3.7.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 208/1


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 208/01)

Contents

E-010904/13 by Nicole Sinclaire to the Commission

Subject: Functioning of the energy market

English version 27

E-010905/13 by Giles Chichester and Ashley Fox to the Commission

Subject: The online gambling sector in Europe

English version 28

E-010906/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Heavy metals in food

Deutsche Fassung 29
English version 30

E-010907/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Early school leavers

Deutsche Fassung 31
English version 32

E-010908/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Aluminium as a cause of disease

Deutsche Fassung 33
English version 34

E-010909/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Alcohol-related harm and accidents

Deutsche Fassung 35
English version 36

E-010910/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Fisheries subsidies: not being used in the general interest?

Deutsche Fassung 37
English version 38

E-010911/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Staff for banking supervision

Deutsche Fassung 39
English version 40

E-010912/13 by Fiorello Provera and Charles Tannock to the Commission

Subject: Cyber attacks emanating from China

Versione italiana 41
English version 42

E-010915/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Support for Cécile Kyenge

Version française 43
English version 44

E-010916/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: President Barroso solves poverty

Version française 45
English version 46

E-010917/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Strong law on natural resources

Version française 47
English version 48

E-010918/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: EUR 193 million in VAT losses

Version française 49
English version 50

E-010919/13 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: The European Union too lenient towards cartels

Version française 51
English version 53

E-010920/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Israel — European Union and Horizon 2020

Version française 54
English version 55

P-010921/13 by Richard Falbr to the Commission

Subject: Modifications to the national scheme to support renewable energy sources (RES)

České znění 56
English version 57

P-010922/13 by Maria Eleni Koppa to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — European diplomats manhandled by Israelis

Ελληνική έκδοση 58
English version 59

E-010923/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: 2030 energy targets in bad shape

Version française 60
English version 61

E-010924/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Changes to surcharge rules

Version française 62
English version 63

E-010925/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: OpenupED and Iversity

Version française 64
English version 65

E-010927/13 by Maria Eleni Koppa to the Commission

Subject: Rapes of women and minors in Pakistan

Ελληνική έκδοση 66
English version 67

E-010928/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Criteria for allocating new EU rural development funding

English version 68

E-010929/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Dimensional mapping systems

English version 69

E-010930/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Tackling sexual crimes against women in Asia

English version 70

E-010931/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: EU Anti-Trafficking Day

English version 71

E-010932/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Privatised speed-detection systems in the EU

English version 72

E-010933/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Transfrontier shipment of waste across the EU

English version 73

E-010934/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Action on persecution of Christians in Syria

English version 74

E-010935/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: EU research on violence against women

English version 75

E-010936/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Tackling domestic violence against men

English version 76

E-010938/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Rise in wholesale gas prices

English version 77

E-010939/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Deadly attacks in Kenya and Pakistan

English version 78

E-010940/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Support for older motorists

English version 79

E-010941/13 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Timeline for EU legislation on legal highs

English version 80

E-010943/13 by Corien Wortmann-Kool to the Commission

Subject: Changes to the methodology for calculating Member States' structural deficits

Nederlandse versie 81
English version 82

E-010944/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Oil exploration near the Canary Islands, authorised by Morocco, possibly encroaching on Western Sahara waters

Versión española 83
English version 85

E-010945/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Oil exploration near the Canary Islands authorised by Morocco: environmental aspects

Versión española 83
English version 85

E-010946/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Chinese investors on the European energy market

Deutsche Fassung 87
English version 88

E-010947/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Trade relations with China

Deutsche Fassung 89
English version 90

E-010948/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Consultation between European Commission and Greece on shipping companies

Ελληνική έκδοση 91
English version 92

E-010949/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Single supervisory mechanism in the euro area

Ελληνική έκδοση 93
English version 94

E-010950/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Institutional intervention in trades union in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση 95
English version 96

E-010951/13 by Krzysztof Lisek and Paweł Zalewski to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Relations with Iran — what future?

Wersja polska 97
English version 98

E-010953/13 by Eider Gardiazábal Rubial to the Commission

Subject: European Year of Citizens 2013 — ‘learning’ citizenship

Versión española 99
English version 100

E-010954/13 by Marina Yannakoudakis to the Commission

Subject: Gender equality and protection of rape victims in Greece

English version 101

E-010956/13 by Philippe de Villiers to the Commission

Subject: EU aid for Tunisia's ‘democratic transition’

Version française 102
English version 103

E-010957/13 by Minodora Cliveti to the Commission

Subject: National strategies for Roma integration

Versiunea în limba română 104
English version 105

E-010958/13 by Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă to the Commission

Subject: Local media

Versiunea în limba română 106
English version 107

E-010959/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Draft Júcar Basin Hydrological Plan

Versión española 108
English version 109

E-010960/13 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: Available illegally produced foodstuffs

Dansk udgave 110
English version 111

E-010962/13 by Susy De Martini and Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Requirement for open sea swimmers to signal their presence

Versione italiana 112
English version 113

E-010963/13 by Esther de Lange and Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Residue limits for wine

Nederlandse versie 114
English version 116

E-011147/13 by Mark Demesmaeker to the Commission

Subject: Pesticides in French wines

Nederlandse versie 114
English version 116

P-010964/13 by Corien Wortmann-Kool to the Commission

Subject: The tender for the Dutch high-speed rail network

Nederlandse versie 118
English version 119

P-010965/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Investigation into the massacre of Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf in Iraq

Versión española 120
English version 121

E-010966/13 by Rosa Estaràs Ferragut to the Commission

Subject: Disability and education

Versión española 122
English version 123

E-010967/13 by Rosa Estaràs Ferragut to the Commission

Subject: European Accessibility Act

Versión española 124
English version 125

E-010968/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Imbalance in private sector investment in R+D+i in the various Member States — The situation in Spain

Versión española 126
English version 127

E-010969/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Economic sustainability of some high-speed train (HST) station projects in Zamora, one in a town of 28 residents — Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) guidelines and Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 473/2013

Versión española 128
English version 129

E-010970/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Fascist assassination in Greece

Versión española 130
English version 131

E-010971/13 by Søren Bo Søndergaard to the Commission

Subject: ILO finding concerning the incompatibility of the Swedish Laval legislation

Dansk udgave 132
English version 133

E-010973/13 by Jutta Steinruck to the Commission

Subject: Exploitation of workers in the company Foxconn in the Czech Republic

Deutsche Fassung 134
English version 136

E-010975/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves within Cyprus's EEZ

Ελληνική έκδοση 138
English version 139

E-010976/13 by William (The Earl of) Dartmouth to the Commission

Subject: Travel assistance and business start-up funds for EU nationals

English version 140

E-010977/13 by Jan Březina to the Commission

Subject: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

České znění 141
English version 142

E-010978/13 by Roberto Gualtieri, Alfredo Pallone, Alfredo Antoniozzi, Roberta Angelilli, Paolo Bartolozzi, Silvia Costa, Francesco De Angelis, Leonardo Domenici, Guido Milana, Claudio Morganti, Niccolò Rinaldi, Potito Salatto, David-Maria Sassoli and Marco Scurria to the Commission

Subject: Terni steelworks

Versione italiana 143
English version 145

E-010979/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Anti-blogger law in China: 16-year-old boy arrested

Versione italiana 147
English version 148

E-010980/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Terrorist attack on a shopping centre in Nairobi

Versione italiana 149
English version 150

E-010981/13 by Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy to the Commission

Subject: Leaking radioactive waste at Dessel and Doel in Belgium

Nederlandse versie 151
English version 152

E-010982/13 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: Measures relating to national targets on renewable energy by 2020

Nederlandse versie 153
English version 154

P-010983/13 by Werner Schulz to the Commission

Subject: Failure to grant EU assistance for independent election observation in Azerbaijan

Deutsche Fassung 155
English version 156

E-010984/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Vaccination of infants in the European Union

Versión española 157
English version 158

E-010985/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Unemployment benefit in the euro area

Versión española 159
English version 160

E-010986/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Renewable energy premiums and exceptions in Spain

Versión española 161
English version 162

E-010988/13 by Georgios Toussas to the Commission

Subject: No to privatisation of Karathona beach

Ελληνική έκδοση 163
English version 164

E-010989/13 by Nick Griffin to the Council

Subject: Tolerance

English version 165

E-010990/13 by Phil Prendergast to the Commission

Subject: Equitable Life compensation payment scheme

English version 166

E-010991/13 by Phil Prendergast to the Commission

Subject: Community trade-mark reform and non-agricultural geographical indicators

English version 167

E-010992/13 by Phil Bennion to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Protests by Bangladesh workers and the minimum wage

English version 168

E-010993/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Problems with the application of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste

Versione italiana 169
English version 170

E-010994/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Possible case of discrimination in the workplace regarding hair and clothing

Versione italiana 171
English version 173

E-010995/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Possible funding for university research

Versione italiana 175
English version 176

E-010997/13 by Pino Arlacchi to the Commission

Subject: EU funds granted to Morocco to manage immigration

Versione italiana 177
English version 178

E-010998/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Local authorities fear the arrival of Romanians and Bulgarians

Nederlandse versie 179
English version 180

E-010999/13 by Inês Cristina Zuber and João Ferreira to the Commission

Subject: The spiral of inequality

Versão portuguesa 181
English version 182

P-011002/13 by Véronique De Keyser to the Commission

Subject: Application of the Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) Agreement

Version française 183
English version 184

P-011000/13 by Paul Murphy to the Commission

Subject: Follow-up to questions P-007039/2013 and E-007251/2013

English version 184

P-011001/13 by Erik Bánki to the Commission

Subject: Obligations arising from the Water Framework Directive concerning authorisation for cyanide mining

Magyar változat 185
English version 186

E-011004/13 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: The ‘Minority Safepack’ citizens' initiative

Dansk udgave 187
English version 188

E-011005/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals

Deutsche Fassung 189
English version 190

E-011006/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Announcement of new measures concerning net neutrality

Deutsche Fassung 191
English version 192

E-011007/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: Possible deterioration in quality of professional services, for example in the field of physiotherapy, following the transposition into Greek law of Directive 2005/36/EC

Ελληνική έκδοση 193
English version 195

E-011008/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: Energy costs — sustainability and competitiveness of Greek industries

Ελληνική έκδοση 197
English version 198

E-011009/13 by Alyn Smith to the Commission

Subject: Price controls on fuel supplies

English version 199

E-011010/13 by Erik Bánki to the Commission

Subject: Commission's formal response to Parliament's resolution on cyanide mining

Magyar változat 200
English version 201

E-011011/13 by Paolo De Castro, Giancarlo Scottà, Herbert Dorfmann, Giovanni La Via, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Iratxe García Pérez and Michel Dantin to the Commission

Subject: Food labelling: UK traffic-light system

Versión española 202
Deutsche Fassung 203
Version française 204
Versione italiana 205
English version 206

E-011017/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Draft directive on renewable energy and sustainability criteria for biomass

Versión española 207
English version 208

E-011018/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Draft directive on renewable energy — Forest areas

Versión española 209
English version 210

E-011019/13 by Jim Higgins to the Commission

Subject: Designation of a disability Commissioner

English version 211

E-011077/13 by Martina Anderson to the Commission

Subject: Disability rights

English version 211

P-011020/13 by Marina Yannakoudakis to the Commission

Subject: Withdrawal of the proposed Pregnant Workers Directive under the right of initiative

English version 212

P-011021/13 by Elena Băsescu to the Commission

Subject: State of play in the work on the Iași-Ungheni gas pipeline

Versiunea în limba română 213
English version 214

E-011022/13 by Andrés Perelló Rodríguez to the Commission

Subject: Spanish co-payment scheme for pharmaceutical products used to treat serious and chronic illnesses

Versión española 215
English version 216

E-011023/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Secession of an EU Member State

Versión española 217
English version 218

E-011024/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Rail transport safety

Versión española 219
English version 220

E-011025/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Irrigation project

Versión española 221
English version 222

E-011027/13 by Claudette Abela Baldacchino to the Commission

Subject: Definition of precarious work

Verżjoni Maltija 223
English version 224

E-011028/13 by Philippe de Villiers to the Commission

Subject: Snail farming impact of European labelling planned for December 2014

Version française 225
English version 226

E-011030/13 by Aldo Patriciello to the Commission

Subject: State aid for rolling stock and freight train operators — reply

Versione italiana 227
English version 228

E-011031/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Milk observatory

Version française 229
English version 230

E-011157/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — The jailing of Berta Cáceres for her opposition to the Agua Zarca dam (Honduras)

Versión española 231
English version 233

E-011032/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Honduras: indigenous leaders wrongfully imprisoned

Version française 232
English version 233

E-011034/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Environmentally responsible transition

Version française 235
English version 236

E-011035/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: European consumer confidence index

Version française 237
English version 238

E-011036/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Three quarters of chickens in the European Union contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Version française 239
English version 240

E-011038/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Independent editor-in-chief imprisoned due to coverage of an Al Qaeda video

Version française 241
English version 242

E-011042/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Attack on activists in Yerevan

Version française 243
English version 244

E-011044/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Homophobic Zambia

Version française 245
English version 246

E-011046/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Evictions from Ba Gou

Version française 247
English version 248

E-011047/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Rapes in India

Version française 249
English version 250

E-011048/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Vulnerability of evictees in Somalia

Version française 251
English version 252

E-011049/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Step backwards for women's rights in Afghanistan

Version française 253
English version 254

E-011051/13 by Richard Ashworth to the Commission

Subject: Commission action on Gelmini law

English version 255

E-011053/13 by Mario Borghezio to the Commission

Subject: Clarification regarding the transparency of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, in particular the transferability of criminal data to third countries

Versione italiana 256
English version 257

E-011054/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Ecuador takes case against Chevron/Texaco to the UN

Versión española 258
English version 259

E-011055/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Stick-on children's tattoos that pose a risk to health

Deutsche Fassung 260
English version 261

E-011056/13 by Baroness Sarah Ludford to the Commission

Subject: LGBT rights in Lithuania

English version 262

E-011058/13 by Danuta Jazłowiecka to the Commission

Subject: Practical guide to the legislation that applies to workers

Wersja polska 263
English version 264

E-011059/13 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: Aluminium in cosmetic products

Dansk udgave 265
English version 266

P-011061/13 by Andrzej Grzyb to the Commission

Subject: Possible infringement on the market in Internet browsers

Wersja polska 267
English version 268

E-011065/13 by Franz Obermayr to the Commission

Subject: Banking union — bank resolution fund — budget sovereignty

Deutsche Fassung 269
English version 270

E-011066/13 by Takis Hadjigeorgiou to the Commission

Subject: Economic austerity measures and the rise of extreme right-wing fascist movements in Europe

Ελληνική έκδοση 271
English version 272

E-011067/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Council

Subject: State of the banking system in Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση 273
English version 274

E-011068/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: State of the banking system in Cyprus

Ελληνική έκδοση 275
English version 276

E-011069/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Revision of tobacco products directive

Ελληνική έκδοση 277
English version 278

E-011070/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Contraband tobacco products in Europe

Ελληνική έκδοση 279
English version 280

E-011072/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Progress in ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ operational programme in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση 281
English version 282

E-011073/13 by Rebecca Taylor to the Commission

Subject: Airport body scanners

English version 283

E-011074/13 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Antwerp City Council

English version 284

E-011075/13 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Appropriation of private pension funds by the Polish Government

English version 285

E-011076/13 by Chris Davies to the Commission

Subject: Daimler's law-breaking strategy

English version 286

E-011078/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Road safety in Europe

Versione italiana 287
English version 288

E-011079/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Crisis in the euro area and replacing the current ‘euro system’

Versione italiana 289
English version 290

E-011080/13 by Rachida Dati to the Commission

Subject: Industrial competitiveness and climate/energy targets

Version française 291
English version 293

E-011081/13 by Rachida Dati to the Commission

Subject: Prospects for gender equality on the European job market

Version française 294
English version 295

E-011082/13 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Interpretation of Article 27 of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Regulation — Aid relating to financial compensation

Versione italiana 296
English version 297

E-011083/13 by Georgios Papanikolaou to the Commission

Subject: Children with Down syndrome

Ελληνική έκδοση 298
English version 299

E-011084/13 by Georgios Toussas to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Release of Cuban patriots

Ελληνική έκδοση 300
English version 301

E-011085/13 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Protection of artisan bakers

Versione italiana 302
English version 303

E-011087/13 by Monica Luisa Macovei to the Commission

Subject: Protection of the Union's financial interests — reported cases of corruption in 2012

Versiunea în limba română 304
English version 305

P-011088/13 by Monica Luisa Macovei to the Commission

Subject: Protection of the Union's financial interests — action taken following reported cases of corruption in 2012

Versiunea în limba română 306
English version 307

E-011648/13 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Slavery situation in Qatar relating to the 2022 football World Cup

Versión española 308
English version 312

E-011649/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: Exploitation of Nepali workers in Qatar

Version française 309
English version 312

P-011553/13 by Mikael Gustafsson to the Commission

Subject: Construction of football stadium in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

Svensk version 310
English version 311

E-011091/13 by Jill Evans to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Treatment of migrant workers in Qatar

English version 311

E-011092/13 by Filip Kaczmarek to the Commission

Subject: ‘Lesser duty’ rule in the fertiliser industry

Wersja polska 314
English version 315

E-011093/13 by Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto to the Commission

Subject: Strategy of wage cuts in Spain as the only way to increase competitiveness

Versión española 316
English version 317

E-011095/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Financial sector reform

Ελληνική έκδοση 318
English version 319

E-011096/13 by Jiří Maštálka to the Commission

Subject: How to support organ donation in Europe

České znění 320
English version 321

E-011097/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Deforestation and unrealistic 2020 objectives: EU imports are the main cause of the global phenomenon

Versione italiana 322
English version 324

E-011098/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Use of growth hormone in medicine to prevent heart failure

Versione italiana 325
English version 326

E-011099/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Innovative methods of managing waste

Versione italiana 327
English version 329

E-011100/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Unfair and abusive practices in the European food supply chain

Versione italiana 331
English version 333

E-011101/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Problems at the Tricastin nuclear power plant

Versione italiana 334
English version 336

E-011102/13 by Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Seismic risk affecting the Rogun dam in Tajikistan

Versione italiana 338
English version 339

E-011105/13 by Sergio Berlato to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Massacre of Christians in Pakistan

Versione italiana 340
English version 341

E-011106/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Drinking water of some areas of the Veneto region contaminated with perfluoroalkylated substances and an increase in related illnesses: the position of doctors

Versione italiana 342
English version 343

E-011107/13 by Philippe De Backer to the Commission

Subject: Telecommunications — harmonisation of USB cables

Nederlandse versie 344
English version 345

P-011108/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: OPAP SA sale

Ελληνική έκδοση 346
English version 347

E-011109/13 by Francisco José Millán Mon to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Union for the Mediterranean

Versión española 348
English version 349

E-011110/13 by Francisco José Millán Mon to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — The Union for the Mediterranean's ministerial conferences

Versión española 350
English version 351

E-011114/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: Development of hydrokinetic energy in Europe

Version française 352
English version 353

E-011116/13 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen to the Commission

Subject: Turkish police arrest 70 football fans

Nederlandse versie 354
English version 355

P-011117/13 by Tamás Deutsch to the Commission

Subject: Political research requested by the Commission

Magyar változat 356
English version 357

P-011118/13 by Christine De Veyrac to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Islamist attacks in Kenya

Version française 358
English version 359

P-011119/13 by Alain Cadec to the Commission

Subject: Support for the European network of Leader Local Action Groups

Version française 360
English version 361

E-011120/13 by Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova to the Commission

Subject: Resources for members of the EU's Roma communities

българска версия 362
English version 363

E-011122/13 by Antigoni Papadopoulou to the Commission

Subject: Turkey's accession process

Ελληνική έκδοση 364
English version 365

E-011123/13 by Alyn Smith to the Commission

Subject: Ortolans in France

English version 366

E-011178/13 by Arlene McCarthy and David Martin to the Commission

Subject: Hunting of the ortolan bunting in France

English version 366

E-011124/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Forest management

Verżjoni Maltija 367
English version 368

E-011125/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Promoting physical activity in Europe

Verżjoni Maltija 369
English version 370

E-011126/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Fishing exports from the Faroe Islands

Verżjoni Maltija 371
English version 372

E-011127/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Gender pay gap

Verżjoni Maltija 373
English version 374

E-011128/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Transnational low-season tourism

Verżjoni Maltija 375
English version 376

E-011129/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Google tax

Verżjoni Maltija 377
English version 378

E-011130/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Compensation for delayed air passengers

Verżjoni Maltija 379
English version 380

E-011131/13 by Auke Zijlstra to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of independence (follow-up)

Nederlandse versie 381
English version 382

E-011132/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Marche region: redundancy procedure at the TVRS television station

Versione italiana 383
English version 384

P-011133/13 by Claude Moraes to the Commission

Subject: Clean air — ambient air quality directive

English version 385

P-011134/13 by Sandra Petrović Jakovina to the Commission

Subject: Eligibility criteria for the Youth Employment Initiative

Hrvatska verzija 386
English version 387

P-011136/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Latest information on the opening of a new landfill site in the Falcognana district of Rome

Versione italiana 388
English version 389

P-011137/13 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: Spread of invasive weed species through bird food

Dansk udgave 390
English version 391

E-011138/13 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

Subject: Services sector — situation in Italy's railways

Versione italiana 392
English version 393

P-011139/13 by Romana Jordan to the Commission

Subject: Subsidies in the single internal energy market

Slovenska različica 394
English version 395

E-011141/13 by Herbert Reul to the Commission

Subject: Seveso II Directive

Deutsche Fassung 396
English version 397

E-011142/13 by Dominique Riquet to the Commission

Subject: Training requirements set out by Directives 2003/59/EC and 2008/68/EC in the road transport sector

Version française 398
English version 399

E-011143/13 by Sergio Gaetano Cofferati to the Commission

Subject: Scaling-down of the Cuneo-Nice-Ventimiglia railway line

Versione italiana 400
English version 401

E-011144/13 by Giommaria Uggias to the Commission

Subject: Using assets confiscated from the mafia to reduce macroeconomic imbalances

Versione italiana 402
English version 403

E-011145/13 by Sari Essayah to the Commission

Subject: Banning laser pointers

Suomenkielinen versio 404
English version 405

E-011146/13 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Cost of electricity and competitiveness

Versión española 406
English version 407

E-011149/13 by David Martin to the Commission

Subject: Ongoing issue of Cyprus property deeds

English version 408

E-011150/13 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Seizure of bottlenose dolphins from the Rimini dolphinarium and the situation of dolphinariums in Europe

Versione italiana 409
English version 411

E-011151/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: The re-emergence of the golden share and European telecommunications policy

Versión española 413
English version 414

E-011152/13 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Ciudad de la Luz in Alicante

Versión española 415
English version 416

E-011153/13 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of the US shutdown

Deutsche Fassung 417
English version 418

E-011154/13 by Gay Mitchell to the Commission

Subject: Repercussions of ‘Basel III’ standards on credit unions

English version 419

E-011155/13 by Giommaria Uggias to the Commission

Subject: VAT assessment on the amounts repatriated under the tax shield

Versione italiana 420
English version 421

E-011156/13 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: Reasonable time of legal proceedings

Versione italiana 422
English version 423

E-011159/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Inconsistencies in the regulation governing the self-supply of electricity

Versión española 424
English version 425

E-011160/13 by Jan Mulder to the Commission

Subject: Risk-based checks at airports

Nederlandse versie 426
English version 427

E-011161/13 by Hynek Fajmon to the Commission

Subject: Procedure for submission of scientific studies for the registration of protective substances

České znění 428
English version 429

E-011162/13 by Anna Rosbach to the Commission

Subject: Legality of the Danish Dog Act

Dansk udgave 430
English version 431

E-011163/13 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Benasque-Bagnères-de-Luchon tunnel

Versión española 432
English version 433

E-011164/13 by Alyn Smith to the Commission

Subject: EU assistance for clearing contaminated land

English version 434

E-011165/13 by Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa to the Commission

Subject: More effective careers advice in schools

Wersja polska 435
English version 437

E-011166/13 by Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa to the Commission

Subject: Final payments for projects supported by the Cohesion Fund

Wersja polska 438
English version 440

P-011167/13 by Susy De Martini to the Commission

Subject: Government compliance with the Late Payments Directive

Versione italiana 441
English version 442

E-011168/13 by Georgios Stavrakakis to the Commission

Subject: Level of payments as of 30 September 2013

Ελληνική έκδοση 443
English version 445

E-011169/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Raimon Obiols, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica and Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and ratification thereof

Versión española 446
English version 447

E-011170/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: Review of the collective redundancy regime

Ελληνική έκδοση 448
English version 449

E-011171/13 by Derek Roland Clark to the Commission

Subject: Dutch state pension

English version 450

E-011172/13 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Child obesity

Verżjoni Maltija 451
English version 452

E-011173/13 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Hours of physical education

Verżjoni Maltija 453
English version 454

E-011174/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Staff in EU representations (2013)

Deutsche Fassung 455
English version 456

E-011175/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Results of the consultation on the structural reform of the banking sector

Deutsche Fassung 457
English version 458

E-011176/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Detailed breakdown of translation costs for 2009 and 2012

Deutsche Fassung 459
English version 461

P-011177/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Commission's dealings with lobby groups in connection with the reform of the structure of the banking sector

Deutsche Fassung 463
English version 464

E-011179/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Increased budget spending

Versión española 465
English version 466

E-011180/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Council

Subject: Capping of pensions when combining employment relationships

Deutsche Fassung 467
English version 468

E-011181/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Capping of pensions when combining employment relationships

Deutsche Fassung 469
English version 470

E-011182/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Council

Subject: Detailed breakdown of the costs for the Council's Open Day

Deutsche Fassung 471
English version 473

E-011183/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Cost of Europe Day and Europe Week

Deutsche Fassung 475
English version 476

E-011184/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Negative consequences of a financial transaction tax for consumers

Deutsche Fassung 477
English version 478

E-011185/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Boom in warranty concerns

Version française 479
English version 480

E-011186/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Danger of mortgages with a term of over 30 years

Version française 481
English version 482

E-011187/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Ban on chocolate cigarettes

Version française 483
English version 484

E-011188/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: In-flight calls

Version française 485
English version 486

E-011189/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Red Bull gives you heart problems

Version française 487
English version 488

E-011190/13 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Anti-radiation patch for mobile telephones

Version française 489
English version 490

E-011192/13 by Andrej Plenković to the Commission

Subject: Air pollution problem in the Slavonski Brod area caused by emissions from an oil refinery in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hrvatska verzija 491
English version 492

E-011193/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: European Commission investigations into Gazprom

Ελληνική έκδοση 493
English version 494

E-011194/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Institutional aspects of the privatisation programme in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση 495
English version 496

E-011195/13 by Patricia van der Kammen to the Council

Subject: Disrespect of the Council of the European Union on the part of the Commission

Nederlandse versie 497
English version 498

E-011196/13 by Patricia van der Kammen to the Commission

Subject: Lack of interinstitutional respect on the part of the Commission

Nederlandse versie 499
English version 500

E-011197/13 by Elisabeth Köstinger to the Commission

Subject: Review of the sustainability criteria for biofuels/national verification schemes placed at a disadvantage by the Commission

Deutsche Fassung 501
English version 502

E-011198/13 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: Chemicals used in fracking in breach of REACH guidelines

Nederlandse versie 503
English version 504

E-011199/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Undersea natural gas storage facility off the coast of Amposta, Catalonia

Versión española 505
English version 508

E-011239/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Underground natural gas storage plant

Versión española 505
English version 508

E-011240/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Underground natural gas storage plant II

Versión española 506
English version 509

E-011243/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Application of Directive 2007/65/EC in Spain

Versión española 506
English version 509

E-011200/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Reciprocity regarding imports of processed proteins from monogastric animals

Versión española 511
English version 513

E-011201/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Creating a level playing field

Versión española 514
English version 515

E-011202/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: BSE status of Member States and third countries

Versión española 516
English version 517

E-011203/13 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: French reform of the national railway system — effects on the national regulatory body in the context of the Fourth Railway Package

Versión española 518
English version 519

P-011204/13 by Francesca Barracciu to the Commission

Subject: Union Customs Code: free zone, proposed amendment and entry into force

Versione italiana 520
English version 521

P-011205/13 by Kartika Tamara Liotard to the Commission

Subject: Measures in response to excessive 3-MCPD intake

Nederlandse versie 522
English version 523

E-011208/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis to the Commission

Subject: The high cost of health services for Greek citizens

Ελληνική έκδοση 524
English version 526

E-011209/13 by Konstantinos Poupakis and Marietta Giannakou to the Commission

Subject: Intention of the northern countries to propose establishing a discriminatory regime against workers from the European South within the mobility framework

Ελληνική έκδοση 527
English version 528

E-011210/13 by Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou to the Council

Subject: Imbalances in the integrated European financial market

Ελληνική έκδοση 529
English version 531

E-011211/13 by Jan Březina to the Commission

Subject: Commission proposal on plant varieties

České znění 532
English version 533

E-011212/13 by Nicole Sinclaire to the Commission

Subject: VAT on domestic fuel

English version 534

E-011213/13 by David Martin to the Commission

Subject: Role of environmental assessment concerning Rosyth international container terminal

English version 535

E-011214/13 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: Aflatoxin levels in maize

Versione italiana 536
English version 537

E-011215/13 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: Coordination of banking supervision

Versione italiana 538
English version 539

E-011217/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: EU position on exploiting Arctic resources

English version 540

E-011220/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: EU-US travel arrangements

English version 541

E-011221/13 by Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu to the Commission

Subject: 112 emergency number

Versiunea în limba română 542
English version 543

P-011222/13 by Andreas Pitsillides to the Commission

Subject: Unemployment

Ελληνική έκδοση 544
English version 545

E-011223/13 by Catherine Bearder to the Commission

Subject: Social media bullying

English version 546

E-011224/13 by Catherine Bearder to the Commission

Subject: Shark-derived squalene

English version 547

E-011225/13 by Andreas Pitsillides to the Commission

Subject: Pupils of the English School, Nicosia

Ελληνική έκδοση 548
English version 549

E-011226/13 by Andreas Pitsillides to the Commission

Subject: Agricultural policy

Ελληνική έκδοση 550
English version 551

E-011227/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Systemically important insurance services

Deutsche Fassung 552
English version 553

E-011228/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Exclusion of certain companies from ICT calls for tender

Deutsche Fassung 554
English version 555

E-011229/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Contravention of the passenger name records and SWIFT agreements as a result of NSA personal profiles

Deutsche Fassung 556
English version 557

E-011230/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Belgacom surveillance case

Deutsche Fassung 558
English version 559

E-011231/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Prevention of espionage

Deutsche Fassung 560
English version 561

E-011232/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Commission action on the safe transportation of workers in the oil industry

English version 562

E-011233/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: EU trademarks in the US

English version 563

E-011235/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Decrease in grassland butterfly population in the EU

English version 564

E-011236/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: EU twinning arrangements

English version 565

E-011237/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Tackling the issue of food banks

English version 566

E-011238/13 by Ian Hudghton to the Commission

Subject: Agricultural shows in the EU

English version 567

P-011244/13 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Human rights in Russia and the EU's external relations

Versión española 568
English version 569

E-011246/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Problems associated with the digital single market

Deutsche Fassung 570
English version 571

E-011247/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Investments in the development of mobile telecommunications networks

Deutsche Fassung 572
English version 573

E-011248/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: NSA attacks on European undertakings

Deutsche Fassung 574
English version 575

E-011249/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Council

Subject: Measures to prevent espionage

Deutsche Fassung 576
English version 577

E-011250/13 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Loss caused by espionage and industrial espionage

Deutsche Fassung 578
English version 579

E-011251/13 by Herbert Reul to the Commission

Subject: Disposal law — Article 17 KrWG

Deutsche Fassung 580
English version 581

E-011252/13 by Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou to the Commission

Subject: Contributions to chambers of commerce in Greece and Europe

Ελληνική έκδοση 582
English version 583

E-011253/13 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Greece's ‘competence’ to manage its own water resources

Ελληνική έκδοση 584
English version 585

E-011254/13 by Struan Stevenson to the Commission

Subject: Early retirement schemes

English version 586

E-011255/13 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: EED online platform

English version 587

E-011258/13 by Niki Tzavela to the Commission

Subject: Crude oil indexation and the decision in RWE v Gazprom case

Ελληνική έκδοση 588
English version 589

E-011259/13 by Niki Tzavela to the Commission

Subject: Effects of backloading and structural reform of the ETS

Ελληνική έκδοση 590
English version 591

E-011260/13 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Possible funding for the creation of the Home of Culture and Applied Arts in the Marcigliana-Cinquina area of Rome

Versione italiana 592
English version 593

E-011263/13 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen to the Commission

Subject: Gezi Park protests: human rights violations by the Turkish authorities

Nederlandse versie 594
English version 595

E-011264/13 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Request for measures to support 204 workers facing dismissal at Plasmon

Versione italiana 596
English version 597

E-011265/13 by Jörg Leichtfried to the Commission

Subject: Commission flyer on animal welfare and the terms it uses

Deutsche Fassung 598
English version 599

E-011267/13 by Ioannis A. Tsoukalas to the Council

Subject: Stroke prevention and atrial fibrillation management

Ελληνική έκδοση 600
English version 601

E-011268/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: EIB support for Bulgaria

Verżjoni Maltija 602
English version 603

E-011269/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: EU to establish more Union-wide level competitions in more fields

Verżjoni Maltija 604
English version 605

E-011270/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: India-EU Free Trade Agreement

Verżjoni Maltija 606
English version 607

E-011272/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Multilingualism in Europe

Verżjoni Maltija 608
English version 609

E-011273/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Slow broadband services

Verżjoni Maltija 610
English version 611

E-011274/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Moldovan wines

Verżjoni Maltija 612
English version 613

E-011275/13 by David Casa to the Commission

Subject: Agreement between the EU and Indonesia to curb illegal timber

Verżjoni Maltija 614
English version 615

E-011276/13 by Julie Girling and James Nicholson to the Commission

Subject: Civets and coffee beans

English version 616

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010904/13

to the Commission

Nicole Sinclaire (NI)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Functioning of the energy market

Title XXI of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that Union policy on energy must aim to ensure the functioning of the energy market. In the opinion of the Commission, would price capping by a Member State be detrimental to the functioning of the energy market?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2013)

A functioning energy market with effective competition between energy companies is the best guarantee for cost-reflective energy prices. However, such a market cannot be achieved without prices being based on supply and demand fundamentals. State intervention in the form of general caps for energy retail prices tend to have a detrimental effect on the functioning of the energy market as they deter new suppliers from market entry by reducing incentives for innovation and investment by both new entrants and incumbents, and holding back the development of stronger competition for the benefit of the consumer. While protection of vulnerable consumers remains paramount also in an integrated and competition-driven internal energy market, it can be more effectively provided through more targeted means than general price caps — e.g. through social policy programmes or targeted assistance measures addressing specific drivers of consumers' vulnerabilities.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010905/13

to the Commission

Giles Chichester (ECR) and Ashley Fox (ECR)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: The online gambling sector in Europe

The online gambling sector in the EU is inherently cross-border and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the success of the single market. However, the current fragmentation of the sector is putting a brake on its expansion. Certain Member States operate under different licensing policies, some of which are discriminatory or overly burdensome, making it hard for operators to expand their businesses across the EU. This has led to a highly piecemeal approach to regulating the sector, far from the single market ideal. Greater EU cooperation would both protect consumers and promote competition.

1.

Is the Commission aware that the current fragmented regulatory treatment of online gambling within the EU constitutes a competitive opportunity for the United States in the e‐commerce sector? What steps does the Commission believe are required to ensure that a more coherent approach is taken in order to prevent a further loss of competitive advantage for the EU?

2.

Given the absence of consensus within the EU on the licensing and regulation of online gambling, what steps will the Commission take to ensure effective cooperation between Member States’ regulators?

3.

Is the Commission concerned that an unintended effect of the current fragmented regulatory framework for online gambling in the EU is that legitimate European operators are rendered less competitive than those outside the EU and that this is pushing consumers into jurisdictions where regulatory oversight and consumer protection are lower?

4.

Given the intended application to the online gambling sector of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive, what measures will the Commission be taking to ensure that the sector is put on an equal footing with the broader e-commerce and financial services sectors (e.g. introducing a supranational anti-money laundering coordinator for the sector and reciprocal recognition of licenses and freedom to provide services)?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware that online gambling is a growing service activity in the EU. The economic significance of the sector is demonstrated by the high level of innovation of the European industry. The Commission has stressed in its communication ‘Towards a Comprehensive European Framework for Online Gambling’ (1) that administrative cooperation also needs to result in a reduction of unnecessary administrative burdens, in particular in the authorisation process and the supervision of operators authorised in more than one jurisdiction, and it will work towards that aim. However, it would like to recall that it is currently for Member States, in accordance with the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU, to determine the organisation and control of the gambling offer together with how gambling is carried out and to set the objectives of their gambling policy.

2.

In December 2012 the Commission has set up an expert group on gambling services composed of Member States’ authorities responsible for regulating gambling services. The expert group brings about an exchange of experiences and good practices. The Commission works with the group on initiatives to ensure effective cooperation between Member States’ regulators.

3.

The Commission recognises the need for common efforts at EU level in the area of online gambling to properly protect European consumers. Therefore, the Commission is considering a number of initiatives, in particular recommendations on common consumer protection rules and responsible advertising. The implementation of these consumer protection measures remains primarily the responsibility of national authorities.

4.

The Commission is not currently considering the measures proposed by the Honourable Member.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010906/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Schwermetalle in Nahrungsmitteln

Schwermetalle wie etwa Zinn, Nickel, Eisen, Cadmium, Quecksilber, Blei oder auch Aluminium kommen durch industrielle Prozesse um einiges häufiger in der Luft, im Wasser, im Boden und somit auch in der Nahrung vor, als es von Natur aus der Fall ist. Diese Spurenelemente werden Nahrungsmitteln zugeführt und oft als Nahrungsergänzungsmittel eingenommen, wodurch es zusätzlich zu einer übermäßigen Aufnahme kommt; überschüssige Reste der Schwermetalle können sich in Knochen, Leber, Nieren und Gehirn ablagern. Erkrankungen, Störungen, Unverträglichkeiten und Allergien sind die Folge. Parallel dazu sind chronische Unverträglichkeiten und Allergien in den letzten Jahren extrem gestiegen: 2007 waren in der österreichischen Bevölkerung fast sieben Millionen Menschen (das entspricht über 80 %!) betroffen, die entweder unter Allergien, Unverträglichkeiten oder anderen chronischen Erkrankungen litten; die Tendenz ist steigend.

— Plant die Kommission Initiativen zur Erforschung von Zusammenhängen zwischen Schwermetallen und Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeiten und wenn ja, welche?

— Welche Initiativen plant die Kommission im Hinblick auf Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeiten und Gesundheitsförderung?

— Hat die Kommission geplant, strengere Auflagen für Schwermetallkonzentrationen in Nahrungsmitteln und der Umwelt vorzuschlagen? (Mit der Bitte um ausführliche Erläuterung)

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(21. November 2013)

In der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1881/2006 (2) sind Höchstgehalte für Zinn, Kadmium, Blei und Quecksilber in Lebensmitteln festgelegt. Diese Höchstgehalte basieren auf wissenschaftlichen Gutachten der Europäischen Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) und tragen den schädlichen Gesundheitsauswirkungen dieser Elemente Rechnung. Die zuständigen Behörden der Mitgliedstaaten überwachen diese Schwermetallgehalte laufend. Die so erhobenen Daten werden von der EFSA in thematischen Berichten zusammengefasst. Auf der Grundlage dieser Berichte wird die Lage fortlaufend beobachtet, damit die geltenden Höchstgehalte gegebenenfalls gesenkt werden können.

Chemische Elemente, die eine biologische Funktion im menschlichen Körper haben (sogenannte Spurenelemente), gelten nicht als Kontaminanten, da Lebensmittel im Hinblick auf eine normale Körperfunktion minimale Mengen von ihnen enthalten müssen. Falls in einem EFSA-Gutachten jedoch darauf hingewiesen wird, dass diese Elemente jedoch in großen Mengen über die Nahrung aufgenommen werden, werden Höchstgehalte für Nahrungsergänzungsmittel festgelegt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010906/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Heavy metals in food

Heavy metals, such as tin, nickel, iron, cadmium, mercury, lead or even aluminium, occur somewhat more frequently in the air, water, soil and therefore also in food as a result of industrial process than would naturally be the case. These trace elements are added to foodstuffs and are often taken as food supplements, thus resulting in further excessive intake; surplus heavy metals can be deposited in the bones, liver, kidneys and brain. This results in diseases, disorders, intolerances and allergies. At the same time, chronic intolerances and allergies have risen sharply in recent years: in 2007 nearly seven million people in Austria (more than 80% of the population) were suffering from allergies, intolerances or other chronic diseases. This is a rising trend.

