

El desmantelamiento del tejido asociativo participativo en España, principalmente en Cantabria, a través de recortes en subvenciones y apoyos a sus actividades, ha llevado a la desaparición de organismos claves como el Consejo Económico Social, que aglutina a los agentes sociales y representantes del mundo profesional y universitario. El Consejo de la Mujer o el de la Juventud (al que pertenecían directamente más de 12 500 jóvenes) también han sido paralizados por los recortes del Gobierno regional en 2012. En enero de 2013, la Casa de la Solidaridad de Santander cerró sus puertas, ya que el Gobierno cántabro no incluyó en los presupuestos generales el convenio de colaboración con la Coordinadora Cántabra de ONG para el Desarrollo.

¿Podría indicar la Comisión qué medidas concretas piensa adoptar y qué recomendaciones puede dar a España para que se siga apoyando a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil española?

Respuesta del Sr. Rehn en nombre de la Comisión

(12 de agosto de 2013)

No forma parte de las prerrogativas de la Comisión dar recomendaciones a los Estados miembros sobre la cuantía de la ayuda financiera que conceden a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005528/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: NGOs and civil-society organisations in Cantabria

The economic crisis currently affecting Europe is significantly reducing the support and funding channelled into non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil-society organisations.

The dismantling of Spain’s NGOs and civil-society organisations through cuts in subsidies and support for their activities has led, especially in Cantabria, to the disappearance of key organisations, such as the Spanish Economic and Social Council, which brings together social stakeholders and representatives from the professional and academic worlds. The Women’s Council of Cantabria and the Youth Council of Cantabria — of which over 12 500 young people were members — have also been penalised by the Cantabrian Regional Government’s cuts in 2012. In January 2013, the Santander House of Solidarity closed its doors, since the Cantabrian Regional Government’s general budget did not cover the cooperation agreement with the Cantabrian Council for the Coordination of NGOs for Development.

Could the Commission state what concrete measures it intends to take and what recommendations it can give Spain so that Spanish civil-society organisations continue to receive support?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(12 August 2013)

Giving recommendations to Member States on the amount of financial support they give to civil-society organisations is not part of the prerogatives of the Commission.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005529/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Dependencia y austeridad

El Parlamento Europeo ha subrayado en varias ocasiones la necesidad de promover medidas a nivel comunitario para dar respuesta al desafío social y sanitario que representa el envejecimiento progresivo de la población europea, un sector de población que en estos momentos supera los 85 millones de personas.

La Unión debe empezar a actuar con contundencia apoyando al sector sociosanitario. El anterior Gobierno en España puso en marcha la denominada Ley de Dependencia, la cual está siendo desmantelada por el actual Gobierno con la excusa de que la factura que genera es ingente y de que el Estado no puede cubrirla. En Cantabria, la atención a la dependencia se ha recortado 7 822 343,4 euros

Sin embargo hay estudios que confirman que este sector no sólo contribuye a la mejora de la salud, sino que también impulsa el empleo y con ello la situación económica del país. Se calcula que por cada millón de euros invertidos en dependencia se generan más de treinta empleos, estables y no deslocalizables.

Las políticas de austeridad en el sector sociosanitario lo único que producirán es un aumento del número de personas en dependencia de la atención sanitaria y social prestada por las instituciones estatales o regionales de los Estados miembros.

¿Qué pasos pretende dar la Comisión para invertir esta tendencia?

Respuesta del Sr. Andor en nombre de la Comisión

(5 de julio de 2013)

La prestación de cuidados de larga duración es responsabilidad de los Estados miembros. Sin embargo, estos han establecido en el Comité de Protección Social unos objetivos comunes en materia de accesibilidad, calidad y sostenibilidad financiera de los cuidados de larga duración. La Comisión apoya a los Estados miembros en sus esfuerzos y, por ejemplo, ha cofinanciado recientemente dos proyectos con la OCDE centrados en la financiación y en la calidad de los cuidados de larga duración, así como en la situación de los cuidadores.

El Paquete sobre Inversión Social adoptado en febrero de 2013 incluye un documento de trabajo de la Comisión sobre los cuidados de larga duración (1). La Comisión apoya al Comité de Protección Social en la elaboración de un informe sobre los cuidados de larga duración que será adoptado a principios de 2014. En dicho informe se estudiará cómo evitar la pérdida de autonomía y cómo mantener o recuperar la capacidad de las personas mayores para llevar una vida independiente.

El 29 de mayo la Comisión presentó sus propuestas de recomendaciones específicas para cada país en el contexto de la Estrategia Europa 2020 (2). En este contexto, la Comisión recomienda que España tome medidas durante el período 2013-2014 «para aumentar la rentabilidad del sector sanitario al tiempo que vela por la accesibilidad de los grupos vulnerables».

La Comisión es consciente de que España ha llevado a cabo una serie de reformas que garantizarán la sostenibilidad del sistema nacional de salud y mejorarán la calidad y la seguridad de los servicios que presta. Durante la primavera de 2014 presentará la Comisión su evaluación de la aplicación de las citadas recomendaciones específicas de cada país.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005529/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Dependency and austerity

Parliament has stressed on numerous occasions the need to promote EU-level measures to respond to the social and health challenge posed by the gradual ageing of the European population; this sector of the population now exceeds 85 million people.

The EU should start taking decisive steps to support the health- and social-care sector. The previous Spanish Government implemented the so-called Dependency Law, which the current government is dismantling on the pretext that it is hugely expensive and that the State cannot afford it. In Cantabria, EUR 7 822 343.40 has been cut from dependent care.

However, studies show that this sector not only contributes to health improvements, but also boosts employment and with it the country’s economy. It is estimated that for every EUR 1 million invested in dependency, more than 30 stable jobs that cannot be offshored are created.

All that austerity policies in the health- and social-care sector will produce is increased numbers of people dependent on the health and social care provided by central- or regional-government institutions in the Member States.

What steps does the Commission intend to take to reverse this trend?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

Long-term care provision is a responsibility of Member States. They have, however, agreed common objectives on the accessibility, quality and financial sustainability of long-term care in the context of their cooperation in the Social Protection Committee. The Commission supports Member States in their efforts and has, for instance, recently co-financed two projects with OECD which looked into the financing and quality of long-term care as well as into the situation of carers.

The Social Investment Package adopted in February 2013 includes a Commission Staff Working Document on long-term care (3). The Commission supports the Social Protection Committee in preparing a report on long-term care to be adopted at the beginning of 2014. It will explore how the loss of autonomy can be prevented and how the capacity of older people to live independently can be preserved or restored.

On 29 May the Commission presented its proposals for country specific recommendations in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy (4). In this context, the Commission recommends that Spain should take action within the period of 2013-2014 ‘to increase the cost-effectiveness of the healthcare sector, while maintaining accessibility for vulnerable groups’.

The Commission is aware that Spain has passed various regulations oriented to settle up reforms to ensure sustainability of the National Health System and to improve the quality and safety of their services. The Commission will present its assessment of the implementation of the abovementioned country specific recommendation in spring 2014.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005530/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Participación en el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión

La Directiva 2003/87/CE pone en marcha el comercio de emisiones para reducirlas en un 20 % para el año 2020. A partir de este año, las empresas deben adquirir el número de licencias suficiente para cubrir todas las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero que liberan para evitar ser multadas, de modo que, si es eficiente y le sobran, puede venderlas en el mercado a otras empresas más contaminantes. Los empresarios y sindicatos de la región española de Cantabria denuncian que acogerse a este régimen les obliga a llevar a cabo expedientes reguladores de empleo, ceses de actividad e incluso posibles cierres, ya que incide en su producción y competitividad.

Así queda ratificado por un comunicado de la compañía turca ETI Soda, que anunció el pasado 11 de enero que incrementará su capacidad de producción en un 50 % gracias a que las empresas competidoras europeas recortarán la suya debido a la puesta en macha del comercio de emisiones.

En sus propuestas de derechos de emisión desde el 2003, ¿ha tenido la Comisión en cuenta la variedad de métodos de producción empleados por las empresas europeas y las consecuencias sociales y económicas que soportarán?

¿Ha estimado la Comisión los daños en la competencia que la aplicación de este régimen supone para las empresas europeas, en comparación a empresas de países vecinos?

¿Ha previsto la Comisión encargar un estudio sobre los riesgos reales y las consecuencias de la desindustralización y deslocalización por participar en el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión?

¿Qué soluciones podría facilitar la Comisión o puede recomendar al Gobierno español para atajar la situación de las empresas cántabras, como Solvay, que se encuentran en una situación difícil como consecuencia de su participación en el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión?

Ante la situación de las empresas cántabras, ¿qué mecanismos sugiere la Comisión para asegurar que la energía sea un factor positivo para la competitividad y no todo lo contrario?

Respuesta de la Sra. Hedegaard en nombre de la Comisión

(4 de julio de 2013)

La UE ha optado por recurrir a la asignación gratuita de derechos de emisión, al acceso a créditos internacionales y a las ayudas estatales nacionales como medidas para reducir el riesgo de fuga de carbono en sectores que consumen mucha energía. Se considera que la producción de carbonato sódico está expuesta a un riesgo significativo de fuga de carbono y, por tanto, los operadores se benefician de una asignación gratuita de hasta el 100 % respecto al parámetro de referencia pertinente. En el momento de establecer el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión, la Comisión analizó con detenimiento las repercusiones y llegó a la conclusión de que dichas medidas eran adecuadas para proteger a las industrias europeas que consumen mucha energía. Los precios bajos del carbono en la actualidad siguen mejorando los eventuales impactos.

La Comisión lleva a cabo periódicamente revisiones y estudios para controlar los riesgos de fuga de carbono. Las evaluaciones de impacto realizadas en el ámbito de las políticas de cambio climático examinan sistemáticamente esos riesgos.

Además, en las Directrices sobre ayudas estatales relacionadas con el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión (5), la Comisión consideró el sector de los productos químicos inorgánicos subvencionable con ayudas estatales para compensar parcialmente el incremento de los costes de la electricidad que repercuten en las instalaciones de esos sectores. Los Estados miembros pueden decidir libremente si conceden o no ayudas estatales a las empresas de los sectores subvencionables para compensar esos costes.

No parece que exista ninguna relación entre el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión de la UE y la inversión en el aumento de la capacidad de producción en Turquía, que se beneficia de unas condiciones de acceso favorables al carbonato sódico natural.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005530/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Participation in the emissions trading scheme

Directive 2003/87/EC sets out an emissions trading scheme, with a view to a 20% reduction by 2020. Starting this year, if companies are to avoid fines, they must acquire enough licences to cover all their greenhouse gas emissions and, if the scheme works and they have too many, they can sell them on the market to other more polluting companies. Employers and trade unions in Spain’s Cantabria region report that compliance with this scheme is impacting their productivity and competitiveness, obliging them to make staff redundant or stop production, and even forcing some out of business.

This is confirmed by a press release from the Turkish company ETI Soda, which announced on 11 January that it would increase its production capacity by 50% because its European competitors had cut theirs, due to the implementation of emissions trading.

In its emissions trading proposals since 2003, has the Commission taken into account the variety of production methods employed by European companies, and the social and economic consequences that these companies will bear?

Has the Commission taken into account the damage that implementing this scheme will inflict on European companies’ competitiveness in comparison with companies from neighbouring countries?

Does the Commission intend to carry out a study on the real risks and consequences of deindustrialisation and offshoring due to participation in the emissions trading scheme?

What solutions can the Commission provide for or recommend to the Spanish Government to counter the situation of Cantabrian companies, such as Solvay, which find themselves in difficulties because of their participation in the emissions trading scheme?

In view of the situation of Cantabrian companies, what mechanisms does the Commission suggest to ensure that energy plays a positive role in competitiveness rather than hindering it?

Answer given by Ms Hedegaard on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The EU has opted for the use of free allowances, access to international credits and national state aid as measures to reduce the risk of carbon leakage for its energy intensive industry. Soda ash production is deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage and the operators therefore benefit from free allocation at up to 100% of the relevant benchmark. At the time of setting up the ETS, the Commission had a close look at the impacts and concluded that these measures are adequate to protect the European energy intensive industries. The current low carbon prices further alleviate possible impacts.

The Commission regularly undertakes reviews and studies to monitor the carbon leakage risks. Impact Assessments undertaken in the area of climate change policies systematically examine the risk of carbon leakage.

In addition, in the state aid Guidelines related to the Emission Trading System (6), the Commission recognised the sector of inorganic chemicals as eligible for state aid to compensate part of the increased electricity costs faced by installations in those sectors. Member States are free to decide whether or not to grant state aid to companies active in the eligible sectors to compensate for such costs.

There does not seem to be any link between the EU emissions trading system and the investment in increased production in Turkey, which benefits from favourable access to natural soda ash.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005531/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Desigualdad en Cantabria

La tasa de más de 6 millones de parados que ya acumula España ha hecho mella en los ingresos de las familias. Más de 1,9 millones de hogares españoles, según la última Encuesta de Población Activa, tiene a todos sus miembros en paro. Y menos del 67 % de los registrados en las oficinas de empleo reciben alguna ayuda o prestación del Estado.

Según un informe de la organización OXFAM, las políticas de austeridad y de recortes sociales podrían incrementar el número de personas en riesgo de pobreza y exclusión en casi 18 millones de españoles en el 2022, el 40 % de la población. España ocupa en la actualidad las posiciones más preocupantes de récord en parados y en las estadísticas que miden la desigualdad social, y se ha convertido, por primera vez, en el país de los Veintisiete con mayor distancia entre las rentas altas y las bajas.

En Cantabria, la desigualdad incide con mayor dureza sobre las mujeres. Cantabria es una de las autonomías españolas con mayor brecha salarial por sexo; la segunda, después de Asturias (28,67 %), con un 27,73 % de remuneración menos. Las trabajadoras cántabras perciben una media de entre 5 000 y 6 000 euros anuales brutos menos que los varones en salarios y algo menos de 2 000 euros al año en pensiones. Estos datos provocan que una de cada cuatro cántabras esté en situación de riesgo de pobreza (la tasa está en el 22 % según el INE).

¿Considera la Comisión la reducción de la desigualdad un objetivo clave para salir de la crisis económica y cumplir la Estrategia Europa 2020?

¿Qué recomendaciones, sobre todo respecto a la acuciante desigualdad que viven las mujeres, ha dado Comisión a España para evitar que esta situación empeore?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(15 de julio de 2013)

1.

Promover la igualdad salarial es una de las prioridades de la estrategia de la Comisión para la igualdad entre mujeres y hombres 2010-2015. La Comisión considera que el fomento de la igualdad entre los sexos, incluida la promoción de la igualdad salarial, es importante para alcanzar los objetivos de la Estrategia Europa 2020. A la vista de ambas estrategias, la Comisión está observando de cerca las políticas nacionales adoptadas para mejorar la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres en el mercado de trabajo, incluida la igualdad de remuneración, y para impulsar la integración social de las mujeres en general.

2.

Una de las prioridades de la Comisión de cara a los próximos años será vigilar la aplicación y ejecución correctas de las cláusulas relativas a la igualdad salarial de la Directiva 2006/54/CE

2.

Una de las prioridades de la Comisión de cara a los próximos años será vigilar la aplicación y ejecución correctas de las cláusulas relativas a la igualdad salarial de la Directiva 2006/54/CE

 (7). La Comisión está preparando un informe sobre la aplicación de esa Directiva. En respuesta a la Resolución del Parlamento Europeo sobre la igualdad salarial de mayo de 2012, se centrará especialmente en la evaluación de la aplicación en la práctica de las cláusulas relativas a la igualdad salarial en todos los Estados miembros, incluida España.

En el contexto del Semestre Europeo, la Comisión ha adoptado una recomendación específica para España para que adopte y aplique las medidas necesarias para reducir el número de personas en riesgo de pobreza o marginación social mediante el refuerzo de las políticas activas del mercado de trabajo, a fin de mejorar la empleabilidad de las personas más alejadas de dicho mercado y mejorar la focalización y aumentar la efectividad y la eficacia de las medidas de apoyo, incluida la calidad de los servicios de apoyo a la familia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005531/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Inequality in Cantabria

Spanish families are feeling the pinch from the country’s unemployment rate of 6 million. The latest Spanish Labour Force Survey (EPA) shows that there are over 1.9 million households with all of their members unemployed. Moreover, fewer than 67% of those registered with employment services are receiving any State benefits.

The NGO Oxfam reports that austerity policies and social cuts could increase the number of Spaniards at risk of poverty and social exclusion to 18 million by 2022; that is, 40% of the population. Spain is currently setting worrying records in unemployment figures and social-inequality statistics, and has become, for the first time, the Member State with the greatest difference between high and low incomes.

In Cantabria, inequality hits women hardest. With a difference of 27.73%, Cantabria is one of the Spanish regions with the largest gender pay gaps, second only to Asturias, with 28.67%. On average, Cantabria’s working women’s gross pay is between EUR 5 000 and EUR 6 000 lower than that of men, while their pensions are just under EUR 2 000 lower. These figures mean that one in four Cantabrian women is at risk of poverty; the Spanish National Statistical Institute (INE) puts the figure at 22%.

Does the Commission consider reducing inequality a key objective for emerging from the economic crisis and complying with the Europe 2020 strategy?

What recommendations has the Commission given Spain, particularly regarding the dire inequality that women experience, to prevent this situation from worsening?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

1.

Promoting equal pay is one of the priorities of the Commission’s Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010-2015. The Commission considers that the promotion of gender equality, including the promotion of equal pay is important to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. In light of both strategies, the Commission is monitoring closely the national policies adopted to improve gender equality in the labour market, including equal pay and to boost the social inclusion of women in general.

2.

One of the Commission's priorities for the coming years will be to monitor the correct application and enforcement of the equal pay provisions of Directive 2006/54/EC

2.

One of the Commission's priorities for the coming years will be to monitor the correct application and enforcement of the equal pay provisions of Directive 2006/54/EC

 (8). The Commission is currently preparing a Report on the application of this directive. Responding to the European Parliament's resolution on equal pay of May 2012, it will in particular focus on assessing the implementation in practice of the equal pay provisions in all Member States, including Spain.

In the context of the European Semester, the Commission has adopted a specific recommendation for Spain to adopt and implement the necessary measures to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion by reinforcing active labour market policies to improve employability of people further away from the labour market and by improving the targeting and increasing efficiency and effectiveness of support measures, including quality family support services.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005532/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Impacto socioeconómico de la crisis en las familias españolas: España y por Comunidades Autónomas

La Comunicación de la Comisión titulada «Promover la solidaridad entre las generaciones» establece claramente las tareas de la Alianza Europea para las Familias. Entre ellas se incluye el establecimiento de un observatorio europeo de mejores prácticas de política familiar dentro de la Fundación Europea para la Mejora de las Condiciones de Vida y de Trabajo (Eurofound) en Dublín. Se fijaba también el objetivo de establecer políticas de apoyo para garantizar a las familias condiciones de vida adecuadas, incluyendo prestaciones en metálico y exenciones fiscales.

Ante la situación actual de crisis económica, España ha optado por una política que no apoya el crecimiento de nuestra economía y que además pone a cientos de familias por debajo del umbral de la pobreza. Los recortes en Cantabria para el curso escolar 2012-2013 de tres millones en becas para libros de texto y 150 000 euros en comedores escolares se han unido a la reducción de la ayuda a familias numerosas.

España dedica a la política familiar sólo un 1,2 % de su PIB, frente al 2 % de la media europea. Ante esta situación ¿le ha facilitado la Alianza a la Comisión información sobre el impacto socioeconómico de la crisis en España por Comunidades Autónomas? ¿Qué consideraciones tiene del análisis de dichos datos? ¿Qué acciones piensa emprender la Comisión a fin de respaldar las condiciones de vida de las familias y así reducir la pobreza y la exclusión?

¿Considera la Comisión que el ajuste económico y social llevado a cabo por algunos Estados miembros en las prestaciones familiares y en las políticas favorables a las familias está en línea con el objetivo de reducir la pobreza y la exclusión de la Estrategia Europa 2020?

Respuesta del Sr. Andor en nombre de la Comisión

(8 de julio de 2013)

La Alianza Europea para las Familias se creó como una plataforma para el aprendizaje mutuo y el intercambio de buenas prácticas, y no es un organismo consultivo. Recientemente se sustituyó por la Plataforma Europea para la Inversión en la Infancia (9). El perfil de España en su sitio web informa sobre el creciente impacto negativo de la crisis.

Lamentablemente, la muestra de EU-SILC (estadísticas sobre la renta y las condiciones de vida en la EU), que miden la pobreza y la privación material, es demasiado pequeña para obtener resultados regionales fiables, al menos con respecto a los niños. Los últimos resultados de España confirman el aumento de la pobreza (infantil). El porcentaje de niños españoles en riesgo de pobreza o exclusión aumentó del 26,2 % en 2009 al 30,6 % en 2011. El porcentaje de niños españoles que viven en hogares con una intensidad de trabajo muy baja aumentó del 5 % en 2009 al 9,8 % en 2011 (10).

Aunque incumbe principalmente a los Estados miembros la responsabilidad de ayudar a las familias y los niños, la reducción de la pobreza es un objetivo fundamental de la Estrategia Europa 2020. La Comisión acaba de proponer al Consejo, en el contexto del Semestre Europeo, recomendaciones específicas por país sobre la pobreza y la exclusión social para quince Estados miembros. Mas concretamente, en la recomendación 6 se pide a España que reduzca el número de personas en situación de riesgo aumentando la empleabilidad de las personas con menor acceso al mercado de trabajo y mejorando el objetivo, la eficiencia y la eficacia de las medidas de apoyo a las familias.

Además, mediante el Paquete de Inversión Social (11) que se ha adoptado recientemente y que contiene una recomendación específica sobre la inversión en la infancia, la Comisión insta a los Estados miembros a intensificar su lucha contra la pobreza y a utilizar sus presupuestos, incluidos los fondos de la UE, de forma más eficaz y eficiente a fin de alcanzar resultados sociales positivos y duraderos para las familias y los niños.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005532/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Socioeconomic impact of the crisis on Spanish families: across Spain and in individual regions

The Commission communication entitled ‘Promoting solidarity between the generations’ clearly sets out the duties of the European Alliance for Families (EAF). These include setting up a European observatory of best family-policy practices as part of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in Dublin. It also set the objective of establishing support policies to secure suitable living conditions for families, including cash benefits and tax exemptions.

In the face of the current economic crisis, Spain has opted for a policy that does not support the growth of our economy and, moreover, leaves hundreds of families below the poverty line. For the school year 2012-2013, Cantabria has cut EUR 3 million in grants for textbooks and EUR 150 000 for school meals, which is on top of reduced support for large families.

Spain allocates only 1.2% of GDP to family policy, compared with the European average of 2%. In view of this situation, has the EAF given the Commission region-specific information on the socioeconomic impact of the crisis in Spain? What is its view of these statistics? What steps does the Commission plan to take to support families’ living conditions, thereby reducing poverty and social exclusion?

Does the Commission consider the economic and social adjustment carried out by some Member States with regard to family benefits and family-friendly policies in line with the Europe 2020 strategy objective of reducing poverty and social exclusion?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

The EAF (12) was set up as a platform for mutual learning and exchange of best practices, it is not an advisory body. Recently it was replaced by EPIC (13). The Spanish country profile that is part of the website, reports on the increasing negative impact of the crisis.

Unfortunately the sample of EU-SILC, which measures poverty and material deprivation, is too small to allow for reliable regional results, at least for children. The latest data for Spain confirm the rise in (child) poverty. The share of Spanish children at risk of poverty or exclusion increased from 26.2% in 2009 to 30.6% in 2011. The share of Spanish children living in low work intensity households increased from 5% in 2009 to 9.8% in 2011 (14).

Although Member States are primarily responsible for supporting families and children, the reduction in poverty is a key objective of the Europe 2020 strategy. The Commission has just proposed to the Council, within the context of the European semester, country specific recommendations on poverty and social exclusion to 15 Member States. More concretely, Recommendation 6 asks Spain to take measures to reduce the number of people at risk by improving the employability of people further away from the labour market, and by improving the targeting, efficiency and effectiveness of family support measures.

Moreover, through its recently adopted Social Investment Package (15), which contains a specific Recommendation on investing in children, the Commission urges Member States to step up their fight against poverty, and to use their budgets including EU funds, more efficiently and effectively to achieve lasting positive social outcomes for families and children.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005533/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Impulso al empleo en Cantabria

El Gobierno actual de Cantabria recibió 47 millones de euros del Fondo Social Europeo 2007-2013 para proyectos de formación profesional y otros programas de ayuda al empleo y creación de empleo.

Sin embargo, no vemos ningún avance en este sentido, siendo el paro uno de los mayores problemas de Cantabria. El último dato del que disponemos es que hay 58 623 parados inscritos en las oficinas públicas de empleo: 5 434 personas más que en abril de 2012.

La Comunidad Autónoma cántabra también se sitúa en los últimos puestos en términos interanuales. En el último año el desempleo ha crecido un 10,22 % en la región, el doble que en el conjunto nacional (+5,16 %), y supone la segunda mayor subida del país.

A la vista de la información ¿ha sido la Comisión informada sobre el porcentaje del FSE que se ha gastado por Comunidad Autónoma en España? ¿Cuál es el porcentaje correspondiente a la Comunidad Autónoma de Cantabria? ¿Considera la Comisión que se ha cumplido el objetivo de adaptabilidad y empleo que persigue el FSE?

Respuesta del Sr. Andor en nombre de la Comisión

(8 de julio de 2013)

La Comisión está de acuerdo en que uno de los principales retos a los que se enfrenta España es su cifra récord de desempleo. Debe prestarse especial atención a los jóvenes, a las personas con bajo nivel de cualificación y a los desempleados de larga duración. La Encuesta de Población Activa (EPA) de la Unión Europea ofrece estimaciones de población con respecto a las principales características del mercado laboral, como el desempleo. Con arreglo a los resultados de la EPA, en 2012 el índice de desempleo de Cantabria ascendía al 17,7 %, mientras que el de España era del 25,0 %. Esto representa un incremento frente a 2011, cuando estos porcentajes eran del 15,3 % en Cantabria y del 21,6 % en España.

El Fondo Social Europeo para el periodo 2007-2013 ha asignado un total de 47 millones de euros a la Comunidad Autónoma de Cantabria. El Programa Operativo (PO) regional dispone de una contribución total de la UE de 12,7 millones de euros. La región puede acceder también a una financiación de hasta 31 millones de euros procedentes del PO nacional «Adaptabilidad y Empleo» y de hasta 3,3 millones de euros del PO nacional «Lucha contra la Discriminación».

Las solicitudes de pago intermedio presentadas hasta mayo de 2013 para el PO «Cantabria» representan el 52 % del presupuesto total (el 55 % para todos los Programas Operativos españoles). De acuerdo con los datos recibidos de la Autoridad española de Gestión para el FSE, el presupuesto del PO regional está comprometido al 100 % y ya se ha pagado un 96 % a beneficiarios a nivel nacional.

El número total de participantes en actividades relacionadas con el FSE entre 2007 y 2013 fue de 18 584, lo que constituye más del 95 % de los inicialmente previstos. Solo en 2012, el número de personas que participaron en una acción financiada por el OP regional ascendió a 3 422 (2 289 mujeres y 1 133 hombres). En vista de los indicadores presentados en el último proyecto de informe de ejecución para 2012, la Comisión reconoce el impacto positivo de las acciones del FSE en la región.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005533/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Boosting employment in Cantabria

The current Cantabrian Regional Government has received EUR 47 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2007-2013 for professional training projects and other employment-support and job-creation programmes.

However, we can see no progress in this regard: unemployment is one of Cantabria’s greatest problems. The most recent figures show 58 623 people registered as unemployed with the government unemployment service, which is 5 434 more than in April 2012.

The region of Cantabria also has one of the worst year-on-year rates. In the last year, unemployment has increased by 10.22% in the region; that is double the national total (+5.16%) and is the second-largest increase in the country.

In view of this information, has the Commission been given information on the percentage of ESF funding that each Spanish region has spent? What is the percentage for the region of Cantabria? Does the Commission consider Cantabria to have complied with the ESF’s adaptability and employment objectives?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

The Commission agrees that one of the main challenges currently facing Spain is its record-high unemployment. Special attention should be paid to young people, the low-skilled and the long-term unemployed. The European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS) provides population estimates for the main labour market characteristics, such as unemployment. Based on the LFS results in 2012 Cantabria had an unemployment rate of 17.7% while Spain had an unemployment rate of 25.0%. It is an increase compared to 2011 when the rates were 15.3% in Cantabria and 21.6% in Spain.

The European Social Fund for the period 2007-2013 has allocated a total of EUR 47 million to the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Regional Operational Programme (OP) has a total EU contribution of EUR 12.7 million. The region is also eligible for up to EUR 31 million from the national OP ‘Adaptabilidad and Empleo’ and EUR 3.3 million from the national OP ‘Lucha contra la Discriminación’.

The interim payment claims presented till May 2013 for the OP ‘Cantabria’ account for 52% of the total budget (55% for all the Spanish Operational Programmes). According to the data received from the Spanish Management Authority for ESF, 100% of the regional OP budget is committed and 96% is already paid to beneficiaries at national level.

The total number of participants in ESF related activities between 2007 and 2013 was 18.584, which represent more than 95% of the initially planned. Only in 2012 the number of people that took part in an action funded by the regional OP was 3.422 (2.289 women and 1.133 men). In view of the indicators presented in the last draft Implementation report for 2012 the Commission acknowledges the positive impact of the ESF actions in the region.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005534/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Incendios forestales

Se acerca la temporada de incendios y una vez más tenemos que volver a insistir en la necesidad de implantar acciones eficaces, solidarias y coherentes de prevención. La situación no ha mejorado; es más, en los últimos diez años ha aumentado el número de incendios en Europa. Cada año arde en la Unión Europea una superficie media equivalente a más de 500 000 estadios de fútbol.

En el caso de España, Cantabria es la cuarta comunidad con un mayor número de incendios forestales. En 2012 registró 612 incendios que quemaron más de 12 000 hectáreas, 9 600 de superficie forestal leñosa. Estamos hablando de la desaparición del 3,5 % del total de la superficie forestal de la región y el 0,49 % de la arbolada.

La única respuesta del Gobierno regional cántabro fue el recorte y el despido de una cuarta parte de la plantilla de la que se dispone para frenar los incendios y actuar ante otras emergencias.

Habida cuenta de lo anterior, ¿podría dar a conocer la Comisión qué estrategias de prevención tiene intención de adoptar con objeto de combatir un fenómeno que anualmente asola Europa?

Respuesta del Sr. Potočnik en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de junio de 2013)

El Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Rural ofrece a los Estados miembros la oportunidad de prestar apoyo a la prevención de incendios forestales y a la restauración y, por otro lado, se pueden cofinanciar programas y medidas sobre prevención de riesgos e infraestructuras medioambientales a través de la política de cohesión. En el marco de la gestión compartida de los fondos, corresponde a los Estados miembros y a las regiones decidir cómo utilizan los fondos y qué prioridad dan a la prevención de incendios.

El Sistema Europeo de Información sobre Incendios Forestales (EFFIS), del que forman parte la Comisión y la mayoría de los Estados miembros, facilita a los Estados miembros información sobre el riesgo de incendios forestales dos veces al día durante la temporada de incendios forestales, entre otras cosas.

Tras los buenos resultados cosechados en anteriores temporadas y a fin de reforzar el conocimiento de la situación y la coordinación entre los Estados miembros, el centro de respuesta ante situaciones de emergencia de ECHO va a organizar a lo largo de la temporada de incendios forestales de 2013 una videoconferencia semanal con los Estados miembros más afectados (Portugal, España, Francia, Italia, Grecia, Croacia y otros países, de forma ad hoc). Además, se va a publicar semanalmente un boletín de ECHO sobre incendios forestales, con el fin de fomentar el intercambio de información entre los Estados miembros.

En su propuesta de revisión del Mecanismo de Protección Civil de la UE (COM(2011) 934 final), presentada el 20 de diciembre de  2011, la Comisión propone aumentar los recursos de, aproximadamente, 25 millones de euros a 65 millones de euros al año, con el fin de ajustarlos al aumento de la frecuencia y la intensidad de las catástrofes y a la necesidad de llevar a cabo políticas más eficaces en materia de prevención, preparación y respuesta. Las negociaciones sobre la totalidad del presupuesto de la UE para 2014-2020 están actualmente en curso con la Autoridad Presupuestaria.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005534/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Forest fires

Forest fire season is approaching and once again we need to emphasise the need to take effective and consistent preventative measures that are grounded in solidarity. The situation has not improved. Furthermore, the number of fires in Europe has increased over the last 10 years. Every year in the EU, on average, an area equivalent to over 500 000 football stadiums burns.

Cantabria is the Spanish region with the fourth-largest number of forest fires. In 2012, 612 fires were recorded, which burned over 12 000 hectares, 9 600 of which were in heavily wooded areas. We are talking about the disappearance of 3.5% of the region’s total woodland and 0.49% of its trees.

The Cantabrian Regional Government’s sole response was a cut, making a quarter of the staff previously available for slowing the spread of fires and combating other emergencies redundant.

In view of the foregoing, can the Commission state what prevention strategies it intends to adopt to combat a phenomenon that ravages Europe every year?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(21 June 2013)

The European Rural Development fund provides the opportunity to Member States to support forest fire prevention and restoration while cohesion policy can also co-finance programmes and measures on risk prevention and environmental infrastructure. In the framework of the shared management of the funds, it is the Member States and regions that decide how they use the funds and the priority they give to forest fire prevention.

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), in which the Commission and most Member States take part, provides, inter alia, information on forest fire risks to Member States twice a day during the forest fire season.

Following the good results of previous forest fire seasons and in order to enhance situational awareness and coordination among Member States the ECHO Emergency Response Centre (ERC) will organise over the 2013 forest fire season a weekly videoconference with the most fire prone Member States (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and other countries on an ad hoc basis). In addition, an ECHO Forest Fires Bulletin will be issued on a weekly basis in order to enhance information-sharing between Member States.

In its proposal for a revision of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, COM(2011) 934 final, submitted on 20 December 2011, the Commission proposed an increase in resources (from approx. EUR 25 million to EUR 65 million per year) to reflect the increased frequency and intensity of disasters and the need for more robust prevention, preparedness and response policies. The negotiations on the whole EU budget for 2014-2020 are the subject of ongoing negotiations with the budgetary authority.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005535/13

a la Comisión

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Recortes en el ámbito de la cultura

El Gobierno español ha impuesto unos recortes presupuestarios que, en el caso de la cultura, son dramáticos. Instituciones emblemáticas sufren un recorte de más del 30 %. El Museo del Prado, el Museo Reina Sofía, el Teatro Real, el Gran Teatro del Liceo, y áreas fundamentales como la Dirección General de Industrias Culturales, la Red de Bibliotecas públicas o el Instituto de la Cinematografía son tan solo algunos de los ilustres afectados.

Las comunidades autónomas, tampoco salvan la cultura. El Gobierno cántabro ha impuesto un recorte del 32 % en los presupuestos de 2013. La gestión y promoción cultural y la conservación del patrimonio se ven por tanto recortadas casi a la mitad durante 2013.

Los mayores recortes en Cantabria los sufrirán dos áreas: la gestión y promoción cultural, que pasa de contar con más de 12 millones en el presente ejercicio a 6 872 617 en 2013, lo que supone una notable reducción del 45 %; y el patrimonio cultural, que contará con 1 734 017 frente a los actuales 2 567 074, lo que significa un descenso de más de un 33 %.

El emblemático Festival Internacional de Santander vuelve a ser por segundo año consecutivo uno de los grandes perjudicados por los recortes culturales, con un tijeretazo de un 25 %. También la Fundación Comillas, cuyo presupuesto descendió de tres millones a medio millón de euros en 2012. La financiación para el arte y la cultura en España se ha reducido drásticamente en el último año, y el panorama a corto y medio plazo parece desolador.

¿Es consciente la Comisión de que invertir en cultura puede potencial el crecimiento económico?

¿Nos puede detallar la proposición de la Comisión para la financiación de los programas culturales para el periodo 2014-2020 que actualmente se encuentran en negociación?

¿Subrayará la Comisión a España la necesidad de iniciar algún plan para mejorar los flujos financieros para el arte y la cultura?

Respuesta de la Sra. Vassiliou en nombre de la Comisión

(20 de junio de 2013)

La Comisión considera que la inversión en cultura sigue siendo importante y rentable incluso en épocas económicas difíciles. La cultura y el patrimonio han demostrado tener capacidad para crear puestos de trabajo a nivel local y han servido para mejorar las perspectivas económicas de ciudades y regiones. El sector cultural y el sector creativo representan un 3,3 % del PIB de la UE y dan empleo a 6,7 millones de personas (el 3 % del empleo total). En resumidas cuentas, la cultura desempeña un importante papel en la economía europea y tiene potencial para contribuir considerablemente a la recuperación económica.

«Europa Creativa» es el futuro programa de la UE dedicado a los sectores cultural y creativo para el período 2014-2020 (16); fue propuesto por la Comisión Europea en 2011 y actualmente se encuentra en fase de debate en el Consejo y el Parlamento. Los detalles sobre las medidas propuestas para el programa se pueden consultar en el sitio web que se indica en la nota a pie de página.

Las competencias de la UE en materia de cultura se rigen por el principio de subsidiariedad. Según el artículo 167 del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea, «la acción de la Unión favorecerá la cooperación entre Estados miembros y, si fuere necesario, apoyará y completará la acción de estos». Por lo tanto, la financiación en materia de cultura y patrimonio cultural es ante todo responsabilidad nacional.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005535/13

to the Commission

Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Culture cuts

The Spanish Government has imposed dramatic budget cuts in the area of culture. Iconic institutions are suffering cuts of over 30%. The Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum, the Teatro Real theatre, the Gran Teatro del Liceo theatre, and key areas like the Directorate-General for Cultural Industries, the network of public libraries, and the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) are just some of the famous institutions affected.

Nor are the regional governments sparing culture. The Cantabrian Regional Government has imposed a 32% cut on 2013 budgets. Budgets for managing and promoting culture, and for preserving heritage have been almost halved in 2013.

Cantabria’s largest cuts will be in the areas of managing and promoting culture, whose budget has been cut by 45% from over EUR 12 million in the current financial year to EUR 6 872 617 in 2013, and cultural heritage, whose current budget of EUR 2 567 074 will be cut by over 33% to EUR 1 734 017.

For the second consecutive year, the iconic Santander International Festival has been one of the major victims of the culture cuts, with its budget slashed by 25%. The Comillas Foundation too had its budget cut from EUR 3 million to EUR 500 000 in 2012. Funding for art and culture in Spain has been reduced drastically in the last year, and the short‐ and medium-term outlook appears bleak.

Is the Commission aware that investing in culture can boost economic growth?

Can the Commission provide details of its proposal — currently under negotiation — for funding cultural programmes in the 2014-2020 period?

Will the Commission stress to Spain the need to implement a plan to increase funding for art and culture?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2013)

The Commission believes that investment in culture remains important and valuable even during challenging economic times. Culture and heritage have a proven ability to create local jobs and have served to improve the economic outlook of cities and regions. Cultural and creative sectors account for 3.3% of EU GDP and employ 6.7 million people (3% of total employment). All in all, culture plays an important role in the European economy and has the potential to contribute strongly to economic recovery.

Creative Europe is the future EU programme dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors for the period 2014-2020 (17), proposed by the European Commission in 2011 and now under discussion in Council and Parliament. Details on the measures proposed for the programme can be obtained from the website indicated in the footnote.

EU competences in the field of culture are governed by the subsidiarity principle. According to Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the role of the Union should be ‘encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their action’. Therefore, funding for culture and cultural heritage is primarily a national responsibility.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-005536/13

aan de Commissie

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(17 mei 2013)

Betreft: Vennootschapsbelasting voor havenbedrijven

Onlangs werd bekend dat de Europese Commissie de generieke vrijstelling van vennootschapsbelasting voor de Nederlandse overheidsbedrijven, waaronder de havenbedrijven wil afschaffen.

De havenbedrijven zouden als overheidsbedrijven economische activiteiten uitoefenen en daarmee concurreren met particuliere bedrijven die wel vennootschapsbelasting betalen. Hierdoor zou er een concurrentienadeel ontstaan volgens de Europese Commissie.

De Nederlandse havenbedrijven concurreren echter niet met particuliere Nederlandse bedrijven, maar met de andere Europese zeehavens. En uit een onderzoek van Ernst & Young blijkt dat de havenbedrijven in Duitsland, België en Frankrijk geen (equivalenten van) vennootschapsbelasting betalen. Invoering van vennootschapsbelasting zou voor de Nederlandse havenbedrijven leiden tot een concurrentienadeel ten opzichte van andere Europese havenbeheerders.

1.

Is de Commissie bekend met het onderzoek van Ernst & Young?

2.

Is de Commissie met mij van mening dat de Nederlandse Havens concurreren met de havens in de andere lidstaten en dus vanuit dat perspectief beoordeeld dienen te worden?

3.

Is de Commissie met mij van mening dat de Havenbedrijven van Amsterdam en Rotterdam beoordeeld dienen te worden vanuit hun internationale positie?

4.

Bent u van mening dat invoering van een dergelijk voorstel van vennootschapsbelasting pas mogelijk is onder de voorwaarde dat alle Europese overheidsbedrijven op dezelfde generieke wijze worden benaderd?

5.

Is de Commissie bereid om een internationaal onderzoek uit te voeren naar de concurrentiepositie van havenbedrijven op basis van financieel-fiscale beleidsmaatregelen, voordat ze met een generiek Vpb-voorstel voor deze categorie van overheidsbedrijven komt?

6.

Zo ja, wanneer zou dit onderzoek plaatsvinden en wanneer zullen deze uitkomsten bekend zijn?

Antwoord van de heer Almunia namens de Commissie

(17 juni 2013)

1.

De Commissie is op de hoogte van een nota van Ernst & Young (18) over de belastingplicht van EU-zeehavens, in opdracht van de haven van Rotterdam.

2-3. De Commissie heeft niet specifiek Nederlandse havens (19) onderzocht maar heeft in haar aanbeveling van 2 mei 2013 met dienstige maatregelen voor Nederland geconcludeerd dat de vrijstelling van vennootschapsbelasting voor overheidsbedrijven deze laatste een selectief voordeel in de zin van de staatssteunregels biedt. Als overheidsbedrijven genieten de Nederlandse havens eveneens dit selectieve voordeel. De belastingvrijstelling (20) biedt Nederlandse havens een selectief voordeel ten opzichte van andere ondernemingen die in Nederland economische activiteiten uitvoeren en die zich in een feitelijk en juridisch vergelijkbare situatie (21) bevinden. Het feit dat de Nederlandse havens concurreren met havens in andere lidstaten neemt dit selectieve voordeel niet weg.

4.

Het mogelijke bestaan van soortgelijke onrechtmatige staatssteunmaatregelen in andere lidstaten is voor Nederland geen reden om zijn wetgeving inzake vennootschapsbelasting niet in overeenstemming met de EU-wetgeving te brengen (22). Bij ontstentenis van een harmonisatie van de directe belastingen staat het de lidstaten vrij zelf te bepalen hoe zij hun overheidsbedrijven belasten. Als een lidstaat echter ondernemingen belast die zich met economische activiteiten bezighouden, maar sommige ondernemingen vrijstelt op basis van hun rechtsvorm of eigenaar, leidt dit op het eerste gezicht tot een selectief voordeel volgens de staatssteunregels.

5-6. Het onderzoek van Ernst & Young suggereert dat de havens in sommige lidstaten een vrijstelling van vennootschapsbelasting genieten. De diensten van de Commissie zijn voornemens naar alle lidstaten een vragenlijst te sturen om informatie over de vennootschapsbelasting voor havens te verkrijgen. Deze vragenlijst, die eveneens over infrastructuurkwesties zal gaan, is voorzien vóór augustus. Het is nog te vroeg om te kunnen zeggen wanneer de eerste resultaten bekend zullen zijn.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-005536/13

to the Commission

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Corporation tax for port undertakings

It recently became known that the Commission wished to abolish the blanket exemption from corporation tax for Dutch public undertakings, including port undertakings.

The Commission states that publicly owned port undertakings perform economic operations and therefore compete with private undertakings which are required to pay corporation tax. The Commission sees this as placing the private undertakings at a competitive disadvantage.

However, Dutch port undertakings compete not with private businesses based in the Netherlands but with other European sea ports. A survey by Ernst & Young indicates that port undertakings in Germany, Belgium and France do not pay corporation tax (or equivalents to it). If corporation tax were to be imposed on Dutch port undertakings, this would place them at a competitive disadvantage in relation to other European port managers.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the survey by Ernst & Young?

2.

Does the Commission agree that Dutch ports compete with ports in other Member States and should therefore be appraised in that light?

3.

Does the Commission agree that the Amsterdam and Rotterdam port undertakings should be assessed in the light of their international position?

4.

Does the Commission consider that it would only be possible to introduce such a proposal for corporation tax on condition that all European publicly owned undertakings are treated in the same general way?

5.

Will the Commission conduct an international survey of the competitive position of port undertakings on the basis of financial and fiscal policy measures before it submits a general proposal on corporation tax for this category of publicly owned undertaking?

6.

If so, when will such a survey be conducted and when will the findings be known?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of a memo on tax liability of EU Seaports by E&Y

1.

The Commission is aware of a memo on tax liability of EU Seaports by E&Y

 (23), commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam.

2-3. The Commission has not specifically examined Dutch ports (24) but has, in its recommendation of 2 May 2013 proposing appropriate measures to the Netherlands, concluded that the corporate tax exemption for public undertakings grants them a selective advantage within the meaning of the state aid rules. As public undertakings, Dutch ports also benefit from this selective advantage. This tax exemption (25) grants Dutch ports a selective advantage compared to other undertakings involved in economic activities in the Netherlands and which are in a comparable factual and legal situation (26). The fact that Dutch ports compete with ports in other Member States does not remove this selective advantage.

4.

The possible existence of similar unlawful state aid measures in other Member States does not justify the Netherlands not bringing its corporate tax law into conformity with EC law

4.

The possible existence of similar unlawful state aid measures in other Member States does not justify the Netherlands not bringing its corporate tax law into conformity with EC law

 (27). In the absence of direct taxation harmonisation, Member States are free to determine how to tax their public companies. However, when a Member State taxes companies involved in economic activities and exempts certain undertakings on the basis of their legal form or ownership this amounts prima facie to a selective advantage according to the state aid rules.

5-6. The E&Y study suggests that ports in some Member States benefit from a corporate tax exemption. The Commission services plan to send a questionnaire to all Member States to get information on corporate taxation of ports. The launch of this questionnaire, which will also cover infrastructure issues, is envisaged before August. It is too early to assess when the first findings will be known.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005537/13

an die Kommission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(17. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Preisfindung im OTC-Ölhandel

Die Kommission hat zusammen mit der EFTA (Europäische Freihandelsassoziation) unlängst Razzien bei verschiedenen Ölkonzernen durchgeführt, um festzustellen, ob bei der freiwilligen Angabe der Vertragsabschlüsse an den Informationsdienstleister Platts absichtliche Manipulationen stattfanden, um die von Platts berechneten OTC-Preise künstlich in die Höhe zu treiben. Nachdem davon ausgegangen werden kann, dass Ölkonzerne ihren Reichtum nicht durch Nächstenliebe und Altruismus erworben haben, kann angesichts der gegebenen Anreizsituation und den daraus nun mutmaßlich folgenden kriminellen Aktivitäten eine Kritik am aktuellen System der OTC-Preisbildung kaum von der Hand gewiesen werden. Insbesondere ist dabei die freiwillige Informationsübermittlung der Ölkonzerne an Platts bezüglich Handelsmengen eine elementare Schwäche. Geht man von der gewaltigen Bedeutung des Ölpreises für Bürger und Wirtschaft der EU aus, kann hier auch nicht von einem geringfügigen Problem gesprochen werden.

1.

Teilt die Kommission die Ansicht bezüglich der systematischen Schwäche im Fall einer Preisdeklarierung via Platts mittels freiwillig von Ölkonzernen mitgeteilten Informationen zum OTC-Handel?

2.

Falls ja, Sieht die Kommission hier jetzt einen Bedarf, in Bezug auf den Handel innerhalb der EU oder für den Fall, dass eine Handelsseite der EU angehört, systematische Änderungen zur Preisbildung festzulegen, um nicht auf die Aufrichtigkeit und Nächstenliebe der Ölkonzerne angewiesen zu sein?

3.

Welche neue ökonomischen Gefahren sieht die Kommission in einer solchen gesetzlichen Regelung zur korrekten Abbildung der Marktpreise oder, anders ausgedrückt: Welche Gründe hat es, dass es diese Regelung bisher noch nicht gibt und wir auf dieses Goodwill-System angewiesen sind?

Antwort von Herrn Barnier im Namen der Kommission

(12. Juli 2013)

1.

Die Kommission führt zurzeit eine kartellrechtliche Untersuchung zur Preisnotierung bei Öl und Biokraftstofferzeugnissen durch. Zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt ist es noch zu früh, um Schlussfolgerungen aus den Ergebnissen dieser Untersuchung zu ziehen. Außerdem untersucht die Kommission eingehend die Kartellsachen im Zusammenhang mit einer Reihe von Benchmark-Zinssätzen wie dem LIBOR, dem EURIBOR und dem TIBOR. Diese Untersuchungen dürften gegen Ende dieses Jahres abgeschlossen sein.

2./3. Die Kommission hat rasch und proaktiv auf die Mängel im System zur Festsetzung der Benchmarks reagiert, die die jüngsten Aussagen zur Manipulation des EURIBOR, TIBOR und LIBOR zu Tage gebracht haben

— Die Kommission hat umgehend gehandelt, um Änderungen der Vorschläge für eine Verordnung (28) und eine Richtlinie (29) über Insider-Geschäfte und Marktmanipulation, einschließlich strafrechtlicher Sanktionen, anzunehmen, und hierdurch ein klares Verbot der Manipulation von Benchmarks auszusprechen. Über diese Vorschläge wird derzeit im Europäischen Parlament und im Rat verhandelt.

— Am 5. September 2012 wurde eine Konsultation (30) mit dem Ziel eingeleitet, auf jeder Stufe des Benchmark-Verfahrens, einschließlich der Bereitstellung der Daten, die in die Benchmarks einfließen, etwaige Mängel festzustellen. Das Thema der Konsultation war breit angelegt und erfasste alle Benchmarks, einschließlich derer für Rohstoffe wie etwa die Rohölpreise. Insbesondere wurde auf die Mängel eingegangen, die auftreten können, wenn die Eingabedaten Gegenstand von Interessenkonflikten sind oder keine ausreichende Transparenz besteht. Im Sommer 2013 soll hierzu ein Legislativvorschlag vorgelegt werden.

Am 6. Juni 2013 haben die Europäische Wertpapier‐ und Marktaufsichtsbehörde (ESMA) und die Europäische Bankenaufsichtsbehörde (EBA) die Grundsätze für Verfahren der Festsetzung von Benchmarks („Principles for Benchmark-Setting Processes(“) (31) vorgestellt, die den Marktteilnehmern einen allgemeinen Regelungsrahmen für die Festsetzung von Benchmarks vorgeben.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005537/13

to the Commission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Pricing in the over-the-counter oil trade

The Commission, in conjunction with EFTA (the European Free Trade Association), recently raided the offices of a number of oil companies to find out whether information about contracts supplied to the price-reporting agency Platts had been deliberately manipulated in order to artificially inflate the benchmark over-the-counter (OTC) prices that the agency determines. On the premise that it is not compassion and altruism which have helped the oil companies to get rich, it is hard to dismiss criticism of the existing system of OTC price setting, given the incentive it offers to criminal behaviour and the current suspicion that such behaviour has occurred. A particular and fundamental weakness in the system is its reliance on the oil companies’ voluntarily transmitting information about trading volumes to Platts. Given how important the price of oil is to ordinary people and to the EU economy, this is not a minor problem.

1.

Does the Commission agree that there is an inbuilt weakness in the system whereby a price determination by Platts is based on information about OTC trading supplied voluntarily by the oil companies?

2.

If so, does the Commission see a need, in the case of intra-EU trading or where one party to a transaction is within the EU, to impose systematic changes in the way that prices are set, so as not to have to rely on the honesty and compassion of the oil companies?

3.

What does the Commission see as the new economic risks inherent in legislating in this way for the correct setting of market prices; or, to put the question differently, why do we not yet have such legislation, and why are we still reliant on the existing goodwill system?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(12 July 2013)

1.

The Commission is currently conducting an antitrust investigation into the price reporting of oil and biofuel products. At this stage it is too early to draw any conclusions about the findings of the investigation. The Commission is also investigating vigorously the cartel cases related to a number of benchmark rates including LIBOR, EURIBOR and TIBOR. These investigations are expected to be concluded around the end of this year.

2-3. The Commission has responded promptly and proactively to the weaknesses in the benchmarks setting system revealed by the recent allegations of the manipulation of the EURIBOR, TIBOR and LIBOR:

the Commission acted promptly to adopt amendments to the proposals for a regulation (32) and a directive (33) on insider dealing and market manipulation, including criminal sanctions, to clearly prohibit the manipulation of benchmarks. These proposals are under negotiation in the European Parliament and the Council;

on 5 September 2012, a consultation (34) was launched with the aim of identifying shortcomings at every stage of the benchmark process including the contribution of data to benchmarks. The scope was wide ranging and addressed all benchmarks, including commodity benchmarks such as oil prices. In particular, it highlighted shortcomings that may arise where the contributors of the input data are subject to conflicts of interest or where transparency is inadequate. A proposal for legislation is now foreseen for the summer 2013.

On 6 June 2013 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) launched Principles for Benchmark-Setting Processes (35) which provides market participants with a general framework for benchmark setting.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005538/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Reconocimiento de la Delegada del Gobierno de España en Cataluña a la División Azul

El pasado 16 de mayo de 2013, la Delegación del Gobierno de España en Cataluña celebró un acto conmemorativo por el 169 aniversario de la creación de la Guardia Civil. En dicha celebración la Delegada del Gobierno de España en Cataluña, María de los Llanos de Luna, otorgó un reconocimiento oficial del Gobierno a la asociación cívico-militar Hermandad de combatientes de la División Azul, unidad española de voluntarios fascistas que luchó junto a Hitler.

Esta división militar fascista fue un estandarte del régimen de Franco que luchó entre 1941 y 1943 a las órdenes del ejército alemán para combatir el comunismo de la Unión Soviética, y que partícipe de los objetivos militares de un régimen nacionalsocialista de Alemania que produjo horror en todo el continente europeo al decretar la muerte de millones de personas. La condecoración de dicha división de manos de una representante oficial del Gobierno de España supone un verdadero crimen de enaltecimiento del fascismo y el nazismo que en muchos Estados miembros podría conllevar penas de cárcel, pero especialmente supone un insulto a los familiares de las millones de víctimas que el nazismo produjo en Europa.

En la respuesta a mi anterior pregunta sobre la Fundación Francisco Franco E-010099/2012, la Comisión informó de que la Decisión marco 2008/913/JAI «obliga a todos los Estados miembros de la UE a sancionar la incitación pública intencionada a la violencia o al odio contra grupos o personas en función de su raza, color…». Teniendo en cuenta que no es la primera vez que representantes del actual Gobierno de España se ponen en entredicho por su apoyo abierto o silencioso al régimen franquista y, por tanto, de su fomento del odio y la violencia, y ante la condecoración por la administración pública de una asociación fascista, de una brigada militar que pretendía asesinar personas por su ideología o pertenencia étnica, consideramos pertinente preguntar a la Comisión:

¿Considera la Comisión que el Gobierno español ha incumplido con este acto la citada Decisión marco 2008/913/JAI enalteciendo desde la propia administración pública la violencia fascista y nacionalsocialista?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de agosto de 2013)

Los Estados miembros tenían la obligación de incorporar a su Derecho interno el 28 de noviembre de 2010 a más tardar la Decisión marco 2008/913/JAI relativa a la lucha contra determinadas formas y manifestaciones de racismo y xenofobia. Actualmente la Comisión está supervisando las medidas de ejecución de los Estados miembros, incluidas las aprobadas por España, y elaborará un informe al respecto al final de 2013 a más tardar. No obstante, la Comisión recuerda que no está permitido incoar procedimientos de infracción sobre este asunto hasta el 1 de diciembre de  2014.

Por otro lado, es y seguirá siendo competencia de las autoridades nacionales investigar los casos de incitación al odio o negación del Holocausto y perseguir a los autores de tales delitos, en el pleno respeto del Derecho de la Unión.

Las autoridades públicas, los partidos políticos y la sociedad civil deben condenar enérgicamente los comportamientos racistas y xenófobos y luchar contra los mismos. La Comisión destaca la importancia de preservar la memoria de los crímenes pasados, en especial los del Holocausto y los cometidos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, e insta a los Estados miembros a tomar las medidas necesarias para garantizar su recuerdo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005538/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Recognition of the División Azul by the Spanish Government's delegate to Catalonia

On 16 May 2013 the Spanish Government’s delegation in Catalonia held a ceremony to commemorate the 169th anniversary of the birth of the Guardia Civil, during which the government’s delegate to Catalonia, Maria de los Llanos de Luna, gave an official decoration to the civil-military association Hermandad de combatientes de la División Azul (Brotherhood of Combatants of the Blue Division).

The División Azul was a unit of Spanish fascist volunteers that fought in the communist Soviet Union between 1941 and 1943 as part of Hitler’s Wehrmacht under the banner of Franco’s regime but under the orders of the Nazi regime that committed atrocities across Europe and killed millions of people. The decorating of this division by a Spanish Government official amounts to the crime of extolling fascism and Nazism, which in many Member States would be punishable by a custodial sentence, and is above all an insult to the families of the millions of victims of Nazism in Europe.

In its reply to my Question No E-010099/2012 concerning the Francisco Franco Foundation, the Commission stated that ‘Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA obliges all EU Member States to penalise the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred against groups or individuals defined by reference to their race, colour …’ As this is not the first time that representatives of Spain’s current government have been called to book for their overt or tacit endorsement of the Franco regime, and for therefore supporting its record of hatred and violence, and since this administration has publicly decorated a fascist association representing a military brigade that sought to kill people on the basis of their race or creed,

Does the Commission not think that the Spanish Government has violated Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA by extolling fascist and Nazi violence in this way?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(21 August 2013)

Member States were obliged to transpose the framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating racism and xenophobia into their national laws by 28 November 2010. The Commission is currently monitoring Member State's implementing measures, including those adopted by Spain, and will draw up a report on this issue by the end of 2013. The Commission would, however, like to recall that it is not authorised to launch infringement proceedings in this regard until 1 December 2014.

In parallel, it is, and will remain, in the competence of national authorities to investigate any instances of hate speech or Holocaust denial and to prosecute the perpetrators of such offences, while fully respecting Union law.

Public authorities, political parties, and civil society must indeed strongly condemn and actively fight against racist and xenophobic behaviour. Furthermore, the Commission underlines the importance of preserving the memory of the past crimes, in particular of the Holocaust and of the crimes committed during World War II, and urges Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure their remembrance.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005539/13

alla Commissione

Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE)

(17 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Oneri amministrativi a carico dei raggruppamenti nell'ambito del settimo Programma quadro (PQ)

I raggruppamenti (cluster) sono importanti motori dello sviluppo economico nell'Unione europea, stimolano la crescita economica e arrecano vantaggi al sistema economico. In varie occasioni, la Commissione ha dichiarato di sostenere decisamente i raggruppamenti in quanto attori economici fondamentali, soprattutto quando sono costituiti da PMI che generano sinergie e contribuiscono dunque alla competitività dell'UE.

Attualmente, tuttavia, le norme giuridiche degli Stati membri relative allo statuto dei raggruppamenti di PMI e ai modelli in materia di responsabilità non sono uniformi, il che rappresenta un ostacolo per la partecipazione dei raggruppamenti stessi ai programmi del settimo PQ e alle relative convenzioni di sovvenzione. L'attuazione di Orizzonte 2020 e delle nuove convenzioni di sovvenzione tipo ivi previste potrebbe consentire una notevole riduzione degli oneri amministrativi, nonché una semplificazione delle norme che disciplinano la partecipazione ai progetti e delle regole contrattuali per l'adesione alle convenzioni di sovvenzione. Tali disposizioni dovrebbero essere redatte in modo da promuovere la partecipazione dei raggruppamenti di PMI, tenendo debitamente conto delle diversità esistenti tra gli Stati membri in termini di statuto giuridico, norme di carattere finanziario e contabile e modelli in materia di responsabilità.

Alla luce di quanto sopra, può la Commissione indicare quali misure si stanno adottando nel quadro della preparazione del programma Orizzonte 2020 e degli atti giuridici ad esso collegati per ridurre gli oneri amministrativi incontrati dai raggruppamenti nel settimo PQ?

Risposta di Máire Geoghegan-Quinn a nome della Commissione

(5 luglio 2013)

La Commissione condivide l’opinione dell’onorevole deputato: i raggruppamenti, compresi quelli di PMI, possono essere importanti motori dello sviluppo economico e della competitività dell’Unione europea. Nella misura in cui sono composti da una varietà di entità diverse (PMI, centri di ricerca e università ecc.), i raggruppamenti possono anche fornire un prezioso contributo e ai progetti transfrontalieri d’innovazione e ricerca finanziati nell’ambito del programma quadro.

Molti raggruppamenti si organizzano come persone giuridiche per poter partecipare in quanto partner a pieno titolo o in quanto terzi alle azioni del programma Orizzonte 2020. Se un raggruppamento non può essere rappresentato da un’organizzazione, può diventare esso stesso parte terza di un’azione di Orizzonte 2020.

Fatta salva l’adozione delle pertinenti disposizioni sulle regole di partecipazione a Orizzonte 2020 che sono di particolare rilievo per i raggruppamenti (articolo 19, paragrafo 5 e articolo 32, paragrafo 2), la partecipazione e il finanziamento di terzi diventerebbe molto meno oneroso nel programma Orizzonte 2020 rispetto al VII programma quadro. I raggruppamenti saranno autorizzati a fornire notevoli contributi ai progetti Orizzonte 2020 e a ricevere finanziamenti senza dover sottoscrivere un accordo di sovvenzione con la Commissione o con un organo di finanziamento. L’accordo di sovvenzione e relative linee guida istituiscono e illustrano le particolarità tecniche di partecipazione e finanziamento.

Infine, singoli membri di un raggruppamento, ad esempio un centro di ricerca, o un gruppo di essi, potranno partecipare alle azioni Orizzonte 2020 e condividere i risultati con altri membri del raggruppamento purché soddisfino i criteri di ammissibilità e rispettino le regole di partecipazione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005539/13

to the Commission

Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Administrative burden encountered by clusters under FP7

Clusters are powerful driving forces behind economic development in the European Union. They spur economic growth and bring benefits to the economic system. The Commission has on several occasions stated its clear support for clusters as essential economic actors, especially where they are made up of SMEs combining synergies and thus contributing to the EU’s competitiveness.

However, at present the Member States have differing legal rules as regards the status and liability models of SME clusters at national level, and this is acting as an obstacle in the way of their participation in FP7 research programmes and the relevant grant agreements. The implementation of Horizon 2020 and its new model grant agreements may allow a significant reduction in administrative burdens and a simplification of the rules governing participation in projects and the contractual rules relating to access to grant agreements. These rules should be laid down in such a way as to promote the participation of SME clusters, taking due account of the different types of legal status, financial and accounting rules and liability models applicable at national level.

In the light of the above, will the Commission state what measures are being taken as part of the preparation of the H2020 Programme and related legal acts to reduce the administrative burden encountered by clusters under FP7?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

The Commission shares the Honourable Member's view that clusters, including SME clusters, can be important drivers for economic development and competitiveness in the European Union. As they bring together a variety of different entities, such as SMEs, research organisations and universities, clusters can also provide a valuable contribution to cross-border research and innovation projects funded under the framework Programme.

Many clusters establish cluster organisations which are legal entities that may participate as full partners or as third parties in Horizon 2020 actions . If a cluster cannot be represented by a cluster organisation, the cluster itself may become a third party in a Horizon 2020 action.

Subject to the adoption of the relevant provisions of the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation that are of particular importance for clusters (Articles 19 (5) and Article 32 (2)) their participation and funding as third parties would become much less cumbersome in Horizon 2020 than in FP7. Clusters would be allowed to provide considerable contributions to Horizon 2020 projects and to receive funding without having to enter into a grant agreement with the Commission or funding body. The grant agreement and its accompanying guidelines will further set out and explain the technical details of their participation and funding.

Finally, it would be possible that individual members of a cluster such, e.g. a research organisation, or a group of them, become participants in Horizon2020 actions, sharing results with other cluster members, provided that they fulfil the eligibility criteria and respect the rules for participation.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-005540/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Georgios Stavrakakis (S&D)

(17 Μαΐου 2013)

Θέμα: Μεταφορές επιβατών στις νησιωτικές περιοχές της ΕΕ

Οι νησιωτικές περιοχές της ΕΕ, και ιδίως τα μικρά ελληνικά νησιά, αντιμετωπίζουν μόνιμες δυσκολίες όσον αφορά τη διασφάλιση της μεταφοράς εμπορευμάτων και προσώπων, και της πρόσβασης στις δημόσιες υπηρεσίες. Ακόμη και όταν η απόκτηση επιβατηγών πλοίων — που εξυπηρετούν το δημόσιο συμφέρον παρέχοντας τακτική και αξιόπιστη πρόσβαση στα μικρά νησιά — είναι επιλέξιμη για τη χορήγηση επιδότησης σύμφωνα με τους κανόνες που διέπουν τα διαρθρωτικά ταμεία της ΕΕ, τα έξοδα λειτουργίας των πλοίων αυτών είναι τόσο υψηλά που είναι αδύνατον να ανακτηθούν μέσω της εμπορικής εκμετάλλευσης των εν λόγω γραμμών. Για τον λόγο αυτό, ο ιδιωτικός τομέας επιδεικνύει πολύ μικρό ενδιαφέρον όσον αφορά την παροχή κατάλληλων υπηρεσιών σε μικρά ή απομακρυσμένα νησιά με μικρό πληθυσμό.

Με βάση τα παραπάνω, ζητείται από την Επιτροπή να απαντήσει στις παρακάτω ερωτήσεις:

Μέχρι ποια όρια επιτρέπεται, σύμφωνα με τους κανόνες της ΕΕ για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις όσον αφορά τη χρηματοδότηση των υπηρεσιών κοινής ωφελείας, η παροχή αποζημιώσεων από τον δημόσιο τομέα (από το κράτος, τις περιφέρειες ή τους δήμους) για τα έξοδα λειτουργίας των πλοίων (μέσω εθνικής, περιφερειακής, δημοτικής ή ενωσιακής χρηματοδότησης) προκειμένου να εξασφαλιστούν επαρκείς συνδέσεις προς και μεταξύ των εν λόγω νησιών με εισιτήρια σε προσιτή τιμή; Εφαρμόζονται οι κανόνες με τον ίδιο τρόπο ανεξάρτητα από την πηγή της χρηματοδότησης που χρησιμοποιείται από τον δημόσιο φορέα για την παροχή των αποζημιώσεων;

Ποιοι τύποι δαπανών για την παροχή υπηρεσιών στον τομέα των δημοσίων μεταφορών μπορούν να καλυφθούν μέσω αυτών των αποζημιώσεων προκειμένου να διασφαλιστεί ότι τα εισιτήρια θα έχουν προσιτές τιμές; Είναι κάποιες από αυτές τις δαπάνες επιλέξιμες για χρηματοδότηση από την ΕΕ;

Όσον αφορά τα παραπάνω ερωτήματα, ισχύουν διαφορετικοί κανόνες όταν ο δημόσιος φορέας διαχειρίζεται κάποιο πλοίο που ανήκει σε ιδιωτικό φορέα;

Απάντηση του κ. Αλμούνια εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(27 Ιουνίου 2013)

Η Επιτροπή συμμερίζεται πλήρως τις ανησυχίες που αφορούν στην ανάγκη των νησιωτικών περιοχών για αξιόπιστες και οικονομικά προσιτές μεταφορικές συνδέσεις. Υπό την έννοια αυτή, τα κράτη μέλη διαθέτουν ευρεία διακριτική ευχέρεια να καθορίζουν τη λειτουργία θαλάσσιων γραμμών ως υπηρεσία γενικού οικονομικού συμφέροντος (ΥΓΟΣ). Η εν λόγω διακριτική ευχέρεια περιορίζεται κυρίως από τον εκ του νόμου ορισμό της εν λόγω υπηρεσίας ως ΥΓΟΣ και την αναλογικότητα οποιασδήποτε αποζημίωσης χορηγούμενης σε επιχειρήσεις μεταφορών για την εκτέλεσή της.

Οι σχετικοί κανόνες για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις καθορίστηκαν με την απόφαση 2012/21/ΕΕ της Επιτροπής, της 20ής Δεκεμβρίου 2011, σχετικά με την εφαρμογή του άρθρου 106 παράγραφος 2 της Συνθήκης για τη λειτουργία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στις κρατικές ενισχύσεις υπό μορφή αντιστάθμισης για την παροχή δημόσιας υπηρεσίας που χορηγούνται σε ορισμένες επιχειρήσεις επιφορτισμένες με τη διαχείριση υπηρεσιών γενικού οικονομικού συμφέροντος (36), και το ενωσιακό πλαίσιο για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις υπό μορφή αντιστάθμισης για την παροχή δημόσιας υπηρεσίας (2011) (37). Οι εν λόγω κανόνες ισχύουν εξίσου, ανεξάρτητα από την πηγή της δημόσιας χρηματοδότησης.

Τα κράτη μέλη επιτρέπεται να χρηματοδοτούν ελεύθερα τις δαπάνες που πραγματοποιούνται για την εκπλήρωση των υποχρεώσεων παροχής δημόσιας υπηρεσίας, στο βαθμό που η αποζημίωση δεν υπερβαίνει το ποσό που χρειάζεται για την κάλυψη των εν λόγω δαπανών, λαμβανομένων υπόψη των σχετικών εσόδων καθώς και ενός ευλόγου κέρδους. Ωστόσο, το λειτουργικό κόστος (π.χ. εισιτήρια) δεν είναι επιλέξιμο για συγχρηματοδότηση από τα διαρθρωτικά ταμεία.

Στο βαθμό που τηρούνται όλες οι σχετικές προϋποθέσεις, το κατά πόσο μια επιχείρηση μεταφορών που εκτελεί ΥΓΟΣ μισθώνει, χωρίς να έχει στην ιδιοκτησία της, τα μεταφορικά μέσα που χρησιμοποιούνται για την παροχή της εν λόγω υπηρεσίας, είναι άσχετο προς τον σκοπό εκτίμησης της κρατικής ενίσχυσης.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005540/13

to the Commission

Georgios Stavrakakis (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Passenger transport in the EU's island regions

The EU’s island regions, and in particular the small Greek islands, have to face permanent difficulties in ensuring both the transport of goods and persons and access to public services. Even where the acquisition of vessels for passenger transport — serving the public interest by providing regular and reliable access to small islands — is eligible for subsidy under the EU Structural Funds’ rules, the running costs of these vessels are too high to be recovered through the commercial exploitation of the routes in question. For this reason, the private sector has very little interest in providing adequate services to remote or small islands with low populations.

Against this background, the Commission is kindly asked to answer the following questions:

What are the limits to EU state aid rules as regards the financing of services of general interest allowing the public sector (whether state, regional or municipal) to provide compensation for the running costs of vessels (through national, regional, municipal or Union funding) in order to ensure adequate connections to and between such islands at affordable ticket prices? Do the rules apply in the same way regardless of the source of the financing used by the public entity to provide such compensation?

What types of costs for providing public transport services can be covered through such compensation in order to ensure affordable ticket prices? Are any of these costs eligible for EU funding?

With regard to the above questions, do different rules apply where a public entity operates a vessel that is owned by a private entity?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 2013)

The Commission fully shares the concerns related to reliance of island regions on reliable and affordable transport links. In this sense, Member States have wide discretion to define the operation of maritime services as a service of general economic interest (SGEI). Such discretion is mainly limited by the lawful definition of the service in question as an SGEI and the proportionality of any compensation granted to transport undertakings for its operation.

The relevant state aid rules have been defined by Commission Decision 2012/21/EU of 20 December 2011 on the application of Article 106(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to state aid in the form of public service compensation granted to certain undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest (38) and the European Union framework for state aid in the form of public service compensation (2011) (39). These rules are equally applicable regardless of the source of public financing.

Member States may freely finance the costs incurred in the discharge of public service obligations to the extent that the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to cover these costs, taking into account the relevant receipts and a reasonable profit. However, the operational cost (e.g. tickets) is not eligible for co-financing from the Structural Funds.

To the extent that all relevant conditions are observed, whether a transport undertaking operating an SGEI leases, rather than owns, the transport means used to provide the service in question is irrelevant for the purpose of state aid assessment.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005541/13

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) consultation

I have been contacted by a constituent regarding the recent Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) consultation. My constituent has expressed the following concerns about the consultation:

The online submission process failed several times when he tried to submit his opinions about the directive. His first set of answers simply disappeared. In an attempt to retrieve his saved drafts, he sought help from the e-mail addresses given on the consultation website.

He managed to submit his opinions on Thursday, 28 March 2013, well before the closing date of the consultation, but was forced to use short answers, and to submit the form immediately, so as not to lose them again. As a consequence, he was unable to present his full views on the important matters raised.

On Tuesday, 2 April, he received the following reply: ‘Please notice that the mentioned IPM survey has been closed in the meantime by the responsible authority’. He later received a second e-mail which said that his help request had been resolved, but he believes that it had simply been ignored.

My constituent has also informed me that he has learned that other people taking part in the consultation have encountered similar difficulties.

My constituent is also concerned about the fact that the opening questions were based on the premise that intellectual monopolies, like copyrights and patents, are necessary and that more of them would be a good thing. He believes that this is a contentious issue that should not have been assumed in the consultation, whose task was to solicit the views of European citizens, not to impose a particular viewpoint.

Given that my constituent believes that this consultation is deeply flawed, both in terms of its content and its implementation, could the Commission state:

whether it would consider re-opening the consultation?

if so, given the issues with the web-based input form, will it allow people to download the questionnaire and answer it using whatever means they find convenient?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission is aware and would like to apologise for the technical problems that occurred during the public consultation on civil enforcement of IPR in particular in the last days of the consultation. Problems were duly reported to the competent services to ensure appropriate follow-up and improvements.

The Commission does not consider that the regrettable technical incidents that took place are of a magnitude that would necessitate re-opening the consultation. The period for submitting responses was 4 months (40) which is longer than standard delay of 12 weeks, the general public were informed of the forthcoming survey back in April 2012 (41). The vast majority of stakeholders that intended to participate had the possibility to effectively do so. At any rate, any contributions can be sent to the Commission and will be carefully read and taken into account in the policy making process, even if, in view of their late submission, they do not appear in the summary report of the responses that will be published in the summer. In case the constituent provided his/her identity in the survey, he/she can contact the Commission to check whether his/her contribution was accepted by the IPR system. If not, his/her case will be considered.

The public consultation was focused exclusively on the issue of civil enforcement of IPR, not on the questions whether such rights should exist or their scope. All potential respondents were informed as to the relevant scope of data to be provided (42). The survey allowed for the views of all parties whether they support implementing stricter and more efficient measures or opposed that view or felt that the status quo is preferable. All questions were provided in an open form in order to guarantee a possibility to express all shades of opinion.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005542/13

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Spanish ‘habitages d'us turistic’ law

I have been contacted by a constituent who is concerned about the Spanish ‘habitages d’us turistic’ law, which he claims will restrict rental possibilities for privately owned properties in Spain.

My constituent tells me that he travels to Spain a couple of times each year and that he normally books rooms in private flat-shares or small apartments. He says that this new law stipulates that landlords must have permits to advertise properties for holiday rental.

My constituent tells me that this law is being strictly enforced in parts of Barcelona and that, in some cases, the authorities are demanding that property owners found to be in breach of the law pay fines of up to EUR 90 000. He believes that the Spanish Government has introduced this law in a bid to raise revenue for the state treasury by imposing disproportionate penalties on property owners until the Commission puts a halt these fines.

Could the Commission answer the following:

Is it aware of the Spanish ‘habitages d’us turistic’ law?

Does it believe that this is an unreasonable law, and one which the Spanish authorities should repeal?

If so, what pressure is it putting on the Spanish Government to repeal this law?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(23 July 2013)

It is only recently that the Commission learned about the ‘habitages d’us turistic’ law. According to the information received by the Commission informally, the law would concern the ‘professional’ or ‘semi-professional’ renting of private houses but would not cover the occasional renting of private houses to tourists.

As the Commission explained in its recent reply to Question E-005152/2013, depending on the precise scope of the legislation such measures could constitute a restriction to property rights or fall within the scope of the provision of the freedom to provide services. If such activity was to be considered service provision, authorisation requirements (or permits) would constitute a restriction to the freedom of establishment, as acknowledged by the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and according to Article 9(1) of Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market (‘Services Directive’).

Authorisation schemes may only be maintained if they are non-discriminatory, justified by the public interest and proportionate. Moreover, they need to comply with Articles 10 to 13 of the Services Directive. Examples of overriding reasons of public interest that can justify authorisation requirements include: the protection of consumers, the protection of the urban environment and town planning. When imposing measures on such grounds, a Member State should demonstrate that they are proportionate and that there are no less restrictive means to protect these overriding grounds of public interest.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005543/13

to the Commission

Roger Helmer (EFD)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Freedoms in Croatia

The EU’s commitment to respect freedom and pluralism of the media, the right to information and freedom of expression is enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (43).

Croatia’s government is allegedly undermining media freedom and freedom of speech through its state-run broadcaster HRT, paid by Croatia’s citizens. A number of people working at HRT were removed from their positions and demoted ‘following criticism from the country’s Prime Minister Milanovic’. OSCE expressed concern (44) about the treatment of journalists and called ‘the government and the HRT management to refrain any action that could lead to censorship and threaten editorial independence.’ 

According to media reports, HRT’s director, Goran Radman (45) is tied to alleged conflict of interest cases (46), serves on the supervisory board of Hypo Alpe Adria Bank (47), Croatia, which was reportedly involved in major corruption scandals (48). Hence, it would be in Mr Radman’s self-interest to shelter government officials embroiled in corruption and involved in conflicts of interest from investigative journalists.

What action is the Commission taking to address and resolve these problems in Croatia?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2013)

The Commission seeks to ensure respect for media freedom and pluralism within its competences and also addresses this issue with candidate countries. As stated in its Comprehensive Monitoring Report of October 2012, it is considered that ‘freedom of expression, including freedom and pluralism of the media is provided for in Croatia law and is generally respected’.

Concerning the HRT General Director in May 2013, the Conflict of Interest Commission found him guilty of ‘potential conflict of interest’ and fined him 15 000 Kuna (about EUR 2 000).

Immediately prior to Croatia's accession, the Commission had the opportunity to discuss in depth issues pertaining to freedom of the media and expression during the ‘Speak Up! 2’ Conference held in Brussels on 20 June. After accession, as an EU Member State, Croatia will be subject to the same requirements for implementation of the acquis, the same monitoring and the same measures — if the EU values and the acquis are not respected — as all other EU Member States.

The need for EU Member States to respect media freedom and pluralism was also addressed in the report of the independent High-Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism presented on 21 January 2013. The European Commission is currently analysing the results of the public consultations on the recommendations of this report.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005544/13

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(17 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Gestione dei fondi europei in favore dell'occupazione giovanile

Lo scorso mercoledì 15 maggio 2013, il Parlamento ha lanciato un allarme: a partire dal prossimo novembre non ci saranno più fondi disponibili per finanziare azioni in favore dell'occupazione giovanile ed è previsto un taglio di 2,5 miliardi di euro al Fondo Sociale Europeo.

Tra le prime soluzioni avanzate, il Presidente Barroso ha proposto di anticipare a giugno o luglio di quest'anno i primi finanziamenti previsti per il 2014. Tale iniziativa volta a far fronte all'aumento del tasso di disoccupazione giovanile non ha però incontrato il parere favorevole del Parlamento che si trova a gestire le difficoltà legate al pagamento delle somme stabilite per il 2012: 16 miliardi stanziati per lo scorso anno non sono infatti ancora stati assegnati. Al fine di saldare il debito per l'anno 2012 e garantire il quadro finanziario pluriennale per il periodo 2014-2020, il Parlamento ha proposto un compromesso che prevede per ciascuno Stato membro il versamento di una quota.

Qual è la posizione della Commissione sulla questione?

Come intende essa salvaguardare questi fondi oggi più che mai necessari data la congiuntura economica negativa che penalizza il mercato del lavoro giovanile?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(8 luglio 2013)

Nel febbraio 2013 il Consiglio europeo ha avviato l’iniziativa a favore dell’occupazione giovanile, il cui scopo consiste nell'incrementare i finanziamenti per le regioni europee maggiormente colpite dalla disoccupazione giovanile. La Commissione ha modificato di conseguenza le proposte legislative in materia, ossia il «regolamento relativo al Fondo sociale europeo» COM(2013)145 del 12 marzo 2013 ed il «regolamento recante disposizioni comuni» COM(2013)146 del 12 marzo 2013.

Il 27 marzo 2013 la Commissione ha adottato il progetto di bilancio rettificativo n. 2 del bilancio generale 2013 COM(2013)183 che richiede un aumento degli stanziamenti di pagamento pari a 11,2 miliardi di EUR, di cui 9 miliardi di EUR a favore della coesione per la crescita e l’occupazione (rubrica 1b). Gli stanziamenti di pagamento richiesti consentiranno di coprire con il bilancio 2013 tutti gli obblighi giuridici incombenti alla fine del 2012 e quelli che dovessero presentarsi nel 2013.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005544/13

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: EU funds for action on youth employment

On Wednesday 15 May 2013, Parliament drew attention to the fact that funding for action on youth employment will run out in November with EUR 2.5 billion projected to be cut from the European Social Fund.

Among the various solutions put forward, President Barroso proposed bringing the initial 2014 funding forward to June or July 2013. However, this proposal made in response to the rise in youth unemployment, has not been accepted by Parliament, which is having to deal with the tricky problem of the EUR 16 billion committed but not yet paid in respect of 2012. In order to make good the 2012 shortfall and to secure the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework, Parliament proposed a compromise arrangement under which each Member State would pay a share of the shortfall.

What is the Commission’s stance on this matter?

How does it intend to safeguard this funding, which is now more important than ever in view of the impact that the economic crisis is having on the youth labour market?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

In February 2013 the European Council launched the Youth Employment Initiative, aimed to provide additional funding to Europe's worst affected regions with regard to youth unemployment. The Commission has consequently amended the legislative proposals i.e. the so-called ‘European Social Fund Regulation’ COM(2013) 145 of 12 March 2013 and the ‘Common Provisions Regulation’ COM(2013) 146 of 12 March 2013.

On 27 March 2013, the Commission adopted the draft amending budget number 2 to the general budget 2013 COM(2013) 183 requesting an increase of payment appropriations of EUR 11.2 billion of which EUR 9 billion for Cohesion for Growth and Employment (Heading 1b). The requested payment appropriations will allow all the legal obligations left pending at the end of 2012, and those arising in 2013, to be covered in the 2013 budget.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005546/13

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(17 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Protezione di astici e aragoste

Un numero considerevole di astici ed aragoste vivi è importato ogni anno nell'Unione europea per il consumo umano. Pochi sono i dati disponibili in relazione all'impatto del trasporto sul benessere di questi animali.

1.

Dispone la Commissione di dati relativi al numero di aragoste e astici vivi importati nell'Unione europea ogni anno, o nel 2012, divisi per Stato membro di destinazione?

2.

Dispone altresì di dati sul numero di aragoste e astici che giungono con arti fratturati oppure morti presso i posti di ispezione frontaliera europei oppure nei luoghi di destinazione dell'Unione europea?

3.

Perché aragoste e astici importati vivi (provenienti dalla natura selvatica e destinati al consumo umano) sono considerati e certificati come

«prodotti ittici per il consumo umano» secondo la normativa europea (Regolamento (CE) 1250/2008) invece di essere considerati animali?

4.

Ritiene essa che il fatto che aragoste e astici importati vivi (provenienti dalla natura selvatica e destinati al consumo umano) siano certificati come

«prodotti ittici» invece di animali costituisca una violazione dell'articolo 13 del Trattato di Lisbona?

5.

Intende stabilire una regolamentazione adeguata sulla protezione di aragoste e astici durante tutte le fasi del loro commercio cosi come è stato fatto per la maggior parte delle altre specie animali?

6.

Intende infine considerare la necessità di estendere anche a crostacei e molluschi la relazione e la proposta legislativa, che dev'essere sottoposta al Parlamento e al Consiglio non oltre l'8.12.2014, in merito alla protezione dei pesci nel momento dell'uccisione?

Risposta di Maria Damanaki a nome della Commissione

(15 luglio 2013)

1.

Stando ai dati Eurostat, le importazioni di astici (Homarus spp.) verso l’UE ammontavano rispettivamente a 9 669 tonnellate nel 2010, 10 163 nel 2011 e 8 811 nel 2012. Oltre il 99 % delle esportazioni proveniva dagli Stati Uniti e dal Canada. In termini di importazione di astici vivi per Stato membro, l’Italia ha rappresentato quasi il 30 % del totale, seguita da Spagna (27 %), Francia (18 %), Belgio (12 %) e Germania (4 %).

2.

La Commissione non è a conoscenza dell'arrivo ai posti d’ispezione frontalieri di partite di crostacei morti o con arti rotti.

3.

La questione contenuta nell'interrogazione 3 è dovuta alla definizione di «prodotti ittici» di cui al punto 3.1 dell’allegato I del regolamento (CE) n. 853/2004 del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio (49), che stabilisce norme specifiche in materia di igiene per gli alimenti di origine animale. I crostacei sono definiti prodotti ittici.

4.

Ai sensi dell’articolo 13 del TFUE, «l’Unione e gli Stati membri tengono pienamente conto delle esigenze in materia di benessere degli animali (…)». Classificando ai fini della sicurezza alimentare tali animali tra i prodotti ittici non si violano le disposizioni in materia di benessere.

5.-6.

Il campo d’applicazione del regolamento (CE) n. 1/2005

5.-6.

Il campo d’applicazione del regolamento (CE) n. 1/2005

 (50) del Consiglio e del regolamento (CE) n. 1099/2009 (51) del Consiglio è limitato agli animali vertebrati. Attualmente la Commissione non intende proporre l'emendamento di tali disposizioni in modo da renderle applicabili anche agli invertebrati, quali i decapodi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005546/13

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Protection of lobsters and crawfish

A large number of live lobsters and crawfish are imported into the EU every year for human consumption. There is not much data available regarding the impact of transportation on the welfare of these creatures.

1.

Does the Commission have any figures on the live crawfish and lobsters imported into the EU every year, or in 2012, for example, according to Member State of destination?

2.

Does it also have figures showing how many crawfish and lobsters arrive with broken limbs or dead at EU border inspection posts or in the Member State of destination?

3.

Why are live crawfish and lobsters (taken from the wild for human consumption) considered and certified as

‘fishery products for human consumption’ under EC law (Regulation (EC) No 1250/2008) instead of living beings?

4.

Does the Commission consider the fact that these live crawfish and lobsters are certified as

‘fishery products’ instead of living beings to be a breach of Article 13 TFEU?

5.

Will it establish proper rules on the protection of crawfish and lobsters during transport at every marketing stage, as have been established for most other animal species?

6.

Will it consider whether crustaceans and shellfish also need to be covered by the legislative proposal on the protection of fish when harvested? (This proposal should be submitted to Parliament and the Council no later than 8 December 2014.)

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

1.

According to Eurostat data, imports of lobsters (

Homarus spp.

) to the EU were respectively 9 669 tonnes in 2010, 10 163 in 2011 and 8 811 in 2012. More than 99% of exports came from the United States and Canada. In terms of destination by Member States, Italy accounted for nearly 30% of imports of live lobsters, followed by Spain (27%), France (18%), Belgium (12%) and Germany (4%).

2.

The Commission is not aware of consignments arriving with broken limbs or dead at border inspection posts.

3.

The issue in question 3 is due to the definition of

3.

The issue in question 3 is due to the definition of

‘fishery products’ laid down in Point 3.1 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (52) laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin. Crustaceans are fishery products.

4.

According to Article 13 TFEU,

‘the Union and the Member States shall (…) pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals (…)’. Considering these animals as fishery products for food safety purposes does not breach the welfare requirements.

5, 6. The scope of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005  (53) and of Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009  (54)is limited to vertebrate animals. The Commission currently does not intend to propose to amend legislative requirements so as to make them applicable to invertebrates such as decapods.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005547/13

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(17 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Revisione ed innalzamento dei limiti massimi di yessotossine

Il regolamento (CE) 853/2004 stabilisce norme specifiche in materia di igiene per gli alimenti di origine animale e al capitolo V fissa i limiti massimi di biotossine marine presenti in questi molluschi, espressi in μg o mg per Kg di parte edibile (pe). Nel caso delle yessotossine (YTX), questi limiti corrispondono a 1 mg di equivalente yessotossine/kg pe.

Il comparto della molluschicoltura italiana, con 113 mila tonnellate di cozze e vongole prodotte nel 2011, costituisce il 70 % delle produzioni italiane di acquacoltura con un valore di mercato pari a circa 1 miliardo di euro. Nell'ultimo decennio, i lunghi periodi di sospensione della raccolta e della commercializzazione, causati dalla presenza della biotossina con valori oltre i limiti fissati dalla regolamentazione comunitaria, hanno provocato un progressivo collasso della produzione e delle imprese con ricadute economiche e occupazionali negative su tutto il comparto.

Fra il gruppo di biotossine marine che interessano la produzione di molluschi bivalvi, le yessotossine risultano tra le più innocue per il consumo umano (in termini di valutazione del rischio, a livello mondiale non sono mai stati riportati casi di intossicazione nell'uomo, mentre la Commissione del Codex Alimentarius non inserisce queste tossine fra quelle a rischio per la salute umana).

Nel luglio 2006 la Commissione europea ha chiesto all'EFSA di fornire un parere scientifico in relazione all'adeguatezza di detti limiti e dei relativi metodi di prova. L'EFSA ha espresso uno specifico parere scientifico nell'agosto 2009 (gruppo di esperti scientifici sui contaminanti nella catena alimentare «CONTAM» — EFSA-Q-2006-065D) e, per le yessotossine, ha suggerito un aumento del limite attuale da 1 mg/kg a 3,75 mg/kg pe.

Può la Commissione riferire:

quali procedure siano state attivate ai fini della revisione e dell'innalzamento dei limiti di yessotossine (YTX) in molluschi bivalvi vivi prodotti e commercializzati in ambito UE;

quale sia lo stato di avanzamento, ad oggi, di tali procedure nonché i tempi necessari alla entrata in vigore dei suddetti limiti;

quali valori limite di riferimento intenda considerare e se questi saranno fissati in considerazione di quelli già indicati dall'EFSA, pari cioè a 3,75 mg/kg pe?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(20 giugno 2013)

La Commissione, in occasione della riunione del 16 aprile 2013 del Comitato permanente per la catena alimentare e la salute degli animali, ha proposto di votare un progetto di regolamento della Commissione che innalza il limite delle yessotossine portandolo a 3,75 mg/kg di polpa di mollusco. Il progetto di regolamento ha riscosso l'unanimità.

Il regolamento, al termine delle procedure di adozione in cui è coinvolto il Parlamento, entrerà in vigore il ventesimo giorno successivo alla pubblicazione sulla Gazzetta ufficiale dell'Unione europea che si potrebbe ragionevolmente prevedere per ottobre-novembre del corrente anno.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005547/13

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Revising and increasing maximum yessotoxin limit values

Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for foods of animal origin. In Chapter V, maximum limit values of marine biotoxins found in molluscs are defined in mcg or mg/kg of shellfish flesh. For yessotoxin, the limit is 1 mg of yessotoxin equivalents per kg of shellfish flesh.

The Italian shellfish sector, which harvested 113 000 tonnes of mussels and clams in 2011, accounts for 70% of Italian aquaculture production with a market value of around EUR 1 billion. In the last decade, harvesting and marketing have been suspended for extended periods due to biotoxin levels in molluscs exceeding the limits set by EU rules and this has led to a gradual collapse in production and businesses with negative repercussions for the economy and employment across the sector.

Yessotoxins are the least poisonous to humans of the marine biotoxins which affect the production of bivalve molluscs (as far as risk assessment is concerned, on a global scale, no cases of human intoxication have ever been reported and the Codex Alimentarius Commission does not include the toxin among those which are a risk to human health).

In July 2006, the European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to give its scientific view on the suitability of the aforementioned limits and the various test methods. In August 2009, the EFSA CONTAM Panel (Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain — EFSA-Q-2006-065D) gave its scientific view and suggested that for yessotoxin, the current limit of 1 mg/kg be increased to 3.75 mg/kg of shellfish flesh.

Can the Commission say:

what procedures have been undertaken to revise and increase the acceptable limits of yessotoxin (YTX) in live bivalve molluscs produced and marketed in the EU;

what progress has been made with these procedures so far and how long it will be before the aforementioned limits enter into force;

what reference limit values it intends to use and whether they will take into consideration the limit value suggested by the EFSA of 3.75 mg/kg of shellfish flesh?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2013)

The Commission, during the Standing Committee of Food Chain and Animal Health on 16th April 2013, proposed for vote a draft Commission Regulation increasing the limit of yessotoxins to 3.75 mg/kg of shellfish flesh. The draft was supported by unanimity.

The regulation, following the adoption procedures involving the EU Parliament, will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union which can reasonably be expected by October-November this year.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005548/13

an die Kommission (Vizepräsidentin/Hohe Vertreterin)

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: VP/HR — Kosten für EU-Battlegroups (Gefechtsverbände)

Die im Juni 2004 ins Leben gerufenen EU-Battlegroups kamen bisher noch nie zum Einsatz.

Welche Kosten sind seit 2004 für die Einrichtung und die ständige Bereitschaft der EU-Battlegroups entstanden?

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

(8. Juli 2013)

Das 2006 vereinbarte EU-Gefechtsverbandskonzept sieht (wie seine Vorläufer) vor, dass die Kosten für die Bereitstellung und die ständige Bereitschaft der EU-Gefechtsverbände von den am Einsatzplan beteiligten EU-Mitgliedstaaten getragen werden. Informationen zu diesen den Mitgliedstaaten entstandenen Kosten müssen nach diesem Konzept jedoch nicht übermittelt werden. Im Fall des Einsatzes eines EU-Gefechtsverbands können bestimmte Kosten als gemeinsame Kosten über den Mechanismus ATHENA finanziert werden.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005548/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Cost of EU battlegroups

The EU battlegroups established in June 2004 have never been deployed to date.

What costs have been incurred since 2004 for the establishment and permanent state of readiness of the EU battlegroups?

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

(8 July 2013)

According to the EU Battlegroup Concept as agreed in 2006 (and also in preceding versions), the costs for the establishment and permanent state of readiness for the EU Battlegroups lie with the EU Member States participating in the Battlegroup roster. No reporting of data relating to the costs incurred by Member States is foreseen in the Concept. In the event of the deployment of an EU Battlegroup, certain costs may be designated as common costs to be financed through the ATHENA mechanism.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005549/13

an die Kommission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Umsetzung der Rechtsvorschriften zum Energiebinnenmarkt

Im Februar 2011 erklärten die EU-Staats‐ und Regierungschefs, der Energiebinnenmarkt müsse bis 2014 vollendet werden. Ein Schritt zur Vollendung des Energiebinnenmarktes war die Verabschiedung der Elektrizitäts‐ (2009/72/EG) sowie der Erdgasrichtlinie (2009/73/EG) (drittes Energiepaket), die bereits bis 2011 umgesetzt werden sollten. Bis April 2012 hatten mit Finnland, Schweden und dem Vereinigten Königreich drei Mitgliedstaaten beide Richtlinien noch nicht umgesetzt. Österreich und Estland hatten bis dahin lediglich die Erdgasrichtlinie umgesetzt (55).

1.

Haben Österreich und Estland seit April 2012 die Elektrizitätsrichtlinie umgesetzt? Wenn ja, zu welchem Zeitpunkt ist dies geschehen, und sind die Staaten für die verzögerte Umsetzung mit Sanktionen belegt worden?

2.

Wenn nicht, welche Maßnahmen hat die Kommission ergriffen, um die beiden Länder zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie zu bewegen?

3.

Haben Finnland, Schweden und das Vereinigten Königreich seit April 2012 die Elektrizitätsrichtlinie, die Erdgasrichtlinie oder beide Richtlinien umgesetzt? Wenn ja, zu welchem Zeitpunkt ist dies geschehen, und sind die Staaten für die verzögerte Umsetzung mit Sanktionen belegt worden?

4.

Wenn nicht, welche Maßnahmen hat die Kommission ergriffen, um die drei Mitgliedstaaten zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie zu bewegen?

5.

Welche Auswirkungen hat die verspätete oder noch nicht erfolgte Umsetzung der Richtlinien auf andere Mitgliedstaaten und den europäischen Elektrizitäts‐ und Erdgasbinnenmarkt?

Antwort von Herrn Oettinger im Namen der Kommission

(3. Juli 2013)

Die Kommission hat im Jahr 2011 38 Vertragsverletzungsverfahren wegen unvollständiger Umsetzung der Richtlinien 2009/72/EG und 2009/73/EG eingeleitet.Im Anschluss daran hat sie 2012 und 2013 alle eingehenden Mitteilungen über Umsetzungsmaßnahmen geprüft, gegebenenfalls mit Gründen versehene Stellungnahmen abgegeben und in einigen Fällen Verfahren beim Gerichtshof der Europäischen Union (EuGH) eingeleitet.Die Kommission wird die Umsetzung und die umfassende Einhaltung des dritten Energiepakets auch weiterhin überwachen.

Obwohl die Kommission bereits Aufforderungsschreiben und mit Gründen versehene Stellungnahmen wegen unvollständiger Umsetzung beider Richtlinien an Finnland gerichtet hatte, waren die Richtlinien nach Einschätzung der Kommission am 21. November 2012 noch immer nicht vollständig umgesetzt worden.Die Kommission wandte sich in diesen Fällen daher an den EuGH (56) . Auch Estland und das Vereinigte Königreich hatten beide Richtlinien nach Ansicht der Kommission am 24. Januar 2013 noch nicht vollständig umgesetzt.Die Kommission rief daher auch in diesen Fällen den EuGH an (57).In allen genannten Fällen ersuchte sie den Gerichtshof, gemäß Artikel 260 Absatz 3 AEUV ein Zwangsgeld zu verhängen.

Nachdem im September 2011 Vertragsverletzungsverfahren wegen fehlender Umsetzung eingeleitet worden waren, meldete Österreich im September 2012 die vollständige Umsetzung der Elektrizitätsrichtlinie.Die Kommission beendete daher das Vertragsverletzungsverfahren im Oktober 2012. Auch Schweden hat die Richtlinien inzwischen vollständig umgesetzt, nachdem im September 2011 Vertragsverletzungsverfahren wegen fehlender Umsetzung der Elektrizitäts‐ und Gasrichtlinie eingeleitet worden waren, so dass die Kommission die Verfahren im Oktober 2012 einstellte.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005549/13

to the Commission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Transposition of legislation on the internal energy market

In February 2011, the EU Heads of State and Government declared that the internal energy market was to be complete by 2014. One of the steps involved in the completion of the internal energy market was the adoption of the Electricity Directive (2009/72/EC) and the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC) (third energy package), which were to be transposed by 2011. Three Member States, namely Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, had still not transposed the two directives by April 2012. Austria and Estonia had only transposed the Gas Directive up to that point (58).

1.

Have Austria and Estonia transposed the Electricity Directive since April 2012? If so, when did this happen and have sanctions been imposed on these Member States for delaying transposition?

2.

If not, what steps has the Commission taken to encourage the two countries to transpose the directive?

3.

Have Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom transposed the Electricity Directive, the Gas Directive or both directives since April 2012? If so, when did this happen and have sanctions been imposed on these Member States for delaying transposition?

4.

If not, what steps has the Commission taken to encourage the three Member States to transpose the directive?

5.

What impact has the delay or failure to transpose the directives had on other Member States and on the European internal electricity and gas market?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2013)

In 2011, the Commission opened 38 cases concerning the non-transposition of Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC. The Commission has been following up on these proceedings in 2012 and 2013 by assessing all notifications of transposition measures, addressing reasoned opinions and referring certain cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The Commission continues to monitor transposition as well as comprehensive compliance checks with the third package.

On 21 November 2012, after having addressed letters of formal notice and reasoned opinions for partial transposition of both Directives, the Commission considered that Finland still failed to fully transpose both Directives. It consequently took a decision to refer the cases to the ECJ (59). Similarly, on 24 January 2013, the Commission considered that Estonia and the United Kingdom still failed to fully transpose the two Directives. It consequently took a decision to refer the cases to the ECJ (60). In all these cases the Court has been requested to impose a penalty in line with Article 260(3) TFEU.

Following the opening of infringement proceedings in September 2011 for non-transposition, Austria notified full transposition of the Electricity Directive in September 2012. Consequently, the Commission closed the infringement case in October 2012. Similarly, following the opening of infringement proceedings in September 2011 for non-transposition of the Electricity and Gas Directives, Sweden achieved full transposition and the Commission closed the cases in October 2012.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005550/13

an die Kommission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Energieabkommen mit der Schweiz

Im April 2013 kam das für Energie zuständige Mitglied der Kommission Günther Oettinger in Brüssel mit der Schweizer Bundesrätin Doris Leuthard zusammen, um über ein bilaterales Energieabkommen zwischen der EU und der Schweiz zu verhandeln. Bereits seit mehreren Jahren verhandeln beide Parteien über einen Vertragsentwurf. Bis 2014 will die EU den Energiebinnenmarkt vollenden.

1.

Welche konkreten Punkte wurden bei dem Treffen zwischen Oettinger und Leuthard im April 2013 angesprochen?

2.

Welche konkreten Ergebnisse brachte das Treffen zwischen Oettinger und Leuthard?

3.

Erachtet es die Kommission angesichts der bereits mehrere Jahre andauernden Verhandlungen als realistisch, dass es bis 2014 zu einem Energieabkommen mit der Schweiz kommt?

4.

Wo liegen die Hauptstreitpunkte, die den erfolgreichen Abschluss eines Energieabkommens zwischen der EU und der Schweiz bisher verhinderten?

Antwort von Herrn Oettinger im Namen der Kommission

(20. Juni 2013)

1.

Das für Energie zuständige Mitglied der Kommission hat den Stand der Verhandlungen über ein Energieabkommen zwischen der Schweiz und der EU bei einem Treffen am 19.4.2013 mit der schweizerischen Energieministerin Leuthard erörtert.

Dabei wurden die wichtigsten Punkte der laufenden Verhandlungen behandelt, darunter der Umgang mit bestehenden langfristigen Verträgen oder die Anwendung der Transparenzvorschriften („REMIT“-Vorschriften). Weitere Themen waren die Notwendigkeit, faire Wettbewerbsbedingungen hinsichtlich staatlicher Subventionen für Elektrizitätsunternehmen sicherzustellen, sowie mögliche Ziele für erneuerbare Energien und institutionelle Fragen.

2.

Nach Ansicht beider Seiten haben sich ihre Standpunkte in den zahlreichen strittigen Fragen stark angenähert. Vor einer endgültigen Einigung bedarf es jedoch noch weiterer Anstrengungen.

3.

Die Verhandlungen laufen tatsächlich bereits seit einiger Zeit. Eine Einigung ist schwierig, aber machbar. Beide Seiten sind sich dabei der symbolischen und politischen Bedeutung des Jahres 2014 bewusst. Die wichtigsten Hindernisse betreffen weniger die technischen Aspekte, bei denen eine Einigung bereits in Reichweite scheint, sondern eher institutionelle Fragen.

4.

Bei den institutionellen Fragen geht es um die Umsetzung, die praktische Anwendung und die Überwachung rechtlicher Bestimmungen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005550/13

to the Commission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Energy agreement with Switzerland

In April 2013, the Commissioner with responsibility for energy, Günther Oettinger, met with Swiss Federal Councillor, Doris Leuthard, in order to negotiate a bilateral energy agreement between the EU and Switzerland. The two parties have been negotiating a draft agreement for several years. The EU plans to complete the internal energy market by 2014.

1.

What specific points were discussed at the meeting between Mr Oettinger and Ms Leuthard in April 2013?

2.

What, in specific terms, were the results of the meeting between Mr Oettinger and Ms Leuthard?

3.

In view of the fact that negotiations have already lasted several years, does the Commission believe it realistic to expect to reach an energy agreement with Switzerland by 2014?

4.

What are the main points of disagreement that have impeded the successful conclusion of an energy agreement between the EU and Switzerland to date?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2013)

1.

The Commissioner responsible for Energy met Swiss Energy Minister Leuthard on 19.4.2013 to discuss the state of play regarding the negotiations of the electricity agreement between Switzerland and the EU.

The discussion covered the main issues in the ongoing negotiations including issues such as the treatment of existing long-term contracts or the implementation of transparency rules (‘REMIT’-legislation). Further topics included the need to ensure a level playing field in terms of state subsidies for electricity companies, possible targets for renewable energy and institutional issues.

2.

Both sides agreed that the positions on the numerous contentious issues have come much closer. However, further efforts are needed on the way to finalise the agreement.

3.

The process has indeed taken quite some time. The goal is challenging, but possible. Both sides are aware of the symbolic and political importance of the year 2014. The main obstacles are less on the technical nature, where an agreement seems to be in reach, but rather on the institutional level.

4.

Institutional issues are related to the implementation, practical application and monitoring of the legal rules.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005551/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(17 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: «Barrosogate» y efectividad de la OLAF

Desde el pasado 16 de octubre con la dimisión del Comisario John Dalli, los escándalos de corrupción en la cúpula de la Comisión Europea están llenando portadas de numerosos medios de comunicación. Dicho impacto mediático se ha multiplicado cuando este escándalo ha pasado de implicar al ex Comisario de Salud y Consumo, que ha resultado ser inocente, a implicar al mismo Presidente de la Comisión Europea.

Es así como el caso en los medios de comunicación ha pasado de ser denominado por la prensa como « Dalligate » a nombrarse « Barrosogate » . El origen de la controversia es que la cúpula de la Comisión Europea conocía la inocencia de Dalli, pero promovieron su dimisión como cabeza de turco para salvar a la propia institución. La inocencia del Comisario apunta a que el intento de beneficiar a la industria del tabaco a través de la nueva directiva europea sobre productos del tabaco provino de niveles políticos aún más altos que los del político maltés.

La Oficina Europea Anti-Fraude (OLAF) ya elaboró un informe en el que exculpaba al Comisario Dalli. Este informe fue leído por la cúpula de la Comisión, que continuó exigiendo su dimisión. Debido a esto la justicia de Bélgica va a abrir de nuevo dicha investigación para esclarecer dónde se sitúa el origen de la corrupción en la Comisión. Atravesamos un momento en que las instituciones europeas están siendo acusadas de tan solo velar por los intereses de los grandes bancos y compañías, y escándalos como este no hace más que confirmarlo.

¿Cuál fue la razón por la que el Presidente de la Comisión hizo dimitir a John Dalli, pese a que en aquel momento disponía del informe de la OLAF que lo exculpaba?

¿Piensa la OLAF reabrir el expediente de investigación del caso Dalli, a la luz de las nuevas pruebas y nuevas informaciones divulgadas?

¿Dispone de información sobre cuáles fueron los puntos de la directiva de productos del tabaco en los que la industria del tabaco trataba de influir a través de Dalli? ¿Cuáles eran sus propuestas?

Respuesta del Sr. Barroso en nombre de la Comisión

(25 de julio de 2013)

1.

Como la Comisión ya aclaró en sus respuestas a los cuestionarios de la Comisión de control presupuestario de 30 de noviembre de 2012 y 13 de junio de 2013, el ex comisario presentó su dimisión tras convenir con el Presidente en que su permanencia en el cargo era políticamente insostenible.

2.

La OLAF no ha manifestado a la Comisión su intención de volver a abrir la investigación. Conforme a las normas por las que se rige su actividad (Reglamento 1073/1999) y a sus prácticas habituales, la OLAF tiene autonomía decisoria para incoar investigaciones cuando existen pruebas referentes a asuntos de su competencia.

3.

Las propias tabacaleras han expresado sus opiniones sobre la revisión de la Directiva sobre los productos del tabaco en sus respuestas a la consulta pública

3.

Las propias tabacaleras han expresado sus opiniones sobre la revisión de la Directiva sobre los productos del tabaco en sus respuestas a la consulta pública

 (61), en las alegaciones escritas suplementarias y en las reuniones con el Comisario y los servicios responsables, cuyas actas han sido publicadas (62).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005551/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: ‘Barrosogate’ and the effectiveness of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Since 16 October 2012, when Commissioner John Dalli resigned, corruption scandals involving the Commission leadership have been splashed across the front pages of many newspapers. This media attention stepped up a gear when this scandal switched from involving the former Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, who turned out to be innocent, to involving the President of the Commission himself.

This is how the case in the media went from being dubbed ‘Dalligate’ by the press to ‘Barrosogate’. The crux of the controversy is that the Commission leadership knew that Dalli was innocent but pushed for him to resign, making him a scapegoat to save the institution. Commissioner Dalli’s innocence suggests that the attempt to gain an advantage for the tobacco industry through the EU’s new Tobacco Products Directive came from even higher political echelons than Maltese politics.

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) drafted a report which exonerated Commissioner Dalli. The Commission leadership read this report but continued to call for his resignation. Because of this, the Belgian courts are going to reopen the investigation to get to the bottom of the corruption within the Commission. The European institutions are currently being accused of only looking after the interests of large banks and companies, and scandals like this only bear out that accusation.

Why did the President of the Commission force John Dalli to resign, despite having at the time OLAF’s report, which exonerated him?

Is OLAF planning to reopen the investigation into the Dalli case in view of the new evidence and new information that has come to light?

Does the Commission have any information on which aspects of the Tobacco Products Directive the tobacco industry attempted to influence through Commissioner Dalli? What were the industry’s proposals?

Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission

(25 July 2013)

1.

As the Commission has already clarified in replies to questionnaires from the Committee on budgetary Control on 30 November 2012 and 13 June 2013, the former Commissioner resigned having agreed with the President that it was politically untenable for him to remain in office.

2.

The Commission has not been informed by OLAF whether it is intending to re-open the investigation. According to the rules governing the OLAF activity (Regulation 1073/1999) and its usual practice, OLAF makes its own decision on whether to open investigations if there is evidence regarding cases that come within its remit of competence.

3.

Tobacco firms themselves have made known their viewpoints on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive in their responses to the public consultation

3.

Tobacco firms themselves have made known their viewpoints on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive in their responses to the public consultation

 (63), in additional written submissions, and in meetings with the Commissioner and services in charge. Minutes of those meetings have been published. (64)

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005552/13

an die Kommission

Martin Ehrenhauser (NI)

(17. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: „Police Working Group on Terrorism“

Im Jahr 1979 wurde die „Police Working Group on Terrorism“ (Polizei-Arbeitsgruppe Terrorismus — PWGT) gegründet. Europol hat in dieser informellen Arbeitsgruppe Beobachterstatus. Darüber hinaus werden Informationen, die im Rahmen der PWGT zusammengetragen werden, auch in das Informationssystem SIS II eingetragen.

1.

Welche Vorteile ergeben sich für Europol an der Teilnahme als Beobachter an der PWGT?

2.

Ist Europol in das Informationsnetz der PWGT integriert? Falls ja: Wie nimmt Europol an der Kommunikation teil? Werden Daten von Europol in das Informationsnetz eingespeist und/oder nutzt Europol Informationen aus dem Informationsnetz? Falls nein: warum nicht; ist eine Integration geplant?

3.

Plant Europol eine intensivere Einbindung in die PWGT über den Beobachterstatus hinaus? Falls nein: warum nicht?

4.

Wie beurteilt die Kommission den Umstand, dass neben dem Thema Terrorismus auch andere Themenbereiche wie (politischer) Extremismus in der Gruppe behandelt werden?

5.

Wie viele Datensätze in welchen Bereichen wurden bisher auf der Grundlage von Informationen der PWGT in das SIS II eingetragen?

6.

Werden Informationen der PWGT in weiteren europäischen Datenbanken, etwa von Europol, gespeichert? Wenn ja: in welchen?

Antwort von Frau Malmström im Namen der Kommission

(16. Juli 2013)

1.

Europol wird regelmäßig über die Maßnahmen der Mitgliedstaaten zur Terrorismusbekämpfung unterrichtet und stellt im Gegenzug allgemeine Informationen über eigene Maßnahmen sowie Einschätzungen zu Trends und Entwicklungen zur Verfügung.

2.

Europol ist nicht in das Informationsnetz der PWGT integriert. Europol speist keine Daten in das Informationsnetz ein und nutzt Informationen aus dem Informationsnetz nur, wenn diese Daten offiziell übermittelt werden.

3.

Europol plant keine intensivere Einbindung in die PWGT. Das Informationsnetz beruht auf einer Absichtserklärung

3.

Europol plant keine intensivere Einbindung in die PWGT. Das Informationsnetz beruht auf einer Absichtserklärung

 (65), die keine Regelung zu Fragen der Haftung und Verantwortlichkeit enthält. Daher kann Europol keine operativen und personenbezogenen Daten mit dem Informationsnetz austauschen.

4.

Diese Frage fällt in die Zuständigkeit der Mitgliedstaaten, die aufgrund der Verträge allein für die nationale Sicherheit zuständig sind

4.

Diese Frage fällt in die Zuständigkeit der Mitgliedstaaten, die aufgrund der Verträge allein für die nationale Sicherheit zuständig sind

 (66), wozu auch die entsprechende polizeiliche und nachrichtendienstliche Tätigkeit zur Datensammlung und Beurteilung des Bedrohungspotenzials gehört. Die Mitgliedstaaten haben aufgrund der Verträge sicherzustellen, dass ihre Nachrichtendienste und Strafverfolgungsbehörden verhältnismäßig und verantwortlich vorgehen und dabei die Bürgerrechte und die legitimen Sicherheitsinteressen anderer Mitgliedstaaten oder der EU als Ganzes achten. In diesem Zusammenhang ist es durchaus möglich, dass sich die Gruppe mit Themen wie Extremismus, gewalttätigem Extremismus und Extremismus, der zu Terrorismus führt, befasst.

5.

In Artikel 27 der Verordnung (EG) 1987/2006 und Artikel 40 des Beschlusses 2007/533/JI des Rates

5.

In Artikel 27 der Verordnung (EG) 1987/2006 und Artikel 40 des Beschlusses 2007/533/JI des Rates

 (67) ist festgelegt, welche Behörden der Mitgliedstaaten Ausschreibungen in SIS II unmittelbar abfragen, eingeben, ändern oder löschen dürfen. Das Verzeichnis dieser Behörden wurde veröffentlicht (68). Es obliegt den Mitgliedstaaten, festzustellen, ob ein Fall eine Aufnahme der Ausschreibung in das SIS II rechtfertigt (gemeinsamer Artikel 21 der SIS II‐Rechtsinstrumente). Die Kommission kann daher nicht angeben, ob eine Ausschreibung auf die PWGT zurückzuführen ist.

6.

Europol verfügt über keine Informationen über die Speicherung von Informationen der PWGT in anderen europäischen Datenbanken.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005552/13

to the Commission

Martin Ehrenhauser (NI)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Police Working Group on Terrorism

The Police Working Group on Terrorism (PWGT) was established in 1979. Europol has observer status in this informal working group. In addition, information gathered within the framework of the PWGT is also recorded in the SIS II information system.

1.

What are the benefits for Europol of participating as an observer in the PWGT?

2.

Is Europol integrated in the PWGT information network? If so: how does Europol participate in communications? Does Europol feed data into the information network and/or does Europol use information from the information network? If not, why not; are there any plans for integration?

3.

Is Europol planning more intensive participation in the PWGT that goes beyond observer status? If not, why not?

4.

How does the Commission view the fact that, in addition to terrorism, other subjects, such as (political) extremism, are also dealt with in the group?

5.

How many records have been entered into SIS II on the basis of information from the PWGT, and in which areas?

6.

Is information from the PWGT stored in other European databases, such as those operated by Europol? If so, in which ones?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

1.

Europol is regularly informed about Member States' counter-terrorism activities and in return provides general information on its activities and opinions on trends and developments.

2.

Europol is not integrated in the PWGT information network. It does not provide data to that network. Europol uses data from the network when these data are sent to it according the official procedures.

3.

There are no particular plans for closer participation. The network is based on a MoU

3.

There are no particular plans for closer participation. The network is based on a MoU

 (69), which does not cover issues of liability and accountability, so Europol cannot share operational and personal data with the network.

4.