— Is the Commission planning any initiatives for investigating the links between heavy metals and food intolerances? If so, what are they?

— What initiatives is it planning with regard to food intolerances and the promotion of health?

— Has the Commission had any plans to propose more stringent requirements for heavy metal concentrations in food and the environment (please provide detailed information)?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

Maximum levels (MLs) for tin, cadmium, lead and mercury in food are established in Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 (3). These MLs are based on scientific opinions of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) taking into account negative health effects of these elements. Monitoring of levels of these heavy metals by Member States’ competent authorities is on-going. The resulting data are collected by EFSA and compiled into thematic reports. Based on the outcome of these reports, the situation is constantly monitored in view of further lowering existing maximum levels.

Chemical elements that have a biological function in the body (so-called trace elements) are not treated as contaminants as minimal quantities are needed in food for a normal body function. However, in cases where EFSA opinions point out that they are important contributors to dietary exposure, maximum levels are established for food supplements.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010907/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Frühzeitige Schulabgänger

Im Zuge der Strategie Europa 2020 soll das Bildungsniveau erheblich verbessert werden. Dennoch kann jede/-r fünfte Europäer/-in nicht richtig lesen und schreiben. Zusätzlich liegt die Zahl der frühzeitigen SchulabgängerInnen und ‐abbrecherInnen immer noch bei knapp 13 %, wobei die Zahl der Frauen wesentlich höher ist als die der Männer. Vor allem in Südeuropa ist dieses Problem sehr verbreitet.

1.

Welche weiterführenden Maßnahmen hat die Kommission geplant, um Schulbildung attraktiver zu machen?

2.

Welche Maßnahmen sind außerdem geplant, um die Bildungsstandards im gesamteuropäischen Raum weiter zu erhöhen?

3.

Gibt es spezielle Maßnahmen zur Förderung von Aus‐ und Weiterbildung in den am stärksten betroffenen Ländern, vor allem um Bildung in diesen Ländern „leistbar“ zu machen? Wenn ja, welche?

4.

Welche langfristigen Strategien hat die Europäische Kommission entwickelt, um das nach wie vor herrschende Nord-Süd-Gefälle des europäischen Bildungsniveaus abzubauen?

Antwort von Frau Vassiliou im Namen der Kommission

(15. November 2013)

Gemäß Artikel 165 des Vertrags über die Arbeitsweise der Europäischen Union sind ausschließlich die Mitgliedstaaten für die Lehrinhalte und die Gestaltung der Bildungssysteme verantwortlich. Die Kommission unterstützt die Mitgliedstaaten bei ihren Bemühungen zur Verbesserung der Systeme der allgemeinen und beruflichen Bildung und fördert ihre Zusammenarbeit. Im Rahmen der offenen Methode der Koordinierung (OMK) in der allgemeinen und beruflichen Bildung konzentriert sich die Kommission hauptsächlich auf Themen wie niedriges Qualifikationsniveau, frühzeitigen Schulabgang, frühkindliche Betreuung, Bildung und Erziehung sowie Lehrkräfteausbildung. Eine neue OMK-Gruppe zur Schulbildung wird Ende 2013 oder Anfang 2014 ihre Arbeit aufnehmen und sich mit frühzeitigem Schulabgang und Lehrkräfteausbildung beschäftigen.

Der Rat setzt sich in seiner Empfehlung für politische Strategien zur Senkung der Schulabbrecherquote (4) aus dem Jahr 2011 für einen umfassenden Ansatz bezüglich des frühzeitigen Schulabgangs ein. Angesprochen werden Fragen der Gleichheit, Inklusion und Qualität der Schulbildung. Die Kommission untersucht in ihren Initiativen „Neue Denkansätze für die Bildung“ und „Die Bildung öffnen“ außerdem, wie die Attraktivität und Relevanz der europäischen Bildungs‐ und Ausbildungssysteme gesteigert werden kann. Die Kommission arbeitet außerdem eng mit der OECD in Fragen der Qualität und Effizienz der Schulbildung zusammen und unterstützt die PISA- (5) und die PIAAC (6)-Studien.

Das neue Bildungsprogramm Erasmus+ und die europäischen Struktur‐ und Investitionsfonds, insbesondere der Europäische Sozialfonds, sind die wichtigsten EU-Instrumente zur Förderung von Investitionen und Reformen der nationalen Bildungs‐ und Ausbildungssysteme. Zu den Zielen dieser Programme zählt die Verringerung der regionalen Unterschiede in der allgemeinen und beruflichen Bildung.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010907/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Early school leavers

One aim of the Europe 2020 strategy is to significantly improve the level of education. Nevertheless, one in five Europeans cannot read or write properly. Furthermore, the number of early school leavers remains close to 13%, with the number of women in this category being considerably higher than the number of men. This problem is particularly widespread in southern Europe.

1.

What further steps does the Commission plan to take in order to make school education more attractive?

2.

What measures does it also plan to take to further increase the standard of education throughout Europe?

3.

Are any special measures being taken to promote training and further education in the countries that are most severely affected, in particular to make education ‘affordable’ in these countries? If so, what are they?

4.

What long-term strategies has the Commission developed in order to reduce the north-south divide that still exists with regard to the level of education in Europe?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

According to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems are under the exclusive responsibility of Member States. The role of the Commission is to support Member States in their efforts to improve their education and training systems and to support their cooperation. Within the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in education and training, the Commission focuses especially on issues related to low skills, early school leaving (ESL), early childhood education and care as well as teacher education. A new OMC group on School Education will start its work in late 2013 or early 2014 addressing the issues of ESL and teacher education.

The 2011 Council Recommendation on policies against ESL (7) advocates a comprehensive approach towards ESL. It addresses questions of equity, inclusiveness and quality in school education. With its initiatives on ‘Rethinking Education’ and ‘Opening Up Education’ the Commission also looks at how to increase the attractiveness and relevance of European education and training systems. In addition, the Commission closely cooperates with the OECD on questions of quality and efficiency in school education, supporting also the PISA (8) and PIAAC (9) studies.

The new education programme Erasmus+ and European Structural and Investment Funds, in particular European Social Fund, are the main tools at EU level to support investment and reforms in national education and training systems. Reducing regional disparities in education and training will be among the objectives of these programmes.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010908/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Aluminium als Krankheitsverursacher

Immer mehr Studien belegen, dass ein Zusammenhang zwischen Aluminium und Krankheiten wie Krebs, Alzheimer und Demenz besteht. Aluminium ist ein Bestandteil von unzähligen Lebensmitteln, Medikamenten, Zahnpasten und Deodorants und wird oft zur Reinigung von Trinkwasser verwendet.

1.

Welche Maßnahmen sind geplant, um die Verwendung von Aluminium und aluminiumhaltigen Produkten strenger zu kontrollieren und so die Gesundheit der EU-Bürger zu schützen?

2.

Inwiefern hat die Kommission geplant, die Forschung, die sich mit den Auswirkungen von einem zu hohen Aluminiumanteil im Körper beschäftigt, intensiver zu unterstützen?

3.

Welche Maßnahmen sind ergriffen und welche Ziele sind gesetzt worden, um die Verwendung von Aluminium zur Trinkwasserreinigung zu verringern?

4.

Welche Maßnahmen hat die Kommission geplant, um die Verwendung von Alternativen zu Aluminium zu fördern?

5.

Wie kann das Bewusstsein der europäischen Bevölkerung über die Gefahren von aluminiumhaltigen Produkten geschärft werden?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(20. November 2013)

Die Europäische Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) (10) hat für Aluminium (Al) eine tolerierbare wöchentliche Aufnahme von 1 mg Aluminium/kg Körpergewicht/Woche festgelegt. Die EFSA wies darauf hin, dass die Bevölkerung hauptsächlich über Lebensmittel gegenüber Al exponiert ist. Al in Trinkwasser stelle eine weitere, weniger bedeutende Expositionsquelle dar. Zu einer zusätzlichen Exposition könne es durch die Verwendung von Aluminiumverbindungen in Arzneimitteln und Konsumgütern kommen.

Folglich hat die Kommission Maßnahmen zur Verminderung der Al-Aufnahme durch Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe ergriffen. Die Maßnahmen (11) betreffen die wichtigsten Al-Quellen und sollen zu einer Verminderung der Gesamtaufnahme führen. Derzeit werden einige Al enthaltende Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe verboten. Für alle anderen Al enthaltenden Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe werden Verwendung und Höchstgehalte deutlich eingeschränkt werden. Außerdem wird die EFSA bis 2018 eine vollständige Neubewertung aller Al enthaltenden Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe vornehmen (12).

In Impfstoffen wurden 70 Jahre lang Al-Adjuvantia verwendet und deren Sicherheitsprofil kann durch „mit geringem Potenzial, unerwünschte Reaktionen hervorzurufen“ als angemessen beschrieben gelten. Bei Allergenen und Impfstoffen beträgt die Obergrenze 1,25 mg/Dosis (13). Die meisten in der EU zugelassenen Impfstoffe enthalten weniger als diese Höchstmenge.

Die Kommission hat den Wissenschaftlichen Ausschuss „Verbrauchersicherheit“ (SCCS) ersucht, ein Gutachten zur Sicherheit von Al in kosmetischen Mitteln (14) zu erstellen und einen sicheren Konzentrationsgrenzwert für Al zu empfehlen, falls die geschätzte Exposition gegenüber Al als bedenklich erachtet wird. Das Gutachten des SCCS soll spätestens im zweiten Quartal 2014 vorliegen.

Die Kommission hat vor kurzem groß angelegte Forschungsprojekte wie PHIME (15) zur Rolle der Exposition gegenüber einer Reihe von Schwermetallen bei neurologischen Entwicklungsstörungen und neurodegenerativen Erkrankungen finanziert.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010908/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Aluminium as a cause of disease

More and more studies are demonstrating a link between aluminium and diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Aluminium is found in numerous foods, medicines, toothpastes and deodorants and is often used to purify drinking water.

1.

What measures are planned in order to put stricter controls on the use of aluminium and aluminium-containing products and therefore to protect the health of EU citizens?

2.

To what extent does the Commission plan to provide greater support for research into the effects of too high a concentration of aluminium in the body?

3.

What measures have been taken and what objectives set in order to reduce the use of aluminium in the purification of drinking water?

4.

What measures does the Commission have planned for promoting the use of alternatives to aluminium?

5.

How can people’s awareness of the dangers posed by aluminium-containing products be increased in Europe?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  (16) has established a Tolerable Weekly Intake for Aluminium (Al) of 1 mg aluminium/kg bw/week. EFSA noted that the major route of exposure to Al for the general population is through food. Al in drinking water represents another, minor, source of exposure. Additional exposures may arise from the use of aluminium compounds in pharmaceuticals and consumer products.

Consequently, the Commission took measures to reduce Al intake from food additives. The measures (17) concern the most significant Al sources and are expected to result in a reduction of the total intake. Some Al containing food additives are being banned. The use and maximum limits for all other Al containing food additives will be significantly reduced. In addition, EFSA will carry out a complete re-evaluation of all Al containing food additives by 2018 (18).

Al adjuvants have been used in vaccines for 70 years and their safety profile can be considered as adequately characterised with a very small potential to cause adverse reactions. The upper limit for Al for allergens and vaccines is 1.25 mg per dose (19). Most licensed vaccines in the EU contain less than this maximum amount.

The Commission has asked to the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) to provide a scientific opinion on the safety of Al in cosmetic products (20) and to recommend a safe concentration limit for the presence of Al, should the estimated exposure to Al be found to be of concern. The SCCS opinion is expected for the second quarter of 2014 at the latest.

The Commission has recently funded large-scale research projects such as PHIME (21) on the role of exposure to a number of heavy metals in neurodevelopmental and neurogenerative diseases.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010909/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Alkoholbedingte Schäden und Unfälle

Noch immer ist die EU weltweit die Region mit dem höchsten Alkoholkonsum und den meisten alkoholbedingten Schäden und Unfällen. Laut Medienberichten gibt es sogar mehr Tote durch Alkoholkonsum als durch Verkehrsunfälle.

1.

Welche Bilanz kann die Kommission ziehen, was die EU-Strategie zur Unterstützung der Mitgliedstaaten bei der Verringerung alkoholbedingter Schäden (2006-2012) betrifft? Welche positiven Ergebnisse kann die Kommission vorlegen?

2.

Wie kann die Umsetzung des neuen Europäischen Aktionsplans zur Verringerung des schädlichen Alkoholkonsums (2012-2020) verbessert und im Zuge dessen der schädliche Alkoholkonsum verringert werden? Existieren zusätzlich zu diesem Plan weitere Ansatzpunkte?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(15. November 2013)

Alkoholbedingte Schäden stellen EU-weit ein ernstes Gesundheitsproblem dar.

Die Europäische Kommission setzt sich für die Umsetzung der EU-Strategie gegen Alkoholmissbrauch ein (22). Laut den Schlussfolgerungen der unabhängigen Evaluierung sind alle Schwerpunkte der 2006 angenommenen EU-Alkoholstrategie nach wie vor aktuell. In diesem Zusammenhang prüft die Kommission derzeit, wie sie ihre künftigen Arbeiten weiter verbessern und zielgenau ausrichten kann, um alkoholbedingte Schäden, insbesondere im Hinblick auf chronische Krankheiten und Schäden, weiter zu verringern und spezielle Herausforderungen, wie Alkoholkonsum von Minderjährigen und Alkoholexzesse („Komasaufen“), erfolgreich anzugehen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010909/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Alcohol-related harm and accidents

The EU remains the region with the highest level of alcohol consumption worldwide and the most alcohol-related injuries and accidents. According to media reports, there are even more deaths caused by alcohol consumption than as a result of traffic accidents.

1.

What is the Commission’s evaluation of the progress made in respect of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm (2006-2012)? What positive results can it present?

2.

How can the implementation of the new European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol (2012-2020) be improved so as to actually reduce the harmful use of alcohol? Are any other steps being taken in addition to this plan?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

Alcohol-related harm is a major public health concern across the EU.

The Commission is committed to taking forward the EU Alcohol Strategy (23). The conclusions of the independent evaluation suggest that all the priority themes of the EU Alcohol Strategy adopted in 2006 are still valid today. In this context, the Commission is currently analysing how to further improve and focus its future work to contribute to reducing alcohol-related harm, in particular as regards its impact on chronic disease and injuries, and to address specific challenges, such as underage drinking and binge drinking.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010910/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Fischereisubventionen: nicht für das allgemeine Wohl verwendet?

Einer aktuellen Studie zufolge beträgt seit dem Jahr 2000 die Gesamtsumme der EU-Fischereisubventionen mehr als 12 Mrd. EUR. Die von den Mitgliedstaaten überwiesenen 4,9 Mrd. EUR an Staatsbeihilfen an die Fischereisektoren hätten demnach zu einem sehr beträchtlichen Teil die Überfischung gefördert.

1.

Davon ausgehend, dass der Kommission dieser Umstand bekannt ist: Wie beurteilt sie den Vorwurf, dass öffentliche Fördermittel zur Verschlechterung des Zustands der Fischbestände beitragen?

2.

Wie rechtfertigt die Kommission, dass öffentliche Fördermittel womöglich zu einem großen Teil dazu verwendet werden, die marine Umwelt noch mehr zu zerstören?

3.

Wie ist es zu erklären dass mehr als 30 % der deklarierten Fördermittel als „generelle Beihilfe“ gekennzeichnet waren?

Antwort von Frau Damanaki im Namen der Kommission

(5. Dezember 2013)

Die von der Frau Abgeordneten angesprochene Studie trägt den Titel European Fisheries Subsidies — State Aid — The Hidden Subsidies (Europäische Fördermittel für die Fischerei — staatliche Beihilfen — die verborgenen Fördermittel) und wurde von Oceana erstellt. Nach Schätzungen der Kommission beliefen sich die Fördermittel für den Fischereisektor (einschließlich Aquakultur und Verarbeitung) im Zeitraum 1996-2012 auf 4,6 Mrd. EUR. Die Kommission weist darauf hin, dass die staatlichen Beihilfen seit 2007 schrittweise um 70 % gesenkt wurden.

Die Fischerei ist naturgemäß eine Tätigkeit, die Auswirkungen auf die Fischbestände und die marine Umwelt hat. Im Laufe der Zeit wurden Maßnahmen wie der Schiffbau und die Erhöhung des Fischereiaufwands von der Förderung ausgeschlossen, weil ausreichende Hinweise auf deren nachteilige Umweltauswirkungen vorlagen. Im Vorschlag der Kommission für den Europäischen Meeres‐ und Fischereifonds 2014-2020 rückt die Nachhaltigkeit der Bestände stärker in den Mittelpunkt, außerdem ist eine erhebliche Aufstockung der Mittel für Kontrolle und Datenerhebung vorgesehen. Ferner umfasst der Vorschlag Investitionen in die Selektivität, um das Verbot von Rückwürfen und die Umstellung auf den höchstmöglichen Dauerertrag zu unterstützen. Soll die endgültige Einstellung der Fischerei im Europäischen Meeres‐ und Fischereifonds verbleiben, so muss deren Förderung nach Auffassung der Kommission nach oben begrenzt und befristet werden. Diese Bedingungen sind notwendig, um verbliebene Überkapazitäten gezielt und zeitnah angehen zu können.

Der Begriff „generelle Beihilfe“ wird in der Studie nicht definiert; es handelt sich auch nicht um ein Konzept des EU-Beihilferechts. Daher kann die Kommission diese Frage nicht beantworten. In jedem Fall muss eine Beihilfe jedoch den Zielen der Gemeinsamen Fischereipolitik (GFP) entsprechen und darf nicht wettbewerbsverzerrend sein.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010910/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Fisheries subsidies: not being used in the general interest?

According to a current study, EU fisheries subsidies since 2000 total more than EUR 12 billion. The EUR 4.9 billion contributed by the Member States in state aid to the fisheries sector has, according to the study, played a considerable part in promoting overfishing.

1.

Assuming that the Commission is aware of this situation: what is its view of the accusation that public aid is contributing to the degradation of fish stocks?

2.

How can the Commission justify the use of public aid, possibly to a considerable extent, for the further destruction of the marine environment?

3.

What is the explanation for the fact that more than 30% of the declared aid was described as ‘general aid’?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2013)

The study referred to by the honourable MEP is ‘European Fisheries Subsidies — State Aid — The Hidden Subsidies’, by Oceana. The Commission estimates that in the period 1996-2012, subsidies to the fishing sector (including aquaculture and processing) amounted to EUR 4.6 billion. The Commission notes that state aid has gradually reduced, by 70% since 2007.

Fishing is by definition an activity that impacts fishing stocks and the marine environment. Over time, measures such as vessel construction and aid increasing fishing effort have been excluded from support when sufficient evidence became available on their negative environmental impacts. The Commission's proposal for the 2014-20 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund increases the focus on aid that will enhance sustainability of resources, and foresees a significant increase of funds for control and data collection. The proposal also covers investments in selectivity to support the discard ban and investments to support the transition to Maximum Sustainable Yield. The Commission considers that if permanent cessation has to be maintained in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund it will have to be capped in terms of funding available and limited in time. These conditions are necessary for a precise and timely targeting of remaining pockets of overcapacity.

The notion of ‘general aid’ is neither defined in the study nor is a concept used in Union state aid legislation. The Commission is, thus, unable to reply. In any case, aid has to comply with the CFP objectives and not distort competition.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010911/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25. September 2013)

Betrifft: Personal für die Bankenaufsicht

Wie Medienberichte melden, sucht die EZB Personal für die Bankenaufsicht und will die betreffenden Stellen möglicherweise auch durch Abwerben von Personal der Geschäftsbanken besetzen.

1.

Mit welchen Mechanismen können die Integrität und die Glaubwürdigkeit der Bankenaufsicht gewährleistet werden, wenn ehemalige (oftmals langjährige) Mitarbeiter den eigenen vormaligen Arbeitgeber oder die ehemalige Konkurrenz überwachen sollen?

2.

Kann die Kommission eine Stellungnahme dazu abgeben, wie sie das Gefahrenpotenzial für Lobbyismus durch diese Vorgehensweise einschätzt?

Antwort von Herrn Barnier im Namen der Kommission

(29. November 2013)

Die Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1024/2013 des Rates zur Übertragung besonderer Aufgaben im Zusammenhang mit der Aufsicht über Kreditinstitute auf die Europäische Zentralbank (24), mit der ein einheitlicher Aufsichtsmechanismus als erster Schritt zur Schaffung einer Bankenunion eingerichtet wird, trat am 3. November 2013 in Kraft; der einheitliche Aufsichtsmechanismus wird in zwölf Monaten voll funktionsfähig sein. Die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB) hat zur Vorbereitung auf die Wahrnehmung ihrer Aufsichtsaufgaben und gemäß den Vorschriften der Verordnung über den einheitlichen Aufsichtsmechanismus eine umfassende Prüfung eingeleitet, die aus einer aufsichtsbehördlichen Risikobewertung, einer Überprüfung der Aktiva-Qualität und einem Stresstest besteht. Der Stresstest wird in enger Zusammenarbeit mit der Europäischen Bankenaufsichtsbehörde (EBA) durchgeführt werden.

Ein Element dieser Vorbereitungen ist die Einstellung von Personal für eine wirksame Ausübung der Aufsichtsfunktion der EZB. Die EZB rekrutiert Personal eigenständig auf der Grundlage ihrer internen Vorschriften und Verfahren.

Die Kommission ist angesichts der Beschäftigungsregeln der EZB und ihres Ethikrahmens zuversichtlich, dass die EZB bei ihrem Einstellungsverfahren die in den einschlägigen EU‐Rechtsvorschriften enthaltenen Grundsätze der Integrität und Glaubwürdigkeit der Bankenaufsicht einhält und ferner angemessene interne Kontrollmechanismen anwendet, um die Unabhängigkeit und das ethische Verhalten ihres Personals zu gewährleisten. Die Kommission ist überzeugt, dass eine starke europäische Bankenaufsicht gut aufgestellt ist, um dem Druck von Lobbyisten standzuhalten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010911/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Staff for banking supervision

As reported in the media, the European Central Bank is recruiting banking supervision staff and intends, where possible, to fill the posts concerned by enticing staff away from commercial banks.

1.

What mechanisms can be used to ensure the integrity and credibility of the banking supervision if former employees (often with many years’ service) are to supervise their own former employers or former competitors?

2.

Can the Commission provide a statement concerning its assessment of the potential risk of lobbying as a result of this approach?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(29 November 2013)

Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 conferring specific tasks on the ECB concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions (25) and establishing a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) which constitutes a first step of banking union, entered into force on 3 November 2013 and the SSM will be fully operational in 12 months. In preparation for carrying out its prudential tasks, and as required by the SSM Regulation, the European Central Bank launched a comprehensive assessment, consisting of a supervisory risk assessment, an asset quality review and a stress test. The stress test will be carried out in close cooperation with the EBA.

One element of these preparations is the recruitement of staff in order to effectively exercise the ECB's supervisory function. This is autonomously undertaken by the ECB on the basis of its internal rules and procedures on recruitement of staff.

Given the ECB's internal rules on employment and the ethics framework, the Commission is confident that in its recruitment process the ECB fully respects the principles of integrity and credibility of banking supervision, as set out in the relevant EC law and that it will also apply the appropriate internal control mechanisms in order to guarantee the independence and ethical conduct of its staff. The Commission is confident that a strong European banking supervisor is very well equiped to resist to lobbying pressures.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010912/13

alla Commissione

Fiorello Provera (EFD) e Charles Tannock (ECR)

(25 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Attacchi informatici provenienti della Cina

Il 17 settembre 2013 l'agenzia Reuters ha riferito che una società di sicurezza informatica americana aveva scoperto un gruppo di sofisticati hacker informatici basati in Cina. Il gruppo, noto come Hidden Lynx, è ritenuto uno dei più avanzati tecnicamente e opera come organizzazione che rende servizi a pagamento. La società americana di sicurezza informatica Symantec sostiene che Hidden Lynx potrebbe essere stato coinvolto negli attentati del 2009, noti come operazione Aurora, quando gli hacker hanno attaccato Google e decine di altre società. Nel 2010 Google ha ammesso che gli hacker avevano tentato di leggere la corrispondenza elettronica di attivisti dei diritti umani. La Symantec ritiene che il gruppo abbia sede in Cina, dal momento che il software impiegato per eseguire gli attacchi è stato scritto utilizzando strumenti e codici cinesi.

Hidden Lynx è anche sospettato di avere collegamenti con un'altra infame campagna di attacchi informatici, Voho, che ha colpito centinaia di organizzazioni, fra cui imprese finanziarie, tecnologiche, aziende sanitarie, operatori nel settore della difesa e agenzie governative. Stando alla Symantec, gli hacker sono un'«organizzazione professionale» composta da 50 a 100 persone.

1.

Quali misure intende la Commissione adottare per collaborare con aziende di sicurezza informatica, come la Symantec, per valutare la minaccia rappresentata da gruppi come Hidden Lynx?

2.

Quali azioni ha intrapreso in passato per discutere con le autorità cinesi la questione degli attacchi informatici provenienti dalla Cina?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(11 dicembre 2013)

La Commissione si impegna a fornire una risposta globale al fenomeno della criminalità informatica, come indicato anche nella sua Strategia dell’Unione europea per la cibersicurezza (26). Nello sviluppare la sua politica in materia essa tiene conto di tutte le informazioni disponibili, comprese le valutazioni delle minacce e le altre informazioni fornite dal settore privato, nonché da imprese di sicurezza privata come Symantec.

Inoltre la Commissione ha istituito il Centro europeo per la lotta contro la criminalità informatica (EC3) nei primi mesi del 2013 per fornire supporto e coordinamento alle investigazioni degli Stati membri. Questo Centro, tra gli altri compiti, si occupa anche dell’analisi e delle valutazioni delle minacce, comprese quelle provenienti da paesi al di fuori dell’UE. Tale quadro intende adottare un approccio collaborativo, grazie alla collaborazione con le parti interessate nelle comunità. Le imprese private sono invitate a partecipare ai gruppi consultivi del Centro europeo per la lotta contro la criminalità informatica e a fornire informazioni sulle minacce e sulle tendenze che possono poi essere utilizzate per informare gli Stati membri di minacce specifiche e modi operandi.

Durante il 14° vertice UE-Cina nel febbraio 2012 l’Unione europea e la Cina hanno deciso a livello politico che era necessario sviluppare un quadro per un dialogo sui problemi informatici. A tal fine hanno varato una task force informatica UE-Cina, che si è già riunita due volte e i cui obiettivi comprendono l’elaborazione di norme di comportamento degli Stati e la promozione dell’applicabilità del diritto internazionale vigente nel ciberspazio.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010912/13

to the Commission

Fiorello Provera (EFD) and Charles Tannock (ECR)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Cyber attacks emanating from China

On 17 September 2013, Reuters reported that a US computer security firm had uncovered a group of sophisticated computer hackers based in China. The hacker group, known as Hidden Lynx, is believed to be one of the most technically‐advanced groups and is operating as a for‐hire organisation. The US-based cyber security firm Symantec says that Hidden Lynx may have been involved in the 2009 attacks known as Operation Aurora, in which hackers attacked Google and dozens of other companies. In 2010, Google admitted that hackers had attempted to read the Gmail correspondence of human rights activists. Symantec believes the group is based in China because the software used to run the attacks was written using Chinese tools and code.

Hidden Lynx is also alleged to have connections with another infamous cyber-attack campaign, Voho, which targeted hundreds of organisations including financial and technology firms, healthcare companies, defence contractors and government agencies. According to Symantec, the hackers are a ‘professional organisation’, staffed by between 50 and 100 people.

1.

What steps is the Commission prepared to take in order to work with cyber security firms, such as Symantec, to assess the threat posed by groups such as Hidden Lynx?

2.

What steps has the Commission taken in the past to discuss with the country’s authorities the issue of cyber attacks emanating from China?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(11 December 2013)

The Commission is committed to providing a comprehensive response to the phenomenon of cybercrime, as outlined also in its Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union (27). In developing policy, it takes into account all available information, including threat assessments and other information provided by the private sector and including by private security firms such as Symantec.

In addition, the Commission created the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in early 2013 to provide support and coordination for Member States’ investigations. The EC3, among other tasks, also provides analysis and threat assessments, including on threats emanating from outside the EU. It is designed to take a collaborative approach, cooperating with stakeholders across communities. Private companies are invited to participate in the advisory groups to the EC3 and to provide information on threats and trends which can then be used to inform Member States of specific threats and modi operandi.

At the political level, the European Union and China decided at the 14th EU-China Summit in February 2012 that there was a need to develop a framework for a dialogue on cyber issues. To this end, they have launched an EU-China cyber taskforce, which has met twice to date and whose objectives include working on developing norms for state behaviour and promoting the applicability of existing international law in cyber space.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010915/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: Soutien à Cécile Kyenge

Je soutiens la ministre italienne en charge de l'intégration, Cécile Kyenge, victime de propos racistes outranciers, et tiens à promouvoir la déclaration de Rome et la lutte contre la xénophobie et l'intolérance.

En effet, la xénophobie et l'intolérance sont encore trop présentes en Europe. Les partis populistes prennent de l'ampleur dans de nombreux pays européens et leurs messages sont empreints d'idées xénophobes, nationalistes et protectionnistes. Certains partis politiques au sein de l'Union européenne expriment ouvertement leur haine de «l'autre», qu'il soit rom, juif ou musulman, bref à l'égard de tout individu qui diffère de la norme.

La xénophobie et la haine de l'«autre» ont alimenté les guerres en Europe pendant des décennies, voire des siècles. Nous avons malheureusement pu en voir des signes avant‐coureurs par le passé. Mais nous ne pouvons pas risquer de payer le prix de l'inaction. Ceux qui défendent l'ouverture d'esprit et la tolérance ne se font pas suffisamment entendre. En tant qu'Européens, en tant que démocrates, en tant qu'individus profondément engagés dans la sauvegarde des Droits de l'homme, nous avons le devoir de relever ce défi et de défendre les droits des individus et la démocratie. Chaque jour, nous devons promouvoir une société ouverte et tolérante, une société européenne de la diversité réussie.

La Commission nous rejoint-elle dans l'idée d'un pacte pour une Europe de la diversité, une Europe engagée dans la lutte contre le racisme?

Le plus grand danger pour une société n'est pas le mal commis par les personnes mal intentionnées. Le plus grand danger, c'est quand les citoyens honnêtes se taisent. C'est pourquoi nous nous associons à la ministre Cécile Kyenge pour militer ensemble contre la xénophobie et l'intolérance.

Réponse donnée par Mme Reding au nom de la Commission

(20 novembre 2013)

La Commission renvoie à sa déclaration au Parlement européen du 9 octobre 2013 sur la montée en puissance de l'extrême droite en Europe.

La Commission est profondément préoccupée par tous les actes racistes ou xénophobes signalés dans l'Union, y compris les attaques racistes dirigées contre la ministre italienne chargée de l'intégration, Mme Cécile Kyenge.

Conformément à la la décision-cadre 2008/913/JAI du Conseil sur la lutte contre le racisme et la xénophobie, les États membres sont tenus de sanctionner l'incitation publique intentionnelle à la violence ou à la haine fondée sur la race, la couleur, la religion, l'ascendance, l'origine nationale ou l'origine ethnique. La Commission publiera un rapport sur les mesures d'exécution prises par les États membres en décembre 2013.

Outre la législation, la Commission a recours à d'autres instruments pour lutter contre le racisme.

La Commission prête son soutien à des activités visant à prévenir les actes d'intolérance. Elle soutient les initiatives visant à sensibiliser le public sur les droits et les obligations des citoyens et fournit une assistance en matière de renforcement des capacités par l'intermédiaire des organismes nationaux chargés de la promotion de l'égalité. La Commission facilite en outre l'échange des bonnes pratiques et l'Agence des droits fondamentaux recueille et diffuse des données sur le racisme et la xénophobie.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010915/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Support for Cécile Kyenge

I support Italian Minister for Integration Cécile Kyenge, the victim of extreme racist remarks, and am anxious to promote the Declaration of Rome and the fight against xenophobia and intolerance.

Indeed, xenophobia and intolerance are still all too common in Europe. Populist parties are on the rise in many European countries, and their messages are imbued with xenophobic, nationalist and protectionist ideas. Some political parties within the European Union openly express their hatred of ‘the other’, be it a Roma, Jew or Muslim, or basically anyone who differs from the norm.

Xenophobia and hatred of ‘the other’ have fuelled wars in Europe for decades, if not centuries. The warning signs were, unfortunately, visible in the past. However, we cannot risk paying the price of inaction. The voices of those who stand up for open-mindedness and tolerance are too quiet. As Europeans, as democrats, as people deeply committed to protecting human rights, we have a duty to meet this challenge and to stand up for the rights of individuals and democracy. Every day we must promote an open and tolerant society, a European society of successful diversity.

Does the Commission support our idea of creating a pact for a Europe of diversity and a Europe committed to combating racism?

The greatest threat to any society is not the harm caused by people with bad intentions. The greatest threat is when honest citizens stay silent. That is why we support Minister Kyenge in our common fight against xenophobia and intolerance.

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The Commission refers to its statement of 9 October 2013 to the European Parliament about the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe.

The Commission is deeply concerned about any racist or xenophobic incidents emerging in the EU, including the racist attacks directed against Italian Minister of Integration, Mrs Cécile Kyenge.

According to Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating racism and xenophobia, Member States are obliged to penalise the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred on the basis of race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The Commission will publish a report on Member States' implementing measures in December 2013.

In addition to legislation, the Commission makes use of other instruments to combat racism.

The Commission lends its support to activities to prevent acts of intolerance. The Commission supports work aimed at raising awareness on the rights and obligations of citizens, and provides assistance for capacity building through national equality bodies. Furthermore, the Commission facilitates the exchange of good practices and the Fundamental Rights Agency collects and disseminates data on racism and xenophobia.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010916/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: Barroso solutionne la pauvreté

«Il est possible d'éradiquer la pauvreté d'ici une génération», a annoncé le Président Barroso.

À quelles conditions précisément le président Barroso pense-t-il pouvoir éradiquer la pauvreté?

Réponse donnée par M. Piebalgs au nom de la Commission

(21 novembre 2013)

Dans le cadre des discussions sur le futur Agenda pour le développement, qui succédera aux objectifs du millénaire pour le développement (OMD), l'une des principales questions est de déterminer le niveau d'ambition du cadre pour l'après 2015. Des données récentes donnent à penser qu'un certain nombre de transformations (par exemple le progrès technologique, la mutation de l'économie, l'augmentation des volumes d'échange) ont créé les conditions nécessaires à l'éradication de l'extrême pauvreté à l'échelle mondiale d'ici à 2030, si tous les pays restent déterminés à atteindre cet objectif.

Dans ce contexte, le président Barroso a exhorté la communauté internationale, lors de l'événement spécial des Nations unies consacré aux OMD qui a eu lieu le 25 septembre 2013, à faire cause commune autour de l'objectif de l'éradication de la pauvreté extrême en une génération, objectif auquel l'Honorable Parlementaire est sans aucun doute attaché.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010916/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: President Barroso solves poverty

President Barroso has announced that ‘eradicating poverty within one generation is possible’.

Under what conditions exactly does President Barroso believe he can eradicate poverty?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

In the context of the discussions about the future development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals, one of the major questions is how ambitious a post-2015 framework should be. Recent evidence suggests that a number of transformational shifts (for example technological progress, economic transformation, increased trade volumes) have made it possible for global extreme poverty to be eradicated by 2030 — if all countries remain committed to achieving this goal.

Against this background, President Barroso urged the international community at the UN MDG Special Event that took place on 25 September 2013 to rally behind the objective of eradicating extreme poverty within one generation, which the Honourable Member certainly supports.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010917/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: Législation stricte sur les ressources naturelles

Le rapport «Rompre le lien entre ressources naturelles et conflits: les arguments en faveur d'un règlement européen» (28), publié la semaine dernière, énonce les éléments clés qui doivent être inclus dans la législation de l'Union afin de contraindre les entreprises européennes à exercer un «devoir de diligence» approfondi sur leurs chaînes d'approvisionnement. Il s'agit de contrôles pour permettre aux entreprises de s'assurer qu'elles n'utilisent pas ou ne font pas le commerce de ressources naturelles qui financent la violence.

1.

La Commission va-t-elle mettre à profit la dynamique générée par des initiatives telles que la disposition américaine de la loi Dodd Frank relative aux minerais des conflits?

2.

La Commission ne devrait-elle pas exiger que les entreprises basées dans l'Union appliquent des contrôles sur leurs chaînes d'approvisionnement qui répondent aux normes internationales de diligence raisonnable élaborées par l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques?

3.

La Commission nous rejoint-elle dans l'idée d'une législation qui s'applique à toutes les ressources naturelles provenant de toute zone affectée par un conflit ou à haut risque?

4.

Cette législation ne devrait-elle pas intégrer une approche basée sur le risque qui prenne en considération l'impact sur les personnes et les communautés?

5.

La Commission ne devrait-elle pas mettre à jour sa législation afin de renforcer la gouvernance et d'encourager une réforme du secteur de la sécurité et de la législation minière dans les pays en développement riches en ressources naturelles?

6.

Enfin, n'est-il pas urgent que la Commission adopte une législation stricte visant à empêcher les entreprises européennes d'alimenter les conflits et les violations des droits humains en achetant des ressources naturelles telles que l'étain, l'or et les diamants?

Réponse donnée par M. De Gucht au nom de la Commission

(7 novembre 2013)

La Commission prépare actuellement une initiative globale de l'Union européenne en faveur d'un approvisionnement responsable en minerais provenant de zones de conflit. Elle entend s'inspirer du «Guide OCDE sur le devoir de diligence pour des chaînes d'approvisionnement responsables en minerais provenant de zones de conflit ou à haut risque», y compris pour les zones géographiques et les produits (étain, tungstène, tantale et or) concernés, tout en tenant compte des résultats de la consultation publique menée du 27 mars au 26 juin 2013. La proposition viserait à étendre l'exercice du devoir de diligence fondé sur le risque, conformément aux recommandations du guide de l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE). Les diamants relèvent du système de certification du processus de Kimberley et ne font pas encore partie des ressources visées dans le guide de l'OCDE. En outre, la Commission évalue avec attention les répercussions d'une telle initiative globale de l'Union européenne sur les zones de conflit concernées, y compris sur les communautés locales et les moyens d'existence des mineurs, examinant comment celle-ci favorisera un approvisionnement responsable à partir des zones de conflit et comment les facteurs dissuadant d'adopter une telle pratique qui sont liés aux initiatives législatives actuelles peuvent être contrés.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010917/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Strong law on natural resources

The report ‘Breaking the Links Between Natural Resources and Conflict: The Case for EU Regulation’ (29), published last week, sets out the key elements that must be included in EU legislation to compel European businesses to carry through supply chain checks, known as due diligence. The checks allow companies to make sure they are not using or trading natural resources that are funding violence.

1.

Will the Commission build on the momentum generated by initiatives such as the US Dodd Frank Act’s conflict minerals provision?

2.

Should it not require EU-based companies to carry out supply chain checks that meet international due diligence standards developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development?

3.

Does it agree with us that the legislation should apply to all natural resources originating in any conflict-affected or high-risk area?

4.

Should the legislation not take a risk-based approach that considers impacts on individuals and communities?

5.

Should the Commission not update its legislation in order to strengthen governance and encourage security sector and mining reform in natural resource-rich developing countries?

6.

Lastly, should the Commission not urgently pass a strong law to prevent European businesses fuelling conflict and human rights abuses through their purchases of natural resources, such as tin, gold and diamonds?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2013)

The Commission is currently preparing a comprehensive EU supply chain initiative for responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected areas. Taking into account the outcome of the public consultation (conducted between 27 March and 26 June 2013), the Commission intends to build upon the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas including in terms of geographical and product scope (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold). The proposal would aim at further spreading the use of risk-based due diligence in accordance with the OECD Guidance. Diamonds are covered by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and do not form part of the OECD Guidance yet. Moreover, the Commission is carefully assessing the impact of the comprehensive EU initiative on relevant conflict areas, including on local communities and the miners' livelihood, how the initiative will enable and promote responsible sourcing from conflict-affected areas and how the disincentive to engage in such sourcing that has been associated with existing legislative initiatives can be avoided.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010918/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: 193 millions de perte dans la perception de la TVA

193 milliards d'euros de perte dans la perception de la TVA en 2011: c'est ce que révèle une étude commandée par la Commission publiée le 19 septembre. Un manque à gagner majeur et qui serait dû non seulement à la fraude mais aussi à des erreurs statistiques ou encore à l'insolvabilité des entreprises.

Si la Commission, qui fait de la lutte contre la fraude et l'évasion fiscale l'un de ses chevaux de bataille, se félicite de cette étude, les États membres, eux, et notamment les plus concernés (qui font partie de la «vieille» Europe), contestent la méthode utilisée. Des États qui reconnaissent cependant que le manque à gagner sur la TVA existe et n'est pas à minimiser. Les chiffres de la Commission semblent toutefois semer le trouble au sein des ministères des finances.

Il est vrai que l'étude est sans appel: ce fossé entre la TVA théorique et la TVA réellement perçue n'a cessé de s'agrandir depuis 2006 pour atteindre 1,5 % du PIB européen. Un phénomène qui n'est pas uniquement lié à la crise et qui prouve, pour la Commission, qu'une réforme des systèmes fiscaux des États membres est nécessaire.

1.

Que répond la Commission sur la méthode de calcul, contestée par les États?

2.

Quelles sont les conclusions de la Commission après lecture de ce rapport?

3.

Quels sont, pour la Commission, les éléments qui font que son plan antifraude n'arrive pas à redresser la barre?

Réponse donnée par M. Šemeta au nom de la Commission

(21 novembre 2013)

La méthode utilisée pour l'étude s'apparente à celle appliquée par Reckon dans le rapport de 2009, mais avec certaines améliorations notables. Cette méthode est étayée par la littérature existant dans ce domaine, et elle a été utilisée par le Royaume-Uni, qui est l'État membre ayant le plus d'expérience dans le calcul des écarts fiscaux. En outre, pour s'assurer que les résultats soient aussi précis que possible, la Commission a consulté les États membres et leur a donné la possibilité de corriger toute imprécision dans les données utilisées pour les évaluations.

Le rapport confirme les disparités au niveau de la part de l'écart de TVA dans le PIB des différents États membres, ce qui indique que certains États membres ont encore beaucoup à faire pour remédier à ce problème important. Il confirme également que l'augmentation des taux de TVA entraîne une augmentation de l'écart de TVA, ce qui est contraire à l'objectif poursuivi par ce type mesure, à savoir générer des recettes supplémentaires.

Lorsque l'on analyse les dernières années de la période couverte par l'étude, on ne peut ignorer que celles-ci coïncident avec une grave crise économique et financière. On peut raisonnablement penser que l'augmentation des écarts de TVA aurait été encore plus forte si les différentes mesures antifraude mises en place sur la base de propositions de la Commission n'avaient pas été adoptées. Il convient également de souligner que l'écart de TVA, tel qu'il est mesuré dans l'étude, ne concerne pas uniquement la fraude et l'évasion fiscales, mais aussi les erreurs, les cas d'insolvabilité, etc. La Commission estime que les modifications de la législation relative à la TVA ainsi que les efforts continus déployés par les administrations fiscales nationales se traduiront par une réduction soutenue des écarts de TVA au cours de la période à venir.

Compte tenu de tous ces éléments, il semble prématuré de tirer des conclusions sur la nécessité d'une réforme des systèmes fiscaux des États membres sur la seule base des résultats de cette étude.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010918/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: EUR 193 million in VAT losses

A Commission-funded study published on 19 September 2013 has revealed that EUR 193 billion in VAT revenues was lost in 2011. This major revenue shortfall is apparently due not only to fraud, but also to statistical errors and business insolvencies.

While the Commission, for which the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion is a favourite theme, welcomes this study, the Member States, and particularly those most affected (which are part of the ‘old’ Europe), dispute the method used. Despite this, they recognise that the loss in VAT revenues is a reality and should not be played down. However, the Commission’s figures seem to be creating confusion within the finance ministries.

The study’s findings are, admittedly, indisputable: the gap between theoretical and actual VAT receipts has steadily increased since 2006, and now stands at 1.5% of European GDP. This is a phenomenon that is not linked solely to the crisis and which proves, as far as the Commission is concerned, that the Member States’ tax systems need to be reformed.

1.

What is the Commission’s response regarding the calculation method disputed by the Member States?

2.

What conclusions has it reached after reading this report?

3.

In its opinion, what aspects are preventing its anti-fraud plan from rectifying the situation?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The methodology for the study follows the methodology used by Reckon in the report of 2009, but introduces some noticeable improvements. This methodology is supported by relevant literature and it has been used by the United Kingdom, which is the Member State with most experience in the calculation of tax gaps. Moreover, in order to make sure the results were as accurate as possible, the Commission consulted Member States and gave them the possibility to correct any imprecisions in the data used for the assessments.

The report confirms the disparities in the share of the VAT gap in the GDP of the different Member States, revealing that some Member States still have a lot to do to address this important problem. It also confirms that an increase in VAT rates leads to an increase in the VAT gap, thus hampering the aim of obtaining additional revenue intended by such tax rises.

When analysing the most recent years of the period covered by this study, it cannot be ignored that these coincided with a severe economic and financial crisis. It is natural to assume that the increase in the VAT gaps would have been even higher if it were not for the different anti-fraud measures introduced on the basis of proposals from the Commission. It should also be stressed that the VAT gap as measured in the study does not relate to tax fraud and evasion only, but also to errors, insolvencies, etc. The Commission believes that the changes in the VAT legislation together with continued efforts by national Tax Administrations will result in the sustained reduction of VAT gaps over the coming period.

Taking all these elements into account, it would seem premature to draw any conclusion about the need for reform of Member States’ tax systems based solely on the results of this study.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010919/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D) et Jean Louis Cottigny (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: L'Union européenne trop indulgente avec les cartels

Une étude récente du think tank bruxellois Bruegel explique que les amendes infligées ces douze dernières années par la Commission européenne aux sociétés ayant conclu des ententes illicites sur les prix pratiqués n'étaient pas suffisamment élevées pour les en dissuader.

En effet, dans quatre cas sur cinq, il était avantageux pour les sociétés de conclure des accords sur les prix ou de se partager le marché entre elles, même si les sociétés concernées étaient par conséquent obligées de payer une amende équivalente à plusieurs millions d'euros.

Pour rappel, pendant la période indiquée, la Commission a infligé des amendes pour 18,4 milliards d'euros, alors que les ententes illicites ont coûté quelque 300 milliards aux consommateurs européens.

1.

N'est-il pas clair que l'Union européenne est trop tendre avec les cartels de prix?

2.

Quelle est la réaction de la Commission face à cette argumentation?

3.

Comment la Commission estime-t-elle ces amendes?

4.

Comment la Commission explique-t-elle cet écart entre petites amendes et gains faramineux liés à la fraude? Compte-t-elle repenser, à la lumière de ces chiffres, son modus operandi en la matière?

Réponse donnée par M. Almunia au nom de la Commission

(27 novembre 2013)

La lutte contre les ententes est clairement une priorité de la Commission, qui exige, de la part de la Commission et des autorités nationales de concurrence, un contrôle rigoureux de l'application des règles en la matière, ainsi que des sanctions proportionnées et suffisamment dissuasives.

Conformément au règlement 1/2003 du Conseil, le montant d'une amende doit prendre en considération à la fois la gravité et la durée de l'infraction et ne peut excéder 10 % du chiffre d'affaires total de l'entreprise. Les lignes directrices de la Commission pour le calcul des amendes (30) assurent la transparence des décisions en la matière; elles établissent un lien entre les amendes et le chiffre d'affaires concerné et tiennent compte de la participation individuelle de chaque entreprise (durée et circonstances qui justifieraient une augmentation ou une réduction).

Bien qu'il soit par nature difficile de mesurer les bénéfices réels par rapport aux amendes, la Commission dispose d'un certain nombre d'éléments indiquant que les amendes qu'elle inflige et les moyens de contrainte dont elle dispose ont un effet dissuasif significatif. Le succès du programme de clémence et l'augmentation constante des efforts avisés des entreprises pour se conformer aux règles en sont la preuve. De même, les décisions de la Commission en matière d'ententes sont souvent à l'origine d'actions civiles en réparation devant les juridictions nationales qui augmentent la note pour les entreprises en infraction et, par conséquent, renforcent l'effet dissuasif. Le Parlement européen examine actuellement une proposition législative en la matière (31). De manière générale, la pratique de fixation des amendes de la Commission est aussi confirmée par les juridictions européennes.

Comme indiqué dans l'étude mentionnée par les Honorables Parlementaires, des procédures plus rapides pourraient encore renforcer l'effet dissuasif. Avec l'introduction de la «procédure de transaction» en 2010, la durée de la procédure administrative a été réduite. Simultanément, la situation des ressources de la Commission a un impact direct sur le taux de détection des ententes et la durée des procédures.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010919/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D) and Jean Louis Cottigny (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: The European Union too lenient towards cartels

According to a recent study by the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, the fines imposed over the last 12 years by the Commission on companies concluding illegal price-fixing agreements were not high enough to deter them.

In four out of five cases, the companies concerned benefited from concluding price-fixing agreements or sharing the market between them, even if they were forced to pay a fine of several million euros as a result.

It should be remembered that the Commission imposed fines of EUR 18.4 billion during the period in question, whereas illegal cartels cost European consumers some EUR 300 billion.

1.

Is it not clear that the European Union is too lenient towards price cartels?

2.

What is the Commission’s response to this claim?

3.

How does the Commission determine the amount of these fines?

4.

How does it explain the gap between small fines and huge profits gained by fraudulent means? Will it rethink its approach to this issue in the light of these figures?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(27 November 2013)

The fight against cartels is a clear Commission priority which requires strong enforcement by the Commission and national competition authorities, as well as proportionate and sufficiently deterrent sanctions.

According to Council Regulation 1/2003, fines should take into account both the gravity and duration of the infringement and cannot exceed 10% of the undertaking's total turnover. The fining method is made transparent in the Commission Guidelines on Fines (32) which link the fines to the affected turnover and take into account each undertaking's individual involvement (duration and any circumstances that would justify an increase or a reduction).

Although it is inherently difficult to measure actual profits against fines the Commission has a number of indications that its fines and enforcement actions have a significant deterrent effect. This includes the successful leniency programme and the steady increase of sophisticated compliance efforts by companies. Also, Commission cartel decisions are often the basis for private damage actions before national courts which increases the costs of the cartel offenders and, hence, deterrence. The European Parliament is currently reviewing a legislative proposal in this regard (33). The Commission’s fining practice is also, by and large, confirmed by the European Courts.

As noted in the study referred to by the Honourable Members, faster procedures could further strengthen deterrence. With the introduction of the so-called settlement procedure in 2010, the duration of the administrative proceedings has been reduced. At the same time, the Commission's resource situation has a direct impact on the cartel detection rate and the duration of procedures.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010920/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 septembre 2013)

Objet: Israël — Union européenne et Horizon 2020

Le vendredi 13 septembre dernier, le site EU-Observer notait que les négociateurs européens et israéliens réunis la veille à Bruxelles n'avaient pas réussi à s'accorder sur les nouvelles règles de financement. Seules quelques possibilités, qui seraient plus faciles à accepter pour Israël, ont été recensées.

Les entretiens portaient sur la participation d'Israël au nouveau projet scientifique Horizon 2020 de l'Union européenne. Ce projet de 80 milliards d'euros couvre une période de sept années à dater du 1er janvier 2014. Israël a déclaré ne pas vouloir participer dans le cadre des nouvelles règles publiées en juillet, qui obligent les entreprises et les institutions à signer des documents attestant que l'argent de l'Union ne financera pas d'activités en territoire occupé.

L'ambassadeur de Grèce en Israël, Spiros Lampridis, a dit à titre personnel au quotidien israélien The Jerusalem Post qu'il comprend le pays qui l'accueille: «Si je me mets à la place d'Israël, je vois pourquoi ils ne sont pas en état de le signer. […] Notre mission en tant que pays européens est de trouver des alternatives pour rendre cette chose utilisable», a-t-il déclaré.

Israël a fait du lobbying auprès des ministères des affaires étrangères de l'Union et des États‐Unis afin que la Commission reporte l'application des mesures. Israël dit ne pas pouvoir signer de documents relatifs à des subsides européens qui établissent notamment que Jérusalem‐Est est une partie de la Palestine, alors qu'au même moment, des négociations sont en cours au sujet des frontières définitives avec la Palestine.

Quelle est la version de la Commission sur ces éléments?

Réponse donnée par Mme Geoghegan-Quinn au nom de la Commission

(3 décembre 2013)

Les négociations avec Israël en vue d'associer ce pays au programme Horizon 2020 ont débuté lors d'une réunion à Tel Aviv, le 14 août 2013. Une deuxième réunion s'est tenue à Bruxelles le 12 septembre 2013. D'autres réunions sont prévues. Les médias ont accordé une grande attention à la publication des «Lignes directrices relatives à l'éligibilité des entités israéliennes établies dans les territoires occupés par Israël depuis juin 1967 et des activités qu'elles y déploient aux subventions, prix et instruments financiers financés par l'Union européenne à partir de 2014» (34), ainsi qu'au fait que les négociations sont en cours. Les informations communiquées par les médias dans ce contexte ne sont pas toutes exactes.

Les lignes directrices visent à clarifier la position actuelle de l'UE et ne préjugent en rien du résultat des négociations de paix. L'Union européenne appuie sans réserve la reprise des négociations directes entre les parties, et elle reconnaîtra les modifications apportées au tracé des frontières une fois qu'elles auront été approuvées par les deux parties. L'application des lignes directrices sera transposée dans les accords associant Israël aux programmes de l'UE qui seront mis en place à partir de 2014. Le niveau élevé d'attention accordé par les médias illustre le fait que l'association d'Israël au programme Horizon 2020 est non seulement un accord très important, mais aussi le premier accord de ce type à être négocié en vue du cadre financier 2014-2020.

Étant donné que les négociations sont en cours, la Commission n'est pas en mesure de formuler des observations sur des points spécifiques.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010920/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Israel — European Union and Horizon 2020

On Friday 13 September 2013 the website EU-Observer reported that EU and Israeli negotiators meeting in Brussels the day before had failed to agree on new funding rules. Only a handful of options, which would be easier for Israel to accept, were identified.

The talks centred on Israel’s participation in the European Union’s new science project, Horizon 2020. This EUR 80 billion project will run from 1 January 2014 for seven years. Israel has said it will not take part under new rules, published in July 2013, which oblige its firms and institutions to sign documents saying that EU money will not fund activities on occupied land.

The Greek ambassador to Israel, Spiros Lampridis, told Israeli daily the Jerusalem Post that he sympathises with his host country. ‘If I put myself in the Israelis’ shoes, I can see why they are not able to sign it. […] Our task as EU Member States is to find alternatives to make this thing workable.’ he said.

Israel has lobbied EU foreign ministries and the US State Department to make the Commission postpone the measures. Israel says it cannot sign EU grant papers saying that East Jerusalem, for example, is part of Palestine at the same time as negotiating final borders with Palestine in the talks that are currently taking place.

What is the Commission’s version of the facts?

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

(3 December 2013)

Negotiations with Israel on Association to Horizon 2020 began with a meeting in Tel Aviv on 14 August 2013 and there has been a subsequent meeting in Brussels on 12 September 2013. There will be further meeting(s). There has been significant media attention to both the publication of the ‘Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards’ (35), and of the fact that the negotiations are ongoing. Not all of the media reporting has been accurate.

The guidelines serve to clarify the existing EU position and in no way prejudge the outcome of peace negotiations. The EU fully supports the resumption of the direct negotiations between the parties and will recognise changes made to the borders once agreed by both parties. The application of the guidelines will be translated into the agreements on Israel's participation in EU programmes to be put in place from 2014. The high level of media attention reflects the fact that association of Israel to Horizon 2020 is both a high-profile agreement and also the first such agreement to be negotiated for the 2014-20 financial framework.

As negotiations are ongoing, the Commission is not able to comment on specific details.

(České znění)

Otázka k písemnému zodpovězení P-010921/13

Komisi

Richard Falbr (S&D)

(25. září 2013)

Předmět: Úpravy národního schématu podpory obnovitelných zdrojů energie

Obracím se na Vás v případu notifikace českého Zákona o podporovaných zdrojích energie č. 165/2012 Sb. (POZE), respektive jeho případných dalších úprav.

Vysokou dotaci výkupních cen, která v letošním roce dosahuje částky 44,4 mld. Kč, pokrývá z 26% státní rozpočet a zbytek, tj. 32,8 mld. Kč, hradí všichni spotřebitelé jednotným poplatkem. Tento poplatek (cca23 €/MWh spotřebované elektřiny) navíc stále roste a zvyšuje se jeho podíl na koncové ceně elektřiny. Enormně vysoký poplatek zásadním způsobem ničí český trh s energiemi, stává se (makro)ekonomicky neudržitelným a představuje stále větší konkurenční nevýhodu výrazně exportně orientovaného českého průmyslu, zejména energeticky intenzivních komoditních oborů, a to nejen vůči mimoevropské konkurenci, ale již i v rámci Evropy.

Ve vyspělých státech EU s vysokou mírou podpory OZE (Německo, Francie, Holandsko, Belgie atd.) platí energeticky náročný průmysl snížené poplatky nebo nízký roční paušál. Ostatní „staré“ členské země sice nemají snížené poplatky pro průmysl, ale míra podpory OZE je zde podstatně nižší. ČR je výjimkou v tom, že vysoce podporuje OZE (nejvyšší podíl podpory OZE na hlavu a jednotku HDP), ale přitom nechrání svou průmyslovou základnu.

Notifikace nového českého zákona 165/2012 Sb. měla proběhnout do března 2013, dosud se tak nestalo a nelze očekávat, že by k notifikaci došlo dříve, než na podzim 2013. Podobné zdržovací taktice čelily ze strany EK ve stejném období letošních prvních 6 měsíců i některé další, a zřejmě nikoliv náhodou menší členské země EU, ve své snaze obhájit úpravy své dosavadní podpory OZE (Slovinsko), či notifikovat zcela nové schéma podpory OZE (Rakousko). Zároveň bylo zahájeno šetření EK vůči Německu po 2 letech od zavedení diferencovaných plateb cen elektřiny pro velké spotřebitele v této členské zemi EU. Nicméně s minimálním časovým odstupem táž EK oficiálně sdělila, že na svém protekcionistickém systému nemusí Německo minimálně dalších 18 měsíců nic měnit. Šetření vůči Francii, jež rovněž chrání svůj průmysl před poplatky za OZE, nebylo dosud zahájeno vůbec.

Dovoluji si proto položit následující otázky:

Jak a kdy hodlá Komise (DG Competition) zajistit rovné podmínky pro zatížení spotřebitelů a průmyslu (velkých spotřebitelů) platbou na podporu OZE ve všech zemích EU?

Jak bude zajištěn nediskriminační přístup a rovnost podmínek do doby, než bude reálně zabezpečen bod 1?

Odpověď pana Almunii jménem Komise

(22. října 2013)

V rámci kontroly státní podpory ze strany EU mají členské státy široký prostor pro uvážení, jak do roku 2020 dosáhnout cílů v oblasti energie z obnovitelných zdrojů a jak navrhnout systémy podpory, například pokud jde o způsobilé náklady a příjemce podpory. Komise rovněž nemůže nařídit zavedení podpory pro odvětví s vysokou spotřebou energie v konkrétním členském státě či v celé EU. Komise však v současné době zvažuje vydání pokynů pro členské státy, jak reformovat a zlepšit režimy podpory získávání energie z obnovitelných zdrojů, a zároveň provádí revizi pokynů ke státní podpoře na ochranu životního prostředí. Cílem je dosáhnout toho, aby státní podpora byla účinnější a méně narušovala stabilitu systému, zejména aby nevedla k roztříštěnosti vnitřního trhu s energií.

Pokud jde o oznámení státní podpory stanovené českým zákonem č. 165/2012 Sb., o podporovaných zdrojích energie, české orgány byly požádány o dodatečné informace k doplnění uvedeného oznámení. Komise tedy režim stále posuzuje a očekává, že přijme rozhodnutí do konce roku 2013.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-010921/13

to the Commission

Richard Falbr (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: Modifications to the national scheme to support renewable energy sources (RES)

I am writing to you with regard to the notification of the Czech Act on supported energy source No 165/2012 Coll. (POZE), and specifically to the possibility of further changes being made thereto.

The national budget significantly subsidises purchase prices — which last year amounted to CZK 44.4 billion — to the tune of 26%. The remainder of CZK 32.8 billion is paid by all consumers in the form of a uniform payment. This charge of approximately EUR 23/MWh of electricity consumed is rising continuously, and its overall proportion of the end price of electricity is also increasing. Such a huge cost of payment is having a profoundly destructive effect on the Czech energy market; it is becoming (macro‐) economically unsustainable and represents an ever‐increasing competitive disadvantage to the Czech Republic's overwhelmingly export‐oriented industrial sector, especially in the energy‐intensive commodity branches. This not only affects competitiveness outside Europe, but also within the EU.

In older EU Member States with high levels of support for renewable energy sources (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc.), energy‐intensive industries pay reduced fees or a low fixed annual payment. The other older EU Member States have not reduced charges for industry; however, in such countries the level of support for renewable energy sources is much lower. The Czech Republic is an exception in this regard, as it provides a high degree of support for RES (highest proportion of RES per capita and per unit of GDP) but does not protect its industrial base.

The notification of Czech Act No 165/2012 Coll. should have taken place by March 2013. However, this has not occurred and is not expected to happen earlier than autumn 2013. Some other Member States — not coincidentally, these were smaller Member States — encountered similar delaying tactics from the Commission in the first six months of 2012 as they attempted to defend their existing RES support schemes (Slovenia) or to notify an entirely new RES support scheme (Austria). The Commission also launched an investigation into Germany two years after that Member State introduced differentiated electricity prices for large consumers. However, after a minimal amount of time had passed, the Commission stated that Germany must not make any changes to its protectionist system for at least the next 18 months. So far no investigation has even been launched into France, which also protects its industry from having to pay RES charges.

I therefore put the following questions to the Commission:

How and when does the Commission (DG Competition) intend to ensure that the financial burden imposed on consumers and industry (major consumers) to support RES is the same in all EU Member States?

How will a non‐discriminatory approach and equal conditions be guaranteed until such a time as point 1 is truly achieved?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(22 October 2013)

Within the framework of EU State aid control, Member States have wide discretion as to how to achieve the 2020 renewables targets and how to design support systems, for example with respect to eligible costs and beneficiaries. Likewise, the Commission cannot prescribe the introduction of support for energy intensive industries within a particular Member State or across the EU. The Commission is, however, currently reflecting on guidance to be addressed to the Member States on how to reform and improve their renewables support schemes and is in the process of revising the Environmental state aid Guidelines. The objective is to make state aid more efficient and less distortive, in particular avoiding the fragmentation of the internal energy market.

As regards the state aid notification of the Czech Act No 165/2012 concerning support to renewable sources of energy, additional information was required from the Czech authorities to complete the notification. Therefore, the Commission is still at the stage of assessing the scheme and expects to take a decision before the end of 2013.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης P-010922/13

προς την Επιτροπή (Αντιπρόεδρος/Ύπατη Εκπρόσωπος)

Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D)

(25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: VP/HR — Bίαιες ενέργειες εις βάρος Ευρωπαίων διπλωματων εκ μέρους του Ισραήλ

Την Παρασκευή, 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013, στο Κιρμπέτ Αλ-Μαχούλ της Δυτικής Όχθης, Ισραηλινοί στρατιώτες προέβησαν σε βίαιες ενέργειες εις βάρος Ευρωπαίων διπλωματών και κατάσχεσαν υλικό ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας που προοριζόταν για Παλαιστίνιους, των οποίων οι οικισμοί έχουν καταστραφεί. Σύμφωνα με αυτόπτες μάρτυρες, οι ισραηλινές δυνάμεις χρησιμοποίησαν χειροβομβίδες κρότου και απομάκρυναν με τη βία τους Ευρωπαίους διπλωμάτες.

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πάντα τόνιζε την σημασία της ανεμπόδιστης διανομής ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας και της προστασίας, σύμφωνα με τη Συνθήκη της Γενεύης, των ανθρώπων που βρίσκονται στα κατεχόμενα εδάφη, κάτι που προφανώς δεν τηρεί η κυβέρνηση του Ισραήλ στην περίπτωση της Παλαιστίνης.

Η επανέναρξη των συνομιλιών για την ειρηνευτική διαδικασία χαιρετίζεται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, όμως τέτοιου είδους περιστατικά υπονομεύουν τις διαπραγματεύσεις και δημιουργούν σοβαρές αμφιβολίες για την δέσμευση και την πρόθεση του Ισραήλ να βρεθεί επιτέλους μία λύση. Ανεξάρτητα όμως από την έκβαση των διαπραγματεύσεων, οι αρχές της χώρας οφείλουν να σέβονται το Διεθνές Δίκαιο, μέρος του οποίου αποτελεί και η διπλωματική ασυλία, αλλά και το Διεθνές Ανθρωπιστικό Δίκαιο. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι ο οικισμός στο Κιρμπέτ Αλ-Μαχούλ είναι ο τρίτος παλαιστινιακός οικισμός που γκρεμίζεται από τον περασμένο Αύγουστο.

Στο πλαίσιο αυτό, και με βάση το άρθρο 2 της Συμφωνίας Σύνδεσης ΕΕ-Ισραήλ, που ορίζει ότι οι σχέσεις ανάμεσα στις δύο πλευρές θα βασίζονται στον αμοιβαίο σεβασμό για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και τις δημοκρατικές αρχές, ερωτάται η Ύπατη Εκπρόσωπος αν προτίθεται να επιβάλει οικονομικές κυρώσεις;

Και ακόμη, σε τι ενέργειες σκοπεύει να προβεί προκειμένου να διασφαλιστεί η ασφαλής παροχή ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας στην Παλαιστίνη, αλλά και η συμμόρφωση του Ισραήλ με το Διεθνές Ανθρωπιστικό Δίκαιο;

Απάντηση της Ύπατης Εκπροσώπου/Αντιπροέδρου Ashton εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(7 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Η ΕΕ παρακολούθησε εκ του σύνεγγυς το περιστατικό.

Σε δήλωση που εξέδωσε η εκπρόσωπος της Ύπατης Εκπροσώπου/Αντιπροέδρου και Μέλος της Επιτροπής Georgieva στις 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013, η ΕΕ αποδοκίμασε την κατάσχεση της ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας από Ισραηλινούς στρατιώτες στο Κιρμπέτ Αλ-Μαχούλ και υπογράμμισε την υποχρέωση εφαρμογής του διεθνούς ανθρωπιστικού δικαίου στα Κατεχόμενα Παλαιστινιακά εδάφη. Αξιωματούχοι της ΕΕ ήταν σε επαφή με τις αρχές του Ισραήλ κατά τη διάρκεια των επεισοδίων.

Όπως υπογραμμίζεται στα συμπεράσματα του Συμβουλίου Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων του Μαΐου 2012, η ΕΕ ζητεί επανειλημμένως να δοθεί τέλος στην καταστροφή οικισμών και τη μεταφορά του πληθυσμού στη Ζώνη Γ. Η ΕΕ δίνει ιδιαίτερη σημασία και θα εξακολουθήσει να εμμένει στην αρχή της ανεμπόδιστης ανθρωπιστικής πρόσβασης, όπως καταδεικνύεται από την παρουσία διπλωματών της ΕΕ επί τόπου. Πρέπει να διασφαλίζεται η ασφάλεια των μελών των ανθρωπιστικών οργανώσεων κατά την παράδοση της βοήθειας.

Η ΕΕ χαιρετίζει την απόφαση του Ανώτατου Δικαστηρίου του Ισραήλ που αποτρέπει την εκδίωξη της κοινότητας και την περαιτέρω καταστροφή σκηνών, υποστηρίζοντας την άποψη ότι η ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια όπως χορηγείται από την ΕΕ πρέπει να συνεχιστεί ανεμπόδιστα.

Η ΕΕ δεν προωθεί την εφαρμογή εμπορικών κυρώσεων στο πλαίσιο των σχέσεων ΕΕ-Ισραήλ. Η συμφωνία σύνδεσης αποτελεί τη νομική βάση του τρέχοντος διαλόγου μας με τις ισραηλινές αρχές. Η ΕΕ θα συνεχίσει να κάνει χρήση όλων των ευκαιριών που προσφέρονται από τον διάλογο που διεξάγεται σε +διάφορα επίπεδα στο πλαίσιο της συμφωνίας σύνδεσης για να θίγει ζητήματα που προκαλούν ανησυχία. Η ΕΕ θα συνεχίσει επίσης να παρακολουθεί στενά τις εξελίξεις, μεταξύ άλλων, επιβλέποντας συνεχώς την παράδοση ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας και παρακολουθώντας τις κοινότητες που απειλούνται με εκδίωξη μέσω της αντιπροσωπείας της στην Ανατολική Ιερουσαλήμ.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-010922/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D)

(25 September 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — European diplomats manhandled by Israelis

On 20 September 2013, Israeli forces forcibly stopped European diplomats travelling to Khirbet Al-Makhul on the West Bank and seized a consignment of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians whose homes had been demolished. According to witnesses, the soldiers hurled sonic grenades before converging on the European diplomats and hauling them away.

The European Union has always firmly stressed the importance of ensuring the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and compliance with the Geneva Convention regarding protection of the inhabitants of occupied territories, a principle clearly being flouted by the Israeli Government in its dealings with Palestine.

While the European Union welcomes the reopening of peace negotiations, incidents such as the above merely serve to undermine the process and raise serious doubts as to the depth of Israeli commitment to finding a solution. Regardless of the outcome of the talks, however, Israeli authorities have an obligation to comply with the provisions of international law, including those relating to diplomatic immunity and human rights. Moreover, Khirbet Al-Makhul is the third Palestinian community to be demolished since August.

In view of this and given that Article 2 of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ismael stipulates that relations between the parties shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, does the High Representative intend to impose economic sanctions?

What action does the High Representative intend to take to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian aid for Palestine and compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law?

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

(7 November 2013)

The EU has followed closely the incidents.

In a statement issued by the spokespersons of HR/VP and Commissioner Georgieva on 21 September 2013, the EU deplored the confiscation of humanitarian assistance by Israeli forces in Khirbet al-Makhul and underlined the applicability of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory. EU officials were in contact with the Israeli authorities throughout the incident.

As oulined in the conclusions of its Foreign Affairs Council of May 2012, the EUcontinues to call for a halt of demolitions and forced transfers of the population in Area C. The EU attaches great importance and will continue to insist on the principle of unimpeded humanitarian access as demonstrated by the presence of EU diplomats at the scene. The safety of humanitarian workers in delivering aid must be safeguarded.

The EU welcomes the decision by the Israeli High Court preventing the community's eviction and the further destruction of tents, supporting the view that humanitarian assistance such as the EU is providing should continue unhindered.

The EU does not promote the use of trade sanctions in the context of EU-Israel relations. The Association Agreement (AA) is the legal basis of our ongoing dialogue with the Israeli authorities. The EU will continue to use all opportunities afforded by the dialogue that takes place at different levels within the framework of the AA to raise issues of concern. The EU will also continue to monitor developments closely, including through continued observation of humanitarian assistance delivery and monitoring of communities threatened by eviction through its delegation in East Jerusalem.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010923/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: Objectifs énergétiques 2030 en berne

Selon un document officieux de la Commission, les États membres affichent aujourd'hui des divergences importantes en matière de politique énergétique future, à l'exception de l'objectif de réduction de CO2 à hauteur de 40 %. Les États membres s'inquièteraient de la tournure que prend le débat pour 2030. «Un large accord règne sur la nécessité d'un nouvel objectif de réduction des émissions de CO2 pour 2030», a expliqué la Commission lors d'une conférence de presse à l'issue d'une réunion informelle des ministres de l'énergie à Vilnius, le 20 septembre. «Certains sont contre et d'autres pour la mise en place d'un nouvel objectif d'énergies renouvelables. Un désaccord porte sur la forme qu'il doit prendre», a-t-elle ajouté.

En matière d'économies d'énergie, l'UE dispose d'ores et déjà d'une directive sur l'efficacité énergétique, laquelle devrait faire l'objet d'une révision l'année prochaine.

1.

Selon certaines informations sérieuses, de hauts fonctionnaires s'inquiètent en privé que les modèles actuels de réduction de gaz à effet de serre à hauteur de 35-45 % ne limitent les politiques d'efficacité énergétique et d'énergie renouvelable. Quelle est la position de la Commission à ce sujet?

2.

Une analyse d'impact sur les objectifs pour 2030 sera publiée cette année. Mais les fonctionnaires craignent qu'elle ne prenne en compte qu'une seule politique visant à atteindre une réduction de CO2 de 40 % dans le cadre du système européen d'échange de quotas d'émission (ETS). Qu'en est-il?

3.

La Commission confirme-t-elle que le modèle économétrique européen sur l'énergie «PRIMES» omettrait les effets des réductions de coûts ayant trait aux économies d'énergie et aux politiques renouvelables, comme l'augmentation de la valeur des propriétés (due aux rénovations des bâtiments) ainsi qu'une diminution des factures de soins de santé et des coûts liés au climat?

4.

Un objectif de 40 % de gaz à effet de serre pour 2030 reviendrait-il à dire, dans de telles conditions, que l'UE a abandonné son engagement visant à limiter le réchauffement de la planète à des niveaux sans danger?

Réponse donnée par Mme Hedegaard au nom de la Commission

(15 novembre 2013)

Comme annoncé dans son programme de travail pour 2014, la Commission publiera des propositions concrètes pour un cadre d'action pour le climat et l'énergie à l'horizon 2030 au début de l'année 2014. En règle générale, la Commission ne commente pas les détails d'une initiative, notamment les aspects relatifs à l'étude qui sous-tend l'analyse d'impact qui l'accompagne, avant la publication de ladite initiative.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010923/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: 2030 energy targets in bad shape

According to a Commission non-paper, there is currently little consensus among the Member States on future energy policy, with the exception of the 40% CO2 reduction target. The Member States are said to be concerned about the direction the 2030 debate is taking. At a press conference after the informal energy council in Vilnius on 20 September 2013, the Commission said: ‘There was wide agreement that a new CO2 emissions reductions goal is needed for 2030.’ It added: ‘There were opinions for and against developing a new goal for renewable energies and also some disagreement about what form this should take.’

As far as energy savings are concerned, the EU already has an energy efficiency directive, which is due to be reviewed next year.

1.

According to reliable sources, senior officials are privately concerned that the current models for a greenhouse gas savings target ranging between 35% and 45% would constrain energy efficiency and renewables policies. What is the Commission’s position on this matter?

2.

An impact assessment on 2030 targets will be published later this year. However, officials worry that it will only consider policy for achieving a 40% CO2 reduction under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). What is the current situation with regard to this point?

3.

Can the Commission confirm that the European econometric energy model PRIMES omitted to show the cost-saving effects of energy savings and renewables policies, such as increased property values (from building renovations), and lower healthcare bills and climate-related costs?

4.

Would a 40% greenhouse gas target for 2030 be a declaration, in such circumstances, that the EU has given up on its commitment to limit global warming to safe levels?

Answer given by Ms Hedegaard on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

As announced in the Commission's recent work programme for 2014, the Commission will publish concrete proposals for a 2030 Climate and Energy Framework in the beginning of 2014. As a general rule, the Commission does not comment on details of initiatives, including on aspects relating to the analysis underpinning the accompanying Impact Assessment, until the initiative has been published.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010924/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: Modification des règles de tarification des surcharges

Plusieurs compagnies aériennes, et non des moindres, ont indiqué à leurs clients que les surcharges carburant et sûreté allaient désormais s'appliquer au poids taxable et non plus au poids brut des expéditions.

1.

La Commission est-elle d'avis que la sûreté et le volume sont autant liés et que cette hausse se justifie? Quant à la surcharge carburant, n'était-il pas plus logique qu'elle soit corrélée au poids?

2.

La Commission possède-t-elle des chiffres sur les impacts de ce nouveau mode de calcul? Selon certaines estimations, il entraîne une augmentation des coûts de transport qui peut atteindre 15 à 20 %, et même jusqu'à plus de 60 % en Italie.

3.

La Commission ne s'étonne-t-elle pas de la concomitance des décisions prises par les compagnies aériennes dans un laps de temps très court? Emirates et Lufthansa, ainsi que plusieurs compagnies asiatiques, ont fait savoir au mois d'août qu'elles appliqueraient la nouvelle tarification, respectivement à partir du 1er septembre et du 27 octobre. Le groupe Air France-KLM a de son côté informé ses clients, par une lettre du 12 septembre, que la mesure entrerait en vigueur le 4 novembre 2013. Y aurait-il eu une action concertée, en violation des règles de concurrence européennes?

Réponse donnée par M. Kallas au nom de la Commission

(19 novembre 2013)

L'article 2 du règlement (CE) no 1008/2008 définit le «tarif de fret» comme étant le prix à payer pour le transport de fret ainsi que les conditions d'application de ce prix.

L'article 22 du même règlement établit la liberté de tarification, tandis que son article 23 oblige les transporteurs de fret à inclure les conditions applicables dans leurs informations sur les tarifs de fret. Le prix définitif à payer doit être précisé à tout moment et inclure le tarif de fret, les taxes, les redevances, les suppléments et les droits applicables inévitables et prévisibles à la date de publication. Les suppléments de prix optionnels sont communiqués de façon claire, transparente et non équivoque au début de toute procédure de réservation.

Aussi les transporteurs de fret ont-ils la liberté de fixer la structure des prix. Le contrat relève, par nature, du droit civil national.

En conséquence, si les règles en matière de transparence, de sûreté et de sécurité sont appliquées, la Commission ne voit aucune nécessité d'intervenir et ne surveille pas non plus l'évolution des prix. Les parties qui constatent que le règlement n'est pas correctement appliqué sont invitées à contacter les autorités nationales chargées de veiller à l'application de la législation.

En ce qui concerne les règles de concurrence, selon la jurisprudence des juridictions européennes, les concurrents ne sont pas autorisés à coordonner entre eux leur comportement sur le marché d'une manière qui risquerait d'altérer les conditions normales de concurrence. Ils ont toutefois le droit de s'adapter intelligemment au comportement constaté ou à escompter de leurs concurrents (voir, par exemple, l'affaire T-588/08, Dole Food Company/Commission, point 61). Ainsi, le simple fait que les compagnies aériennes ont pris leurs décisions l'une à la suite de l'autre dans un laps de temps relativement bref n'indique pas en soi que les règles de concurrence de l'UE ont été violées, sans compter que l'utilisation du «poids taxable» pour le calcul des tarifs de base constituait déjà la norme dans ce secteur.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010924/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Changes to surcharge rules

Several airlines, including the major carriers, have informed their customers that fuel and security surcharges will no longer be based on the gross weight of shipments, but on the chargeable weight instead.

1.

Does the Commission believe that there is such a close link between security and volume and that this increase is justified? As for the fuel surcharge, did it not make more sense for it to be correlated with weight?

2.

Does the Commission have any figures concerning the impacts of this new calculation method? According to some estimates, it increases transport costs by up to 15-20% and by more than 60% in Italy.

3.

Does it not surprise the Commission that the airlines took their decisions one after another in a very short space of time? Emirates and Lufthansa, along with several Asian carriers, announced in August 2013 that they would be applying the new charging system from 1 September 2013 and 27 October 2013 respectively. Air France-KLM, for its part, informed its customers, in a letter sent on 12 September 2013, that the measure would come into force on 4 November 2013. Could this be an example of concerted action, in violation of EU competition rules?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(19 November 2013)

Article 2 of Regulation (EC) 1008/2008 says that ‘air rate’ is the price to be paid for the carriage of cargo and the conditions under which those prices apply.

Article 22 of the same Regulation sets pricing freedom and Article 23 obliges cargo carriers that air rates include the applicable conditions. The final price shall at all times be indicated and shall include the applicable air rate, taxes, charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. Optional price supplements shall be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process.

Thus, cargo carriers have the liberty to set the price structure. The contract is by nature subject to national civil law.