This falls under the responsibility of Member States, which, under the Treaties, have sole responsibility for national security

4.

This falls under the responsibility of Member States, which, under the Treaties, have sole responsibility for national security

 (70), including related police and intelligence work in gathering information and assessing threats. Member States are bound by the Treaties to ensure their intelligence and law enforcement bodies act in a proportionate and responsible way, respecting the rights of citizens and the legitimate security interests of other Member States or the EU as a whole. In this context, the group may have to look at issues relating to extremism, violent extremism, and extremism leading to terrorism.

5.

Article 27 of Regulation (EC) 1987/2006 and Art. 40 of Council Decision 2007/533/JHA

5.

Article 27 of Regulation (EC) 1987/2006 and Art. 40 of Council Decision 2007/533/JHA

 (71) set out which Member State authorities can search directly, as well as enter, modify or delete an alert in SIS II. The list of such authorities was published (72). It is the decision of the Member State whether a case warrants an alert in SIS II (common Articles 21 of the SIS II legal instruments. The Commission is therefore not in a position to state if an alert was initiated by PWGT.

6.

Europol has no information on the storage of PWGT data in other European databases.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005553/13

à la Commission

Constance Le Grip (PPE)

(17 mai 2013)

Objet: Évolution de la législation européenne relative aux substances allergènes contenues dans les parfums

À la suite des conclusions du Comité scientifique pour la protection des consommateurs rendues en juin 2012 au sujet des ingrédients allergènes contenus dans les produits cosmétiques, de nombreuses inquiétudes ont été exprimées tant par les industriels du secteur de la parfumerie que par les consommateurs des produits évoqués. Ce rapport s'ajoute aux nombreuses difficultés que rencontrent les parfumeurs pour maintenir la qualité et la diversité de leur offre, dans un contexte où leurs possibilités deviennent de plus en plus limitées à cause de la réglementation toujours plus stricte des matières premières qu'ils utilisent.

Dans une déclaration du 2 novembre 2012, le porte-parole de l'ancien commissaire à la santé et la politique des consommateurs, John DALLI, affirmait que la Commission «est encore très loin d'envisager une modification de la législation européenne», et qu'il n'était pas question d'obliger certains grands parfumeurs français qui avaient exprimé leurs inquiétudes à retirer du marché leurs parfums les plus connus.

La Commission peut-elle préciser quelles sont les suites qu'elle envisage de donner aux conclusions du Comité scientifique et selon quel calendrier?

La Commission peut-elle préciser où en est le processus de consultation avec les industriels et les représentants d'intérêts concernés?

La Commission envisage-t-elle la possibilité de classer certains parfums comme «exception culturelle» et de leur accorder une législation spécifique, ou bien cette éventualité n'a-t-elle pas du tout été étudiée?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(24 juin 2013)

Comme elle l'a indiqué dans sa réponse à une précédente question (E-004701/2013 (73)), la Commission n'a pas encore proposé formellement de mesures pour donner suite aux conclusions du comité scientifique sur les ingrédients parfumants allergènes contenus dans les produits cosmétiques. Elle réfléchit à l'opportunité de consacrer des études supplémentaires à certaines des substances visées par ces conclusions. Les mesures de suivi doivent garantir une information appropriée des consommateurs et prévoir des restrictions à l'utilisation des allergènes les plus puissants, l'objectif étant de préserver la santé publique des risques induits par ces ingrédients allergènes. De nouvelles discussions avec les États membres et les autres parties prenantes sont prévues pour juin 2013.

Certaines de ces parties prenantes ont déjà été consultées: il s'agissait d'évaluer les répercussions sociales (protection des consommateurs, disponibilité des produits et emploi) et économiques des solutions envisageables.

La législation de l'Union européenne sur les produits cosmétiques met l'accent sur la sûreté de ces produits et de leurs ingrédients. Cela n'exclut pas de prévoir des exceptions fondées sur une certaine culture.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005553/13

to the Commission

Constance Le Grip (PPE)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Changes to European legislation on allergens in perfumes

Following the adoption in June 2012 by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety of its conclusions on allergens in cosmetic products, many concerns have been voiced by both perfume manufacturers and consumers of the products in question. This report comes on top of the numerous problems faced by perfumers in maintaining the quality and diversity of their products at a time when the opportunities open to them are becoming increasingly limited by ever more stringent regulation of the raw materials they use.

In a statement issued on 2 November 2012, the spokesperson for the then Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, said that the Commission was still a long way from planning amendments to EU legislation, and that there could be no question of forcing certain large French perfume houses which had expressed their concerns to withdraw their best-known perfumes from the market.

Can the Commission state what action it plans to take in response to the conclusions of the Scientific Commission, and within what time frame?

Can the Commission state what progress has been made in holding consultations with manufacturers and stakeholders?

Does the Commission believe it will be possible to categorise certain perfumes as ‘cultural exceptions’ and to adopt specific legislation for them, or has this possibility not been examined at all?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(24 June 2013)

As indicated in its reply to a previous Question E-004701/2013 (74), the Commission has not yet formally proposed measures for the implementation of the scientific opinion on fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. It is currently considering whether additional studies would be needed in relation to several of the substances addressed in this scientific opinion. Measures to implement the scientific opinion need to ensure adequate consumer information, together with restrictions for the strongest allergens, in order to address the risks of fragrance allergens for human health. Further discussions with Member States and other stakeholders are foreseen for June 2013.

Discussions have already been carried out with stakeholders in order to assess the social (in terms of protection of consumers, availability of products and employment) and the economic impacts of the possible policy options.

The focus of the relevant provisions of the EU cosmetic legislation is to ensure safety of cosmetic products and ingredients. This does not allow to foreseen exceptions based on a certain culture.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005554/13

alla Commissione

Susy De Martini (ECR), Cristiana Muscardini (ECR), Carlo Fidanza (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Clemente Mastella (PPE), Aldo Patriciello (PPE), Marco Scurria (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Fabrizio Bertot (PPE), Lara Comi (PPE), Salvatore Tatarella (PPE), Roberta Angelilli (PPE), Mara Bizzotto (EFD) e Claudio Morganti (EFD)

(17 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Incidente al porto di Genova

Il recente tragico incidente (9 vittime e 4 feriti) verificatosi nel porto di Genova, con il crollo della torre di controllo causato dallo scontro della nave portacontainer Jolly Nero — 239 metri di lunghezza per 30 di larghezza — contro la sua base, pone all'attenzione delle autorità responsabili, tanto nazionali quanto comunitarie, il problema degli standard di sicurezza delle navi e di quello dei porti d'attracco.

È indubbio, infatti, che accanto alla sicurezza delle navi, esista anche la questione della sicurezza dei porti, la cui agibilità non deve essere limitata da situazioni ambientali che potrebbero causare difficoltà di movimento e rischi catastrofici.

Un ulteriore elemento che pure rientra nella questione «sicurezza» è la garanzia della professionalità specifica dei presidenti e dei dirigenti delle Autorità portuali, in particolare quando ad essi compete non solo la gestione ordinaria, ma anche la pianificazione dello sviluppo dell'area portuale in relazione agli standard di sicurezza sopra menzionati.

In Italia la disciplina del procedimento di nomina dei presidenti delle Autorità portuali è dettata dall'articolo 8 della legge 84/94, modificato dall'articolo 6 del decreto-legge 136/2004. In esso è previsto che il presidente dell'Autorità portuale debba essere nominato, previa intesa con la Regione interessata, con decreto ministeriale, nell'ambito di una terna di esperti di massima e comprovata qualificazione professionale nei settori dell'economia dei trasporti e portuale, designati rispettivamente dalla Provincia, dai Comuni e dalle Camere di commercio competenti sul territorio. Le autorità locali o nazionali dovrebbero dunque avere l'obbligo di nominare persone competenti e, data la fondamentale importanza socioeconomica dei sistemi portuali, anche l'Unione europea potrebbe intervenire, ancorché indirettamente, sulla regolarità e la trasparenza di tali nomine.

Alla luce di quanto sovraesposto, nonché dell'importanza del porto di Genova nell'ambito della programmazione TEN-T, può la Commissione precisare se:

a proposito di sicurezza marittima, ha elementi per valutare la congruità del portacontainer che ha causato l'incidente con gli standard previsti dalla direttiva 2009/16/CE entrata in funzione il 1° gennaio 2011;

ritiene che tale direttiva debba essere integrata anche da norme comuni riguardanti gli standard minimi di sicurezza nell'ambito dei porti e le misure regolamentari per garantire la professionalità specifica dei presidenti e dei dirigenti dei porti;

intende attivare l'Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima (EMSA) per un'inchiesta di merito sui fatti di Genova;

ritiene corretta l'ubicazione della torre all'interno del porto di Genova, anche confrontandola con quella di altri porti europei equivalenti e se è a conoscenza dell'esistenza di piani per lo sviluppo del porto?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(28 giugno 2013)

1.

La direttiva 2009/16/CE consente a uno Stato di approdo di ispezionare qualsiasi nave battente bandiera straniera nei propri porti. Pertanto, poiché l’incidente in questione vede coinvolta una nave battente bandiera italiana in un porto italiano, la direttiva 2009/16/CE non è rilevante ai fini della questione. Dovrebbe, invece, essere competenza delle autorità italiane accertare che la nave rispettasse le norme infortunistiche attualmente in vigore.

2.

La questione delle qualifiche professionali delle autorità portuali non rientra nel campo di applicazione della direttiva 2009/16/CE. Nella comunicazione adottata recentemente sul riesame della politica portuale dell'UE

2.

La questione delle qualifiche professionali delle autorità portuali non rientra nel campo di applicazione della direttiva 2009/16/CE. Nella comunicazione adottata recentemente sul riesame della politica portuale dell'UE

 (75), la Commissione richiama l’attenzione sulla necessità di disporre di personale in possesso delle adeguate competenze, formazione e qualifiche nei porti europei in considerazione della crescente complessità delle operazioni portuali (76).

3.

La direttiva 2009/18/CE, che stabilisce i principi fondamentali in materia di inchieste sugli incidenti nel settore del trasporto marittimo, stabilisce che gli Stati membri provvedano affinché l’indagine di sicurezza sia effettuata dall’organo inquirente conformemente alla direttiva in seguito ad un sinistro marittimo molto grave. In questo caso, poiché l’incidente in questione ha comportato diverse vittime e si ritiene un sinistro marittimo molto grave e poiché ha coinvolto una nave battente bandiera italiana, l’organismo competente a condurre tale indagine è l'organo inquirente italiano per i sinistri marittimi, e non l'Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima (EMSA).

4.

La Commissione non è in grado di giudicare se l'ubicazione della torre di controllo del porto di Genova sia corretta o meno. Le decisioni sugli schemi e l'ubicazione degli impianti portuali sono di competenza delle autorità responsabili. Nell'ambito della programmazione TEN‐T, la Commissione ha sostenuto alcuni progetti riguardanti il porto di Genova e le sue connessioni con l’entroterra

4.

La Commissione non è in grado di giudicare se l'ubicazione della torre di controllo del porto di Genova sia corretta o meno. Le decisioni sugli schemi e l'ubicazione degli impianti portuali sono di competenza delle autorità responsabili. Nell'ambito della programmazione TEN‐T, la Commissione ha sostenuto alcuni progetti riguardanti il porto di Genova e le sue connessioni con l’entroterra

 (77).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005554/13

to the Commission

Susy De Martini (ECR), Cristiana Muscardini (ECR), Carlo Fidanza (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Clemente Mastella (PPE), Aldo Patriciello (PPE), Marco Scurria (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Fabrizio Bertot (PPE), Lara Comi (PPE), Salvatore Tatarella (PPE), Roberta Angelilli (PPE), Mara Bizzotto (EFD) and Claudio Morganti (EFD)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Accident at the Port of Genoa

The recent tragic accident at the Italian Port of Genoa caused by the Jolly Nero container ship (which measures 239 m by 30 m) ramming the base of the control tower and making it collapse, leaving nine dead and four injured, has drawn the attention of both national and EU authorities to the problem of ship and port safety standards.

Ship and port safety undoubtedly go hand in hand and should not be compromised by any potentially disastrous hazards restricting manoeuvrability.

Port safety also depends on the professional competence of port authority presidents and administrators, particularly where they are responsible for not only the day-to-day running of ports but also port planning in compliance with the abovementioned safety standards.

Under the procedure laid down in Article 8 of Act 84/1994, as amended by Article 6 of Decree-Law 136/2004, Italian port authority presidents are, subject to the agreement of the region concerned, appointed by ministerial decree from a shortlist of applicants with the highest degree of expertise and proven professional credentials in port and transport management designated by the provincial and municipal authorities and local chambers of commerce. The local and national authorities should accordingly be required to ensure the competence of those appointed and, given the fundamental social and economic importance of ports, EU involvement, even of an indirect nature, might well be appropriate with a view to ensuring the proper and transparent conduct of proceedings.

In light of the above and given the importance of the Port of Genoa in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme:

Can the Commission state whether the container ship which caused the accident complied with the maritime safety standards set out in Directive 2009/16/EC, which entered into operation on 1 January 2011?

Does it consider that this directive should be accompanied by a common set of minimum port safety standards and regulatory provisions regarding the specific professional qualifications which must be held by port authority presidents and administrators?

Does it intend to call on the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to investigate the Genoa disaster?

Does it consider that the Port of Genoa control tower was correctly located compared with the layout of other European ports, for example? Is it aware of any development plans regarding the Port of Genoa?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(28 June 2013)

1.

Directive 2009/16/EC allows a port State to inspect foreign flagged vessels in its ports. Therefore, since the accident in question involved an Italian flagged vessel in an Italian port Directive 2009/16/EC is not relevant and the question of whether the vessel complied with the applicable safety standards should be addressed to the competent authorities in Italy.

2.

The question of professional qualifications of port authorities is outside the scope of Directive 2009/16/EC. In the recently adopted Communication on the EU Ports Policy

2.

The question of professional qualifications of port authorities is outside the scope of Directive 2009/16/EC. In the recently adopted Communication on the EU Ports Policy

 (78) Review, the Commission refers to the need of having employees with the right skills, training and qualifications in European ports in view of increasing complexity of ports operations (79).

3.

Directive 2009/18/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector provides that Member States shall ensure that a safety investigation is carried out by the investigative body established in accordance with the directive after very serious marine casualties. Given that the accident in question, resulting in multiple fatalities, is a very serious marine casualty and that it involved an Italian flagged vessel, the competent body to carry out this investigation is the Italian Marine Casualties Investigative Body, not EMSA.

4.

The Commission is not in a position to judge whether the location of the control tower of the Port of Genoa is appropriate or not. Decisions about layouts and location of port installations are the responsibility of the responsible authorities.

4.

The Commission is not in a position to judge whether the location of the control tower of the Port of Genoa is appropriate or not. Decisions about layouts and location of port installations are the responsibility of the responsible authorities.

In the context of the TEN-T, the Commission has supported certain projects concerning the Port of Genoa and its hinterland connections (80).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-005555/13

aan de Commissie

Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE)

(17 mei 2013)

Betreft: Onwettige repatriëring van asielzoekers en de rol van de EU

In de Nederlandse media (81) werd bericht dat een Guineese „taskforce” in opdracht van de Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek van het Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie (niet‐reguliere of ongeldige) reisdocumenten verstrekt aan afgewezen Guineese asielzoekers. De reisdocumenten worden niet op reguliere wijze verstrekt (bijvoorbeeld door de Guineese ambassade), maar door overheidsambtenaren die uit Conakry worden ingevlogen. In één geval werd een afgewezen asielzoeker die door de „taskforce” was voorzien van documenten, niet tot Guinee toegelaten omdat de documenten bij binnenkomst niet werden geaccepteerd. Ook zijn er voorbeelden bekend van  terugkerende asielzoekers die door de „taskforce” waren voorzien van documenten maar die bij hun aankomst in Guinee gevangen werden gezet. Op facturen die aan de Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek zijn geadresseerd, wordt het „taskforce”-project „EU project 35 IRES” genoemd.

1.

Is de Commissie op de hoogte van het bestaan van een Guineese

„taskforce” die de  terugkeer van afgewezen asielzoekers faciliteert door in Nederland (niet‐reguliere of ongeldige) reisdocumenten te verstrekken?

2.

Dragen Frontex of het Europees  terugkeerfonds financieel bij aan de  terugkeer van afgewezen asielzoekers die door de

„taskforce” van papieren zijn voorzien?

3.

Is Frontex of een ander EU-agentschap betrokken bij het organiseren van de  terugkeer van afgewezen asielzoekers die reizen met door bovengenoemde (of een vergelijkbare)

„taskforce” verstrekte reispapieren?

4.

Is de Commissie van mening dat de Nederlandse manier om (ongeldige of niet‐officiële) terugkeerdocumenten te faciliteren haaks staat op het beginsel van non-refoulement, en daarom in strijd is met het Verdrag betreffende de status van vluchtelingen?

5.

Kent de Commissie andere lidstaten die gebruik maken van vergelijkbare methodes waarbij ambtenaren uit derde landen (uit Guinee of andere landen) ongeldige of niet‐officiële  terugkeerdocumenten verstrekken? Zo ja, welke lidstaat of lidstaten?

6.

Kent de Commissie de vermelding

„EU project 35 IRES” die staat op de facturen welke aan de Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek worden geadresseerd?

Antwoord van mevrouw Malmström namens de Commissie

(25 juni 2013)

Noch de Commissie noch Frontex zijn op de hoogte van het bestaan van de Guineese taskforce die het geachte Parlementslid beschrijft.

Frontex heeft geen financiële bijdrage geleverd aan en was niet betrokken bij de  terugkeer van personen aan wie de Guineese autoriteiten documenten hebben afgegeven. Er hebben sinds 2011 geen gezamenlijke  terugkeeroperaties meer plaatsgevonden naar Guinee.

De Commissie weet niet wat de referentie „EU project 35 IRES ” zou kunnen betekenen in de context van het Terugkeerfonds. In het jaarprogramma 2012 van het Terugkeerfonds voor Nederland is evenwel een maatregel met de naam „IRES 1” opgenomen. De maatregel betreft de uitvoering van gedwongen  terugkeeroperaties door onder meer:

de ontwikkeling van de samenwerking met derde landen en de opstelling van geïntegreerde  terugkeerplannen;

de bevordering van de samenwerking tussen diverse instanties (binnen de Nederlandse overheid) op het gebied van  terugkeer;

de verbetering van het identificatieproces; en

operationele samenwerking (uitvoering van  terugkeeroperaties).

De Nederlandse autoriteiten zijn op grond van de Terugkeerrichtlijn 2008/115/EG verplicht om het beginsel van non-refoulement (zoals erkend in het internationale recht) in elk individueel geval van  terugkeer te respecteren. Het gebruik van bijzondere reisdocumenten van derde landen om deze landen  terugkerende vluchtelingen te doen aanvaarden, doet daar geen afbreuk aan.

De Commissie is niet op de hoogte van de toepassing van methoden die vergelijkbaar zijn met de door het geachte Parlementslid beschreven methode, in andere lidstaten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005555/13

to the Commission

Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: Unlawful repatriation of asylum-seekers and the role of the EU

It has been reported in the Dutch media (82) that a Guinean ‘task force’, commissioned by the ‘Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek’ (the Dutch Repatriation and Departure Service), issues (non-regular/non-valid) travel documents for rejected Guinean asylum-seekers. The travel documents are not issued in the regular way (i.e. by the Guinean Embassy) but by government officials flown in from Conakry. In one known instance a rejected asylum-seeker, furnished with documents from the ‘task force’, was not allowed into Guinea because the documents were not accepted on arrival. Examples of repatriated asylum-seekers carrying documents from the ‘task force’ being imprisoned on arrival in Guinea are also known. On invoices addressed to the ‘Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek’, the ‘task force’ project is called ‘EU project 35 IRES’.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the existence of a Guinean

‘task force’ that facilitates the return of rejected asylum-seekers by issuing (non-regular/non-valid) travel documents in the Netherlands?

2.

Do Frontex or the European Return Fund contribute financially to the return of rejected asylum-seekers with papers issued by the

‘task force’?

3.

Is Frontex or any other EU agency involved in the organisation of the return of rejected asylum-seekers travelling with papers issued by the abovementioned (or similar)

‘task force(s)’?

4.

Is the Commission of the opinion that the Dutch way of facilitating (non-valid/non-official) return papers is contrary to the principle of non-refoulement, and is therefore in breach of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees?

5.

Is the Commission aware of any other Member State making use of similar methods by which third-country officials (from Guinea or other countries) issue non-valid/non-official return papers? If so, which Member State(s)?

6.

Is the Commission familiar with the reference

‘EU project 35 IRES’ which appears on the invoices addressed to the ‘Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek’?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2013)

Neither the Commission nor Frontex are aware of the existence of a Guinean ‘task force’ as described by the Honourable Member.

Frontex did not contribute financially and was not involved in the return of persons with papers issued by the Guinean authorities. There have been no joint return operations to Guinea from 2011 until today.

Regarding the Return Fund, the Commission is not familiar with the reference ‘EU project 35 IRES ’. However, the current 2012 annual programme for the Return Fund for the Netherlands includes an action named ‘IRES 1’. The action concerns the carrying out of forced return operations through different activities, such as:

The development of cooperation with third countries and the drafting of integrated return plans;

The fostering of inter-agency cooperation (within the Dutch administration) in return matters;

The improvement of identification processes; and

Operational cooperation (carrying of return operations).

The use of particular third country travel documents for obtaining acceptance of returnees by third countries has no impact at all on the general obligation on the Dutch authorities under the Return Directive 2008/115/EC to respect the principle of non-refoulement (as recognised by international law) in each individual case of return.

The Commission is not aware of methods similar to those described by the Honourable Member being used in any of the Member States.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-005556/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D)

(17 Μαΐου 2013)

Θέμα: Συμφωνία σύνδεσης ΕΕ-Ουκρανίας

Η Ουκρανία είναι μια ευρωπαϊκή χώρα που έχει κοινή ιστορία, κοινές αξίες και αρχές με τα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ και κοινά σύνορα με τη Σλοβακία, την Πολωνία, την Ουγγαρία και τη Ρουμανία. Η υπογραφή μιας Συμφωνίας σύνδεσης μεταξύ Ουκρανίας και ΕΕ θα ήταν επωφελής και για τις δύο πλευρές. Η δημιουργία μιας σφαιρικής και σε βάθος ζώνης ελευθέρων συναλλαγών με την Ουκρανία θα ήταν επίσης επωφελής. Μια τέτοια Συμφωνία σύνδεσης θα έχει θετικό αντίκτυπο στην Ευρώπη σε περιόδους οικονομικής κρίσης, καθώς θα ενισχύσει τις περιφερειακές πολιτικές της ΕΕ παρέχοντας κίνητρο και στις υπόλοιπες χώρες της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης (επί του παρόντος χώρες εκτός της Ένωσης) να γίνουν μέλη της Ένωσης. Η Ουκρανία προετοιμάστηκε και είναι έτοιμη να υπογράψει μια τέτοια συμφωνία στη Βίλνα στο πλαίσιο της επόμενης συνόδου κορυφής για την Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση.

Ερωτάται επομένως η Επιτροπή:

Προτίθεται η Επιτροπή να προβεί στην υπογραφή της Συμφωνίας σύνδεσης με την Ουκρανία το 2013, ενθαρρύνοντας κατά συνέπεια την Ουκρανία στην πορεία της προς την ευρωπαϊκή ολοκλήρωση;

Είναι η Επιτροπή έτοιμη να επιδείξει μια «Πολιτική ανοικτών θυρών» (και όχι δύο μέτρων και δύο σταθμών) για το λαό της Ουκρανίας προωθώντας τη διαδικασία της ολοκλήρωσης;

Συνειδητοποιεί η Επιτροπή ότι, υπογράφοντας μια τέτοια Συμφωνία σύνδεσης με την Ουκρανία, διευρύνει χωρίς αμφιβολία τις γεωπολιτικές επιλογές της ΕΕ καθώς και την πολιτική της για την Ανατολική Ευρώπη;

Απάντηση της Ύπατης Εκπροσώπου/Αντιπροέδρου Ashton εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(24 Ιουνίου 2013)

Στις 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2012, το Συμβούλιο Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων ανανέωσε την πρόθεσή του να υπογράψει την συμφωνία Εταιρικής Σχέσης ΕΕ-Ουκρανίας, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της εις βάθος και σφαιρικής ζώνης ελευθέρων συναλλαγών (DCFTA), μόλις οι ουκρανικές αρχές επιδείξουν αποφασιστικότητα και απτή πρόοδο σε τρεις βασικούς τομείς, ιδίως μέχρι την έναρξη της εαρινής διάσκεψης κορυφής της Ανατολικής Εταιρικής Σχέσης στο Βίλνιους στις 28/29 Νοεμβρίου τρέχοντος έτους: κατάλληλες επακόλουθες ενέργειες μέχρι τις βουλευτικές εκλογές του 2012· αντιμετώπιση του ζητήματος της επιλεκτικής δικαιοσύνης και πρόληψη της επανεμφάνισης κρουσμάτων της· και εφαρμογή των μεταρρυθμίσεων που περιέχονται στην από κοινού συμφωνηθείσα ατζέντας σύνδεσης. Αναφέρθηκαν περαιτέρω προσδοκίες σε σχέση με την ανάγκη να λάβει η Ουκρανία αποφασιστικά μέτρα για την ανάσχεση της επιδείνωσης της κατάστασης των επιχειρήσεών της και του επενδυτικού κλίματος.

Στις 15 Μαΐου 2013, η Επιτροπή ενέκρινε την πρόταση απόφασης του Συμβουλίου για την υπογραφή και προσωρινή εφαρμογή της συμφωνίας σύνδεσης. Οι προτάσεις της Επιτροπής συνιστούσαν ένα απαραίτητο βήμα τεχνικής προώθησης των προπαρασκευαστικών ρυθμίσεων της ΕΕ, ώστε να καταστεί δυνατή η υπογραφή στη Σύνοδο Κορυφής του Βίλνιους. Ταυτόχρονα, η Επιτροπή εκτιμά ότι η υπογραφή της συμφωνίας εξακολουθεί να εξαρτάται από την αποφασιστική δράση και την απτή πρόοδο των ουκρανικών αρχών σε όλα τα κριτήρια που καθορίζονται από τα συμπεράσματα του Συμβουλίου του 2012. Η Επιτροπή, σε συνεργασία με την ΕΥΕΔ, θα εξακολουθήσει να παρακολουθεί την πρόοδο της Ουκρανίας.

Εναπόκειται πλέον στις ίδιες τις ουκρανικές αρχές να αντιμετωπίσουν διεξοδικά τα εκκρεμή ζητήματα, ώστε να καταστεί δυνατή η υπογραφή της συμφωνίας. Αυτό θα αποτελούσε ένα ιστορικό βήμα στις σχέσεις ΕΕ-Ουκρανίας.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005556/13

to the Commission

Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D)

(17 May 2013)

Subject: EU-Ukraine association agreement

Ukraine is a European country that shares common values, principles and a common history with the EU Member States, and that shares borders with Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania. An association agreement between Ukraine and the EU would be beneficial for both parties. Establishing a deep and comprehensive free trade area would also be beneficial. The association agreement would have a positive impact in Europe at a time of economic crisis, as it would strengthen the EU’s regional policies and give those Eastern European countries which are not currently members of the EU an incentive to join. Ukraine has prepared itself for such an agreement and is ready to sign it within the framework of the next Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.

We therefore ask the Commission:

Does it intend to proceed with the signing of an association agreement with Ukraine in 2013, thus encouraging Ukraine on its path towards European integration?

Is the Commission ready to demonstrate an ‘open door policy’ (without double standards) for the people of Ukraine by pushing the process of integration?

Can the Commission state whether it is aware that the signing of such an association agreement with Ukraine will extend the geopolitical choices for the EU and its Eastern European Policy?

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

(24 June 2013)

On 10 December 2012, the Foreign Affairs Council reaffirmed its readiness to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including its DCFTA, as soon as the Ukrainian authorities demonstrate determined action and tangible progress in three key areas, possibly by the time of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit on 28/29 November this year: appropriate follow-up actions to the 2012 parliamentary elections; addressing the issue of selective justice and preventing its recurrence; and implementing the reforms set out in the jointly agreed Association Agenda. Additional expectations were listed in relation to the need for Ukraine to take determined actions to improve its deteriorating business and investment climate.

On 15 May 2013, the Commission adopted the proposal for a Council Decision on the Signing and Provisional Application of the Association Agreement. The Commission's proposals was a necessary step in order to enable the EU technically to move ahead with the preparatory arrangements to enable a possible signing at the Vilnius Summit. At the same time, the Commission takes the view that the signing of the Agreement remains conditional on determined action and tangible progress by Ukrainian authorities on all of the benchmarks set out by the 2012 Council Conclusions. The Commission together with the EEAS will continue to monitor Ukraine's progress.

It is now up to the Ukrainian authorities to address the outstanding issues in order to enable the signing of the Agreement. This would represent a historic breakthrough in EU-Ukraine relations.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005558/13

do Komisji

Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Informacje na temat toczących się procedur wobec Polski na podstawie art. 31 z Rozporządzenia Rady (WE) nr 1290/2005

1.

Jakie procedury w odniesieniu do Polski są toczone na podstawie art. 31 z Rozporządzenia Rady(WE) nr 1290/2005 w sprawie finansowania WPR?

2.

Ile toczy się takich procedur dotyczących wyłączenia z finansowania Unii Europejskiej, jakiego rodzaju środków one dotyczą i jakich kwot?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Daciana Cioloşa w imieniu Komisji

(12 lipca 2013 r.)

1.

Komisja nie ujawnia takich informacji na temat toczących się procedur kontroli zgodności rozliczeń.

2.

Finansowanie UE dla Polski w ramach Europejskiego Funduszu Rolniczego Gwarancji (EFRG) i Europejskiego Funduszu Rolnego na rzecz Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich (EFRROW) nie zostało zawieszone.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005558/13

to the Commission

Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Information on current proceedings against Poland under Article 31 of Council Directive (EC) No 1290/2005

1.

What proceedings are currently pending against Poland under Article 31 of Council Directive (EC) No 1290/2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy?

2.

How many of the proceedings which are pending relate to the suspension of EU funding, and what type and what amount of funding is involved?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(12 July 2013)

1.

The Commission does not disclose such information on its open conformity clearance proceedings.

2.

There is no suspension of EU funding for Poland as far as the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) or the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) are concerned.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-005559/13

adresată Comisiei

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(20 mai 2013)

Subiect: Sectorul laptelui

Împreună cu alte state membre, România a solicitat prelungirea cotelor de lapte după 2015, dar această măsură a fost respinsă. La 31 decembrie 2013 expiră și procesarea laptelui neconform, iar Comisia Europeană nu mai acceptă încă o prelungire.

În aceste condiții, peste 800.000 de mici fermieri riscă să dispară după eliminarea cotelor de lapte din 2015.

Ca atare, care este strategia Comisiei și cum pot fi efectiv ajutați micii fermieri din sectorul laptelui, care riscă să dispară după 2015?

Răspuns dat de dl Cioloș în numele Comisiei

(10 iulie 2013)

Prin introducerea cotelor pentru lapte, sectorul produselor lactate a fost restructurat pentru obținerea unor unități de producție mai viabile din punct de vedere economic: în ultimii 10 ani, aproape 50% din fermierii producători de lactate și-au încetat activitatea, dar producția a fost preluată de alții.

Pe lângă ceea ce a fost deja prevăzut în propunerile legislative pentru PAC de după 2013 în ceea ce privește sprijinul pentru sectorul laptelui, Comisia desfășoară în prezent un studiu suplimentar pentru a obține o analiză prospectivă privind cea mai probabilă evoluție a sectorului laptelui bazată pe punctul de vedere al unui număr de experți independenți, având în vedere eliminarea în viitor a cotelor. Unul dintre cele două subiecte principale incluse în acest studiu este „producția durabilă de lapte, inclusiv dimensiunea sa teritorială”, concentrându-se asupra rolului pe care îl are sectorul laptelui în menținerea unor comunități rurale dinamice, în special în zonele cele mai fragile. Contractantul are sarcina de a identifica regiunile expuse riscurilor, de a descrie elementele care pot sprijini dezvoltarea durabilă a sectorului, inclusiv dimensiunile sale economice și teritoriale și de a propune măsuri adecvate în acest sens.

În plus, propunerea Comisiei privind sprijinul pentru dezvoltarea rurală prevede printre prioritățile sale restructurarea fermelor care se confruntă cu probleme structurale majore, cu scopul de spori competitivitatea și viabilitatea acestora.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005559/13

to the Commission

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Dairy sector

Romania requested, along with other Member States, for milk quotas to be extended after 2015, but this measure has been rejected. The processing of non-compliant milk will also expire on 31 December 2013, with the Commission no longer accepting another extension for this.

In these circumstances, more than 800 000 small farmers are likely to go out of business after the milk quotas are abolished in 2015.

Therefore, what strategy does the Commission have, and what effective assistance can be provided to the small farmers in the dairy sector likely to go out of business after 2015?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2013)

Also with milk quota in place, the dairy sector has been restructured towards economically more viable production units: over the past 10 years nearly 50% of the dairy farmers stopped their activity, but the production was taken over by others.

Apart from what has already been foreseen in the legal proposals for the CAP after 2013 in terms of support for the milk sector, the Commission is currently running an additional study to obtain a prospective analysis on the most likely evolution of the milk sector based on the viewpoints of a number of independent experts in the future context without quotas. One of the two main subjects covered by this study is ‘Sustainable milk production including its territorial dimension’, focusing on the milk sector's role in maintaining vibrant rural communities, especially in the most fragile areas. The contractor is meant to identify regions at risk, describe elements that may underpin the sustainable development of the sector including its economic and territorial dimensions and suggest appropriate actions.

In addition, the Commission proposal for support for rural development contemplates among its priorities the restructuring of farms facing major structural problems, in order to enhance their competitiveness and viability.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005560/13

à Comissão

Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL) e João Ferreira (GUE/NGL)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Dia Internacional dos Museus

A 18 de maio, celebra-se o Dia Internacional dos Museus. As políticas e orientações da União Europeia e do governo português, que têm no chamado «memorando de entendimento» a sua versão mais atual, estão a gerar um insustentável processo de declínio económico, retrocesso social e cultural. Assiste-se à destruição e perversão do princípio de serviço público da Cultura.

As consequências desta situação sobre os museus são dramáticas. Para além do financiamento, os museus enfrentam um condicionamento extremo nas atividades de preservação, investigação e dinamização, devido à rarefação e precariedade de pessoal qualificado e técnica e cientificamente especializado. Esta situação empurra muitos profissionais para o desemprego e os salários dos que permanecem vão sendo reduzidos para níveis insustentáveis. A existência de muitos museus e das suas coleções está seriamente ameaçada e a iniciativa própria vai sendo cerceada. Os museus são recursos únicos que não apenas produzem conhecimento, educam e formam, mas que têm igualmente um papel importante do ponto de vista do seu contributo para o desenvolvimento económico e social. Os museus não podem ser considerados como um adereço da sociedade e a sua função cultural e social não pode ser entendida como um privilégio das elites.

A ameaça pende, não apenas sobre os museus, mas sobre toda a Cultura enquanto serviço público, que deve assegurar a todos o acesso à criação e à fruição cultural. É o papel da Cultura enquanto elemento central na formação da consciência da soberania e da identidade histórico-cultural de cada país e de cada povo e o seu diálogo de iguais com todas as culturas de todos os povos do mundo que está a ser ferido.

Reconhece a Comissão que as políticas e orientações definidas no «memorando de entendimento» e pela União Europeia estão a provocar na Cultura e, em particular, nos museus a sua destruição enquanto serviços públicos, subordinando-os aos mecanismos de mercado e às suas lógicas de lucro?

Resposta dada por AndroullaVassiliou em nome da Comissão

(25 de junho de 2013)

A Comissão concorda com os Senhores Deputados quanto ao papel importante dos museus para a proteção e a promoção do património cultural, a criação de identidade cultural e histórica, bem como à sua ampla contribuição para o desenvolvimento económico e social. No entanto, a União Europeia não dispõe de competências específicas neste domínio. Em conformidade com o artigo 167.° do Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia, a União deveria «incentivar a cooperação entre Estados-Membros e, se necessário, apoiar e completar a sua ação» no domínio da cultura. Por conseguinte, as diversas questões políticas (incluindo o financiamento e o funcionamento de museus), bem como a preservação, a proteção, a conservação e a renovação do património cultural são, antes de mais, uma responsabilidade nacional.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005560/13

to the Commission

Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL) and João Ferreira (GUE/NGL)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: International Museum Day

International Museum Day is celebrated every year on 18 May. EU policies and guidelines and those of the Portuguese Government, the latest version of which are contained in the ‘memorandum of understanding’, are leading to an unsustainable process of economic, social and cultural decline. The principle of culture as a public service is being destroyed and corrupted.

This situation has drastic consequences for museums. In addition to funding issues, museums are facing extremely challenging conditions in their preservation, research and promotional activities, due to the numbers of qualified and technically and scientifically specialised staff being cut and the precariousness of their employment. This situation is forcing many professionals into unemployment and the wages of those who remain are being cut to unsustainable levels. The existence of many museums and their collections is under serious threat and the search is on for the right solution. Museums are unique resources that not only create knowledge, educate and train people, but also play an important role in terms of their contribution to economic and social development. Museums cannot be considered as a luxury for society and their cultural and social function cannot be seen as a privilege of the elite.

There is a threat not only to museums but to all culture as a public service, which must guarantee access for everyone to cultural creation and enjoyment. Culture’s role as a central element in the formation of every country’s and every people’s sense of sovereignty and historical and cultural identity, and their dialogue on an equal basis with all the cultures of all the peoples of the world is being damaged.

Does the Commission acknowledge that the policies and guidelines set out in the ‘memorandum of understanding’ and by the European Union are destroying culture and, in particular, museums as public services, leaving them at the mercy of market mechanisms and their profit-based approach?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2013)

The Commission shares the Honourable Member's view of the important role of museums in terms of protection and promotion of cultural heritage, creation of historical and cultural identity and their wider contribution to economic and social development. However, the European Union does not have a specific competence in this field. According to Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Union should be ‘encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their action’ in the field of culture. Therefore, the different policy issues (including funding and functioning of museums), as well as the upkeep, protection, conservation and renovation of cultural heritage are primarily a national responsibility.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005561/13

à la Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 mai 2013)

Objet: Protection du consommateur dans l'espace aérien

Le territoire d'un État inclut son espace terrestre, maritime mais aussi aérien. Il est désormais courant d'acheter des produits à bord des avions de ligne, et ce par paiement en espèce mais aussi par carte de crédit.

Selon cette logique, une personne survolant le territoire français et utilisant une carte de crédit française dans un avion de ligne ne devrait pas payer de taxes supplémentaires lors de la transaction puisqu'elle se trouve sur le territoire national.

— Les compagnies aériennes européennes surtaxent-elles les transactions effectuées par carte de crédit à bord de leurs avions?

— Les banques surtaxent-elles les transactions effectuées par carte de crédit sur les paiements effectués à bord des avions de ligne européens?

— La Commission n'estime-t-elle pas que cette analyse devrait être prise en compte afin de protéger les consommateurs à bord des avions de ligne?

— Si l'espace aérien est bien la continuité de l'espace territorial, une carte de crédit nationale ne devrait-elle pas être utilisée dans l'espace aérien national sans aucune taxe supplémentaire que ce soit pour le client ou pour la compagnie?

Réponse donnée par Mme Reding au nom de la Commission

(22 juillet 2013)

Conformément à l'article 52, paragraphe 3, de la directive sur les services de paiement (83), les banques ne sont pas autorisées à appliquer de surtaxes.

En ce qui concerne les taxes supplémentaires facturées par les commerçants, préoccupation qui semble être à la base de la question posée par l'Honorable Parlementaire, la disposition susmentionnée précise que le prestataire de services de paiement n'empêche pas le bénéficiaire d'appliquer des frais ou de proposer une réduction au payeur pour l'utilisation d'un instrument de paiement donné. En ce qui concerne les interdictions de surtaxes établies par les États membres eux-mêmes, l'Union ne leur impose pas, à ce stade, de prévoir de telles interdictions. La disposition susmentionnée prévoit que les États membres peuvent interdire ou limiter le droit de demander des frais compte tenu de la nécessité d'encourager la concurrence et de favoriser l'utilisation de moyens de paiement efficaces. Sur cette base, 14 États membres (dont la France) ont décidé d'interdire les surtaxes. La directive sur les services de paiement fait actuellement l'objet d'une révision, et la question des surtaxes sera également examinée. D'après les plans actuels, une modification de la directive devrait être proposée cet été.

La question des surtaxes est également abordée dans la nouvelle directive 2011/83/UE sur les droits des consommateurs (84). Celle-ci prévoit, à l'article 19, que, s'agissant de l'utilisation d'un moyen de paiement donné, les États membres interdisent aux professionnels de facturer aux consommateurs des frais supérieurs aux coûts qu'ils supportent pour l'utilisation de ces mêmes moyens.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005561/13

to the Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Consumer protection in the air

The territory of a Member State includes its land, its maritime waters and also its airspace. It is common practice these days for products to be bought during airline flights, using either cash or a credit card.

Based on this logic, someone using a French credit card in a passenger plane while flying over French territory should not pay additional taxes on the transaction, because they are within French territory.

— Are European airlines levying excess charges for credit card transactions carried out on their planes?

— Are banks levying excess charges for credit card transactions when the payments are made on board European passenger planes?

— Does the Commission not believe that account should be taken of the above facts in order to protect consumers on board passenger planes?

— If airspace is a continuation of land space, should it not be possible to use a credit card issued in any country in the airspace of that country without either the customer or the airline paying any additional taxes?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(22 July 2013)

It follows from Article 52(3) of the Payment Services Directive (85) that banks are not entitled to impose surcharges.

As regards surcharges imposed by merchants, which appear to be the concern underlying the question raised by the Honourable Member, the abovementioned provision specifies that the service provider shall not prevent the payee from requesting from the payer a charge or from offering him a reduction for the use of a given payment instrument. As regards prohibitions of surcharging imposed by Member States themselves, Union law does not at this stage require them to impose such prohibitions. According to the provision referred to above, Member States may prohibit or limit the right of merchants to surcharge taking into account the need to encourage competition and promote the use of efficient payment instruments. 14 Member States have, as a result, decided to prohibit surcharging (including France). The Payment Services Directive is currently subject to a revision, and the issue of surcharging will equally be looked at. According to the current plans, a proposal to amend the directive is scheduled for this summer.

Surcharges are further addressed in the new Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU (86). Its Article 19 requires Member States to prohibit traders from charging consumers, in respect of the use of a given means of payment, fees that exceed the cost borne by the trader for the use of such means.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005562/13

à la Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 mai 2013)

Objet: Application du principe de précaution aux nanomatériaux dans l'Union européenne

Les nanomatériaux sont à l'heure actuelle utilisés dans plus de 2 000 produits de grande consommation. Alors que la toxicité des nanomatériaux manufacturés est avérée, les connaissances scientifiques exactes sur ces matériaux restent lacunaires, et cette hétérogénéité retarde la mise en œuvre de mesures de précaution.

En France, l'Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail (ANSES) a préconisé à plusieurs reprises le principe de précaution du fait du risque potentiel que ces nanomatériaux représentent pour la population, les salariés et les riverains des installations industrielles fabriquant ces produits.

— La Commission estime-t-elle que des mesures de précaution devraient être mises en place pour tenir compte de la toxicité avérée des nanomatériaux?

— Sachant que l'autorité de santé au travail des États-Unis (NIOSH) a préconisé en mars 2013 de limiter la concentration de certains nanomatériaux (nanotubes et nanofibres de carbone) dans certains produits, la Commission compte-t-elle en tenir compte dans ses analyses?

Réponse donnée par M. Potočnik au nom de la Commission

(5 août 2013)

1.

Les dispositions du règlement REACH

1.

Les dispositions du règlement REACH

 (87) reposent explicitement sur le principe de précaution. Elles exigent de manière générale que les substances soient enregistrées avant leur fabrication, leur mise sur le marché ou leur utilisation. De manière implicite, REACH concerne également les nanomatériaux. L'enregistrement permet de déterminer les risques et la façon d'en tenir compte.

2.

Aujourd'hui, des dispositions législatives spécifiques relatives aux nanomatériaux existent pour les produits biocides, les additifs alimentaires, les matériaux en contact avec les aliments, l'information sur les denrées alimentaires, et les cosmétiques.

3.

Le règlement sur les cosmétiques fait clairement référence au principe de précaution

3.

Le règlement sur les cosmétiques fait clairement référence au principe de précaution

 (88). Les produits cosmétiques contenant des nanomatériaux doivent être notifiés à la Commission avant leur mise sur le marché. En cas de doute, une évaluation des risques réalisée par des experts indépendants peut être exigée et, si nécessaire, des mesures restrictives sont prises. Les nanomatériaux servant de colorants, agents conservateurs et filtres ultraviolets ne peuvent être utilisés qu'une fois qu'ils figurent aux annexes concernées du règlement sur les cosmétiques.

4.

Sur la base du niveau actuel des connaissances scientifiques concernant les risques découlant des nanomatériaux, il n'est pas nécessaire d'introduire des mesures spécifiques supplémentaires de gestion de risques pour les nanomatériaux en tant que tels. En matière d'évaluation des risques, la Commission privilégie une approche au cas par cas. Dans le cadre du 7

e

PC, un projet à grande échelle (NANOREG) examinera des questions spécifiques concernant les essais réglementaires des nanomatériaux. Des mesures de gestion de risques appropriées pourront être introduites en améliorant les outils législatifs existants visant à faire face à des risques particuliers. Actuellement, la Commission examine la façon dont les annexes du règlement REACH peuvent être modifiées pour tenir compte des nanomatériaux.

5.

Une proposition de document fixant des critères relatifs aux nanotubes de carbone a été présentée au Comité scientifique compétent en matière de valeurs limites d'exposition professionnelle (CSLEP) par le Centre commun recherche. Cette proposition, qui mentionne l'information l'institut national de la sécurité et de l'hygiène du travail des États-Unis (NIOSH) à laquelle il est fait référence dans la question, devrait être discutée par le CSLEP.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005562/13

to the Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Application of the precautionary principle to nanomaterials in the European Union

Nanomaterials are currently used in over 2 000 consumer products. Although the toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials has been proven, our detailed scientific knowledge of these materials is still incomplete, and this heterogeneity is delaying the implementation of precautionary measures.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) has repeatedly made the case for applying the precautionary principle in view of the potential risk that these nanomaterials pose to the general public and to the people working in and living next to the industrial plants manufacturing these products.

— Does the Commission believe that precautionary measures should be taken in view of the proven toxicity of nanomaterials?

— Does the Commission intend to factor into its analysis the fact that in March 2013 the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended limiting the concentration of certain nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes and nanofibres) in certain products?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(5 August 2013)

1.

The REACH Regulation

1.

The REACH Regulation

 (89)is explicitly underpinned by the precautionary principle. It requires that substances generally must be registered prior to being manufactured, placed on the market or used. Implicitly REACH also covers nanomaterials. The registration enables determining risks and how to address them.

2.

Today specific legislative provisions on nanomaterials exist for Biocidal Products, Food Additives, Food Contact Materials, Food Information, and Cosmetics.

3.

The Cosmetics Regulation explicitly refers to the precautionary principle

3.

The Cosmetics Regulation explicitly refers to the precautionary principle

 (90). Cosmetic products containing nanomaterials must be notified to the Commission before being placed on the market. In case of concern a risk assessment by independent experts can be requested and if necessary restrictive measures may be taken. Nanomaterials used as colorants, preservatives and UV-filters must only be used once they are included in the respective Annexes of the Cosmetics Regulation.

3.

Based on the current level of scientific information about risks from nanomaterials, there are no grounds to introduce additional specific risk management measures for nanomaterials as such. The Commission favours a case by case risk assessment approach. A large FP7 project (NANOREG) will address specific questions for the regulatory testing of nanomaterials. By improving the existing legislative tools to tackle specific risks appropriate risk management measures can be introduced. Currently the Commission examines how the REACH Annexes can be modified to take account of nanomaterials.

5.

A draft criteria document for the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) on Carbon Nanotubes has been submitted by the Joint Research Centre. The draft, which mentions the NIOSH information alluded to in the question, is expected to be discussed by the SCOEL.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005563/13

à la Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 mai 2013)

Objet: Encadrement de la reconnaissance mutuelle des diplômes

Des dérives sur le principe de reconnaissance mutuelle des diplômes sont de plus en plus flagrantes. Récemment, c'est l'université Fernando Pessoa qui a illustré le risque d'un non‐encadrement plus strict des établissements étrangers qui délivrent des diplômes reconnus dans les autres pays européens.

Ainsi, cette université privée portugaise a ouvert des antennes en France et forme des étudiants dans le médical et le paramédical. Les étudiants s'inscrivent donc à l'université portugaise (moyennant d'importants frais de scolarité) afin d'éviter la rude sélection et le numerus clausus imposés en France à ces filières. Les étudiants viennent donc étudier en France dans les antennes de l'université portugaise et disposeront à la fin de leurs études d'un diplôme délivré par l'université portugaise et reconnu en France.

1.

La Commission n'estime-t-elle pas qu'il y a là une dérive du système de reconnaissance mutuelle des diplômes, puisque les universités privées, non soumises à l'approbation du gouvernement, peuvent mettre en place des antennes pour contourner le système mis en place dans un État membre?

2.

Les universités‐antennes ne sont pas officiellement habilitées à délivrer des diplômes; est‐il donc normal de reconnaître officiellement les années de formation accomplies dans ces établissements?

Réponse donnée par M. Barnier au nom de la Commission

(23 juillet 2013)

La directive 2005/36/CE (91) s'applique à la reconnaissance de diplômes officiels délivrés par des autorités désignées à cet effet dans les États membres. D'après les informations dont dispose la Commission, il semble que les diplômes en question aient été délivrés par une université portugaise (92), alors que certaines parties de la formation ont été accomplies en France. Les formations ont été suivies dans des établissements qui n'auraient pas été officiellement autorisés à délivrer de diplômes en France.

La liberté de créer des antennes d'établissements d'enseignement ou de proposer des services transfrontaliers s'applique au domaine de l'éducation, dans la mesure où les formations sont financées essentiellement par des fonds privés (93).

La Cour de justice de l'Union européenne a examiné, dans plusieurs affaires (94), dans quelle mesure un État membre est tenu de reconnaître les diplômes délivrés par un autre État membre lorsque les études ont été entièrement ou partiellement accomplies sur son propre territoire (95). La Cour a invariablement établi (96) que ces diplômes relevaient exclusivement du cadre du système éducatif de l'État membre qui les délivre.

Par conséquent, dans le cas présent, ce n'est pas un établissement français qui délivre le diplôme mais l'université portugaise, suivant ses propres règles.

Toutefois, en vertu de l'article 50, paragraphe 3, de ladite directive, en cas de doutes justifiés, l'État membre d'accueil peut vérifier que certaines conditions sont remplies, par exemple, que la formation dispensée a été officiellement certifiée par l'établissement qui délivre le diplôme.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005563/13

to the Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Framework for the mutual recognition of diplomas

The principle of the mutual recognition of diplomas is being abused ever more blatantly. Most recently, a case involving the University of Fernando Pessoa has highlighted the risk of failing to provide a stricter framework for foreign establishments which award diplomas recognised in the other EU Member States.

This private Portuguese university has opened satellite campuses in France, where it trains medical and paramedical students. This means that students can enrol with a Portuguese university, incurring substantial tuition fees, in order to avoid the rigorous selection process and admission quotas in force in France for these subjects. After completing their studies in the French satellite campuses of the Portuguese university, students end up with a diploma issued by the Portuguese university and recognised in France.

1.

Does the Commission not believe that this represents abuse of the system for the mutual recognition of diplomas, since it means that private universities, which require no state approval, can set up satellite campuses in order to circumvent the system in place in a given Member State?

2.

Satellite universities are not officially authorised to issue diplomas; is it therefore right that the years of training completed in these establishments should be officially recognised?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(23 July 2013)

Directive 2005/36/EC (97) applies to the recognition of formal qualifications issued by authorities designated for this purpose in Member States. From the information available to the Commission, it seems that the diplomas in question were awarded by a Portuguese university (98), while parts of the training were completed in France. The courses were followed in institutions which allegedly were not officially authorised to issue diplomas in France.

The freedom to set up branches of educational establishments or to engage in the cross-border provision of services applies to the field of education, to the extent that the courses are financed essentially from private funds. (99)

The European Court of Justice has examined in several cases (100) to what extent one Member State is obliged to recognise diplomas from another Member State, where the studies were (entirely or partly) completed on their own territory (101). The ECJ has consistently found (102) that such qualifications belong solely to the framework of the educational system of the Member State awarding the qualification.

Accordingly, in the current case it is not a French institution which delivers the diploma, but the Portuguese university under its own rules.

Nonetheless, under Article 50 (3) of the directive, in case of justified doubts, the host Member State may verify the existence of certain conditions e.g. if the training course at the establishment which had provided the training has been formally certified by the awarding institution.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005564/13

à la Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 mai 2013)

Objet: Mise en place d'un système d'alerte enlèvement européen

Le système «Amber Alert» est un système d'alerte en cas d'enlèvement d'enfants qui vise à diffuser largement des messages d'alerte par les stations de radio, l'internet, la télévision. Il est aussi possible pour les citoyens américains de s'inscrire à la liste de diffusion par mail, SMS.

Un système similaire est à l'état de projet pilote dans l'Union européenne: appelé «Alerte Amber Initiative pour l'Europe», il vise à mettre en place un système d'alerte transfrontalière à l'échelle européenne pour les enfants enlevés. Pour le moment, la Commission n'a publié qu'une page web consacrée aux mécanismes d'alerte en ligne qui permet aux citoyens de s'inscrire à une base de données d'alerte et de se tenir informés des disparitions d'enfants en Europe.

L'efficacité d'un tel système réside dans la généralisation de l'information, et non sur une simple base volontaire de quelques citoyens qui s'inscrivent aux alertes.

1.

Pour rendre le système plus efficace, la Commission n'estime-t-elle pas que le futur système

«Amber Alert» européen devrait être automatiquement diffusé?

2.

Le système devrait-il être placé sous le contrôle d'Europol dans le cadre d'une véritable coopération transfrontalière?

Réponse donnée par Mme Reding au nom de la Commission

(31 juillet 2013)

La Commission européenne souhaite attirer l'attention de l'Honorable Parlementaire sur le fait que le projet pilote «Amber Alert Europe» est une initiative privée créée avec le soutien financier du 7e programme-cadre. Il ne s'agit pas d'une initiative de l'Union européenne, et ce projet n'a pas été publié sur le site officiel de l'Union européenne. En outre, il n'a pas été conçu comme un instrument de coopération officielle entre les États membres et ne peut pas être placé sous la surveillance ou la direction d'Europol.

Depuis qu'elle a publié, à la fin de l'année 2008, un document de travail décrivant les bonnes pratiques pour le déclenchement d'une alerte transfrontière en cas d'enlèvement d'enfant (103), la Commission européenne a cherché à promouvoir la coopération entre les États membres dans ce domaine. En outre, des fonds ont été octroyés en permanence depuis 2010, dans le cadre du programme Daphné, pour permettre la mise en place de systèmes d'alertes nationaux en cas d'enlèvement et l'amélioration de la coopération dans les affaires transfrontières. Cette coopération, notamment en termes de transmission des alertes et d'échange d'informations détaillées en temps réel, se fait actuellement par l'intermédiaire du système d'information Schengen et des bureaux nationaux Sirène.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005564/13

to the Commission

Philippe Boulland (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Establishment of a European abduction alert system

The ‘AMBER Alert’ system is a child abduction alert system aimed at the wide distribution of alert messages via radio, the Internet and television. US citizens can also subscribe to updates via e-mail and text message.

A similar system is currently running as a pilot project in the European Union. Known as the ‘AMBER Alert Initiative for Europe’, its aim is to establish a cross-border European alert system for abducted children. So far the Commission has published only one web page with details of online alert mechanisms and how citizens can subscribe to an alert database to stay informed about cases of missing children in Europe.

In order for a system of this kind to be effective, it is important for information to be widely disseminated instead of relying on the willingness of certain citizens to subscribe to alerts.

1.

In order to make the system more effective, does the Commission not believe that the future European

‘Amber Alert’ system should be based on the principle of automatic dissemination?

2.

Should the system be placed under the aegis of Europol in order to achieve genuine cross-border cooperation?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(31 July 2013)

The European Commission would like to draw the Honourable Member's attention to the fact that the ‘Amber Alert Europe’ pilot project is a private initiative which was set up with financial support from the FP7 Programme. It is neither an initiative of the European Union nor has it been published on the European Union's official website. Furthermore, it is not intended as a formal cooperation instrument between Member States and cannot be placed under the oversight or management of Europol.

Since the European Commission published the ‘Best practices for launching a cross-border child abduction alert’ (104) at the end of 2008, it has sought to promote cooperation among the Member States in this field. Furthermore, funding has been provided continuously since 2010, through the Daphne programme, to set up national abduction alert systems and to enhance cooperation in cross-border cases. Such cooperation, including instant transmission of alerts and exchange of detailed information, is currently operational through the Schengen Information System and the national SIRENE bureaus.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005565/13

alla Commissione

Sonia Alfano (ALDE)

(20 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Parere motivato relativo alla procedura d'infrazione n. 2010/4227 e deferimento alla Corte di Giustizia dell'Unione europea

Il 21 novembre 2012 la Commissione europea, nell'ambito della procedura d'infrazione n. 2010/4227, aperta grazie alla denuncia del signor. Marco Bazzoni, ha trasmesso al governo italiano le sue osservazioni circa il non corretto recepimento della direttiva 89/391/CEE. Il parere motivato è un documento nel quale si espone chiaramente e a titolo definitivo i motivi per i quali si ritiene che vi sia stata violazione del diritto dell'Unione e con cui si ingiunge allo Stato membro di conformarsi al diritto europeo entro un dato termine, in genere entro due mesi.

Nella risposta all'interrogazione parlamentare E-001789/2013, la Commissione comunicava che le autorità italiane avevano risposto al parere motivato in data 24 Gennaio 2013 e che la risposta era all'analisi dei servizi competenti. Nella lettera Ares(2013)1013528 del 6 maggio 2013 inviata al signor Bazzoni, i servizi della Commissione europea contemplavano l'opportunità di proporre al Collegio della Commissione, che la questione relativa al differimento dell'obbligo di presentare un documento di valutazione del rischio nel caso di imprese nuove o di cambiamenti sostanziali per le imprese esistenti vada deferita alla Corte di giustizia dell'Unione europea (CGUE).

Per l'esonero del datore di lavoro in caso di delega e subdelega, i servizi della Commissione, sulla base della risposta italiana al parere motivato, comunicavano di non disporre di esempi concreti di casi in cui questo sistema di delega e subdelega di funzioni abbia portato a una violazione della legislazione dell'UE, rivelando così l'inadeguatezza del sistema, e chiedevano al signor. Bazzoni tutte le informazioni, in particolare le decisioni dei tribunali italiani, atte ad aiutare i servizi nella valutazione della questione, invitandolo a rispondergli entro 4 settimane con nuove informazioni, tali da fargli cambiare parere. In caso contrario, questo punto della denuncia sarebbe stato chiuso.

1.

Può la Commissione dire, come mai l'Italia, nonostante avesse avuto due mesi di tempo per adeguarsi al parere motivato, non l'ha fatto, ma ha inviato un'ulteriore risposta, in cui ribadiva le questioni poste con la risposta del 8 Dicembre 2011, con l'intento di fare archiviare la procedura d'infrazione?

2.

Può la Commissione fornire una risposta dettagliata sul perché, nonostante il parere motivato, nonostante l'Italia non si fosse adeguata a tale parere entro 2 mesi, non ha deferito subito l'Italia alla CGUE?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(9 luglio 2013)

A norma dell’articolo 17 del trattato sull’Unione europea la Commissione ha il compito di vigilare sull’applicazione del diritto dell’Unione, sotto il controllo della Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea.

Secondo quanto stabilito all’articolo 258 del trattato sul funzionamento dell’Unione europea (TFUE) se uno Stato membro non si conforma al parere motivato emesso dalla Commissione, questa può adire la Corte di giustizia.

Il TFUE attribuisce esplicitamente alla Commissione il potere discrezionale di adire la Corte. Tale interpretazione trova conferma nella giurisprudenza costante della Corte. Ad esempio, nella causa 247/87 (105) la Corte ha ritenuto che:

Infatti solo se ritiene che lo Stato membro sia venuto meno ad uno degli obblighi che gli incombono la Commissione emette un parere motivato. Inoltre, nell'ipotesi in cui lo Stato non si conformi a detto parere nel termine prescritto, l'istituzione ha comunque il potere, ma non l'obbligo, di adire la Corte onde far accertare la presunta inosservanza.

L’obiettivo della Commissione in un procedimento per infrazione consiste nel vigilare sull’applicazione del diritto dell’Unione. Tale obiettivo può essere conseguito in vari modi, dei quali adire la Corte è solo uno. Tale rinvio non è fine a se stesso.

La Commissione sta proseguendo i lavori sul procedimento per infrazione 2010/4227. In seguito all’analisi della risposta al parere motivato fornito dall’Italia il denunciante all'origine di tale procedimento per infrazione è stato in particolare informato in merito ad alcuni aspetti delle argomentazioni legali formulate dalle autorità italiane. Il suddetto denunciante ha quindi fornito nuovi elementi che sono attualmente oggetto di analisi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005565/13

to the Commission

Sonia Alfano (ALDE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Reasoned opinion on infringement procedure No 2010/4227 and referral to the European Court of Justice

In the context of infringement procedure No 2010/4227, initiated as a result of a complaint from Mr Marco Bazzoni, on 21 November 2012 the Commission sent the Italian Government, in the form of a reasoned opinion, its observations concerning the failure to implement Directive 89/391/EEC correctly. A reasoned opinion is a document which sets out, clearly and definitively, the reasons why the Commission believes there has been a breach of EC law, and it contains an instruction to Member States to comply with EC law by a given deadline, which is generally set at two months.

In the Commission’s answer to Written Question E-001789/2013 it stated that the Italian authorities had replied to the reasoned opinion on 24 January 2013 and that their reply was being evaluated by the relevant department. In letter Ares(2013)1013528 of 6 May 2013, forwarded to Mr Bazzoni, the Commission department suggested that the College of Commissioners might be asked to refer to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) the issue of deferring the deadline for complying with the requirement to submit a risk assessment in connection with the establishment of new businesses or in the event of significant changes to existing businesses.

As regards the release of the employer from his responsibilities in the event of delegation or sub-delegation of work, on the basis of the Italian response to the reasoned opinion the Commission stated that it did not have concrete examples of cases where this arrangement had led to a breach of EC law and thus provided evidence of the inadequacy of the arrangements. The Commission asked Mr Bazzoni to supply all the relevant information, in particular the Italian court rulings, in order to help the competent department assess the issues involved. The Commission requested that he reply within four weeks submitting new information such as to make the department change its mind, otherwise that aspect of the complaint would be declared closed.

1.

Can the Commission say why Italy, despite having had two months to meet the requirements set out in the reasoned opinion, failed to do so and instead sent another reply reiterating the problems set out in its reply of 8 December 2011 with the intention of securing the closure of the infringement procedure?

2.

Can the Commission explain in detail why it did not refer Italy immediately to the CJEU, even though it issued a reasoned opinion and even though Italy failed to meet the requirements set out therein within two months?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2013)

Under Article 17 of the Treaty on the European Union, the Commission is entrusted with overseeing the application of Union law under the control of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In accordance with Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), if a Member State does not comply with the reasoned opinion delivered by the Commission, the latter may bring the matter before the Court of Justice.

The TFEU clearly gives the Commission discretionary power in bringing cases before the Court. This interpretation is supported by the Court’s constant case law. For example, in Case 247/87 (106) the Court took the view that:

It is only if it considers that the Member State in question has failed to fulfil one of its obligations that the Commission delivers a reasoned opinion. Furthermore, in the event that the State does not comply with the opinion within the period allowed, the institution has in any event the right, but not the duty, to apply to the Court of Justice for a declaration that the alleged breach of obligations has occurred.

The Commission's aim in an infringement procedure is to oversee the application of Union law. That aim can be achieved in several ways, only one of which involves referring the matter to the Court. Such referral is not an aim in itself.

The Commission is continuing its work on infringement procedure 2010/4227. In particular, further to the analysis of the reply to the reasoned opinion provided by Italy, the complainant at the basis of this infringement proceeding, was informed about some aspects of the legal argumentation put forward by the Italian authorities. As a result, the mentioned complainant submitted new elements which are currently subject to analysis.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005566/13

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(20 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Utilizzo dei Fondi strutturali europei: aggiornamenti

Nella risposta alla mia interrogazione E-005489/2012 su «Utilizzo dei Fondi strutturali europei», la Commissione affermava che, in data 1 giugno 2012, a favore dell'Italia erano stati stanziati 28,7 miliardi di euro in Fondi strutturali per il periodo di programmazione 2007-2013 e che ne erano stati spesi solamente 7.

Rimandava inoltre, per la consultazione sui livelli di spesa dei programmi regionali italiani, al sito della Ragioneria Generale dello Stato, alla sezione «Monitoraggio interventi comunitari programmazione 2007-2013».

Considerando che il sito in questione non è più aggiornato dal giugno 2012, può la Commissione indicare:

Qual è l'ammontare complessivo dei Fondi strutturali impiegati dal sistema Italia alla data della risposta alla presente interrogazione?

Qual è l'ammontare dei Fondi strutturali erogati per ogni singola Regione alla data della risposta alla presente interrogazione?

Sono stati erogati fondi europei per la creazione e il mantenimento del sito indicato e, in caso affermativo, come spiega il venir meno del servizio per il cittadino italiano?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(12 luglio 2013)

Le informazioni richieste sono ora disponibili sul portale «OpenCoesione» del nuovo sito web www.opencoesione.it, che sostituisce il sito menzionato dall'onorevole parlamentare. Il nuovo portale, presentato al Parlamento il 14 ottobre 2012, presenta i dati forniti dal sistema di monitoraggio (MonitWeb) dei programmi italiani finanziati dal Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale e dal Fondo sociale europeo gestito dal Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze dello Stato italiano (MEF-RGS-IGRUE).

Il portale in questione, basato sul modello «open data», permette al pubblico di accedere direttamente allo stato di avanzamento di qualsiasi progetto o programma.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005566/13

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Use of European Structural Funds: updates

In its answer to my question E-005489/2012 on the ‘Use of European Structural Funds’, the Commission stated that, on 1 June 2012, Italy was allocated EUR 28.7 billion of structural funding for the 2007-2013 programming period and that only EUR 7 billion had been spent.

Moreover, in order to view the spending levels of all Italian regional programmes, the Commission referred me to the ‘Monitoring of EU measures for the 2007-2013 programming period’ section of the State General Accounting Department’s website.

Since the website in question has not been updated since June 2012, can the Commission indicate:

the total amount of Structural Funds used by Italy as of the date of the answer to this question;

the amount of Structural Funds allocated to each region as of the date of the answer to this question;

whether EU funds were allocated for the creation and maintenance of the aforementioned website, and if so, can it explain why this service for Italian citizens has not been updated?

(Version française)

Les informations demandées sont maintenant disponibles sur le portail «OpenCoesione», du nouveau site web www.opencoesione.it qui remplace le site mentionné par l'Honorable Parlementaire. Ce portail, qui a été présenté au Parlement le 14 octobre 2012, reprend les données fournies par le systéme de monitorage (MonitWeb) des programmes italiens financés au titre du Fonds européen de développement régional et du Fonds social européen géré par le ministère italien de l'économie et des finances (MEF-RGS-IGRUE).

Le portail, qui est basé sur le modèle «open data», permet au public d'accéder directement à l'état d'avancement de chaque projet et programme.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-005567/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (PPE)

(20 Μαΐου 2013)

Θέμα: Έλλειψη ανθρώπινου δυναμικού στην παροχή μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας — Αξιολόγηση σχεδιασμού

Σύμφωνα με στοιχεία (107) της Αllianz περισσότερα από 50 εκατομμύρια πολίτες της ΕΕ θα χρίζουν μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας το 2060, όπου ο αριθμός των ατόμων με ηλικία μεγαλύτερη των 65 αναμένεται να ανέλθει σε 152 εκατομμύρια. Την ίδια στιγμή, σύμφωνα με έκθεση (108) της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής υπολογίζεται πως θα υπάρξει δυναμικό έλλειμμα 2 εκατομμυρίων εργαζομένων στην υγεία μέχρι το 2020, αν συμπεριληφθούν και τα επαγγέλματα που σχετίζονται με τη μακροχρόνια φροντίδα, ενώ, μόνο σε επίπεδο νοσηλευτών, το έλλειμμα υπολογίζεται σε 590 000 εργαζόμενους με αποτέλεσμα να μην καλύπτεται το 14% των συνολικών υπηρεσιών. Δεδομένου ότι υφίστανται ήδη πρωτοβουλίες (109) και προετοιμασία για την κάλυψη αναγκών σε επίπεδο δεξιοτήτων, καινοτόμων τρόπων κατάρτισης και εκπαίδευσης αλλά και των κατευθύνσεων για το χώρο της υγείας για την περίοδο 2014-2020 (110) σχετικά με την αντιμετώπιση των ελλείψεων σε ανθρώπινο δυναμικό, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Σε ποια κράτη μέλη εντοπίζονται στην παρούσα φάση οι μεγαλύτερες ελλείψεις ανθρώπινου δυναμικού στο χώρο της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας;

Θεωρεί ότι ο σχεδιασμός, ενόψει της νέας περιόδου που επικεντρώνεται κυρίως στον προγραμματισμό, την κινητικότητα, τη μετανάστευση και στην ανάπτυξη ικανοτήτων, μπορεί να καλύψει επαρκώς το βασικό ζητούμενο που είναι η προσέλκυση νέων επαγγελματιών στο χώρο της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας; Ποιες συγκεκριμένες δράσεις έχουν προβλεφθεί προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση;

Διαθέτει στοιχεία για διεθνείς βέλτιστες πρακτικές όσον αφορά την ενίσχυση της προσφοράς ανθρώπινου δυναμικού σε ένα τέτοιο τομέα;

Απάντηση του κ. Borg εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(15 Ιουλίου 2013)

1.

Δεν υπάρχουν αρκετά συγκρίσιμα ευρωπαϊκά δεδομένα για να εκτιμηθούν οι ελλείψεις σε ανθρώπινους πόρους στον τομέα της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας, γεγονός που εν μέρει οφείλεται στην έλλειψη σαφούς καθορισμού του προσωπικού φροντίδας, που καλύπτει νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό και προσωπικούς φροντιστές, και επίσης στην έλλειψη ενημέρωσης για τον μεγάλο αριθμό άτυπων φροντιστών που παρέχουν υπηρεσίες μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας. Σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ΟΟΣΑ

1.

Δεν υπάρχουν αρκετά συγκρίσιμα ευρωπαϊκά δεδομένα για να εκτιμηθούν οι ελλείψεις σε ανθρώπινους πόρους στον τομέα της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας, γεγονός που εν μέρει οφείλεται στην έλλειψη σαφούς καθορισμού του προσωπικού φροντίδας, που καλύπτει νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό και προσωπικούς φροντιστές, και επίσης στην έλλειψη ενημέρωσης για τον μεγάλο αριθμό άτυπων φροντιστών που παρέχουν υπηρεσίες μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας. Σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ΟΟΣΑ

 (111), λιγότερο από το 5% του συνόλου των εργαζομένων στον τομέα της υγείας απασχολούνται στον τομέα της φροντίδας στην Ουγγαρία, στη Σλοβενία, στην Αυστρία, στην Εσθονία και στην Τσεχική Δημοκρατία, σε αντίθεση με 10% στη Δανία και 9% στη Σουηδία.

2.

Δεν έχει προγραμματιστεί καμία ειδική δράση σε επίπεδο ΕΕ για την προσέλκυση νέων επαγγελματιών στον τομέα της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας. Ωστόσο, το σχέδιο δράσης της ΕΕ για το εργατικό δυναμικό στον τομέα της υγείας

2.

Δεν έχει προγραμματιστεί καμία ειδική δράση σε επίπεδο ΕΕ για την προσέλκυση νέων επαγγελματιών στον τομέα της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας. Ωστόσο, το σχέδιο δράσης της ΕΕ για το εργατικό δυναμικό στον τομέα της υγείας

 (112), που φιλοδοξεί να συμβάλει στην αντιμετώπιση των προβλημάτων που αντιμετωπίζει ο τομέας της υγείας στην ΕΕ και να δώσει ώθηση στην απασχόληση, περιλαμβάνει δύο σχετικές δράσεις για τον τομέα μακροπρόθεσμης φροντίδας: πρώτον, μια ευρωπαϊκή μελέτη χαρτογράφησης καινοτόμων στρατηγικών των κρατών μελών για την πρόσληψη και την παραμονή σε επαγγέλματα του τομέα της υγείας (113), συμπεριλαμβανομένου του νοσηλευτικού προσωπικού φροντίδας. Δεύτερον, μια μελέτη σκοπιμότητας για την δημιουργία ενός τομεακού συμβουλίου δεξιοτήτων στον τομέα της νοσηλείας και της φροντίδας που διενεργήθηκε με τη χρηματοδοτική στήριξη της ΕΕ (114).

3.

Μελέτη του ΟΟΣΑ

3.

Μελέτη του ΟΟΣΑ

 (115), που συγχρηματοδοτήθηκε από την Επιτροπή, παρέχει μια διεθνή επισκόπηση των στρατηγικών για την προσαρμογή της παροχής προσωπικού μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας στην αυξανόμενη ζήτηση και περιλαμβάνει πληροφορίες σχετικά με χώρες του ΟΟΣΑ που έχουν αναπτύξει ειδικά προγράμματα κατάρτισης για να προσελκύσουν εργαζομένους στον τομέα της μακροχρόνιας φροντίδας.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005567/13

to the Commission

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Shortage of human resources for long-term care/planning evaluation

According to information from Allianz (116), over 50 million EU citizens will be reliant on long-term care by 2060, at which point there are expected to be 152 million people over 65 years old. At the same time, according to a European Commission report (117), there is expected to be a shortfall of 2 million healthcare workers by 2020, including long-term carers. There is expected to be a shortfall of 590 000 nurses, meaning that 14% of care required will not be covered. Given that initiatives have already been taken (118) and preparations are being made to meet requirements in terms of skills, innovative training and education methods and action in the health sector for 2014‐2020 (119), in order to address the shortage of human resources, will the Commission say:

Which Member States have the largest shortfall in human resources in the long-term care sector?

Does it consider that planning in the run-up to the new period, which focuses mainly on programming, mobility, immigration and the skill development, can adequately address the basic problem, which is to attract new professionals to the long-term care sector? What specific action has been planned in this direction?

Does it have information on international best practices to improve the supply of human resources in such sectors?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

1.

There is a lack of comparable European data to estimate shortfalls in human resources in the long-term care sector, partly due to the challenge of defining care personnel, which covers nursing and personal carers, and also the lack of information on the high number of informal carers who provide long-term care. According to OECD data

1.

There is a lack of comparable European data to estimate shortfalls in human resources in the long-term care sector, partly due to the challenge of defining care personnel, which covers nursing and personal carers, and also the lack of information on the high number of informal carers who provide long-term care. According to OECD data

 (120), less than 5% of all health workers were employed in the care sector in Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Estonia and the Czech Republic, in contrast to 10% in Denmark and 9% in Sweden.

2.

There is no specific EU-level action planned to attract new professionals to the long-term care sector. However, the EU Action Plan for the Health Workforce

2.

There is no specific EU-level action planned to attract new professionals to the long-term care sector. However, the EU Action Plan for the Health Workforce

 (121), which aims to help tackle the challenges facing the EU healthcare sector and to boost jobs, includes two relevant actions for the long term care sector: first, a European study mapping Member States' innovative strategies to recruit and retain people in the health professions (122), including nursing care personnel. Secondly, a feasibility study for the establishment of an EU sector skills council in the area of nursing and care was carried out with the financial support of the EU (123).

3.

An OECD study

3.

An OECD study

 (124), co-funded by the Commission, provides an international overview of strategies to adapt the supply of the long-term care health workforce to growing demand and includes information on OECD countries which have developed specific training programmes to attract long-term care workers.

(Suomenkielinen versio)

Kirjallisesti vastattava kysymys E-005568/13

komissiolle

Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

(20. toukokuuta 2013)

Aihe: Komission alaisen e-Prior-ryhmän toiminta

Komission alaisuuteen perustettu e-Prior-ryhmä kutsui vuonna 2012 yhdessä PricewaterhouseCoopers ‐tilintarkastusyhteisön (PwC) kanssa yksityisiä sähköisen hankinnan alan toimijoita osallistumaan hankkeeseen nimeltä ”Sähköisen hankinnan hyvien käytäntöjen kultainen kirja”. Toimijoille kerrottiin, että kyseisen hankkeen tavoitteena oli koota yhteen Euroopan julkisten hankintojen parhaat käytännöt. Osallistuville yrityksille, jotka olivat pääosin pk-yrityksiä, taattiin, että kaikkea tietoa käsiteltäisiin luottamuksellisesti eikä sitä käytettäisi väärin tai luovutettaisi muille.

Maaliskuussa 2013 PwC kuitenkin esitteli Euroopan laajuista sähköistä hankintamenettelyjärjestelmää (eTendering) koskevan etenemissuunnitelman yhteistyössä e‐Prior-ryhmän kanssa. Kävi ilmi, että kyseinen järjestelmä perustui kokonaan pienehköjen sähköisen hankinnan alan yritysten kehittämiin toimintatapoihin, jotka kyseiset yritykset olivat aiemmin luottamuksellisesti paljastaneet PwC:lle ja e-Prior-ryhmälle. Julkisuuteen kerrottiin, että uuteen järjestelmään kuuluisi kaikkiaan 24 parasta käytäntöä, jotka PwC oli kerännyt markkinoilla olevien järjestelmien joukosta. Kyseisen uuden järjestelmän kehittäisi e‐Prior‐ryhmä, neuvonantajanaan PwC, ja kehittäjinä olisivat samat henkilöt, joilla oli aiemmin pääsy sähköisiltä hankintayrityksiltä kerättyyn luottamukselliseen tietoon.

— Oliko tiedonkeruun alkuperäisenä tarkoituksena käyttää saatua tietoa Kultaisen kirjan laatimisen lisäksi myös eTendering-järjestelmän rakentamisessa? Miksi komission e‐Prior-ryhmä ei tässä tapauksessa selkeästi kertonut tästä hankkeeseen osallistuneille yrityksille?

— Katsooko komissio, että e-Prior-ryhmän ja PwC:n toiminta on tässä tapauksessa ollut oikeudenmukaista ja laillista, kun otetaan huomioon, että ne ovat käyttäneet väärin luottamuksellista tietoa muun muassa kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin?

— Katsooko komissio, että muiden edellä mainittuihin hankkeisiin osallistuneiden yritysten, joista suurin osa on pk-yrityksiä, tekijänoikeudet on asianmukaisesti turvattu?

— Havaitseeko komissio minkäänlaista ristiriitaa siinä, että sen rahoittaman eTendering‐alustan kehittämisestä vastaa yritys, joka on käyttänyt väärin luottamuksellista tietoa?

Michel Barnier’n komission puolesta antama vastaus

(15. heinäkuuta 2013)

Komissio kutsui vuonna 2012 yhdessä PwC:n (125) kanssa sähköisiin hankintamenettelyihin liittyviä palveluntarjoajia osallistumaan hankkeeseen ”Sähköisen hankinnan hyvien käytäntöjen kultainen kirja”. Hankkeen tavoitteena oli esittää erilaisia hyviä toimintatapoja kaikille markkinatoimijoille Euroopan sähköisten hankintojen julkisen sektorin toiminnan kasvattamiseksi. Osallistuville tahoille ilmoitettiin, että ”kultainen kirja” julkaistaisiin, jotta siitä olisi etua laajemmin, tuomatta esiin mitään tahoa erikseen (kaikki tiedot kerättiin nimettöminä), ja että konsulttiyritys käsittelisi kaikkia luottamuksellisia tietoja asianmukaisesti.

e-Prior-hanke käynnistyi vuonna 2007, ja PwC on yksi monista hankkeeseen osallistuvista sopimuspuolista liityttyään hankkeeseen tänä vuonna. e-Prior-järjestelmää kehitetään avoimen lisenssijärjestelmän mukaisesti, jotta kaikki jäsenvaltioiden viranomaiset voivat käyttää sitä perustana luodessaan omaa räätälöityä järjestelmäänsä. Tavoitteena on alentaa kustannuksia siirryttäessä sähköisiin julkisiin hankintoihin kaikkialla EU:ssa. Muiden järjestelmien tavoin e-Prior-järjestelmän eritelmiä voidaan tarkistaa, jotta varmistetaan, että ne ovat kultaisen kirjan suositusten mukaiset. e-Prior ei ole pakollinen EU:n laajuinen sähköinen tarjousjärjestelmä, koska markkinoilla on saatavilla monia muita järjestelmiä.

PwC on tehnyt hyväksytyn tarjouksen näistä kahdesta sopimuksesta komission kanssa. PwC:tä sitoo kultainen kirja ‐hankkeen luottamuksellisuuslauseke, eikä komission tiedossa ole, että PwC olisi kerännyt tai paljastanut mitään kaupallisesti arkaluonteista tietoa, minkä kultainen kirja ‐hankkeeseen osallistuneet tahot olisivat väitteen mukaan vapaaehtoisesti paljastaneet. Arvoisan parlamentin jäsenen kysymyksen seurauksena komissio kuitenkin selvittää PwC:ltä, että se on noudattanut asianmukaisesti luottamuksellisuuslauseketta.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005568/13

to the Commission

Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Actions of e-Prior group within the Commission

In 2012 the e-Prior group set up within the Commission, together with the audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), invited private e-procurement suppliers to participate in a project called the ‘Golden Book of e-Procurement Good Practice’. The goal of this project, as communicated to suppliers, was to create a set of best practices for European public sector procurement. The participant companies (mainly SMEs) were given a guarantee that all information would be treated in confidentiality and would not be misused or shared.

However, in March 2013 PwC, in cooperation with the e-Prior group, presented a roadmap for a Europe-wide eTendering system. It turned out that this system was built entirely on features which smaller e-procurement companies had developed and had earlier made available to PwC and the e-Prior group on a basis of confidentiality. The audience was told that the new system would include all of the 24 best practices which PwC had gathered from the existing systems on the market. This new system was to be developed by the e-Prior group, with PwC acting in an advisory role, and by the same people who had earlier had access to the confidential information of e-procurement companies.

— Was the original purpose of the information-gathering to use this information not only to create the Golden Book but also subsequently in the creation of the eTendering system? If so, why did the Commission’s e-Prior group not clearly inform the participant companies of this?

— Does the Commission consider the practices of the e-Prior group and PwC to be fair and legal in this case, given that they have misused confidential information, including for commercial purposes?

— Does the Commission consider that the property rights of the other companies, most of them SMEs, involved in the abovementioned projects have been properly safeguarded?

— Does the Commission see any contradiction in funding the development of an eTendering platform operated by a company that has misused confidential information?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

In 2012 the Commission, together with PwC (126) invited e-procurement service providers to participate in a project called the ‘Golden Book of e-Procurement Good Practice’. The goal of this project was to set out a range of best practices for all market participants in order to stimulate the growth of European public sector of e-procurement. The participating platforms were informed that the Golden Book would be published for the benefit of the wider public, without endorsing any specific platform (all the information collected has been made anonymous) and any confidential information treated with due confidence by the consultant.

The e-Prior project started in 2007 and PwC is one of the many contractors taking part in it since the company joined the project this year. The e-Prior system is built under an open license scheme to enable any interested authorities in Member States to use it as a basis for creating their own customised system. The objective is to lower the cost of e-procurement adoption across the EU. Like any other platform, e-Prior system specifications could be reviewed to ensure compliance with the Golden Book recommendations. E-Prior is not an obligatory EU-wide e-tendering system, as a large range of other systems are available on the market.

PwC has been the successful bidder for these two contracts with the Commission. PwC is bound by a confidentiality clause in the Golden Book project and the Commission is not aware of PwC collecting or disclosing any commercially sensitive information, which are alleged to have been voluntarily revealed by the participants to the Golden Book project. However, following the question from the Honourable Member, the Commission will inquire with PwC whether the confidentiality clause had been duly kept.

(Magyar változat)

Írásbeli választ igénylő kérdés E-005569/13

a Bizottság számára

Tabajdi Csaba Sándor (S&D), Göncz Kinga (S&D) és Herczog Edit (S&D)

(2013. május 20.)

Tárgy: Szélsőjobboldali erőszak Ukrajnában

A szélsőjobboldali ukrajnai Szvoboda (Szabadság) párt a 2012-es ukrajnai parlamenti választáson parlamenti erővé vált, ami azzal fenyeget, hogy elfogadottá válnak Ukrajnában a szélsőséges, idegengyűlölő, kisebbségellenes, antiszemita eszmék és jelszavak. A párt elnöke „moszkvai zsidó maffiáról” beszélt, a párt egyik képviselője pedig gyűlöletkeltően nyilatkozott egy ukrán zsidó származású amerikai színésznőről. A Szvoboda párt politikusai a kampány alatt több alkalommal tettek antiszemita kijelentéseket és tartottak megfélemlítő, idegengyűlölő és antiszemita felvonulásokat is Nyugat-Ukrajnában.

Vélhetően szintén a Szvoboda párthoz köthető ukrán nacionalisták március 15-én két magyarországi kirándulócsoportra támadtak rá Ungváron – melyek zömét kiskorú gyerekek alkották –, és becsmérlő szavak mellett letépték róluk a magyar nemzeti ünnep tiszteletére viselt kokárdákat. A párt szintén márciusban Beregszászon megfélemlítő célú fáklyás felvonulást tartott a magyar kisebbség ellen, és határozottan fellépett a helyi magyar nyelvű kisebbségi oktatás ellen is.

Az Európai Unió és Ukrajna között tárgyalások folynak a vízumliberalizációról, illetve a szabadkereskedelmi megállapodásról. Az EU az elmúlt két évben többször figyelmeztette Ukrajnát, hogy Julia Tyimosenko ellenzéki vezető bebörtönzése sérti a jogállamiság alapelveit. Többször megfogalmazta, hogy a szabadkereskedelmi megállapodás megkötésének feltétele az emberi jogok tiszteletben tartása.

Mindezt figyelembe véve tervezi-e a Bizottság, hogy figyelmezteti Ukrajnát: elfogadhatatlanok a szélsőjobboldali felvonulások és a kisebbségek tagjai ellen elkövetett erőszakos cselekmények?

Figyelmeztetni kívánja-e a Bizottság az ukrán vezetést arra, hogy a szélsőségek térnyerése negatívan befolyásolhatja Ukrajna közeledését az Európai Unióhoz?

Milyen eszközökkel kívánja a Bizottság biztosítani, hogy Ukrajnában tiszteletben tartsák a kisebbségek, így a magyar közösség jogait?

Catherine Ashton főképviselő/alelnök válasza a Bizottság nevében

(2013. július 8.)

Az EU politikai társulásra és gazdasági integrációra irányuló elkötelezettsége Ukrajna iránt a közös értékek tiszteletben tartásán alapul.

Ebben az összefüggésben a Bizottság szolgálatai és az Európai Külügyi Szolgálat (EKSZ) megkülönböztetés elleni tevékenységének alapja az Európai Unió Alapjogi Chartájának 21. cikke, amely tilt bármilyen – többek között az etnikai vagy társadalmi csoporthoz tartozás és a nemzetiség alapján történő – megkülönböztetést. A cél az ukrán kormány támogatása az európai standardoknak megfelelő átfogó jogi keret kidolgozásában, valamint a reformintézkedések megfelelő végrehajtásának nyomon követése.

A gyűlölet-bűncselekmények állandó jelleggel szerepelnek az Ukrajnával folytatott, megkülönböztetésmentességről szóló tárgyalások napirendjén. A Bizottság szolgálatai és az EKSZ minden kommunikációs csatornát felhasználnak ahhoz, hogy közvetítsék az ukrán kormány felé azt, hogy a megkülönböztetésnek vagy a gyűlölet-bűncselekményeknek kitett személyekkel szembeni erőszakra vonatkozó valamennyi állítást gyorsan és hatékonyan ki kell vizsgálni, és az ilyen erőszakos cselekmények elkövetőit az igazságszolgáltatás elé kell állítani. Mind a nyilvános nyilatkozatokon, mind az EU kijevi küldöttségének munkáján keresztül az Unió továbbra is határozott üzeneteket küld az ukrán hatóságoknak arról, hogy bármilyen megkülönböztetés ellentétben áll Ukrajna EU-val kapcsolatos reformterveivel.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005569/13

to the Commission

Csaba Sándor Tabajdi (S&D), Kinga Göncz (S&D) and Edit Herczog (S&D)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Far-right violence in Ukraine

In the 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine, members of the far-right Ukrainian Freedom Party were elected to the national parliament, the effect of which is a sanctioning of ideas and slogans which are extreme, xenophobic, anti-minority and anti-Semitic. The party’s leader has talked about the ‘Moscow Jewish mafia’, and one of its MPs made a statement about an American actress of Ukrainian-Jewish descent which was liable to incite hatred. A number of times during the campaign, party members made anti-Semitic comments and held demonstrations in western Ukraine which were intimidatory, xenophobic and anti-Semitic.

On 15 March, Ukrainian nationalists, presumably also connected to Svoboda, attacked two groups of Hungarians — made up mainly of young children — who were hiking in Ungvár and, using abusive language, tore off the cockades they were wearing to mark the Hungarian national day. Also in March, the party held a torchlight procession in Beregszász aimed at intimidating the Hungarian minority and has spoken out strongly against the teaching of the Hungarian minority in the area in their own language.

Negotiations are under way between the EU and Ukraine on visa liberalisation and a free trade agreement. Several times during the past two years the EU has warned Ukraine that the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is in breach of the fundamental principles of the rule of law. It has repeatedly stated that the conclusion of a free trade agreement is conditional on respect for human rights.

In light of the above, does the Commission intend to warn Ukraine that demonstrations by far-right groups and violence against members of minorities are unacceptable?

Does it intend to warn the Ukrainian leadership that the rise of extreme groups may have a negative impact on Ukraine’s association with the EU?

What means does the Commission intend to use in order to ensure that the rights of minorities in Ukraine, and in particular those of the Hungarian minority, are respected?

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

(8 July 2013)

The EU’s engagement with Ukraine towards political association and economic integration is based on the respect for common values.

In this context, the Commission services and the European External Action Service (EEAS) base their work of promoting anti-discrimination on Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which prohibits discrimination on any grounds, including ethnic or social group and nationality. The aim is to help the Ukrainian Government develop a comprehensive legislative framework in line with European standards as well as to monitor the appropriate implementation of the reform measures taken.

In the framework of the discussions with Ukraine on anti-discrimination, hate crimes are constantly part of the agenda. The Commission services and the EEAS use all channels of communication with the Ukrainian authorities to convey the message that all allegations of use of violence against people that are subject to discrimination actions or hate crimes must be promptly and effectively investigated and that the perpetrators of such violence should be brought to justice. Through public statements, but also through the work done by the EU Delegation in Kyiv, the EU furthermore continues to pass strong messages to the Ukrainian authorities that discrimination on any grounds is against Ukraine's EU-related reforms agenda.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005570/13

ao Conselho

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Lei europeia das sementes

Considerando que:

Foi discutida recentemente uma proposta de regulamento pelos comissários europeus, que prevê a obrigação de registo de todas as variedades de sementes que possam trocar de mãos, mesmo que cedidas a título gratuito;

Tal proposta trará custos e processos administrativos impeditivos para a maioria dos agricultores que usam sementes próprias, horticultores, associações de preservação de sementes tradicionais e pequenas empresas de produção de sementes;

A maioria dos agricultores diz que o referido regulamento discrimina «severamente as sementes e o material de propagação de plantas de polinização aberta, regionais e tradicionais, a favor das sementes industriais e dos operadores corporativos», pelo que há um risco de inviabilizar «os sistemas informais de troca e venda de sementes, que são a base da segurança alimentar, nomeadamente em países em desenvolvimento»;

Várias associações do setor referem que esta proposta representa um ataque aos agricultores e à «herança biocultural comum», pondo em causa «a maioria das dezenas de milhares de variedades locais de plantas de cultivo, selecionadas e adaptadas por agricultores durante milénios»;

Pergunto ao Conselho:

Em que ponto se encontra a referida situação?

Não considera que, no caso de ser aprovada a proposta de regulamento, iremos incorrer num claro retrocesso em termos de agro-biodiversidade, segurança alimentar e autossuficiência dos países da UE?

Faz sentido um regulamento que beneficiará apenas algumas empresas multinacionais do setor?

Resposta

(11 de setembro de 2013)

Em 6 de maio de 2013, a Comissão adotou um conjunto de propostas (127)referentes a um pacote legislativo com vista a modernizar o quadro legislativo para a organização de controlos oficiais e o acervo em matéria de saúde animal, fitossanidade e material de reprodução vegetal, a fim de reforçar a segurança da cadeia agroalimentar.

Como parte deste pacote, foi enviada ao Conselho em 6 de maio de 2013 a proposta de regulamento do Parlamento Europeu e do Conselho relativo à produção e à disponibilização no mercado de material de reprodução vegetal (legislação aplicável ao material de reprodução vegetal) (128). O quadro legislativo do material de reprodução vegetal baseia‐‐se no artigo 43.° do Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia (TFUE). O Parlamento Europeu será colegislador, nos termos do processo legislativo ordinário.

O Conselho iniciou recentemente os seus debates, não tendo ainda adotado posição.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005570/13

to the Council

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: European seed law

In view of the following:

the fact that the Commission has recently discussed a proposal for a regulation making it mandatory to register all seed varieties that may change hands, even if given away for free;

the fact that this proposal will entail administrative costs and processes that are prohibitive for farmers who use their own seeds, as well as gardeners, associations for preserving traditional seeds and small seed production companies;

the fact that the majority of farmers say that the aforementioned regulation discriminates severely against the seeds and propagating material of regional and traditional open-pollinated plants in favour of industrial seeds and corporate operators, and that this risks rendering unviable informal systems for exchanging and selling seeds, which are the basis of food security, particularly in developing countries;

the fact that several farmers’ organisations say that this proposal represents an attack on farmers and shared biological heritage, jeopardising the majority of the tens of thousands of local crop varieties, selected and adapted by farmers over millennia.

Can the Council state:

What stage has this situation reached?

Does it not take the view that, if this proposal for a regulation is adopted, we will take a clear step backwards in terms of the Member States’ agrobiodiversity, food security and self-sufficiency?

Does a regulation that will only benefit a few agricultural multinationals make sense?

Reply

(11 September 2013)

On 6 May 2013, the Commission adopted a set of proposals (129) concerning a legislative package of reforms with a view to modernising the legal framework governing official controls and animal and plant health and plant reproductive material for a safer food chain.

As part of this package, the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the production and making available on the market of plant reproductive material (plant reproductive material law) (130) was forwarded to the Council on 6th May 2013. The legislative framework for plant reproductive material legislation is based on Article 43 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The European Parliament will be co-legislator under the ordinary legislative procedure.

The Council has just commenced discussions and has not yet adopted its position.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005571/13

a la Comisión

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Por qué no: «Programa Goethe»

El pasado día 7 de mayo recibí la respuesta a mi pregunta «De Erasmus a Goethe» relativa a facilitar el turismo de las personas jubiladas (E-002848/2013). Me ha alegrado conocer la existencia de esos programas de «Turismo Senior» y, ya he buscado más información de otros anteriores como «Calypso». Sin embargo, quisiera conocer más detalles que sin duda me podrá facilitar la Comisión.

1)

¿Me podría indicar la cuantía que, por ejemplo, han aportado las instituciones europeas en el último año a ese programa de

«Turismo Senior»?

2)

¿No cree que podría abrirse a personas de todos los países europeos y no sólo a los nacionales de Bulgaria, Eslovaquia, Lituania, Polonia, República Checa y Rumania, como recoge la convocatoria que he leído en las páginas web

«europeseniorturism.eu»?

3)

Y me permito insistir ¿por qué no bautizar ese programa con el nombre de Goethe, incansable viajero por Europa?

Respuesta del Sr. Tajani en nombre de la Comisión

(31 de julio de 2013)

Es importante aclarar que el programa «Europe Senior Tourism» (131) al que hace referencia Su Señoría no es una iniciativa de la Comisión, sino que se trata de un proyecto español que promueve el turismo en temporada baja ofreciendo a los ciudadanos europeos de más de cincuenta y cinco años la posibilidad de pasar sus vacaciones en España en fechas que no coincidan con la temporada turística alta.

Aprovechando el programa español, así como la iniciativa Calypso (132), entre cuyos grupos destinatarios figuran las personas de cierta edad, en mayo de 2012 la Comisión puso en marcha su iniciativa a escala de la UE titulada «Turismo Senior» (133). Como ya se indicó en la respuesta a la pregunta E-002848/2013, esta iniciativa de la Comisión desea incentivar la creación de un mercado interior transnacional de la UE para viajeros de edad, especialmente durante la temporada baja. A finales de junio de 2013 se publicó una convocatoria de propuestas (134) con un presupuesto de 1 millón de euros destinada a apoyar esta iniciativa de la Comisión.

Además, cinco de los diez proyectos Calypso cofinanciados por la Comisión hasta el momento están centrados específicamente en desarrollar modelos de intercambio transnacional turístico para las personas de cierta edad (135).

Su Señoría puede estar seguro de que estas iniciativas de la Comisión (tanto Calypso como «Turismo Senior»), con una dimensión europea, tienen carácter voluntario y sus destinatarios son todos los Estados miembros de la UE.

En cuanto al nombre que propone Su Señoría para el programa, la Comisión toma nota del mismo y lo tendrá en cuenta si considera necesario cambiar la denominación de la iniciativa «Turismo Senior».

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005571/13

to the Commission

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Why not: ‘Goethe Programme’

On 7 May 2013, I received an answer to my question ‘From Erasmus to Goethe’ on facilitating tourism for retired persons (E-002848/2013). I was pleased to learn of the existence of these ‘Senior Tourism’ programmes and I have already found out more about other earlier programmes, such as ‘Calypso’. However, I should like to know more details, which I am sure the Commission could provide.

1.

Could the Commission indicate the amount that the European institutions have invested in this

‘Senior Tourism’ programme, for example, in the last year?

2.

Does it not think that it could be opened up to people from all European countries and not just citizens who are resident in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, as listed in the notification I read on the

‘europeseniortourism.eu’ website?

3.

May I also emphasise, why not name this programme after Goethe, a tireless traveller throughout Europe?

Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission

(31 July 2013)

It is important to clarify that the ‘Europe Senior Programme’ (136) to which the honourable Member of the Parliament makes reference is not a Commission initiative, but a Spanish national project which promotes low season senior tourism by offering European citizens over the age of 55 the chance to spend their holidays in Spain during the off-peak tourist season.

Capitalising on the Spanish programme as well as on the Calypso initiative (137), whose target groups includes the seniors, in May 2012, the Commission launched its EU-level ‘senior tourism initiative’ (138). As already underlined in the reply to Question E-002848/2013, this Commission initiative wishes to incentivise the creation of an EU transnational domestic market for senior travel, in particular during the low season. A call for proposals (139) for a budget of 1 million EUR was published end of June 2013 to support this Commission initiative.

Further to this, among the 10 Calypso projects co-funded by the Commission so far, 5 projects focused specifically on developing transnational low season tourism exchange models for seniors (140).

The honourable Member of the Parliament can be reassured that the Commission's initiatives (both Calypso and the ‘senior tourism initiative’) have an EU dimension and target, on a voluntary basis, all the EU Member States.

As for the suggested acronym, the Commission will certainly keep note of it, if it will be considered as necessary to rename its ‘senior tourism initiative’.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005572/13

a la Comisión

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Difusión de los logros europeos

El pasado 14 de mayo recibí de la Comisión la respuesta a mi propuesta de singularizar una vez por mes uno de los muchos logros que consiguen las instituciones europeas a través de tradicionales medios de comunicación (referencia E-002847/2013). Creo que no se entendió bien mi idea porque en ningún momento he puesto en duda la labor de los servicios de prensa de las instituciones europeas ni tampoco de las delegaciones de Europe Direct. A mi juicio, habría que considerar que, del mismo modo que las instituciones están promoviendo una desigual difusión de noticias a través de nuevos canales electrónicos privados como Facebook o diversas redes sociales privadas, sería también oportuno seleccionar un logro al mes para presentarlo a la ciudadanía en las cuñas radiofónicas o en las páginas de los periódicos en papel.

No tengo que recordar a la Comisión las grandes diferencias que todavía subsisten entre las cifras de los usuarios de Facebook o redes sociales privadas con las cifras que recogen las encuestas de difusión de medios radiofónicos y periodísticos en los diversos países de la Unión Europea.

Por ello, me permito insistir: ¿no considera la Comisión que podría planificar una sencilla campaña de publicidad institucional ofreciendo, por ejemplo, cada mes un logro muy concreto de la actuación de las instituciones europeas?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(2 de agosto de 2013)

La Comisión es consciente de la importancia de los medios de comunicación tradicionales y, por tanto, colabora estrechamente con la prensa, la radio y las cadenas de televisión tanto en Bruselas como a través de sus representaciones en todos los Estados miembros. En el marco de esa colaboración, destaca constantemente los logros conseguidos en beneficio de los ciudadanos.

La Comisión considera que, en general, una cobertura periodística independiente de los asuntos de la UE es la mejor manera de informar a los ciudadanos a través de los medios tradicionales.

Durante el Año Europeo de los Ciudadanos 2013 se están realizando esfuerzos adicionales para dar a conocer a todos los grupos de ciudadanos los logros de la política de la UE. La prensa y los medios de comunicación audiovisuales informan ampliamente y con toda independencia de los aproximadamente cuarenta y cinco diálogos con los ciudadanos que la Comisión organiza en el contexto del Año Europeo de los Ciudadanos, en los que son protagonistas los logros y derechos de los ciudadanos en el día a día.

En estos diálogos, miembros de la Comisión y del Parlamento Europeo, además de políticos nacionales o regionales, debaten con los ciudadanos sobre el futuro de la UE, sobre cuestiones concretas de la vida cotidiana y sobre la salida de la crisis.

Con el fin de apoyar el periodismo radiofónico independiente, la Comisión también ha decidido prestar apoyo a Euranet Plus, una red profesional europea de estaciones radiofónicas independientes. El acto inaugural se celebró el 19 de junio de 2013 en el Parlamento Europeo. El material que comparten diariamente las radios asociadas les permite dar una cobertura de gran calidad a los asuntos europeos.

La Comisión también da su apoyo a la producción y difusión de programas sobre asuntos europeos a través de la cadena de televisión europea Euronews mediante un acuerdo de asociación celebrado en 2010, en el que se establecen las condiciones por las que Euronews disfruta de total independencia editorial.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005572/13

to the Commission

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Communicating EU achievements

On 14 May 2013, I received a reply from the Commission with regard to my proposal to single out, once a month, one of the many achievements of the European institutions using traditional media outlets (reference E-002847/2013). I think that my idea was misunderstood, because at no point have I questioned the work of the European institutions’ press services or the Europe Direct offices. In my opinion, just as the institutions are focusing more on distributing news stories via new private electronic channels such as Facebook or other private social networks, we should also consider choosing one achievement per month to present to citizens via radio spots or printed newspapers.

I need not remind the Commission of the vast differences that still exist between the number of people who use Facebook or private social networks and the figures recorded in studies on radio and newspaper distribution in the different EU countries.

Therefore, I must stress: does the Commission not think that it could plan a simple institutional publicity campaign illustrating, for example, a very concrete achievement each month resulting from the actions of the European institutions?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(2 August 2013)

The Commission is aware of the importance of traditional media and therefore works closely with newspapers, radio and TV stations both in Brussels as well through its Representations in all Member States — and constantly points to achievements in the interest of citizens.

The Commission believes that in general independent reporting about EU affairs is the best way to inform citizens through traditional media.

During the European Year of Citizens 2013 additional efforts are being made to show to all groups of citizens the achievements of EU policy making. Newspapers and audiovisual media report extensively — and in total independence — about the 45 Citizens' Dialogues that the Commission is organising in the context of the European Year of Citizens in which achievements and daily rights of citizens play an important role.

In these Dialogues many Members of the Commission. together with Members of the European Parliament as well as national or regional politicians, debate with citizens about the future of the EU, concrete questions of everyday life and about the way out of the crisis.

To support independent radio reporting about European affairs the Commission decided to support Euranet Plus, a network of professional and independent radio stations in Europe. The launching event was held on 19 June 2013 in the European Parliament. Materials shared by partner radios on a daily basis generate high-quality coverage of European affairs.

The Commission also supports the production and broadcast of programmes on European affairs by the European TV channel Euronews through a partnership agreement concluded in 2010, which sets the terms of Euronews' full editorial independence.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005573/13

a la Comisión

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Diferencia de los tipos impositivos de los libros electrónicos

La Comisión Europea ha respondido a la inquietud que mostramos algunos diputados sobre las amplias diferencias entre los tipos impositivos que gravan los libros electrónicos y ha recordado, por un lado, que hay una propuesta de modificación de la normativa sobre ese impuesto y, por otro, que ha denunciado a los Estados de Francia y Luxemburgo ante el Tribunal de Justicia porque entiende que es contraria al Derecho comunitario la aplicación de un tipo reducido a esos bienes culturales.

Reconociendo la trascendencia de ambas actuaciones, persiste aún cierta preocupación que traslado a esa Comisión. En España, e igualmente en otros países miembros de la Unión, algunos importantes editores han anunciado que trasladarán el domicilio fiscal de sus portales de venta de libros electrónicos a París, al tener Francia unos tipos muy reducidos de IVA. En este sentido pueden leerse las declaraciones que ha realizado el empresario José Manuel Lara en los medios de comunicación españoles con relación a «www.casadellibro.com».

1)

En la denuncia que ha presentado ante el Tribunal de Justicia ¿ha solicitado alguna medida cautelar para evitar los efectos perversos que generarán los traslados de domicilios fiscales ante el mantenimiento de la presente desigualdad durante el próximo año que, como mínimo, durará la tramitación del proceso judicial?

2)

Las grandes diferencias entre los tipos impositivos en el IVA, como bien sabe la propia Comisión y así lo recoge en el documento que publicó el pasado 14 de enero, ¿cómo han incidido en la propuesta que está realizando sobre la reforma de dicho impuesto ante los efectos nocivos para el mercado interior europeo de esa

«competencia desleal» de los sistemas tributarios?

3)

En caso de que el Tribunal de Justicia desestime la denuncia de la Comisión al entender posible la aplicación de un tipo reducido a esos bienes culturales, frente a la consideración de los libros electrónicos como material informático ¿presentará la Comisión alguna propuesta para evitar la desigualdad de tipos impositivos o establecer alguna medida compensatoria ante el descenso de la recaudación tributaria de los países que han sufrido

«la fuga de empresas»?

Respuesta del Sr. Šemeta en nombre de la Comisión

(16 de julio de 2013)

La Comisión ha adoptado oficialmente la decisión de llevar a Francia y a Luxemburgo ante el Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea, ya que los tipos reducidos de IVA que aplican a los libros digitales no son compatibles con la Directiva de la UE sobre el IVA (141). No obstante, la Comisión todavía no ha sometido de hecho el asunto al Tribunal.

La Directiva del IVA solo fija la cuantía mínima de los tipos normal y reducido del IVA, que los Estados miembros están obligados a respetar al decidir el nivel de los tipos del IVA aplicables en sus territorios. La Comisión no tiene la intención de modificar este principio básico en el marco de la revisión del ámbito de aplicación de los tipos reducidos del IVA contemplada en la Comunicación sobre el futuro del IVA (142). Por consiguiente, las diferencias entre los tipos del IVA aplicados por los Estados miembros son inevitables.

La Comisión inició en 2012 una evaluación global de la actual estructura de tipos del IVA, basándose en los tres principios rectores que se establecen en la Comunicación sobre el futuro del IVA (143). Este proceso de evaluación está todavía en curso. Se ha puesto en marcha una consulta pública sobre la revisión de la legislación existente sobre los tipos reducidos del IVA (144). Un informe que resume los resultados de la consulta, junto con las observaciones, se puede consultar en la página web de la Comisión (145). No obstante, la Comisión todavía no ha adoptado ninguna decisión política sobre la ampliación o la reducción del ámbito de las entregas a las que se puede aplicar el tipo reducido del IVA.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005573/13

to the Commission

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Difference in tax rates for e-books

The Commission has responded to the concern expressed by some members regarding the vast differences between the tax rates applied to e-books and has recalled, firstly, that there is a proposal to amend the legislation on this tax and, secondly, that it has reported France and Luxembourg to the Court of Justice because it understands that the application of a reduced rate for these cultural goods runs counter to Community law.

While I recognise the importance of both actions, there are still some concerns I should like to put to the Commission. In Spain, and in other EU Member States, some major publishing houses have announced that they will transfer the tax domicile of their e-book sales platforms to Paris, as France has very low VAT rates. In this regard, the declarations made by businessman José Manuel Lara to the Spanish media on the subject can be read at www.casadellibro.com

1.

In the complaint submitted to the Court of Justice, was there a request for any precautionary measures to avoid the adverse effects caused by moving tax domiciles if the current inequality is to be maintained for the next year, which is the minimum amount of time the judicial proceedings are likely to take?

2.

How have the vast differences between the VAT rates, which the Commission is well aware of, as stated in the document published on 14 January 2013, impacted on the proposal that it is making on the reform of this tax, given the harmful effects of this

‘unfair competition’ between tax systems for the European internal market?

3.

Should the Court of Justice reject the Commission’s complaint by ruling that it is possible to apply a reduced rate to these cultural goods, with e-books being considered IT material, will the Commission present any proposals to prevent inequality among tax rates or establish any compensatory measures given the reduced tax revenue for countries which have suffered

‘capital flight’?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

The Commission has taken the formal decision to refer France and Luxembourg to the Court of Justice of the European Union because the reduced VAT rates they apply to digital books are not compatible with the EU VAT Directive (146). However, the referral was not yet materially executed by the Commission.

The VAT Directive establishes only the minimum levels of the standard and reduced VAT rates which Member States are obliged to respect when they decide on the level of the VAT rates applicable within their territories. The Commission does not intend to change this basic principle in the context of the review of scope of the VAT reduced rates set out in the communication on the future of VAT (147). Differences among the VAT rates applied by the Member States are therefore inevitable.

The Commission launched in 2012 an overall assessment of the current VAT rate structure based on three guiding principles which are set out in the communication on the future of VAT (148). This assessment process is still ongoing. A public consultation on the review of existing legislation on reduced VAT rates (149) was launched. A report summarising the outcome of the consultation, along with the submissions, is available on the Commission's website (150). The Commission has however not yet taken any policy decisions on increasing or reducing the scope of supplies to which the reduced VAT rate can be applied.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005574/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Inseguridad y agresiones contra comunidades, líderes reclamantes de tierra y organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos en Colombia

Durante las últimas semanas, organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos están alertando del agravamiento de su situación en Colombia. Particularmente alarmante resulta ser la situación de las comunidades de Curbaradó, Jiguamiandó y Cacarica en la región de Urabá y de la organización Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (CIJP) quien les acompaña jurídica y políticamente.

A pesar de las denuncias presentadas y las acciones tomadas por la Delegación de la Unión Europea en Bogotá en las semanas pasadas, la CIJP sigue denunciando ser víctima de seguimientos, interceptaciones ilegales y amenazas entre las cuales está un plan de atentado. Particularmente alto es el riesgo de los integrantes de su junta directiva, Danilo Rueda, Abilio Peña y Alberto Franco (contra cuyo vehículo ya dispararon en febrero 2013). Si bien la Unidad Nacional de Protección de Colombia se ha comprometido con el seguimiento del caso y la implementación de todas las medidas de protección necesarias para proteger la vida y la integridad de estos defensores, buena parte de las medidas siguen sin aplicarse.

Los mismos defensores denunciaron haber sido amenazados por paramilitares mientras se desplazaban en una embarcación en el río Atrato hacia la cuenca de Cacarica. La CIJP, quien acompaña jurídicamente a las comunidades de Cacarica reunidas en la asociación Cavida por los desplazamientos y asesinatos a los cuales fueron sometidas en acciones militares y paramilitares, también alerta sobre las amenazas a los líderes de Cavida, en particular en contra de Marco Velázquez. Asimismo la CIJP acompaña a los habitantes de las Zonas Humanitarias de Curbaradó y Jiguamiandó y ha denunciado que persiste la falta de cumplimiento de los autos de la Corte Constitucional en términos de restitución de tierras, plan de prevención y protección y medidas colectivas. Hace pocos días se dio a conocer una lista de seis personas que los paramilitares amenazan con asesinar: dos de estas personas, Enrique Cabezas y Guillermo Díaz, son líderes reclamantes de tierra y habitantes de las Zonas Humanitarias.

¿Está al tanto la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante de estas situaciones y del riesgo que corre la vida de todos estos defensores de los derechos humanos?

¿Piensa expresar públicamente su preocupación frente a estos hechos y pedir el desmantelamiento de todas las estructuras paramilitares y la investigación de las violaciones de derechos humanos denunciadas?

En el marco de las cláusulas de derechos humanos que contempla el Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Colombia/Perú, ¿considera la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante oportuno dirigirse formalmente a las autoridades colombianas para mostrarle su preocupación y solicitarle medidas de protección efectivas?

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

(10 de julio de 2013)

La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta observa de cerca la situación de los derechos humanos en Colombia a través de los servicios de la UE, incluida la Delegación de la UE en Bogotá, que se ha ocupado, entre otras cosas, del asunto de la CIJP a principios de este año.

La UE está al corriente de la difícil situación de los líderes de los procesos de reparación y de restitución de tierras y recibe constantemente información sobre las amenazas y la violencia sufridas. Planteará este asunto en la reunión de 17 de junio de su dialogo sobre derechos humanos con Colombia, en la que las políticas y las medidas ejecutivas del Gobierno colombiano para proteger a los grupos vulnerables ocuparán un lugar central en el orden del día.

La UE y los Estados miembros también apoyan los distintos aspectos de los procesos de reparación y restitución de tierras al contribuir a capacitar a los organismos públicos responsables y reforzar las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que representan a los reclamantes de tierras, entre otras cosas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005574/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Insecurity and attacks on communities, leaders reclaiming land and human rights organisations in Colombia

In recent weeks, human rights organisations have warned of the deterioration of their situation in Colombia. The situation in the communities of Curbaradó, Jiguamiandó and Cacarica in the region of Urabá is particularly alarming, as it that of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP), which supports them both legally and politically.

Despite the complaints filed and the action taken by the European Union Delegation in Bogotá in recent weeks, the CIJP is still claiming that it is facing surveillance, illegal interceptions and threats, including an assassination plot. The risk is particularly high for members of its leadership, Danilo Rueda, Abilio Peña and Alberto Franco (whose vehicle already came under fire in February 2013). While the Colombian National Protection Unit has made a commitment to monitor the case and implement all the necessary protection measures to protect the lives and integrity of these defenders, many of the measures have yet to be applied.

These same defenders claim that they were threatened by paramilitaries while transporting a boat along the Atrato River towards the Cacarica river basin. The CIJP, which provides legal support to the communities of Cacarica which form part of the CAVIDA association because of the displacements and killings to which they were subjected during military and paramilitary action, is also warning of threats against the leaders of CAVIDA, particularly Marco Velázquez. In addition, the CIJP supports the inhabitants of the humanitarian zones in Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó and has reported that there is still a lack of compliance with the rulings of the Constitutional Court with regard to the restitution of land, prevention and protection plans and collective action. A few days ago, a list came to light of six people whom the paramilitaries are threatening to kill: two of these individuals, Enrique Cabezas and Guillermo Díaz, are leaders trying to reclaim land and inhabitants of the humanitarian zones.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative keeping abreast of these situations and of the risk to the lives of all of these human rights defenders?

Is the Vice-President/High Representative planning to publicly express her concern about this situation and call for the dismantling of all paramilitary structures and an investigation into the alleged human rights violations?

Within the framework of the human rights clauses in the EU-Colombia/Peru Association Agreement, does the Vice-President/High Representative believe it would be appropriate to formally address the Colombian authorities in order to show her concern and to ask them for effective protection measures?

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

(10 July 2013)

The HR/VP is following the human rights situation in Colombia closely through the EU services, including the EU Delegation in Bogotá which has been active i.a. in the case of of the CIJP earlier this year.