Consequently, if the price transparency, safety and security rules are applied, the Commission does not see any intervention needed, nor does the Commission monitor price developments. Parties, that find that the regulation is not correctly applied, are advised to contact the relevant national enforcement authorities.

As for competition rules, according to the case law of the European courts, competitors are not allowed to coordinate between themselves the conduct on the market in a way that might interfere with the normal conditions of competition. They have however the right to adapt themselves intelligently to the existing or anticipated conduct of their competitors (e.g. see Case T-588/08 Dole Food Company v Commission, §61). Thus, the mere fact that airlines took their decisions one after another in a relatively short space of time does not suggest by itself a violation of EU competition rules, notably since the use of ‘chargeable weight’ for the calculation of the base rates was already the industry standard.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010925/13

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: OpenupED et Iversity

Les partenaires de onze pays ont uni leurs forces pour lancer la première initiative paneuropéenne de cours en ligne massifs et ouverts (MOOC), avec l'aide de la Commission européenne. C'est ce que précisait le communiqué de presse de l'Association européenne des universités d'enseignement à distance, sur le site de l'Union européenne fin avril pour le lancement «d'OpenupED». Mais à la différence «d'Iversity», OpenupED ne met pas à disposition une technologie permettant aux établissements de diffuser leur MOOC, mais ne fait que renvoyer vers diverses universités ouvertes partenaires. En somme, c'est une sorte d'annuaire. Les premiers cours seront présentés prochainement.

1.

Que pense la Commission de ce projet?

2.

Quels sont les objectifs chiffrés de cette initiative?

3.

La Commission préconise-t-elle à terme un mélange entre OpenupED et Iversity? Quelles sont les perspectives d'avenir?

Réponse donnée par Mme Vassiliou au nom de la Commission

(15 novembre 2013)

Les deux projets mentionnés par l'Honorable Parlementaire poursuivent des objectifs différents. «Iversity» est une plateforme technique d'hébergement de cours en ligne ouverts et massifs (MOOC) qui permet aux établissements de diffuser leurs cours. Quant au projet «OpenupEdu», il vise à accroître l'offre de MOOC en favorisant des partenariats entre les universités d'enseignement à distance et entre celles-ci et les universités traditionnelles. La Commission se félicite de cette diversité d'approches dans la mesure où il n'existe pas de solution unique pour répondre à l'ensemble des besoins des établissements européens qui proposent déjà des MOOC.

La Commission n'est pas propriétaire des projets financés dans le cadre du programme pour l'éducation et la formation tout au long de la vie en cours et du futur programme Erasmus+. Elle n'a pas non plus à intervenir dans les stratégies organisationnelles et pédagogiques d'établissements d'enseignement supérieur autonomes.

La Commission a récemment publié une communication intitulée «Ouvrir l'éducation» (36), estimant qu'il était essentiel que les établissements d'enseignement et de formation européens tirent parti du potentiel des nouvelles technologies afin d'innover, d'accroître leur efficacité et de garantir un accès équitable à la connaissance et aux différentes possibilités d'apprentissage. Les priorités et les actions annoncées dans cette communication seront financées par les programmes Erasmus+ et «Horizon 2020». De plus, dans le cadre de cette initiative, la Commission a lancé le portail «Open Éducation Europa» (37) pour assurer la visibilité des ressources éducatives libres et des MOOC conçus en Europe. Les MOOC hébergés sur «Iversity» tout comme ceux hébergés sur «OpenupEdu» sont accessibles depuis ce portail.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010925/13

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: OpenupED and Iversity

Partners in 11 countries have joined forces to launch the first pan-European ‘MOOCs’ (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative, with the support of the Commission. That is what the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities said in its press release, posted on the EU website at the end of April to mark the launch of ‘OpenupED’. Unlike ‘Iversity’, however, OpenupED does not provide the technology for institutions to disseminate their MOOCs, but merely refers users to various partner open universities. In short, it is a kind of directory. The first courses will be offered soon.

1.

What does the Commission think of this project?

2.

What performance targets have been set for this initiative?

3.

Does the Commission recommend that OpenupED and Iversity be combined in the long run? What are their future prospects?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

The two projects mentioned by the Honourable Member serve different goals: while Iversity is a technical platform for the provision of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through which institutions can offer their courses, OpenupEdu is a project that aims at increasing the offer of MOOCs by way of fostering partnerships among distance teaching universities and between distance teaching and traditional universities. The Commission welcomes this diversity of approaches as there is no single approach which could cater for all the different needs of the European institutions already delivering (MOOCs).

The Commission has no ownership over the projects funded under the current Lifelong Learning and the future Erasmus+ programme, nor is it the Commission's role to interfere with organisational and educational strategies of autonomous higher education institutions.

The Commission has recently published the communication ‘Opening up Education’ (38) as it considers it essential that European education and training institutions exploit the potential of the new technologies in order to innovate, to enhance efficiency and to ensure equity in the access to knowledge and learning opportunities. The priorities and actions announced in the communication will be supported through the Erasmus+ and the Horizon 2020 programme. Also, as part of the initiative, the Open Education Europa portal (39) was launched to provide visibility for Open Educational Resources and MOOCs created in Europe. MOOCs from both Iversity and OpenupEdu are accessible via the portal.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010927/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Βιασμοί γυναικών και ανηλίκων στο Πακιστάν

Με αφορμή την πρόσφατη υπόθεση ομαδικού βιασμού 5χρονου κοριτσιού, στις 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013, στην επαρχία Πουντζάμπ του Πακιστάν, το αποτρόπαιο αυτό ζήτημα επανήλθε στο προσκήνιο. Το περιστατικό προκάλεσε μαζικές διαδηλώσεις σε όλο το Πακιστάν, με κύριο αίτημα την βελτίωση του συστήματος απονομής δικαιοσύνης για τα θύματα βιασμών.

Σύμφωνα με την Επιτροπή Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων του Πακιστάν, μόνο στην επαρχία Πουντζάμπ, το 2012 υπήρξαν περίπου 450 επίσημες καταγγελίες για υποθέσεις βιασμού ανηλίκων. Σύμφωνα με τις αρχές όμως, ο πραγματικός αριθμός είναι πολύ υψηλότερος, καθώς η πλειοψηφία των θυμάτων δεν καταγγέλλει τον βιασμό.

Παρά τις νομοθετικές αλλαγές το 2006 σχετικά με την δικαστική αντιμετώπιση των υποθέσεων βιασμού και την μετάθεση της εκδίκασης τέτοιων υποθέσεων στα ποινικά δικαστήρια, το βάρος της απόδειξης πέφτει ακόμα στο θύμα. Σε συνδυασμό με την διαφαινόμενη ανικανότητα της αστυνομίας να επιληφθεί των σχετικών ερευνών και την περιβόητη βραδύτητα της Πακιστανικής δικαιοσύνης, καθώς και τον φόβο πολλών θυμάτων να προσφύγουν στη δικαιοσύνη λόγω των δολοφονιών τιμής (άνω των 900 το 2012), το ποσοστό των καταδικαστικών αποφάσεων για υποθέσεις βιασμού φτάνει μόλις το 3-4%.

Παρά την κινητοποίηση του πληθυσμού και τις προσπάθειες των αρχών το φαινόμενο βρίσκεται σε έξαρση.

Η ΕΕ, σύμφωνα με το Έγγραφο Στρατηγικής για το Πακιστάν, καθώς και με το 5ετές πρόγραμμα δέσμευσης, καλεί την κυβέρνηση του Πακιστάν να προβεί στην μεταρρύθμιση του δικαστικού συστήματος, να διευκολύνει την πρόσβαση στη δικαιοσύνη για γυναίκες και ανήλικους και να συνεργαστεί με τους εθνικούς θεσμούς για την προώθηση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων.

Στο πλαίσιο αυτό, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή αν σκοπεύει να θέσει πιο επιτακτικά την ανάγκη νομοθετικής μεταρρύθμισης επί του θέματος αυτού στις διαπραγματεύσεις με την νεοεκλεγείσα πακιστανική κυβέρνηση και αν, στο πλαίσιο της στρατηγικής συνεργασίας σκοπεύει να ενισχύσει την κοινωνία των πολιτών και να προωθήσει προγράμματα ενημέρωσης και ευαισθητοποίησης για τα δικαιώματα των γυναικών και των ανηλίκων;

Απάντηση της Ύπατης Εκπροσώπου/Αντιπροέδρου Ashton εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(12 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Τα δικαιώματα των γυναικών και των παιδιών αποτελούν προτεραιότητες στον διάλογο της ΕΕ με το Πακιστάν για τα δικαιώματα του ανθρώπου. Η ΕΕ δεσμεύεται πλήρως όσον αφορά την καταπολέμηση του προβλήματος της σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης γυναικών και παιδιών στις εξωτερικές της σχέσεις και ενθαρρύνει την πακιστανική κυβέρνηση να λάβει επειγόντως μέτρα για την ασφάλεια και την προστασία των δικαιωμάτων και των δύο.

Η θέση της ΕΕ είναι να συνεργαστεί με το Πακιστάν σε όλα τα επίπεδα, μεταξύ άλλων για τη βελτίωση της ευαισθητοποίησης και της προστασίας των δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου, την ενίσχυση της κοινωνίας των πολιτών, τη στήριξη προγραμμάτων που συνδέονται με την εκπαίδευση και την ισορροπία μεταξύ των δύο φύλων και προγραμμάτων για το κράτος δικαίου, καθώς και τη στήριξη της πρόσβασης στη δικαιοσύνη για τις ευάλωτες ομάδες. Ειδικότερα, η ΕΕ υποστηρίζει επί του παρόντος συγκεκριμένες δράσεις μέσω της ευρωπαϊκής πρωτοβουλίας για τη δημοκρατία και τα δικαιώματα του ανθρώπου (ΕΜΔΔΑ), η οποία επιδιώκει την αντιμετώπιση συγκεκριμένων πτυχών της κατάστασης που επικρατεί στο Πακιστάν όσον αφορά τα δικαιώματα του ανθρώπου, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της βίας κατά γυναικών και παιδιών, και υποστηρίζει την κοινωνία των πολιτών σε δράσεις ευαισθητοποίησης και ενημερωτικές εκστρατείες.

Το Πακιστάν έχει υπογράψει τη διεθνή σύμβαση για την εξάλειψη όλων των μορφών διακρίσεων κατά των γυναικών (CEDAW), και τη σύμβαση για τα δικαιώματα του παιδιού (CRC). Τα συμπεράσματα του Συμβουλίου Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων του Μαρτίου 2013 υπογραμμίζουν τα σχέδια της ΕΕ να αρχίσει αμέσως να συνεργάζεται με την νεοεκλεγείσα κυβέρνηση του Πακιστάν για ζητήματα προτεραιότητας, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου. Η εφαρμογή της CEDAW και CRC, καθώς και άλλων συμβάσεων θα εξεταστούν στο πλαίσιο του εν λόγω διαλόγου.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010927/13

to the Commission

Maria Eleni Koppa (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Rapes of women and minors in Pakistan

The recent gang rape of a five-year old girl in the Punjab province of Pakistan on 14 September 2013 has brought this horrific issue back under the spotlight. The incident provoked mass demonstrations across Pakistan, demanding mainly that the justice system be improved for rape victims.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, almost 450 rapes of minors were formally reported in the Punjab province in 2012 alone. According to the authorities, however, the real number is much higher, as the majority of victims do not report the rapes.

In spite of legal reforms in 2006 addressing the judicial handling of rape cases and the transfer of trials of such cases to criminal courts, the burden of proof still falls on the victim. In combination with the obvious inability of the police to handle the relevant investigations, and the notorious slowness of the Pakistani justice system, as well as the fear of seeking justice felt by many victims due to honour killings (of which there were more than 900 in 2012), the conviction rate for rape cases amounts to just 3-4%.

In spite of the mobilisation of the population and the efforts of the authorities, the problem is increasing.

In accordance with the strategy Paper on Pakistan, and in the spirit of the five-year engagement programme, the EU is calling on the Pakistani Government to proceed with judicial reform in order to facilitate access to justice for women and minors, and to cooperate with national institutions for the promotion of human rights.

Within this framework, will the Commission say whether it aims to press the case for legislative reform on this matter more urgently in negotiations with the newly-elected Pakistani Government and whether it intends, within the framework of strategic cooperation, to strengthen civil society and to promote information and awareness-raising campaigns focusing on the rights of women and minors?

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

(12 November 2013)

The rights of women and children are priorities in the EU’s human rights dialogue with Pakistan. The EU is fully committed to combating the problem of sexual abuse of women and children in its external relations and encourages the Government of Pakistan to take urgent measures to ensure the physical security and protect the rights of both.

The EU’s position is to engage with Pakistan across the board, including through improving awareness and protection of human rights, strengthening civil society organisations, supporting programmes related to education and gender balance, and programmes on the rule of law as well as support for access to justice for vulnerable groups. More specifically, the EU currently supports specific actions through the European initiative for democracy and human rights (EIDHR) which seek to address specific aspects of Pakistan's human rights performance, including violence against women and children, and supporting civil society in awareness raising and information campaigns.

Pakistan is a signatory to the international Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The March 2013 Foreign Affairs Council conclusions underline EU plans to engage promptly with the newly elected Pakistani government on priority issues including human rights. The implementation of the CEDAW and CRC as well as other conventions will be addressed in the course of that dialogue.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010928/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Criteria for allocating new EU rural development funding

Can the Commission detail the criterion that will be used to distribute rural development funding to each Member State and outline the mechanisms that will be employed to make this process objective?

In addition, can the Commission outline in detail the specific objective criterion and indicators of past performance that will be used to allocate rural development funding for the 2014-2020 period to the following Member States: Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Finland and the United Kingdom?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(8 November 2013)

An overall political agreement on the CAP reform was reached among the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the trilogue meeting on 24 September 2013.

As part of this overall agreement, it was decided to set out the allocation among Member States of the Union support for rural development in an annex to the new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The figures in that annex reflect the Member States' envelopes seen and agreed by the Heads of State and Government during the European Council of 7-8 February 2013.

Therefore, with the CAP reform agreement, Article 64(4) of the draft basic act on rural development does not include a reference to objective criteria and past performance, as initially proposed by the Commission.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010929/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Dimensional mapping systems

What plans, if any, does the Commission have under the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) to recognise the need for three‐dimensional mapping systems, which would make it possible to ascertain the actual size of a given land parcel?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(5 November 2013)

The Commission does not have any plans under the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) to recognise the need for three dimensional mapping systems. GIS-techniques used in the context of the CAP implementation sufficiently tackle the projection of a three-dimensional reality into a two-dimensional mapping through the process of ortho-rectification.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010930/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Tackling sexual crimes against women in Asia

Almost one quarter of men surveyed in a UN report looking at violence against women in parts of Asia have admitted to committing at least one rape. In Papua New Guinea, more than 6 out of 10 men surveyed admitted to forcing a woman to have sex.

Is the Commission aware of this report? What measures can be taken by the EU to bring about a reduction in the incidence of this terrible crime?

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

(19 November 2013)

The EU is aware of the UN survey's appalling conclusions. It is clear that violence against women cannot be justified whatsoever. The EU is aware that Papua New Guinea faces serious problems with regard to violence against women, including rape, domestic violence, and violence based on sorcery. These dramatic problems need to be tackled urgently and combatting violence against women is among the top priorities of the EU in Papua New Guinea and in the whole region. On their side, the Pacific leaders committed to intensify their efforts to eradicate Sexual and Gender Based Violence as it is underlined in their communiqué issued at the Summit of the Pacific Islands Forum in 2011.

The EU has urged the authorities of Papua New Guinea to combat these abuses and take action in terms of education/awareness raising, legislative and policy initiatives. Recently, the parliament of Papua New Guinea passed legislation making any form of domestic violence an offence. This can be considered as a serious progress.

The EU contributes in various ways to combatting violence against women in Papua New Guinea. Under the EIDHR's 10% preparations allocation, the EU is co-sponsoring the conference ‘A Comprehensive Response to Family and Sexual Violence in Papua New Guinea’ with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on 21 and 22 November 2013. The aim of this conference is the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive response to family and sexual violence, which also addresses the victim's immediate and long term needs. Besides, the second phase of the Rural Economic Development Programme of the EU aims to support women's empowerment in remote rural areas in order to improve their protection against violence and abuse.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010931/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: EU Anti-Trafficking Day

It is estimated that there are approximately 880 000 victims of forced labour and sexual exploitation in the European Union. In order to raise awareness of the prevalence of this horrific crime, can the Commission outline what plans it has to mark the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October 2013?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2013)

The Commission shares the concerns of the Honourable Member on the ILO estimates on forced labour. The Commission welcomed the opportunity of the 7th EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October 2013 to raise awareness on this priority area for the EU.

To mark the 7th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Commission organised in Brussels a screening of the film ‘Not my life’ by Robert Bilheimer, a documentary depicting the horrifying and dangerous practices of trafficking in human beings on a global scale, filmed on five continents over a period of four years. The Member of the Commission responsible for Home Affairs, Belgian Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet and the film makers addressed the audience after the screening.

The Commission also co-organised with the Lithuanian Council Presidency a conference in Vilnius on ‘Exploring the Links between the Internet and Trafficking in Human Beings: Cyberspace for Prevention, not Recruitment’. Experts from governments, law enforcement, national rapporteurs, civil society organisations and academics, as well as the private sector met to explore and raise awareness on the links between the Internet and trafficking in human beings and to improving cooperation between Member States, working together with different stakeholders in this context.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010932/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Privatised speed-detection systems in the EU

Can the Commission detail which Member States currently have in place privatised speed‐detection systems for motorists?

In addition, can the Commission confirm whether it has carried out an impact assessment of the effectiveness of this method? If so, can it provide the results of this analysis?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(31 October 2013)

The Commission does not have information on which, and to what extent, Member States use the services of private companies to manage speed-detection devices.

The Commission has not performed an impact assessment for the use of speed-detection devices.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010933/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Transfrontier shipment of waste across the EU

European Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 sets out the required procedures and protocols for the shipment of waste across the EU.

In this context, can the Commission clarify the notification process for transporting amber‐listed waste, such as mixed dry recyclables, between Member States? In doing so, can the Commission detail the level of flexibility that each Member State affords between the notified date of shipment and the actual date of shipment?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2013)

The shipment within the EU of mixtures of wastes that are not listed in Annex IIIA to Regulation (EC) No 1013/2013 on shipments of waste (40) is subject to the procedure of prior written notification and consent as laid down in Article 4 of the regulation.

According to Article 9(6) of the regulation, all shipments must take place within the validity period of the written or tacit consents of all competent authorities concerned. This period is shown in the notification document (Annex IA) and normally does not exceed the period of one year. According to the regulation, the actual date of a shipment, which is the date when a shipment actually begins and which is shown in block 6 of the movement document (Annex IB), shall be within the validity period of the granted consent(s). In this regard, the regulation does not provide room for flexibility.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010934/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Action on persecution of Christians in Syria

Syrian rebels led by al-Qaeda-linked fighters recently seized control of a predominantly Christian village north‐east of Damascus, sweeping into a mountainside sanctuary amid heavy fighting overnight and forcing hundreds of residents to flee.

This battle, which took place in Maaloula, an ancient village that is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria, has thrown a spotlight on the deep-seated fears harboured by many of Syria’s religious minorities over the growing role of Islamic extremists on the side of the rebels in the civil war against President Bashar Assad’s regime. In the light of reports that militants are forcing some Christian residents to convert to Islam, what action is the Commission taking in relation to this situation?

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

(26 November 2013)

The EU remains deeply concerned about the increasingly deteriorating situation and militarisation of the conflict in Syria as well as its spill over effects within the region. In this regard, the EU has reiterated the urgent need for a political solution of the conflict and welcomed the call of UN Secretary Genral Ban Ki-Moon for a peace conference in Geneva before the end of November 2013. It urges all sides to the conflict to respond positively to this call and to adhere publicly to a credible political transition based on the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué of 30.6.2012. Only a political solution that results in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria can end the terrible bloodshed and grave violations of human rights.

The issue of the respect and protection of minorities in Syria is another subject of major concern. The EU has stated on many occasions the need for all parties in the conflict to respect the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. The recent events in the town of Maaloula are of particular concern for the symbolic dimension of this town for the Christian community in Syria.

The EU has also condemned the continuing widespread and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Syria, including increasing attacks on religious and ethnic communities. These crimes must be investigated, and perpetrators and those ordering these crimes must be held accountable. The EU reaffirms that there should be no impunity for any such violations and recalls that either the International Criminal (ICC) Prosecutor could initiate an investigation on the basis of Article 15 of the Rome Statute or the UN Security Council could refer the situation in Syria to the ICC at any time.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010935/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: EU research on violence against women

For the first time, a new UN study on men and violence includes data, across a number of countries, from men themselves telling us why some men use violence against women and how this can be prevented. What similar research, if any, has been carried out by the Commission in this area?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The Commission would like to draw the attention of the Honourable Member to a report finalised in 2012 for the Commission, ‘The Role of Men in Gender Equality — European Strategies and Insights’ (41), which examines in one of its chapters the role of men in gender-based violence. It provides available data, explores men's attitudes towards women and explains why men may commit violence against women. It offers recommendations that include promoting non-violent masculinities, encouraging the development and improvement of programmes to rehabilitate perpetrators of violence against women, raising public awareness and improving research.

The Commission has also funded several projects through the Daphne programme that engage men in violence prevention.

The European Institute for Gender Equality commissioned a study on the role of men in gender equality in 2011 (42) and an online discussion on Men and Gender Equality (43). In the first quarter of 2014, the Fundamental Rights Agency will publish its survey of women's experiences of violence (44) containing comparable figures on violence against women in the 28 Member States that can also provide further information about violent men's attitudes towards women in the EU.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010936/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Tackling domestic violence against men

Statistics continue to show that domestic abuse of men is increasing in the UK. Recent figures from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) show that almost 4 000 women were prosecuted successfully in the past year, compared with 1 500 women in 2005, which equates to an increase of 169%.

In this context, what mechanisms have been put in place at EU level to raise awareness of domestic violence against men, and to tackle the stigma surrounding this crime?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The Commission is committed to a strong policy response to combat all forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, that disproportionately affect women. However, gender-based violence can also affect men. The Commission refers the Honourable Member to the recent studies commissioned by the Commission (45) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (46) mentioned in its answers to Question E-010935/2013 as they also cover men's own perspectives, realities and needs in order to achieve gender equality.

Moreover, the exchanges of good practices organised by the Commission in February 2012 and April 2013 to discuss Members States' experiences related to, on the one hand, awareness-raising campaigns on gender-based violence and, on the other hand, support services for victims and treatment programmes for perpetrators of gender-based violence, gave the opportunity to discuss initiatives targeting women's violence against men (47).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010938/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Rise in wholesale gas prices

Several energy providers have confirmed recently that gas prices are set to rise by up to 15% for customers living in certain parts of my constituency (Northern Ireland, UK). The rise, it is claimed, comes after the extreme weather experienced in spring 2013, which saw the coldest March in many decades, and which has depleted the UK’s gas reserves.

In this context, can the Commission give an assessment of wholesale gas prices across the EU, and detail whether the latest rise in Northern Ireland is consistent with a European‐wide trend of increased demand in the past six to eight months?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission publishes quarterly reports on European gas and electricity markets, including analysis of wholesale and retail prices (48). Across the EU significant price differentials persist at wholesale and retail levels. Countries with diverse portfolios of gas suppliers and supply routes, sufficient infrastructure connections and developed gas markets, tend to have lower wholesale gas prices. At retail level taxation is an important component.

Northern Ireland gas suppliers sell to consumers by purchasing gas from producers or wholesalers at prices set with reference to the UK trading hub, the National Balancing Point (NBP). Traditionally NBP is among the lowest priced hubs in the EU and our estimates show that the UK benefits from competitive prices for Norwegian imports.

The cold snap in March 2013 led to a significant increase in demand for gas putting pressure on gas supplies in the UK. Demand in March was higher than average winter days' demand and 40% higher than the seasonal average.

Twice per year Member States report retail prices by consumer category for electricity and gas to Eurostat (49). Average retail gas prices in the first half of 2013 for the EU were 4.14 cEUR/kWh for industrial consumers (ex. VAT) and 6.58 cEUR/kWh for households (incl. all taxes) (50). At 3.5 cEUR/kWh (ex. VAT) industrial retail gas prices in the UK were below the EU average. At 5.31 cEUR/kWh for households (incl. all taxes) household retail prices in the UK were below EU average. Household retail prices in the EU and in the UK went down in comparison to the second half of 2012; in contrast industrial retail prices for gas went up both on average in the EU and in the UK.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010939/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Deadly attacks in Kenya and Pakistan

Last week’s double suicide bombing at a church in Peshawar by militants linked to the Taliban is estimated to be the deadliest‐ever attack on Christians in Pakistan. The brutal attack by members of the Somali al-Shabab movement at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, has also highlighted the prevalence of Islamic extremism in parts of Africa.

In this context, what action has the Commission taken to assist the authorities in Kenya and Pakistan in the light of the latest round of attacks? Moreover, what strategy, if any, is in place at EU level to combat the threat posed by Islamic extremism both to EU citizens and to Christians throughout the world?

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

(21 November 2013)

The HR/VP issued statements condemning the two attacks, called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and offered condolences to the bereaved families.

The EU is continuing to support Pakistan in its efforts to tackle the threat from terrorism. In June 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council noted with concern the continuing terrorist attacks in Pakistan, and reiterated the EU’s unequivocal commitment to working with Pakistan to address the shared threat from terrorism both inside and outside its borders, including bringing perpetrators to justice.

The EU is also supporting efforts to tackle the threat of terrorism in the Horn of Africa (including Kenya) and Yemen. In January 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council endorsed a Counter-Terrorism (CT) Action Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen, implementing the counter-terrorism strand of the EU Strategic Framework for the region from November 2011. As part of the action plan, the EU has committed itself to helping build regional capacities to tackle the threat of terrorism, supporting regional law enforcement cooperation, and countering violent extremism.

CT work is framed by the EU CT Strategy, adopted in 2005. A central element of that strategy is to prevent people turning to terrorism by tackling the factors or root causes which can lead to radicalisation and recruitment, in Europe and internationally.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010940/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Support for older motorists

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) Foundation for Motoring recently confirmed that over four million people aged over 70 in the United Kingdom hold full UK driving licenses. The research stated that while licence holders over 70 years of age have to submit a declaration every three years saying that they are fit to drive, the constituent group in fact has a very positive safety record on our roads.

In this context, can the Commission detail what efforts are being made at EU level to ensure that older people across Europe have the confidence to use our roads so that they can continue to participate in society?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(5 November 2013)

The Commission considers that the safe mobility of elderly people, including elderly drivers deserves particular attention and specific measures due to the ageing of the European population.

Following the entry into force of the third driving license directive (Directive 2006/126/EC (51)), Member States may require an examination applying the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness to drive when renewing the driving license.

Technology is another area where progress is expected to help elderly drivers. Driver assistance systems are now being developed and some of them are already commercially available in certain vehicles. These systems can help elderly drivers to compensate for the functional limitations due to age. The Commission intends to promote the deployment of those technologies that improve safety.

The Commission has financed actions related to elderly road users, including elderly drivers, like for example the projects GOAL (52), SAMERU (53) and CONSOL (54). They are aimed at improving knowledge, disseminate best practices and make recommendations concerning the mobility of elderly people. Moreover, the Commission intends to provide funding for research on this topic under the Horizon 2020 framework programme.

The Commission will also encourage Member States to take the mobility of elderly people into account in the framework of its upcoming package on urban mobility.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010941/13

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Timeline for EU legislation on legal highs

On 17 September 2013, the Commission announced plans to strengthen EU legislation tackling harmful legal highs. The proposals would allow for the immediate removal of harmful substances on a temporary basis, as well as reducing the time taken to ban a legal high from the market completely from 24 months to 10 months.

In this context, can the Commission detail whether an impact assessment has been, or will be, carried out in relation to these proposals, and outline the timeline it envisages for progressing this piece of legislation?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(11 November 2013)

The Impact Assessment accompanying the Commission’s legislative proposals on new psychoactive substances (55) was published at the same time as the adoption of the proposals, on 17 September 2013. The Impact Assessment is available on the Europa website (56).

The two legislative proposals will need to be adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council of the European Union, in co-decision, in order to become law. The Council started the examination of the proposals in October 2013. There is no precise timeline for the adoption of the proposals by the European Parliament and by Council.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-010943/13

aan de Commissie

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(26 september 2013)

Betreft: Wijzigingen aan de methodologie om de structurele tekorten van de lidstaten te berekenen

Op 19 september 2013 hebben de Wall Street Journal en verschillende andere nieuwsbronnen gemeld dat EU-ambtenaren van de werkgroep Output Gaps van de Commissie bij wijze van proef een wijziging hebben goedgekeurd aan de methodologie om de structurele tekorten van de lidstaten te berekenen. (57) In de Wall Street Journal werd eveneens gemeld dat de nieuwe methodologie naar verwachting een zeer grote invloed zal hebben op de tekorten van sommige lidstaten, bijvoorbeeld het geschatte structurele tekort van Spanje voor dit jaar zou worden gehalveerd en dat voor 2014 zou met twee derden worden verminderd.

1.

Is de Commissie op de hoogte van dit artikel in de Wall Street Journal?

2.

Is de Commissie het ermee eens dat technische wijzigingen met een potentieel aanzienlijke impact aan de methodologieën die de basis vormen voor het stabiliteits‐ en groeipact (SGP) niet alleen de betrokkenheid van ambtenaren van de lidstaten vereisen, maar ook van het Europees Parlement als medewetgever van het herziene SGP („sixpack”)? Zo nee, waarom niet?

3.

Is de Commissie het ermee eens dat technische wijzigingen op deze schaal een risico vormen voor de geloofwaardigheid van het herziene SGP?

4.

Kan de Commissie verduidelijken waarom de huidige methodologie wordt herzien?

5.

Kan de Commissie details openbaar maken van de geschatte impact van de herziene methodologie voor de huidige output gaps en tekorten van alle lidstaten?

6.

Kan de Commissie de verwachte impact verduidelijken van de herziene methodologie voor de beleidsaanbevelingen die verschillende lidstaten in het kader van de procedure bij buitensporige tekorten hebben ontvangen?

Antwoord van de heer Rehn namens de Commissie

(20 november 2013)

Er zijn tot dusver geen wijzigingen „bij wijze van proef goedgekeurd” van de methode voor de berekening van de structurele tekorten van de lidstaten — de bestaande methodologie is niet gewijzigd.

De diensten van de Commissie en de comités van de Raad verrichten regelmatig technische werkzaamheden  ter ondersteuning van de SGP-evaluatiemethode. Wijzigingen van de bestaande methoden worden overwogen om ervoor te zorgen dat de uitvoering van het SGP de structurele en conjuncturele economische situatie in de lidstaten accuraat weerspiegelt, en om een doeltreffend toezicht op de uitvoering te bevorderen. Gewoonlijk gaat dit gepaard met bestudering van recente economische literatuur over betrokken kwesties, simulatie‐ en gevoeligheidsanalyses en andere technische werkzaamheden die ervoor moeten zorgen dat de goedgekeurde wijzigingen effectief leiden tot een correctere weergave van de conjunctuur in de lidstaten. Één voorbeeld waar de huidige methode kan worden verbeterd, betreft de procycliciteit ervan waar het gaat om de meting van de structurele werkloosheid in de lidstaten.

Hoewel ook de comités van de Raad bij de technische werkzaamheden worden betrokken, is alleen de Europese Commissie verantwoordelijk voor het up-to-date en accuraat houden van de SGP-beoordelingsmethodologie. Deze technische werkzaamheden doen absoluut geen afbreuk aan de rol van het Europees Parlement en de Raad als medewetgevers inzake het economische governance.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010943/13

to the Commission

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Changes to the methodology for calculating Member States' structural deficits

On 19 September 2013, the Wall Street Journal and several other news sources reported that EU officials in the Commission’s Output Gaps Working Group had tentatively approved a change in the methodology used to calculate Member States’ structural deficits (58). The Wall Street Journal also reported that the new methodology was expected to have a very substantial impact on the deficits of some Member States, for example halving Spain’s estimated structural deficit for this year and cutting it by two thirds in 2014.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the Wall Street Journal article?

2.

Does the Commission agree that technical changes to the methodologies underpinning the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) which could have a significant impact require the full involvement not only of Member State officials, but also of the European Parliament in its capacity as co‐legislator of the revised SGP (‘six-pack’)? If not, why not?

3.

Does the Commission agree that technical changes on this scale are a risk to the credibility of the revised SGP?

4.

Can the Commission clarify the reasons for the revision of the current methodology?

5.

Can the Commission publish details of the estimated impact of the revised methodology on the current output gaps and deficits of all Member States?

6.

Can the Commission clarify the expected impact of the revised methodology on the policy recommendations that various Member States have received under the Excessive Deficit Procedure?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

To date, no changes were ‘tentatively approved’ to revise the methodology for calculating Member State's structural deficits — the existing methodology has not been changed.

Commission services and Council committees regularly carry out technical work that underpins the SGP assessment methodology. Changes to existing methods are considered to ensure that implementation of the SGP accurately reflects the structural and cyclical economic situation in the Member States, and to facilitate effective monitoring of the implementation. Usually, this involves reviews of the recent economic literature on relevant issues, dry-runs and sensitivity analyses and other technical work to ensure that the changes adopted would indeed result in a more accurate reflection of the cyclical positions of Member States. One example where the current methodology could be improved is the method's pro-cyclicality, most notably with respect to how the method measures structural unemployment rates in the Member States.

While the Council committees are associated with the technical work, the European Commission is solely responsible to ensure that the SGP assessment methodology is up-to-date and robust. This technical work absolutely does not undermine the role of the European Parliament and the Council as co-legislators on economic governance.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010944/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Prospecciones petrolíferas próximas a Canarias autorizadas por Marruecos en posibles aguas del Sáhara Occidental

Debido a las prospecciones petrolíferas que la empresa española REPSOL está realizando en aguas territoriales de las Islas Canarias, se han comenzado a realizar prospecciones petrolíferas también en las vecinas aguas territoriales del Reino de Marruecos.

Dichas prospecciones, autorizadas por el Gobierno marroquí, se producen en las cercanías de las aguas territoriales pertenecientes al Sáhara Occidental. La orientación tradicional del Reino de Marruecos de desoír a la comunidad internacional y a las Naciones Unidas y de apropiarse ilegalmente del territorio del Sáhara Occidental, así como de su espacio marítimo, hace sospechar que exceda su soberanía en caso de un yacimiento en aguas cercanas.

Dichas prospecciones, en caso de considerarse viables y de que comenzara la explotación de los yacimientos, supondrían una serie de riesgos ambientales para los ecosistemas marítimos de las Islas Canarias. Estos ecosistemas de una gran importancia se encontrarían gravemente amenazados, puesto que la legislación ambiental marroquí, así como su aplicación, no garantizan los mismos estándares de seguridad que ofrece la legislación europea.

¿Conoce la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante las citadas prospecciones realizadas en dicha zona?

¿Puede asegurar que ninguna de las prospecciones petrolíferas que se están realizando con la autorización de Marruecos se encuentra el espacio marítimo del Sáhara Occidental?

En caso de existir prospecciones en el espacio marítimo del Sáhara Occidental, ¿qué medidas planteará para que Marruecos detenga dichas prospecciones ilegales?

En caso de desarrollarse explotaciones en dicho espacio marítimo, ¿qué medidas planteará para que Marruecos detenga la explotación de unos recursos naturales que no le pertenecen?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010945/13

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Prospecciones petrolíferas próximas a Canarias autorizadas por Marruecos: aspectos ambientales

Debido a las prospecciones petrolíferas que la empresa española REPSOL está realizando en aguas territoriales de las Islas Canarias, se han comenzado a realizar prospecciones petrolíferas también en las vecinas aguas territoriales del Reino de Marruecos.

Dichas prospecciones, autorizadas por el Gobierno marroquí, se producen en las cercanías de las aguas territoriales pertenecientes al Sáhara Occidental. La orientación tradicional del Reino de Marruecos de desoír a la comunidad internacional y las Naciones Unidas y de apropiarse ilegalmente del territorio del Sáhara Occidental, así como su espacio marítimo, hace sospechar que exceda su soberanía en caso de que se halle un yacimiento en aguas cercanas.

Dichas prospecciones, en caso de considerarse viables y de que comenzara la explotación de los yacimientos, conllevarían una serie de riesgos ambientales para los ecosistemas marítimos de las Islas Canarias. Estos ecosistemas de una gran importancia se encontrarían gravemente amenazados puesto que la legislación ambiental marroquí, así como su implementación, no garantiza los mismos niveles de seguridad que prevé la legislación europea.

Ante lo expuesto, ¿está al tanto la Comisión de las citadas prospecciones realizadas en dicha zona?

¿Posee información la Comisión sobre la ubicación de dichas prospecciones por Marruecos, y puede afirmar que estas no se extenderán ilegalmente a aguas territoriales del Sáhara Occidental?

¿Posee elementos la Comisión como para afirmar que, en caso de iniciarse las explotaciones, la legislación ambiental de Marruecos en el ámbito petrolífero protegería suficientemente al ecosistema marino, evitando que los riesgos potenciales que acarrea dicha actividad se extendieran también a las Islas Canarias?

Respuesta conjunta de la alta representante y vicepresidenta Ashton en nombre de la Comisión

(20 de noviembre de 2013)

La UE está al corriente de las actividades de prospección petrolífera mencionadas por Su Señoría.

Según las Naciones Unidas, el Sáhara Occidental es un territorio no autónomo objeto de disputa administrado de facto por Marruecos. La prospección de recursos minerales en el mar frente a las costas del Sáhara Occidental no está prohibida como tal por la Carta de las Naciones Unidas (véase el documento S/2002/161 de 12 de febrero de 2002).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010944/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Oil exploration near the Canary Islands, authorised by Morocco, possibly encroaching on Western Sahara waters

As a result of the oil exploration that the Spanish company REPSOL is conducting in territorial waters of the Canary Islands, oil exploration has also begun in the adjacent territorial waters of the Kingdom of Morocco.

This exploration, authorised by the Moroccan Government, is occurring in the vicinity of the territorial waters of the Western Sahara. The Kingdom of Morocco’s long-standing habit of turning a deaf ear to the international community and the United Nations, and of illegally appropriating the territory and the maritime space of the Western Sahara, leads to the suspicion that it would exceed the bounds of its sovereignty if an oilfield were discovered in nearby waters.

This exploration, if it is deemed feasible and exploitation of the oilfields begins, would pose a series of environmental risks to the maritime ecosystems of the Canary Islands. These very important ecosystems would be seriously threatened, since Moroccan environmental legislation and its enforcement do not ensure the same safety standards that EU legislation offers.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of the abovementioned exploration being conducted in this area?

Can she confirm that none of the oil exploration that is being conducted with Morocco’s authorisation is occurring in the maritime space of the Western Sahara?

If exploration is occurring in the maritime space of the Western Sahara, what measures will she put forward to force Morocco to halt such illegal exploration?

If exploitation is occurring in this maritime space, what measures will she put forward to force Morocco to halt the exploitation of natural resources that do not belong to it?

Question for written answer E-010945/13

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Oil exploration near the Canary Islands authorised by Morocco: environmental aspects

As a result of the oil exploration that the Spanish company REPSOL is conducting in territorial waters of the Canary Islands, oil exploration has also begun in the adjacent territorial waters of the Kingdom of Morocco.

This exploration, authorised by the Moroccan Government, is occurring in the vicinity of the territorial waters of the Western Sahara. The Kingdom of Morocco’s long-standing habit of turning a deaf ear to the international community and the United Nations, and of illegally appropriating the territory and the maritime space of the Western Sahara, leads to the suspicion that it would exceed the bounds of its sovereignty if an oilfield were found in nearby waters.

This exploration, if it is deemed feasible and exploitation of the oilfields begins, would present a series of environmental risks to the maritime ecosystems of the Canary Islands. These very important ecosystems would be seriously threatened, since Moroccan environmental legislation and its implementation do not ensure the same levels of safety provided for in EU legislation.

In view of this information, is the Commission keeping abreast of the abovementioned exploration being conducted in this area?

Does the Commission have information about the location of this exploration by Morocco, and can it confirm that it will not extend illegally into the territorial waters of the Western Sahara?

Does the Commission have a basis to confirm that, if exploitation is begun, Morocco’s environmental legislation on oil will sufficiently protect the marine ecosystem, preventing the potential risks that such exploitation entails from threatening the Canary Islands as well?