The EU is aware of the difficult situation for leaders in reparation processes and land restitution, and is receiving continous information about the threats and violence suffered. It will raise this matter in the context of the 17 June meeting of its human rights dialogue with Colombia, where the Colombian government's policies and implementing measures to protect vulnerable groups will occupy a central place on the agenda.

The EU and Member States also support different aspects of the reparation and land restitution processes in, i.a. helping to build the capacity of the responsible government bodies and strengthening civil society organisations representing land claimants.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005575/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: Controles vejatorios en vuelos internos de la Unión Europea

El pasado 10 de mayo, las autoridades policiales encargadas del control de fronteras en el aeropuerto de Estocolmo en Skavsta retuvieron arbitrariamente en el calabozo a un ciudadano español, Marcos D. C., que no había cometido ningún tipo de delito. Durante su retención fue obligado a desnudarse y se le amenazó de varias formas durante un interrogatorio de casi una hora.

Dichos acontecimientos han sido denunciados ante las autoridades españolas y suecas, pero no se trata de un caso aislado, sino que existen múltiples ejemplos de tratos vejatorios por parte de la policía fronteriza a ciudadanos de otros Estados miembros de la Unión Europea. Todo tipo de detenciones ilegales y abusos en el ejercicio de la autoridad han sido denunciados en numerosos países, pero la gran mayoría de violaciones a este respecto quedan en la completa impunidad puesto que los viajeros suelen carecer del tiempo necesario para interponer denuncias, buscar las respectivas asistencias consulares, etc. Estas denuncias terminan realizándose en el país de origen del viajero, generando dilatados procesos judiciales que en muy pocas ocasiones desembocan en sanción alguna para los culpables.

Este trato no es exclusivo de la policía fronteriza de Suecia, sino que se viola la intimidad de los viajeros procedentes de los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea en numerosos aeropuertos comunitarios. Los viajeros, pese a tener la condición de ciudadano de un Estado miembro de la UE, se encuentran ante una situación de total desprotección ante los abusos policiales de la policía fronteriza de los diferentes Estados miembros.

¿Cuántas denuncias de tratos vejatorios, retenciones ilegales, abuso de autoridad, etc. se reciben en la Unión Europea en controles aeroportuarios?

¿Cuántas de estas denuncias alcanzan a terminar con la imputación de los policías involucrados en dichos delitos? ¿Cuántos policías fronterizos han sido condenados por este tipo de abusos?

¿Considera que el sistema de control aeroportuario produce una situación de indefensión del viajero y que debería emplear su iniciativa legislativa para mejorar la protección de viajero en estos casos? ¿No considera la Comisión que en casos como el expuesto se viola el derecho de los ciudadanos europeos a circular libremente por el territorio de la UE?

Respuesta de la Sra. Malmström en nombre de la Comisión

(15 de julio de 2013)

La Comisión no está al corriente del asunto concreto al que se refiere su Señoría.

De conformidad con el artículo 20 del Código de fronteras Schengen (151), las fronteras interiores pueden cruzarse sin que las personas sean sometidas a controles fronterizos, con independencia de su nacionalidad. Así pues, las autoridades de los Estados miembros no están autorizadas a llevar a cabo controles fronterizos únicamente por el motivo de que una persona esté cruzando la frontera interior. No obstante, esto no afecta al ejercicio de las competencias de policía de las autoridades competentes de los Estados miembros con arreglo a la legislación nacional, en la medida en que el ejercicio de esas competencias no surta un efecto equivalente a los controles fronterizos.

El artículo 21 del Código de fronteras Schengen dispone que el ejercicio de las competencias de policía no puede considerarse, en particular, equivalente al ejercicio de inspecciones fronterizas cuando las medidas policiales no tengan como objetivo el control de fronteras, estén basadas en información y experiencia policiales de carácter general sobre posibles amenazas a la seguridad pública y estén destinadas, en especial, a combatir la delincuencia transfronteriza.

Su Señoría se refiere a otros incidentes acaecidos en aeropuertos de la UE. La Comisión solicita que facilite información más detallada para que pueda ser lo más precisa posible en sus contactos con las autoridades nacionales pertinentes.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005575/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Humiliating controls on internal flights within the European Union

On 10 May 2013, border control authorities at Stockholm Skavsta airport arbitrarily detained a Spanish citizen, D. C. Marcos, who had not committed any kind of crime. During his detention, he was forced to strip naked and was threatened in various ways in an investigation that lasted almost one hour.

These events have been reported to the Spanish and Swedish authorities, but this is not an isolated incident; there are many examples of the humiliating treatment of citizens from other EU Member States by border control officers. Unlawful detentions and abuse of any kind in the exercise of authority have been denounced in many countries, but most of these violations go completely unpunished, as travellers usually do not have time to file a complaint, seek out consular assistance, etc. Complaints are filed in the traveller’s country of origin, leading to lengthy judicial proceedings which rarely result in any kind of punishment for those responsible.

This behaviour is not exclusive to Swedish border control officers; the privacy of passengers from EU Member States is being violated at many EU airports. Despite being citizens of an EU Member State, travellers are faced with a situation in which they have absolutely no protection from the abuse perpetrated by border control officers in the different Member States.

How many complaints of humiliating treatment, unlawful detentions, abuse of power, etc. has the EU received with regard to airport controls?

How many of these complaints result in the officers involved in these crimes being charged? How many border control officers have been convicted of this kind of abuse?

Does the Commission believe that the airport control system puts travellers in a vulnerable position and that it should use its legislative initiative to improve the protection of travellers in these cases? Does it not believe that such cases represent a violation of the right of European citizens to move freely within the territory of the EU?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

The Commission is not aware of the particular case mentioned by the Honorable Member.

According to Article 20 of the Schengen Borders Code (152), internal borders may be crossed without any border checks on persons, irrespective of their nationality, being carried out. Authorities of the Member States are thus not allowed to carry out border checks solely for the reason that the person is crossing the internal border. However, this does not affect the exercise of police powers by competent authorities of Member States under national law, insofar as the exercise of those powers does not have an effect equivalent to border checks.

Article 21 of the SBC specifies that the exercise of police powers may not be considered equivalent to the exercise of border checks when the police measures do not have border control as an objective, are based on general police information and experience regarding possible threats to public security and are aimed, in particular, at combating cross-border crime.

The Honourable Member refers to other incidents taking place at EU airports. The Commission would ask that he provide more detailed information to enable the Commission to be as precise as possible in contacts with the relevant national authorities.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005576/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Szanse na zniesienie wiz dla Polaków podróżujących do USA

W ostatnich dniach w Kongresie Stanów Zjednoczonych wznowiono prace nad reformą prawa imigracyjnego. Mający spore szanse na przyjęcie nowy projekt ustawy przewiduje możliwość stosowania odstępstw od sztywnych wymogów ruchu bezwizowego wobec obywateli krajów spełniających określone warunki. Interpretacja proponowanych zapisów pozwala na objęcie takim rozwiązaniem Polski.

W imieniu oraz w interesie polskich obywateli podróżujących do Stanów Zjednoczonych zwracam się z prośbą o odpowiedź na następujące pytania:

Czy instytucje podległe Komisji zaangażują się czynnie (poprzez monitoring, negocjacje, lobbing) w proces prac nad przedmiotową ustawą w amerykańskim Kongresie celem zabezpieczenia interesów wszystkich obywateli Wspólnoty?

Czy w obliczu rozpoczynających się negocjacji umowy handlowej z USA możliwe jest podniesienie przez Komisję kwestii ruchu bezwizowego na linii UE – USA?

Czy rozszerzenie ruchu bezwizowego do USA i ustanowienie swobody podróżowania jest traktowane jako jeden z priorytetów Unii w relacjach z tym państwem?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarz Cecilię Malmström w imieniu Komisji

(5 lipca 2013 r.)

Najważniejszym celem Unii Europejskiej oraz jednym z jej priorytetów w stosunkach z USA jest osiągnięcie pełnej wzajemności wizowej poprzez jak najszybsze objęcie wszystkich państw członkowskich UE amerykańskim programem znoszenia wiz.

Komisja wykorzystuje każdą okazję do przypomnienia władzom amerykańskim o czterech ostatnich państwach członkowskich, których nie obejmuje zasada wzajemności. W szczególności kwestia wzajemności wizowej jest stałym punktem rozmów podczas posiedzeń ministrów sprawiedliwości i spraw wewnętrznych UE i USA oraz posiedzeń urzędników wysokiego szczebla zajmujących się tym samym obszarem.

W tym kontekście Komisja śledzi z wielkim zainteresowaniem postępy w pracach nad przyjęciem nowego prawa imigracyjnego w USA, zwłaszcza jeżeli chodzi o przepisy dotyczące możliwości rozszerzenia amerykańskiego programu znoszenia wiz dzięki nowemu sposobowi obliczania procentu odrzuconych wniosków oraz możliwości, pod pewnymi warunkami, zniesienia kryteriów odmawiania wiz przez amerykańskiego sekretarza Departamentu Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego.

Reforma prawa imigracyjnego w USA była kilkakrotnie omawiana podczas spotkań z przedstawicielami władz amerykańskich. Komisja wykorzystuje takie okazje, aby dowiedzieć się, jak wygląda bieżący stan rzeczy oraz jakie są perspektywy na przyszłość związane z przyjęciem nowego prawa imigracyjnego.

Pogłębienie stosunków handlowych między UE i USA może sprawić, że więcej osób będzie podróżować między naszymi dwoma kontynentami. W tym kontekście Komisja dąży do zbadania, wspólnie z USA, nowych możliwości współpracy w zakresie mobilności, biorąc również pod uwagę kwestię wzajemności wizowej, mimo tego że dialog dotyczący amerykańskiego programu znoszenia wiz oraz wzajemności wizowej nie wchodzi w zakres negocjacji dotyczących transatlantyckiego partnerstwa w dziedzinie handlu i inwestycji.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005576/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Likelihood of visas being abolished for Poles travelling to the US

The US Congress has recently started work again on its reform of immigration law. The new bill, which has a good chance of becoming law, provides for derogations from the inflexible rules on visa-free travel to be granted to citizens of countries which meet the specified criteria. The proposed provisions can be interpreted in such a way as to suggest that Poland will be entitled to benefit from these derogations.

On behalf and in the interests of Polish citizens travelling to the United States, I would like to ask the following questions:

Are the Commission institutions taking a proactive approach to the work being carried out on the US Congress bill, by monitoring, negotiating and lobbying in order to protect the interests of all EU citizens?

Would it be possible for the Commission to raise the issue of visa-free travel between the EU and the US in the context of the newly-opened negotiations on the EU-US trade agreement?

Does the EU regard expanding visa-free travel to the US and establishing freedom of movement as priorities in its relations with the country?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

The European Union's ultimate goal and one of the main priorities in its relations with the United States is to achieve full visa reciprocity by ensuring that the four remaining EU Member States join the US Visa Waiver Program as soon as possible.

The Commission uses every opportunity to reiterate its concerns about the remaining cases of non-reciprocity with the US authorities. In particular, visa reciprocity is a standing agenda item of every EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting and of every EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Senior Officials Meeting.

In this context the Commission follows with great interest the progress made by the US in adopting new immigration legislation, and especially the provisions permitting expansion of the US Visa Waiver Program by introducing a new way of calculating the refusal rate and the possibility for the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, under certain conditions, to waive the visa refusal criteria.

US immigration reform has been on the agenda of several recent meetings with US authorities, and the Commission used these opportunities to enquire about the state of play and prospects for adoption of the new migration legislation.

The deepening of trade relations between the US and the EU is likely to generate an increase in transatlantic travel. In this context, the Commission is committed to exploring with the US new avenues for cooperation on mobility issues, also taking into account the reciprocity issue, even though the US Visa Waiver Program and the dialogue on visa reciprocity do not fall within the scope of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005578/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Bezpieczeństwo danych osobowych w Internecie

13 maja 2013 r. na antenie TVP INFO pani komisarz Viviane Reding mówiła m.in. o potrzebie zaufania obywateli do sposobu ochrony ich danych, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem sieci. Zgadzam się z koniecznością opracowania klarownych i skutecznych, ale także rozsądnych uregulowań prawnych w tym zakresie. Jest to w interesie konsumentów oraz właściwego funkcjonowania biznesu online.

Tytułem doprecyzowania, proszę o udzielenie odpowiedzi:

W obecnej sytuacji możemy już chyba mówić o zjawisku szpiegostwa internetowego na szeroką skalę. Czy Komisja ma na względzie konieczność przeciwdziałania nadmiernemu gromadzeniu informacji o danych osobowych przez globalne firmy IT?

Niektóre portale (w szczególności tzw. społecznościowe) nierzadko „wyłudzają” od użytkowników wrażliwe (a niekoniecznie niezbędne) informacje. Przykładowo Facebook, zasłaniając się kwestiami zabezpieczenia hasła do profilu, domaga się udostępnienia numeru telefonu komórkowego. Czy proponowane zmiany przepisów o ochronie danych osobowych obejmują również takie przypadki?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarz Viviane Reding w imieniu Komisji

(6 sierpnia 2013 r.)

Szpiegostwo internetowe i nadmierne gromadzenie danych osobowych to problemy, które zostały spotęgowane w wyniku nagłego wzrostu przetwarzania danych osobowych w Internecie. Komisja opracowała szereg wniosków w celu zwiększenia ochrony danych osobowych i bezpieczeństwa Internetu, w szczególności będący obecnie przedmiotem oceny współprawodawców wniosek w sprawie ogólnego rozporządzenia o ochronie danych (153), które ma zastąpić aktualnie obowiązującą unijną dyrektywę 95/46/WE o ochronie danych (154). Ponadto celem dyrektywy 2002/58/WE (155) o prywatności i łączności elektronicznej, zmienionej dyrektywą 2009/136/WE, jest ochrona poufności komunikatów, zarówno ich treści, jak i danych związanych z tymi komunikatami, przekazywanymi za pomocą publicznie dostępnych usług łączności elektronicznej, takich jak Internet.

Zgodnie z art. 6 ust. 1 lit. c) dyrektywy 95/46/WE przetwarzanie danych osobowych, takich jak numer telefonu, musi być prawidłowe, stosowne oraz nienadmierne ilościowo w stosunku do celów, dla których zostały one zgromadzone lub dalej przetworzone. Jeśli dane te są przetwarzane przez administratora danych dla celów bezpieczeństwa, przetwarzanie to musi być ściśle ograniczone do tych celów.

Zaproponowany wniosek w sprawie ogólnego rozporządzenia o ochronie danych stosuje się również do portali społecznościowych przetwarzających dane osobowe. W rozporządzeniu tym wyraźnie uwzględniono również zasadę minimalizacji danych, a także wymóg wobec administratorów danych dotyczący przestrzegania zasad ochrony danych już w fazie projektowania oraz jako opcji domyślnej.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005578/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Security of personal data on the Internet

On 13 May 2013, during a television appearance on TVP INFO, Commissioner Reding talked about the need for public confidence in data protection practices, in particular on the Internet. I agree that we need to develop regulations in this area which are not only clear and effective, but also reasonable. This would serve the interests of consumers and promote the proper functioning of e-business.

I would like to ask the following in order to clarify certain issues:

Internet spying is already regarded by many as a widespread problem. Is the Commission aware of the need to prevent global IT firms from gathering excessive amounts of personal data?

It is not uncommon for certain websites, in particular social networking sites, to ‘coax’ sensitive information from their users which is not strictly necessary. For example, Facebook asks for a mobile telephone number under the guise of enhancing account security. Will the proposed amendments to the provisions on personal data protection also cover cases similar to these?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(6 August 2013)

Internet spying and the gathering of excessive amounts of personal data are issues that are amplified by the explosion in the processing of personal data over the Internet. The Commission has made several proposals to reinforce the protection of personal data and the security of the Internet, in particular with the Commission's proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (156), under examination of the co-legislators, which should replace the current EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (157). Furthermore, the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC (158), as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC, protects the confidentiality of communications, including both the content and any data related to such communications by means of publicly available electronic communication services such as the Internet.

In line with Article 6 (1)(c) of the directive 95/46/EC, the processing of personal data such as a phone number must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and/or further processed. If that personal data is processed for security purposes by the controller, the processing must be strictly limited to this purpose.

The proposed GDPR also applies to social networking sites processing personal data, and explicitly spells out the principle of data minimisation, and an obligation for controllers to implement the principles of data protection by design and by default.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005579/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Zapowiedź działań G7 na rzecz globalnych standardów podatkowych

Podczas konferencji w Aylesbury (maj 2013) przedstawiciele grupy siedmiu najbardziej uprzemysłowionych państw świata w sposób zdecydowany wystąpili przeciwko praktykom obchodzenia i unikania zobowiązań podatkowych. O opracowanie stosownych zaleceń zwrócono się do OECD. Polska jest jednym z krajów UE ponoszących ogromne straty związane m.in. ze stosowaniem przez międzynarodowe korporacje cen transferowych oraz transferu zysków pomiędzy oddziałami w różnych krajach. Przykładem są wielkopowierzchniowe sieci handlowe w zdecydowanej większości unikające opodatkowania w miejscu prowadzenia działalności.

Proszę o ustosunkowanie się do poniższych kwestii:

Czy Komisja podziela przedmiotowe stanowisko grupy G7 skupiającej cztery największe kraje członkowskie?

Czy Unia Europejska rozważa podjęcie niezależnych działań w powyższym zakresie?

Czy planowane jest horyzontalne podejście względem spraw podatkowych celem ujednolicenia i zrównoważenia zasad rozliczania podatkowego międzynarodowych przedsiębiorstw w poszczególnych państwach Wspólnoty?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Algirdasa Šemetę w imieniu Komisji

(2 lipca 2013 r.)

Podczas konferencji w maju 2013 r. w Aylesbury grupa G7 istotnie potwierdziła znaczenie wspólnych działań na rzecz zwalczania unikania zobowiązań podatkowych i uchylania się od opodatkowania. Stanowi to uzupełnienie i poparcie dla wcześniejszych oświadczeń wydanych dotychczas przez G8 i G20 oraz ich wezwania skierowanego do OECD w celu rozwiązania kwestii erozji podstawy opodatkowania i przenoszenia zysków. Komisja przyjmuje z zadowoleniem i wspiera te inicjatywy.

Komisja także określiła swoją własną strategię w tym zakresie w komunikacie w sprawie planu działania zakładającego poprawę skuteczności walki z oszustwami podatkowymi i uchylaniem się od opodatkowania (COM(2012) 722 final) oraz w dwóch zaleceniach: w sprawie agresywnego planowania podatkowego (C(2012) 8806 final) i w sprawie środków mających na celu zachęcenie państw trzecich do stosowania minimalnych norm dobrych rządów w dziedzinie opodatkowania (C(2012) 8805 final). Towarzyszą temu skuteczne działania, takie jak propozycje zmian w dyrektywie w sprawie współpracy administracyjnej przedstawione przez Komisję dnia 12 czerwca 2013 r.

Koordynowanie środków podatkowych między państwami członkowskimi ma kluczowe znaczenie dla uniknięcia problemu rozbieżności i luk w przepisach. Można to osiągnąć poprzez wprowadzenie na poziomie UE wspólnej skonsolidowanej podstawy opodatkowania osób prawnych, zgodnie z propozycją Komisji z 2011 r. (159)

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005579/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: G7 announcement of global action on tax standards

During a conference held in Aylesbury in May 2013, representatives of the group of the seven most industrialised countries in the world took a decisive stand against tax avoidance and evasion practices. The OECD has been asked to draft recommendations on the subject. Poland is one of the EU Member States which suffer enormous losses due in part to the use of transfer prices by multinational corporations and profit transfers between subsidiaries in different countries. The large retail chains are a good example of this, since the vast majority of them avoid paying tax where they do business.

I would like to ask the Commission the following questions:

Does the Commission subscribe to the position taken by the G7, a group which includes the four largest Member States?

Is the European Union considering taking action itself in this area?

Are there any plans for a horizontal approach to tax issues, with a view to standardising and ensuring the equivalency of rules on the tax liability of multinational enterprises in the individual EU Member States?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(2 July 2013)

During its meeting in May 2013 in Aylesbury, the G7 indeed agreed on the importance of collective action to tackle tax avoidance and evasion. This comes in addition to and in support of previous statements already released by the G8 and the G20 and their call upon the OECD to address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting by multinational companies. The Commission welcomes and supports these developments.

The Commission itself has set out its strategy in this area in its communication on an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion (COM(2012) 722 final) and two Recommendations on Aggressive tax planning (C(2012) 8806 final) and measures intended to encourage third countries to apply minimum standards of good governance in tax matters (C(2012) 8805 final). This is followed up by effective action such as the amendments to the directive on administrative cooperation proposed by the Commission on 12 June 2013.

Coordinating tax measures between Member States to prevent mismatches and close loopholes is of key importance. Ultimately, this could be achieved via the introduction at EU level of a Common Consolidated Corporate tax base (CCCTB) as proposed by the Commission in 2011 (160).

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005580/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Projekt gazociągu Jamał II

Prezes Gazpromu Aleksiej Miller poinformował podczas konferencji w białoruskim Witebsku (14 maja 2013 r. ) o rozpoczęciu prac nad przygotowaniem techniczno-ekonomicznych założeń projektu gazociągu Jamał II. Opracowywanie strategii ma potrwać do końca br., kiedy to przewiduje się przedstawienie projektu do publicznej oceny. Podpisane w kwietniu memorandum pomiędzy Gazpromem a polską spółką EuRoPol Gaz, w tej sprawie, spowodowało falę nieporozumień, a nawet chaos na różnych szczeblach polskiej administracji.

Celem doprecyzowania faktów oraz zasięgnięcia dodatkowych informacji zwracam się z prośbą o udzielenie odpowiedzi:

Czy Komisja monitoruje prace związane z porozumieniem krajów członkowskich z rosyjskim potentatem gazowym w sprawie budowy gazociągu Jamał II?

Czy Komisja została poinformowana o wspomnianym wyżej memorandum przed jego podpisaniem?

Czy Komisja zamierza włączyć się w prace przygotowawcze dotyczące założeń ww. projektu?

Czy działania podejmowane przez zainteresowane kraje członkowskie w przedmiotowej kwestii pozostają w zgodzie z zaleceniami Komisji i strategią bezpieczeństwa energetycznego Unii Europejskiej?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Günthera Oettingera w imieniu Komisji

(18 lipca 2013 r.)

1.-2. Komisja nie została powiadomiona o memorandum, którego dotyczy zapytanie Szanownego Pana Posła.

Zgodnie z decyzją nr 994/2012/UE (161) państwa członkowskie mają obowiązek przedkładać Komisji umowy międzyrządowe, które zawarły z państwami trzecimi, jeżeli umowy te mają wpływ na funkcjonowanie rynku wewnętrznego energii. Obowiązek ten nie ma zastosowania w odniesieniu do umów między przedsiębiorstwami.

3.

Komisja nie uczestniczy w pracach przygotowawczych dotyczących komercyjnych projektów infrastrukturalnych, lecz jest gotowa, by spotkać się z potencjalnymi inwestorami i przedstawić wyjaśnienia dotyczące obowiązujących ram regulacyjnych, jeżeli inwestorzy wyrażą taką potrzebę. W tym względzie Komisja będzie w dalszym ciągu ściśle współpracować z władzami polskimi, tak jak z powodzeniem miało to miejsce do tej pory.

4.

O ile Komisji wiadomo, żadne państwo członkowskie UE nie podjęło działań w odniesieniu do memorandum, którego dotyczy zapytanie Szanownego Pana Posła.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005580/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Yamal-II gas pipeline project

During a conference in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk on 14 May 2013, the CEO of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, discussed the start of preparatory work on the technical and economic foundations of the Yamal‐II gas pipeline project. The process of drafting a strategy should last until the end of 2013, when the presentation of the project to the public is envisaged. A memorandum on this matter, which was entered into by Gazprom and the Polish company EuRoPol Gaz in April 2013, has provoked a wave of confusion and even chaos at various levels of the Polish administration.

Given the need to clarify the facts and to gain additional information, could the Commission please answer the following questions:

Is the Commission monitoring work connected with the agreement between EU Member States and the Russian gas giant Gazprom on the construction of the Yamal‐II gas pipeline?

Was the Commission notified of the aforementioned memorandum before it was signed?

Does the Commission intend to participate in preparatory work on the project’s foundations?

Are the actions taken in this matter by the Member States concerned compliant with the Commission’s instructions and the EU’s energy security strategy?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2013)

1-2. The Commission was not notified of the memorandum mentioned by the Honourable Member of Parliament.

According to Decision No 994/2012/EU (162), Member States have the obligation to submit to the Commission intergovernmental agreements which they have concluded with third countries where such agreements have an impact on the internal energy market. That obligation does not apply to agreements between commercial entities.

3.

The Commission does not participate in the preparatory work of commercial infrastructure projects but it is available to meet with potential investors and clarify the applicable regulatory framework if the investors so wish. The Commission will in this regard continue to cooperate closely with the Polish authorities as it has successfully done in the past.

4.

To the knowledge of the Commission, there was no action taken by an EU Member State in relation to the memorandum in question.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005581/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Używanie określeń „polskie obozy koncentracyjne”

W ostatnim czasie po raz kolejny w artykule jednego z amerykańskich dzienników pojawiło się określenie „polskie obozy koncentracyjne”. Materiał został oprotestowany, rzecz jasna, przez ambasadę Polski w Waszyngtonie. Podobne przypadki jednakże regularnie występują w przestrzeni publicznej, również europejskiej. Polscy posłowie niejednokrotnie podejmowali starania na rzecz właściwej terminologii tych haniebnych instytucji III Rzeszy, często niestety pozostawały one bez echa.

Zwracam się z pytaniem, czy możliwe jest podjęcie przez Komisję szerokiej akcji informacyjnej w Unii Europejskiej celem przeciwdziałania niewłaściwemu określaniu niemieckich obozów funkcjonujących w okupowanej Polsce?

Ponadto proszę o informacje, jakie działania realizowały w ostatnich latach instytucje podległe Komisji dla wyeliminowania tych ewidentnych nadużyć?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarz Viviane Reding w imieniu Komisji

(15 lipca 2013 r.)

Pielęgnowanie pamięci Holokaustu i innych zbrodni przeciwko ludzkości, popełnionych przez reżim nazistowski, ma kluczowe znaczenie dla propagowania kultury praw podstawowych, w szczególności wśród młodzieży i u przyszłych pokoleń. Służy to zapewnieniu, aby już nigdy nie doszło do tak tragicznych wydarzeń i do podziałów wśród narodów Europy.

Komisja krzewi tę pamięć m.in. za pośrednictwem działania „Aktywna pamięć europejska” w ramach programu „Europa dla obywateli”. Działanie to obejmuje finansowanie projektów mających na celu wspieranie działań, debat i refleksji związanych z upamiętnieniem aktów masowej eksterminacji i masowych deportacji dokonanych przez reżimy nazistowski i stalinowski. Działanie „Aktywna pamięć europejska” służy zakorzenieniu europejskiego obywatelstwa i demokracji oraz wspólnych wartości i kultury w kontekście pamięci europejskiej.

W latach 2007-2013 sfinansowano ok. 300 projektów. Komisja zaproponowała zwiększenie środków przydzielanych na działanie „Aktywna pamięć europejska” w ramach przyszłego programu „Europa dla obywateli” na lata 2014-2020 z 4 % do 20 %.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005581/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Use of the term ‘Polish concentration camps’

Recently yet another article appeared in an American newspaper referring to ‘Polish concentration camps’. The article naturally enough led to the protests from the Polish Embassy in Washington. However, similar incidents are occurring regularly in the public sphere, including in Europe. Polish politicians have made many attempts to ensure that appropriate terminology is used when referring to the shameful institutions of the Third Reich. Regrettably, these efforts have often been in vain.

Would it be possible for the Commission to undertake a wide‐ranging information campaign in the EU in order to counter the improper categorisation of German camps which were located in occupied Poland?

What steps have the Commission’s bodies taken to put an end to these obvious abuses?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

Keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust and of other crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime is essential to promote a culture of fundamental rights, in particular among younger and future generations. It is a way to ensure that such atrocities never happen again and that Europe’s people can never again be divided.

The Commission promotes this memory, in particular through the ‘Active European Remembrance’ Action, of the ‘Europe for citizens’ programme. The Active European Remembrance Action funds projects aiming at fostering action, debate and reflection related to preservation of memory of mass extermination and mass deportations committed by Nazi and Stalinist regimes. The Remembrance Action is a way to anchor the European citizenship and democracy, shared values, common history and culture in the context of European memory.

Around 300 projects have been funded between 2007-2013. The Commission proposed an increase of budget allocated to Remembrance from 4% to 20% in the future Europe for Citizens programme (2014-2020).

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005582/13

do Komisji

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Kontrakty dla obywateli Białorusi

Liczba białoruskich obywateli otrzymujących zezwolenia na pracę w krajach członkowskich Unii Europejskiej systematycznie rośnie, wciąż jednak pozostając na stosunkowo niskim poziomie. Niedawno ekspert niezależnego Białoruskiego Instytutu Badań Strategicznych (BISS) Andrej Jelisiejeu opublikował artykuł, w którym informuje, że najwięcej zezwoleń na pracę Białorusini otrzymują w Polsce oraz we Włoszech. W końcu 2011 r. w krajach tych legalną pracę podejmowało odpowiednio 9 350 i 4 200 mieszkańców wschodniego sąsiada UE. Otwarcie europejskich rynków na białoruskich pracowników nie tylko przynosi korzyści gospodarcze krajom Wspólnoty, ale może również stanowić element polityki względem reżimu w Mińsku, poprzez pogłębienie problemów związanych z odpływem wykwalifikowanej siły roboczej.

W odniesieniu do powyższego proszę o informacje:

Czy Komisja dysponuje aktualnymi danymi odnośnie liczby białoruskich pracowników w poszczególnych krajach UE oraz prognozami na nadchodzące lata?

Czy Komisja podziela stanowisko szerszego udostępnienia europejskich rynków pracy dla obywateli Białorusi?

Czy, w ramach Partnerstwa Wschodniego, rozważa się zacieśnienie współpracy z Białorusią w celu rozszerzenia programów dla studentów oraz programów doskonalenia zawodowego dla młodych pracowników?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Štefana Fülego w imieniu Komisji

(26 lipca 2013 r.)

1.

Z danych Eurostatu wynika, że w 2011 r. w państwach członkowskich UE wydano około 75 620 pozwoleń na pobyt dla obywateli Białorusi. Stanowi to 3,2 % ogólnej liczby 2,35 mln pierwszych zezwoleń na pobyt wydanych w 2011 r. przez państwa członkowskie UE. Jeżeli chodzi o całkowitą liczbę obywateli Białorusi mieszkających w państwach członkowskich, Eurostat nie dysponuje statystykami dla całej UE. Z państw, dla których takie dane są dostępne, najwięcej obywateli Białorusi posiada stałe miejsce zamieszkania we Włoszech (31 937), następnie w Niemczech (24 638), Republice Czeskiej (4 330), Hiszpanii (3 850) oraz Polsce (3 849).

2.

Swobodny przepływ pracowników jest fundamentalną zasadą UE i generalnie stosuje się ją także do obywateli państw EOG.

Państwa członkowskie mają prawo do otwierania krajowych rynków pracy dla obywateli państw trzecich. Jest to kwestia dwustronna pomiędzy państwem członkowskim a danym państwem trzecim.

Jeżeli chodzi o Białoruś, UE jest gotowa rozpocząć negocjacje w sprawie ułatwień wizowych i umów o readmisji, które mogą przyczynić się do rozwoju kontaktów międzyludzkich z korzyścią dla ogółu obywateli Białorusi. UE wyraża ubolewanie z powodu braku odpowiedzi ze strony Białorusi na wystosowane przez Komisję Europejską w czerwcu 2011 r. zaproszenie do rozpoczęcia negocjacji.

3.

Kontakty międzyludzkie stanowią obszar priorytetowy w stosunkach z Białorusią. Białoruś jest beneficjentem finansowanych przez UE międzyregionalnych i regionalnych programów promujących mobilność studentów i kontakty międzyludzkie, takich jak Erasmus Mundus, kursy językowe dla młodych Białorusinów oraz nadchodzący program mobilności poświęcony kontaktom międzyludzkim.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005582/13

to the Commission

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Contracts for Belarusian citizens

The number of Belarusians who hold work permits for EU Member States is growing steadily, but still remains at a relatively low level. Recently an expert at the independent Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Andrey Yeliseyeu, published an article in which he revealed that Belarusians receive the greatest number of work permits in Poland and in Italy. By the end of 2011, 9350 Belarusians were working legally in Poland and 4200 were working legally in Italy. The opening of European markets to Belarusian workers is not only bringing economic benefits to EU Member States, but it could also become an element of EU policy towards the regime in Minsk as it aggravates the problems associated with ‘brain drain’.

1.

Does the Commission have up‐to‐date information on the number of Belarusian workersin the individual Member States, and does it have estimates for the years to come?

2.

Does the Commission share the view that European labour markets should be openedmore widely to Belarusians?

3.

Is closer cooperation with Belarus as part of the Eastern Partnership being considered,with a view to expanding student programmes and professional training programmes foryoung workers?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(26 July 2013)

1.

According to Eurostat, around 75 620 residence permits were issued to Belarusian citizens by EU MS in 2011. They represent 3.2% of 2.35 million first residence permits issued in 2011 by EU MS. As far as overall number of BY citizens residing in EU MS, there are no available Eurostat statistics for all EU MS. Among MS for which the data is available, number of BY citizens being usually resident is the highest in IT (31 937), followed by DE (24 638), CZ (4 330), ES (3 850) and PL (3 849).

2.

Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of EU and applies in general terms also to citizens of countries in the EEA.

MS have the right to open their domestic labour markets to third-country nationals. This is a bilateral matter between the MS and the third country.

As regards BY, the EU is ready to launch negotiations for visa facilitation and readmission agreements which would enhance people-to-people contacts to the benefit of BY population at large. The EU regrets the absence of response from BY to the EC's invitation in June 2011 to start negotiations.

3.

People-to-people contacts are a priority area for relations with BY. BY is a beneficiary of interregional and regional EU-funded programmes promoting students mobility and people to people contacts, such as Erasmus Mundus, Languages Courses for Young Belarusians and the upcoming mobility scheme People to People Contacts.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-005583/13

do Komisji (Wiceprzewodniczącej/Wysokiej Przedstawiciel)

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 maja 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Wiceprzewodnicząca/Wysoka Przedstawiciel – Poprawa stosunków Turcji z irackim Kurdystanem

Aspirująca do członkostwa w Unii Europejskiej Turcja zacieśnia więzi polityczne i gospodarcze z autonomicznym irackim regionem Kurdystanu. Dostęp do irackich surowców energetycznych znacząco wzmocni uzależnioną obecnie od rosyjskich dostaw Ankarę, co nie pozostanie bez wpływu również na bezpieczeństwo energetyczne Wspólnoty. Porozumienie turecko-kurdyjskie jest zatem bez wątpienia ważnym elementem wzmacniającym interesy krajów członkowskich UE, niesie jednakże niebezpieczeństwo zachwiania stabilności Iraku, który może zacząć dryfować w stronę Teheranu.

Proszę o ustosunkowanie się do następujących problemów:

Czy ESDZ monitoruje turecko-kurdyjskie relacje zmierzające do zacieśnienia współpracy i pozostaje w kontakcie z władzami Turcji w tej sprawie?

Czy i jakie czynności podejmuje europejska dyplomacja na forum międzynarodowym celem przeciwdziałania ewentualnemu rozpadowi państwa irackiego?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez Wysoką Przedstawiciel/Wiceprzewodniczącą Catherine Ashton w imieniu Komisji

(12 lipca 2013 r.)

Wysoka Przedstawiciel/Wiceprzewodnicząca bacznie obserwuje relacje turecko-irackie. W ostatnich latach Turcja zacieśniła swoje stosunki z Regionalnym Rządem Kurdystanu. UE z zadowoleniem przyjęła tę zmianę, także w kontekście szerszego dialogu politycznego UE-Turcja, a równocześnie nie przestaje podkreślać potrzeby poprawy stosunków między Ankarą a Bagdadem. Taka poprawa mogłaby znacznie przyczynić się do zwiększenia stabilności w regionie.

Sytuacja w Iraku była przedmiotem obrad na forum Rady do Spraw Zagranicznych w lutym i marcu. Stwierdzono wtedy, że UE powinna bardziej zaangażować się we wspieranie stabilności politycznej kraju. W konkluzjach Rady z kwietnia br. ministrowie spraw zagranicznych wyrazili zaniepokojenie wzrostem napięć i przemocy w Iraku i podkreślili, że UE jest zdecydowana, by być oparciem dla Iraku i wspierać go na drodze do stania się demokratycznym, zjednoczonym i bogatym krajem. W tym kontekście UE będzie nadal zacieśniać długofalowe relacje dwustronne, prowadzone obecnie między innymi w oparciu o umowę o partnerstwie i współpracy. UE porusza również kwestię wewnętrznej sytuacji w Iraku w kontaktach z partnerami w regionie, w tym – w ramach szerszego dialogu politycznego UE-Turcja – z Turcją.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005583/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Adam Bielan (ECR)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Improvement in relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkey, which has aspirations of becoming an EU Member State, is strengthening its political and economic links with the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan. Having access to Iraqi energy resources would be a major boon to Ankara, which is currently reliant on Russian imports, and it would also have an influence on the EU’s energy security. There is, therefore, no doubt that the Turkish‐Kurdish agreement represents an important factor strengthening the interests of EU Member States. However, it also carries the risk of destabilising Iraq, which could start to gravitate towards Iran. 

1.

Is the EEAS monitoring Turkish‐Kurdish relations as they move towards closer cooperation, and is it in contact with the Turkish Government on this issue?

2.

Is European diplomacy taking action at international level to prevent any potentialcollapse of the Iraqi state? If so, what sort of action?

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

(12 July 2013)

The HR/VP is following closely relations between Turkey and Iraq. Turkey's relations with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have further developed in recent years. The EU has welcomed this development — also in the framework of the EU-Turkey wider political dialogue — while stressing consistently the need to improve relations between Ankara and Baghdad too. This would be extremely useful in the context of regional stability.

The Foreign Affairs Council discussed the situation in Iraq in February and March and agreed on the need to enhance EU engagement in order to promote political stability in the country. In their April Council conclusions, Foreign Affairs Ministers expressed concerns at the rising tensions and levels of violence in Iraq and reiterated EU’s commitment to stand alongside Iraq and help the country develop as a democratic, unified and prosperous country. In this respect, the EU will continue to enhance long-term bilateral relations, now based notably on the partnership and cooperation agreement. The EU also raises the internal situation in Iraq with partners in the region, including Turkey in the framework of the EU-Turkey wider political dialogue.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005584/13

à Comissão (Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: VP/HR — Mianmar/Birmânia — crimes contra a humanidade

Considerando que:

Em Mianmar/Birmânia, os conflitos entre muçulmanos de etnia «rohingya» e budistas de etnia «rakhine» vitimaram mais de 180 pessoas e originaram cerca de 100 mil deslocados;

De acordo com um relatório da organização não-governamental Human Rights Watch, as autoridades de Mianmar/Birmânia foram cúmplices dos crimes contra a humanidade, dos quais a minoria muçulmana «rohingya» tem vindo a ser vítima;

Pergunto à Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante:

Tem conhecimento deste relatório?

Que avaliação faz da situação descrita?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(15 de julho de 2013)

A Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente segue atentamente a evolução da situação em Mianmar/Birmânia e tem conhecimento do relatório da organização não-governamental Human Rights Watch.

Os violentos conflitos sectários no Estado de Rakhine, assim como noutras regiões do país, que têm como alvo a minoria muçulmana, constituem um motivo de séria preocupação. Estes conflitos, que refletem divisões profundas na sociedade, não são novos na história do país e representam um risco para o processo de democratização e de reconciliação nacional. A Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente apelou às autoridades para que protejam a população civil contra a violência e investiguem as causas destes graves incidentes.

A situação foi debatida no Conselho «Negócios Estrangeiros», de 22 de abril de 2013, que pôs em destaque a necessidade de o Governo fazer face à violência entre comunidades e, nomeadamente, de analisar o estatuto do povo «rohingya». Com efeito, somos da opinião de que a questão da cidadania é fundamental e continuaremos a incentivar o Governo a rever a lei da cidadania de 1982. Ao longo das últimas semanas, o SEAE levantou várias vezes a questão junto das autoridades competentes, sublinhando também que os responsáveis pelos atos de violência de ambos os lados devem ser entregues à justiça. Durante a sua recente visita a Mianmar/Birmânia, o Representante Especial da UE para os Direitos Humanos reafirmou veementemente junto dos seus interlocutores a necessidade urgente de tratar as questões relacionadas com a violência e a discriminação entre comunidades, tendo-se igualmente encontrado com representantes do povo «rohingya».

Simultaneamente, é igualmente necessário que o governo aja no sentido de penalizar a incitação à violência e a expressão de pontos de vista incendiários nos meios de comunicação social. O Presidente U Thein Sein condenou publicamente a violência em maio passado e apelou à tolerância e à reconciliação. Embora não seja suficiente, este é um passo na boa direção.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005584/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Myanmar/Burma — Crimes against humanity

In view of the following:

the fact that in Myanmar/Burma, clashes between ethnic Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists have claimed the lives of 180 people and displaced around 100 000;

the fact that a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch states that the authorities in Myanmar/Burma have been complicit in crimes against humanity, of which the Muslim Rohingya minority have been the victims.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative state:

Is she aware of this report?

What is her view of the situation?

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

(15 July 2013)

The High Representative/Vice-President follows with close attention the developments in Myanmar/Burma and is aware of the Human Rights Watch report.

The violent clashes along sectarian lines in Rakhine state but also in other parts of the country, with the Muslim minority as the target, are of grave concern. Such clashes are not new in the country’s history. They point to deep-rooted divisions in the society and present a risk to the whole process of democratisation and national reconciliation. The HR/VP urged authorities to protect civilians from violence, and to investigate the causes of these disturbing incidents.

The Foreign Affairs Council of 22 April 2013 discussed the matter and stressed the need for the Government to deal with inter-communal violence and notably to address the status of the Rohingya. Indeed we believe that the issue of citizenship is fundamental and will continue to encourage the Government to revise the 1982 Citizenship law. The EEAS has raised the issue with the authorities on several occasions in past weeks also underlining that perpetrators from any side must be brought to justice. The EU's Special Representative for Human Rights during his recent visit to Myanmar/Burma, where he also met Rohingya representatives, forcefully raised with his interlocutors the need to urgently deal with intercommunal violence and discrimination.

At the same time there is also a need for government action to prosecute the incitation of violence and expression of inflammatory views in the media. President U Thein Sein has condemned violence publicly last May and called for tolerance and reconciliation. While certainly not sufficient, this is a step in the right direction.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005585/13

à Comissão (Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: VP/HR — Ataque islamita na Nigéria

Considerando que:

A Nigéria, dividida entre o norte predominantemente muçulmano e o sul maioritariamente cristão, vive regularmente casos de violência inter-religiosa;

Em termos globais, a violência ligada à insurreição dos islamitas e à sua repressão pelo exército já provocou mais de 3600 mortos desde 2009;

Recentemente, uma série de ataques coordenados foram levados a cabo pelo grupo islamita Boko Haram na localidade de Bama, que provocaram 55 mortos;

Pergunto à Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante:

De que forma pode a União Europeia intervir neste conflito, a fim de promover a paz e assegurar a liberdade religiosa dos cidadãos nigerianos?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(15 de julho de 2013)

A UE colabora com a Nigéria para ajudar a promover a paz e a liberdade religiosa no país, tanto através de um diálogo político contínuo sobre as medidas mais adequadas para os problemas como através de intervenções de ajuda específicas.

Em 21 de março de 2013, decorreu em Abuja a primeira sessão de diálogo local sobre a paz, a segurança e a estabilidade organizada pela Nigéria e pela União Europeia. Em 16 de maio de 2013, em Bruxelas, as duas Partes realizaram a quarta sessão do diálogo ministerial entre a União Europeia e a Nigéria. Em ambas as ocasiões, a UE sublinhou a necessidade de responder aos atuais desafios em matéria de segurança no quadro de uma abordagem global, que integre os aspetos da segurança, da governação e do desenvolvimento e tenha também em conta as causas profundas da violência através de reformas e de atividades que beneficiem em igual medida todos os grupos populacionais da Nigéria.

Em dezembro de 2012, uma missão da UE deslocou-se à Nigéria para examinar formas específicas de apoio à luta contra o terrorismo. Em consequência dessa missão, está atualmente a ser elaborado um pacote ao abrigo do Instrumento de Estabilidade para apoiar atividades nos domínios da segurança e do Estado de Direito. No âmbito do FED, a UE intervém em vários estados no setor social (saúde, água e saneamento), complementando essa intervenção com apoio à justiça e à boa governação. O respeito pela liberdade religiosa é abordado através de várias ações, nomeadamente no âmbito da estratégia da UE em matéria de direitos humanos para a Nigéria. Ao abrigo do 11.° FED, o programa de desenvolvimento da UE concentrar-se-á especialmente nas regiões do norte da Nigéria.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005585/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Islamist attack in Nigeria

In view of the following:

the fact that Nigeria, divided between the predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south, regularly experiences inter-religious violence;

the fact that overall, violence linked to the Islamist insurrection and its suppression by the army has already resulted in over 3 600 deaths since 2009;

the fact that recently, the Islamist group Boko Haram has carried out a series of coordinated attacks in the Bama area, leaving 55 dead.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative state:

How can the EU intervene in this conflict in order to promote peace and secure religious freedom for the Nigerian people?

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

(15 July 2013)

The EU is working with Nigeria to help it promote peace and religious freedom through both continuous political dialogue on appropriate approaches to the problems, as well as targeted aid interventions.

On 21 March 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria and the European Union held the first session of the local dialogue on peace, security and stability. On 16 May 2013 in Brussels the two sides held the fourth session of the EU-Nigeria Ministerial Dialogue. At both occasions the EU stressed the need to address the current security challenges with a comprehensive security/governance/development approach targeting also the root causes of violence through reforms and activities that equally benefit all groups of the Nigerian population.

In December 2012 an EU mission was in Nigeria to examine specific forms of support to fight terrorism. As a result a package under the Instrument for Stability is currently under preparation to support activities in the areas of security and the rule of law. Under the EDF the EU intervenes in several states in social sectors (health, water and sanitation) complemented by support to justice and good governance. Respect for freedom of religion is addressed through several actions including some which are part of the EU's Human Rights Strategy for Nigeria. Under the 11th EDF the EU development programme will have a special focus on the North of Nigeria.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005587/13

à Comissão (Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: VP/HR — Eleições gerais na Guiné-Bissau

Considerando que:

No seguimento da última reunião da Assembleia Nacional Popular em Bissau, que contou com a participação de políticos, chefias militares, chefes religiosos e dirigentes sindicais, se chegou a um consenso sobre o novo modelo para o período de transição em curso na Guiné-Bissau desde o golpe de Estado militar de 12 de abril do ano passado;

Foi obtido um acordo para que sejam realizadas eleições gerais no próximo mês de novembro;

Pergunto à Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante:

Prevê acompanhar as operações eleitorais na Guiné-Bissau?

Estão previstas medidas complementares que, no respeito pela autonomia da República da Guiné-Bissau, contribuam para a obtenção dos resultados previstos no consenso firmado?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(17 de julho de 2013)

A UE irá ponderar a possibilidade de apoiar a organização das eleições na Guiné-Bissau em função da apresentação de um plano credível e pormenorizado. A análise do processo eleitoral através do envio de uma missão de peritos eleitorais é uma opção que está atualmente a ser considerada.

A Comissão Europeia e a Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente estão também atualmente a preparar um pacote adicional de ações destinadas a prestar apoio direto à população. Estas ações pretendem abordar problemas no domínio do saúde, do fornecimento de água, da segurança alimentar e apoiar intervenientes de setores não estatais.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005587/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — General elections in Guinea-Bissau

In view of the following:

the fact that the latest meeting of Guinea-Bissau’s National People’s Assembly, in which politicians, military leaders, religious leaders and union heads participated, reached a consensus on the new model for the transition period underway in Guinea-Bissau since the military coup d’état of 12 April 2012;

the fact that a consensus was reached that general elections will be held in November.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative state:

Does she intend to monitor the elections in Guinea-Bissau?

Is she planning additional measures that would, while respecting Guinea-Bissau’s autonomy, contribute to the agreement signed achieving the envisaged results?

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

(17 July 2013)

The EU will consider support to the organisation of the elections in Guinea-Bissau depending on the presentation of a detailed and credible plan. Electoral assessment through the deployment of an Election Experts Mission is an option which is currently being considered.

The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President are also currently working on an additional package of actions aiming at providing direct support to the population. These actions will address the health, water, food security and support to Non-State Actors sectors.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005588/13

à Comissão (Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: VP/HR — Tensão no Noroeste Asiático

Considerando que:

A China não vai participar da cimeira deste ano com o Japão e a Coreia do Sul, como estava agendado;

A China, o Japão e a Coreia do Sul poderiam ter aproveitado o momento para aumentar a estabilidade estratégica no Noroeste da Ásia, mas, em vez disso, as tensões deverão agora continuar a crescer;

Pergunto à Vice-Presidente/Alta Representante:

Como tem acompanhado a crescente tensão no Noroeste Asiático?

Que iniciativas têm sido adotadas pela UE para ajudar a aliviar a tensão nessa região?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(15 de julho de 2013)

A UE está a acompanhar de perto a evolução da situação no Nordeste Asiático. A situação no Mar da China Oriental e o aumento da tensão na Península da Coreia são particularmente preocupantes. Em setembro último, quando do agravamento do diferendo entre a China e o Japão, a Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente proferiu uma declaração em nome da UE. A UE, através de declarações, medidas restritivas e consultas frequentes com os principais intervenientes, tem colaborado estreitamente com a comunidade internacional para dar resposta ao risco de proliferação de armas de destruição maciça e de instabilidade provocada pelas atividades ilegais da RPDC.

A UE não toma uma posição quanto às ambições das várias partes envolvidas no Nordeste Asiático, mas está preocupada com o impacto que uma nova escalada dos riscos poderá ter na segurança regional e na economia mundial. Tal não impede, contudo, a prossecução de uma boa cooperação com os seus parceiros regionais, nomeadamente no âmbito do Conselho de Segurança da ONU, sobre a questão da RPDC. Prosseguem igualmente as negociações com o Japão, a China e a Coreia do Sul sobre um acordo de comércio livre.

A UE utiliza todos os meios disponíveis para promover a paz e a segurança na região. As divergências sobre questões marítimas deveriam ser resolvidas a longo prazo através do diálogo e com base no direito internacional, em particular o Direito do Mar (Unclos). A UE chamou várias vezes a atenção dos países em causa para este ponto, nomeadamente durante a visita da Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente à China em abril. Refira-se ainda que a UE também assinou o Tratado de Amizade e Cooperação em 2012.

Nos nossos próximos contactos (diálogo estratégico com a China, cimeiras com o Japão, a Coreia do Sul e a China, reunião ministerial do Fórum Regional da ASEAN), a UE continuará a incentivar todas as partes a resolver o desafio da segurança em prol da estabilidade, da previsibilidade e da prosperidade. A UE aceitou, em princípio, organizar um seminário sobre segurança marítima conjuntamente com a Indonésia, no contexto geral de cooperação UE‐ASEAN (segundo semestre de 2013).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005588/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Tension in north-east Asia

In view of the following:

the fact that China will not participate as planned in this year’s summit with Japan and South Korea;

the fact that China, Japan and South Korea could have taken advantage of this opportunity to increase stability in north-east Asia, but tensions will now surely increase instead.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative state:

How has she been monitoring the increasing tension in north-east Asia?

What initiatives has the EU been adopting to help relieve tension in the region?

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

(15 July 2013)

The EU is following closely developments in North-East Asia. The situation in the East China Sea and the heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been especially worrying. The HRVP issued a Statement on behalf of the EU last September when tensions sparked between China and Japan. The EU, through statements, restrictive measures and frequent consultations with key players, has also worked closely with the international community to address the risk of WMD proliferation and of instability brought about by the DPRK's illegal activities.

The EU takes no position regarding the respective claims in North-East Asia, but is concerned that further escalation risks severe impact on regional security and the global economy. However, this has not stood in the way of good cooperation between regional partners, in particular in the UNSC, on the DPRK issue. Japan, China and South Korea continue negotiations on a FTA.

The EU uses all available means to promote peace and security in the region. A long-term resolution of the differences on maritime issues should be sought through dialogue and based on international law, in particular Unclos. The EU has made this point several times to countries concerned, most recently during the HRVP's visit to China in April. The EU also signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2012.

In our upcoming contacts (Strategic Dialogue with China and the Summits with Japan, South Korea and China, ARF Ministerial) the EU will continue to encourage all sides to address security challenges in pursuit of stability, predictability and prosperity.The EU has agreed in principle to organise a seminar on maritime security with Indonesia, in the general context of EU-ASEAN cooperation (second half of 2013).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005589/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Espionaje de EE.UU. a la agencia de prensa Associated Press

El pasado viernes 10 mayo, la agencia de prensa estadounidense Associated Press (AP) recibió una filtración que le informaba de que el Departamento de Justicia del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de América se había incautado de los registros de más de veinte líneas telefónicas pertenecientes a reporteros y delegaciones de la agencia de periodistas.

Este escándalo ha implicado la inhibición del Fiscal General de Estados Unidos en dicho caso, al estar siendo investigado por el FBI por dicha recopilación ilegal de información. Este caso está afectando a los más altos cargos del Gobierno y supone una violación de la libertad de expresión y la libertad de prensa, derechos fundamentales que normalmente la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante condena repetidamente en unos pocos países.

Con esta persecución ilegal de una agencia periodística, el Gobierno de EE.UU. confirma su actitud beligerante en contra de los medios de comunicación del país. Incautarse de los registros telefónicos de manera ilegal supone poner en peligro la privacidad de las fuentes de la citada agencia periodística y un serio ataque contra el periodismo, confirmando la actitud de la administración Obama de ejecutar un férreo control de la política interna y de sus propios ciudadanos. Este no es el primer escándalo en el que la administración Obama ha violado las libertades individuales de sus ciudadanos, por lo que es necesario sancionar dicha actitud para garantizar el respeto a dichas libertades.

La persecución y espionaje a periodistas también se está llevando a cabo en diferentes Estados miembros de la Unión Europea, como España, donde se han realizado detenciones arbitrarias de periodistas e incluso agresiones por parte de la policía, tal y como denuncié en mi pasada pregunta sobre la detención del fotoperiodista Eduardo León (E-012298/2011).

1.

¿Conoce la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante los hechos expuestos sobre la investigación ilegal de los registros telefónicos de periodistas norteamericanos?

2.

¿Ha condenado a la administración del Presidente Obama por perseguir las libertades fundamentales de prensa y expresión?

3.

¿Qué vías establece para garantizar la protección de las libertades fundamentales de expresión y prensa en los Estados miembros?

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

(5 de agosto de 2013)

La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta está al corriente del caso de espionaje telefónico a la agencia de noticias Associated Press (AP).

La libertad de expresión y la libertad de prensa son de suma importancia para la UE. En este sentido, la UE ha tomado buena nota de las palabras pronunciadas por el Fiscal General de EE.UU., Eric Holder, que el pasado 6 de junio de 2013 declaró que el Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU., al tiempo que debe seguir protegiendo la seguridad nacional, «tiene que velar también por la defensa de los derechos y libertades más sagrados […], incluida la libertad de prensa». En la misma declaración, el Fiscal General anunció que se procederá a revisar las directrices del Departamento de Justicia que actualmente regulan las investigaciones a periodistas.

Como ya señaló la Comisión en la respuesta a su anterior pregunta escrita E-012298/2011 (163), la libertad de expresión y de información constituye uno de los pilares fundamentales de la UE y está consagrado en el artículo 11 de la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea y en el artículo 10 del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos (CEDH). La Comisión está plenamente comprometida a garantizar y promover el respeto de los derechos fundamentales en el ámbito de sus competencias. Con arreglo al artículo 51, apartado 1, de la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales, las disposiciones de la misma están dirigidas a los Estados miembros únicamente cuando apliquen el Derecho de la Unión. No obstante, aunque no exista vínculo con el Derecho de la Unión, siguen teniendo que garantizar el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones relativas a los derechos fundamentales, derivadas de los acuerdos internacionales, del CEDH y del Derecho interno.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005589/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — US spying on the press agency Associated Press

On Friday 10 May 2013, the US press agency Associated Press (AP) received a leak informing it that the US Government’s Department of Justice had seized records of more than 20 telephone lines belonging to AP reporters and offices.

This scandal has led the United States Attorney General to recuse himself from the case, which is being investigated by the FBI as a result of this illegal information gathering. This case is affecting the upper echelons of the US Government and represents a violation of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, something which the Vice-President/High Representative would normally condemn repeatedly in some countries.

By illegally persecuting this press agency, the US Government is confirming its belligerent attitude against the country’s media. The illegal seizure of telephone records jeopardises the privacy of this press agency’s sources and is a serious attack against journalism, confirming the Obama administration’s attitude of controlling its domestic policy and its own citizens with an iron fist. This is not the first scandal in which the Obama administration has violated the individual freedoms of its citizens, and it should therefore be sanctioned for this attitude in order to ensure respect for these freedoms.

Various EU Member States are also guilty of spying on and persecuting journalists. For example, in Spain, journalists have been arbitrarily detained and even attacked by police, as I denounced in my previous question on the arrest of photojournalist Eduardo León (E-012298/2011).

1.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of the facts regarding the illegal investigation of US journalists’ telephone records?

2.

Has she condemned President Obama’s administration for persecuting the fundamental freedoms of freedom of the press and freedom of expression?

3.

What measures are being established to ensure that these fundamental freedoms are protected in the Member States?

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

(5 August 2013)

The HR/VP is aware of the case of the Associated Press (AP) phone taps.

The EU attaches the utmost importance to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In this regard, the EU took good note of the statement made by Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder on 6 June 2013 that, while the Department of Justice must continue to protect US national security, it ‘must be just as vigilant in [the] defense of the sacred rights and freedoms (…), including the freedom of the press’. In the same statement, AG Holder announced the launch of a review of existing Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters.