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

(20 November 2013)

The EU is aware of the oil exploration activities mentioned by the Honourable Member of the EP.

According to United Nations, the Western Sahara is a disputed Non-Self‐ Governing Territory under de facto Moroccan administration. The exploration of mineral resources in areas offshore Western Sahara is not as such forbidden by the UN Charter (see document S/2002/161 of February 12, 2002).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010946/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Chinesische Investoren am europäischen Energiemarkt

1.

Wie bewertet die Kommission das Bestreben des größten chinesischen Energiekonzerns State Grid, offenbar umfangreiche Investitionen auf dem deutschen Energiemarkt zu tätigen?

2.

Welche Auswirkungen kann es nach Ansicht der Kommission auf Wirtschaft, Arbeitsplätze, Versorgungssicherheit und in politischer Hinsicht haben, wenn beispielsweise die State Grid tatsächlich Stromnetz-Betreiber in Deutschland wird und dieser Trend sich fortsetzt?

Antwort von Herrn Oettinger im Namen der Kommission

(19. November 2013)

Der Kommission ist bekannt, dass in jüngsten Presseartikeln von einem möglichen Interesse des chinesischen Unternehmens „State Grid of China“ an Investitionen in den deutschen Energiesektor die Rede ist, ihr liegen jedoch keine Informationen über konkrete Investitionspläne vor. Es sei daran erinnert, dass das Unternehmen „State Grid of China“ bereits einen Anteil von 25 % an dem portugiesischen Unternehmen REN-Redes Energéticas Nacionais SA hält. Ausländische Investitionen in den europäischen Energiesektor, auch in den Übertragungs‐ und Verteilungssektor, sind rechtlich möglich und werden begrüßt, sofern bestimmte Bedingungen eingehalten werden. So sehen die EU-Rechtsvorschriften für den Energiebinnenmarkt vor, dass in Fällen, in denen ein Investor aus einem Drittland die Kontrolle über ein Übertragungsnetz oder einen Übertragungsnetzbetreiber in der EU erwirbt, der betreffende Mitgliedstaat in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kommission dafür Sorge tragen muss, dass die Energieversorgungssicherheit der EU nicht gefährdet wird.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010946/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Chinese investors on the European energy market

1.

What is the Commission’s view of the apparent attempt by the largest Chinese energy company State Grid to make extensive investments on the German energy market?

2.

In its opinion, what impact might it have on commerce, jobs and the security of supply, and also politically, if, for example, the State Grid actually became an electricity network operator in Germany and this trend continued?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(19 November 2013)

The Commission noted that recent press articles mentioned a possible interest of the Chinese company ‘State Grid of China’ to invest in the energy sector in Germany, but does not have information about specific investment plans. It is recalled that ‘State Grid of China’ already owns a 25% stake in the Portuguese company REN-Redes Energéticas Nacionais SA. Foreign investments in the European energy sector, including in the electricity transmission and distribution sectors, are legally possible and welcome provided they respect certain conditions For instance, the EU internal energy market legislation foresees that, where a third country investor acquires control over an electricity transmission system or a transmission system operator in the EU, the Member State concerned in cooperation with the Commission shall ensure that it will not put at risk security of energy supply to the EU.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010947/13

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Handelsbeziehungen mit China

China kauft oder pachtet mehr und mehr Produktionsflächen in vielen verschiedenen Ländern der Erde, um den eigenen Bedarf zu decken, zuletzt in Osteuropa. Währenddessen setzen sich EU-Abgeordnete weiter für faire Handelsbeziehungen mit China ein.

1.

Wie weit ist die Reform der Handelsbeziehungen zwischen der EU und China, wie sie in einer im Mai 2012 angenommenen Entschließung gefordert wurde, mittlerweile fortgeschritten?

1.1 Welche konkreten Maßnahmen sind hinsichtlich der Verbesserung der Transparenz ergriffen worden?

1.2 Wie wurde oder wird der Stand ausländischer Unternehmen am chinesischen Markt bewertet, und wie kann er verbessert werden?

1.3 Auf welchen Ebenen und wie wurden die komplexen Tarifstrukturen in der Wirtschaft bis jetzt aufgearbeitet und optimiert?

2.

Wie wird die Europäische Union mit dem zunehmenden Konflikt zwischen der Sorge der Bürgerinnen und Bürger über den steigenden Einfluss der chinesischen Wirtschaft in Europa und den tiefgreifenden Handelsbeziehungen zwischen beiden Partnern umgehen? Kann die Kommission konkrete Strategien benennen?

Antwort von Herrn De Gucht im Namen der Kommission

(25. November 2013)

Die EU hat sich zu offenen Handelsbeziehungen mit China verpflichtet. Die Strategie, den fairen Wettbewerb zu unterstützen, aber gleichzeitig darauf zu beharren, dass China gemäß international vereinbarten Regeln Handel treibt, die Rechte an geistigem Eigentum (IPR) respektiert und seine Verpflichtungen gegenüber der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) erfüllt, ist das Leitprinzip der Handelspolitik der EU gegenüber China.

In puncto Transparenz hat sich die Bilanz Chinas verbessert. Aber die EU drängt weiterhin darauf, dass China die Interessenträger über alle Entwürfe von Gesetzen und Regelungen mit Auswirkungen auf den Handel vor deren Annahme unterrichtet und diesbezüglich konsultiert. Diese Themen wurden zuletzt am 24. Oktober 2013 beim Wirtschafts‐ und Handelsdialog auf hoher Ebene angeschnitten. Im Rahmen der WTO hat die EU China ebenfalls aufgefordert, seinen Verpflichtungen zur Notifizierung von Subventionen nachzukommen.

Bei der Festlegung ihrer Handelspolitik konsultiert die Kommission alle beteiligten Akteure, darunter die in China tätigen europäischen Unternehmen (59).

Die Zolltarifstruktur Chinas steht im Einklang mit den Verpflichtungen, die das Land bei seinem Beitritt zur WTO eingegangen ist. In Ermangelung eines multilateralen Handelsabkommens wären etwaige Änderungen des Zolltarifs das Ergebnis einseitiger Entscheidungen Chinas. Die EU kann sich zwar dafür aussprechen, hat jedoch hier keine Handhabe.

Mehr Wettbewerb mit China kann viele Herausforderungen mit sich bringen. Aber der Markt Chinas und die dortige rasche Entwicklung der Volkswirtschaft bieten nach wie vor Chancen und erhebliches Potenzial für eine weitere Ausweitung des Handels und der Investitionstätigkeit. Die Entscheidung, während des Gipfeltreffens zwischen der EU und China im November 2013 Verhandlungen über ein bilaterales Investitionsabkommen einzuleiten, ist eine wichtige Initiative zur Förderung bilateraler Investitionen durch Transparenz, Rechtssicherheit und Marktzugang für Investoren beider Seiten. Dies beinhaltet auch die Botschaft, dass eine stärkere Beteiligung und gegenseitige Öffnung im Interesse beider Seiten liegt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010947/13

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Trade relations with China

China is buying and leasing more and more production facilities in a number of different countries, most recently in Eastern Europe, in order to meet its own demand. In the meanwhile, MEPs remain committed to establishing fair trade relations with China.

1.

What progress has been made on reforming trade relations between the EU and China, as called for in a resolution adopted in May 2012?

1.1 What specific measures have been taken to increase transparency?

1.2 What was or is the assessment of the position of foreign companies on the Chinese market and how can it be improved?

1.3 On what levels and in what ways have the complex tariff structures in the economy been revised and optimised to date?

2.

How will the European Union handle the growing conflict between the citizens’ concern about the increasing influence of the Chinese economy in Europe and the far-reaching trade relations between the two partners? Can the Commission point to any specific strategies in this area?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

The EU is committed to open trade relations with China. This strategy of supporting fair competition while being firm that China trades in accordance with internationally agreed rules, respects Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and meets its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations has been the guiding principle of the EU's trade policy with China.

China's track record on transparency is improving. But the EU continues to urge China to notify and consult stakeholders on all drafts laws and regulations that have an impact on trade before their adoption. Most recently, these issues were raised at the High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue on 24 October 2013. In the WTO the EU has also urged China to comply with its subsidy notification commitments.

In setting out trade policy the Commission consults all stakeholders involved, including European business present in China (60).

China's tariff structure is in accordance with the commitments it undertook upon accession to the WTO. In the absence of a multilateral trade agreement, any tariffs changes would be the result of unilateral decisions by China. Whilst the EU can encourage this, it has no leverage.

Increased competition with China may pose many challenges. But China's market and rapid development continues to offer opportunities, with significant potential for further expanding trade and investment. The decision to launch negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement during the EU-China Summit in November 2013 is an important initiative that aims to promote bilateral investment by providing transparency, legal certainty, and market access to investors from both sides. It will also send a message that closer engagement and reciprocal opening is in the best interest for both sides.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010948/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Διαβούλευση Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής και Ελλάδας για τις ναυτιλιακές εταιρείες

Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες υπάρχει αλληλογραφία μεταξύ της Γενικής Διεύθυνσης Ανταγωνισμού της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής και των ελληνικών αρχών σχετικά με το φορολογικό καθεστώς των ναυτιλιακών εταιρειών που εδρεύουν στην Ελλάδα.

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Διεξάγει έρευνες η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και, αν ναι, ποιο είναι το αντικείμενό τους; Υπάρχουν «ενδείξεις» για προνομιακή μεταχείριση των ναυτιλιακών εταιρειών που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Ελλάδα;

Ποια είναι η πορεία των ερευνών που τυχόν διεξάγει η Επιτροπή για το φορολογικό καθεστώς των ναυτιλιακών εταιρειών στην Ελλάδα;

Απάντηση του κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(22 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Η Επιτροπή έχει ανταλλάξει αλληλογραφία με τις ελληνικές αρχές σχετικά με τους κανόνες φορολόγησης που εφαρμόζονται στις ελληνικές ναυτιλιακές εταιρείες.

Ωστόσο, στο παρόν στάδιο, δεν έχει λάβει θέση όσον αφορά τη συμμόρφωση των εν λόγω φορολογικών κανόνων με τους κανόνες της ΕΕ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010948/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Consultation between European Commission and Greece on shipping companies

I understand that correspondence has been exchanged between the European Commission Directorate General for Competition and the Greek authorities concerning the tax status of shipping companies registered in Greece.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

Is the European Commission conducting enquiries and, if so, what is their subject matter? Are there any ‘signs’ of preferential treatment for shipping companies trading in Greece?

What progress has been made in any enquiries being conducted by the Commission into the tax status of shipping companies in Greece?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(22 November 2013)

The Commission has exchanged correspondence with the Greek authorities regarding the taxation rules applicable to the Greek shipping companies.

Nevertheless, at this stage, no position has been taken regarding the compliance of these taxation rules with EU rules.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010949/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Ενιαίος Εποπτικός Μηχανισμός στην Ευρωζώνη

Σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής στις 12.9.2012 (Memo — Commission proposes a package for banking supervision in the Eurozone) για την Τραπεζική Ένωση, ο Ενιαίος Εποπτικός Μηχανισμός «θα καλύπτει όλες τις τράπεζες (περίπου 6 000) της ζώνης του Ευρώ. Παρόλο που οι μεγάλες συστημικές τράπεζες βρίσκονται στην καρδιά του ευρωπαϊκού εποπτικού πλαισίου, η πρόσφατη εμπειρία δείχνει ότι οι σχετικά μικρότερες τράπεζες μπορούν επίσης να απειλήσουν τη σταθερότητα του χρηματοοικονομικού συστήματος». Ωστόσο, λίγους μήνες αργότερα, σε παρόμοια ανακοίνωσή της η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή (10.7.2013, A Comprehensive EU Response to the Financial Crisis), δηλώνει ότι πλέον ο Ενιαίος Εποπτικός Μηχανισμός θα αναλάβει όσες τράπεζες έχουν ενεργητικό άνω των 30 δις ευρώ ή αποτελούν το 20% του ΑΕΠ της χώρας στην οποία ανήκουν.

Με δεδομένα τα παραπάνω, αλλά και τις «πρόσφατες εμπειρίες» της χρηματοπιστωτικής κρίσης, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Για ποιους λόγους άλλαξε το εύρος της εποπτείας που θα αναλάβει η ΕΚΤ μέσω του Ενιαίου Εποπτικού Μηχανισμού; Υπήρξαν διαφωνίες από κράτη μέλη που εκφράστηκαν στο Συμβούλιο της ΕΕ; Αν ναι, από ποιες χώρες;

Μπορεί να αναφέρει ποια τραπεζικά ιδρύματα της Γερμανίας εξαιρούνται από την εποπτική ομπρέλα της ΕΚΤ;

Οι έλεγχοι ποιότητας των στοιχείων του ενεργητικού (Asset Quality Review) που θα διενεργήσει η ΕΚΤ κατά το προσεχές διάστημα θα αφορούν όλες τις τράπεζες της Ευρωζώνης, ανεξάρτητα από το μέγεθός τους; Τι προβλέπεται σε περίπτωση που ο έλεγχος της ΕΚΤ δείξει ότι μια τράπεζα είναι υπο-κεφαλαιοποιημένη;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(28 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Ο κανονισμός (ΕΕ) αριθ. 1024/2013 του Συμβουλίου για την ανάθεση ειδικών καθηκόντων στην ΕΚΤ σχετικά με τις πολιτικές που αφορούν την προληπτική εποπτεία των πιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων (61) αναθέτει στην ΕΚΤ σημαντικά εποπτικά καθήκοντα όσον αφορά όλα τα πιστωτικά ιδρύματα της ζώνης του ευρώ και τα συμμετέχοντα κράτη μέλη. Η ΕΚΤ θα είναι ιδιαιτέρως υπεύθυνη για την άμεση εποπτεία των τραπεζών με περιουσιακά στοιχεία άνω των 30 δισεκατομμυρίων ευρώ ή που αντιπροσωπεύουν τουλάχιστον το 20% του ΑΕΠ της χώρας καταγωγής τους. Οι εθνικές εποπτικές αρχές θα είναι υπεύθυνες για την εποπτεία λιγότερο σημαντικών τραπεζών. Η ΕΚΤ δύναται ανά πάσα στιγμή να αποφασίσει την άμεση εποπτεία ενός ή περισσότερων πιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων για να διασφαλιστεί η συνεπής εφαρμογή των εποπτικών προτύπων. Το έργο των εθνικών εποπτικών αρχών ενσωματώνεται στον ενιαίο εποπτικό μηχανισμό: δηλαδή η ΕΚΤ θα απευθύνει γενικές οδηγίες στις εθνικές εποπτικές αρχές, και οι αρχές αυτές θα έχουν την υποχρέωση να κοινοποιούν στην ΕΚΤ τις αποφάσεις που λαμβάνουν οι οποίες έχουν σημαντικό αντίκτυπο.

Ο κανονισμός για τον ενιαίο εποπτικό μηχανισμό απαιτεί από την ΕΚΤ να αναπτύξει ένα πλαίσιο για τις πρακτικές ρυθμίσεις του μηχανισμού αυτού. Η ΕΚΤ καταρτίζει, επί του παρόντος, το εν λόγω πλαίσιο.

Στις 23 Οκτωβρίου 2013, η ΕΚΤ παρέσχε λεπτομερείς πληροφορίες σχετικά με τη συνολική αξιολόγηση που πρέπει να πραγματοποιήσει σύμφωνα με τον κανονισμό για τον ενιαίο εποπτικό μηχανισμό. Η συνολική αξιολόγηση θα περιλαμβάνει αξιολόγηση κινδύνου από άποψη εποπτείας, έλεγχο της ποιότητας των στοιχείων του ενεργητικού (AQR) και έλεγχο προσομοίωσης ακραίων καταστάσεων. Θα καλύψει 128 τράπεζες που πιθανότατα να υπόκειται στην άμεση εποπτεία της ΕΚΤ. Ο οριστικοποιημένος κατάλογος των τραπεζών θα δημοσιευθεί το 2014.

Αν μετά τον έλεγχο της ποιότητας των στοιχείων του ενεργητικού διαπιστωθούν ελλείψεις, αυτές θα πρέπει σε πρώτο στάδιο να καλυφθούν από ιδιωτικά κεφάλαια, όπως μέσω μηχανισμού διάσωσης με ίδια μέσα/επιμερισμού επιβαρύνσεων, πριν γίνει προσφυγή σε (εθνικά και ευρωπαϊκά) δίκτυα ασφαλείας σύμφωνα με τις επικαιροποιημένες κατευθυντήριες γραμμές για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010949/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Single supervisory mechanism in the euro area

On 12 September 2012, the Commission issued a statement regarding the Banking Union (Memo — Commission proposes a package for banking supervision in the euro area) to the effect that ‘the single supervisory mechanism will cover all (approximately 6,000) banks in the euro area. Although large banks of systemic importance are at the heart of the European supervisory framework, recent experience shows that relatively smaller banks can also pose a threat to financial stability’. However, a few months later, it issued a further statement dated 10 July 2013 and entitled ‘A Comprehensive EU Response to the Financial Crisis’, indicating that the single supervisory mechanism will apply to banks having assets of more than EUR 30 billion or constituting at least 20% of their home country's GDP.

In view of this and given ‘recent experiences’ of the financial crisis:

What made the Commission decide to modify the scope of the ECB's remit under the single supervisory mechanism? Did any Member States express objections to this in Council and, if so, which?

Which German banks fall outside the scope of ECB supervision?

Will the forthcoming ECB asset quality review cover all banks in the euro area irrespective of size? What action will be taken should it emerge from ECB investigations that a bank is undercapitalised?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(28 November 2013)

Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 conferring specific tasks on the ECB concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions (62) entrusts the ECB with key supervisory tasks for all credit institutions in the Euro area and in participating Member States. The ECB will particularly be responsible for the direct supervision of banks with assets of more than EUR 30 billion or constituting at least 20% of their home country's GDP. National supervisors will have responsibilities for less significant banks. The ECB may at any moment decide to directly supervise one or more credit institutions to ensure consistent application of supervisory standards. The work of national supervisors is integrated into the SSM: e.g, the ECB will send general instructions to national supervisors, and national supervisors have a duty to notify the ECB of supervisory decisions of material consequence.

The SSM Regulation requires the ECB to develop a framework for the practical arrangements of the SSM. The ECB is currently developing this framework.

On 23 October 2013 the ECB provided detailed information on the comprehensive assessment that it has to carry out according to the SSM regulation. The comprehensive assessment will consist of a supervisory risk assessment, an Asset Quality Review (AQR) and a stress test. It will cover 128 banks that will most likely be subject to direct ECB supervision. A finalised list of banks will be published in 2014.

Should the AQR reveal capital shortcomings, these will need to be closed in first instance by private funds, including bail-in/burden sharing, before having recourse to (national and European) backstops in line with the updated state aid guidelines.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010950/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Θεσμικές παρεμβάσεις σε συνδικαλιστικές ενώσεις στην Ελλάδα

Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, η τρόικα (Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, Ευρωπαϊκή Κεντρική Τράπεζα και Διεθνές Νομισματικό Ταμείο) έχει απαιτήσει από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση συγκεκριμένες αλλαγές στον εργασιακό και συνδικαλιστικό νόμο. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, η τρόικα και η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή φαίνονται να ζητούν από τις ελληνικές αρχές τον περιορισμό του ρόλου που διαδραματίζουν τα ελληνικά συνδικάτα, καθώς επίσης την εισαγωγή συγκεκριμένης ρύθμισης με την οποία μια απεργία θα κρίνεται παράνομη εάν δεν έχει συμφωνήσει το 51% του συνόλου των εργαζομένων.

Με δεδομένα τα παραπάνω, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Υπάρχουν απαιτήσεις από την πλευρά της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής και της τρόικα προς την ελληνική κυβέρνηση για αλλαγές στο θεσμικό και νομικό πλαίσιο του συνδικαλισμού στην Ελλάδα; Έχει τεθεί το θέμα θεσμικών παρεμβάσεων σχετικά με τις εκλογές στους εργασιακούς χώρους και στις συνδικαλιστικές ενώσεις;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(12 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Η Επιτροπή, μαζί με την ΕΚΤ και το ΔΝΤ, συμμετέχει σε τακτικό διάλογο πολιτικής με τις ελληνικές αρχές σχετικά με ευρύ φάσμα θεμάτων που αφορούν την αγορά εργασίας. Ωστόσο, τα ζητήματα που ανέφερε το Αξιότιμο Μέλος δεν αποτελούν μέρος των όρων πολιτικής που συμφωνήθηκαν μεταξύ της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης, του ΔΝΤ, της ΕΚΤ και της Επιτροπής εκ μέρους των κρατών μελών της ζώνης του ευρώ στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος οικονομικής προσαρμογής για την Ελλάδα.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010950/13

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Institutional intervention in trades union in Greece

I understand that the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) has demanded that the Greek Government make specific amendments to labour and trade union legislation. The Troika and the European Commission appear to be asking for the Greek authorities to limit the role played by Greek trades union and to adopt a specific regulation banning strikes, unless they are agreed by 51% of all workers.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

Have the European Commission and Troika demanded that the Greek Government amend the institutional and legal framework governing trades union in Greece? Has the question of institutional intervention in elections in the workplace and in trades union been raised?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(12 November 2013)

The Commission together with the ECB and the IMF is engaged in a regular policy dialogue with the Greek authorities on a broad range of labour market issues. However, the subjects mentioned by the Honourable Member are not part of the policy conditionality agreed between the Greek Government, the IMF, the ECB and the Commission on behalf of the euro area Member States in the context of the economic adjustment programme for Greece.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-010951/13

do Komisji (Wiceprzewodniczącej/Wysokiej Przedstawiciel)

Krzysztof Lisek (PPE) oraz Paweł Zalewski (PPE)

(26 września 2013 r.)

Przedmiot: Wiceprzewodnicząca/Wysoka Przedstawiciel – stosunki z Iranem – przyszłość?

Ponieważ kwestia Iranu to od lat jedna z najtrudniejszych kwestii politycznych, z jakimi boryka się UE, pragnę dowiedzieć się, jaka jest strategia ESDZ w odniesieniu do tego kraju.

Iran ma bez wątpienia kluczowe znaczenie w regionie, zarówno pod względem politycznym, jak i gospodarczym. Państwo to było również źródłem poważnych problemów, czego dowodzi jego agresywna polityka zagraniczna, program jądrowy, nieustanne naruszanie praw człowieka w tym kraju, a także przemyt narkotyków. Aby móc wywrzeć pozytywny wpływ na politykę Iranu oraz jego „zachowanie” w tej ważnej części świata, potrzebujemy skutecznego instrumentu, organu operacyjnego, który mógłby składać sprawozdania, pełnić funkcje doradcze, a być może nawet wywierać wpływ na miejscu. Mając na uwadze, że większość państw członkowskich UE posiada misje dyplomatyczne w Teheranie oraz że w Islamskiej Republice Iranu nie ma już delegacji UE, wskazane i godne polecenia wydaje się być nawiązanie jakichś stosunków dyplomatycznych z tym krajem. Nie powinno się ich postrzegać jako nagrodę powiązaną z działaniami aktualnie podejmowanymi przez reżim irański, ale jako narzędzie dyplomatyczne, z którego można korzystać zawsze wówczas, gdy pojawiają się ważne kwestie, w celu kształtowania rozwoju sytuacji. Stałe przedstawicielstwo w tym kraju znacznie pomogłoby UE wywierać pozytywny wpływ na kluczowe dziedziny będące źródłem niepokoju, takie jak irański program jądrowy, jego polityka zagraniczna w regionie, a także poszanowanie praw człowieka.

Czy ESDZ planuje zatem podjąć w najbliższej przyszłości działania w kierunku stworzenia stałego przedstawicielstwa w Teheranie, które posiadałoby jasno określony mandat umożliwiający mu reakcję na pojawiające się problemy? Jakie narzędzia planuje podjąć ESDZ lub jakie działania zastosować, aby zapewnić wspólną europejską obecność w Iranie?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez Wysoką Przedstawiciel i Wiceprzewodniczącą Komisji Catherine Ashton w imieniu Komisji

(21 listopada 2013 r.)

Jak szanowni Panowie Posłowie zauważyli, Islamska Republika Iranu odgrywa istotną rolę w regionie, a Unia Europejska bardzo dobrze zdaje sobie sprawę zarówno z regionalnego znaczenia kraju, jak i z potencjału dalszego rozwoju stosunków pomiędzy Unią Europejską a Iranem.

W 2001 r. rozpoczęto wysiłki na rzecz pogłębienia stosunków, obejmujące negocjacje w sprawie kompleksowej umowy o handlu i współpracy, stworzenia ram dialogu politycznego, a także ewentualnego otwarcia delegatury UE. Starania te jednak wstrzymano w 2003 r. ze względu na kwestie jądrowe.

Decyzja w sprawie otwarcia delegatury UE w Teheranie zostanie podjęta przy uwzględnieniu oceny politycznej, obejmującej w szczególności postęp w negocjacjach jądrowych grupy E3 + 3 z Iranem i, jak zawsze w takich przypadkach, ocenę ograniczeń budżetowych Europejskiej Służby Działań Zewnętrznych (ESDZ).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010951/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Krzysztof Lisek (PPE) and Paweł Zalewski (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Relations with Iran — what future?

Since Iran has for years been one of the most difficult EU foreign policy issues, I wish to ask about the EEAS’s strategy regarding that country.

Iran is undoubtedly one of the key players, both in political and economic terms, in its region. It has also been a source of major problems, as illustrated by its aggressive foreign policy, nuclear programme, ongoing human rights violations and drug trafficking. In order to be able to positively influence Iran’s policy and ‘behaviour’ in that crucial part of the world, we need an effective instrument, an operating body that can report, advise and possibly influence ‘on site’. Given that most EU Member States have diplomatic missions in Tehran and there is no longer any EU delegation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, it would seem advisable and recommendable to establish diplomatic relations of some sort with the country. It should in no way be seen as a reward, linked to the action currently being taken by the Iranian regime, but as a diplomatic tool that can be used whenever important issues arise in order to help shape developments. A permanent representation there would significantly help the EU to exert a positive influence on crucial areas of concern such as Iran’s nuclear programme, its foreign policy in the region and respect for human rights.

In the light of the above, does the EEAS plan to take any action in the very near future to establish a permanent representation in Tehran with a clearly defined mandate which would enable it to address the current problems? What are the tools/steps that the EEAS plans to implement/take in order to establish our common European presence in Iran?

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

(21 November 2013)

As noted by the Honourable Members, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important regional actor, and the European Union is very much aware of both the regional significance of the country and of the potential of further developing relations between the European Union and Iran.

Due to the nuclear issue, however, the efforts to deepen relations that began in 2001, and which included the negotiation of a comprehensive Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a framework for political dialogue and possibly the opening of an EU Delegation, have been on halt since 2003.

A decision on the opening of an EU Delegation in Tehran will be taken in the light of a political evaluation, notably including progress in the E3+3 nuclear negotiations with Iran, and as is always the case, an assessment of the budgetary constraints of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010953/13

a la Comisión

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial (S&D)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: 2013, Año Europeo de los Ciudadanos: «aprender» a ser ciudadanos

Dado que 2013 es el Año Europeo de los Ciudadanos y como tal se dedica a los derechos que otorga la ciudadanía europea, una gran parte de las actividades organizadas pretende educar a los ciudadanos en sus derechos y responsabilidades, incluida la idea de que la participación democrática y la ciudadanía activa son procesos de aprendizaje que se prolongan a lo largo y ancho de la vida.

Los jóvenes especialmente necesitan poder ejercer los derechos y obligaciones de carácter civil y político que les reconoce la sociedad democrática, y necesitan que se los anime a ello. Partiendo de este supuesto, ¿qué acciones tiene previstas la Comisión para llegar a todos los jóvenes europeos y asegurarse de que todos y cada uno de sus ciudadanos conocen los derechos que les otorga la ciudadanía europea? ¿Qué medidas deben adoptarse, en la opinión experta de la Comisión, en relación con la educación para la ciudadanía?

Respuesta de la Sra. Vassiliou en nombre de la Comisión

(25 de noviembre de 2013)

Las competencias cívicas son una prioridad del marco estratégico «Educación y Formación 2020». En 2012, Eurydice (63), red de información sobre la educación en Europa, publicó el informe La educación para la ciudadanía en Europa, y el Centro de Investigación sobre el Aprendizaje Permanente de la Comisión publicó el informe Civic Competence Composite Indicator («indicador combinado sobre competencia cívica») (64).

Asimismo, la Comisión, en el marco del programa Jean Monnet, apoya la enseñanza y la investigación en estudios sobre la integración europea en centros de enseñanza superior dentro y fuera de la UE. Desde 2011, este programa ha apoyado también la actividad «Conocer la UE en la escuela», con proyectos que transmiten conocimientos de la UE a estudiantes de secundaria.

La Comisión coopera con el Consejo de Europa en un proyecto educativo sobre ciudadanía y derechos humanos, que promueve la cooperación entre iniciativas regionales e internacionales. Estas instituciones también han puesto en marcha conjuntamente un proyecto experimental sobre educación para la ciudadanía democrática y el respeto de los derechos humanos.

En su campaña de información del Año Europeo de los Ciudadanos 2013, la Comisión también se ha dirigido a los jóvenes de toda la UE utilizando diversos instrumentos y canales. Entre ellos se incluyen las redes sociales, principalmente Facebook, un kit de información sobre los derechos de los jóvenes europeos en la EU (65), el concurso «generations@school» (66) y la participación en los actos de «Juventud en Movimiento» (67) en toda la UE para aumentar la sensibilización sobre cómo los jóvenes pueden sacar partido de sus derechos en la EU.

Por último, el programa «La Juventud en Acción» apoya cada año miles de proyectos dirigidos a los jóvenes a través de actividades cívicas informales.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010953/13

to the Commission

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: European Year of Citizens 2013 — ‘learning’ citizenship

Given that 2013 is the European Year of Citizens, which focuses on the rights conferred by EU citizenship, a large proportion of the activities organised are aimed at educating citizens about their rights and responsibilities, including the idea that democratic participation and active citizenship are lifelong and multifaceted learning processes.

Young people in particular need access to, and encouragement to exercise, the civil and political rights and duties recognised by democratic society. With that in mind, what is the Commission doing to comprehensively reach out to all young Europeans in order to ensure that every single citizen is educated about the rights that come with EU citizenship? What steps should be taken, in the Commission’s expert opinion, with regard to citizenship education?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

Civic competences are a priority in the ‘Education and Training 2020’ strategic framework. In 2012, Eurydice (68), the European education information network, released a report on ‘Citizenship education at schools in Europe’, and the Commission's Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning published the ‘Active citizenship competence composite indicator’ report (69).

Moreover, the Commission, under the Jean Monnet programme, supports teaching and research in European integration studies at higher education institutions inside and outside the EU. Since 2011 this programme has also supported the activity ‘Learning EU at School’, involving projects that provide EU knowledge to students in secondary education.

The Commission cooperates with the Council of Europe on a citizenship and human rights education project, which promotes cooperation among regional and international initiatives. These institutions also jointly launched a Pilot Project Scheme on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education.

In its communication campaign for the European Year of Citizens 2013, the Commission has also targeted young people across the EU using different tools and channels. These have included the social media, especially Facebook, a toolkit with information about EU rights for young Europeans (70), a competition ‘generations@school’ (71) and participation in ‘Youth on the Move’ events (72) across the EU to raise awareness about how young people can benefit from their EU rights.

Finally, the Youth in Action programme annually supports thousands of projects that target youths through non-formal citizenship activities.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010954/13

to the Commission

Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Gender equality and protection of rape victims in Greece

In my capacity as Women’s Rights Spokesperson for the ECR Group, I frequently receive letters from women who have been victims of ill-treatment, abuse or direct discrimination within the EU.

I recently received a troubling letter from two Canadian women who were living in Glyfada (Athens, Greece) last year. They contacted me to express their concern at the way they were treated after informing the local police that they had been drugged and then gang-raped. The women, who are in their early 20s, claim that the police dismissed their allegations, implied that they were to blame and had perhaps had too much to drink, and then suggested that they return the next day to complete the paperwork. No medical examination was carried out, and nor were the women advised as to how to go about finding healthcare.

Could the Commission offer some reassurance that the Greek Government is in the process of implementing Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission has no legal competence to intervene in individual criminal proceedings in cases of individual victims in Member States.

Indeed Directive 2012/29/EU provides for obligations for Member States to ensure that victims have ‘effective access to information’ and that this right applies from the first contact with the competent authority together with a guarantee that victims receive at least a written acknowledgment of their complaint. The directive also requires that, at a later stage of proceedings, specific protection measures based on individual assessments are in place for such vulnerable victims.

Since October 2012, when the Victims' Directive was adopted, the Commission has been developing a targeted strategy to assist Member States with the implementation.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-010956/13

à la Commission

Philippe de Villiers (EFD)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: Aide européenne pour la «transition démocratique» de la Tunisie

Le mardi 17 septembre 2013 à Tunis, Bernardino León, représentant spécial de l'Union européenne pour la région du Sud de la Méditerranée, a pressé les différentes forces politiques tunisiennes à conclure rapidement un accord politique avec l'Europe afin d'attirer les investissements et les partenariats en provenance de l'Europe.

Ces deux dernières années, l'Union européenne a octroyé 400 millions d'euros à la Tunisie pour l'aider dans sa «transition démocratique».

1.

Quelles ont été les garanties échangées avec la Tunisie lors du versement des 400 millions d'euros par la Commission?

2.

Ces garanties ont-elles été respectées?

Réponse donnée par M. Füle au nom de la Commission

(20 novembre 2013)

Entre 2011 et 2013, l'Union européenne a soutenu différents programmes en Tunisie et le montant global de toutes les interventions dépasse 400 millions d'euros.

Les principaux objectifs des programmes de l'Union européenne pendant cette période consistaient à: 1) promouvoir des réformes socio-économiques favorisant la mise en place de conditions propices à une croissance inclusive, 2) soutenir la transition démocratique, 3) renforcer les capacités des institutions et 4) renforcer le rôle de la société civile.

Ces programmes visent différents objectifs et résultats et comportent des conditions différentes en fonction des secteurs et des stratégies.

Par principe, les fonds sont attribués au moyen de procédures de mise en concurrence. Pendant la phase de mise en œuvre, la Commission examine en permanence les actions et évalue si les normes et critères pertinents sont respectés. Les fonds sont mis à disposition uniquement si les conditions correspondantes sont remplies. En outre, tous les projets font l'objet d'exercices de suivi annuels.

Le bon usage des fonds pour chaque contrat est garanti par des audits réguliers effectués par des sociétés d'audit certifiées. En outre, la Commission commande des évaluations indépendantes qui portent sur les résultats de chaque programme.

L'Honorable Parlementaire trouvera des informations plus détaillées sur les programmes de coopération à la page indiquée ci-dessous (73).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010956/13

to the Commission

Philippe de Villiers (EFD)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: EU aid for Tunisia's ‘democratic transition’

On Tuesday 17 September 2013 in Tunis, the EU’s Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region, Bernardino León, urged Tunisia’s various political powers to swiftly conclude a political agreement with the EU with the aim of attracting European investment and partnerships.

Over the last two years the European Union has granted Tunisia EUR 400 million to assist it in its ‘democratic transition’.

1.

What guarantees were exchanged with Tunisia when the EUR 400 million payment was made by the Commission?

2.

Have those guarantees been upheld?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

Between 2011 and 2013, the European Union supported different programmes in Tunisia and the global amount of all different interventions accounted for over EUR 400 million.

The main objectives of the EU programmes for the period were to 1) promote socioeconomic reforms boosting conditions for inclusive growth, 2) support the democratic transition, 3) strenghten the capacities of institutions and 4) reinforce the role of the civil society.

Programmes foresee diverse objectives and results, and different conditionalities are attached to programmes depending on sectors and strategies.

As a matter of principle, funds are contracted through competitive procedures. In the implementation phase the Commission constantly examines the actions and evaluates if the standards and criteria have been met. Funds are released only if conditionalities are met. Furthermore, all projects are subject to annual monitoring exercices.

The correct use of funds for each contract is ensured through regular audits by certified auditing companies. In addition, the Commission contracts independent evaluations of the performance of each programme.

The Honourable Member will find more detailed information on the cooperation programmes at the page indicated below. (74)

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-010957/13

adresată Comisiei

Minodora Cliveti (S&D)

(26 septembrie 2013)

Subiect: Strategiile naționale de integrare a romilor

În calitate de europarlamentar român și de raportor din umbră al raportului „Aspecte de gen ale cadrului UE pentru strategiile naționale de integrare a romilor”, vă solicit punctul de vedere cu privire la recentele declarații ale ministrului de interne francez, Manuel Valls, cu privire la romii din România care se găsesc pe teritoriul Franței.

Acesta a declarat recent: „este o iluzie să credem că problema romilor poate fi rezolvată numai prin integrarea lor” și că nu există altă soluție decât evacuarea taberelor și conducerea romilor la graniță. În fine, același ministru a declarat că „populațiile de romi au vocația să rămână în România sau să se întoarcă acolo”.

Având în vedere faptul că în 2011 Comisia a adoptat strategia europeană de integrare a romilor, iar în 2012 toate statele membre și-au prezentat programele naționale, Franța fiind unul dintre statele membre care și-a declarat susținerea și deschiderea față de acest demers, demarând o serie de proiecte vizând mai ales romii din România, este de neînțeles modul în care o autoritate franceză se exprimă față de acești cetățeni europeni.

Raportul francez subliniază caracterul transnațional al proiectelor de integrare a romilor, ceea ce duce, în mod direct, la necesitatea consultării Comisiei.

Răspuns dat de dna Reding în numele Comisiei

(20 noiembrie 2013)

Poziția oficială a guvernului francez, definită în orientările strategice convenite la reuniunea interministerială din 24 august 2012, în urma căreia a fost redactat documentul „Circulară cu privire la anticiparea și asistarea operațiunilor de evacuare a taberelor ilegale” din 26 august 2012, este în conformitate cu abordarea Comisiei. Această abordare are la bază două principii: pe de o parte, respectul față de cadrul legal european și național și, pe de altă parte, măsurile sociale proactive luate pentru a accelera integrarea romilor și pentru a îmbunătăți situația acestora în ceea ce privește educația, locul de muncă, sănătatea și locuința.

Comisia se află în dialog permanent cu punctul național de contact pentru integrarea romilor din Franța, desemnat oficial de către guvern ca fiind responsabil de coordonarea punerii în aplicare a strategiei naționale de integrare a romilor în Franța.

Cooperarea transnațională constituie un pas înainte promițător pentru a răspunde provocărilor legate de integrarea romilor la nivel local. În propunerea sa de recomandare a Consiliului cu privire la măsurile de integrare efectivă a romilor în statele membre, din 26 iunie 2013 (75), Comisia a făcut apel la statele membre să dezvolte și să participe la cooperarea transnațională la nivel național, regional sau local, pentru a oferi soluții la probleme legate de mobilitatea transfrontalieră a romilor în cadrul UE și pentru a sprijini învățarea reciprocă și multiplicarea bunelor practici.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010957/13

to the Commission

Minodora Cliveti (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: National strategies for Roma integration

As a Romanian MEP and shadow rapporteur for the report ‘Gender Aspects of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies,’ I am requesting your opinion on the recent statements from the French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, concerning the Roma on French territory.

Manuel Valls recently said, ‘It is illusory to think that the Roma issue can be solved solely via their integration’ and that the only solution is to empty the camps and repatriate the Roma population. The Minister also said that ‘the Roma population is meant to stay in Romania or go back there.’

In view of the fact that the Commission adopted the EU Strategy for Roma Integration in 2011, and that all Member States introduced their national programmes in 2012 launching a series of projects focusing on the Roma in Romania in particular, with France being one of the Member States to declare their support and openness to this approach, the manner in which a French authority figure is expressing himself towards these European citizens is incomprehensible.

The French report highlights the transnational nature of Roma integration projects, which leads directly to the need to consult the Commission.

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The official position of the French Government defined in the strategic orientations agreed upon at the inter-ministerial meeting on 24 August 2012, of which the ‘Circulaire sur l'anticipation et l'accompagnement des opérations d'évacutation des campements illicites’ of 26 August 2012 is a direct follow-up, is in line with the Commission's approach. This approach lies on two pillars: on the one hand, respect for the European and national legal framework, on the other hand, proactive social measures to step up Roma integration and their situation regarding education, employment, health and housing.

The Commission is in permanent dialogue with the French national Roma contact point officially nominated by the government as being in charge of coordinating the implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in France.

Transnational cooperation is a promising way forward to meet the challenges of Roma integration at the local level. In its Proposal for a Council Recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States of 26 June 2013 (76), the Commission has called on Member States to develop and participate in transnational cooperation at national, regional or local levels in order to provide solutions to problems related to cross-border mobility of Roma within the EU, and support mutual learning and multiplication of good practices.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-010958/13

adresată Comisiei

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(26 septembrie 2013)

Subiect: Presa locală

Criza cu care se confruntă Europa afectează puternic presa locală și regională din statele membre.

Un număr semnificativ de ziare locale sau posturi de radio și televiziune locale și regionale se confruntă cu dificultăți financiare serioase care le afectează activitatea și le îngreunează misiunea — cea de a informa publicul larg în legătură cu diferite aspecte ale măsurilor administrației locale, regionale, despre probleme ale cetățenilor și soluții la aceste probleme propuse de administrația locală și națională, precum și în legătură cu problematica europeană și politicile Uniunii din diverse domenii.

În plus, în perspectiva alegerilor pentru Parlamentul European de anul viitor, este nevoie de o informare permanentă și corectă a cetățenilor, cu precădere a celor din zona rurală, în legătură cu politicile europene și maniera în care reprezentanții cetățenilor — deputații europeni — acționează în interesul acestora.

Cum poate sprijini Comisia activitatea presei locale și regionale din statele membre pentru a permite respectarea principiului accesului liber al tuturor cetățenilor la informare corectă, mai ales în perspectiva alegerilor din 2014 pentru Parlamentul European?

Răspuns dat de dna Kroes în numele Comisiei

(31 octombrie 2013)

Diversitatea, libertatea și pluralismul mijloacelor de informare în masă regionale și locale sunt esențiale pentru drepturile cetățenilor, în special în contextul exercitării de către aceștia a dreptului la vot pentru alegerile europene. Angajamentul Uniunii Europene de a respecta libertatea și pluralismul mijloacelor de informare în masă, precum și dreptul la informare și libertatea de exprimare este consacrat în articolul 11 din Carta drepturilor fundamentale. Cu toate acestea, în conformitate cu articolul 51 alineatul (1) din Cartă, aceasta se aplică statelor membre numai atunci când acestea pun în aplicare dreptul Uniunii Europene.

Prin urmare, Comisia nu are competențe generală de a interveni în ceea ce privește mijloacele de informare în masă locale și regionale. Cu toate acestea, în scopul de a aduce politicile și evenimentele UE mai aproape de cetățeni, Comisia finanțează din decembrie 2012 rețelele de radio Euranet Plus. Această rețea paneuropeană reunește 13 posturi radio internaționale, naționale și regionale din 12 state membre ale UE. Euranet Plus difuzează programe în 12 limbi oficiale ale UE, abordând activitatea UE dintr-o perspectivă europeană, în condiții de independență editorială deplină. În prezent, Euronet Plus s-a angajat, printre altele, să asigure un spațiu important în programele sale pentru următoarele alegeri parlamentare.

În același timp, Comisia încearcă să asigure respectul pentru libertatea și pluralismul mijloacelor de informare în masă, în limitele competențelor sale. Aceasta reflectează în prezent asupra unor acțiuni posibile în urma consultării publice cu privire la raportul Grupului la nivel înalt pentru libertatea și pluralismul mijloacelor de informare în masă.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010958/13

to the Commission

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Local media

The crisis facing Europe is having a major impact upon local and regional media in Member States.

A significant number of local newspapers and local and regional radio and television stations are facing serious financial difficulties. This is affecting their activity and hindering them in their mandate to inform the general public about the various aspects of local and regional government measures, problems affecting citizens and the solutions that local and national government proposes, as well as European issues and EU policies across various domains.

Furthermore, with the prospect of European Parliament elections next year, citizens require ongoing and accurate information, especially those in rural areas, regarding European policies and the way in which the citizens' representatives, the Members of the European Parliament, are acting in their interests.

How can the Commission support the activity of local and regional media in Member States so as to respect the principle of free access by all citizens to accurate information, particularly in the context of the European Parliament elections in 2014?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(31 October 2013)

Diversity, freedom and pluralism of regional and local media are crucial to citizens' rights, especially in the context of exercising their right to vote for the European elections. The European Union's commitment to respect freedom and pluralism of the media, as well as the right to information and freedom of expression is enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, according to its Article 51(1), the Charter applies to Member States only when they are implementing European Union law.

The Commission does therefore not have overall competence regarding local and regional media. Nevertheless, and with the aim of bringing EU policies and events closer to citizens, the Commission is funding since December 2012 the European radio networks Euranet Plus. This pan-European network brings together 13 international, national and regional radio stations from 12 EU Member States. Broadcasting in 12 official EU languages, Euranet Plus takes on EU affairs from a European perspective with full editorial independence. At present, it is committed, among other things, to providing an in-depth coverage of the next Parliamentary elections.

At the same time the Commission seeks to ensure respect for media freedom and pluralism within its competences. It is currently reflecting possible follow up to the public consultation on the report of the independent High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010959/13

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Proyecto de Plan Hidrológico de Cuenca del Júcar

La comarca de la Ribera del Júcar viene padeciendo desde hace más de veinte años problemas de excesos de nitratos y contaminación con plaguicidas de las aguas subterráneas que se captan para beber. Para paliar el problema, desde hace años se reclama una asignación de agua superficial del Júcar para uso de boca, primera prioridad que establece la Directiva Marco del Agua. Sin embargo, el artículo 28, apartado 1, del proyecto de Plan Hidrológico de Cuenca (en fase de exposición al público) no establece una asignación directa para la comarca sino una sustitución de recursos hídricos que corre a cargo de los ciudadanos a los que se les ha contaminado el agua. A otras zonas urbanas más alejadas de la cuenca, y sin contaminación, se les aumentan los recursos hídricos sin que hayan de pagar por dicha agua. En la actualidad se está presionando a los ayuntamientos para que firmen un convenio de intercambio de agua con los regantes, convenio gravoso para el contribuyente.

¿Considera la Comisión que la solución de pagar a los regantes los costes de sustitución en vez de conceder una asignación directa de agua respeta las prioridades de uso de la Directiva Marco del Agua?

¿Considera la Comisión que hacer que los afectados por la contaminación paguen dicha sustitución respeta el principio de «quien contamina paga»?

¿Va a tomar la Comisión alguna medida al respecto?

Respuesta del Sr. Potočnik en nombre de la Comisión

(13 de noviembre de 2013)

El artículo 9 de la Directiva Marco del Agua (77) dispone que los Estados miembros —teniendo en cuenta el principio de que quien contamina paga— garanticen una contribución adecuada de los diversos usos del agua a la recuperación de los costes de los servicios que se relacionen con ella.

La evaluación de los planes hidrológicos de cuenca realizada y publicada por la Comisión en 2012 (78) confirmó que es frecuente en la EU que no se recuperen los costes derivados de la contaminación difusa procedente de la agricultura. Es habitual, en su lugar, que esos costes sean trasladados por los suministradores de agua a los hogares y que estos deban pagar por la potabilización del agua. La Comisión está de acuerdo en que, cuando esto ocurre, es verdad que no se tiene debidamente en cuenta el principio de que quien contamina paga.

La Comisión está celebrando reuniones bilaterales con los Estados miembros para analizar juntos la evaluación a la que sometió sus planes en 2012 y para conocer cómo prevén responder a las recomendaciones que les hizo para que mejoraran la aplicación de la Directiva Marco del Agua, en general, y la de su artículo 9, en particular. A tal efecto, tal y como se anunció en el Plan del Agua de 2012, la Comisión está trabajando con los Estados miembros y con los interesados para elaborar en el marco de la Estrategia Común de Aplicación de esa Directiva un documento de orientación relativo a la recuperación de costes.

Hay que señalar, por último, que, en lo tocante al Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional y al Fondo de Cohesión dentro del marco financiero 2014-2020, el respeto de los requisitos que dispone el artículo 9 constituye una condición previa indispensable para que puedan ponerse a disposición del sector del agua los fondos necesarios.

La política de precios del agua tiene que ser comunicada en el contexto de los planes hidrológicos de cuenca. El Tribunal condenó a España (asunto C-403/11) por no haber adoptado ni comunicado a tiempo esos planes. La Comisión procederá a evaluar el plan del Júcar y los demás planes hidrológicos españoles tan pronto como sean adoptados y comunicados.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010959/13

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Draft Júcar Basin Hydrological Plan

For more than twenty years, the Ribera del Júcar region has suffered from problems with excessive nitrates and pesticide contamination in the ground water used for drinking. To alleviate the problem, calls have been made for years for an allocation of surface water from the Júcar for drinking, the first priority established in the Water Framework Directive. However, Article 28(1) of the draft Júcar Basin Hydrological Plan (in the public comment phase) does not establish a direct allocation for the region. Instead, it provides for a replacement of water resources, with the replacement cost borne by the citizens whose water has been contaminated. Water resources for other urban areas that are farther from the basin, and that have not been contaminated, are increased, without those areas being required to pay for the additional water resources. The municipalities are currently being pressured to sign a water exchange agreement — an agreement that is burdensome to taxpayers — with the irrigators.

Does the Commission take the view that the solution of paying replacement costs to the irrigators, instead of granting a direct allocation of water, respects the use priorities established in the Water Framework Directive?

Does the Commission take the view that making those affected by the contamination pay for such replacement respects the ‘polluter pays’ principle?

Will the Commission take any action in this regard?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(13 November 2013)

Art. 9 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (79) states that Member States shall ensure an adequate contribution of different water uses to the recovery of the costs of water services taking into account the polluter pays principle (PPP).

The assessment of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) performed by the Commission in 2012 confirmed that costs related to diffuse pollution from agriculture are often not recovered across the EU. These costs are instead often shifted by water providers to households which are charged for drinking water purification. The Commission agrees that, when this happens, the PPP is not adequately taken into account.

The Commission is holding bilateral meetings with Member States to discuss its assessment of their plans published in 2012 (80) and to check how they plan to address its recommendations to improve WFD implementation including in relation to Article 9. To this end, the Commission, as announced in the 2012 Water Blueprint, is working with Member States and stakeholders to develop a guidance document on cost recovery under the Common Implementation Strategy of the WFD.

Finally, under the European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds for the financial framework 2014-2020, the fulfilment of Art. 9 requirements constitutes an ex-ante conditionality for funds to be available in the water sector.

The water pricing policy needs to be reported in the context of the RBMP. The Court has condemned Spain (Case C-403/11) for not having adopted and reported RBMPs on time. The Commission will assess the Júcar and other Spanish RBMPs as soon as they are adopted and reported.

(Dansk udgave)

Forespørgsel til skriftlig besvarelse E-010960/13

til Kommissionen

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(26. september 2013)

Om: Tilgængelige ulovligt producerede fødevarer

En række EU-lande har stadig ikke efterlevet krav om dyrevelfærd og lignende vedrørende burhøns og svin. Det vil sige, at der findes en række produkter på det indre marked, som reelt er ulovlige, fordi de ikke efterlever EU's regler.

Mit spørgsmål til Kommissionen er derfor:

Vil Kommissionen bede medlemslandene om at sikre, at produkter produceret under ulovlige vilkår ikke gøres tilgængelige på EU's indre marked?

Det er uretfærdigt over for de producenter, som producerer efter reglerne, og det er urimeligt over for forbrugerne, at de ikke kan stole på, at deres indkøbte mad er fremstillet på lovlig vis.

Svar afgivet på Kommissionens vegne af Tonio Borg

(21. november 2013)

Kommissionen er enig med det ærede medlem i, at efterlevelse af EU's dyrevelfærdsbestemmelser er afgørende for at sikre ikke blot dyrs velfærd, men også lige konkurrencevilkår for de erhvervsdrivende i EU.

Med hensyn til de konkrete foranstaltninger, Kommissionen har truffet for at sikre efterlevelse af de bestemmelser, det ærede medlem omtaler, skal Kommissionen henvise til svar på skriftlig forespørgsel E-004047/2013, E-004763/2013, E-006291/2013, E-007401/2013, E-009599/2013, E-009698/2013, E-009822/2013 og E-010593/2013 (81).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010960/13

to the Commission

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Available illegally produced foodstuffs

A number of EU Member States have not yet complied with animal welfare and similar requirements relating to battery hens and pigs. In other words, there are a number of products on the internal market that are in fact illegal because they do not comply with EU rules.

Will the Commission ask the Member States to ensure that products produced under illegal conditions are not made available on the EU’s internal market?

It is not fair to those producers who do comply with the rules, and it is unfair to consumers that they cannot be sure that the food they buy is produced in a lawful manner.

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that compliance with Union-wide animal welfare rules is critical in order to ensure not only the welfare of animals, but also a level playing field for economic operators in the EU.

Regarding the concrete measures taken by the Commission in order to ensure compliance with the rules referred to by the Honourable Member, the Commission would refer to its answers to Written Question E-004047/2013, E-004763/2013, E-006291/2013, E‐007401/2013, E-009599/2013, E-009698/2013, E-009822/2013, and E-010593/2013 (82).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010962/13

alla Commissione

Susy De Martini (ECR) e Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Obbligo di segnalazione oltre boa per i bagnanti

Ad oggi, in Italia, non c'è una legge quadro che regoli le attività dei bagnanti oltre boa come avviene per le attività della subacquea. Il mese scorso, infatti, vi sono stati casi di annegamento, nei litorali italiani, dovuti ad incidenti in mare per mancata segnalazione a imbarcazioni private. Mentre è in vigore l'obbligo per i subacquei di munirsi di un galleggiante, che può essere di varia natura purché munito di «bandiera rossa con striscia diagonale bianca», visibile da almeno 300 metri, non vi sono gli stessi obblighi per i bagnanti oltre boa.

Può la Commissione:

informare gli onorevoli deputati sulla legislazione esistente nei diversi Stati membri;

far sapere se vi è una direttiva europea che regola l'attività della subacquea;

indicare se ritiene opportuno regolamentare anche l'attività dei bagnanti oltre boa per evitare possibili incidenti in mare?

Risposta di Neven Mimica a nome della Commissione

(14 novembre 2013)

La competenza di regolamentare il nuoto in mare aperto appartiene agli Stati membri. Non vi è nessuna legislazione a livello unionale che disciplini le attività di nuoto o di immersione in mare aperto condotte a fini non lavorativi. La Commissione non dispone di un quadro di insieme delle regolamentazioni degli Stati membri in merito al nuoto in mare aperto.

Per quanto concerne le immersioni, esistono norme volontarie europee che stabiliscono i requisiti per la formazione sia del subacqueo che dell'istruttore. Per ulteriori dettagli la Commissione rinvia gli onorevoli deputati alla propria risposta all'interrogazione scritta E-006564/2011 (83).

La maggior parte delle attrezzature usate per le immersioni è soggetta alle disposizioni della direttiva 89/686/CEE sui dispositivi di protezione individuale (84). La direttiva stabilisce i requisiti per la progettazione e la fabbricazione di tali dispositivi e le regole per la loro libera circolazione nell'Unione. Norme armonizzate volontarie che corroborano i requisiti della direttiva sugli aspetti della salute e della sicurezza sono state prodotte dalle organizzazioni europee di normazione. Si noti che la direttiva disciplina soltanto i prodotti, ma non il loro uso.

Inoltre, la direttiva 89/391/CEE (85) stabilisce misure per incoraggiare miglioramenti nel campo della salute e della sicurezza dei lavoratori durante il lavoro. Conformemente all'articolo 6 il datore di lavoro prende le misure necessarie per evitare i rischi, valutarli e combatterli. Inoltre, la direttiva fa obbligo ai datori di lavoro di effettuare e documentare una valutazione dei rischi. La direttiva si applica a tutti i settori di attività, compresi il nuoto e l'immersione a fini lavorativi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010962/13

to the Commission

Susy De Martini (ECR) and Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Requirement for open sea swimmers to signal their presence

Italy currently has no framework law regulating the activities of swimmers in the open sea, while it does for diving. Last month there were cases of people drowning in accidents off the Italian coast due to swimmers’ failure to signal their presence to private craft. While divers are required to use a marker which may vary in type provided it has a ‘red flag with a white diagonal stripe’, visible from a distance of at least 300 metres, open sea swimmers are not subject to the same requirements.

1.

Can the Commission say what the existing legislation is in the various Member States?

2.

Is there a European directive which regulates diving?

3.

Does it think it should also regulate swimming in the open sea to prevent accidents at sea?

Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2013)

The competence to regulate swimming in the open sea as such rests with the Member States. There is no legislation at EU level that would regulate non-occupational sea swimming or diving activities. The Commission has no comprehensive overview of Member States' rules regarding swimming in the open sea.

Regarding diving, there are voluntary European standards in place which lay down requirements for the training of both the diver and the instructor. For further details, the Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-006564/2011 (86).

Most of the equipment used for diving is subject to Directive 89/686/EEC on personal protective equipment (87). The directive lays down requirements for the design and manufacture of such equipment and rules on its free movement in the Union. Voluntary harmonised standards to support the directive’s health and safety requirements are available from the European Standardisation Organisations. It should be noted that the directive only regulates the products, but not their usage.

In addition, Directive 89/391/EEC (88) lays down measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work. According to its Article 6, the employer shall take the necessary measures for avoiding, evaluating and combating risks. Furthermore, the directive obliges employers to carry out and document a risk assessment. The directive applies to all sectors of activity, including occupational swimming and diving.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-010963/13

aan de Commissie

Esther de Lange (PPE) en Ivo Belet (PPE)

(26 september 2013)

Betreft: Residulimieten voor wijn

De Franse consumentenbond Que Choisir heeft na onderzoek bekend gemaakt in alle 92 door hen onderzochte flessen wijn sporen van bestrijdingsmiddelen gevonden te hebben. Het ging om 33 verschillende middelen, waarvan er 7 bekend staan als kankerverwekkend. Australië en de Verenigde Staten kennen wetgeving op dit gebied, de Europese Unie niet.

Sinds 2008 zijn boeren in Frankrijk 5 % meer bestrijdingsmiddelen gaan spuiten bij de teelt van druiven, terwijl de ambitie is om het gebruik van gevaarlijke stoffen te verminderen.

1.

Is de Commissie op de hoogte van de onderzoeksresultaten?

2.

Welke maatregelen denkt de Commissie te nemen om het gebruik van bestrijdingsmiddelen ook in de wijnbouw te verminderen, zoals in vrijwel alle andere sectoren in de Europese landbouw wel gebeurt? Indien de Commissie geen maatregelen neemt, waarom niet?

3.

Waarom heeft de Unie geen wetgeving voor residulimieten in wijn, terwijl landen als Australië en de Verenigde Staten dit wel hebben?

4.

Wat zijn de regels voor residulimieten van pesticiden in wijn? Is de Commissie voornemens voorstellen te doen deze wetgeving aan te passen? Zo nee, waarom niet?

5.

Vindt de Commissie ook dat het belang van de consument en de volksgezondheid voorrang heeft op het belang van de wijnsector?

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-011147/13

aan de Commissie

Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(1 oktober 2013)

Betreft: Pesticiden in Franse wijnen

Franse wijnen zijn op grote schaal verontreinigd met landbouwgif. Dit bleek onlangs uit een onderzoek van de Franse consumentenbond Que Choisir die een selectie van 92 flessen wijn — rood, wit en rosé — uit alle Franse wijnstreken, waaronder Bordeaux en Bourgogne, liet onderzoeken in een laboratorium op de aanwezigheid van bestrijdingsmiddelen.

Gemiddeld zijn per fles vier soorten gif te traceren. Het gaat onder meer om stoffen die als kankerverwekkend bekend staan. In alle 92 flessen bleken pesticiden te zitten. Zelfs twee verboden substanties, het giftige bromopropylate en het bestrijdingsmiddel carbendazim, werden aangetroffen. Eén Bordeaux-wijn (Mouton Cadet) bleek maar liefst 14 soorten landbouwgif te bevatten.

In deze context rijst de vraag naar de afdoendheid van de Europese wetgeving op vlak van voedselveiligheid en de mate van consumentenbescherming. De Franse consumentenbond zegt zelf zich grote zorgen te maken, omdat regelgeving vrijwel geheel ontbreekt. Voor wijnen bestaan er, in tegenstelling tot voor veel voedsel en dranken, geen wettelijke maxima voor de hoeveelheid bestrijdingsmiddelen die er in mogen zitten.

Beaamt de Commissie de bezorgdheid van de vernoemde organisatie?

Zal de Commissie de Franse autoriteiten en de wijnsector contacteren om de resultaten te evalueren en hen aan te sporen verbeteringen aan te brengen?

Is de Commissie van mening dat er maatregelen moeten worden genomen of voorstellen moeten komen om dergelijke resultaten te voorkomen? Zo ja, welke maatregelen is ze van plan te nemen of welke voorstellen? Of vindt de Commissie de huidige Europese wetgeving afdoende?

Antwoord van de heer Borg namens de Commissie

(8 november 2013)

De Commissie is op de hoogte van de publicatie van de Franse consumentenbond. In de EU worden maximumresidugehalten (MRL’s) voor onbewerkte landbouwproducten vastgesteld op basis van goede landbouwpraktijken (GLP) en de laagste blootstelling van consumenten die noodzakelijk is met het oog op de bescherming van kwetsbare consumenten (89). Dat betekent dat zowel voor druiven bestemd voor de productie van wijn als voor tafeldruiven een MRL wordt vastgesteld. De lidstaten zijn verantwoordelijk voor de controles op wijndruiven, waarbij wordt nagegaan of de MRL’s in acht worden genomen, zodat zij veilig zijn voor de consument.

Deze controles worden verricht op het onbewerkte product, zodat in geval van een overtreding dienaangaande dadelijk handhavingsmaatregelen kunnen worden genomen. De lidstaten kunnen echter nog steeds de eindproducten controleren, in voorkomend geval rekening houdend met de specifieke verwerkingsfactoren voor wijn, of in het slechtste geval ervan uitgaande dat de niveaus in wijn dezelfde zijn als die in druiven. Zoals bekend leiden de oenologische praktijken echter tot een aanzienlijk lager gehalte aan de meeste bestrijdingsmiddelen. Voor een volledig overzicht van de blootstelling van de consument, met inbegrip van de cumulatieve blootstelling aan diverse residuen, is wijn in het gecoördineerde programma van de EU opgenomen als een levensmiddel dat in 2013 zal worden geanalyseerd.

Bovendien heeft Frankrijk overeenkomstig artikel 4 van Richtlijn 2009/128/EG een nationaal actieplan ingediend voor de vermindering van de risico's en de effecten van pesticidengebruik op de menselijke gezondheid en het milieu en  ter bevordering van de ontwikkeling van geïntegreerde plaagbestrijding en alternatieve benaderingswijzen of technieken om de afhankelijkheid van het gebruik van pesticiden te verminderen. De Commissie zal uiterlijk op 26 november 2014 aan het Europees Parlement en de Raad een verslag voorleggen over de informatie die de lidstaten in verband met de nationale actieplannen hebben verstrekt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010963/13

to the Commission

Esther de Lange (PPE) and Ivo Belet (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Residue limits for wine

An investigation performed by Que Choisir, the French consumer organisation, found pesticide traces in all 92 of the wines analysed. 33 different pesticides were detected, 7 of which are known to be carcinogenic. Australia and the United States have introduced legislation in this area, but the European Union has not.

Wine-growers in France now use 5% more pesticide than in 2008, even though the stated aim is to reduce the use of hazardous substances.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the results of this research?

2.

What measures does the Commission intend to introduce to reduce the use of pesticides in viticulture, as is happening in almost all other sectors of European agriculture? If the Commission is not planning to introduce such measures, why not?

3.

Why has the European Union not introduced any legislation on residue limits in wine, whereas countries such as Australia and the United States have done so?

4.

What are the rules on pesticide residue levels in wine? Does the Commission intend to present proposals to amend this legislation? If not, why not?

5.

Does the Commission agree that the interests of consumers and public health take precedence over the interests of the wine industry?

Question for written answer E-011147/13

to the Commission

Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)

(1 October 2013)

Subject: Pesticides in French wines

There is large-scale contamination of French wines with agricultural toxins. This fact was discovered in an investigation by the French consumer organisation Que Choisir, which had a selection of 92 bottles of wine — red, white and rosé — from French growing areas, including Bordeaux and Bourgogne, laboratory tested for the presence of pesticides.

On average, four different kinds of toxin could be detected per bottle, and these included known carcinogens. Pesticides were found in all 92 bottles. Two prohibited substances — the toxic bromopropylate and the pesticide carbendazim — were even found. One Bordeaux wine (Mouton Cadet) was found to contain at least 14 different varieties of agricultural toxin.

In this context, the question arises as to the adequacy of European legislation in relation to food safety and the level of consumer protection. The French consumer organisation in question says that it has major concerns because there is an almost total lack of regulation. In contrast to food and drinks, there are no statutory maximum levels for pesticide content in wines.

Does the Commission share Que Choisir’s concern?

Will the Commission contact the French authorities and the wine industry in order to assess the results and urge them to bring about improvements?

Does the Commission believe that measures need to be put in place or proposals brought forward in order to prevent the recurrence of results of this kind? If so, what measures or proposals is it planning? Or does the Commission believe that the current European legislation is sufficient?

Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(8 November 2013)

The Commission is well aware of the publication by the French consumer organisation. In the EU maximum residue levels (MRLs) are established for raw agricultural products based on good agricultural practice (GAP) and the lowest consumer exposure necessary to protect vulnerable consumers (90). This includes the setting of MRLs for grapes intended for wine production as well as for table grapes. Member States are responsible for controls on wine grapes to check compliance with MRLs which makes sure that they are safe for consumers.

These controls take place on the raw product for which enforcement measures can then directly be taken in case of non-compliances. Still, the Member States can control final products taking into account specific processing factors for wine where available, or assuming as a worst case that the levels in wine are the same as those in grapes. It is however well known that oenological practices lead to considerable decreases of most pesticides. In order to get a complete overview on consumer exposure, including cumulative exposure to multiple residues, the EU coordinated programme schedules wine as a food commodity to be analysed in 2013.

Furthermore, in compliance with Article 4 of Directive 2009/128/EC, France has submitted a National Action Plan for the reduction of risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and environment and to encourage the development of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches or techniques in order to reduce dependency on the use of pesticides. The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and Council on the information communicated by the Member States in relation to the National Action Plans by 26 November 2014.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-010964/13

aan de Commissie

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(1 oktober 2013)

Betreft: Aanbesteding hogesnelheidsspoor Nederland

Uit berichtgeving van het dagblad De Telegraaf van 25 september blijkt dat de NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) zijn contractuele verplichtingen voor het hogesnelheidsspoor van Amsterdam naar de Belgische grens niet wil nakomen. Wegens de technische problemen rond de Fyra wil de NS afzien van de aankoop van nieuwe hogesnelheidstreinen en slechts intercity's gaat inzetten op dit traject. Als deze plannen door de Nederlandse regering zouden worden goedgekeurd, blijft een groot deel van de capaciteit van het hogesnelheidsspoor onderbenut. In de Nederlandse media hebben echter berichten gecirculeerd dat andere partijen hebben aangegeven de exploitatie van hogesnelheidstreinen op dit traject te willen overnemen, zodat er in de toekomst wel hogesnelheidstreinen kunnen rijden.

1.

Kan de Nederlandse regering, in strijd met de Europese aanbestedingsnormen, eenzijdig besluiten de NS toestemming te geven om intercity's in plaats van hogesnelheidstreinen te laten rijden over het hogesnelheidslijntraject?

2.

Is het bij de Commissie bekend dat er partijen zijn die mogelijk wel hogesnelheidstreinen willen laten rijden op dit traject?

3.

Is de Nederlandse regering conform Verordening (EG) nr. 1370/2007 verplicht om deze partijen een kans te geven zodat zij kunnen meedingen naar de aanbesteding en hun treindienst kunnen aanbieden? Dit teneinde de reiziger een hogesnelheidsverbinding met steden als Brussel, Londen of Parijs te verzekeren.

4.

In het algemeen, hoe beoordeelt de Commissie de wijze waarop de Nederlandse staat met de aanbesteding van de HSL is omgegaan? De aanbesteding is in de afgelopen jaren meerdere keren aangepast; is dit wel eerlijk naar andere partijen die destijds buiten de boot vielen?

Antwoord van de heer Kallas namens de Commissie

(30 oktober 2013)

De hsl-concessie voor de exploitatie van internationale hogesnelheidstreinen tussen Amsterdam en Brussel is gegund op basis van een concurrentiegerichte aanbestedingsprocedure op grond van Verordening (EG) nr. 1370/2007 (91). De Commissie is van mening dat een vervanging van rollend materieel voor hogesnelheidstreinen door conventioneel rollend materieel een aanzienlijke wijziging van het concessiecontract zal vormen. Volgens het Hof van Justitie vereisen aanzienlijke wijzigingen van essentiële bepalingen van een concessieovereenkomst voor diensten de gunning van een nieuw contract (92) om transparantie van de procedures en van de gelijke behandeling van inschrijvers te verzekeren.

Uit berichten in de pers blijkt dat tenminste twee spoorwegondernemingen concrete plannen zouden hebben voor de exploitatie van hogesnelheidsdiensten op de lijn Brussel-Amsterdam als voortzetting van diensten uit Londen.

Overeenkomstig Verordening (EG) nr. 1370/2007 zal de Nederlandse, bevoegde autoriteit de keuze hebben ofwel opnieuw een hogesnelheidsconcessie te gunnen op basis van een openbare aanbestedingsprocedure ofwel rechtstreeks de concessieovereenkomst te gunnen.

De Commissie beschikt niet over gedetailleerde informatie over wijzigingen van de voorwaarden inzake de hsl-concessie. Indien de wijzigingen van essentiële bepalingen echter van aanzienlijke aard waren geweest, kon de gunning van een nieuw contract noodzakelijk zijn geweest.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-010964/13

to the Commission

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

(1 October 2013)

Subject: The tender for the Dutch high-speed rail network

A report in the Dutch daily newspaper, De Telegraaf, from 25 September, has revealed how Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) is ducking its contractual obligations for the high-speed rail-link from Amsterdam to the Belgian border. Because of the technical problems surrounding the Fyra high-speed train, Nederlandse Spoorwegen wants to abandon the purchase of new high-speed trains and just use intercity trains on this route. If these plans are approved by the Dutch Government, a large proportion of the high-speed rail network's capacity will be underused. Reports have been circulating in the Dutch media about other parties who have indicated that they would be willing to take over running high-speed trains on this route, so that high-speed trains could indeed operate on the route in the future.

1.

Can the Dutch Government unilaterally decide to grant Nederlandse Spoorwegen authorisation to operate intercity trains on the high-speed rail network, instead of high-speed trains, contrary to EU public procurement regulations?

2.

Is the Commission aware that there are parties who may wish to operate high-speed trains on this route?

3.

Is the Dutch Government required to provide the said parties with an opportunity to be able to compete in the tender and offer their train services, as specified under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007, thereby offering passengers a high-speed rail connection to cities such as Brussels, London and Paris?

4.

In general, what is the Commission's assessment of the manner in which the Dutch State has tackled tendering for the high-speed rail line? The terms of the tender have been modified several times in recent years — is this fair towards other parties who were sidelined at the time?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(30 October 2013)

The High Speed Line-(HSL) concession for operating international high-speed rail services between Amsterdam and Brussels has been awarded based on a competitive award procedure pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 (93). The Commission considers that a replacement of high-speed rolling stock by conventional rolling stock would constitute a substantial amendment to the concession contract. According to the Court of Justice, in order to ensure transparency of procedures and equal treatment of tenderers, substantial amendments to essential provisions of a service concession contract require the award of a new contract (94).

Information from the press indicates that at least two railway undertakings would have concrete plans to operate high-speed services on the Brussels-Amsterdam route as a continuation of services originating in London.

According to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 the Dutch competent authority would have the choice of either re-awarding the high-speed concession based on a public tender procedure or directly awarding the concession contract.

The Commission has no substantiated information about modifications of the terms of the HSL-concession. However, if modifications to essential provisions had been of a substantial nature, the award of a new contract might have been necessary.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita P-010965/13

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: VP/HR — Investigación de la masacre en el campo de refugiados iraníes de Ashraf (Irak)

El pasado 1 de septiembre el campo de refugiados iraníes de Ashraf fue atacado por fuerzas iraquíes que acabaron con la vida de cincuenta y dos personas y secuestraron a otras siete. El ataque fue dirigido contra un centenar de miembros del grupo Muyahidín Jalq, organización contraria al régimen de Teherán protegido por la Cuarta Convención de Ginebra.

Aunque el ataque fue condenado desde un primer momento por la comunidad internacional, ni la Alta Representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad ni otros responsables occidentales han pedido que se lleve a cabo una investigación exhaustiva e independiente por parte de la ONU y se ofrezca mayor protección a los supervivientes de este suceso y al resto de miembros de este grupo. La Unión Europea se ha limitado a pedir a las autoridades iraquíes que aclaren las circunstancias de esta matanza; la ONU, a pedir al gobierno de Bagdad una investigación imparcial y sin demora.

1.

¿No cree conveniente la Comisión insistir ante la ONU para que sea ella quien lleve a cabo una investigación exhaustiva e independiente sobre la masacre ocurrida en el campo de Ashraf?

2.

¿Le parece oportuno a la Comisión pedir a la ONU que sus cascos azules ofrezcan una protección especial a los refugiados miembros de Muyahidín Jalq que viven en el campo de Liberty en Irak?

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

(28 de octubre de 2013)

La AR/VP sigue muy de cerca la situación de Irak, incluida la cuestión de los refugiados de los campos de Ashraf y Hurriya.

El Gobierno de Irak ha sido responsable de la seguridad del campo de Ashraf desde 2009, cuando las fuerzas de los Estados Unidos en Irak le transfirieron su control. De acuerdo con los términos del Memorando de Acuerdo entre las NU y el Gobierno de Irak, este también era responsable de garantizar la seguridad del traslado de los refugiados al campo de Hurriya y de la seguridad del propio campo.

La AR/VP condenó públicamente el ataque el 1 de septiembre de 2013 y pidió que se hiciera rendir cuentas a los responsables. También acogió positivamente en ese momento la decisión del Gobierno de Irak de iniciar la investigación de los hechos ocurridos. Desde entonces ha reclamado a las autoridades iraquíes que cumplan con sus responsabilidades y realicen una investigación exhaustiva e imparcial de los actos violentos. También planteó la cuestión al entrevistarse con el Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Irak Hoshyar Zebari los días 11 y 24 de septiembre de 2013.

En el marco de su mandato, la Misión de Asistencia de las NU para Iraq (UNAMI) efectuó en el pasado visitas regulares de control de los derechos humanos al campo de Ashraf. Tras el ataque, la UNAMI visitó los lugares de los hechos para evaluar la situación del campo de Ashraf, confirmando los actos violentos y la necesidad de que el Gobierno de Irak realice una investigación pública e imparcial.

La AR/VP seguirá insistiendo en que el Gobierno de Irak realice una investigación completa del ataque del 1 de septiembre de 2013. Seguirá reclamando al Gobierno de Irak que cumpla sus obligaciones y garantice la seguridad de los refugiados del campo de Hurriya.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-010965/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Investigation into the massacre of Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf in Iraq

On 1 September 2013, Iraqi forces carried out an attack on Camp Ashraf, which houses Iranian refugees. Fifty-two people were killed and seven others abducted. The attack was directed against a hundred members of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) group, an organisation which opposes the regime in Tehran and is protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Although the attack was immediately condemned by the international community, neither the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy nor other Western officials have called for a thorough and independent UN investigation and for more protection for the survivors of the attack and other members of the group. The European Union has merely asked the Iraqi authorities to clarify the circumstances surrounding the killings; and the UN has only asked the Government in Baghdad to carry out an impartial investigation without delay.

1.

Does the Commission not think it should urge the UN to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the massacre at Camp Ashraf?

2.

Does the Commission think it appropriate to call for UN peacekeepers to provide special protection for MEK refugees living in Camp Liberty in Iraq?

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

(28 October 2013)

The HR/VP follows the situation in Iraq very closely, including the question of the residents of Camps Ashraf and Hurriya.

The Government of Iraq (GoI) has had responsibility over the security of Camp Ashraf since 2009, when the United States Forces in Iraq transferred control of the camp to them. Under the terms of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the UN and the GoI, the latter was also responsible for ensuring the safe transportation of residents to Camp Hurriya and the security of Camp Hurriya itself.

The HR/VP publicly condemned the attack on 1 September 2013 and called for those responsible to be held accountable. At the time she also welcomed the Government of Iraq's decision to open an enquiry into the events. Since then, she has repeatedly called on the Iraqi authorities to fulfil their responsibility and to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the violence. She also raised the issue when speaking with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on 11 and 24 September 2013.

Acting within its mandate, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) had in the past conducted regular human rights monitoring visits to Camp Ashraf. Following the attack, UNAMI conducted an on-site visit to assess the situation in Camp Ashraf, which confirmed the violence and the need for the GoI to conduct a public and impartial enquiry.

The HR/VP will continue to insist that the Government of Iraq conducts a full investigation into to the attack of 1 September 2013. She will also continue to call on the Government of Iraq to fulfil its obligations by ensuring the safety of the residents of Camp Hurriya.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010966/13

a la Comisión

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Discapacidad y educación

Considerando que la educación es la vía de entrada a una participación plena en la sociedad y que sin ella los ciudadanos verán minada su capacidad para disfrutar de plenos derechos y asumir funciones importantes en la sociedad, principalmente por medio del empleo productivo,

Considerando el artículo 24 de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad,

Considerando el artículo 5 de la Estrategia Europea sobre Discapacidad 2010-2020, en el que la Comisión se comprometió a respaldar una educación y una formación inclusivas,

Considerando la respuesta de la Comisión Europea, con fecha 4 de septiembre del 2013 (código E-008753/2013), a mi pregunta parlamentaria, donde se hace referencia a la futura publicación por parte de la Comisión Europea de unos documentos sobre educación en materia de emprendimiento a finales del 2013,

1.

¿Podría indicar la Comisión en qué estado se encuentran actualmente dichos documentos y en qué fecha tiene prevista la Comisión Europea su publicación?

2.

¿En qué medida tienen en consideración estos documentos la educación y formación inclusivas?

3.

¿En qué temas considera la Comisión que la información contenida en dichos documentos puede aportar una contribución a la ya existente Comunicación de la Comisión Europea «Un nuevo concepto de educación»?

Respuesta de la Sra. Vassiliou en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comunicación «Un nuevo concepto de educación» (95), de noviembre de 2012, anunció una serie de acciones sobre la educación para el emprendimiento, una de las cuales es la recopilación de los datos pertinentes de que se dispone en los Estados miembros. El informe correspondiente será elaborado por el Grupo de Trabajo Temático sobre la Educación para el Emprendimiento, en el que participan la Comisión, expertos gubernamentales nacionales y otras partes interesadas pertinentes, y se publicará a principios de 2014.

En él se informará sobre los factores de éxito a escala política, entre ellos el desarrollo de los educadores, los resultados del aprendizaje, el compromiso de las partes interesadas, así como los planes de estudios y la pedagogía en relación con la educación para el emprendimiento. El Grupo ha adoptado un enfoque inclusivo a fin de garantizar que su trabajo sea pertinente para todos los alumnos de todos los sectores de la educación y la formación. A pesar de que el informe no abordará específicamente la educación de alumnos con necesidades especiales, deberá ser de utilidad para la misma.

En «Un nuevo concepto de educación» también se menciona la colaboración con la OCDE en un marco de orientación destinado a los centros de educación para el emprendimiento. En noviembre de 2013 deberá publicarse la versión que trata sobre la enseñanza superior, mientras que la versión sobre los centros de educación y formación profesionales se elaborará a lo largo de 2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010966/13

to the Commission

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Disability and education

Considering that education is the gateway towards full participation in society and without it citizens’ capacity to enjoy their full rights and take on important responsibilities in society is diminished, primarily via productive employment,

Considering Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

Considering that in Article 5 of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, the Commission undertook to support inclusive education and training,

Considering the Commission’s reply to my Parliamentary Question, dated 4 September 2013 (reference E-008753/2013), which refers to the future publication by the Commission towards the end of 2013 of some documents on entrepreneurship education,

1.

Could the Commission indicate what stage the publication of said documents has reached, and what is the Commission’s expected publication date?

2.

To what extent do these documents take into account inclusive education and training?

3.