As the Commission said in reply to previous Written Question E-012298/2011 (164), freedom of expression and information constitutes one of the essential foundations of the EU, enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Commission is fully committed to ensuring and promoting the respect of fundamental rights within the scope of its competences. According to Article 51(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the provisions of the Charter are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. Where there is no link to Union law, Member States are still bound to ensure that their obligations regarding fundamental rights — as resulting from international agreements, the ECHR and from internal legislation — are respected.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-005590/13

adresată Comisiei

Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D)

(20 mai 2013)

Subiect: Utilizarea cianurii în sectorul minier

În pofida unei solicitări oficiale a Parlamentului, formulată în rezoluția sa din 5 mai 2010 (P7_TA(2010)0145) (165), și a unor cereri suplimentare din partea unor deputați în PE, Comisia a afirmat că nu intenționează să interzică utilizarea cianurii în sectorul minier.

În scrisoarea sa din 8 noiembrie 2011 (ref. 1188233), Comisa a asigurat că „urmărește îndeaproape evoluțiile tehnologice din sectorul mineritului aurifer” și că va asigura „dezvoltarea unor noi tehnologii de extracție în domeniul mineritului aurifer” prin intermediul parteneriatului european pentru inovare privind materiile prime.

În plus, Comisia a estimat că actuala „legislație riguroasă și cuprinzătoare (…), odată ce va fi pusă în aplicare în mod cuvenit, ar trebui să prevină survenirea accidentelor și să reducă la minim efectele acestora asupra mediului”.

Având în vedere cele de mai sus:

ar putea Comisia să prezinte măsurile concrete care au fost luate în vederea atingerii obiectivului menționat de aceasta, și anume dezvoltarea unor noi tehnologii de extracție?

ar putea Comisia să confirme faptul că legislația în vigoare impune operatorilor obligația clară de a acoperi costurile accidentelor, precum și costurile de mediu care rezultă în urma activităților de exploatație normale?

având în vedere riscurile recunoscute asociate utilizării cianurii în sectorul minier, intenționează Comisia să revină asupra deciziei sale de a nu propune interzicea acesteia?

intenționează Comisia să prevadă fonduri care să fie utilizate în mod specific pentru acțiuni de dezvoltare alternativă în cadrul regiunilor miniere, cum ar fi turismul sau protecția și promovarea siturilor arheologice?

Răspuns dat de dl Potočnik în numele Comisiei

(9 august 2013)

1.

Parteneriatul european pentru inovare privind materiile prime este o dezvoltare a planului strategic de implementare (PSI), prin promovarea cooperării multidisciplinare între mediul universitar și sectorul industrial, în scopul de a oferi noi soluții tehnologice exemplare, eficiente din punct de vedere al costurilor, raționale și sigure pentru mediu, cu ajutorul cărora să se asigure aprovizionarea cu materii prime, inclusiv extracția, astfel încât să fie create noi locuri de muncă și să se genereze creștere în economia UE. Se preconizează că planul strategic de implementare (PSI) va fi adoptat de Grupul de coordonare la nivel înalt al parteneriatului european pentru inovare (EIP) în septembrie 2013. Implementarea acțiunilor depinde de angajamentele ulterioare pe care și le vor asuma UE, statele membre, sectorul industrial, mediul universitar și societatea civilă. La nivelul UE, inițiativa Orizont 2020 va aborda chestiunea noilor tehnologii extractive în contextul provocărilor societale pe care le reprezintă

„combaterea schimbărilor climatice, utilizarea eficientă a resurselor și materiile prime”.

2.

Articolul 14 referitor la garanțiile financiare și articolul 15 referitor la responsabilitatea privind mediul din Directiva 2006/21/CE privind gestionarea deșeurilor din industriile extractive

2.

Articolul 14 referitor la garanțiile financiare și articolul 15 referitor la responsabilitatea privind mediul din Directiva 2006/21/CE privind gestionarea deșeurilor din industriile extractive

 (166) , precum și Directiva 2004/35/CE privind răspunderea pentru mediul înconjurător în legătură cu prevenirea și repararea daunelor aduse mediului (167) impun operatorilor obligația de a acoperi costurile accidentelor și costurile de mediu care rezultă din activitățile profesionale normale.

3.

Comisia ar dori să aducă în atenția distinșilor membri ai Parlamentului European răspunsul pe care l-a oferit la întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-6197/2012

3.

Comisia ar dori să aducă în atenția distinșilor membri ai Parlamentului European răspunsul pe care l-a oferit la întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-6197/2012

 (168) adresată de domnul Hassi și domnul Pietikäinen.

4.

Politica de coeziune poate veni în sprijinul statelor membre și al regiunilor în vederea cofinanțării unor programe și proiecte legate de turism, precum și referitoare la patrimoniul natural și la cel cultural, în funcție de prioritățile de investiție pentru care au optat statele membre în programele operaționale relevante. În cadrul

„gestionării partajate” a fondurilor, statele membre sunt cele care selecționează și implementează proiectele cofinanțate.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005590/13

to the Commission

Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Use of cyanide in the mining sector

Despite a formal call from Parliament in its resolution of 5 May 2010 (P7_TA(2010)0145) (169), and additional requests from individual MEPs, the Commission has stated that it does not intend to propose a ban on the use of cyanide in the mining sector.

In its letter of 8 November 2011 (ref. 1188233), the Commission gave assurances that it ‘closely follows technological developments in the gold mining sector’ and will ‘ensure the development of new extraction technologies in the gold mining sector’ through the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.

Moreover, the Commission also reasoned that current ‘comprehensive and strict legislation (…) once properly implemented, should prevent the occurrence of accidents and minimise their environmental impacts’.

In view of the above:

Could the Commission outline what concrete steps have been taken towards its stated goal of ensuring the development of new extraction technologies?

Could the Commission confirm that current legislation also includes a clear obligation on operators to cover the costs of accidents as well as the environmental costs resulting from normal occupational activities?

Given the established risks associated with using cyanide in the mining sector, will the Commission review its decision not to propose a ban?

Will the Commission consider targeting funds to be used specifically for alternative development in mining regions, such as tourism or the protection and promotion of archaeological sites?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(9 August 2013)

1.

The European Innovation Partnership on Raw materials is developing the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) through promoting

multidisciplinary cooperation between academia and industry in order to deliver new exemplary cost-effective, environmentally sound and safe technological solutions for securing supply of raw materials, including extraction, to bring new jobs and growth to the EU economy. SIP is expected to be adopted by the High Level Steering Group of the EIP in September 2013. Implementation of the action is subject to further commitments from the EU, Member States, Industry, academia and civil society. At EU level, Horizon 2020 will address new extraction technologies in the Societal challenge on ‘Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials’.

2.

Article 14 on financial guarantees and Article 15 on environmental liability of Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries

2.

Article 14 on financial guarantees and Article 15 on environmental liability of Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries

 (170) and Directive 2004/35/CE on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (171) impose the obligation on operators to cover the costs of accidents as well as the environmental costs resulting from normal occupational activities.

3.

The Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to Written Question E-6197/2012

3.

The Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to Written Question E-6197/2012

 (172) by Mr Hassi and Mr Pietikäinen.

4.

Cohesion Policy can support Member States and regions to co-finance programmes and projects related to tourism as well as on natural and cultural assets, depending on the priorities for investments selected by Member States in the relevant Operational Programmes. In the framework of the

‘shared management’ of the funds, it is the Member States that select and implement the co-funded projects.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005591/13

alla Commissione

Matteo Salvini (EFD) e Giancarlo Scottà (EFD)

(20 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Restrizioni all'utilizzo di neonicotinoidi in agricoltura considerati responsabili di una grave moria di api mellifere

In seguito a studi svolti dall'Autorità europea per la sicurezza alimentare (EFSA) su richiesta della Commissione, che hanno evidenziato i rischi per la salute delle api connessi all'uso dei neonicotinoidi in agricoltura e alla luce del parere concorde espresso dall'Agenzia europea per l'ambiente (EEA), la Commissione ha ritenuto di decretare una moratoria di due anni che impone forti restrizioni all'utilizzo di alcune molecole rientranti in questa categoria, note coi nomi commerciali di Clothiadinin, Imidacloprid e Thiametoxam.

Tale moratoria riguarda, tuttavia, solamente l'utilizzo di detti prodotti su «coltivazioni visitate e impollinate dalle api», ignorando pertanto il rischio rappresentato da tali molecole, la cui tossicità è ormai accertata, per altre forme di vita animale, quali invertebrati acquatici, uccelli e altri insetti.

Va poi rilevato che restano escluse dalla moratoria quattro tra le sette molecole poste sotto accusa per la moria di api, nonché tutti i neonicotinoidi non ancora in commercio, come il Sulfoxaflor, ma che potrebbero essere introdotti sul mercato in tempi brevi.

È opportuno sottolineare come le api svolgano un ruolo fondamentale e strategico nell'impollinazione dei fiori e dunque nella riproduzione di gran parte delle specie vegetali terrestri. Ciò comporta che l'estinzione o, comunque, una forte riduzione della popolazione di api causerebbe un disastro ecologico di proporzioni inaudite e avrebbe ripercussioni pesantissime sulla produzione di derrate alimentari e quindi sulla società tutta. Non indifferente rimane il potenziale ingresso di tali composti come prodotti residuali in filiere alimentari. È noto come il miele, diretto prodotto alimentare della filiera delle api, sia soggetto ad inquinamento ambientale da fonti che sono legate a attività antropiche, tra cui l'utilizzo di prodotti chimici in agricoltura.

Ha la Commissione intenzione di valutare l'introduzione di un divieto generale e permanente di utilizzo delle molecole oggetto della moratoria?

Ritiene essa opportuno estendere la portata della moratoria, e dell'eventuale successivo divieto generalizzato, anche agli altri neonicotinoidi il cui utilizzo è stato scientificamente correlato con ragionevole probabilità all'anomala moria di api degli ultimi decenni?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(5 luglio 2013)

Una domanda di approvazione del sulfoxaflor è stata presentata conformemente alle regole contenute nel regolamento (CE) n. 1107/2009. Il fascicolo è ora all'esame dell'Autorità europea per la sicurezza alimentare. Attualmente nell'UE non esistono autorizzazioni nel merito.

La Commissione desidera inoltre rinviare gli onorevoli deputati alla propria risposta all'interrogazione scritta P-006069/2013 (173).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005591/13

to the Commission

Matteo Salvini (EFD) and Giancarlo Scottà (EFD)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids blamed for high bee mortality in agriculture

Following a number of studies carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) at the Commission’s behest, which highlighted the risks to bee health of neonicotinoid use in agriculture, and in the light of the agreement expressed by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the Commission has decided to enact a two-year moratorium imposing severe restrictions on the use of certain molecules within this class, which are known by the trade names clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

However, the moratorium only applies to the use of these products on ‘bee-attractive crops’, and thus ignores the risk posed by such molecules — the toxicity of which has by now been proven — to other forms of animal life, such as aquatic invertebrates, birds and other insects.

It should also be noted that the moratorium fails to include four of the seven molecules blamed for the spate of bee deaths, as well as all the neonicotinoids which are not yet on sale but which could be placed on the market shortly, such as sulfoxaflor.

It should be emphasised that bees play a fundamental and strategic role in flower pollination and hence in the propagation of most land plants. This means that if the bee population became extinct or even went into sharp decline, it would cause an ecological disaster on an unprecedented scale and would have a huge impact on food production and hence on society as a whole. There remains a very real possibility that these compounds may enter food chains as residual products. Honey, a foodstuff that comes direct from the hives, is known to be affected by human-induced environmental pollution, one source of which is chemicals used in agriculture.

Will the Commission consider imposing a permanent blanket ban on the use of the molecules covered by the moratorium?

Does it consider it appropriate to extend the scope of the moratorium and of any subsequent blanket ban so that it covers the other neonicotinoids whose use has been scientifically linked, with a reasonable degree of certainty, to the abnormally high bee mortality rate of recent decades?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

An application for the approval of sulfoxaflor has been submitted according to the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. The dossier is currently under evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority. No authorisations are in place for the time-being within the EU.

In addition, the Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to Written Question P-006069/2013 (174).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005592/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 de mayo de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Entrenamiento con drones del ejército marroquí

Recientemente marines del ejército de los Estados Unidos organizaron un curso llamado «Curso de familiarización con pequeños vehículos voladores no pilotados» en Agadir (Marruecos). En este curso participaron miembros del ejército estadounidense, del ejército marroquí y del ejército alemán.

El curso se impartió durante los ejercicios anuales llamados «Ejercicios León Africano 13», en los que participaban por primera vez miembros del ejército alemán. Dichos ejercicios militares incluían el entrenamiento de miembros del ejército marroquí con aviones no tripulados. El ejército marroquí es una fuerza ocupante de los territorios del Sáhara Occidental que, según numerosas organizaciones internacionales, viola sistemáticamente los derechos humanos.

El empleo de drones en conflictos armados acarrea numerosos problemas jurídicos a la hora de determinar las responsabilidades legales en materia de crímenes de guerra. Sin embargo, en el marco de este ejercicio, dos países miembros de la OTAN han estado entrenando a unidades militares marroquíes en el manejo de este tipo de equipamiento militar, pese a conocer el carácter invasor de dichas fuerzas. El entrenamiento con este tipo de equipamiento supone un nuevo obstáculo en la búsqueda de una salida pacífica al conflicto del Sáhara Occidental, puesto que refuerza al ejército invasor pese a tratarse del ejército de un Estado que incumple el Derecho internacional y viola los derechos humanos. Con los drones de combate en sus manos, el ejército marroquí podrá continuar asesinando y violando derechos de manera totalmente impune.

— ¿Considera la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante que el entrenamiento en el empleo de drones del ejército marroquí puede implicar un mayor número de violaciones de derechos humanos en el Sáhara Occidental que queden totalmente impunes?

— ¿Piensa pedir explicaciones a Alemania por haber participado en un ejercicio militar en el que colabora con una fuerza invasora que ocupa ilegalmente los territorios del Sáhara Occidental y viola sistemáticamente los derechos humanos y el Derecho internacional?

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

(8 de julio de 2013)

La AR/VP no tiene información sobre una posible intención de Marruecos de utilizar «drones» para cometer violaciones de los derechos humanos en el Sáhara Occidental.

Según la información disponible, el ejercicio no implicó ninguna violación del Derecho internacional y, como confirma su Señoría, tuvo lugar en el territorio de Marruecos. Por lo tanto, la AR/VP no tiene intención de pedir explicaciones al Gobierno alemán.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005592/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Moroccan army drone training

Recently, US marines organised a so-called ‘small unmanned flying vehicle familiarisation course’ in Agadir (Morocco). Members of the US army, the Moroccan army and the German army participated in the course.

The course was conducted during the annual ‘Exercise African Lion 13’ exercises, in which members of the German army were participating for the first time. These military exercises included training members of the Moroccan army to use unmanned aircraft. The Moroccan army is an occupying force in the territories of Western Sahara which, according to many international organisations, systematically violates human rights.

The use of drones in armed conflicts gives rise to various legal problems when it comes to determining legal responsibilities in terms of war crimes. However, as part of this exercise, two NATO member countries have been training Moroccan military units in the use of this kind of military equipment, despite knowing that these are invading forces. Training with this kind of equipment constitutes yet another obstacle to finding a peaceful outcome to the conflict in Western Sahara, as it strengthens the invading army even though this army belongs to a State which does not comply with international law and which violates human rights. With the combat drones in its hands, the Moroccan army will be able to continue attacking and violating rights with total impunity.

— Does the Vice-President/High Representative believe that training the Moroccan army in the use of drones could lead to more unpunished human rights violations in Western Sahara?

— Does she intend to ask Germany to provide an explanation for its participation in a military exercise in which it collaborated with an invading force which is illegally occupying the territory of Western Sahara and systematically violating human rights and international law?

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

(8 July 2013)

The HR/VP has no information about any intention of Morocco to use drones to commit human rights violations in Western Sahara.

According to the information available, the exercise did not entail any violation of international law and, as the Honourable Member confirmed, the exercise took place on the territory of Morocco. Therefore, the HR/VP does not intend to request explanations from the German Government.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005593/13

alla Commissione

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(20 maggio 2013)

Oggetto: Progetti LIFE e uccisione di animali selvatici

Nel sito del Programma LIFE, nella sezione «LIFE news features 2013», si trova un articolo (175) relativo alle pratiche di caccia sostenibile, apparentemente supportate dallo stesso programma LIFE.

Nel testo si parla di fondi LIFE destinati a attività di protezione delle specie animali a rischio, ma anche di controllo di specie invasive (come il Nyctereutes procyonoides, cioè il cosiddetto cane procione o raccoon dog nei Paesi nordeuropei) e di progetti che vedono coinvolte associazioni venatorie.

Può la Commissione precisare se attualmente siano in corso — e se in passato vi siano stati — progetti cofinanziati dall'Unione europea attraverso il programma LIFE che prevedono l'uccisione tramite i cacciatori di determinate specie animali e, in caso di risposta positiva, specificare quali siano questi progetti e a quanto ammontano i fondi europei erogati per la loro realizzazione?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(10 luglio 2013)

Tra i progetti finanziati dall’Unione europea in materia di gestione e controllo della popolazione di animali selvatici attuati da o in collaborazione con i cacciatori, rientrano i seguenti:

LIFE09 NAT/SE/000344 — Gestione del cane procione invasivo nei paesi del nord Europa. Il progetto è attuato dall'Associazione svedese per la caccia e la gestione della fauna selvatica.Dotazione:5 318 278 EUR;contributo dell'UE: 2 659 139 EUR.

LIFE09 NAT/UK/000020 — Reintroduzione dell’otarda (Otis tarda) nell’Inghilterra meridionale. Il progetto è svolto in collaborazione con i guardiacaccia che si occupano della gestione delle volpi. Dotazione: 2 182 175 EUR; contributo dell'UE: 1 636 631 EUR.

LIFE08 NAT/UK/000204 — Conservazione degli habitat e delle specie del machair in una serie di siti Natura in Scozia. Il progetto prevede una diminuzione del numero delle oche selvatiche non migratorie. Dotazione: 2 735 031 EUR; contributo dell'UE: 1 367 515,00 EUR.

LIFE09 NAT/LT/000581 — Sviluppo di una rete ecologica pilota grazie alle aree Nature Frame nel sud della Lituania. Il progetto è svolto in collaborazione con i cacciatori locali responsabili per la riduzione del numero di predatori delle specie bersaglio: volpi e cani procioni. Dotazione: 766 260 EUR; contributo dell'UE: 381 510 EUR.

LIFE11 NAT/PL/000428 — Protezione attiva delle popolazioni di animali delle aree pianeggianti di Capercaillie nella foresta di Bory Dolnośląskie e nella foresta vergine di Augustowska. Il progetto prevede una riduzione del numero di volpi, cani procioni, visoni americani, tassi europei e procioni mediante il subappalto dei servizi di caccia. Dotazione: 5 312 007 EUR; contributo dell'UE: 2 656 003 EUR.

Si noti che in tutti i progetti citati, la gestione e il controllo della popolazione di specie selezionate sono solo due di numerose misure adottate per conseguire obiettivi di tutela ambientale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005593/13

to the Commission

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: LIFE projects and killing of wild animals

The ‘LIFE news features 2013’ section of the LIFE Programme’s website contains an article (176) on sustainable hunting practices, which LIFE itself apparently supports.

The article talks not only about LIFE funds for activities to protect endangered animal species, but also about the control of invasive species (such as Nyctereutes procyonoides, or the raccoon dog) and projects involving hunting associations.

Can the Commission say whether any projects co-financed by the European Union through the LIFE Programme and involving the killing of certain animal species by hunters are currently being carried out or have been carried out in the past, and if so, can it name those projects and specify the amount of EU funding allocated to them?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2013)

Among the projects funded by the European Union which involve population management and control of wild animals and are implemented by or in cooperation with hunters, are the following:

LIFE09 NAT/SE/000344 — Management of the invasive Raccoon Dog in the north-European countries. The project is implemented by Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management. Budget: EUR 5 318 278; EU contribution EUR 2 659 139.

LIFE09 NAT/UK/000020 — Reintroducing the great bustard Otis tarda to southern England. The project cooperates with gamekeepers responsible for managing foxes. Budget: EUR 2 182 175; EU contribution 1 636 631.

LIFE08 NAT/UK/000204 — Conserving machair habitats and species in a suite of Scottish Natura sites. The project involves reduction of the number of non-migratory greylag geese. Budget: EUR 2 735 031; EU contribution 1 367 515.00.

LIFE09 NAT/LT/000581 — Development of Pilot Ecological Network through Nature Frame Areas in Southern Lithuania. The project cooperates with local hunters responsible for reducing the numbers of predators on targeted species: foxes and racoon dogs. Budget: EUR 766 260; EU contribution EUR 381 510.

LIFE11 NAT/PL/000428 — Active protection of lowland populations of Capercaillie in the Bory Dolnośląskie Forest and Augustowska Primeval Forest. The project involves reduction of numbers of foxes, racoon dogs, American minks, European badgers and racoons through subcontracting the hunting services. Budget: EUR 5 312 007; EU contribution EUR 2 656 003.

It should be noted that in case of all the abovementioned projects population management and control of selected species is only one of several measures carried out to achieve nature conservation objectives.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005594/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Medidas para atualizar, simplificar e fortalecer a cadeia agroalimentar na Europa

Considerando que:

As normas europeias relativas à saúde e segurança na cadeira agroalimentar encontram-se, atualmente, dispersas por 70 atos legislativos.

A Comissão apresentou uma proposta que visa reduzir para 50 o número de atos legislativos sobre a matéria, simplificando as regras aplicáveis à cadeia alimentar.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Quais são os principais elementos deste pacote de medidas?

Quando se estima que a nova legislação entre em vigor?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(11 de julho de 2013)

O reexame da legislação relativa à cadeia agroalimentar visa apresentar um pacote legislativo modernizado e simplificado em matéria de saúde animal, fitossanidade, material de reprodução vegetal, controlos oficiais e despesas da Comissão, a fim de reforçar a aplicação das normas de higiene e de segurança para toda a cadeia agroalimentar.

Os principais elementos deste pacote de medidas estão descritos pormenorizadamente no sítio:

http://wcmcom‐ec‐europa‐eu‐wip.wcm3vue.cec.eu.int:8080/dgs/health_consumer/pressroom/animal‐plant‐health_en.htm

Os debates dos legisladores sobre as propostas da Comissão começaram agora, pelo que a Comissão não está em posição de prever a data de entrada em vigor dos diferentes elementos do pacote, o que dependerá da data de adoção de cada regulamento.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005594/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Measures to update, simplify and strengthen the agri-food chain in Europe

In view of the following:

the fact that European health and safety regulations relating to the agri-food chain are currently spread across 70 pieces of legislation;

the fact that the Commission has tabled a proposal aimed at reducing the number of pieces of legislation on this issue to 50, thereby simplifying the rules applicable to the food chain.

Can the Commission state:

What are the main elements of this package of measures?

When does it estimate that the new legislation will come into force?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(11 July 2013)

The revision of the agri-food chain legislation aims to deliver a modernised and simplified legislative package for animal health, plant health, plant reproductive material, official controls and Commission expenditure, in order to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.

The main elements of this package of measures are described in detail at:

http://wcmcom-ec-europa-eu-wip.wcm3vue.cec.eu.int:8080/dgs/health_consumer/pressroom/animal-plant-health_en.htm

The legislator's discussions on the Commission proposals having just begun, the Commission is not in a position to predict the date of entry into force of the different parts of the package, which will depend on the date of adoption of each Regulation.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005595/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Reduções de comissões interbancárias não inclui Portugal

Considerando que:

A Visa Europe propôs reduzir entre 40 % e 60 % as comissões interbancárias que aplica aos pagamentos feitos com cartões de crédito;

A decisão da Visa Europe surge na sequência da interpelação da Comissão que, a 31 de julho de 2012, considerou que as comissões interbancárias multilaterais da Visa podiam restringir a competitividade entre os bancos e violar as regras da concorrência;

No entanto, entre os países abrangidos pela decisão da Visa Europe não figura Portugal;

Portugal continua a ter das taxas mais altas da Europa, o que prejudica todos os setores de atividade que usam os cartões bancários como meio de pagamento, retirando competitividade à economia nacional.

Assim, pergunto à Comissão:

Como analisa a decisão da Visa Europe ao não incluir Portugal nos países abrangidos pela redução das comissões interbancárias que são aplicáveis aos pagamentos feitos com cartões de crédito?

Resposta dada por Joaquín Almunia em nome da Comissão

(16 de julho de 2013)

Os processos contra as comissões interbancárias que são aplicáveis aos pagamentos feitos com cartões de crédito da Visa Europe  (177) e os compromissos propostos pela Visa Europe incluem comissões interbancárias transfronteiras e comissões interbancárias nacionais que são fixadas diretamente pela Visa Europe. Atualmente este não é o caso de Portugal, onde as comissões interbancárias para pagamentos feitos com cartões de crédito Visa são fixadas pela Visa Portugal, uma associação de emissores e adquirentes de cartões Visa.

As comissões interbancárias em Portugal, que se encontram entre as mais elevadas da UE, não são, por conseguinte, abrangidas diretamente pelos compromissos propostos. No entanto, a Visa Europe propôs também reformar o seu sistema de tal modo que os bancos poderão aplicar as comissões interbancárias transfronteiras aos seus clientes (comerciantes) noutros países («aquisição transfronteiras») (178). Na prática, isto significa que um operador comercial pode beneficiar de comissões interbancárias transfronteiras ao escolher um banco noutro país do EEE. Sob a pressão concorrencial criada por este compromisso, é possível que os bancos membros da Visa Portugal decidam reduzir as comissões interbancárias nacionais que cobram para as operações em Portugal.

Os processos da Comissão e o acórdão do Tribunal Geral no processo da MasterCard (179) prestam igualmente orientações às autoridades nacionais de concorrência se estes decidirem investigar as comissões interbancárias nacionais.

Para além da aplicação das suas regras antitrust, a Comissão adotou em 3 de outubro de 2012, o Ato para o Mercado Único II (180) propondo um conjunto de medidas para desenvolver o mercado único. Uma eventual proposta legislativa que trata da questão das comissões interbancárias para pagamentos por cartão foi considerada como uma das prioridades para o segundo trimestre de 2013. A Comissão está atualmente a analisar a possibilidade de propor legislação em matéria de comissões interbancárias.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005595/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Interbank fee reduction does not cover Portugal

In view of:

the fact that Visa Europe is proposing to reduce interbank fees applied to credit card payments by 40% to 60%;

the fact that Visa Europe’s decision follows the Commission statement of 31 July 2012 that it objected to Visa’s multilateral bank fees, since they could restrict interbank competitiveness and breach competition rules;

the fact, however, that Portugal is not one of the countries covered by Visa Europe’s decision;

the fact that Portugal still has the highest fees in Europe, which is damaging for all business sectors that use credit cards as a means of payment, making the national economy less competitive.

What is the Commission’s view of Visa Europe’s decision not to include Portugal in the countries for which the interbank fees applied to credit card payments have been reduced?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

The proceedings against Visa Europe's credit card interchange fees (181) and the commitments proposed by Visa Europe cover cross-border interchange fees and domestic interchange fees that are set directly by Visa Europe. Currently this is not the case in Portugal where the interchange fees for Visa card transactions are set by Visa Portugal, an association of Visa card issuers and acquirers.

Interchange fees in Portugal, which are among the highest in the EU, are therefore not directly covered by the proposed commitments. However, Visa Europe has also proposed to reform its system in such a way that banks will be able to apply the cross-border interchange fees for their clients (merchants) in other countries (‘cross-border acquiring’) (182). In practice, this means that a merchant can benefit from cross-border interchange fees by choosing a bank in another country in the EEA. Under the competitive pressure created by this commitment it is possible that Visa Portugal's member banks will decide to reduce the domestic interchange fees that they charge for transactions in Portugal.

The Commission's cases and the General Court's judgment in the MasterCard case (183) also provide guidance to national competition authorities if they decide to investigate domestic interchange fees.

In addition to its antitrust enforcement, on 3 October 2012 the Commission adopted the Single Market Act II (184) proposing a set of actions to develop the Single Market. A possible legislative proposal addressing the issue of interchange fees for card payments was identified as one of the priorities with a target date of the second quarter of 2013. The Commission is currently analysing the possibility of proposing legislation on interchange fees.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005596/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Língua Portuguesa é o quinto idioma mais utilizado na Internet

Considerando que:

Segundo a União Internacional de Telecomunicações (UIT), a língua portuguesa é já o quinto idioma mais utilizado na Internet, tendo ultrapassado o árabe, o francês e o alemão;

Isto significa que, atualmente, há já mais utilizadores lusófonos na Internet do que os 75 milhões de alemães, os 65 milhões que usam a língua árabe ou os 60 milhões que utilizam o francês;

Os especialistas referem que, em poucos anos, o português poderá superar o japonês, hoje com 99 milhões de utilizadores na rede e que, atualmente, ocupa a quarta posição.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Que medidas têm sido adotadas pela Comissão para defender e promover a divulgação da língua portuguesa na UE e no mundo, como uma língua europeia fundamental e útil, à luz da sua implementação em todos os continentes e ao número de falantes?

Resposta dada por Androulla Vassiliou em nome da Comissão

(19 de julho de 2013)

O objetivo da política de multilinguismo da Comissão consiste em apoiar e complementar políticas educativas nacionais, com vista a alcançar o objetivo de permitir que todos os cidadãos europeus comuniquem na sua língua materna, mais duas línguas estrangeiras (objetivo de Barcelona). A Comissão coopera com os Estados-Membros e as partes interessadas, em conformidade com o princípio da subsidiariedade, para os apoiar nos seus esforços a este respeito, nomeadamente facilitando o intercâmbio de boas práticas. Promover a aprendizagem de uma língua específica como a língua portuguesa em detrimento das outras está, por conseguinte, fora do âmbito de competência da UE.

Neste contexto, a Comissão tem trabalhado desde 2002 com os Estados-Membros, na prossecução do objetivo de Barcelona, em especial através do desenvolvimento de um indicador de competência linguística (185), através da definição de ações estratégicas e de recomendações e pela inclusão das competências em línguas estrangeiras no grupo das competências essenciais para a aprendizagem ao longo da vida.

O programa de aprendizagem ao longo da vida (186) cofinanciou projetos e redes multilaterais e medidas de acompanhamento desde 2007 (187) no contexto de um montante médio de 10 milhões de euros por ano. Dos 1 800 projetos que receberam o Selo Europeu para as Línguas (188) desde 1999, 79 têm a língua portuguesa como língua-alvo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005596/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Portuguese is the fifth most used language online

In view of the following:

the fact that according to the International Telecommunications Union, Portuguese is the fifth most used language online, having overtaken Arabic, French and German;

the fact that this means that there are more Portuguese speakers online than the 75 million German speakers, the 65 million using Arabic or the 60 million French users;

the fact that experts say that, within a few years, Portuguese could overtake Japanese, which is currently in fourth place with 99 million online users.

Can the Commission state:

What steps has it been taking to advocate and promote the dissemination of Portuguese within the EU and worldwide as a core European language that is useful both because it is established on almost every continent and because of the number of people who speak it?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(19 July 2013)

The aim of the multilingualism policy of the Commission is to support and complement national educational policies aimed at reaching the objective of enabling every European citizen to communicate in one's mother tongue plus two foreign languages (Barcelona objective). The Commission works with Member States and stakeholders, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, to assist them in their efforts in this regard, notably by facilitating the exchange of good practices. Fostering the learning of one particular language such as Portuguese over the others is therefore beyond the remit of EU competence.

Within this context, the Commission has worked since 2002 with Member States towards the Barcelona objective, in particular, by developing an indicator of language competence (189), by setting out strategic action and recommendations, and by including skills in foreign languages among the key competences for lifelong learning.

The Lifelong Learning Programme (190) has (co)financed multilateral projects and networks and accompanying measures since 2007 (191) for an average amount of EUR 10 million per year. Of the 1800 projects that were awarded the European Language Label (192) since 1999, 79 have Portuguese as target language.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005597/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Tarifas aduaneiras em Angola poderão subir para 50 % ainda este ano

Considerando que:

Angola poderá aumentar as tarifas aduaneiras de 30 % para 50 % ainda este ano;

De acordo com a agência Bloomberg, que divulgou, igualmente, uma entrevista com o ministro da Economia de Angola, o objetivo da introdução desta medida é proteger o comércio local.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Como analisa a introdução desta medida protecionista?

Não considera serem estas medidas contrárias ao espírito da Organização Mundial de Comércio?

Resposta dada por Karel De Gucht em nome da Comissão

(12 de julho de 2013)

Angola é membro da OMC desde 23 de novembro de 1996 e as suas tarifas aduaneiras estão vinculadas aos compromissos que assumiu como membro da OMC. Tais tarifas constituem taxas consolidadas e um membro da OMC não pode aumentar os direitos para além destas taxas consolidadas.

As mercadorias mencionadas no artigo de imprensa referem-se à cerveja, à água, aos refrigerantes, aos produtos agrícolas e aos animais.

A pauta aduaneira de Angola conta com 5 378 posições, das quais apenas 36 estão vinculadas a um direito inferior a 30 % (a 10 ou 15 % da taxa do direito).

As restantes rubricas pautais estão vinculadas a direitos que vão de 55 a 80 %, o que significa que o país pode aumentar os seus direitos até essas taxas.

Na realidade, as taxas de nação mais favorecida aplicadas em Angola são executadas até um máximo de 30 % dos direitos no que diz respeito a 147 rubricas, estando os restantes direitos abaixo desse limiar. Até à data, o país satisfaz os compromissos assumidos perante as concessões da OMC e está autorizado a aumentar os seus direitos aplicados enquanto estes permanecerem abaixo das suas taxas consolidadas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005597/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: Customs duties in Angola could rise to 50% this year

In view of the following:

the fact that Angola could increase customs duties from 30% to 50% this year;

the fact that Bloomberg, which has also published details of an interview with theAngolan Minister for the Economy, is reporting that the purpose of introducing thismeasure is to protect local businesses.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the introduction of this protectionist measure?

Does it not consider these measures contrary to the spirit of the World Trade Organisation?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(12 July 2013)

Angola has been a member of the WTO since 23 November 1996 and is binding its tariffs under the commitments it has taken as a WTO member. Such tariffs are called bound rates and a WTO member cannot raise duties beyond these bound rates.

The goods mentioned in the press article refer to beer, water, soft drinks, agricultural products and livestock.

The Angolan tariff schedule counts 5 378 tariff lines, amongst which only 36 lines are bound at a duty below 30% (at 10 or 15% of duty rate).

The rest of its tariff lines are bound to duties going from 55 to 80%, which means that the country is allowed to raise its duties up to those rates.

In reality, the Most Favoured Nation applied rates in Angola are implemented up to a maximum of 30% of duties for 147 lines, the rest of duties being under that threshold. So far, the country meets its commitments to the WTO concessions and is allowed to raise its applied duties as long as they stay below their bound rates.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005598/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Rede europeia para a promoção da literacia

Considerando que:

Já foi lançado o processo de admissão de candidaturas para a criação de uma rede europeia para a promoção da literacia à luz do critério de referência do Quadro Europeu de Cooperação no domínio da Educação e Formação 2020;

Assim, pergunto à Comissão:

Qual a percentagem de jovens com um fraco aproveitamento em leitura, matemática e ciências, sabendo que, até 2020, tal deverá ser inferior a 15 %?

Resposta dada por Andoulla Vassiliou em nome da Comissão

(22 de julho de 2013)

De forma a estimular os esforços políticos para reduzir a percentagem de alunos com fraco aproveitamento nas áreas da leitura, da matemática e das ciências, em maio de 2009 o Conselho fixou o valor de referência para essas competências de base, ou seja, a redução da percentagem de alunos com fraco aproveitamento para menos de 15 % até 2020 (193). Este valor de referência contribui para avaliar os progressos dos Estados-Membros na melhoria dos resultados escolares e funciona como um alerta para a existência de problemas estruturais nos seus sistemas de ensino. O valor de referência baseia-se nos dados recolhidos através do Programa da OCDE para a Avaliação Internacional de Avaliação dos Estudantes (PISA). Os últimos dados disponíveis são os do estudo de 2009. Os dados do estudo PISA 2012 serão publicados em dezembro de 2013.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005598/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(20 May 2013)

Subject: European Policy Network of National Literacy Organisations

In view of the following:

the fact that the call for proposals on creating a European Policy Network of National Literacy Organisations has already been published in light of the European education and training framework benchmark 2020.

Can the Commission state:

What percentage of young people perform poorly in reading, mathematics and science, given that this rate must be below 15% by 2020?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(22 July 2013)

In order to help stimulate policy efforts to reduce the share of low-performing pupils in the areas of reading, maths and science, in May 2009 the Council set a benchmark for these basic skills, namely to decrease the proportion of low achievers to less than 15% by 2020 (194). This benchmark helps to assess the progress of Member States in improving educational outcomes and acts as a pointer for structural problems within their education systems. The benchmark is based on data collected through the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The latest available data is from the 2009 survey. Data from the 2012 round of the PISA survey will be published in December 2013.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005600/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Eleições legislativas na Bulgária

Considerando que:

Os partidos políticos na Bulgária ofereceram entre 50 a 75 euros aos eleitores por cada voto nas últimas eleições legislativas do passado domingo;

O Jornal Búlgaro «Standart» afirmou, com base em fontes do Ministério do Interior, que emissários de diversos partidos visitaram diferentes localidades, incluindo guetos de etnia cigana, para recolher faturas com a promessa de que as pagarão se os eleitores votarem «adequadamente».

Pergunto à Comissão:

Como analisa o caso descrito?

De que informações dispõe a Comissão que possam confirmar as referidas irregularidades?

Resposta dada por Viviane Reding em nome da Comissão

(4 de setembro de 2013)

A realização de eleições livres constitui a expressão mais elementar da democracia, devendo as eleições na UE respeitar as mais elevadas normas democráticas. É importante que exista um forte empenho dos Estados-Membros na garantia dessas normas democráticas.

Porém, a Comissão não tem poderes para controlar a realização de eleições legislativas nacionais na UE. Os Estados-Membros são competentes para determinar as condições em que se realizam tais eleições, em conformidade com as normas internacionais que os vinculam, cabendo às autoridades administrativas e judiciais nacionais competentes assegurar o respeito dessas normas. Qualquer violação da lei deve ser punida pelas autoridades responsáveis pela aplicação da lei.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005600/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria

In view of the fact that:

political parties in Bulgaria offered voters EUR 50 to EUR 75 per vote in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections;

the Bulgarian newspaper Standart has reported, on the basis of Interior Ministry sources, that representatives of several parties visited various locations, including ethnic Roma ghettoes, to collect invoices with a promise to pay if voters cast their votes ‘appropriately’.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the case described?

Does the Commission have any information that could confirm these irregularities?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 2013)

Free elections are a basic expression of democracy and elections in the EU must follow the highest democratic standards. A strong commitment by the Member States is important to guarantee these democratic standards.

However, the Commission has no power to monitor the conduct of national parliamentary elections in the EU. Member States are competent to determine the conditions for the conduct of such elections in line with the international norms by which they are bound and it is up to the competent national administrative and judicial authorities to ensure compliance with these norms. Any violations of the law are for the law enforcement authorities to pursue.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005601/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Banco estrangeiro atua sem licença em Portugal

Considerando que:

O Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation, entidade que tem vindo a apresentar-se na área privada, atua no país sem autorização do Banco de Portugal e não está habilitado a exercer uma atividade financeira.

O Banco de Portugal esclareceu que a Holding Bank não está autorizada a receber depósitos ou outros fundos reembolsáveis, nem tão pouco a conceder crédito ou a exercer qualquer outra atividade financeira reservada às instituições sujeitas a supervisão.

Pergunto à Comissão:

De que informações dispõe sobre o Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation?

Resposta dada por Olli Rehn em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

Não faz parte das competências da Comissão recolher informações sobre empresas locais específicas, tal como a mencionada na pergunta. O Banco de Portugal na sua qualidade de supervisor do sistema financeiro português acompanha os desenvolvimentos no setor financeiro e emitiu um alerta relativamente à Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation. O conteúdo do alerta pode ser consultado diretamente no sítio Web do Banco de Portugal através do seguinte endereço:

http://www.bportugal.pt/pt-PT/OBancoeoEurosistema/ComunicadoseNotasdeInformacao/Paginas/combp20130508-1.aspx

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005601/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Foreign bank operating in Portugal without a licence

In view of the fact that:

the Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation, an organisation that has been active in the field of private banking, does not have Bank of Portugal authorisation to operate in the country’s financial sector;

the Bank of Portugal clarified that the Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation is not authorised to receive deposits or other funds, or to grant credit or exercise any other financial activity reserved for institutions subject to oversight.

Can the Commission state:

What information does it have about the Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

It does not belong to the competencies of the Commission to collect information about specific local companies such as the one mentioned in the question. Banco de Portugal in his capacity of Portuguese financial system supervisor monitors developments in the financial sector and has issued a warning about the Holding Bank Finance and Investment Corporation. The content of the warning can be viewed directly on Banco de Portugal website under the following web address:

http://www.bportugal.pt/pt-PT/OBancoeoEurosistema/ComunicadoseNotasdeInformacao/Paginas/combp20130508-1.aspx

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005602/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Atos delegados e de execução

Considerando que:

Através da delegação de poderes na Comissão Europeia, o legislador pode concentrar-se nas questões e escolhas políticas fundamentais e entregar o tratamento de outras questões não essenciais;

O artigo 290.° do TFUE enquadra as situações em que é possível recorrer à delegação, estabelecendo, igualmente, as condições em que o legislador pode exercer um controlo sobre o exercício de poderes conferidos à Comissão;

Os Estados-Membros são responsáveis pela execução dos atos jurídicos da União, mas, segundo o artigo 291.° do TFUE, quando sejam necessárias condições uniformes de execução, a competência para a execução destes atos deve ser atribuída à Comissão, os designados «atos de execução»;

A decisão de, num caso concreto, utilizar um ato delegado ou ato de execução, determina se o Parlamento Europeu terá ou não a possibilidade de se pronunciar sobre essas medidas, respetivamente, uma vez que, num ato de execução, o Parlamento Europeu e o Conselho poderão, a qualquer momento, indicar à Comissão que o projeto de execução excede as competências de execução contempladas no ato de base, em cujo caso a Comissão deverá rever o projeto de ato. No entanto, a Comissão Europeia pode decidir manter o projeto de ato de execução.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Como avalia a situação de, frequentemente, a Comissão Europeia utilizar atos de execução quando os critérios aplicáveis aos atos delegados, estabelecidos no artigo 290.° do TFUE, estão claramente preenchidos?

Quais as principais benefícios apontados pela Comissão Europeia com o desaparecimentodo anterior sistema da «Comitologia»?

Resposta dada por Maroš Šefčovič em nome da Comissão

(3 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão apenas pode executar atos delegados ou de execução quando assim esteja previsto num ato legislativo tal como adotado pelo legislador.Ao elaborar propostas legislativas, a Comissão propõe que o ato seja classificado como delegado ou de execução com base numa análise cuidada da natureza do poder a ser conferido à Comissão tal como dispõem os critérios jurídicos do Tratado.O Tratado de Lisboa clarifica e sistematiza a natureza diversa dos poderes delegados e de execução que antes eram tratados no âmbito do mesmo quadro, criando dois quadros jurídicos diferentes dotados de diversos procedimentos que refletem esta distinção.

A utilização incorreta dos critérios estabelecidos nos artigos 290.° e 291.° do TFUE pode não só afetar a legalidade do ato legislativo de base mas também incidir sobre a validade dos atos subsequentes adotados pela Comissão. Por conseguinte, se o legislador conferir poderes de execução à Comissão quando lhe deveria ter conferido poderes delegados, a Comissão não poderá utilizar tais poderes em conformidade com o TFUE. No contexto da regulamentação em matéria de produtos biocidas (195), a Comissão decidiu pedir esclarecimentos ao Tribunal quanto à delimitação entre os artigos 290.° e 291.° do TFUE (ver o processo pendente Comissão/Conselho e Parlamento, C-427/12).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005602/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Delegated and implementing acts

In view of the fact that:

by delegating powers to the Commission, Parliament can focus on core political issues and choices and hand over the tackling of other non-essential issues;

Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) sets out the situations that can be delegated, while also establishing the conditions under which the legislator can control the exercise of powers conferred on the Commission;

the Member States are responsible for implementing legally binding EU acts, but Article 291 TFEU states that, where uniform conditions are needed, those acts are to confer implementing powers on the Commission, known as ‘implementing acts’;

the decision to use a delegated act or an implementing act in a specific case determines whether or not Parliament will be able to have a say on these measures because, with an implementing act, Parliament and the Council can, at any time, indicate to the Commission that the draft implementing act exceeds the implementing powers covered by the act on which it is based, in which case the Commission has to review the draft act. However, the Commission can decide not to change the implementing act.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the situation whereby the Commission frequently uses implementing acts when the criteria applicable to delegated acts, as laid down in Article 290 TFEU, have clearly been met?

What does it consider to be the main benefits of the scrapping of the old ‘comitology’ system?

Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2013)

The Commission can only use implementing or delegated acts where it is so provided in a legislative act as adopted by the legislator. In drafting legislative proposals, the Commission proposes that an act be classified as a delegated act or an implementing act based on a careful analysis of the nature of the power to be conferred on the Commission based on the Treaty's legal criteria. The Lisbon Treaty clarifies and systematises the differing nature of implementing and delegated powers which were previously treated under the same framework by creating two different legal frameworks with different procedures that reflect this distinction.

A misuse of the criteria set out in Articles 290 and 291 TFEU might not only affect the legality of the basic legislative act but it could also impinge on the validity of subsequent acts adopted by the Commission. As a consequence, if the legislator confers implementing powers on the Commission where delegated powers should have been conferred, the Commission would not be able to make use of those powers in compliance with the TFEU. In the context of the regulation on biocidal products (196), the Commission decided to seek clarification by the Court on the issue of delineation between Articles 290 and 291 TFEU (see pending case Commission v. Council and Parliament, C-427/12).

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005603/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Maior transparência e facilidade na abertura de contas bancárias na UE

Considerando que:

A Comissão Europeia apresentou, recentemente, uma proposta de diretiva com o objetivo de tornar as contas bancárias mais baratas, transparentes e acessíveis a todos;

Existe uma fraca concorrência dentro da UE, uma vez que não existe uma mobilidade equivalente para os cidadãos, que se veem muitas vezes impossibilitados de abrir uma conta noutro Estado-Membro ou de mudar facilmente de um banco para o outro;

Pergunto à Comissão:

Quais as metas que a Comissão pretende atingir com a proposta apresentada?

Resposta dada por Michel Barnier em nome da Comissão

(11 de julho de 2013)

Um dos objetivos fundamentais da proposta de diretiva recentemente adotada relativa a contas de pagamento (197), consiste em garantir o acesso a contas de pagamento para todos os cidadãos da UE, independentemente do seu país de residência e facilitar a sua mobilidade.

A proposta contém uma cláusula de não discriminação que impedirá os prestadores de serviços de pagamento de recusar o acesso a uma conta de pagamento aos consumidores em função do seu lugar de residência ou da sua nacionalidade. Por conseguinte, o consumidor, que reside legalmente na UE terá o direito de abrir uma conta de pagamento junto de entidades situadas em qualquer ponto da União Europeia.

Além disso, a proposta irá facilitar o procedimento relativo à mudança de contas de pagamento, tanto a nível nacional como transfronteiras. A diretiva proposta contém um procedimento faseado para a mudança, que permitirá clarificar as tarefas específicas de cada prestador de serviços de pagamento, as suas responsabilidades ao longo de todo o processo e os prazos para a realização das suas tarefas.

O processo de mudança deve ser realizado no prazo de 15 dias, quando é executado pelos prestadores fornecedores situados no mesmo Estado-Membro e de 30 dias quando envolve prestadores situados em diferentes Estados-Membros.

Além disso, a proposta estabelece requisitos em matéria de apresentação comum das informações relativas às taxas através da introdução de formulários normalizados que serão elaborados utilizando uma terminologia harmonizada, bem como um conjunto de regras para os sítios Web de comparação, a fim de garantir a sua conformidade com os critérios de qualidade estabelecidos na diretiva.

O efeito combinado destas medidas contribuirá para melhorar substancialmente a mobilidade dos clientes em relação às contas de pagamento e contribuirá para promover um mercado único concorrencial no domínio dos serviços financeiros de retalho.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005603/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Increased transparency and ease of opening bank accounts in the EU

In view of the fact that:

the Commission recently tabled a proposal for a directive aiming to make bank accounts cheaper, more transparent and more accessible to all;

competition is weak within the EU because Europeans do not have a uniform level of mobility, and they often find it impossible to open an account in another Member State and difficult to change banks.

Can the Commission state:

What are its intended goals from the proposal it has tabled?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(11 July 2013)

One of the key objectives of the recently adopted proposal for a directive on payment accounts (198) is to guarantee access to payment accounts for all EU citizens irrespective of their country of residence and to facilitate their mobility.

The proposal contains a non-discrimination clause which will prevent payment service providers from refusing access to a payment account to consumers by reason of their place of residence or nationality. Therefore, a consumer who is legally resident in the EU will be entitled to open a payment account with providers located anywhere in the Union.

Moreover, the proposal will facilitate the procedure for switching payment accounts both nationally and cross-border. The proposed Directive contains a step-by-step procedure for switching, which will clarify the specific tasks of each payment service provider, their responsibilities throughout the process and the deadlines to carry out their tasks.

The switching process must be carried out within 15 days when it is performed by providers located in the same Member State and 30 days when it involves providers located in different Member States.

In addition the proposal establishes common presentation requirements for information on fees by introducing standard form documents to be drafted using harmonised terminology as well as a set of rules for comparison websites in order to ensure compliance with the quality criteria set out in the directive.

The combined effect of these measures will substantially improve customers’ mobility with respect to payment accounts and will contribute to foster a competitive single market in the key area of retail financial services.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005604/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Portugueses identificam nos cogumelos compostos letais para perigosa bactéria

Considerando oseguinte:

O estafilococo áureo multirresistente (MRSA) é insensível à maioria dos antibióticos e pode tornar-se uma ameaça para a saúde pública;

Uma equipa portuguesa mostrou, pela primeira vez, que certos compostos presentes nos cogumelos são eficazes contra o estafilococo áureo multirresistente e já começou também a desvendar o mecanismo de ação desses compostos. Os resultados poderão permitir desenvolver novos medicamentos contra a ação desta bactéria.

O MRSA é a principal causa de infeções hospitalares no mundo. Já em 2005, a mortalidade anual associada a esta «superbactéria» ultrapassava a do vírus da sida. Mais: estes perigosos micro-organismos também começam a aparecer «na rua», em pessoas saudáveis.

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento desta investigação?

Está previsto algum financiamento de apoio à investigação para combate a esta perigosa bactéria?

Resposta dada por Máire Geoghegan-Quinn em nome da Comissão

(8 de julho de 2013)

1.

A Comissão está plenamente consciente da ameaça que o Staphylococcus aureus resistente à meticilina representa e da necessidade de desenvolver novos medicamentos para combater a resistência antimicrobiana (RAM). Uma grande variedade de compostos naturais (como as referidas pelo Senhor Deputado) estão a ser analisados na busca de novas pistas para medicamentos.

2.

A Comissão apoia uma grande variedade de projetos de investigação que têm por objetivo combater a resistência antimicrobiana, incluindo projetos de investigação que estudam as características e propagação de várias bactérias resistentes, bem como projetos para resolver o problema da falta de novos medicamentos. Este ano, a Comissão está a financiar vários novos projetos de investigação que incidem especificamente sobre o desenvolvimento de medicamentos, vacinas e outras abordagens médicas para tratar infeções resistentes. Além disso, o desenvolvimento de novos medicamentos é incrementado através do programa

2.

A Comissão apoia uma grande variedade de projetos de investigação que têm por objetivo combater a resistência antimicrobiana, incluindo projetos de investigação que estudam as características e propagação de várias bactérias resistentes, bem como projetos para resolver o problema da falta de novos medicamentos. Este ano, a Comissão está a financiar vários novos projetos de investigação que incidem especificamente sobre o desenvolvimento de medicamentos, vacinas e outras abordagens médicas para tratar infeções resistentes. Além disso, o desenvolvimento de novos medicamentos é incrementado através do programa

«New Drugs for Bad Bugs» (Novos medicamentos para bactérias más) da Iniciativa sobre medicamentos inovadores (IMI) (199), uma parceria público-privada entre a Comissão Europeia e a Federação Europeia das Associações e Indústrias Farmacêuticas («EFPIA»). Prevê-se que o financiamento da investigação em matéria de resistência antimicrobiana continue a ser uma prioridade no âmbito do programa-quadro horizonte 2020, o próximo programa-quadro de investigação e inovação da UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005604/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Portuguese researchers identify compounds lethal to dangerous bacterium in mushrooms

In view of the following:

the fact that methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is immune to the majority of antibiotics and could become a public health risk;

the fact that a Portuguese team has shown for the first time that certain compounds present in mushrooms are effective against MRSA and has also already started to uncover these compounds’ mechanism of action. The results could enable development of new drugs to combat this bacterium;

the fact that MRSA is the main cause of hospital infections worldwide. By 2005, the annual death rate from this ‘superbacterium’ had already exceeded the AIDS virus. Furthermore, these dangerous micro-organisms are also starting to appear ‘on the street’, amongst healthy people.

Can the Commission state:

Is it aware of this research?

Is it planning any funding to support the research into combating this dangerous bacterium?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

1.

The Commission is fully aware of the threat posed by methicillin-resistant

‘Staphylococcus aureus’ (MRSA) and the need to develop new drugs to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A wide variety of natural compounds (like the ones referred to by the Honourable Member) are currently being investigated in the search for novel drug leads.

2.

The Commission supports a multitude of research projects that aim to combat AMR, including research projects that study the characteristics and spread of various resistant bacteria, as well as projects that address the lack of new drugs. This year, the Commission is funding a number of new research projects that focus specifically on the development of drugs, vaccines and alternative medical approaches to treat resistant infections. In addition to this, the development of new drugs is boosted via the

2.

The Commission supports a multitude of research projects that aim to combat AMR, including research projects that study the characteristics and spread of various resistant bacteria, as well as projects that address the lack of new drugs. This year, the Commission is funding a number of new research projects that focus specifically on the development of drugs, vaccines and alternative medical approaches to treat resistant infections. In addition to this, the development of new drugs is boosted via the

‘New Drugs for Bad Bugs’ programme of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) (200), a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Research funding for AMR can be expected to continue to be a priority under Horizon 2020, the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005605/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Maldivas — Violação de direitos humanos

Considerando o seguinte:

O sistema judiciário das Maldivas, um arquipélago islâmico com uma população de cerca de 400 mil pessoas, tem elementos da «sharia» (lei islâmica) e do direito britânico.

Uma menor de 15 anos, violada repetidamente pelo padrasto, foi condenada a 100 chibatadas, por ter relações sexuais antes do casamento.

Segundo dados de 2011, 129 pessoas neste país foram condenadas a chibatadas pelo mesmo crime. Em 90 % dos casos eram mulheres e onze eram menores de idade.

O padrasto, suspeito de violação e da morte do feto gerado pela gravidez da menor, ainda aguarda julgamento, apesar da gravidade do crime.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento da situação referida?

Como a avalia?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(16 de agosto de 2013)

A UE está a acompanhar de perto a evolução da situação nas Maldivas incluindo o caso da rapariga de 15 anos condenada a flagelação, apesar de ser vítima de abusos sexuais.

Parece existir uma tendência para o aumento da influência islâmica nas Maldivas, o que está a afetar a política social bem como as medidas tomadas pelas forças da ordem e, apesar de o Governo ter ratificado a Convenção sobre a Eliminação de Todas as Formas de Discriminação contra as Mulheres (CEDAW) e da adoção da lei contra a violência doméstica, em abril de 2012, as mulheres ainda são vítimas de punições cruéis e estranhas. Existe uma resistência à reforma nalguns setores da sociedade e alguns juízes parecem guiar-se mais pela lei da sharia que pela Constituição. A conclusão da transição democrática nas Maldivas exige instituições mais fortes e uma participação internacional a longo prazo através do apoio à modernização do setor da justiça e à governação em geral. Para o efeito, também é necessária uma sociedade civil ativa e moderna.

A UE não está em condições de confirmar os valores relativos a outros casos referidos nas perguntas.

Tal como expresso na sua declaração de 1 de março deste ano (201), a AR/VP está consternada com esta sentença, particularmente repugnante tendo em conta o facto de a vítima da violação ser uma criança. A AR/VP reitera a esperança de que o processo seja retirado e a sentença anulada, em consonância com as obrigações internacionais das Maldivas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005605/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Maldives — Human rights violation

In view of the following:

the fact that the legal system in the Maldives, an Islamic archipelago with a population of around 400 000, contains elements of Sharia (Islamic law) and of English law;

the fact that a minor of 15, repeatedly raped by her stepfather, has been sentenced to 100 lashes for having sexual relations before marriage;

the fact that according to 2011 figures, 129 people in the country have been sentenced to whipping for the same crime. In 90% of cases, they were women and 11 were not of legal age.

the fact that the stepfather, suspected of rape and of killing the foetus resulting from the minor’s pregnancy, has still not been brought to justice, despite the seriousness of his crime.

Can the Commission state:

Is it aware of the aforementioned situation?

What is its assessment of it?

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

(16 August 2013)

The EU is following closely developments in the Maldives including the case of the 15-year-old girl condemned to flogging despite being a victim of sexual abuse.

It appears that there is a rising trend of Islamist influence in the Maldives, which is affecting social policy as well as the actions taken by the forces of order, and despite the government's ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill in April 2012, women and girls still face cruel and unusual punishment. There is a resistance to reform in some quarters, and some judges appear to be guided by Sharia law rather than by the Constitution. The completion of democratic transition in the Maldives requires stronger institutions and long-term international involvement through support for modernisation of the justice sector and governance generally. To that end, it also requires an active and forward-looking civil society.

The EU is not in a position to confirm the figures on other cases referred to in the questions.

As expressed in her statement of March 1 this year (202), the HR/VP is appalled by the sentence which is particularly repugnant in view of the fact that the rape victim is a child. The HR/VP would reiterate the hope that the case is withdrawn and the sentence retracted, in line with the Maldives' international obligations.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005606/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Fortalecimento dos partidos neonazis

Considerando o seguinte:

De acordo com um relatório apresentado em Budapeste, no Congresso Judaico Mundial, a crise económica está a impulsionar o crescimento dos partidos neonazis na Europa, que aproveitam para espalhar uma mensagem de nacionalismo, anticapitalismo e antissemitismo.

De acordo com este estudo, a situação é de «alerta amarelo» e, com a situação económica a piorar, estes partidos podem ganhar ainda mais força.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

De que forma interpreta o ressurgimento e fortalecimento de partidos neonazis?

Resposta dada por Viviane Reding em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão está a acompanhar de perto a situação descrita pelo Senhor Deputado e está profundamente preocupada com os incidentes racistas ou xenófobos que se verificam na UE.

A Comissão condenou já por diversas vezes todas as formas e manifestações de racismo e xenofobia, que são incompatíveis com os principais valores em que a UE assenta.

De acordo com a Decisão-Quadro 2008/913/JAI do Conselho relativa à luta contra o racismo e a xenofobia, todos os Estados-Membros da UE são obrigados a punir como infração penal a incitação pública intencional à violência ou ao ódio contra um grupo de pessoas ou os seus membros, definido por referência à raça, cor, religião, ascendência ou origem nacional ou étnica. A apologia, negação ou banalização grosseira, pública e intencional, dos crimes nazis também deverá tornar-se penalmente punível. Os partidos políticos que incitam à violência ou ao ódio com base num destes motivos podem ser abrangidos por essa disposição. A Comissão acompanha neste momento as medidas de execução dos Estados-Membros e elaborará um relatório sobre esta questão até ao final de 2013. Não tem, porém competência para dar início a um procedimento de infração com base na Decisão-Quadro até 1 de dezembro de 2014. Além disso, cabe às autoridades nacionais investigar os casos de incitamento ao ódio ou negação do Holocausto e punir os autores das infrações.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005606/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: The strengthening of neo-Nazi parties

In view of the following:

the fact that, according to a report presented in Budapest at the World JewishCongress, the economic crisis is fostering the growth of neo-Nazi parties in Europe,which are exploiting the crisis to spread a message of nationalism, anti-capitalism andanti-Semitism;

the fact that this study states that the situation is at ‘amber alert’ and, with theeconomic situation worsening, these parties could become stronger still.

Can the Commission state:

What is its interpretation of the resurgence and strengthening of neo-Nazi parties?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission is closely following the situation described by the Honourable Member and is deeply concerned about any racist or xenophobic incidents emerging in the EU.

The Commission has repeatedly condemned all forms and manifestations of racism and xenophobia, as they are incompatible with the principal values the EU is founded on.

According to Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating racism and xenophobia, all EU Member States are obliged to penalise the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The intentional public condoning, denial or gross trivialisation of the Nazi crimes is also to be made criminally punishable. Political parties inciting violence or hatred based on one of these grounds can fall within the provision. The Commission is currently monitoring Member State's implementing measures and will draw up a report on this issue by the end of 2013. It is not, however, authorised to launch infringement proceedings on the basis of the framework Decision until 1 December 2014. Furthermore, it is for national authorities to investigate any instances of hate speech or Holocaust denial and to prosecute the perpetrators of such offences.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005608/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Retinopatia diabética

Considerando que:

A retinopatia diabética é uma complicação ocular que surge nos diabéticos e a principal causa de cegueira evitável no mundo, entre os 20 e os 64 anos.

Os sintomas clínicos desta doença podem demorar décadas a manifestarem-se, mas existem sinais precursores que, se detetados a tempo, podem permitir o diagnóstico com a antecedência necessária para um eventual tratamento.

Um cientista português conseguiu, nos últimos anos, caracterizar de forma mais precisa as fases iniciais da retinopatia diabética, identificando diversos padrões de evolução associados a um maior ou menor risco de lesões graves e de cegueira.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento desta investigação?

De que forma se pode reforçar o diagnóstico precoce e a prevenção desta doença a nível europeu?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(26 de junho de 2013)

1.

A Comissão tem conhecimento dos diversos esforços envidados pela comunidade científica para abordar o diagnóstico precoce das retinopatias. No âmbito do Sétimo Programa-Quadro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico (7.° PQ, 2007-2013)

1.

A Comissão tem conhecimento dos diversos esforços envidados pela comunidade científica para abordar o diagnóstico precoce das retinopatias. No âmbito do Sétimo Programa-Quadro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico (7.° PQ, 2007-2013)

 (203), estão a ser investidos cerca de 40 milhões de euros em projetos relacionados com as retinopatias; por exemplo, em ensaios clínicos com vista a testar uma nova terapêutica para combater as retinopatias associadas à diabetes em vários centros clínicos de toda a Europa (204).

A proposta da Comissão relativa ao «Horizonte 2020 — Programa-Quadro de Investigação e Inovação (2014-2020)» (205) identifica «Saúde, alterações demográficas e bem-estar» como um dos seis desafios sociais que é necessário abordar, suscetíveis de proporcionar oportunidades para a investigação no domínio da diabetes.

2.

A Comissão apoiou projetos, ao abrigo do programa

2.

A Comissão apoiou projetos, ao abrigo do programa

«Saúde», que visam a prevenção, o diagnóstico e outros aspetos relativos à diabetes (206). No entanto, a realização de um diagnóstico precoce e a prevenção da diabetes, enquanto tais, são aspetos da gestão do sistema de saúde, que é da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros.

Além disso, a Comissão está a apoiar uma ação conjunta entre os Estados-Membros e a Comissão relativa às doenças crónicas, cofinanciada pelo programa no domínio da Saúde. Parte desta ação conjunta incide especificamente na diabetes de tipo II, com o objetivo de estudar quais são os obstáculos que se colocam à prevenção, os exames de rastreio e o tratamento da diabetes, bem como para melhorar a cooperação entre os Estados-Membros neste domínio.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005608/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Diabetic retinopathy

In view of the fact that:

diabetic retinopathy is an ocular complication that emerges in diabetics and is the main cause of preventable blindness in the world amongst 20-64 year olds;

the clinical symptoms of this disease can take decades to manifest themselves, but there are precursor signs which, if detected in time, can enable the early diagnosis necessary for possible treatment;

in recent years, a Portuguese scientist has successfully characterised more precisely the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy, identifying several development standards associated with higher or lower risk of serious injury or blindness.

Can the Commission state:

Is it aware of this research?

How could early diagnosis and prevention of this disease be strengthened at European level?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(26 June 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of several efforts by the research community to address early diagnosis of retinopathies. Within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7, 2007-2013) (207), about EUR 40 million are being invested in projects with a link to retinopathies, for example a clinical trial to test a new therapeutic treatment to combat diabetic retinopathy in several clinical centres across Europe (208).

The Commission's proposal for Horizon 2020 — The framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-1220) (209) identifies ‘Health, demographic change and well-being’ as one of the six societal challenges to be tackled, likely to provide opportunities for research on diabetes.

2.

The Commision has supported projects through the Health programme, which are dealing with the prevention, the diagnosis and other aspects of diabetes

2.

The Commision has supported projects through the Health programme, which are dealing with the prevention, the diagnosis and other aspects of diabetes

 (210). However, the provision of early diagnosis and prevention of diabetes as such is a health system management issue which falls under the responsibility of Member States.

In addition, the Commission is supporting a joint action on chronic diseases between Member States and the Commission, co-financed by the Health Programme. One part of the joint action is devoted to diabetes type II, to study barriers to prevention, screening and treatment of diabetes and to improve cooperation among Member States.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005609/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Efeitos da austeridade nos direitos humanos

Considerando o seguinte:

Entrou recentemente em vigor o Protocolo Facultativo ao Pacto Internacional sobre os Direitos Económicos, Sociais e Culturais, que possibilita a todas as pessoas, depois de esgotadas as instâncias nacionais e de falhado o trabalho dos governos na garantia de alguns direitos, procurarem diretamente justiça na ONU.

No seguimento da entrada em vigor deste Protocolo, a Amnistia Internacional alertou a União Europeia para que sensibilize os responsáveis para os direitos humanos em tempo de crise, perante a austeridade que tem sido imposta em países com dificuldades.

Em Portugal, a Diretora Executiva da Amnistia Internacional Portugal explicou que «a questão dos direitos humanos tem estado ausente das respostas que têm sido previstas ou decididas para fazer face à crise» e que é fundamental ter em consideração grupos mais vulneráveis como idosos, crianças, desempregados e minorias.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Como avalia a posição da Amnistia Internacional?

Resposta dada por Olli Rehn em nome da Comissão

(12 de agosto de 2013)

A Comissão também considera que os programas de ajustamento económico adotados para fazer face à crise atual têm de respeitar plenamente os direitos fundamentais. Note-se que a conformidade das medidas tomadas no quadro desses programas com as obrigações internacionais em matéria de direitos humanos é da responsabilidade dos Estados‐Membros.

No caso específico do programa de ajustamento económico de Portugal, implementaram-se medidas para reforçar as redes de segurança. Em particular, estabeleceram-se condições mais favoráveis de acesso ao subsídio de desemprego e houve um aumento de 10 % no montante deste subsídio para os casais com ambos os membros desempregados e crianças a cargo. A pensão mínima foi aumentada.

As medidas de consolidação orçamental incluíram cortes nas remunerações e pensões do setor público e aumentos de impostos, pensados para ter maior impacto nos grupos com os rendimentos mais altos e proteger os rendimentos dos mais vulneráveis.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005609/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Effects of austerity on human rights

In view of the following:

the fact that the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recently came into force. It enables all individuals to seek justice directly from the UN when they have exhausted all national courts and when all work by governments to guarantee certain rights has failed;

the fact that since this protocol has come into force, Amnesty International has told the EU to raise senior officials’ awareness of human rights at this time of crisis, in the face of the austerity that has been imposed on countries in difficulties;

the fact that in Portugal, the Executive Director of Amnesty International Portugal explained that the human rights issue has been absent from the responses to the crisis that are being planned or decided on and that it is crucial to take into account the most vulnerable groups, such as older people, children, the unemployed and minorities.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of Amnesty International’s position?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(12 August 2013)

The Commission agrees that the economic adjustment programmes adopted in response to the current crisis must fully respect fundamental rights. It should be noted that compliance of the measures adopted in the framework of these programmes with international human rights obligations falls under the responsibility of Member States.

In the specific case of the economic adjustment programme for Portugal, measures were implemented to strengthening the safety nets. In particular, entitlement conditions for unemployment benefits were made more favourable and there was a 10% increase in the amount of unemployment benefits for couples in cases where both partners are unemployed and have dependent children. The minimum pension was increased.

Fiscal consolidation measures included cuts in public sector wages and pensions and increases in taxation. These measures were devised to have more impact on higher income groups and to protect incomes of the most vulnerable.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005610/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Austeridade provoca suicídio, depressão e doenças infecciosas

Um estudo publicado recentemente revela que a austeridade está a ter um efeito devastador sobre a saúde na Europa e América do Norte. De acordo com as conclusões dos dois estudiosos, os cortes orçamentais podem provocar suicídio, depressão e doenças infecciosas devido à redução do acesso a medicamentos e cuidados de saúde. De acordo com os valores apresentados, a austeridade já causou 10 mil suicídios e 1 milhão de casos de depressão na Europa e América do Norte.

1.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento deste estudo?

2.

Que avaliação faz a Comissão destes números?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(2 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão parte do princípio de que a questão se refere ao estudo The Body Economic: Why Austerity kills, de David Stuckler e Sanjay Basu, publicado em maio de 2013.

Tal como comunicado pela Comissão na Análise Anual do Crescimento de 2013 (211), as reformas dos sistemas de saúde têm de ser realizadas para assegurar a rentabilidade e sustentabilidade, avaliando o desempenho desses sistemas para alcançar o duplo objetivo de uma utilização mais eficiente dos recursos públicos e de um acesso a cuidados de saúde de elevada qualidade.

Além disso, no seu Pacote de Investimento Social (212), adotado em fevereiro de 2013, a Comissão instou os Estados-Membros a reorientar as políticas para o investimento social quando necessário, interligando estes esforços numa melhor utilização dos fundos da UE, em especial o Fundo Social Europeu. No âmbito deste pacote, o documento «Investir na Saúde» (213), revelou ainda que investir na saúde contribui para os objetivos da estratégia Europa 2020 para um crescimento inteligente, sustentável e inclusivo. Sublinhou que a consolidação financeira e as reformas estruturais dos sistemas de saúde têm de ser articuladas para continuar a cumprir os objetivos de política pública e assegurar que os ganhos de eficiência garantem o acesso universal aos cuidados de saúde e aumentam a sua qualidade.

Por último, a Comissão está a apoiar uma ação conjunta para a saúde mental e o bem-estar, que envolve 24 Estados-Membros, no âmbito do Programa de Saúde da UE. Esta ação conjunta irá identificar, com base em dados factuais, ações tendentes a fazer face à depressão e a prevenir o suicídio. A Ação Comum teve início em fevereiro de 2013.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005610/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Austerity causes suicide, depression and infectious diseases

A recently published study reveals that austerity is having a devastating effect on people’s health in Europe and North America. The two researchers conclude that budget cuts could lead to suicide, depression and infectious diseases on account of reduced access to medicine and healthcare. The figures presented show that austerity has already resulted in 10 000 suicides and 1 million cases of depression in Europe and North America.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this study?

2.

What is the Commission’s view of these figures?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(2 July 2013)

The Commission assumes that the Question refers to the study ‘The Body Economic: Why Austerity kills’ by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, published in May 2013.

As communicated by the Commission in the Annual Growth Survey 2013 (214), reforms of healthcare systems should be undertaken to ensure cost-effectiveness and sustainability, assessing the performance of these systems against the twin aim of a more efficient use of public resources and access to high quality healthcare.

In addition, in its ‘Social Investment Package’ (215) adopted in February 2013, the Commission encouraged Member States to reorient policies towards social investment where needed, linking these efforts to the best use of the EU funds, notably the European Social Fund. Within this package, the document ‘Investing in Health’ (216), further showed that investing in health contributes to the Europe 2020 objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It underlined that financial consolidation and structural reform of health systems must go hand in hand to continue delivering on public policy goals and ensure that efficiency gains guarantee universal access and increase the quality of healthcare.

Finally, the Commission is currently supporting a Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being involving 24 Member States under the EU Health Programme. This joint action will identify evidence-based actions aimed at addressing depression and preventing suicide. The Joint Action started in February 2013.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005611/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Artrite reumatóide — Acesso a fármacos biológicos

A artrite reumatóide é uma doença reumática de natureza inflamatória, que leva à destruição progressiva e irreversível das articulações, e que afeta cerca de 40 mil portugueses e dois milhões de europeus. De acordo com uma especialista portuguesa, «a artrite reumatóide é uma doença sistémica grave que, se não for precocemente diagnosticada e tratada, tem elevado impacto socioeconómico», e «após 10 anos de doença, 50 % dos doentes podem estar incapacitados para o trabalho se não forem adequadamente tratados, assim como pode ficar reduzida a esperança média de vida, entre três a sete anos».

Um estudo recentemente publicado compara a prescrição de fármacos biológicos em 15 países da Europa, e revela diferenças nas percentagens de doentes com artrite reumatóide tratados com fármacos biológicos, colocando Portugal 12 pontos abaixo da média europeia. Em termos clínicos, os fármacos antirreumatismais modificadores da doença (DMARD) biológicos têm demonstrado proporcionar melhoria nos doentes que não respondem aos DMARD clássicos.

1.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento deste estudo?

2.

Como avalia a Comissão a disparidade verificada no acesso a este tipo de fármacos?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(11 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão não tem conhecimento do estudo referido pelo Senhor Deputado.

Em conformidade com o Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia, artigo 168.°, relativo à saúde pública, os Estados-Membros são responsáveis pela definição das suas políticas de saúde e pela organização e prestação de serviços de saúde e de cuidados médicos. A questão do acesso a farmacoterapias é, portanto, um domínio da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros e a Comissão não tem competência para intervir.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005611/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Rheumatoid arthritis — Access to biological drugs

Rheumatoid arthritis is a rheumatic disease that is inflammatory in nature. It gradually and irreversibly destroys joints, and affects around 40 000 Portuguese and 2 million European citizens. According to a Portuguese specialist, ‘rheumatoid arthritis is a serious systemic disease which, if not diagnosed and treated early, has a high socioeconomic impact’ and, ‘after 10 years of illness, 50% of sufferers may be unable to work unless properly treated; it can also reduce average life expectancy by three to seven years’.

A recently published study compares the prescription of biological drugs in 15 European countries and reveals differences in the percentages of sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis treated with biological drugs; Portugal is 12% below the European average. In clinical terms, biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been shown to bring about improvements in sufferers who do not respond to classic DMARDs.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this study?

2.

What is the Commission’s view of the disparity in access to this type of drug?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(11 July 2013)

The Commission was not aware of the study mentioned by the Honourable Member.

According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 168 on Public Health, Member States are responsible for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care. The issue of access to pharmacotherapies is therefore an area under the responsibility of the Member States and where the Commission has no competence to intervene.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005612/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Novo biomarcador de cancro

Um investigador português descobriu um novo marcador biológico de cancros no cérebro.

Este biomarcador poderá vir a ter importantes implicações clínicas que se prendem com a determinação do grau de malignidade dos tumores e «ajudar os clínicos a decidir, em cada caso, uma forma de tratamento adequada ao paciente».

A equipa que participou neste estudo admite ainda que o biomarcador poderá proporcionar «resultados importantes» noutras manifestações da doença oncológica, como a leucemia, o cancro do cólon e da próstata.

1.

Tem a

Comissão conhecimento desta nova descoberta?

2.

Como a avalia a

Comissão?

Resposta dada por Máire Geoghegan-Quinn em nome da Comissão

(8 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão está ciente da publicação, referida pelo Senhor Deputado, por investigadores do Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre em Toronto, do Centro de Investigação sobre o Cancro alemão em Heidelberga, da Universidade de Toronto e de várias outras instituições, sobre a identificação de um marcador de prognóstico nas crianças com cancro no cérebro (217)  (218)  (219).

A referida investigação consistiu na realização de análises do genoma em amostras de tumores de pacientes, tendo-se concluído que o promotor do gene «TERT» poderá ser utilizado como marcador de prognóstico nas crianças com cancro no cérebro. Em caso de confirmação, os resultados poderão conduzir a uma melhor avaliação do prognóstico dos pacientes — crianças e adultos — com cancro no cérebro. Estão em curso investigações semelhantes para outros cancros.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005612/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: New cancer biomarker

A Portuguese researcher has discovered a new biological marker for brain tumours.

This biomarker could have important clinical implications as regards determining how malignant a tumour is and in helping clinicians to decide on the appropriate way to treat the patient in each case.

The team that participated in this study also acknowledges that the biomarker could provide ‘important results’ in connection with other types of cancer, such as leukaemia, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this discovery?

2.

What is the Commission’s view of this?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

The Commission is aware of the publication, mentioned by the Honourable Member, by researchers from the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre in Toronto, the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, the University of Toronto and several other institutions, identifying a prognostic marker in children with brain cancer (220)  (221)  (222).

The research cited consisted of performing genomic analyses of patients’ tumour samples to conclude that the promoter of the ‘TERT’ gene could serve as a prognostic marker in children with brain cancers. If confirmed, results may lead to a better prognostic assessment of children and adult patients with brain cancer. Similar research is ongoing for other cancers.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005613/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Mutilação genital feminina

A Comissão Europeia advoga a tolerância zero contra a mutilação genital feminina, vista como uma violação dos direitos humanos. Esta mutilação, normalmente justificada por razões religiosas ou culturais, consiste na excisão ou infibulação dos genitais, e pode causar problemas de saúde permanentes ou a morte.

Cerca de meio milhão de mulheres que vivem na União Europeia sofreram mutilação genital e 20 mil mulheres pediram asilo na UE por causa da mutilação genital feminina. No mundo inteiro, 135 milhões de mulheres sofreram mutilação genital, tendo o número de raparigas em risco de sofrer mutilação genital subido de 2 milhões por ano — aproximadamente 6 000 por dia — para três milhões.

Nenhum dos Estados-Membros, incluindo Portugal — onde foram detetados casos —, tem uma provisão específica sobre asilo ligada ao problema.

Tendo em conta que existem já vários tratados que proíbem a mutilação genital feminina, que tipo de iniciativas pode a Comissão impulsionar ou apoiar, nomeadamente no continente africano, que contribuam para a erradicação desta prática?

Resposta dada por Andris Piebalgs em nome da Comissão

(15 de julho de 2013)

A luta contra a mutilação genital feminina constitui uma prioridade da UE em todas as vertentes da sua política de cooperação para o desenvolvimento, nomeadamente no que tocante à promoção dos direitos humanos nos países em causa. Trata-se de uma questão sensível, que é abordada no âmbito dos diálogos políticos e estratégicos. É, nomeadamente, concedido financiamento a organizações da sociedade civil e a instituições governamentais para reforçar a aplicação dos compromissos assumidos pelo país no sentido de pôr termo a esta prática lesiva.

As estimativas revelam que até 140 milhões de raparigas e mulheres foram objeto de alguma forma de mutilação genital feminina, com as consequentes complicações dolorosas. Apesar do número persistentemente elevado de raparigas submetidas a esta prática, há que realçar uma evolução positiva nos países em causa. Desde 2010, a cessação desta prática é uma prioridade para a União Africana, que esteve na origem da aprovação histórica pela Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas, em 2012, de uma resolução sobre a eliminação da mutilação genital feminina (223). A resolução insta os países a tomarem todas as medidas necessárias, incluindo a aprovação e a aplicação de legislação proibindo a mutilação genital feminina, a protegerem as raparigas e as mulheres contra este tipo de violência, bem como a porem cobro à impunidade dos autores. A existência deste quadro comum deverá facilitar ainda mais a cooperação tendo em vista erradicar com esta prática.

Os ensinamentos retirados dos numerosos projetos que a UE apoiou durante um longo período de tempo em países parceiros indicam só se conseguirá fazer com que esta prática seja abandonada se se tiver em conta a dinâmica social complexa que lhe está subjacente. Um recente programa UE‐UNICEF, concebido à luz desta realidade, obteve resultados significativos e constitui uma boa base para o prosseguimento das atividades com vista a eliminar esta prática lesiva (224).

A Comissão está atualmente trabalhar em iniciativas políticas sobre a mutilação genital feminina relativas tanto à UE como aos países parceiros.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005613/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Female genital mutilation

The Commission advocates zero tolerance of female genital mutilation, which is seen as a human rights violation. This mutilation, normally justified on religious or cultural grounds, entails the amputation or infibulation of the genitals and can cause permanent health problems or death.

Around 500 000 women living in the EU have suffered genital mutilation and 20 000 women have sought asylum because of female genital mutilation. Worldwide, 135 million women have suffered genital mutilation. The number of girls at risk of genital mutilation has increased from 2 million per year — approximately 6 000 per day — to 3 million per year.

No Member State — including Portugal, where cases have been detected — has specific provisions for asylum linked to this problem.

Given that several treaties ban female genital mutilation, what type of initiative could the Commission promote or support — particularly in Africa — that would contribute to eradicating this practice?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(15 July 2013)

Fighting female genital mutilation (FGM) is a priority for the EU in all aspects of its development cooperation, including the promotion of human rights in the countries concerned. This sensitive issue is raised in policy and political dialogues. Funding is provided to civil society organisations and to governmental institutions to strengthen the implementation of the commitments taken on by countries to end this harmful practice.

Estimates show that up to 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of FGM and are living with painful complications. Despite the persistent high number of girls subjected to this practice, there is a positive evolution in the countries concerned. The African Union has made the abandonment of FGM a priority since 2010 and it spearheaded the historical adoption by the UN General Assembly in 2012 of a resolution on the elimination of FGM (225). The resolution i.a. urges countries to take all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence and to end impunity. The existence of this common framework should further facilitate cooperation to achieve an end to FGM.

The lessons learnt through the numerous projects that the EU has supported over a long period of time in relevant partner countries indicate that the abandonment of FGM can only be achieved by taking into account the complex underlying social dynamics. A recent EU‐Unicef programme building on this recognition has achieved significant results and provides a good basis for further activities to contribute to the elimination of this harmful practice (226).

The Commission is currently developing policy initiatives on FGM, covering both the EU and partner countries.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005614/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Coronavírus na Europa

Considerando o seguinte:

Os coronavírus são uma vasta família de vírus que inclui os que causam a gripe comum, mas também a síndrome respiratória aguda severa (SRAS), que matou cerca de 800 pessoas em 2003.

O novo coronavírus causa pneumonia e provoca uma falência renal rápida e pode ser contraído tanto por pessoas como por animais.

O Ministério da Saúde francês confirmou que um homem de 50 anos contraiu o vírus após ter partilhado o quarto de hospital no norte da França com outro homem, de 65 anos, a quem tinha sido diagnosticada a doença depois de ter regressado de uma viagem aos Emirados Árabes Unidos.

O Ministro da Saúde da Arábia Saudita anunciou a morte de mais duas pessoas naquele país devido a este vírus.

Segundo a mais recente atualização da OMS sobre o número de pessoas infetadas, desde 2012 foram confirmados 33 casos na Europa e no Médio Oriente. Destas 33 pessoas, 18 morreram.

Em declarações recentes, a OMS revelou uma grande preocupação com a capacidade de transmissão deste coronavírus.

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem acompanhado a situação?

Quais os dados de que dispõe relativamente ao atual ponto de situação desta doença?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(2 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão tem acompanhado o surto causado pelo Coronavírus da Síndroma Respiratória do Médio Oriente (MERS-CoV) desde setembro de 2012, em estreita colaboração com as autoridades de saúde dos Estados-Membros, a Organização Mundial de Saúde e o Centro Europeu de Prevenção e Controlo das Doenças.

No que se refere aos dados disponíveis sobre o atual ponto da situação, até 18 de junho de 2013 foram notificados 64 casos confirmados de MERS-CoV em todo o mundo, incluindo 38 vítimas mortais.

Todos os casos continuam associados a situações de transmissão na Arábia Saudita, no Catar, na Jordânia e nos Emirados Árabes Unidos. Os mais recentes casos confirmados de MERS-CoV na União foram notificados em 31 de maio pela Itália (três casos). Essa notificação elevou para 11 o número total de casos confirmados na União (dois em França, dois na Alemanha e quatro no Reino Unido). Até à data, não existem indícios de que esteja a ocorrer uma transmissão sustentada entre seres humanos. Os casos notificados na Europa confirmam que o vírus pode ser transmitido por uma pessoa infetada a uma pessoa saudável. No entanto, tal parece ocorrer apenas em situações de contacto próximo.

Sob pedido da Comissão, o Centro Europeu de Prevenção e Controlo das Doenças preparou três avaliações de risco, a última das quais foi atualizada em 17 de maio de 2013 (227).O vírus MERS-CoV foi amplamente debatido na sessão plenária do Comité de Segurança da Saúde, realizada em 5 de junho de 2013. Desde então, o Comité preparou várias declarações comuns, incluindo informação sanitária destinada às pessoas que viajam para os países em risco e aconselhamento para os profissionais de saúde que têm de cuidar de doentes com uma infeção confirmada ou possível por MERS-CoV.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005614/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Coronavirus in Europe

In view of the following:

The fact that coronaviruses represent an extensive family of viruses which includes those that cause the common cold, but also severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed around 800 people in 2003;

the fact that the new coronavirus causes pneumonia and leads to rapid kidney failure. It can be contracted by both people and animals;

the fact that the French Ministry of Health has confirmed that a 50 year-old man has contracted the virus after sharing his northern France hospital room with another man, aged 65, who had been diagnosed with the disease after returning from a trip to the United Arab Emirates;

the fact that the Saudi Ministry of Health has announced the death of a further two people in the country as a result of the virus;

the fact that the most recent World Health Organisation (WHO) update on the number of people infected is that 33 cases have been confirmed in Europe and the Middle East since 2012. Of those 33 people, 18 died; the fact that the WHO has recently issued statements expressing great concern at how easily this coronavirus is passed on.

Can the Commission state:

Has it been monitoring the situation?

What data does it have regarding the current state of play with this disease?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(2 July 2013)

The Commission has been monitoring the outbreak caused by the virus ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus’ (MERS-CoV) since September 2012, in close contact with the health authorities in Member States, the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Concerning the data available on the current situation, at 18 June 2013, 64 MERS-CoV confirmed cases have been reported worldwide including 38 fatalities.

All cases remain associated with transmission in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and United Arab Emirates. The most recent MERS-CoV confirmed cases in the Union were notified on 31 May by Italy (three cases). These brought the total number of confirmed cases in the Union to 11 (two in France, two in Germany and four in the United Kingdom). So far there is no evidence that sustained human-to-human transmission is taking place. The cases notified in Europe support the evidence that the virus can be transmitted from an infected person to a healthy person. However, this appears to occur only through close contact.

At the request of the Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control prepared three risk assessments, the last one updated on 17 May 2013 (228).MERS-CoV was extensively discussed during the plenary meeting of the Health Security Committee held on 5 June 2013. Since then the Committee has prepared common statements covering health information for persons travelling in countries at risk, and advice to healthcare workers caring for patients with confirmed or possible MERS-CoV infection.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005615/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica

Cerca de 800 mil portugueses sofrem de doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica (DPOC), uma patologia fortemente ligada ao tabaco, segundo as estimativas da Fundação Portuguesa do Pulmão. A DPOC atinge 14 % da população portuguesa com mais de 45 anos, sendo uma das doenças respiratórias mais comuns, e tem no tabagismo o principal fator de risco.

1.

De que dados dispõe a Comissão sobre a doença pulmonar obstrutiva a nível europeu?

2.

Uma vez que o tabagismo é o principal fator de risco das doenças respiratórias, como avalia a Comissão a hipótese de comparticipação dos medicamentos para deixar de fumar?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(12 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão recolhe dados (229) sobre causas de morte a nível da UE de acordo com a Classificação Internacional de Doenças relativamente a diferentes doenças do aparelho respiratório.

Em 2010, a taxa de mortalidade‐padrão devido a doenças respiratórias, por 100 000 habitantes, ascendeu a 57,1 em Portugal e a 41,1 na União Europeia. Em 2010, Portugal teve uma das taxas mais baixas entre os Estados-Membros da UE no que toca a altas hospitalares de doentes internados com doenças respiratórias, por 100 000 habitantes.

O relatório Health at a Glance: Europe 2012 (Panorama da Saúde: Europa 2012)  (230) fornece dados sobre a admissão evitável de pacientes com doenças respiratórias. Revela que Portugal tem as taxas mais baixas de hospitalização para a asma e a doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica.

Em conformidade com o artigo 168.° do TFUE, é da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros decidir sobre a atribuição de recursos aos serviços de saúde. O mesmo se aplica a eventuais decisões tomadas pelos Estados-Membros de atribuir recursos públicos para financiar (parcialmente) a utilização de medicamentos no apoio às terapias de abandono do tabagismo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005615/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The Portuguese Lung Foundation (FPP) estimates that around 800 000 Portuguese citizens suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a pathology strongly linked to smoking. COPD affects 14% of the Portuguese population aged over 45. It is one of the most common respiratory diseases and its main risk factor is smoking.

1.

What figures does the Commission have on COPD at European level?

2.

Since smoking is the main risk factor with respiratory diseases, what is the Commission’s view of the possibility of sharing the cost of drugs to help with giving up smoking?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(12 July 2013)

The Commission collects data (231) on causes of death at EU level according to the International Classification of Diseases for different diseases of the respiratory system.

In 2010, the Standardised Death Rate per 100 000 inhabitants for respiratory was 57.1 in Portugal and 41.1 in the European Union. In 2010, Portugal had one of the lowest rates among EU Member States for hospital discharges of respiratory diseases in-patients per 100 000 inhabitants.

The EU-funded report ‘Health at a Glance Europe 2012’ (232) provides data on avoidable admission for respiratory diseases. It shows that Portugal has the lowest rates of hospital admission for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In accordance with Article 168 TFEU, deciding on the allocation of resources to health services is a Member State responsibility. This also applies to possible decisions made by Member States to dedicate public resources to (partially) fund the use of medicinal products in support of smoking cessation therapies.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005616/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Concentração de CO2

Considerando o seguinte:

Um observatório situado no vulcão de Mauna Loa, no Havai, registou uma concentração de CO2 de 400,03 ppm, informou a Agência Oceânica e Atmosférica Americana (NOAA).

De acordo com a ONU, «com 400 ppm de CO2 na atmosfera, superámos o limite histórico e encontramo-nos numa zona de perigo».

Segundo os especialistas, este é um valor simbólico, mas que marca uma tendência muito preocupante do planeta rumo ao aquecimento, sendo que, com uma média anual de 400 ppm de concentração de CO2, o aquecimento global previsto será de pelo menos 2,4 °C, segundo o último relatório do Painel Intergovernamental da ONU sobre Mudanças Climáticas (IPCC).

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Que avaliação faz destes números?

Quais as respostas complementares que a UE poderá apresentar no âmbito das políticas climáticas que têm vindo a ser seguidas?

Resposta dada por Connie Hedegaard em nome da Comissão

(3 de julho de 2013)

As medições da concentração de dióxido de carbono registadas no observatório de Mauna Loa mostram que os níveis excederam temporariamente 400 partes por milhão (ppm) em maio de 2013. As concentrações de dióxido de carbono variam sazonalmente em conformidade com o ciclo natural do carbono e este nível foi registado no seu pico anual. No entanto, é evidente que, de acordo com as medições em Mauna Loa e noutros observatórios, a média anual de concentração de dióxido de carbono a nível mundial está a aumentar em consequência das emissões provocadas pelo homem. A taxa média anual de aumento a nível mundial da concentração de dióxido de carbono durante a última década foi de cerca de 2 ppm e a média anual de 2012 foi de cerca de 393 ppm (233).

Porém, é evidente que os aumentos anuais das concentrações de gases com efeito de estufa não são compatíveis com a manutenção do aumento da temperatura média global abaixo de 2 °C.

Para limitar aumento da temperatura média global a menos de 2 °C, é necessário adotar medidas rigorosas e urgentes a nível mundial para reduzir as emissões de dióxido de carbono, bem como de outros gases com efeito de estufa. As emissões a nível mundial terão de atingir um valor máximo antes de 2020 e ser reduzidas para metade, até 2050, em relação aos níveis de 1990. Consequentemente, a UE está a trabalhar no sentido de obter, em 2015, um acordo juridicamente vinculativo a nível mundial para lutar contra as alterações climáticas no âmbito da CQNUAC, e de fixar objetivos mais ambiciosos para os compromissos assumidos pelos países em termos de redução das emissões de gases com efeito de estufa até 2020. A UE está a envidar esforços no sentido de reforçar a ação no domínio das alterações climáticas, através de iniciativas internacionais sobre o clima, como as ações para reduzir gradualmente os hidrofluorocarbonetos.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005616/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: CO2 concentration

In view of the following:

the fact that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is reporting that an observatory on the volcano of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, has recorded a CO2 concentration of 400.03 ppm;

the fact that according to the UN, ‘with 400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, we have crossed an historic threshold and entered a new danger zone’;

the fact that specialists consider this a symbolic figure, but one that marks a very worrying trend of a planet that is warming up: with an annual average CO2 concentration of 400 ppm, global warming is forecast to be at least 2.4 °C, according to the latest report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Can the Commission state:

What is the Commission’s assessment of these figures?

In what ways could the EU respond, apart from the climate change policies that we have been pursuing?

Answer given by Ms Hedegaard on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2013)

Measurements of carbon dioxide concentration taken at the Mauna Loa observatory show that levels temporarily exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) in May 2013. Carbon dioxide concentrations fluctuate seasonally in line with the natural carbon cycle and this level was registered at their annual peak. However, it is clear from measurements at Mauna Loa, and other observatories, that annual average global CO2 concentration is rising as a result of human emissions. The average rate of increase in global annual CO2 concentration over the past decade is approximately 2 ppm per year and the 2012 annual average is approximately 393 ppm (234).

But it is clear that annual increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are not consistent with keeping the increase in global average temperature below 2°C.

To limit global average temperature rise to below 2°C, strong and urgent global action to reduce emissions of CO2, as well as other greenhouse gases, is needed. Global emissions will need to peak before 2020 and be halved by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The EU is therefore working to secure a legally-binding global agreement to tackle climate change in 2015 under the UNFCCC and to increase the ambition of existing country pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions before 2020. The EU is also seeking to further enhance action on climate change through international climate initiatives, such as actions to phase down hydrofluorocarbons.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005618/13

to the Commission

Fiona Hall (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Global Distribution Systems (GDS) surcharges for travel agents

The costs of using Global Distribution Systems (GDS) to book airline tickets are charged to travel agents and travel management companies in the UK and Ireland by British Airways, but the airline does not apply the same GDS surcharges to travel companies in other Member States.

British Airways has confirmed that its distribution costs and charges vary, reflecting different market and regulatory conditions across Europe.

Is the Commission aware of the difference in costs transferred from airlines to travel companies in different Member States?

With regard to single market rules, are airlines permitted to transfer GDS surcharges to travel agents in some Member States and not others?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(19 July 2013)

The market for the provision of services of Global Distribution Systems is regulated by Regulation (EC) No 80/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on a Code of Conduct for computerised reservation systems (OJ L35, 4.2.2009). However, based on the information available, none of the rules in the Code of Conduct governs the type of conduct of British Airways described in the question from the EP.

How airlines recoup their costs, whether related to the use of GDSs or other, is in principle a matter of their pricing policy and their business decision. These are however subject to competition rules and may therefore be assessed by the competent authority (national or European) where relevant.

From an EU internal market perspective, it has to be borne in mind that Article 20(2) of the applicable Directive 2006/123/EC (Services Directive) obliges Member States to ensure that the general conditions of access to a service do not contain discriminatory provision relating to the place of residence of the recipient. This provision also covers B2B relationships. Different treatment can, however, be justified by objective criteria such as different market conditions (see Recital 95 of the Services Directive). As the provision has been correctly enacted in all Member States, it is up to national enforcement authorities to check whether a justified reason can be invoked or not.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005619/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Resultados eleitorais na Malásia

A Frente Nacional Barisanl, a coligação no poder na Malásia, venceu as eleições legislativas que se realizaram neste domingo. De acordo com os dados oficiais divulgados, houve uma adesão de 80 % dos eleitores, e a Frente Nacional obteve uma maioria simples e garantiu dois terços dos deputados, prolongando assim os seus 56 anos de poder. O maior partido da oposição denunciou que houve fraude ainda antes do fecho das urnas e avançou que irá contestar os resultados.

De que dados dispõe a Comissão relativamente à atual situação política na Malásia?

Resposta dada pela Alta Representante/Vice-Presidente Catherine Ashton em nome da Comissão

(9 de julho de 2013)

A Frente Nacional Barisan ganhou as 13as eleições gerais realizadas em 5 de maio conquistando 133 dos 222 lugares no Parlamento, ficando um pouco aquém da maioria de dois terços necessária para alterar a Constituição. O Primeiro-Ministro Najib tomou posse para um segundo mandato em 6 de maio e, em 15 de maio, formou o novo governo. O novo Parlamento reunirá em 24 de junho.

O líder da oposição, Anwar Ibrahim, continua a contestar os resultados das eleições legislativas. Prometeu manter a pressão sobre o governo, e, em especial, sobre a Comissão Eleitoral, para que examinem as alegadas fraudes eleitorais e irregularidades. Como expresso pela AR/VP na sua declaração sobre as eleições, a UE aguarda com interesse as conclusões da Comissão Eleitoral e das outras autoridades competentes, que investigarão e darão o devido tratamento às denúncias, conforme necessário.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005619/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Malaysian election results

Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has won the parliamentary elections held on Sunday. The official figures show that turnout was 80% and that Barisan Nasional won an overall majority, securing two thirds of the seats in the national parliament, thereby prolonging its 56 years in power. Even before polls closed, the largest opposition party announced that fraud had taken place and that it would contest the results.

What information does the Commission have about the current political situation in Malaysia?

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

(9 July 2013)

The Barisan National won the 13th general elections held on 5 May with 133 parliamental seats out of 222 falling a bit short of two thirds majority which is needed to change the Constitution. Prime Minister Najib was sworn in as prime minister for a second term on 6 May and he formed his new government on 15 May. The new Parliament will convene on 24 June.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim continues to contest the results of the general election. He has vowed to maintain pressure on the government, and notably on the Election Commission, to examine alleged electoral fraud and irregularities. As expressed by the HRVP in her statement on the elections, the EU is looking forward to the findings of the Election Commission and the other competent authorities, who will investigate and address the complaints as appropriate.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005620/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Desemprego de longa duração em Portugal

O Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP) está a organizar os desempregados consoante a exposição ao risco de desemprego de longa duração. Cerca de um quinto dos desempregados em Portugal são de «elevado risco», ou seja, com grande potencial de se tornarem desempregados de longa duração.

1.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento desta situação?

2.

Que estratégias tem a Comissão desenvolvido para combater o chamado desemprego de longa duração?

Resposta dada por László Andor em nome da Comissão

(17 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão está consciente dos elevados níveis de desemprego de longa duração em Portugal.

A situação do mercado de trabalho não deverá melhorar até 2014, devido às positivas mas modestas perspetivas de crescimento (235) e aos esperados novos cortes no emprego no setor público.

As reformas do mercado de trabalho implementadas em Portugal deverão ajudar a melhorar o funcionamento do mercado de trabalho a médio prazo. No que respeita o combate do desemprego a curto prazo, a Comissão sugeriu uma série de medidas suscetíveis de estimular a criação de emprego, incluindo subvenções específicas para os recém-contratados, redução da carga fiscal, em especial sobre os salários mais baixos, prestações sociais associadas ao trabalho e a promoção do emprego por conta própria e da criação de empresas (236). Muitas destas medidas podem ser cofinanciadas pelo Fundo Social Europeu. Através do Pacote de Emprego dos Jovens (237), foram lançadas medidas específicas em matéria de emprego dos jovens, incluindo a Garantia para a Juventude e uma Iniciativa para Emprego dos jovens aprovada pelo Conselho Europeu no valor de 6 mil milhões de euros.

A Comunicação «Repensar a Educação» (238) apelou aos Estados-Membros que procedam a reformas educativas que estimulem o crescimento e a competitividade. Para combater o desemprego entre os jovens, a tónica é colocada nas competências profissionais, na aprendizagem em contexto laboral, nas parcerias entre os setores público e privado e na mobilidade.

Foi aprovada pela Comissão em dezembro de 2012 e que está agora a ser executada a reprogramação global do quadro estratégico nacional apresentado por Portugal, com vista à reafetação de recursos dos fundos estruturais, em especial para aumentar o emprego dos jovens, reforçar as oportunidades de empreendedorismo e facilitar o acesso das PME ao financiamento.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005620/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Long-term unemployment in Portugal

The Portuguese Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) is organising the unemployed according to their risk of long-term unemployment. Around a fifth of Portugal’s unemployed are ‘high-risk’; that is, there is a major risk of their becoming long-term unemployed.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this situation?

2.

What strategies has the Commission been implementing to combat long-term unemployment?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 2013)

The Commission is aware of the high long-term unemployment in Portugal. The labour market situation is not expected to ameliorate until 2014 owing to the positive but weak growth outlook (239) and expected further cuts in public sector employment.

The labour market reforms implemented in Portugal will help improving the labour market functioning over the medium term. To tackle unemployment in the short-run, the Commission has suggested a number of measures that could stimulate job creation, including targeted subsidies to newly hired, reduction of the tax wedge especially on low-wage earners, well-designed in-work benefits, and promotion of self-employment and business start-ups (240). Many of these measures can be co-financed from the European Social Fund. Specific measures for young employment were launched with the Youth Employment Package (241), including the Youth Guarantee and a EUR 6 billion worth Youth Employment Initiative approved by the European Council.

The Rethinking Education communication (242) called on Member States to make educational reforms to boost growth and competitiveness. To combat youth unemployment, it focused on vocational skills, work-based learning, public-private partnerships and mobility.

The overall reprogramming of the National Strategic Framework submitted by Portugal with a view to reallocating Structural Fund resources, in particular to increase youth employment, entrepreneurship opportunities and SMEs’ access to finance was approved by the Commission in December 2012 and is now being implemented.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005621/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Escassez de água até 2030

A ONU estima que cerca de metade da população mundial venha a ter falta de água em 2030. São necessários elevados investimento no setor, quer para a manutenção da rede de fornecimento, quer para o desenvolvimento de infraestruturas.

Assim, pergunto à Comissão:

Como avalia esta situação?

Prevê que a UE poderá vir a ter falta de água em 2030?

O que tem sido feito pela Comissão para ajudar os países que previsivelmente serão mais afetados a combater esta situação?

Resposta dada por Janez Potočnik em nome da Comissão

(30 de julho de 2013)

Ao longo da última década, as preocupações com a escassez de água e as secas aumentaram a nível mundial e também na UE. Na sequência de uma das secas mais generalizadas, verificada em 2003, que afetou um terço do território da UE, o Conselho de Ministros da UE instou a Comissão a debruçar-se sobre os problemas da escassez de água e das secas na UE. A Comissão respondeu a este pedido na sua Comunicação sobre a escassez de água e as secas, onde identificou sete opções políticas principais para responder a estes dois desafios. Em relatórios anuais de acompanhamento publicados em 2008, 2009 e 2010, a Comissão avaliou os progressos na aplicação destas opções políticas e, em 2012, reviu a política da UE para combater a escassez de água e as secas.

Esta revisão realçou uma série de lacunas na atual política da água. O seguimento da Comunicação da Comissão intitulada «Uma matriz destinada a preservar os recursos hídricos da Europa», também adotada em 2012, visará colmatar essas lacunas através da melhoria da utilização dos solos, da resolução do problema da poluição das águas, do aumento da eficiência e da resiliência das águas e da melhoria da gestão dos recursos hídricos. Além disso, propõe o estabelecimento de normas à escala da UE para a reutilização da água. Acresce que a Parceria para a Inovação deverá facilitar a descoberta de soluções para responder a estes desafios.

Perante as previsões de que o número de bacias hidrográficas afetadas pela escassez de água na Europa irá aumentar cerca de 50 % até 2030, estas medidas políticas serão essenciais para vencer o desafio.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005621/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Water shortages by 2030

The UN estimates that around half the world’s population will be suffering water shortages by 2030. A high level of investment in the sector is necessary, both to maintain the supply network and to develop infrastructure.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of this situation?

Does it expect the EU to be suffering water shortages by 2030?

What has the Commission been doing to help those countries expected to be hardest hit in combating this situation?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(30 July 2013)

Over the past decade, concerns about water shortages, water scarcity and droughts have grown worldwide and also within the EU. Following one of the most widespread droughts in 2003 affecting, a third of the EU territory, the EU Council of Ministers asked the Commission to address the challenges of water scarcity and droughts (WS&D) in the EU. The Commission responded to this call in its communication on Water Scarcity & Droughts. The communication identified 7 main policy options to address the WS&D challenges. The Commission has assessed progress in implementing these policy options in follow-up annual reports in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and reviewed the EU's WS&D Policy in 2012.

This review highlighted a number of gaps in the current water policy. The follow-up to the Commission's Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources also adopted in 2012 will address these gaps by improving land use, addressing water pollution, increasing water efficiency and resilience, and improving the management of water resources. Furthermore, it proposes setting EU-wide standards for water re-use. . In addition, the Innovation Partnership should facilitate finding solutions to meet these challenges.

Faced with predictions that the number of river basins in Europe affected by water scarcity will increase by up to 50% by 2030, these policy measures will be essential in meeting the challenge.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005622/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Possível crise da dívida na China

A dívida pública e privada na China supera os 210 % do PIB, tendo subido mais de 50 pontos percentuais desde 2008. A Fitch e a UBS receiam uma correção súbita do crédito.

O risco de desaceleração do crescimento económico na China é algo que preocupa os investidores globais há vários anos. Junta-se agora outro risco: o endividamento. A Fitch cortou há um mês o «rating» Chinês.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Como avalia esta situação?

De que forma uma crise da dívida chinesa poderia afetar a UE, ainda para mais no cenário de crise que atravessamos?

Resposta dada por Olli Rehn em nome da Comissão

(16 de julho de 2013)

Em 2009, a China lançou um conjunto de medidas de incentivo às grandes infraestruturas, em resposta à crise financeira mundial. Esta situação conduziu a um aumento significativo da dívida total em relação ao PIB, num curto período, especialmente no que diz respeito à dívida «quase-pública» (das autoridades locais, bancos públicos e alguns ministérios). Mais recentemente, a China registou igualmente um rápido aumento da dívida das empresas e das famílias, bem como um crescimento rápido de certas formas atípicas de crédito (o «sistema bancário paralelo»). Esta recente expansão acelerada do crédito tem lugar no contexto de uma recuperação relativamente débil da economia real.

Na China, o rácio do investimento em relação ao PIB, nos últimos anos, tem sido extremamente elevado, atingindo cerca de 50 %. Na última análise da economia chinesa nos termos do artigo IV, de julho de 2012, o FMI indicava que a grande dependência das medidas de incentivo relativamente ao investimento, em 2009-2010, havia conduzido a «um aumento das capacidades excedentárias, a um risco acrescido de futuros empréstimos de má qualidade, bem como a apreensões relativamente à solidez financeira dos veículos de financiamento das administrações locais». A recente expansão acelerada do crédito na China é também realçada como constituindo um fator de risco no mais recente «World Economic Outlook» do FMI.

Por conseguinte, a Comissão continua a encorajar a China a avançar com as reformas de grande alcance necessárias para «reequilibrar» o seu modelo de crescimento e desviar a procura do investimento em favor de um maior consumo, de modo a evitar um agravamento destes desequilíbrios estruturais. A própria China reconheceu claramente a necessidade de redefinir o seu modelo de crescimento, nomeadamente através da implementação do 12.° plano quinquenal. O principal desafio económico com que se defrontam os novos dirigentes chineses consistirá em realizar reformas substanciais com vista a melhorar a qualidade e a sustentabilidade do crescimento chinês. A Comissão continuará a acompanhar de perto a evolução da economia chinesa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005622/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Possible debt crisis in China

Public and private debt in China is now more than 210% of GDP, having increased by over 50% since 2008. Fitch and UBS fear a sudden credit correction.

The risk of a slowdown in China’s economic growth is something that has been concerning global investors for several years. Another risk is now added to that: debt. A month ago, Fitch cut China’s credit rating.

Can the Commission state:

What is its assessment of this situation?

How could a Chinese debt crisis affect the EU, even more so given the crisis we are experiencing?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

In 2009 China initiated a large infrastructure stimulus package as a response to the global financial crisis. This led to a significant rise in total debt relative to GDP in a short period, particularly in ‘quasi-government’ debt (that of local authorities, policy banks and some ministries). More recently, China has also seen a rapid rise in corporate and household debt, and rapid growth in non-standard forms of lending (shadow banking). This recent rapid growth in credit takes place against a background of a relatively subdued recovery in the real economy.

In China the ratio of investment to GDP in recent years has been extremely high, close to 50% of GDP. In the last Article IV review of the Chinese economy in July 2012 the IMF stated that the heavy reliance of stimulus measures on investment in 2009-2010 had led to ‘an increase in excess capacity, a heightened risk of future non-performing loans, and concerns about the financial health of local government financing vehicles’. China's recent rapid credit growth is also highlighted as a risk factor in the IMF's latest ‘World Economic Outlook’.

The Commission therefore continues to encourage China to press forward with the wide-scale reforms needed to ‘rebalance’ its growth model and rotate demand away from investment and towards higher consumption, so as to prevent any worsening of these structural imbalances. China itself has clearly recognised the need to reshape their growth model, in particular through the implementation of the 12th 5-year plan. The main economic challenge for the new Chinese leadership will be to make substantive reforms to improve the quality and sustainability of China's growth. The Commission will continue to monitor developments in the Chinese economy very closely.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005623/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Desempregados em Portugal com mais de 45 anos

O desemprego de longa duração continua a aumentar e penaliza especialmente os mais velhos. Quase metade dos desempregados com mais de 45 anos procura trabalho há mais de dois anos e 70 % dos desempregados com mais de 45 anos procuram trabalho há mais de 12 meses.

1.

Como avalia a Comissão esta situação?

2.

Pode a Comissão indicar se estão previstas medidas, em colaboração com o governo português, para combater o desemprego que atinge as faixas etárias mais velhas da população?

Resposta dada por László Andor em nome da Comissão

(16 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão está consciente de que o desemprego que afeta as pessoas com mais de 45 anos é um problema importante que contribui para as más condições sociais e do mercado de trabalho em Portugal. A situação do emprego não deverá melhorar até 2014, devido às fracas perspetivas de crescimento.

Para combater a curto prazo o desemprego dos grupos desfavorecidos, tais como as pessoas com mais de 45 anos de idade, a Comissão sugeriu uma série de medidas suscetíveis de estimular a criação de emprego, incluindo subvenções específicas para recém-contratados, redução da carga fiscal, em especial sobre os salários mais baixos, prestações sociais associadas ao trabalho e a promoção do emprego por conta própria e da criação de empresas (243). Muitas destas medidas, bem como programas de aprendizagem ao longo da vida, podem ser cofinanciadas pelo Fundo Social Europeu.

Portugal fez um esforço considerável no que diz respeito à ativação dos desempregados, visando especificamente os desempregados com idade superior a 45 anos e os desempregados há mais de 6 meses. Uma das medidas recentemente adotadas é o incentivo à contratação de trabalhadores com mais de 45 anos, através de reembolsos das contribuições para a segurança social a pagar pelos empregadores.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005623/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Unemployed people in Portugal aged over 45

Long-term unemployment is still increasing and older people are being hit particularly hard. Almost half of unemployed people aged over 45 have been seeking work for more than two years and 70% of unemployed people aged over 45 have been seeking work for more than 12 months.

1.

What is the Commission’s view of this situation?

2.

Can the Commission indicate whether it is planning joint measures with the Portuguese Government in order to combat the unemployment affecting older age groups within the population?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

The Commission is aware that unemployment affecting people over 45 years old is an important feature of the grim labour market and social conditions in Portugal. The employment situation is not expected to ameliorate until 2014 owing to the weak growth outlook.

To tackle unemployment of disadvantaged groups such as people aged over 45 years old in the short-run, the Commission has suggested a number of measures that could stimulate job creation, including targeted subsidies to newly hired, reduction of the tax wedge especially on low-wage earners, well-designed in-work benefits, and promotion of self-employment and business start-ups. (244)Many of these measures, as well as lifelong learning programmes, can be co-financed from the European Social Fund.

Portugal has made considerable effort in relation to the activation of unemployed people, specifically targeting unemployed above 45 years old and those unemployed for over 6 months. One of the most recently adopted measures is the incentive to hiring of employees aged over 45 via reimbursement of employer's social security contributions.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005624/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Venda do Banco Efisa

À semelhança do que aconteceu com a venda do BPN ao BIC, também o Banco Efisa precisará que a Direção da Concorrência da Comissão (DG COMP) aceite linhas de liquidez que o Estado terá de disponibilizar ao banco no âmbito da venda a privados.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Que tipo de linhas de crédito será disponibilizado pelo Estado português aos compradores do Banco Efisa?

Quando estará finalizada, por parte da DG COMP, a análise à venda do Banco Efisa a privados?

Resposta dada por Joaquín Almunia em nome da Comissão

(17 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão não recebeu qualquer notificação de Portugal no que se refere à concessão de apoio estatal ao Banco Efisa. A Comissão até ao momento não foi informada de qualquer aspeto relativo ao apoio estatal relacionado com o processo de venda desse banco.

Em qualquer caso, a Comissão espera que, no contexto do processo de venda, Portugal informe, em conformidade com as regras em matéria de apoios estatais, acerca de qualquer medida suscetível de envolver apoios estatais, quer ao Banco Efisa, quer ao(s) comprador(es), antes da aplicação de qualquer medida de apoio.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005624/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Sale of Banco Efisa

As with the sale of Banco Português de Negócios to Banco BIC, Banco Efisa will require the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition to agree to credit lines that the state will have to make available to the bank as part of its sale to private owners.

1.

What type of credit lines will the Portuguese state be making available to the buyers of

Banco Efisa

?

2.

When will the Directorate-General for Competition complete its analysis of the sale of

Banco Efisa

to private owners?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 2013)

The Commission has not received any notification by Portugal as concerns the granting of state aid to Banco Efisa. The Commission has so far not been informed of any state aid aspect relating to the sales process of that bank.

In any case, the Commission trusts that in the context of the sales procedure Portugal will notify, in line with state aid rules, any measure which might involve state aid to either Banco Efisa or to the buyer(s) before any aid measure is implemented.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005625/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Bloqueio de transmissão de malária nos mosquitos

Cerca de 300 milhões de pessoas são afetadas no mundo anualmente por transmissão de malária, e em países africanos o número de mortes ronda os 1,5 milhões. Segundo um estudo publicado na revista Science, um grupo de cientistas norte-americanos descobriu uma nova técnica que permite bloquear a transmissão de malária nos mosquitos. De acordo com esta técnica, os embriões de mosquitos são injetados e infetados pela bactéria Wolbachia, quebrando assim a cadeia de transmissão da malária. Esta infeção bacteriana é hereditária e pode ser transmitida até 34 gerações de mosquitos.

1.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento desta descoberta?

2.

Pondera a Comissão a sua utilização como uma estratégia complementar no combate à malária?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(9 de julho de 2013)

1.

A Comissão tem conhecimento do estudo publicado pelo Dr. Bian e respetivos colaboradores na revista

1.

A Comissão tem conhecimento do estudo publicado pelo Dr. Bian e respetivos colaboradores na revista

Science  (245). O resultado deste estudo é um primeiro passo importante para uma abordagem inovadora no combate à malária na Ásia. Além disso, o Sétimo Programa‐Quadro da UE em matéria de investigação e desenvolvimento tecnológico (7.° PQ) financiou um projeto de investigação com vista a compreender melhor o modo como algumas estirpes da bactéria Wolbachia podem impedir a transmissão da malária por mosquitos (246).

2.

A utilização da bactéria

Wolbachia

para impedir os mosquitos de transmitirem a malária pode ser considerada uma abordagem complementar a utilizar em paralelo com os métodos de controlo de vetores já disponíveis.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005625/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Preventing mosquitoes from transmitting malaria

Around 300 million people worldwide are affected every year by malaria transmission; in African countries, there are around 1.5 million deaths. According to a study published in the journal Science, a group of US scientists has discovered a new technique that stops mosquitoes from transmitting malaria. With this technique, mosquito embryos are injected and infected with Wolbachia bacteria, thereby breaking the malaria transmission chain. This bacterial infection is hereditary and can be transmitted by up to 34 generations of mosquito.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this discovery?

2.

Is the Commission considering its use as a complementary strategy in combating malaria?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of the study published by Doctor Bian and collaborators in the journal

1.

The Commission is aware of the study published by Doctor Bian and collaborators in the journal

Science  (247). The result of this study is a first important step towards a novel approach to fight against malaria in Asia. In addition, the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) has financed a research project to better understand how some strains of the bacteria ‘Wolbachia’ can inhibit the transmission of malaria by mosquitos (248).