In what areas does the Commission consider that the information contained in these documents can contribute to the Commission's previous Communication entitled ‘A new concept of education’?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Rethinking Education communication of November 2012 (96) announced a series of actions on entrepreneurship education, one of which being the collection of relevant data available in Member States. This report will be a product of the Thematic Working Group on Entrepreneurship Education – composed of the Commission, national governmental experts and other relevant stakeholders — and will be published in early 2014.

It will report on policy-level success factors including educator development, learning outcomes, stakeholder commitment as well as curricula and pedagogies related to entrepreneurship education. The Group has taken an inclusive approach to ensure that its work is relevant to all learners and across all sectors of education and training. While the report will not address special needs education specifically, it will nevertheless be of relevance to it.

The Rethinking Education communication also mentions collaborating with the OECD on a guidance framework for entrepreneurial education institutions. The version addressing higher education is due to be published in November 2013, while the version dealing with schools and vocational education and training will be developed in the course of 2014.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010967/13

a la Comisión

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Acta Europea de Accesibilidad

Por «accesibilidad» se entiende el acceso de las personas con discapacidad, en las mismas condiciones que el resto de la población, al entorno físico, al transporte, a las tecnologías y los sistemas de la información y las comunicaciones (TIC), y a otras instalaciones y servicios.

Desde que en mayo de 2000 se publicara la Comunicación de la Comisión «Hacia una Europa sin barreras para las personas con discapacidad», la accesibilidad universal y el enfoque «diseño para todos» se han convertido en uno de los principales retos de la UE.

El artículo 3 de la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad reconoce la accesibilidad como uno de sus principios generales.

La accesibilidad es una de las prioridades de la Estrategia 2010-2020.

Hechos como la presentación de la propuesta de Directiva sobre la accesibilidad de los sitios web de los organismos del sector público llevada a cabo por la Comisión Europea, la preparación por parte de la Comisión Europea de un informe sobre los primeros años de aplicación de la Estrategia Europea sobre Discapacidad 2010-2020, así como la publicación de un informe de la Comisión Europea sobre la aplicación de la Directiva 2000/78/CE este mismo año, evidencian un claro avance en el ámbito de la Estrategia Europea sobre Discapacidad 2010-2020.

A la vista de todo lo anterior, ¿podría indicar la Comisión en qué estado se encuentra la publicación del Acta Europea de Accesibilidad y qué fecha tiene prevista para la misma?

¿Considera la Comisión oportuno conceder carácter vinculante a las disposiciones del Acta?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión ha llevado a cabo trabajos preparatorios para evaluar el impacto de las posibles medidas de mejora de la accesibilidad de bienes y servicios en el mercado interior.

Un estudio ha sido contratado para apoyar la recogida de datos socioeconómicos sobre posibles medidas de mejora de la accesibilidad. Los resultados del estudio se han utilizado para la preparación de la mencionada evaluación de impacto.

Con el fin de documentar en mayor medida el proceso, una reunión de alto nivel está prevista para diciembre de 2013 con la vicepresidenta Reding y el vicepresidente Tajani y algunos presidentes de empresas europeas que operan en ámbitos clave de la accesibilidad, principalmente en relación con la construcción, los transportes y las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación.

Las conclusiones de esta reunión servirán de complemento a los trabajos preparatorios de los servicios de la Comisión y permitirán identificar las medidas más adecuadas para mejorar la accesibilidad de bienes y servicios en la Unión Europea. El objetivo es presentar una propuesta de medidas vinculantes que combine tanto la mejora de la accesibilidad como el potencial de crecimiento para las empresas de la UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010967/13

to the Commission

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: European Accessibility Act

‘Accessibility’ is understood to mean the same conditions of access for people with disabilities as for the rest of the population, with regard to the physical environment, transport, technology, information and communications (ITC) systems and other installations and services.

Accessibility for all and the ‘design for all’ focus have become key challenges for the EU since the publication in May 2000 of the Commission Communication ‘Towards a barrier-free Europe for people with disabilities’,

Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises accessibility as one of its general principles.

Accessibility is one of the priorities of the 2010-2020 Strategy.

The progress made under the 2010‐2020 European Disability Strategy is clearly shown by the Commission’s presentation of its proposal for a directive on accessibility on the websites of public sector bodies, by its preparation of a report on the first years of implementation of the 2010‐2020 European Disability Strategy, and by the publication, this year, of its report on implementation of Directive 2000/78/EC.

In view of the above, could the Commission indicate what stage the publication of the European Accessibility Act has reached, and what is its expected publication date?

Does the Commission think it a good idea to make the Act’s provisions binding in nature?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(11 November 2013)

The Commission has carried out preparatory work to assess the impact of possible measures to improve the accessibility of goods and services in the internal market.

A study has been contracted to support the gathering of socio economic data of possible measures to improve accessibility. The outcome of the study has been used for the preparation of the related Impact Assessment.

In order to further inform the process a high level meeting is planned for December 2013 with Vice-Presidents Reding and Tajani and a number of CEOs of European companies active in key areas for accessibility, mainly related to the built environment, transport, and information and communication technologies.

The conclusions of this meeting will complement the preparatory work of the Commission services and would allow the identification of the most appropriate measures for improving the accessibility of goods and services in the European Union. The objective is to present a proposal for binding measures that would combine both, improvement of accessibility and growth potential for EU companies.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010968/13

a la Comisión

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Desequilibrio en la inversión del sector privado en I+D+i en los diferentes Estados miembros — El caso de España

La UE apuesta desde hace años por la investigación y el desarrollo tecnológico como motor para lograr un crecimiento inteligente, sostenible e integrador. La Estrategia de Lisboa en el año 2000, Europa 2020 y el Proyecto Europa 2030 han apostado por que la Unión destine el 3 % de su PIB a I+D+i y que el sector privado financie dos terceras partes de ese gasto. Ese objetivo solo podrá ser alcanzado si los Estados miembros muestran un compromiso firme.

El programa Horizonte 2020 se ocupará, a partir del 1 de enero de 2014 y hasta el 31 de diciembre de  2020, de guiar los pasos de la UE en materia de investigación e innovación. Con este instrumento se persigue aumentar la coordinación de políticas y estimular la investigación en Europa. Impulsar el compromiso político de los Estados miembros debe ser también una prioridad para la Unión. Sus instituciones deben mantenerse alerta y con los medios a su alcance «convencer» a los Estados miembros de lo importante de alcanzar el objetivo económico fijado en materia de I+D+i.

En España la situación es preocupante. Los recortes en el gasto público están dando lugar a la paralización de proyectos y a la «fuga» de cerebros. Los investigadores piden desesperadamente que el Estado dé un paso atrás y aumente de nuevo el gasto público destinado a I+D+i. La situación se ve agravada porque en España es el sector público el que sostiene y financia en gran medida la investigación llevada a cabo tanto por instituciones públicas como privadas. El sector privado no financia las dos terceras partes del gasto en I+D+i como pide Europa, ni se sirve de todos los fondos puestos a su disposición por el sector público para desarrollar nuevos proyectos, como ha quedado patente en el año 2012. Ese esfuerzo empresarial nulo debe ser también contemplado como causa del descalabro del sector de I+D+i en España y de la difícil situación en la que se encuentran sus investigadores.

¿Tiene conocimiento la Comisión de la escasa contribución del sector privado a la financiación del gasto en I+D+i en España? ¿Le parece que la realidad descrita acerca a la UE al éxito en la consecución de su objetivo de gasto en I+D+i contemplado en la Estrategia de Lisboa y Europa 2020? ¿Sabe si esta situación se repite en otros Estados miembros? ¿No le parece imprescindible fomentar el compromiso en los distintos Estados miembros para emprender acciones que multipliquen el esfuerzo empresarial en materia de I+D+i?

Respuesta de la Sra. Geoghegan-Quinn en nombre de la Comisión

(13 de noviembre de 2013)

El informe de resultados en materia de investigación e innovación en los Estados miembros de la UE y los países asociados (97) publicado por la Comisión presenta los últimos datos disponibles sobre investigación e innovación, incluidas las inversiones de las empresas en I+D. Durante el período 2000-2011, las empresas españolas aumentaron sus inversiones en I+D de un 0,49 a un 0,70 % del PIB, lo cual, no obstante, sigue estando muy por debajo de la media de la UE del 1,26 % del PIB en 2011. Aunque las empresas españolas duplicaron con creces su gasto en I+D en términos reales durante el período 2000-2008, la crisis económica y los problemas de liquidez han invertido esta tendencia: el gasto de las empresas en I+D alcanzó su valor máximo en términos reales en 2008, pero disminuyó un 6,27 % en 2009 y otro 0,81 % en 2010. Las empresas de los sectores de la alimentación, el automóvil y la construcción aplicaron los recortes más fuertes.

A nivel de la UE, el gasto de las empresas en I+D ha seguido aumentando durante la crisis, hasta alcanzar un nivel del 1,26 % del PIB en 2011 en comparación con el 1,18 % de 2007. Sin embargo, es evidente que si se limita a mantener la actual tendencia, Europa no alcanzará para el año 2020 el objetivo de intensidad en I+D (pública y privada) del 3 % establecido en la estrategia Europa 2020. Por este motivo, en su Estudio Prospectivo Anual sobre el Crecimiento (98), la Comisión hizo hincapié en la necesidad de redoblar esfuerzos y mejorar las condiciones marco a nivel nacional con el fin de aumentar los niveles de inversión privada en I+D y de impulsar la innovación, y muchos países así lo hacen, por ejemplo, mediante el uso de incentivos fiscales y de los Fondos Estructurales. En el marco del Semestre Europeo, la Comisión seguirá supervisando los esfuerzos realizados por los Estados miembros en este sentido y dirigiéndoles recomendaciones según convenga.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010968/13

to the Commission

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Imbalance in private sector investment in R+D+i in the various Member States — The situation in Spain

For years, the EU has favoured research and technological development as an engine of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Lisbon strategy in 2000, EU 2020 and Project Europe 2030 have aimed for the EU to allocate 3% of its GDP to R+D+i, and for the private sector to fund two-thirds of that spending. That objective can only be achieved if the Member States demonstrate a firm commitment.

Beginning on 1 January 2014 and continuing until 31 December 2020, the Horizon 2020 initiative will aim to guide the EU’s actions in regard to research and innovation. This initiative seeks to increase policy coordination and stimulate research in Europe. Encouraging the political commitment of the Member States must also be a priority for the EU. Its institutions must remain alert and be prepared to ‘convince’ Member States of the importance of achieving the economic target for R+D+i.

In Spain, the situation is worrisome. Cuts in public spending are resulting in projects being halted, as well as a brain ‘drain’. Researchers are desperately asking the State to take a step back and again increase public spending allocated to R+D+i. The situation is worsened by the fact that in Spain, the public sector largely sustains and funds the research conducted by both public and private institutions. The private sector does not fund two-thirds of R+D+i spending, as Europe asks it to do. It does not even make use of all of the funds that the public sector places at its disposal to develop new projects, as was made evident in 2012. This lack of enterprise effort must be considered as an additional cause of the chaos in the R+D+i sector in Spain and the difficult situation in which Spanish researchers find themselves.

Is the Commission aware of the private sector’s paltry contribution to the funding of R+D+i spending in Spain? Does it think that this state of affairs brings the EU closer to achieving its R+D+i spending target established in the Lisbon strategy and EU 2020? Does it know whether this situation also exists in other Member States? Does it not think it essential to encourage the various Member States’ commitment to undertake actions that multiply enterprise effort in regard to R+D+i?

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

(13 November 2013)

The Commission report ‘Research and Innovation performance in EU Member States and Associated countries’ (99) presents the latest available data on research and innovation including business investment in R&D. Over the period 2000-2011, Spanish enterprises increased their R&D investment from 0.49% to 0.70% of GDP, which, however, remains significantly below the EU average of 1.26% of GDP in 2011. While Spanish firms more than doubled their R&D expenditure in real terms over the period 2000-2008, the economic crisis and liquidity constraints have reversed this trend: business R&D expenditure reached a peak in real terms in 2008 but fell by 6.27% in 2009 and by another 0.81% in 2010. Firms in the food, automobiles and construction sectors made the strongest cuts.

At the level of the EU, business expenditure on R&D has continued to increase during the crisis, reaching a level of1.26% of GDP in 2011 compared to 1.18% in 2007. However, it is clear that by merely continuing the current trend Europe will not reach by 2020 the Europe 2020 R&D (public and private) intensity target of 3%. This is why, in its Annual Growth Survey, (100) the Commission stressed the need to intensify efforts and to improve framework conditions at the national level to raise levels of private R&D investment and to drive innovation and many countries do so, for instance through the use of fiscal incentives and the Structural Funds. In the context of the European Semester, the Commission will continue to monitor the efforts the Member States make in this direction and to propose recommendations to them as appropriate.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010969/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Sostenibilidad económica de algunos proyectos de estaciones de AVE en Zamora, una de ellas en un pueblo de 28 habitantes — orientaciones RTE-T y artículo 4, apartado 1, del Reglamento (UE) n° 473/2013

El Ministerio de Fomento planea dos estaciones de AVE en Zamora, una de ellas en un pueblo de 28 habitantes. El Ministerio de Ana Pastor estudia ahora la viabilidad de la terminal de alta velocidad diseñada para la minúscula pedanía de Otero de Sanabria, prevista desde 2009. En la zona de Sanabria se han suprimido líneas con trenes que circulaban sin viajeros (101).

Según la redacción del trazado del futuro AVE Madrid-Galicia, la provincia de Zamora (190 000 habitantes) contará con dos estaciones de alta velocidad. Una, prevista para 2012 y todavía sin abrir, estará en la capital zamorana (65 000 habitantes). La otra se pensó para 2014 en un lugar más furtivo aún, el municipio de 28 habitantes de Otero de Sanabria. El Ministerio acaba de pedir un estudio de viabilidad de una siempre costosísima estación en la pedanía minúscula de la comarca sanabresa (menos de 7 000 habitantes).

El articulo 4, apartado, 1 del Reglamento (EU) n° 473/2013 afirma que «[…] Los planes fiscales nacionales a medio plazo o los programas nacionales de reforma incluirán indicaciones sobre el rendimiento económico esperado de los proyectos de inversiones públicas fuera del ámbito de la defensa que tengan importantes repercusiones presupuestarias […]».

¿Tiene la Comisión conocimiento de estos proyectos de AVE?

¿Considera la Comisión que el dispendio dedicado a la alta velocidad en España, en particular estos últimos proyectos de estación de AVE, respetan las nuevas normas RTE-T y el principio de coste-beneficio?

¿Ha recibido la Comisión un estudio sobre los retornos económicos de esta infraestructura y, en particular, se han implicado fondos de financiación europeos?

¿No cree la Comisión que el gasto de partida no está de acuerdo con los objetivos ligados al protocolo de déficit excesivo?

Respuesta del Sr. Kallas en nombre de la Comisión

(4 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión es consciente de la red ferroviaria existente y planificada en España, una parte importante de la cual está diseñada para la alta velocidad, incluida la línea que une Madrid-Valladolid con Galicia a través de Zamora.

La Comisión reconoce que la red de alta velocidad actual en España es muy amplia y ambiciosa, aunque los costes unitarios en ella están bastante por debajo de la media de la UE.

Es preciso evaluar el valor que tienen los proyectos ferroviarios compatibles con la alta velocidad de la península Ibérica para proporcionar interoperabilidad en términos del ancho UIC y del sistema de señalización y control ERTMS; teniendo presente lo anterior, una parte de estas líneas se utilizarán para el transporte ferroviario de carga y pasajeros, en una combinación de alta velocidad y ferrocarril convencional.

La Comisión no dispone de los datos relativos a las estaciones de ferrocarril en Zamora, para las que no se ha proporcionado financiación de la RTE-T y, por lo tanto, no puede emitir un dictamen detallado sobre su coherencia con la estabilidad macroeconómica.

Sobre la citada línea de Galicia, no obstante, vale la pena señalar que, recientemente, el Ministro español de Fomento anunció una revisión del proyecto, que incluía una significativa reducción de costes.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010969/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Economic sustainability of some high-speed train (HST) station projects in Zamora, one in a town of 28 residents — Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) guidelines and Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 473/2013

The Ministry of Public Works is planning two HST stations in Zamora, one in a town of 28 residents. The Ministry, headed by Ana Pastor, is currently studying the feasibility of the high-speed train station intended for the tiny hamlet of Otero de Sanabria, planned since 2009. Around Sanabria, train lines that were running without passengers have been eliminated (102).

According to the planned design of the future Madrid-Galicia HST route, the province of Zamora (with a population of 190 000) will have two high-speed train stations. One, planned for 2012 but not yet opened, will be in Zamora’s capital (with a population of 65 000). The other is planned for 2014 in an even more remote location — the town of 28 residents, Otero de Sanabria. The Ministry has just requested a feasibility study of the station, which is sure to be extremely expensive, in the tiny hamlet in the Sanabrian region (with a population of less than 7 000).

Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 473/2013 states that ‘[…] national medium-term fiscal plans or national reform programmes shall include indications on the expected economic returns on non-defence public investment projects that have a significant budgetary impact.[…]’.

Is the Commission aware of these HST projects?

Does the Commission take the view that the excessive sums spent on high speed in Spain, particularly these latest HST station projects, respect the new TEN-T guidelines and the cost-benefit principle?

Has the Commission received a study on the economic returns of this infrastructure and, in particular, have EU funds been involved?

Does the Commission not believe that the spending is prima facie in discord with the objectives related to the protocol on the excessive deficit procedure?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(4 November 2013)

The Commisison is aware of the existing and planned rail network in Spain, a large part of which is designed for high-speed, including the line connecting Madrid-Valladolid to Galicia via Zamora.

The Commission acknowledges that the current high-speed network in Spain is very wide and ambitious, although unit costs in Spain are considerably lower than the EU average.

Railway projects compatible with high-speed in the Iberian peninsula have to be assessed for their value in bringing about interoperability in terms of UIC gauge and ERTMS signalling and control system; bearing that in mind, part of these lines will be used for freight and passenger rail transport, combining high speed and conventional rail.

The Commission does not dispose of the detail concerning railway stations in Zamora, for which no TEN-T funding has been provided, and therefore cannot express a detailed opinion on its consistency with macroeconomic stability.

Concerning the abovementioned line to Galicia, however, it is worth pointing out that recently a project revision including a significant cost reduction has been announced by the Spanish Minister for Fomento.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010970/13

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Asesinato fascista en Grecia

La Unión Europea defiende valores democráticos que se extienden al conjunto de su territorio, valores comunes en el marco del cumplimiento del acervo de la Unión y del respeto a los derechos fundamentales.

Desgraciadamente, acontecimientos como el asesinato del joven artista Pavlos Fyssas en Grecia, a manos de miembros del partido fascista y ultraderechista Amanecer Dorado, empañan la democracia, la paz y el respeto a la vida.

Grecia, en su compleja situación económica y social, sufre la existencia de esa organización política que, a juicio de los partidos políticos que represento, contraviene el respeto a la democracia. Por eso, la Comisión Europea debe solicitar a Grecia la ilegalización inmediata de la organización fascista Amanecer Dorado, por incitación a la violencia y a la comisión de delitos contra la vida humana, contra la pluralidad y contra el respeto de los derechos. La Comisaria Reding declaraba hace unas semanas que la Unión Europea no sería cómplice de que en sus fronteras existieran organizaciones que inciten al fascismo o al nazismo.

Por ello, en el respeto de los valores del Estado de Derecho y de la democracia, el Ejecutivo de la Unión debe instar a que se prohíba esa organización fascista.

¿Conoce la Comisión el asesinato del artista Pavlos Fyssas?

Teniendo en cuenta las declaraciones de la Comisaria Reding, ¿va a tomar la Comisión alguna iniciativa al respecto?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión se remite a su declaración del 9 de octubre de 2013 ante el Parlamento Europeo sobre el aumento del extremismo de derechas en Europa.

La Comisión es consciente del hecho de que un joven músico, Pavlos Fyssas, fue asesinado en las calles en Grecia. La Comisión condena toda forma y manifestación de racismo y xenofobia, independientemente de su procedencia, ya que estos fenómenos son incompatibles con los valores y principios en los que se basa la Unión Europea.

La Comisión no escatima esfuerzos, dentro de los límites de sus competencias, para garantizar que la legislación de la Unión se ajuste plenamente a la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea.

Con arreglo al artículo 51, apartado 1, de dicha Carta, sus disposiciones están dirigidas a los Estados miembros únicamente cuando estos apliquen el Derecho de la Unión. El marco jurídico de la organización de los partidos políticos nacionales no es un asunto que se aborde en el ámbito de la UE.

La Decisión Marco 2008/913/JAI(1) del Consejo obliga a todos los Estados miembros a prohibir la incitación pública e intencionada a la violencia o al odio dirigidos contra un grupo de personas o un miembro de tal grupo, definido en relación con la raza, el color, la religión, la ascendencia o el origen nacional o étnico. Los Estados miembros deberán garantizar que las personas jurídicas son responsables de dichas conductas. La Comisión supervisa actualmente las medidas de aplicación de los Estados miembros y elaborará un informe al respecto en los próximos meses.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010970/13

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Fascist assassination in Greece

The European Union defends democratic values which extend to the entire territory of the Union, common values within the framework of the implementation of the Union acquis and the respect for fundamental rights.

Unfortunately, events such as the murder of the young artist Pavlos Fyssas in Greece, killed by members of the fascist far-right party Golden Dawn, tarnish democracy, peace and the respect for human life.

Greece, with its complicated economic and social situation, is negatively affected by the existence of this organisation which, in the opinion of the political parties that I represent, contravenes the respect for democracy. For this reason, the Commission should ask Greece to immediately outlaw the fascist organisation Golden Dawn for incitement to violence and crimes committed against human life, plurality and the respect for human rights. A few weeks ago Commissioner Reding said that the European Union would not be complicit in the existence of organisations within its borders which incite fascism or Nazism.

On this basis, in respect for the rule of law and democracy, the Union’s Executive should require that this fascist organisation be outlawed.

Is the Commission aware of the murder of the artist Pavlos Fyssas?

Taking into account the statements made by Commissioner Reding, will the Commission take any initiative with regard to this?

Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission refers to its statement of 9 October 2013 to the European Parliament about the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe.

The Commission is aware of the fact that a young musician, Pavlos Fyssas, was killed in the street in Greece. The Commission strongly condemns all forms and manifestations of racism and xenophobia, regardless from whom they come, as they are incompatible with the values and principles on which the European Union is founded.

The Commission is fully committed within the boundaries of its competences to ensure that Union legislation fully complies with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

According to its Article 51(1), the provisions of the Charter are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. The legal framework for the organisation of national political parties is not a matter dealt with at EU level.

Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA(1) obliges all Member States to make punishable the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred targeted against a group of people or a member of such ground defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent, or ethnic or national origin. Member States must ensure that also legal persons are liable for such conduct. The Commission is currently monitoring Member State's implementing measures and will draw up a report on this issue in the coming months.

(Dansk udgave)

Forespørgsel til skriftlig besvarelse E-010971/13

til Kommissionen

Søren Bo Søndergaard (GUE/NGL)

(26. september 2013)

Om: ILO's underkendelse af dens venske Laval-lov

I forlængelse af Kommissionens besvarelse P-006104/2013 ang ILO's underkendelse af den svenske Laval-lov bedes Kommissionen oplyse følgende:

I sin udtalelse gør ILO opmærksom på, at der ikke kan stilles krav om, at arbejdsmarkedets parter skal inddrage og vægte hensynet til retten til fri bevægelighed for tjenesteydelser i forbindelse med en proportionalitetsbedømmelse af de i øvrigt lovligt iværksatte kollektive kampskridt. Retten til at iværksætte kollektive kampskridt er en grundlæggende rettighed. Kommissionen bedes derfor venligst oplyse, hvor i fællesskabslovgivningen det fremgår, at når konfliktretten kolliderer med retten til fri bevægelighed for tjenesteydelser, skal det vurderes, om der tale om en restriktion for den fri bevægelighed?

Hvoraf fremgår det, at der i så fald skal foretages en proportionalitetsbedømmelse af de i øvrigt lovligt iværksatte kampskridt?

Hvordan forholder Kommissionen sig til ILO's kritik af, at EU stiller krav om inddragelse af retten til fri bevægelighed i forbindelse med en proportionalitetsbedømmelse af de i øvrigt lovligt iværksatte kollektive kampskridt?

Hvordan forholder Kommissionen sig til ILO's kritik af, at udstationeringsdirektivets artikel 3 reelt forhindrer de faglige organisationer i at varetage medlemmernes rettigheder og interesser fuldt ud? Det drejer sig både om forhandling af mere fordelagtige løn‐ og arbejdsvilkår end, hvad der følger af direktivet og den lovgivning, der implementerer direktivet (minimumvilkår), og om repræsentationen af udenlandske udstationerede medarbejdere (medlemmer).

Hvordan vil Kommissionen sikre, at udstationeringsdirektivet ikke forhindrer de faglige organisationer i at iværksætte lovlige kollektive kampskridt i forbindelse med varetagelsen af deres medlemmers interesser?

Svar afgivet på Kommissionens vegne af László Andor

(19. november 2013)

Ifølge Domstolens praksis (103) kan det blive nødvendigt at forene udøvelsen af retten til at iværksætte kollektive skridt med kravene og rettighederne forbundet med de økonomiske friheder nedfældet i traktaten i overensstemmelse med proportionalitetsprincippet.

Endvidere bør det bemærkes, at inklusion af såkaldte »Monti-klausuler« i afledt ret (104), forudsat at sidstnævnte ikke på nogen måde påvirker udøvelsen af de grundlæggende rettigheder, herunder retten eller friheden til at strejke eller iværksætte kollektive skridt, sikrer, at fagforeninger ikke forhindres i at iværksætte faglige aktioner med henblik på at beskytte deres medlemmers interesser i overensstemmelse med national lovgivning og praksis, forudsat at den gældende EU-lovgivning respekteres.

Hvad angår de bekymringer ILO's Komité for Gennemførelse af Konventioner og Henstillinger har givet udtryk for, afholder Kommissionen sig fra at afgive en detaljeret udtalelse, indtil den svenske regering har imødekommet komitéens anmodning om at vurdere sagen i samarbejde med arbejdsmarkedets parter.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010971/13

to the Commission

Søren Bo Søndergaard (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: ILO finding concerning the incompatibility of the Swedish Laval legislation

Further to the Commission’s answer P-006104/2013 regarding the ILO’s finding concerning the incompatibility of the Swedish Laval legislation with its conventions, could the Commission provide the following information:

In its opinion, the ILO notes that the social partners cannot be required to include and weigh up the interests of the right to free movement of services when assessing the proportionality of otherwise lawfully initiated industrial action. The right to initiate industrial action is a fundamental right. Therefore, can the Commission say where in Community legislation it states that when the law relating to industrial disputes conflicts with the right to free movement of services, it must be assessed whether free movement is being restricted?

Where does it state that, in this case, an assessment of the proportionality of the otherwise lawfully initiated industrial action shall be carried out?

What is the Commission’s position with regard to the ILO’s criticism of the fact that the EU requires the right to free movement to be included in an assessment of the proportionality of otherwise lawfully initiated industrial action?

What is its view of the ILO’s criticism that Article 3 of the Posting of Workers Directive actually prevents trade associations from fully protecting their members’ rights and interests? This includes both the negotiation of more favourable rates of pay and working conditions than those specified in the directive and the legislation implementing the directive (minimum conditions) and the representation of foreign posted workers (members).

How will the Commission ensure that the Posting of Workers Directive does not prevent trade associations from initiating lawful industrial action in connection with the protection of their members’ interests?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(19 November 2013)

According to the case law of the Court of Justice (105) the exercise of the right to take collective action may have to be reconciled with the requirements and rights relating to the economic freedoms enshrined in the Treaty in accordance with the principle of proportionality.

Furthermore, it should be recalled that the inclusion of so called ‘Monti clauses’ in secondary legislation (106) providing that the latter shall not affect in any way the exercise of fundamental rights, including the right or freedom to strike or take collective action, ensure that trade unions are not prevented from initiating industrial action in view of the protection of their members' interests in accordance with national law and practices, provided prevailing Union law obligations are respected.

With respect to the concerns expressed by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Convention and Recommendations, the Commission refrains from commenting in detail pending the Committee’s request to the Swedish Government for reviewing the matter with the social partners.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-010973/13

an die Kommission

Jutta Steinruck (S&D)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Ausbeutung von Arbeitnehmern der Firma Foxconn in der Tschechischen Republik

Die Zuliefererfirma Foxconn geriet durch ihre menschenunwürdigen Arbeitsbedingungen in ihren Produktionsstätten in China weltweit unter massive Kritik. Der Apple-Zulieferer gilt seitdem als Beispiel für moderne Sklavenarbeit. Neueste Berichte zeigen nun, dass dieses Ausbeutungssystem nicht nur in Asien, sondern auch in Europa um sich greift.

Im tschechischen Pardubice stellt Foxconn Computer für HP her. Um die Produktion möglichst profitabel zu gestalten, herrscht ein extrem hoher Arbeitsdruck bei geringer Bezahlung. Die Arbeitszeit ist derart getaktet, dass die Beschäftigten weder miteinander sprechen noch trinken oder sitzen können. An der Montagelinie selbst arbeiten Wanderarbeitnehmer aus ärmeren Drittländern wie Vietnam, aber auch aus EU-Mitgliedstaaten wie Bulgarien oder Rumänien Tag und Nacht in 12-Stunden-Schichten.

Laut einem in Deutschland veröffentlichten Artikel könnten Arbeiter durch Boni und Überstunden maximal bis zu 550 Euro im Monat verdienen. Allerdings dient selbst dieses Bonussystem nur der Kontrolle und Disziplinierung der Belegschaft. Bei einzelnen Fehlern oder Nichterreichen der vorgegebenen Stückzahlen bekommen alle Arbeiter einer Montagelinie den vermeintlichen Bonus abgezogen. Noch dramatischer steht es um sogenannte „Just-in-Time-Arbeitskräfte“, welche über Subunternehmer eingestellt sind. Diese unterlaufen viele tschechische Bestimmungen und nutzen Gesetzeslücken aus, durch die die Entlohnung auf 120 Euro im Monat herabgesenkt wird.

1.

Ist der Kommission dieses Problem bekannt?

2.

Welche konkreten Maßnahmen gedenkt die Kommission zu ergreifen, um diese katastrophalen Arbeitsverhältnisse auf europäischer Ebene zu bekämpfen?

3.

Welche Maßnahmen wird die Kommission ergreifen, um kurz‐ und langfristig die Einhaltung von sozialen und arbeitsrechtlichen Mindeststandards auf nationaler Ebene sicherzustellen?

4.

Erwägt die Kommission, bei Sozial‐ und Lohndumping von Unternehmen Strafzahlungen einzuführen, wie es sie bereits bei Kartellverstößen gibt?

5.

Was gedenkt die Kommission zu unternehmen, um die Rechte von Arbeitnehmern aus Drittländern stärker zu schützen?

Antwort von Herrn Andor im Namen der Kommission

(25. November 2013)

1.

Der Kommission liegen bisher keine Informationen hierzu vor.

2.,3.,5. Die EU-Vorschriften zum Arbeitsrecht enthalten gemeinsame Mindeststandards für die Arbeitsbedingungen. Diese Standards durchzusetzen ist Aufgabe der Mitgliedstaaten. Staatsangehörigen von Drittstaaten, die ihren rechtmäßigen Wohnsitz in einem EU‐Mitgliedstaat haben, wird in bestimmten Bereichen die gleiche Behandlung zuteil wie EU-Bürgern, dazu gehören Entlohnung, Kündigungsschutz sowie Gesundheitsschutz und Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz.

Nach der Arbeitszeitrichtlinie (107) haben alle Arbeitnehmer ungeachtet ihrer Staatsangehörigkeit Anspruch auf Ruhezeiten von mindestens 11 je 24 Stunden, auf eine Pause, sofern der Arbeitstag länger als sechs Stunden dauert, und auf eine Begrenzung der wöchentlichen Arbeitszeit (durchschnittlich höchstens 48 Stunden) (108). Nachtarbeit darf nicht länger als durchschnittlich 8 Stunden pro Nacht dauern, doch sind hier Ausnahmen möglich.

Die Kommission erwartet außerdem von allen Unternehmen mit Sitz in der EU, dass sie sich an die Bestimmungen der internationalen Leitlinien für die soziale Verantwortung von Unternehmen (109) halten.

4.

Vorschriften für die Entlohnung liegen in der Zuständigkeit der Mitgliedstaaten, nicht aber der EU. Das EU-Recht verbietet Lohndiskriminierung aufgrund der Staatsangehörigkeit und schreibt vor, dass entsandte Arbeitnehmer die Mindestlohnsätze (einschließlich Überstundenvergütung) erhalten, die in den Mitgliedstaaten gelten, in welchen die Arbeit durchgeführt wird (110).

Außerdem hat die Kommission eine Richtlinie vorgeschlagen (111), mit der die Durchsetzung der Richtlinie über die Entsendung von Arbeitnehmern (112) verbessert werden soll, um unter anderem die Umgehung von Vorschriften zu bekämpfen. Darin wird beispielsweise die Problematik der „Briefkastenfirmen“ angegangen und ein begrenztes System gesamtschuldnerischer Haftung eingeführt. Darüber hinaus hat die Kommission eine Richtlinie (113) vorgeschlagen, mit der die Durchsetzung der Rechte von Wanderarbeitnehmern in der EU verbessert werden soll. Danach müssten die Mitgliedstaaten diese Arbeitnehmer über ihre Rechte in Kenntnis setzen und ihnen helfen, diese durchzusetzen. Beide Vorschläge werden derzeit im Europäischen Parlament und im Rat erörtert.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010973/13

to the Commission

Jutta Steinruck (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Exploitation of workers in the company Foxconn in the Czech Republic

The component manufacturer Foxconn has come under substantial criticism around the world as a result of the inhumane working conditions at its production sites in China. The Apple supplier is now seen as an example of modern-day slavery. The latest reports now show that this system of exploitation is not only found in Asia, but is also spreading through Europe.

In Pardubice in the Czech Republic, Foxconn produces computers for HP. In order to make the production as profitable as possible, there is an extremely high productivity pressure and low pay. The working hours are timed in such a way that the workers are not able to speak to each other or drink or sit together. On the assembly line itself, migrant workers from poorer third countries such as Vietnam, but also from EU Member States like Bulgaria or Romania, work 12-hour shifts night and day.

According to an article published in Germany, workers can earn up to a maximum of EUR 550 per month from bonuses and overtime. However, this bonus system itself serves only to control and discipline the workforce. In the event of individual errors or the failure to achieve the specified number of units, all workers on an assembly line have their putative bonus deducted. The situation is even more dramatic with regard to so-called ‘just-in-time’ workers, which are employed via subcontractors. These subcontractors circumvent many Czech regulations and exploit legal loopholes to reduce wages to EUR 120 per month.

1.

Is the Commission aware of this problem?

2.

What specific measures does it intend to take to tackle these horrendous working conditions at European level?

3.

What steps will it take in order to ensure compliance in the short and long term with minimum social and labour standards at national level?

4.

Is it considering introducing penalties for social and wage dumping by companies, like those already in place for anti-trust violations?

5.

What does it intend to do to better protect the rights of workers from third countries?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

1.

The Commission has not received any information about this case so far.

2, 3, and 5. EU labour law lays down minimum common standards regarding working conditions. Enforcing those standards is the responsibility of the Member States (MS). Third-country nationals legally residing in an EU MS are granted treatment equal with that of EU nationals in certain matters, including pay, dismissal and health and safety at work.

Under the Working Time Directive (114), all workers, irrespective of nationality, are entitled to at least 11 hours rest per 24 hours, to a break once the working day exceeds six hours, and to a limit to weekly working time (maximum 48 hours on average) (115). Night workers should not work more than 8 hours per night on average, although derogations are possible.

The Commission also expects all companies with a base in the EU to abide by international corporate social responsibility (CSR) guidelines (116).

4.

Regulation of rates of pay is in the competence of MS, not the EU. EC law prohibits pay discrimination based on nationality and requires that posted workers receive the minimum rates of pay (including overtime rates) applicable in the MS where the work is carried out (117).

The Commission has also proposed (118) a directive to improve the enforcement of the Posting of Workers Directive (119), inter alia to combat circumventions of the rules, for example by addressing the issue of ‘letter-box companies’ and by introducing a limited system of joint and several liability. The Commission has also proposed a directive (120) to improve enforcement of EU migrant workers' rights, which would require MS to inform such workers about their rights and help them to assert them. Both proposals are currently being considered by the Parliament and Council.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010975/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Αξιοποίηση κοιτασμάτων υδρογονανθράκων εντός της κυπριακής ΑΟΖ

Οι έρευνες που διεξάγονται εντός της κυπριακής ΑΟΖ έχουν ήδη καταδείξει ότι υπάρχουν μεγάλα αποθέματα υδρογονανθράκων, τα οποία ενδέχεται να επαρκούν για την ενεργειακή αυτάρκεια και απεξάρτηση της ΕΕ από μη ευρωπαϊκές πηγές τροφοδότησης. Σύμφωνα με εκτιμήσεις του Προέδρου της Κρατικής Εταιρείας Υδρογονανθράκων Κύπρου (ΚΡΕΤΥΚ), τα αποθέματα φυσικού αερίου στην κυπριακή ΑΟΖ κυμαίνονται γύρω στα 40 τρις κυβικά πόδια, ενώ υπάρχουν και πολύ καλές ενδείξεις για την ύπαρξη σημαντικών κοιτασμάτων πετρελαίου.

Ερωτάται η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή:

Λαμβάνονται, και σε ποιο βαθμό, υπόψη τα κυπριακά αποθέματα στον μακροχρόνιο στρατηγικό σχεδιασμό των ευρωπαϊκών πολιτικών για την ενεργειακή ασφάλεια και επάρκεια;

Τι μπορεί και τι προτίθεται να πράξει για την προστασία των ευρωπαϊκών αυτών κοιτασμάτων από την απειλή μη ευρωπαϊκών κρατών, όπως π.χ. της Τουρκίας, που αμφισβητούν το νόμιμο δικαίωμα της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας να αξιοποιήσει τον ορυκτό πλούτο εντός της ΑΟΖ της:

Έχει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση τρόπους να βοηθήσει την Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία στη χρηματοδότηση των τεράστιων επενδύσεων που πρέπει να γίνουν για την ανόρυξη και διάθεση των κοιτασμάτων αυτών στην ευρωπαϊκή αγορά, δεδομένης μάλιστα και της σοβαρής οικονομικής κρίσης που μαστίζει τη χώρα;

Απάντηση του κ. Oettinger εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(9 Δεκεμβρίου 2013)

Τα υπεράκτια αποθέματα υδρογονανθράκων νοτίως της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας μπορούν να συμβάλουν στη διαφοροποίηση του ενεργειακού εφοδιασμού της ΕΕ. Ωστόσο, για να εκτιμηθεί ο πιθανός αντίκτυπος των εν λόγω αποθεμάτων στην ασφάλεια του ενεργειακού εφοδιασμού της Ένωσης απαιτείται εύλογη εκτίμηση των αποθεμάτων που μπορούν να αξιοποιηθούν με εμπορικά αποδοτικό τρόπο.

Η θέση της ΕΕ όσον αφορά τις διμερείς σχέσεις μεταξύ της Δημοκρατίας της Κύπρου και της Τουρκίας στο πλαίσιο της αναζήτησης υδρογονανθράκων αναφέρεται στην απάντηση της Επιτροπής σε προηγούμενες ερωτήσεις (121).

Οι δραστηριότητες εξερεύνησης και εξόρυξης/παραγωγής υδρογονανθράκων, καθώς και η εξαγωγική δραστηριότητα προς την ΕΕ και άλλες περιοχές του κόσμου θα βασιστεί κατά μεγάλο μέρος στις ιδιωτικές επενδύσεις. Πράγματι, διάφορες διεθνείς εταιρίες πετρελαιοειδών και φυσικού αερίου έχουν ήδη αποκτήσει άδειες και επενδύουν σε δραστηριότητες εξερεύνησης και εξαγωγών.

Η κυπριακή κυβέρνηση εξετάζει διάφορες επιλογές για τις εξαγωγές φυσικού αερίου (122), καθώς και τρόπους για τη χρηματοδότησή τους (123). Εν προκειμένω πρέπει να εξεταστούν και να αξιολογηθούν όλες οι εφικτές επιλογές, τόσο από πλευράς ενεργειακής ασφάλειας, όσο και από πλευράς σχετικού οικονομικού κόστους και οφέλους.