2.

The use of bacteria

‘Wolbachia’ to prevent mosquitoes from transmitting malaria can be considered as a complementary approach to be used alongside the already available vector control methods.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005626/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Mecanismo celular limita desenvolvimento de tumores

Uma equipa de investigadores do Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) identificou um novo mecanismo que permite às células saudáveis limitarem o desenvolvimento de tumores. Este mecanismo atua limitando a ação do Src, uma classe de genes que codificam proteínas cuja atividade favorece o desenvolvimento de tumores. Esta descoberta pode abrir portas a novas terapêuticas contra o cancro.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento desta nova descoberta?

Resposta dada por Máire Geoghegan-Quinn em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão tem conhecimento da publicação referida pelo Senhor Deputado. Realizada no Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência em Portugal, identificou um novo mecanismo mediante o qual o citosqueleto inibe a ação da SRC, uma proteína considerada preponderante na tumorigénese (249) ,  (250) e implicada num grande número de cancros humanos.

Os resultados foram obtidos através do uso da mosca da fruta, a Drosophila melanogaster, como modelo. É necessário continuar a investigação de modo a avaliar a importância desta via em modelos de animais mamíferos e humanos, bem como o seu potencial terapêutico.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005626/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Cellular mechanism limits tumour development

A team of researchers at Portugal’s Gulbenkian Science Institute (IGC) has identified a new mechanism that enables healthy cells to limit tumour development. This mechanism limits the action of the SRC gene. These genes encode proteins whose activity encourages tumour development. This discovery could pave the way for new cancer treatments.

Is the Commission aware of this discovery?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission is aware of the publication mentioned by the Honourable Member, conducted at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal, identifying a novel mechanism whereby the cytoskeleton inhibits the activity of SRC, a protein known to be instrumental in tumorigenesis (251)  (252) and implicated in a large number of human cancers.

The results were obtained using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model. Further research is required to assess the importance of this pathway in mammalian animal models and humans as well as its therapeutic potential.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005627/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Lei europeia das sementes

Considerando o seguinte:

Foi recentemente discutida pelos comissários europeus uma proposta de regulamento que prevê a obrigação de registo de toda e qualquer variedade de semente que possa trocar de mãos, mesmo que cedida a título gratuito;

Tal proposta trará custos e processos administrativos impeditivos para a maioria dos agricultores que usam sementes próprias, horticultores, associações de preservação de sementes tradicionais e pequenas empresas de produção de sementes;

A maioria dos agricultores dizem que o referido regulamento discrimina «severamente as sementes e material de propagação de plantas de polinização aberta, regionais e tradicionais, a favor das sementes industriais e dos operadores corporativos», pelo que há um risco de inviabilizar os sistemas informais de troca e venda de sementes, que são a base da segurança alimentar, nomeadamente em países em desenvolvimento;

Várias associações do setor referem que esta proposta representa um ataque aos agricultores e à «herança biocultural comum», pondo em causa «a maioria das dezenas de milhares de variedades locais de plantas de cultivo, selecionadas e adaptadas por agricultores durante milénios»;

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Em que ponto se encontra a referida situação?

Não considera que, no caso de a proposta de regulamento ser aprovada, iremos incorrer num claro retrocesso em termos de agro-biodiversidade, segurança alimentar e auto-suficiência dos países da UE?

Faz sentido um regulamento que beneficiará apenas algumas empresas multinacionais do setor?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

A proposta foi adotada em 6 de maio de 2013 e encontra‐se atualmente a ser debatida pelos colegisladores. A Comissão está convicta de que a presente proposta de regulamento garante a diversidade e a utilização sustentável das plantas cultivadas. Este objetivo é atingido graças a opções pouco onerosas de registo das variedades tradicionais, que consistem em isentar as microempresas das taxas de registo de variedades, e dando ainda a possibilidade a não profissionais de comercializar material destinado a nichos de mercado sem registo.

O intercâmbio em espécie entre outras pessoas além dos operadores profissionais está fora do âmbito de aplicação do regulamento proposto e os agricultores e horticultores são livres de utilizar qualquer material que entenderem. O regulamento proposto apenas diz respeito à comercialização e produção com vista à comercialização. O mercado da UE de material de propagação vegetal inclui um grande número de microempresas e de pequenas e médias empresas. Outro objetivo central do regulamento proposto é manter e reforçar esta diversidade de operadores e, desta forma, oferecer uma grande escolha (variedades novas, testadas, tradicionais e material para nichos de mercado) ao comprador.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005627/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: European seed law

In view of the fact that:

the Commission has recently discussed a proposal for a regulation making it mandatory to register any and all seed varieties that may change hands, even if given away for free;

this proposal will entail administrative costs and processes that are prohibitive for farmers who use their own seeds, as well as gardeners, associations for preserving traditional seeds and small seed-production companies;

the majority of farmers say that the aforementioned regulation discriminates severely against the seeds and propagating material of regional and traditional open-pollinated plants in favour of industrial seeds and corporate operators, and that this risks rendering unviable informal systems for exchanging and selling seeds, which are the basis of food security, particularly in developing countries;

several farmers’ organisations say that this proposal represents an attack on farmers and shared biological heritage, jeopardising the majority of the tens of thousands of local crop varieties, selected and adapted by farmers over millennia.

Can the Commission state:

What stage has this situation reached?

Does it not take the view that, if this proposal for a regulation is adopted, we will take a clear step backwards in terms of the Member States’ agrobiodiversity, food security and self-sufficiency?

Does a regulation that will only benefit a few agricultural multinationals make sense?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The proposal was adopted on 6 May 2013 and now is being discussed by the co-legislators. The Commission is convinced that this proposal for a regulation ensures diversity and sustainable use of cultivated plants. This objective is achieved by offering low-burden options for registering traditional varieties, by exempting micro-enterprises from variety registration fees, and by giving the possibility, also to non-professionals, to market niche-market material without registration.

Exchange in kind between persons other than professional operators is outside the proposed Regulation's scope and farmers and gardeners are free to use any material they like. The proposed Regulation only concerns marketing, and production with a view to marketing. The EU market for plant propagating material comprises a large number of micro-enterprises and small and medium operators. Another central objective of the proposed Regulation is to maintain and strengthen this diversity of operators and in this way to offer a broad choice (new, tested varieties; traditional varieties; niche-market material) to the buyer.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005628/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Reino Unido — novas regras para imigrantes

O governo conservador de David Cameron pretende endurecer as regras para imigrantes no seu território, para que o Reino Unido possa «atrair pessoas que contribuam para o país e desincentivar quem o não faça».

Alguns dos pontos principais do novo pacote legislativo sobre imigração são já conhecidos e incluem os cidadãos da União europeia.

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Que avaliação faz do mencionado pacote de medidas?

Resposta dada por Cecilia Malmström em nome da Comissão

(24 de julho de 2013)

É prática da Comissão não se pronunciar sobre legislação nacional que ainda não tenha sido adotada.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005628/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: UK — New immigration rules

David Cameron’s Conservative government intends to introduce tougher rules for immigrants into the UK, in order to ‘attract people who contribute to the country’ and discourage those who do not.

Some of the main points of the new legislative package on immigration are already known and cover EU citizens.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the aforementioned package of measures?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(24 July 2013)

It is Commission policy not to comment on national legislation that has not been adopted.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005629/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: UE pode ficar sem orçamento disponível ainda este ano

O eurodeputado conservador italiano Giovanni La Via, relator para o orçamento de 2013, prevê que a falta de dinheiro vai começar a ser constatada «a partir de julho».

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Confirma um quadro que ponha em causa as verbas necessárias ao orçamento da UE para 2013?

Resposta dada por Janusz Lewandowski em nome da Comissão

(27 de junho de 2013)

É na realidade o que acontece; certas rubricas do orçamento registarão uma escassez de pagamentos no futuro próximo. A curto prazo, a Comissão procurará resolver este problema através de transferências. Todavia, é igualmente importante que o aumento das dotações de pagamento proposto, no valor de 11,2 mil milhões de EUR, seja aprovado o mais rapidamente possível, a fim de garantir a existência de fundos suficientes para o resto do exercício orçamental. À data da elaboração da presente resposta, existe um acordo político a nível da Ecofin sobre uma primeira fração de 7,3 mil milhões de EUR. Contudo, tanto o Conselho como o Parlamento Europeu têm ainda de proceder a uma votação formal.

A Comissão continuará a acompanhar atentamente a situação em relação à execução orçamental, apresentando as propostas adequadas, se necessário.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005629/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: The EU could run out of money this year

The Italian Member Giovanni La Via, of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), is rapporteur for the 2013 budget and predicts that we will start to notice the lack of money ‘as early as July’.

Can the Commission confirm that the framework may mean there is not enough money for the 2013 EU budget?

Answer given by Mr Lewandowski on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 2013)

In is indeed the case, that some budget lines will experience a shortage of payments in the near future. In the short term, the Commission will seek to address this problem via transfers. However, it is also important that the proposed increase of payment appropriations of EUR 11.2 billion is approved as soon as possible, to ensure that there will be sufficient funds for the rest of the budget year. At time of writing, there is a political agreement at the level of Ecofin on a first tranche of EUR 7.3 billion. However, both Council and European Parliament have yet to take a formal vote.

The Commission will continue to carefully monitor the situation for budget implementation, and will make the appropriate proposals as necessary.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005630/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Fraude alimentar na China

Mais de 900 produtores de carne de cordeiro, na China, estão sob suspeita de fraude alimentar. A carne de cordeiro era misturada com a de outros animais, como raposa e rato, para aumentar o lucro das vendas. A venda de produtos ilegais gerou lucros superiores a 1 milhão e 200 mil euros.

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Qual a dimensão da exportação de carne chinesa para a UE?

Nesse caso, quais os mecanismos de controle da qualidade destes produtos?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(5 de julho de 2013)

1.

Por motivos de saúde pública e animal, é proibida na UE a importação de carne de ovino proveniente da China.

2.

Deste modo, e uma vez que não se realizam importações, não foram consideradas necessárias ações suplementares ao nível da UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005630/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Food fraud in China

Over 900 mutton producers in China are suspected of food fraud. Mutton has been mixed with the meat of other animals, such as fox and rat, to increase profits. The sale of illegal products has generated profits of over EUR 1.2 million.

Can the Commission state:

What is the scale of Chinese meat exports to the EU?

In this case, what mechanisms are there for checking the quality of these products?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

1.

The imports of mutton meat from China into the EU are prohibited for animal and public health reasons.

2.

In this case, as no imports take place, no further action was deemed necessary at EU level.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005632/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Crianças em idade escolar com problemas de visão

Cerca de 20 por cento das crianças em idade escolar têm problemas de visão e muitas nunca mais verão a 100 por cento. As crianças desenvolvem o chamado «olho preguiçoso», que pode ser evitado quando detetado ainda em bebé.

Só em Portugal, nascem três a cinco mil crianças com ambliopia, ou seja, com visão reduzida num dos olhos. Se não for detetada a tempo, preferencialmente antes dos dois anos, aquele olho poderá nunca mais recuperar a visão total, mesmo com óculos, lentes de contacto ou cirurgias.

Assim, pergunto à Comissão:

O que é que pode ser feito ao nível da UE para diminuir os problemas de visão em idade infantil?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(26 de junho de 2013)

O fenómeno «olho preguiçoso» mencionado pelo Senhor Deputado, como muitas outras doenças evitáveis ou condições específicas, beneficiaria de uma maior consciência dos sintomas e opções de tratamento entre os pais e os profissionais de saúde.

Cada Estado-Membro é responsável pela organização e pela prestação de cuidados de saúde aos seus cidadãos. Consequentemente, a prestação de diagnóstico precoce, juntamente com a prevenção eficaz do fenómeno «olho preguiçoso» entre as crianças, é da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros.

O Programa de Saúde da UE (253) pode oferecer possibilidades de apresentar projetos que possam contribuir para a redução de problemas de visão evitáveis ou tratáveis. O programa é executado através de planos de trabalho anuais que definem as prioridades e as ações a empreender.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005632/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: School-age children with vision problems

Some 20% of school-age children have vision problems and many will never have 100% vision again. Children develop so-called ‘lazy eye’, which can be prevented if detected when the child is still a baby.

In Portugal alone, 3 000 to 5 000 children per year are born with amblyopia, meaning reduced vision in one eye. If not caught early, preferably before the age of two, this eye may never recover full vision, even with glasses, contact lenses or surgery.

What can be done at EU level to reduce vision problems during early childhood?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(26 June 2013)

The ‘lazy-eye’ phenomenon referred to by the Honourable Member would, as many other preventable diseases or conditions, benefit from a broader awareness of symptoms and treatment options among parents and health professionals.

Each Member State is responsible for organising and providing healthcare to their citizens. As such, the provision of early diagnosis coupled with effective prevention of the ‘lazy-eye’ phenomenon in children falls under the responsibility of Member States.

The EU Health Programme (254) could offer possibilities to present projects that may contribute to reducing preventable or treatable sight problems. The Programme is implemented by means of annual work plans which set out priorities and actions to be undertaken.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005634/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Crise alimentar na Nigéria

Considerando que:

A Nigéria é um dos países mais pobres do mundo e tem crises alimentares crónicas que se agravam no período compreendido entre o término do consumo das colheitas do ano anterior e o período das novas colheitas, que se realizam no mês de setembro;

Atualmente, e de acordo com a ONU, cerca de 800 mil pessoas estão em situação de «insegurança alimentar» na Nigéria e, destas, 84 mil precisam de ajuda imediata.

Pergunto à Comissão:

Já existem ou prevê vir a adotar medidas de apoio alimentar ao referido país?

Resposta dada por Kristalina Georgieva em nome da Comissão

(6 de agosto de 2013)

Em 2013, a situação no Níger é agravada por preços anormalmente elevados dos produtos alimentares e pela escassez das colheitas na Nigéria, de onde os cereais são tradicionalmente importados. As taxas de subnutrição aguda já ultrapassam os limiares de emergência em várias regiões, e mais de 1 milhão de crianças necessita de tratamento para a subnutrição.

A Comissão intensificou o seu apoio aos parceiros no Níger desde a crise alimentar de 2005. Em 2012, a Comissão autorizou um montante de 58 milhões de EUR para aumentar os cuidados nos domínios da nutrição e da assistência alimentar. Este apoio permitiu fornecer: cuidados adequados a 370 000 crianças que sofrem de subnutrição aguda, através do fornecimento de alimentos terapêuticos prontos a consumir; alimentação suplementar a 960 000 crianças vulneráveis, mulheres grávidas e mulheres que aleitam; transferências em dinheiro a 320 000 pessoas, permitindo‐lhes comprar alimentos e ao mesmo tempo apoiar a economia local; donativos alimentares a 465 000 pessoas, sobretudo em locais onde os alimentos escasseavam no mercado.

Foram afetados 42,5 milhões de EUR de fundos do FED (255) para apoio à segurança alimentar através do apoio orçamental setorial. Além disso, foi fornecido o montante de 3,5 milhões de EUR de financiamento do ICD (256), no âmbito do programa temático de segurança alimentar, como apoio à iniciativa «Renewed Effort Against Child Hunger» (Renovar os esforços contra a fome infantil).

Em 2013, a Comissão está mais uma vez a concentrar esforços para ajudar os mais vulneráveis à fome e à subnutrição e, no âmbito da iniciativa nacional dos 3N («Les nigériens nourrissent les nigériens» — Os nigerinos alimentam os nigerinos), pretende reforçar progressivamente a capacidade de resistência aos choques por parte das populações vulneráveis. Os parceiros receberão apoio para fornecer serviços integrados de saúde e nutrição a centenas de milhares de crianças, bem como às mulheres grávidas e lactantes. A Comissão continua também a preconizar a criação de redes de segurança social para os grupos mais vulneráveis.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005634/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Food crisis in Niger

In view of the fact that:

Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries and experiences chronic food crises that are worst during the period between the previous year’s crops running out and the new harvest, which takes place in September;

according to the UN, 800 000 people are currently experiencing ‘food insecurity’ in Niger, 84 000 of whom need immediate help.

Can the Commission state:

Are there already food aid measures in place for the country, or does the Commission plan to adopt any?

Answer given by Ms Georgieva on behalf of the Commission

(6 August 2013)

In 2013, the situation in Niger is exacerbated by abnormally high food prices and by poor harvests in Nigeria, where cereals are traditionally imported from. Severe malnutrition rates already surpass emergency thresholds in several regions, and more than 1 million children require malnutrition treatment.

The Commission has stepped up its support to partners in Niger since the nutritional crisis of 2005. In 2012, the Commission committed EUR 58 million to significantly scale up nutrition care and food assistance. This helped: 370 000 children suffering from acute malnutrition with appropriate care through ready-to-use therapeutic foods; 960 000 vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating women with blanket supplementary feeding; 320 000 people with cash transfers enabling them to buy food while supporting the local economy; 465 000 people with food donations, mostly in places where food was scarce on the markets.

EUR 42.5 million of EDF (257) funds were committed to support food security through sectorial budget support. In addition, a EUR 3.5 million DCI (258) financing under the Food Security Thematic Programme was provided to support the UN's ‘Renewed Effort Against Child Hunger’ initiative.

In 2013, the Commission is targeting once again those most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition and, within the framework of the national 3N (‘les Nigériens nourrissent les Nigériens’) initiative, aims to progressively enhance the resilience to shocks of the vulnerable population. Partners receive support to provide integrated health and nutrition services to hundreds of thousands of children as well as pregnant and lactating women. The Commission also continues to advocate for the creation of social safety nets for the most vulnerable.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005635/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Mutações genéticas ligadas ao cancro da mama e ovários

Considerando o seguinte:

Um grupo de especialistas de um instituto de investigação biomédica da Catalunha identificou três mutações genéticas responsáveis pelo cancro da mama e do ovário.

Os especialistas relacionam o desenvolvimento destes tumores com três mutações no gene BRCA1, que representam um alto risco de desenvolvimento de cancro da mama ou do ovário. Uma mulher com uma mutação naquele gene tem um risco entre 40 % a 90 % de contrair cancro da mama e entre 20 % e 70 % de contrair cancro do ovário.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento desta descoberta?

Como a avalia?

Resposta dada por Máire Geoghegan-Quinn em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão tem conhecimento da publicação do estudo por um grupo de investigadores do Instituto de Investigação Biomédica de Bellvitge (Idibell) e do Instituto de Oncologia da Catalunha (ICO), que identifica três variantes patogénicas do gene BRCA1 (259) ,  (260), a que o Senhor Deputado faz referência.

No caso de algumas das mutações do gene BRCA1, existe um risco elevado de contrair cancro da mama ou do ovário ao longo da vida. No entanto, desconhece-se a importância dessas variantes. A investigação a que faz referência utilizou análises funcionais e estruturais in vitro para concluir que três dessas variantes influenciam a função da proteína BRCA1 e são potencialmente patogénicas. A confirmarem-se, os resultados desta investigação poderão conduzir a uma melhor avaliação dos riscos para as pessoas portadoras de mutações e a um melhor aconselhamento genético.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005635/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer

In view of the fact that:

a group of specialists at a biomedical research institute in Catalonia, Spain, has identified three genetic mutations responsible for breast and ovarian cancer;

these specialists report the development of these tumours when there are three mutations in the BRCA1 gene, which represent a high risk of breast or ovarian cancer. A woman with a mutation in that gene has a 40-90% risk of contracting breast cancer and 20-70% of contracting ovarian cancer.

Can the Commission state:

Is it aware of this discovery?

What is its assessment thereof?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission is aware of the publication mentioned by the Honourable Member, by the research group in Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), identifying three pathogenic genetic variants of the BRCA1 gene (261)  (262).

Some mutations in BRCA1 genes confer high lifetime risks of breast and ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, the significance of some variants is unknown. The research cited used in vitro functional and structural analyses to conclude that three of such variants influence the function of BRCA1 protein and are likely pathogenic variants. This research, if confirmed, may lead to a better assessment of personal risks of mutations carriers and to better genetic counselling.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005636/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Caça ilegal em Malta II

O Deputado signatário apresentou à Comissão a pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E‐2377/2010.

Na resposta dada por Janez Potočnik em nome da Comissão foi dito o seguinte: «Em 9 de abril de 2010, o Governo maltês adotou legislação que permite a caça na primavera de cerca de 7 500 aves, durante uma semana, em finais de Abril de 2010. A legislação impõe algumas restrições em relação à caça na primavera e apresenta medidas específicas para a supervisão da caça nesta época do ano. A Comissão considera que, em princípio, a nova legislação que permite a caça na primavera em 2010 parece cumprir os requisitos do acórdão do Tribunal de Justiça Europeu. Não obstante, é essencial uma aplicação eficaz de todas as condições previstas na nova legislação (duração da época de caça, número de licenças de caça e número de aves a abater). Esta aplicação será supervisionada pela Comissão.»

Recentemente, e de acordo com a BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), foi noticiado que milhares de pássaros protegidos, como aberalhucos, tartaranhãos e cucos continuam a ser mortos ilegalmente durante a temporada de caça, ao migrarem de Malta, no Mediterrâneo, em direção ao continente europeu.

Pergunta-se à Comissão:

Que avaliação faz da aplicação da legislação relativa à caça que se encontra em vigor no arquipélago maltês?

De que dados dispõe a Comissão relativamente ao número de aves que são abatidas ilegalmente?

Resposta dada por Janez Potočnik em nome da Comissão

(8 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão contactou as autoridades maltesas, que lhe prestaram informações sobre a reforma planeada das estruturas de fiscalização e repressão competentes, designadamente a criação de uma unidade especializada de combate ao crime contra a fauna selvagem, exclusivamente dedicada à fiscalização e imposição do cumprimento das normas aplicáveis, incluindo as que regulam a caça. A Comissão mantém contactos regulares com as autoridades nacionais, no intuito de melhorar com medidas concretas a fiscalização e repressão, e acredita que se conseguirá assim reduzir o desnível considerável entre os números noticiados e os números oficiais e factos estabelecidos. Por último, a Comissão remete o Senhor Deputado para a resposta dada às perguntas escritas E-347/2013, do Deputado Ashley Fox, e E‐4289/2013, do Deputado Andrea Zanoni.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005636/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Illegal hunting in Malta II

This Member submitted question for written answer E‐2377/2010 to the Commission.

Commissioner Potočnik’s answer included the following: ‘On 9 April 2010, the Maltese Government adopted legislation permitting spring hunting of some 7 500 birds in Malta for one week at the end of April 2010. The legislation imposes a number of restrictions in relation to spring hunting and provides detailed measures for controlling spring hunting. The Commission considers that, in principle, the new legislation permitting spring hunting in 2010 appears to comply with the requirements of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is nevertheless essential to effectively enforce all the conditions set out in the new legislation (duration of the hunting season, the number of hunting licences and the number of birds to be hunted). This will be monitored by the Commission’.

The BBC recently reported that thousands of protected birds, such as bee-eaters, harriers and cuckoos, are still being illegally killed during the hunting season as they migrate from Malta, in the Mediterranean, to mainland Europe.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the implementation of the hunting legislation in force in the Maltese archipelago?

Does the Commission have figures for the number of birds illegally killed?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 2013)

The Commission is in contact with the Maltese authorities who have provided information on the planned reform of the relevant enforcement structures, including the setting up of a specialised Wildlife Crime Unit, which will be fully and exclusively dedicated to enforcement of wildlife regulations, including regulations related to hunting. The Commission has been in regular contact with national authorities with a view to improve enforcement through concrete action. The Commission believes this should also reduce the considerable gaps between the alleged figures and the official figures facts established. Finally, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to written questions E-347/2013 by Mr Ashley Fox and E-4289/2013 by Mr Andrea Zanoni.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005637/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Propagação do vírus H7N9

Considerando o seguinte:

Segundo o último balanço oficial das autoridades, o novo vírus da gripe aviária H7N9 já afetou um total de 129 pessoas e causou 31 mortes na China;

O Governo japonês decidiu ampliar as medidas preventivas contra o vírus H7N9, que passou a ser considerado uma «doença infecciosa» perante a legislação;

O Instituto de Doenças Infecciosas do Japão não descarta a possibilidade de uma pandemia e adverte para que se trata de um vírus de rápida adaptabilidade aos humanos;

A Organização Mundial de Saúde alertou para a necessidade de tomar medidas contra o H7N9, considerado um dos vírus mais mortais.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Como avalia estas novas medidas tomadas pelo Governo japonês?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(5 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão troca regularmente informações sobre ameaças para a saúde de relevância internacional com o Japão. Desde novembro de 2001, a Comissão Europeia, enquanto membro da Iniciativa para a Segurança Mundial da Saúde (GHSI), tem vindo a trabalhar estreitamente com o Japão e com os outros países parceiros, num esforço de criar uma estratégia global eficaz e bem organizada de prevenção e resposta a potenciais ameaças para a saúde.

Durante a reunião de altos funcionários da Iniciativa para a Segurança Mundial da Saúde realizada em Otava em 13 e 14 de junho trocaram-se informações relativas a recentes epidemias, incluindo a gripe A (H7N9) na China. Serão comunicados eventuais novos desenvolvimentos durante a reunião ministerial a realizar em Itália em dezembro de 2013.

A Comissão considera que as medidas de saúde pública tomadas pelo Japão no que respeita à gripe A (H7N9) destinam-se a reforçar a sua capacidade de prevenção e resposta perante a eventual propagação do surto, e que tais medidas estão alinhadas com medidas previstas e aplicadas a nível internacional. Tais medidas de saúde pública são, em última instância, da responsabilidade dos Estados-Membros.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005637/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Spread of the H7N9 virus

In view of the fact that:

the Chinese authorities’ latest official figures show that the new H7N9 bird flu virus has already affected a total of 129 people in the country, resulting in 31 deaths;

the Japanese Government has decided to step up its prevention measures in connection with H7N9, which is now considered an ‘infectious disease’ in law;

the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases is not ruling out the possibility of a pandemic and is warning that this virus could quickly adapt to humans;

the World Health Organisation has warned that steps need to be taken against H7N9, which is considered one of the world’s deadliest viruses.

Can the Commission state:

What is its view of the Japanese Government’s new measures?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(5 July 2013)

The Commission regularly exchanges information on health threats of international relevance with Japan. Since November 2001, the European Commission, as a member of the Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI), has been working closely with Japan and the other partner countries in an effort to create an effective and well-organised global strategy for preparedness and responses to potential health threats.

Information related to recent epidemics, including influenza A(H7N9) in China, has been exchanged during the Senior Official meeting of the Global Health Security Initiative in Ottawa on 13-14 June; possible new developments will be communicated during the Ministerial meeting to be hosted by Italy in December 2013.

The Commission considers that the public health measures undertaken by Japan as regards Influenza A (H7N9) are intended to strengthen its preparedness and response to the possible spread of the outbreak, and that such measures are aligned with measures planned and undertaken at international level. Such public health measures are ultimately the responsibility of Member States.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005638/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Produtos químicos no ar do interior das casas

Um estudo europeu revelou a presença de pesticidas e de produtos industriais no ar que circula no interior das casas, indicando ainda que os níveis verificados ultrapassaram, por vezes, os valores registados no exterior.

Os autores do estudo destacaram que a qualidade de vida conseguida pela população mundial durante o último século foi possível através de novos produtos químicos, cujas consequências, a médio e a longo prazo, não foram estudadas durante a sua fabricação.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento do referido estudo europeu, bem como da tipologia dos produtos que afetam a saúde?

Que dados possui sobre esta matéria?

Resposta dada por Tonio Borg em nome da Comissão

(9 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão Europeia não tem conhecimento de qualquer estudo realizado ao nível da UE que diga especificamente respeito aos pesticidas e produtos industriais no ar que circula no interior das casas. A nível nacional, alguns Estados-Membros incluíram os pesticidas nas suas campanhas de monitorização do ambiente em recintos fechados (casas, escolas). No atinente aos produtos químicos industriais, o regulamento REACH (263) atribui uma maior responsabilidade à indústria na gestão dos riscos decorrentes dos produtos químicos e no fornecimento de informações de segurança sobre as substâncias em causa.

Têm vindo a realizar-se vastas investigações que demonstram a importância para a saúde da qualidade do ar em recintos fechados. O projeto ENVIE (264), por exemplo, revelou que se podem realizar ganhos importantes em termos de saúde pública com a aplicação de medidas relacionadas especificamente com a qualidade do ar em recintos fechados. Além disso, através do Programa de Saúde da UE para 2006-2013, o projeto Ephect (265) centrou os seus esforços na melhor compreensão das exposições múltiplas aos poluentes atmosféricos primários e secundários emitidos tipicamente no decurso da utilização nas residências europeias de produtos de consumo relevantes e dos padrões de utilização desses produtos.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005638/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Chemicals in the air inside homes

A European study has revealed the presence of pesticides and industrial products in the air circulating inside homes, while also indicating that the levels recorded are sometimes higher than those recorded outside.

The study’s authors highlighted the fact that the quality of life achieved by the world’s population during the previous century was possible because of new chemical products, the medium- and long-term consequences of which were not studied while they were being manufactured.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the aforementioned European study and the types of product that affect health?

2.

What figures does it have on this subject?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2013)

The European Commission is not aware of any study performed at EU level specifically concerning pesticides and industrial products in indoor air of homes. At national level, some Member States have included pesticides in their monitoring campaigns in indoor environments (homes, schools). Concerning industrial chemicals, on the basis of the REACH regulation (266) greater responsibility is placed on the industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances concerned.

A wide range of research demonstrating the importance of indoor air quality for health has been conducted, for example, the ENVIE (267) project showed that important public health gains can be achieved by implementing specific indoor air quality related policies. In addition through the EU health programme 2006-2013, the EPHECT (268) project focused its efforts on better understanding multiple exposures to primary and secondary air pollutants, emitted during typical European household usage and use patterns of relevant consumer products.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-005639/13

à Comissão

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 de maio de 2013)

Assunto: Terapia genética contra insuficiência cardíaca

Considerando que:

A insuficiência cardíaca é uma doença incapacitante e potencialmente mortal, que, segundo estimativas da Sociedade Europeia de Cardiologia, afeta cerca de 2 % a 3 % da população adulta, aumentando marcadamente na terceira idade.

Só em Portugal, estimava-se, em 2010, que afetasse mais de 250 mil pessoas;

Um grupo de cientistas pretende testar a eficácia de uma terapia genética contra a insuficiência cardíaca, que consiste em injetar na circulação sanguínea, a bordo de um vírus da constipação tornado inócuo, um gene que comanda o fabrico da proteína SERCA2a, e que permita reforçar os batimentos do coração, restabelecendo a sua função normal.

Assim, pergunta-se à Comissão:

Tem conhecimento desta nova terapia?

Possui algum estudo que comprove a sua eficácia?

Resposta dada por Máire Geoghegan-Quinn em nome da Comissão

(4 de julho de 2013)

A Comissão tem conhecimento dos trabalhos de investigação a que o Senhor Deputado faz referência, realizados nos Estados Unidos e na Europa, com o objetivo de desenvolver uma terapia genética para a insuficiência cardíaca. De acordo com as estimativas, a insuficiência cardíaca afeta mais de 20 milhões de pessoas na Europa e nos Estados Unidos e é uma das principais causas de morte a nível mundial.

Tendo em conta os bons resultados da longa investigação levada a cabo, a Celladon Corporation — empresa norte-americana do ramo da biotecnologia — registou uma terapia de substituição enzimática geneticamente orientada para a insuficiência cardíaca avançada, a chamada Mydicar®. O sucesso da fase I/II do ensaio patrocinado pela Celladon (CUPID) demonstrou segurança e apontou os benefícios desse agente num pequeno grupo de pacientes (269). Todavia, a eficácia do tratamento tem de ser confirmada com ensaios de maior amplitude. A empresa deu recentemente início a um segundo ensaio de maior dimensão com pacientes (CUPID2b) (270), cujos resultados deverão ser publicados posteriormente.

Embora não apoie especificamente qualquer investigação relacionada com a terapia genética orientada para a proteína SERCA2a em caso de insuficiência cardíaca, o Sétimo Programa‐quadro de Investigação, Desenvolvimento Tecnológico e Demonstração (7.° PQ, 2007-2013) consagrou 173 milhões de euros a 57 projetos de investigação neste domínio. Os projetos abrangem áreas como os mecanismos moleculares, a patofisiologia da insuficiência cardíaca, as novas metas em matéria de tratamento com terapia regenerativa e outras abordagens, a prevenção através do exercício, tecnologias de telemonitorização e informação na gestão de pacientes com insuficiência cardíaca.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005639/13

to the Commission

Nuno Melo (PPE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Gene therapy for heart failure

In view of the fact that:

heart failure is an incapacitating and potentially fatal disease which, according to the European Society of Cardiology, affects around 2-3% of the adult population, becoming markedly more common amongst older people;

it was estimated in 2010 that it affected over 250 000 people in Portugal alone;

a group of scientists is aiming to test how effective gene therapy is against heart failure. It consists of injecting a gene that controls production of the SERCA2a protein into the bloodstream inside a common cold virus that has been rendered harmless. This strengthens the heart structure and enables it to work normally again.

Can the Commission state:

Is it aware of this new treatment?

Does it have any research that proves its effectiveness?

Answer given by Ms Geoghegan-Quinn on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission is aware of research efforts undertaken in the United States and in Europe to develop a gene therapy for heart failure, as mentioned by the Honourable Member. Heart failure, which is estimated to affect more than 20 million people throughout Europe and the United States, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

As a result of longstanding successful research, the US biotech company Celladon Corporation has registered a genetically-targeted enzyme replacement therapy for advanced heart failure called MYDICAR®. Celladon sponsored a successful Phase I/II trial (CUPID), which demonstrated safety and suggested benefit of this agent in a small group of patients (271). However, the efficacy of this treatment needs to be confirmed in larger trials. The company has just started a second larger trial in patients (CUPID2b) (272) and results need to be awaited.

Although no specific research related to gene therapy targeting SERCA2a protein for heart failure is being supported by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP7, 2007‐ 2013), EUR 173 million have been devoted to 57 projects related to heart failure research. The projects target areas such as molecular mechanisms, pathophysiology of heart failure, novel treatment targets through regenerative therapy and other approaches, prevention through exercise training and tele-monitoring and information technologies in the management of patients with heart failure.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005640/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Syrien-Konflikt

Jüngste Medienberichte machen den Konflikt deutlich, in dem sich US-Präsident Obama befindet. Einerseits ist es nur zu verständlich, dass er sein Land nicht in eine neue Kriegsmission führen will, und andererseits scheint die Welt eine amerikanische Intervention in Syrien beinahe zu erwarten. Mehr als 80 000 Menschen sind schon gestorben, die Zahl der Flüchtlinge ist enorm.

1.

Sieht die Kommission die Notwendigkeit eines Einsatzes seitens der EU in Syrien und, wenn ja, in welcher Form?

2.

Wie kann sich die Europäische Union im Fall einer Friedensmission im Detail in Syrien einbringen, sowohl militärisch als auch in humanitärer Hinsicht?

3.

In dem Entschließungsantrag B7-0425/2012 hat das Parlament Maßnahmen gefordert, um den Entwicklungen, unter anderem Menschenrechtsverletzungen, Einhalt zu gebieten. Welche politische Vorgehensweise zieht die Kommission denn nun hinsichtlich Syrien in den kommenden Monaten grundsätzlich in Betracht?

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

(8. Juli 2013)

Die Kommission leistet im Zusammenhang mit der Krise in Syrien bereits aktiv Unterstützung, insbesondere durch humanitäre Hilfe. Das künftige Engagement der EU ist von der Situation vor Ort, vor allem von der Sicherheitslage für das EU-Personal abhängig. Folgende Schwerpunktbereiche wurden ermittelt, in denen die EU eine wichtige Rolle spielen könnte: Unterstützung bei politischen und sicherheitspolitischen Fragen, wirtschaftliche Wiederbelebung und Wiederaufbau sowie humanitäre Hilfe. Für diese Bereiche wurden in Verbindung mit einer umsichtigen Planung auch konkretere Maßnahmen festgelegt.

Die EU will zur Unterstützung der Vorbereitung einer internationalen Konferenz beitragen, die nach den Plänen der USA und Russlands die syrische Regierung und die syrische Opposition an einen Tisch bringen soll. Die EU sieht in dieser Konferenz einen ersten Schritt zur Einleitung eines nachhaltigen Prozesses und nicht nur eine einmalige Aktion. Sie ist bereit, bei diesen Bestrebungen mit allen Partnern und Parteien zusammenzuarbeiten.

Die EU unterstützt weiterhin die unabhängige internationale Untersuchungskommission und begrüßt die von ihr vorgelegten Ergebnisse.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005640/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Syria conflict

Recent media reports have clearly exposed the conflict facing US President Obama. On the one hand, it is perfectly understandable that he does not want to take his country into another war and, on the other, the world almost appears to be expecting US intervention in Syria. Over 80 000 people have already died and the number of refugees is huge.

1.

Does the Commission feel that an EU mission in Syria is needed and, if so, in what form?

2.

Exactly what part could the European Union play in a peace mission in Syria, from both a military and a humanitarian perspective?

3.

In its motion for a resolution B7-0425/2012, the European Parliament called for a halt to developments, including human rights violations. What political approach is the Commission now considering in respect of Syria over the coming months?

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

(8 July 2013)

The Commission is already active in providing assistance in the context of the Syrian crisis, especially in the field of the humanitarian aid. Future EU engagement will depend on the situation, in particular the security situation for EU personnel. Four main areas have been identified where the EU could play a role: political, security, recovery and reconstruction and humanitarian. Within these areas more specific activities have also been identified and prudent planning is being conducted.

The EU supports and intends to facilitate the preparation of an international conference with the participation of the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition, as envisaged by the US and Russia. The EU foresees the conference as a step leading to a sustainable process rather than a one-off event. In this effort the EU is prepared to work with all partners and parties.

The EU continues to support the international independent Commission of Inquiry and has welcomed its findings.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005641/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Konfrontation im Südchinesischen Meer

Im südostasiatischen Raum zeichnet sich ein großer Konflikt um Seegebiete ab. Aufgrund reicher Fisch‐ und Rohstoffvorkommen dringt China auf See immer weiter Richtung Süden vor, die ASEAN-Staaten werden dadurch zunehmend bedrängt.

1.

Hat die Kommission Kenntnis davon, ob das Südchinesische Meer und seine Rohstoffe von allen Anrainerstaaten genutzt werden darf oder ob es geregelte Besitzverteilungen gibt?

2.

Falls es keine Besitzverteilungen gibt: Kann die Kommission beurteilen, ob und inwiefern internationale Vereinbarungen über die Nutzung der betreffenden Gebiete bestehen und ob sie den Konflikt regeln könnten?

3.

Sieht die Kommission eine Möglichkeit, die ASEAN-Staaten bei der Wahrung ihrer Interessen im Südchinesischen Meer zu unterstützen?

Antwort von Frau Damanaki im Namen der Kommission

(16. Juli 2013)

1.

Der Kommission ist keine Besitzverteilungsregelung zwischen den betreffenden Staaten bekannt. Die Küstenstaaten können daher die Rohstoffe in den Gebieten, die unter ihre Hoheit oder Gerichtsbarkeit fallen, gemäß den im Seerechtsübereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen (Unclos) von 1982 festgelegten Rechten und Pflichten nutzen.

2.

Unclos und das zugehörige Durchführungsabkommen, das Abkommen von 1994 über die Anwendung von Teil XI des Seerechtsübereinkommens der Vereinten Nationen vom 10. Dezember 1982, sind die wesentlichen international gültigen Rechtsinstrumente zur Regelung der Nutzung von Rohstoffen aus dem Meer. Diese Regeln gelten auch für das Südchinesische Meer.

3.

Die Zusammenarbeit bei der Nutzung von Rohstoffen und die damit verbundenen Umweltschutzaspekte fallen in den Bereich der gemeinsamen Maßnahmen der ASEAN-Staaten. Die EU unterstützt die gemeinsamen Bemühungen sowie jede friedliche Beilegung von Streitfällen gemäß den Unclos-Bestimmungen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005641/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Conflict in the South China Sea

A major conflict is raging in the waters of south-east Asia. China is pushing further and further south in the South China Sea in pursuit of its rich stocks of fish and raw materials and this is putting the ASEAN countries under increasing pressure.

1.

Does the Commission know if the South China Sea and its raw materials can be exploited by all the coastal states or have allocation regulations been adopted?

2.

If no allocation regulations have been adopted, can the Commission say if, and to what extent, international agreements have been signed governing exploitation of the areas in question and if they could be used to settle the conflict?

3.

Does the Commission believe that the ASEAN countries could be supported in safeguarding their interests in the South China Sea?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(16 July 2013)

1.

The European Commission is not aware of any allocation regulation adopted amongst the States concerned. Thus coastal states can exploit raw materials in the areas under their sovereignty or jurisdiction according to the rights and obligations establish in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

2.

Unclos and its implementing agreement, the 1994 United Nations Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 are the main international legal instruments governing marine exploitation of raw materials. Their rules apply also to the South China Sea.

3.

Cooperation in the exploitation of raw materials and environmental protection linked to it, are issues under the cooperative action of the ASEAN. The EU supports the cooperative efforts and any peaceful settlement of disputes following Unclos provisions in this regard.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005642/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Preisabsprachen zwischen Ölkonzernen?

Jüngsten Medienberichten zufolge haben europäische Behörden auf Geheiß der EU-Kommission Razzien bei mehreren Ölkonzernen durchgeführt.

1.

Kann die Kommission zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt eine erste Einschätzung dazu abgeben, wann Ergebnisse darüber vorliegen werden und ob der Verdacht der Preismanipulation gerechtfertigt ist?

2.

Die Kommission wird um eine Einschätzung darüber gebeten, über welchen Zeitraum sich die Preisabsprachen im schlimmsten Fall erstrecken können.

3.

Es ist von Konsequenzen die Rede, die auch die Verbraucher betreffen. In welchem Bereich bewegt sich der durchschnittliche Schaden, der den Verbrauchern in der EU durch Preismanipulationen entstanden sein könnte?

Antwort von Herrn Almunia im Namen der Kommission

(4. Juli 2013)

Die Kommission kann bestätigen, dass sie im Mai 2013 Nachprüfungen in den Geschäftsräumen mehrerer Unternehmen vorgenommen hat, die in den Branchen Rohöl, Raffinerieprodukte und Biokraftstoffe tätig sind bzw. für Unternehmen dieser Branchen Dienstleistungen erbringen. Nach Ansicht der Kommission besteht Anlass zu der Vermutung, dass die betreffenden Unternehmen nach gemeinsamer Absprache bei einer Preisberichtsstelle verzerrte Preise gemeldet haben, um so die veröffentlichten Preise für eine Reihe von Öl‐ und Biokraftstoffprodukten zu manipulieren. Des Weiteren könnten diese Unternehmen in der Absicht, die öffentlichen Preise zu verzerren, andere daran gehindert haben, sich am Preisbewertungsprozess zu beteiligen.

Die von der Kommission eingeholten Informationen müssen jetzt geprüft werden. Es wäre somit verfrüht, Aussagen zu den möglichen Ergebnissen der Untersuchung zu machen. Die Dauer einer solchen Untersuchung hängt von einer Reihe von Faktoren ab, unter anderem von der Komplexität des Falls, der Bereitschaft der betroffenen Unternehmen, mit der Kommission zusammenzuarbeiten, und davon, inwieweit diese ihre Verteidigungsrechte geltend machen. Die Kommission wird versuchen, die Untersuchung so schnell wie möglich abzuschließen. In diesem Stadium wäre eine Aussage zu der Frage, ob und wie lange Verbraucher durch die mutmaßliche Zuwiderhandlung geschädigt wurden, verfrüht.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005642/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Price fixing by oil companies?

According to recent media reports, European authorities have cracked down on several oil companies at the behest of the EU Commission.

1.

Is the Commission presently in a position to say when the results of this are expected to be available and if the suspicion of price fixing was justified?

2.

Can the Commission provide an estimate as to how long price fixing may have been going on in the worst case scenario?

3.

These are consequences which also affect consumers. What sort of average losses may consumers in the EU have sustained as a result of price fixing?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2013)

The Commission can confirm that, in May 2013, it carried out inspections at the premises of several companies active in and providing services to the crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels sectors. The Commission has concerns that the companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a Price Reporting Agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products. Furthermore, the Commission has concerns that the companies may have prevented others from participating in the price assessment process, with a view to distorting published prices.

The information obtained by the Commission will now need to be analysed and it is too early to draw conclusions about the findings of the investigation. The duration of an investigation depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the extent to which the companies concerned cooperate with the Commission and their exercise of the rights of defence. The Commission will seek to finalise the investigation as quickly as possible. It is at this stage too early to assess whether and for how long consumers may have been affected by the alleged infringement.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005643/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Anstieg der Arbeitslosenzahl Spaniens im April auf über 6 Millionen

Spaniens Arbeitslosenzahl stieg im April dieses Jahres auf 6 Millionen — dies ist ein absoluter Höchststand in der Geschichte Spaniens.

Auch wenn die spanische Regierung verschiedene Schritte gegangen ist, wie zum Beispiel die Förderung der Gründung von KMU und die Steuererleichterung für Selbstständige, scheinen diese nicht auszureichen, um die Situation hinreichend zu verbessern.

1.

Ist der Kommission dieser Umstand bekannt und, wenn ja, welche weiteren Schritte/Initiativen wird sie Spanien empfehlen wollen, um eine deutliche Verbesserung dieses Zustands herbeizuführen?

2.

Kann die Kommission angeben, wie viele der 6 Millionen Arbeitslosen der Generation 50+ und wie viele der Generation zwischen 20 und 30 Jahre angehören?

3.

Welchen Anteil haben die Frauen an den Arbeitslosenzahlen bei der 20 bis 30 Jahre alten Personengruppe und welchen in der Generation 50+?

Antwort von László Andor im Namen der Kommission

(18. Juli 2013)

Die Entwicklung auf dem spanischen Arbeitsmarkt und die von den nationalen Behörden beschlossenen und umgesetzten Maßnahmen werden von der Kommission genau verfolgt. Die Gesamteinschätzung der Kommission wird eingehend in den am 29. Mai 2013 angenommenen länderspezifischen Empfehlungen dargestellt.

Die im Juli 2012 vom spanischen Gesetzgeber verabschiedete Arbeitsmarktreform beinhaltet entscheidende Schritte zur Veränderung der Arbeitsbeziehungen. Auch die Strategie für Jugendbeschäftigung und Unternehmertum 2013-2016, die im März 2013 vorgestellt wurde, ist ein Schritt in die richtige Richtung, da sie eine umfassende Maßnahmenpalette beinhaltet.

Die Kommission hat Spanien empfohlen, die angestrebte engere Zusammenarbeit zwischen öffentlichen Arbeitsvermittlungsstellen auf nationaler und regionaler Ebene sowie zwischen staatlichen und privaten Arbeitsvermittlungsstellen uneingeschränkt umzusetzen, eine umfassende Reform der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik vorzunehmen und zusätzliche Maßnahmen zur Modernisierung und Stärkung der öffentlichen Arbeitsvermittlung selbst zu ergreifen. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit sollte ferner jungen Menschen, die weder eine Arbeit haben noch eine Ausbildung absolvieren, Geringqualifizierten, älteren Arbeitnehmern und Langzeitarbeitslosen gelten. Die Kommission hat Spanien auch empfohlen, dringend Schwächen bei den Rahmenbedingungen für Unternehmen zu beheben, die die Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen bremsen, wie beispielsweise die Fragmentation des Inlandsmarktes oder Markteintrittsschranken für Dienstleister.

Nach den aktuellsten verfügbaren Daten aus der nationalen Arbeitskräfteerhebung (2013 Q1) (273) belief sich die Zahl der Arbeitslosen zwischen 20 und 30 Jahren in Spanien auf 1 802 400, die der Arbeitslosen im Alter von 50 Jahren und darüber auf 1 123 000.

Der Anteil der Frauen in diesen Gruppen betrug 46,3 % bzw. 43,9 %.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005643/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Increase in the number of people out of work in Spain to over 6 million in April

The number of people out of work in Spain rose to 6 million in April of this year, breaking all previous Spanish records.

Even though the Spanish Government has introduced various measures, such as SME start-up subsidies and tax relief for self-employed persons, they do not appear to be doing enough to improve the situation.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this situation and, if so, what further steps/initiatives will it recommend to Spain, in order to bring about a net improvement in this situation?

2.

Can the Commission say how many of the 6 million people out of work are over 50 years of age and how many are 20-30 years old?

3.

What proportion of the 20-30 year old age group and what proportion of the 50+ age group are women?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2013)

The Commission is monitoring closely the developments in the Spanish labour market and the measures adopted and implemented by the national authorities. The Commission's overall assessment is detailed in the 2013 country-specific recommendations adopted on 29 May 2013.

The labour market reform passed by Law in July 2012 takes decisive steps to modify the labour relations. In addition, the adopted national Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2013-2016, presented in March 2013, is a step in the right direction as it integrates a comprehensive set of measures.

The Commission has recommended to Spain to make fully operational the closer cooperation between national and regional public employment services and between public employment services and private placement agencies; to implement a comprehensive reform of active labour market policies (ALMPs) and to take additional actions to modernise and reinforce the Public Employment Service itself. Specific attention should be also paid to young people not in employment, education or training, the low-skilled, older workers and the long-term unemployed. Moreover, the Commission recommended Spain to address urgently weaknesses in the business environment, such as segmentation of the domestic market or entry barriers in services' industries, which hold back job creation.

According to the latest figures available from the national Labour Force Survey (2013 Q1) (274), there were 1.802.400 unemployed persons aged 20 to 30 in Spain and 1.123.000 unemployed aged 50 and over.

The share of women in those groups was 46.3% and 43.9% respectively.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005644/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Illegale Kinderarbeit in Europa und weltweit

Ende des vergangenen Jahres schreibt der britische Guardian, dass es trotz aller Bemühungen bisher in der Weltgemeinschaft nicht gelungen ist, Kinderarbeit effektiv zu unterbinden. Im Gegenteil, offenbar wird heute das Leben von mehr Kindern als je zuvor durch illegale Kinderarbeit, härteste Bedingungen und auch gefährliche Beschäftigungen zerstört.

1.

Liegen der Kommission aktuelle Zahlen darüber vor, wie viele Kinder weltweit von Kinderarbeit betroffen sind?

2.

Kann die Kommission darlegen, ob und, wenn ja, wie viele Kinder auf dem Gebiet der Europäischen Union darunter zu zählen sind?

3.

Inwieweit beteiligt sich die Europäische Union finanziell und im Rahmen von Bewusstseinsschaffung an Projekten gegen illegale Kinderarbeit?

4.

Wie bewertet die Kommission das Verhältnis von steigendem Bevölkerungswachstum und Kinderarbeit gerade in den Ländern der sogenannten

„Dritten Welt“?

Antwort von Herrn Andor im Namen der Kommission

(11. Juli 2013)

Nach Einschätzung der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation (ILO) (275) geht die Kinderarbeit weltweit weiterhin zurück. Allerdings sind noch immer 215 Millionen Kinder davon betroffen, 115 Millionen von ihnen verrichten gefährliche Arbeiten. Der Bericht spricht die Besorgnis hinsichtlich der Auswirkungen von Migration, Menschenhandel und Wirtschaftskrise sowie sozialer Ausgrenzung von Roma und Sinti in Europa an. Der EU-Besitzstand (276) und die Rechtsvorschriften der Mitgliedstaaten untersagen die Beschäftigung von Kindern. Bisher liegen keine Daten für die EU vor.

Die Kommission setzt sich dafür ein, die Kinderarbeit weltweit auszumerzen, insbesondere die schlimmsten Formen der Kinderarbeit, und zwar durch ein ganzheitliches Vorgehen, das die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Handelsinstrumente und den politischen Dialog mit Drittländern umfasst.

In allen in jüngster Zeit von der EU geschlossenen Handelsabkommen wird in den Kapiteln über Handel und Entwicklung Kinderarbeit konkret angesprochen und die Ratifizierung und tatsächliche Umsetzung der ILO-Übereinkommen Nr. 138 über das Mindestalter für die Zulassung zur Beschäftigung und Nr. 182 über die schlimmsten Formen der Kinderarbeit gefordert.

Die neue EU-Strategie (2011-14) für die soziale Verantwortung der Unternehmen (CSR) (277) unterstützt die Sensibilisierungsmaßnahmen der internationalen Organisationen, die über CSR-Leitlinien verfügen: die OECD-Leitlinien für multinationale Unternehmen, die Erklärung der ILO über multinationale Unternehmen und Sozialpolitik, die Norm ISO 26000, den Globalen Pakt der Vereinten Nationen und die UN-Leitprinzipien für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte. Die EU wird sich aktiv an der 3. Internationalen Konferenz zur Kinderarbeit beteiligen, die vom 8. bis 10. Oktober 2013 in Brasilia stattfindet. Anlässlich des Welttags der Kinderarbeit am 12. Juni 2013 äußerte die EU ihre Besorgnis hinsichtlich der Beschäftigung von Kindern als Hausangestellte und bekräftigte ihre Absicht, alle Formen der Kinderarbeit zu bekämpfen (278).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005644/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21 May 2013)

Subject: Illegal child labour in Europe and worldwide

The Guardian reported at the end of last year that, despite all efforts to date, it had been impossible to effectively stamp out child labour in the global community. On the contrary, more children than ever are clearly being ruined today by child labour, harsh conditions and dangerous work.

1.

Does the Commission have up-to-date statistics on the number of children affected by child labour worldwide?

2.

Can the Commission state if and how many children within the territory of the European Union are included in those figures?

3.

To what extent is the European Union involved, financially and within the framework of awareness-raising campaigns, in projects to combat illegal child labour?

4.

How does the Commission assess the ratio between increasing populations and child labour in so-called third world countries?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(11 July 2013)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) (279) estimates child labour continues to decline at global level. However 215 million children are still affected, out of which 115 million are exposed to hazardous work. The report expressed concerns about the impact of migration, trafficking and the economic crisis and the social exclusion of Roma and Sinti people in Europe. The EU acquis  (280) and the Member States' legislation prohibit the employment of children. There are no data available for the EU so far.

The Commission is committed to eradicating child labour at a global level and, in particular, the worst forms of child labour, through a holistic approach: development cooperation, trade instruments and policy dialogues with third countries.

The Trade and Development chapter in all trade agreements recently concluded by the EU specifically addresses child labour, stipulating the ratification and effective implementation of ILO Conventions 138 on the minimum age for labour and 182 on the worst forms of child labour.

The renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (281) supports the awareness-raising undertaken by international organisations that have CSR guidelines: the OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO's Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the ISO 26000 standard, the UN's Global Compact, and the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights. The EU will be actively involved in the 3rd Global Child Labour Conference, to be held in Brasilia on 8-10 October 2013. On the occasion of the World Child Labour Day, 12 June 2013, the EU expressed its concern about child domestic work and reaffirmed its commitment to campaign against all forms of child labour (282).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005645/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(21. Mai 2013)

Betrifft: Fusionsreaktor ITER

Ende 2011 hat der EU-Rat beschlossen, „den experimentellen Fusionsreaktor ITER mit weiteren 1,3 Milliarden EUR zu unterstützen“. Zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt liegt die Anlage noch immer brach, an Technik und Wissenschaft scheitere es angeblich nicht, sondern an der Einigung der beteiligten Staaten.

1.

Wie viel europäisches Fördergeld ist insgesamt in dieses Projekt geflossen? (Bitte um detaillierte Auflistung unter Angabe der Budgetzeilen.)

2.

Sieht die Kommission zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt die Gefahr, dass dieses Milliardenprojekt scheitern könnte, so wie die Medien es derzeit darstellen?

3.

Was ist der aktuelle Stand der Verhandlungen, und wann ist mit einem

„Ergebnis“ zu rechnen?

Antwort von Herrn Oettinger im Namen der Kommission

(17. Juli 2013)

Bei dem ITER handelt es sich um ein komplexes wissenschaftliches Kernfusionsexperiment und um ein industrielles Großprojekt, welches das erste seiner Art ist. Das Projekt beruht auf einer internationalen Übereinkunft, an der Länder beteiligt sind, die mehr als die Hälfte der Weltbevölkerung repräsentieren. Die Projektplanung sieht mehrere Phasen bis 2042 vor (Bau, Betrieb, Außerbetriebnahme und Stilllegung), die jeweils mit spezifischen Sachzwängen und Erfordernissen im Hinblick auf die Ziele, die Ressourcen und die Termine verbunden sind.

Obwohl ein solches Projekt in der Tat zwangsläufig mit Risiken und Unwägbarkeiten verbunden ist, spielt es dennoch eine wichtige Rolle auf dem Weg zur Nutzung der Kernfusion als nachhaltige Energiequelle. Die Kommission ist zuversichtlich, dass der ITER die Voraussetzungen für das erste kommerzielle Fusionskraftwerk der Zukunft schaffen und dadurch umweltfreundlich erzeugte und unbeschränkt zur Verfügung stehende Energie für die Nutzung im Alltag erschließen wird.

Das Projekt befindet sich jetzt in der Bauphase, d. h. in der kritischsten Phase, die den Entwurf und die Herstellung der Komponenten sowie die Errichtung des ITER-Tokamak-Komplexes umfasst. Ende 2013 wird die Phase, in der die Hauptkomponenten entworfen werden, voraussichtlich abgeschlossen sein, und der jüngsten Prognose des Europäischen Gemeinsamen Unternehmens für den ITER (F4E) zufolge dürften dann rund 3,3 Mrd. EUR (in Preisen des Jahres 2008) des gekürzten europäischen Baubudgets (6,6 Mrd. EUR, in Preisen des Jahres 2008) gebunden sein. Der vom Verwaltungsrat des Gemeinsamen Unternehmens für den ITER (F4E) im Dezember 2012 angenommene Ressourcenvoranschlag enthält eine detaillierte Aufstellung der vorgesehenen Mittel für Verpflichtungen und für Zahlungen für die ITER-Bauphase und ist beigefügt.

Auf der Tagung des Europäischen Rates vom 8. Februar 2013 wurde in der Verordnung zur Festlegung des mehrjährigen Finanzrahmens für den Zeitraum 2014‐2020 in Bezug auf die Euratom-Verpflichtungen für den ITER ein Höchstbetrag von 2,707 Mio. EUR (in Preisen des Jahres 2011) festgesetzt. Diese Verordnung wird derzeit von der Haushaltsbehörde erörtert. Mit einer endgültigen Entscheidung über den Inhalt der Verordnung, einschließlich der ITER‐ Finanzierung, ist in Kürze zu rechnen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005645/13

to the Commission

Angelika We