Μία εξαγωγική δυνατότητα για φυσικό αέριο περιλαμβάνεται στον πρόσφατα εγκεκριμένο κατάλογο έργων κοινού ενδιαφέροντος που προβλέπει ο κανονισμός (ΕΕ) αριθ. 347/2013 σχετικά με τις κατευθυντήριες γραμμές για τις διευρωπαϊκές ενεργειακές υποδομές (124). Κατ' αυτόν τον τρόπο παρέχονται δυνατότητες συγχρηματοδότησης με χρηματοδοτική βοήθεια της ΕΕ στο πλαίσιο της διευκόλυνσης «Συνδέοντας την Ευρώπη», υπό την προϋπόθεση συμμόρφωσης με τους όρους που περιγράφονται στον κανονισμό. Η Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία έχει επίσης τη δυνατότητα να ζητήσει στήριξη από την ΕΤΕπ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010975/13

to the Commission

Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves within Cyprus's EEZ

Exploratory drilling inside Cyprus’s EEZ has already identified large hydrocarbon reserves which may be sufficient to make the EU energy independent of non-European sources. According to estimates by the chairman of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company, reserves in Cyprus’s EEZ contain around 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and there is every indication that there are large oil fields.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

Are Cypriot reserves included and, if so, to what extent, in long-term strategic planning under European policies on energy security and sufficiency?

What can and what does it intend to do to protect these European reserves from the threat posed by non-European states, such as Turkey, which contest the Republic of Cyprus’s legal right to exploit the mineral resources within its EEZ?

Does the European Union have ways of helping the Republic of Cyprus to finance the huge investments that will be needed in order to drill for and channel these reserves to the European market, especially given the serious economic crisis which is gripping the country?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(9 December 2013)

The offshore hydrocarbon reserves in the south of the Republic of Cyprus can contribute to the EU’s diversification of energy supply. However, assessing the potential impact of these reserves on Europe's security of energy supply requires a reasonable estimate of the reserves which can be exploited in a commercially viable manner.

The EU position with respect to the bilateral relations between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey in the context of the exploration of hydrocarbons is stated in the Commission's answer to previous questions (125).

Hydrocarbons exploration and production activities as well as export activities to the EU and other regions of the world will be largely based on private investments. In fact, several international oil & gas companies have already obtained licenses and are investing in exploration and export activities; their contracts with the Republic of Cyprus also indicate they will bear the costs of offshore infrastructure.

The Cypriot government considers various gas export options (126) and ways to finance them (127). In this regard, all feasible options should be considered and assessed both from an energy security point of view and from the point of view of their relative economic costs and benefits.

One gas export option is placed on the recently adopted list of Projects of Common Interest under the regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on the Guidelines for the Trans-European Energy Networks (128). This allows for potential co-funding with EU financial assistance under the Connecting Europe Facility, provided it complies with the conditions described in the regulation. The Republic of Cyprus also has the possibility to seek support from the EIB.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010976/13

to the Commission

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (EFD)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Travel assistance and business start-up funds for EU nationals

1.

Do EU Member States have access to EU funding for the purposes of a) business start-ups and b) travel assistance for their own nationals?

2.

What is the amount available to each Member State in the categories of a) start-up funding and b) travel assistance?

3.

What is the amount available per EU national for a) start-up funding and b) travel assistance?

4.

What are the criteria for a) start-up funding and b) travel assistance?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(19 November 2013)

The ESF (129) and the ERDF (130) provide support in the context of national and regional programmes and more than EUR 3 billion has been provided over the 2007-13 period. Supporting new businesses is a key ESF priority and the majority of Member States have included this kind of action in their programmes. Overall, this priority is receiving EUR 2.75 billion of ESF funding. ERDF support for innovation and SMEs may also be used to provide support to start-ups. The attached table provides the breakdown by Member State.

The manner of distribution and the volume of support to individuals and companies is determined by national, regional or local agencies. This includes targeting and selection procedures. Contact information for ERDF/ESF managing authorities is available on the Commission's websites (131) .

It is not clear what is meant by ‘travel assistance for EU nationals’, although such assistance may be eligible for support from the European Structural and Investment Funds provided that it is relevant for the project concerned and that it is in line with all relevant rules.

Concerning start-ups and mobility, an EU programme (132) supports cross-border exchanges between new and experienced entrepreneurs. Exchanges last from 1 to 6 months. New entrepreneurs receive a stipend (from EUR 530 to EUR 1100) to pay for expenses.

In 2014-20, the ESF will continue to promote employment and labour mobility through supporting self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation.

(České znění)

Otázka k písemnému zodpovězení E-010977/13

Komisi

Jan Březina (PPE)

(26. září 2013)

Předmět: Geneticky modifikované organismy

Francouzský nejvyšší soud před nedávnem zrušil zákaz pěstování geneticky modifikované kukuřice v této zemi v reakci na květnové rozhodnutí Evropského úřadu pro bezpečnost potravin, že hrozba pro životní prostředí není natolik vážná, aby takový zákaz odůvodňovala.

Jak se k tomuto výnosu staví Komise? Zachová, s ohledem na rozhodnutí Evropského úřadu pro bezpečnost potravin, svůj návrh umožnit členským státům vydávat zákazy na vnitrostátní úrovni, nebo je nyní vhodná chvíle uznat, že odmítání geneticky modifikovaných organismů není založeno na vědeckých poznatcích, ale vede k tomu, že z Evropy odcházejí firmy z oboru rostlinné produkce?

Odpověď Tonia Borga jménem Komise

(20. listopadu 2013)

Komise vzala na vědomí rozhodnutí francouzské Conseil d'Etat (Státní rada), v němž se uvádí, že francouzské moratorium uvalené na pěstování geneticky modifikované kukuřice řady MON810 není v souladu s právními předpisy Evropské unie. Komise připomíná, že zákazy pěstování stanovené členskými státy prostřednictvím ochranných doložek a/nebo mimořádných opatření musí být v souladu s článkem 23 směrnice 2001/18/ES (133) a článkem 34 nařízení (ES) č.1829/2003 (134) založeny na vědeckých důvodech.

Komise uznala, že by členské státy měly mít při rozhodování, zda budou na svém území pěstovat geneticky modifikované organismy (GMO) schválené EU, větší svobodu, a to prostřednictvím legislativního návrhu z července 2010 (135), který se týká možnosti členských států omezit nebo zakázat pěstování GMO na svém území a který představuje konkrétní a po právní stránce řádně podloženou odpověď na předloženou otázku, přičemž zachovává fungování evropského postupu pro schvalování GMO na základě vědeckého hodnocení rizika prováděného Evropským úřadem pro bezpečnost potravin ve spolupráci se členskými státy. Komise se domnívá, že nedávné rozhodnutí francouzské Conseil d'Etat potvrzuje potřebu, aby se v souvislosti s tímto legislativním návrhem pokračovalo v rámci postupu spolurozhodování.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010977/13

to the Commission

Jan Březina (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

France’s highest court recently lifted the country’s ban on growing genetically modified maize following the decision by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in May that the environmental threat was not serious enough to justify a ban.

What is the Commission’s response to this ruling? In the light of the EFSA decision, will the Commission maintain its proposal to allow Member States to enact national bans or is this the right time to acknowledge that the opposition to GMOs is not based on scientific evidence, but is causing crop science companies to withdraw from Europe?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The Commission has taken note of the ruling by the French Conseil d'Etat stating that the French moratorium imposed on growing of the genetically modified maize MON810 failed to uphold European Union law. The Commission reminds that cultivation bans enacted by Member States through safeguard clauses and/or emergency measures must be based on scientific reasons, in accordance with Article 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC (136) and Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (137).

The Commission has acknowledged that Member States should be given more freedom on the decision to cultivate EU authorised GMOs on their territory by making in July 2010 (138) a legislative proposal as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory, which provides a concrete and legally sound response to this request, while preserving the functioning of the European GMO authorisation procedure based on a scientific risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority in collaboration with Member States. The Commission considers that the recent ruling by the French Conseil d'Etat confirms the need to make progress on this legislative proposal in the co-decision procedure.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010978/13

alla Commissione

Roberto Gualtieri (S&D), Alfredo Pallone (PPE), Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE), Roberta Angelilli (PPE), Paolo Bartolozzi (PPE), Silvia Costa (S&D), Francesco De Angelis (S&D), Leonardo Domenici (S&D), Guido Milana (S&D), Claudio Morganti (EFD), Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE), Potito Salatto (PPE), David-Maria Sassoli (S&D) e Marco Scurria (PPE)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Acciaierie di Terni

La Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) è uno dei principali produttori al mondo di laminati piani di acciaio inossidabile. Il 7 novembre 2012 la Commissione ha approvato l'acquisizione di Inoxum da parte di Outokumpu a condizione che alcuni assett tra cui AST fossero ceduti a soggetti terzi. Il disinvestimento doveva avvenire, nell'ambito delle procedure di cui al regolamento (CE) n. 139/2004, entro il mese di maggio 2013. Lo scopo della cessione richiesta dalla Commissione è quello di assicurare condizioni di concorrenza effettiva all'interno del mercato europeo degli acciai piani laminati a freddo. A tutt'oggi la procedura non si è chiusa e AST permane nel perimetro industriale di Outokumpu.

Tale situazione rischia di ripercuotersi negativamente sulla competitività del sito di Terni destando forti preoccupazioni tra i lavoratori e le autorità locali e nazionali, in considerazione anche del rischio di riduzione dei volumi produttivi, con ricadute sul posizionamento di mercato di AST e delle maggiori pressioni concorrenziali per via dei mancati investimenti tecnologici nonché sull'organizzazione commerciale. La Commissione ha assicurato attenzione rispetto ai temi della sostenibilità economica e della competitività di AST anche durante la fase di transizione.

Da recenti notizie di stampa sembra tuttavia che la Commissione abbia concesso ad Outokumpu fino al primo trimestre 2014 per completare la cessione delle Acciaierie di Terni.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

quali sono le ragioni che l'avrebbero indotta a concedere questa ulteriore proroga, mentre appare necessaria una rapida chiusura della procedura di disinvestimento che preservi il valore dell'azienda e le condizioni per lo sviluppo futuro;

quali garanzie può fornire rispetto al fatto che l'acquirente sia un investitore industriale europeo del settore con un adeguato business plan in grado di garantire il mantenimento dei livelli produttivi ed occupazionali del sito;

quali sono le iniziative che intende assumere affinché questa situazione d'incertezza sul futuro di AST possa essere risolta a breve in modo da consentire il rilancio della produzione;

se gli obiettivi della Commissione relativi alla politica industriale europea esposti nella Comunicazione del 12 ottobre 2012 ed il piano acciaio presentato l'11 giugno 2013 individuano un ruolo essenziale per la siderurgia e l'industria dell'acciaio;

quali assicurazioni può fornire sul fatto che la produzione di acciaio speciale a Terni continuerà a rimanere centrale nel contesto dell'industria comunitaria e che AST non sarà acquisita con scopi diversi rispetto alla prospettiva di valorizzazione e sviluppo del sito da un eventuale acquirente extraeuropeo?

Risposta di Joaquín Almunia a nome della Commissione

(6 dicembre 2013)

Per garantire il regolare svolgimento della procedura di disinvestimento, la Commissione non può pronunciarsi sui dettagli relativi a tale procedura o al suo calendario previsto. Gli aspetti essenziali delle procedure e le principali tappe del processo di disinvestimento sono ripresi nella versione non riservata degli impegni relativi al caso M.6471 Outokumpu/Inoxum (139) e nella Comunicazione della Commissione concernente le misure correttive (140).

La Commissione verifica l'adeguatezza dei potenziali acquirenti utilizzando i seguenti criteri (141):

l'acquirente deve essere indipendente e non essere collegato alle parti,

l'acquirente deve possedere i mezzi finanziari, la comprovata competenza pertinente nonché l'incentivo e la capacità di mantenere e sviluppare l'attività ceduta come forza competitiva redditizia ed attiva in concorrenza e

l'acquisizione dell'attività ceduta da parte di un acquirente proposto non deve prima facie creare nuovi problemi per la concorrenza.

I servizi della Commissione seguono attentamente la procedura di disinvestimento, anche tramite contatti periodici con Outokumpu, con il fiduciario responsabile del controllo (Monitoring Trustee) (142), il gestore incaricato di garantire la separazione dell'attività (Hold Separate Manager) (143) ed altre parti interessate. Oltre alle attuali garanzie che sono state chieste a Outokumpu ed attuate nel 2012 e nel 2013, la Commissione continuerà ad adottare tutte le misure necessarie per proteggere la redditività e la competitività di Acciai Speciali Terni.

La Commissione ritiene che l'industria siderurgica svolga un ruolo cruciale nell'economia complessiva dell'Unione europea, essendo un settore strategico di primo ordine, in grado di esercitare un impatto diretto sullo sviluppo economico, sociale e ambientale di tutti gli Stati membri dell'Unione europea. Secondo la Commissione, l'esistenza di un'industria siderurgica competitiva e redditizia è allo stesso tempo una condizione irrinunciabile e un fattore chiave del rilancio dell'economia in tutta l'Europa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010978/13

to the Commission

Roberto Gualtieri (S&D), Alfredo Pallone (PPE), Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE), Roberta Angelilli (PPE), Paolo Bartolozzi (PPE), Silvia Costa (S&D), Francesco De Angelis (S&D), Leonardo Domenici (S&D), Guido Milana (S&D), Claudio Morganti (EFD), Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE), Potito Salatto (PPE), David-Maria Sassoli (S&D) and Marco Scurria (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Terni steelworks

Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) is a leading global manufacturer of rolled stainless steel plate. On 7 November 2012, the Commission approved Outokumpu’s acquisition of Inoxum provided that certain assets, including AST, were sold to third parties. The divestment should have taken place, in accordance with the procedures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 139/2004, by May 2013. The purpose of the divestment requested by the Commission is to ensure that there is effective competition on the European cold-rolled steel plate market. To date, the procedure has still not been completed and AST remains one of Outokumpu’s industrial assets.

This situation is in danger of harming the competitiveness of the Terni site, which is causing serious concern to workers as well as national and local authorities, not least given the risk of reduced production volumes which will affect AST's market positioning, and given increased competition pressure owing to a lack of investment in technology and in the business organisation. The Commission pledged to be attentive to AST’s economic sustainability and competitiveness, including during the transition phase.

According to recent press reports, however, the Commission has given Outokumpu until the first quarter of 2014 to finalise the divestment of the Terni steelworks.

1.

What are the reasons behind the Commission granting this additional extension when it is necessary to complete the divestment procedure rapidly in order to safeguard the value of the company and the conditions for its future development?

2.

What guarantees can the Commission provide that the buyer will be a European industrial investor in the sector, with a suitable business plan capable of ensuring that the site’s production and employment levels will be maintained?

3.

What action will it take to ensure that this uncertainty over AST’s future will be resolved quickly to enable production to start again?

4.

Do the Commission’s EU industrial policy objectives, set out in its communication of 12 October 2012 and the action plan for the European Steel Industry presented on 11 June 2013, identify an essential role for steel production and the steel industry?

5.

What assurances can it provide that special steel production in Terni will continue to remain a key part of EU industry and that AST will not be bought by a non-European buyer for purposes other than the prospect of enhancing and developing the site?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(6 December 2013)

In the interest of an orderly divestiture process, the Commission cannot comment on the details of the divestment procedure or its specific timeline. An overview of the procedures and main steps of the divestiture process can be found in the non-confidential version of the commitments in case M.6471 Outokumpu/Inoxum (144) and in the Commission notice on remedies (145).

The Commission assesses the suitability of potential purchasers in light of the following criteria (146):

the purchaser is required to be independent of and unconnected to the merging parties,

the purchaser must possess the resources, relevant expertise and have the incentive and ability to maintain and develop the divested business as a viable and active competitive force, and

the acquisition of the business by the purchaser must not prima facie create new competition concerns.

The Commission services are closely monitoring the divestment process, inter alia through regular contacts meetings and with Outokumpu, the Monitoring Trustee (147), the Hold Separate Manager (148) and other stakeholders. Beyond existing safeguards requested from Outokumpu and implemented in 2012 and 2013, the Commission will continue to take all necessary measures to protect Acciai Speciali Terni's viability and competitiveness.

The Commission considers the steel industry to play an instrumental role in the overall economy of the European Union and to be a strategic sector of the highest order, with a direct impact on the economic, social and environmental development of all EU Member States. The Commission believes that a competitive and sustainable steel industry is both a condition for and a key factor in the economic recovery across Europe.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010979/13

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Legge anti-blogger in Cina: arrestato un ragazzo di sedici anni

Il 9 settembre scorso la Corte suprema del popolo e l'Ufficio centrale dei procuratori di Stato della Repubblica popolare cinese hanno fornito un'interpretazione giuridica che permette alle forze dell'ordine di mettere in stato di arresto chiunque pubblichi su Internet notizie false o atte a provocare proteste, scontri etnici o religiosi oppure che danneggino l'immagine del paese.

In base a questa interpretazione è stato posto in stato di arresto un ragazzo di 16 anni nella provincia del Gansu. L'accusa è quella di aver pubblicato su un blog notizie non corrette in merito ad un caso di cronaca sostenendo che le forze dell'ordine non fossero in grado svolgere indagini puntuali.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se è al corrente dei fatti descritti;

se non ritiene che l'applicazione di questa norma e l'arresto di un ragazzo di 16 anni per il semplice fatto di aver espresso una propria opinione su un blog rappresentino una violazione dei diritti dell'uomo e in particolare del diritto alla libera espressione così come sancito anche nell'articolo 11 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione europea;

se, nell'ambito della recente visita ufficiale in Cina di una rappresentanza dell'UE col compito di affrontare la delicata questione del rispetto dei diritti umani nel paese, è stata discussa anche la questione sopra esposta e, in caso affermativo, con quali risultati?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(11 novembre 2013)

In occasione della recente visita in Cina (9-18 settembre), il Rappresentante speciale dell'UE per i diritti umani ha sollevato la questione della nuova interpretazione giuridica fornita dalla Corte suprema del popolo ed è stato informato del fatto che, a differenza della libertà di espressione, la diffusione di notizie incontrollate non è protetta dalla Costituzione poiché si tratta di montature che possono violare i diritti di altre persone. L'RSUE ha ribadito che la libertà di espressione, sancita dall'articolo 19 della Dichiarazione universale dei diritti dell'uomo, deve essere protetta sia online che offline.

La Commissione è inoltre al corrente dell'arresto di un ragazzo di 16 anni nella provincia del Gansu, il cui successivo rilascio sembra essere il risultato della pressione esercitata dall'opinione pubblica.

La situazione generale dei diritti umani in Cina, compreso l'esercizio della libertà di espressione, sarà oggetto di discussione durante l'imminente esame periodico universale del Consiglio dei diritti dell'uomo dell'ONU, che avrà luogo il 22 ottobre a Ginevra.

Da parte sua, la Commissione continuerà a monitorare la situazione, a esprimere le proprie preoccupazioni alle autorità cinesi e a promuovere l'osservanza delle norme internazionali sui diritti umani.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010979/13

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Anti-blogger law in China: 16-year-old boy arrested

On 9 September 2013, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China provided a legal interpretation giving police the power to arrest anyone who publishes news that is false or likely to incite protests, ethnic or religious clashes or which harms the country’s image.

Based on this interpretation, a 16-year-old boy has been arrested in Gansu province. He is accused of blogging incorrect information about a news story, stating that the police were not capable of carrying out proper investigations.

1.

Is the Commission aware of these facts?

2.

Does it believe that the application of this law and the arrest of a 16-year-old boy merely for expressing his opinion on a blog is a violation of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?

3.

During the recent official visit to China of an EU delegation tasked with addressing the sensitive issue of respect for human rights in the country, was the above issue also discussed and, if so, what was the outcome?

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

(11 November 2013)

During his recent visit to China (9-18 September), the EU Special Representative for Human Rights raised the issue of the new interpretation of the law applying to rumours with the Supreme People's Court and was told that, whilst freedom of speech is protected in the framework of the Constitution, spreading of rumours is not protected by the law because it is fabrication that can infringe on other people's rights. The EUSR insisted that freedom of expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be protected online as well as off-line.

The Commission is also aware of the arrest of a sixteen-year old boy in Gansu province. His subsequent release appears to have been the result of public pressure.

The overall Human Rights situation in China, including the exercise of freedom of expression, will be addressed by the UN Human Rights Council during the upcoming Universal Periodic Review, which will take place in Geneva on 22 October.

For its part, the Commission will continue to monitor the situation and raise its concern with the Chinese authorities and continue to promote the implementation of International Human Rights Law.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010980/13

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Attacco terroristico in un centro commerciale a Nairobi

Un commando di terroristi islamici di al Shebaab ha assaltato, il 22 settembre, a Nairobi il centro commerciale Westgate, il più grande della città e frequentato prevalentemente da stranieri, con l'obiettivo di fare il maggior numero possibile di vittime fra cristiani ed ebrei. I terroristi hanno tenuto in ostaggio i civili per più di 48 ore, sino all'intervento delle forze speciali, mentre il bilancio delle vittime, ancora da confermare, è di 62 morti, 63 dispersi e oltre 200 feriti.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se è informata dei fatti;

se è in grado di fornire notizie più puntuali sul numero delle vittime, soprattutto fra i cittadini europei;

come intende agire per garantire la sicurezza dei propri cittadini che si trovano in questo Paese;

considerate le dichiarazioni dell'Alto Rappresentante per gli affari esteri dell'Unione europea sull'accaduto, come intende agire per supportare il governo del Paese affinché tali attacchi vengano in futuro impediti?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(12 novembre 2013)

In base alle ultime informazioni ricevute il bilancio totale delle vittime nell'attacco al Westgate Mall è di 67 persone, tra le quali nove cittadini europei (sei di nazionalità britannica, uno di nazionalità olandese e due di nazionalità francese).

Immediatamente dopo l'attacco l'AR/VP ha chiesto ad un funzionario di alto livello di recarsi in Kenya per valutare l'opportunità di un sostegno futuro unitamente alle autorità locali. L'UE sta attualmente considerando diverse opzioni. Poiché la sicurezza del Kenya è intrinsecamente legata alla sicurezza dei paesi vicini si rende necessario un impegno costante per stabilizzare la regione, in particolare la Somalia. Tale impegno comprende un sostegno all'AMISON e alla missione di addestramento dell'UE per le forze di sicurezza somale. La conferenza di Bruxelles su un «new deal» per la Somalia del 16 settembre ha rappresentato un passo importantissimo per affrontare i problemi più urgenti nel paese. Inoltre, l'UE continuerà a promuovere l'attuazione del Piano d'azione dell'Unione europea contro il terrorismo nel Corno d'Africa/Yemen. Uguale importanza rivestono i progetti che contrastano i finanziamenti al terrorismo e agli estremismi violenti e rafforzano la capacità dell'autorità kenyota di prevenire e reagire a tali crisi.

Affinché tali proposte siano sostenibili saranno create sinergie con il sostegno alla gestione e in particolare alla promozione della trasparenza e della lotta all'impunità. Esse dovrebbero inoltre essere considerate nel contesto del sostegno generale dell'UE alla promozione dello sviluppo sostenibile, che consente di affrontare le cause alla radice del terrorismo contrastandolo nella maniera più efficace.

Su scala più ampia il Forum globale contro il terrorismo fornisce una buona base per coordinare le misure antiterrorismo in conseguenza dell'attacco. L'Unione europea si sta impegnando a fondo per mantenere la copresidenza del gruppo di lavoro del Forum globale contro il terrorismo per il Corno d'Africa insieme alla Turchia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010980/13

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Terrorist attack on a shopping centre in Nairobi

On 22 September 2013, a group of Islamist al-Shabaab terrorists stormed the Westgate shopping centre — the largest in Nairobi and mainly frequented by foreigners — with the aim of killing as many Christians and Jews as possible. The terrorists held civilians hostage for more than 48 hours until the special forces intervened, while the number of victims, as yet unconfirmed, stands at 62 dead, 63 missing and over 200 injured.

1.

Is the Commission aware of these facts?

2.

Is it able to provide more precise information on the number of victims, especially Europeans?

3.

How does it plan to ensure the safety of its citizens who are in Kenya?

4.

In view of the statements by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs on this matter, how will the Commission support the country’s government to prevent such attacks in the future?

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

(12 November 2013)

According to the latest information received the total death toll of the attack on the Westgate Mall is 67 people, among them 9 European Citizens (6 British, 1 Dutch, and 2 French nationals).

Immediately after the attack the HR/VP asked a high-level official to visit Kenya to explore future support together with local authorities. The EU is now considering different options. As Kenya's security is intrinsically linked to that of its neighbours continued efforts to stabilise the region and in particular Somalia are important. This includes support to Amisom and the EU training mission for the Somalian security forces. The Brussels Conference on a New Deal for Somalia of 16 September was a milestone for addressing the most critical priorities in Somalia. In addition, the EU will continue to promote the implementation of the EU Counter Terrorism Action Plan on Horn of Africa/Yemen. Equally important are projects to counter the financing of terrorism and violent extremism, and to strengthen the capacity of Kenyan authorities to prevent and to respond to such crises.

For these specific proposals to be sustainable, synergies will be created with the support to the governance area, and in particular to promote transparency and counter impunity. They should also be seen in the context of general EU support to promote sustainable development, which allows for the addressing of the root causes of terrorism, the most effective way to counter terrorism.

At a wider level, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) provides a good forum to coordinate counterterrorism measures in the aftermath of the attack. The EU is fully committed to continue the co-chairmanship of the GCTF Horn of Africa working group together with Turkey.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-010981/13

aan de Commissie

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE)

(26 september 2013)

Betreft: Lekkend radioactief afval in Dessel en Doel in België

Is de Commissie op de hoogte van het lekkende radioactieve afval in de gemeentes Dessel en Doel in België?

Ziet de Commissie nauwlettend toe op de juiste toepassing Richtlijn 2011/70/Euratom van 19 juli 2011?

Heeft België, zoals vereist, deze richtlijn correct omgezet in nationale wetgeving voor 23 augustus 2013?

Heeft de Commissie België gevraagd om een analyse van het gevaar wat betreft het lekkende radioactieve afval? Zo ja, hoe groot is het gevaar? Zo nee, waarom niet?

Antwoord van de heer Oettinger namens de Commissie

(18 november 2013)

1.

De Commissie is ervan op de hoogte dat begin 2013 bij een visuele inspectie een anomalie is gevonden in verschillende opslagvaten voor geconditioneerd afval bij Belgaprocess, zoals gerapporteerd door het federaal agentschap voor nucleaire controle (FANC) (149).

2-3. Momenteel onderzoekt de Commissie de omzetting van de richtlijn in de nationale wetgeving van de lidstaten. Indien uit het onderzoek blijkt dat een lidstaat haar verplichtingen niet naleeft om Richtlijn 2011/70/Euratom correct om te zetten, zal de Commissie gepaste actie ondernemen.

4.

De Commissie heeft geen bijzondere risicoanalyse gevraagd. Het toezicht op de veiligheid van nucleaire installaties en het beheer van radioactief afval is een nationale bevoegdheid. Zowel controle, inspectie als dwingende maatregelen zijn taken van de nationale bevoegde autoriteiten.

De Commissie kan de werking en de doeltreffendheid van de installaties nagaan die de lidstaten oprichtten om een voortdurende controle uit te oefenen op de radioactiviteit van de lucht, het water en de bodem (150). In dit geval leidt alle door het FANC beschikbare gestelde informatie tot het besluit dat er geen radiologische impact is op de bevolking of het milieu.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010981/13

to the Commission

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Leaking radioactive waste at Dessel and Doel in Belgium

Is the Commission aware of the leaking radioactive waste in the municipalities of Dessel and Doel in Belgium?

Is the Commission closely monitoring the correct application of Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011?

Did Belgium correctly transpose this directive, as required, into its national legislation by 23 August 2013?

Has the Commission asked Belgium for a risk analysis with respect to the leaking radioactive waste? If so, how great is the risk? If not, why not?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(18 November 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware that during a visual inspection conducted in early 2013 an abnormality was found in several concrete casks of conditioned waste stored at Belgoprocess, as reported by FANC (federaal agentschap voor nucleaire controle) (151).

2-3. The Commission is in the process of examining the implementation in every Member State. If this examination indicates that a MS is not meeting its obligation under EC law to correctly transpose Directive 2011/70/Euratom, the Commission will take appropriate action.

4.

No specific risk analysis has been requested by the Commission. Supervision of the safety of nuclear installations and radioactive waste management is a national competence. Regulatory control and inspections, as well as enforcement actions, are the tasks of the national competent authorities.

The Commission has the right to verify the operation and efficiency of the systems in the Member States which monitor the level of radioactivity in air, water and soil (152). However, in this case, all information made available at this point by FANC leads to the conclusion that there is no radiological impact on the population or the environment.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-010982/13

aan de Commissie

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(26 september 2013)

Betreft: Maatregelen i.v.m. nationale doelstellingen op het vlak van hernieuwbare energie tegen 2020

Op basis van Richtlijn 2009/28/EG leggen de EU en de lidstaten zichzelf doelstellingen op voor het bevorderen van hernieuwbare energie met bindende nationale streefcijfers van 20 % hernieuwbare energie in het eindenergieverbruik en 10 % in het verkeer tegen 2020. In haar voortgangsrapport inzake duurzame energie dat begin dit jaar verscheen, toont de Commissie duidelijk aan dat met het huidige beleid deze doelstellingen in vele lidstaten niet gehaald zullen worden. De Commissie engageert zich in het voortgangsrapport om richtsnoeren op te stellen en inbreukprocedures op te starten wanneer lidstaten hun verplichtingen niet nagaan.

1.

Wanneer zal de Commissie deze richtsnoeren uitbrengen?

2.

In welke vorm zal dit gebeuren, hoe zal de Commissie ervoor zorgen dat de lidstaten de richtsnoeren opvolgen?

3.

Kan de Commissie nog andere maatregelen ondernemen?

4.

In mei 2013 startte de Commissie een inbreukprocedure tegen België en riep het land op om aan de EU-regels voor hernieuwbare energie te voldoen. Heeft België hierop gereageerd en zo ja, hoe?

Antwoord van de heer Oettinger namens de Commissie

(15 november 2013)

1.

Op 5 november heeft de Commissie het richtsnoer inzake steunregelingen voor hernieuwbare energiebronnen uitgebracht om ervoor te zorgen dat hernieuwbare energie in de lidstaten op de meest kosteneffectieve wijze wordt ontwikkeld door de energieproductie uit hernieuwbare bronnen te integreren in de energiemarkt, en door steunregelingen stabiel en geloofwaardig te maken en zich tegelijkertijd flexibel te blijven aanpassen aan de veranderende technologische ontwikkeling.

2.

Het richtsnoer van de Commissie is een werkdocument van de diensten van de Commissie dat gevoegd is bij een mededeling over het zo goed mogelijk inzetten van overheidsinterventies op de elektriciteitsmarkt. Het werkdocument bevat de belangrijkste beginselen die de Commissie zal toepassen bij de beoordeling van staatstussenkomsten inzake steunregelingen, capaciteitsmechanismen of maatregelen die de respons op de vraag van de consumenten verzekeren. Het pakket omvat ook richtsnoeren voor het gebruik van samenwerkingsmechanismen inzake hernieuwbare energie. Deze documenten zijn niet-bindende maatregelen. Dit pakket zal worden gepresenteerd en besproken tijdens de volgende Energieraad in december dit jaar.

3.

De Commissie ziet echter in alle lidstaten van dichtbij toe op de trajecten van de aandelen hernieuwbare energie en zal maatregelen treffen als de lidstaten niet hun verplichtingen niet nakomen. Tegen eind 2014 is de Commissie voornemens om in haar volgende voortgangsverslag inzake hernieuwbare energie te beoordelen welke vooruitgang de lidstaten hebben geboekt inzake de tussentijdse 2011/2012-doelstellingen te beoordelen.

4.

De Commissie heeft de Belgische autoriteiten in mei 2013 inderdaad op grond van Richtlijn 2009/28/EG een met redenen omkleed advies toegezonden aan de Belgische autoriteiten wegens de niet-mededeling van omzettingsmaatregelen (153). De antwoorden van de Belgische autoriteiten worden momenteel door de Commissie beoordeeld.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010982/13

to the Commission

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Measures relating to national targets on renewable energy by 2020

Under Directive 2009/28/EC, the EU and the Member States set themselves targets for the promotion of renewable energy, with mandatory national targets of at least a 20% share of energy from renewable sources in the gross final consumption of energy in 2020 and at least 10% of the final consumption of energy in transport. In the Commission's progress report on renewable energy, which was published at the start of this year, the Commission stresses that these targets will not be met in many Member States without policy changes. In the progress report, the Commission undertakes to compile guidelines and open infringement proceedings if Member States do not comply with their obligations.

1.

When is the Commission going to issue those guidelines?

2.

In what form will this happen and how will the Commission ensure that Member States comply with the guidelines?

3.

Can the Commission take other measures?

4.

In May 2013, the Commission opened infringement proceedings against Belgium and called on that country to comply with EU regulations on renewable energy. Has Belgium responded and, if so, how?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

1.On 5 November the Commission issued the guidance on renewables' support schemes to ensure that Member States' development of renewable energy is done in the most cost-effective way by integrating renewable energy production in the energy market, and making support schemes stable and credible while remaining flexible to adapt to changing technological evolution.

2.The guidance from the Commission is in the form of a staff working document attached to a communication on making the most of public intervention in the electricity market which sets out the main principles which the Commission will apply when assessing state interventions relating to renewable support schemes, capacity mechanisms or measures to ensure consumer demand response. The package includes also Guidance on the use of renewable energy cooperation mechanisms. These documents are non-binding measures. This package will be presented and discussed in the next Energy Council in December this year.

3.The Commission is however following closely the trajectories of the renewables shares in all Member States and will take action should Member States not fulfil their obligations. By the end of 2014 the Commission intends to issue its next Renewable energy progress report assessing progress of Member States towards the 2011/2012 interim targets.

4.The Commission has indeed sent in May 2013 a reasoned opinion to Belgian authorities for non-communication of transposition measures under Directive 2009/28/EC (154). The replies of the Belgian authorities are currently being assessed by the Commission.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-010983/13

an die Kommission

Werner Schulz (Verts/ALE)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Nichtgewährung der EU-Förderung für unabhängige Wahlbeobachtung in Aserbaidschan

Die EU-Kommission hat im Dezember 2012 eine Ausschreibung (EIDHR 19.04.01 und 19.08.01.03) über 2,2 Mio. EUR veröffentlicht, u. a. mit dem Ziel, die Beobachtung der anstehenden Präsidentschafts‐ Lokal‐ und Parlamentswahlen in Aserbaidschan zu beobachten. Laut ursprünglichem Zeitplan hätte die Entscheidung am 5. Mai 2013 fallen müssen, und die Vertragsunterzeichnung hätte am 30.5. sein sollen, damit eine gute Vorbereitung rechtzeitig vor den Präsidentschaftswahlen im Oktober 2013 ermöglicht worden wäre.

Die Entscheidungsfindung wurde jedoch um über zwei Monate verzögert. Ende Juli erhielten alle Bewerber für die Beobachtung der Präsidentschaftswahlen eine Absage, darunter auch renommierte und durch Kooperation mit EU-Partnern erfahrene nichtstaatliche Organisationen (NGOs). Die veranschlagten 2,2 Mio. EUR wurden fast vollständig von der EU-Delegation in Baku nach Brüssel zurück überwiesen.

— Warum wurden in der Aufforderung zur Einreichung von Vorschlägen nichtregistrierte Organisationen nicht als Antragsteller zugelassen?

— Ist der Kommission bewusst, dass, wie in allen autoritär regierten Staaten der Östlichen Partnerschaft, kritische NGOs nicht zur Registrierung zugelassen werden?

— Wie konnte es zu der Verzögerung von zwei Monaten bei der Arbeit der Evaluationskommission kommen?

— Welche Maßnahmen unternimmt die Kommission, um die Delegation in Baku in ihrer Arbeitsfähigkeit zu stärken?

— Welche Maßnahmen unternimmt die Kommission, um Organisationen der zivilgesellschaftlichen Wahlbeobachtung in den Staaten der Östlichen Partnerschaft in ihrer Arbeit nachhaltig und planbar zu fördern?

Antwort von Herrn Füle im Namen der Kommission

(24. Oktober 2013)

Anders als nach Informationsstand des Herrn Abgeordneten wurden von dem ausgeschriebenen Gesamtbudget von 2,2 Mio. EUR beinahe 90 % (1 970 762 EUR) vertraglich vergeben. Lediglich die restlichen 229 238 EUR flossen zurück. Die Wahlen wurden in Los 2 (Budget: 1 Mio. EUR) abgedeckt, dabei wurden nicht ausschließlich die Präsidentschaftswahlen, sondern auch die Kommunal‐ und Parlamentswahlen berücksichtigt. Bedauerlicherweise waren die für Los 2 eingereichten Anträge jedoch unzureichend in Anzahl und Qualität.

Nicht registrierte Organisationen konnten an der Ausschreibung gemeinsam mit registrierten Antragstellern teilnehmen. Die Delegation hat die Bildung solcher Partnerschaften, die im Rahmen des EIDHR (155) durchaus möglich sind, aktiv gefördert.

Der zeitliche Ablauf der Ausschreibung erfolgte nach dem üblichen Verfahren. Die Einreichungsfrist wurde in der Berichtigung von 15. März 2013 um zwei Wochen verlängert, um die Anforderungen für Mitantragsteller weniger restriktiv zu machen: Benachrichtigungen über Konzeptpapiere wurden am 17. Mai 2013 versandt, Benachrichtigungen über vollständige Anträge und Förderfähigkeit am 23. Juli 2013. Die Delegation ist ihren Aufgaben in effektiver Weise nachgekommen und ist mit qualifiziertem Personal besetzt.

Im Hinblick auf zukünftige Maßnahmen wird die Kommission weitere Anstrengungen unternehmen, um die Zusammenarbeit mit nicht registrierten NRO (156) zu erleichtern, die tatsächlich durch das EIDHR in Aserbaidschan unterstützt wurden. Um den NRO bei der Antragstellung auf Mittel der EU zu helfen, hat die Kommission ein Projekt zur technischen Unterstützung eingeleitet. Ebenso hat sie erneut die jährlichen Haushaltsmittel zur Unterstützung der Zivilgesellschaft durch thematische und geografische Programme erhöht.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-010983/13

to the Commission

Werner Schulz (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Failure to grant EU assistance for independent election observation in Azerbaijan

In December 2012 the Commission published a call for proposals (EIDHR 19.04.01 und 19.08.01.03) worth EUR 2.2 million with the aim, among other things, of providing for observation of the imminent presidential, local and parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. Under the initial timetable, a decision should have been taken on 5 May 2013 and agreements should have been signed on 30 May in order to allow plenty of time for preparation before the presidential election in October 2013.

The decision was, however, put off for over two months. At the end of July, all applicants for observer status for the presidential election, including reputable NGOs with experience of working with EU partners, received a rejection. Almost all the projected expenditure of EUR 2.2 million was returned to Brussels by the EU Delegation in Baku.

— Why were non-registered organisations not permitted to apply in the call for proposals?

— Is the Commission aware that NGOs critical of the regime in Azerbaijan are, as in all states in the Eastern Partnership that are subject to authoritarian rule, not being admitted for registration?

— How come there was a two-month hold-up in the work of the Evaluation Committee?

— What action is the Commission taking to increase the effectiveness of the work of the Delegation in Baku?

— What action is the Commission taking to assist civil society organisations for election observation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership to plan and sustain their activities?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(24 October 2013)

Contrary to the Honourable Member’s information, out of the total call for proposals budget of EUR 2.2 million almost 90% of the funds (EUR 1 970 762) were contracted. Only the remainder of EUR 229 238 was returned. Elections were covered in Lot 2 (EUR 1 million budget), focused not only on the presidential elections, but also on the municipal and parliamentary elections. Regrettably, the proposals submitted under Lot 2 were, however, insufficient in numbers and quality.

Non-registered organisations were able to participate in the call in partnership with registered applicants. The Delegation actively encouraged the forming of such partnerships, which are a distinct possibility under EIDHR (157).

The call calendar followed the usual procedure. The submission deadline was extended by two weeks in the 15 March 2013 Corrigendum, in order to allow for less restrictive eligibility for co-applicants: Notifications on Concept Notes were sent on 17 May 2013 and on Full Application and eligibility on 23 July 2013. The Delegation has been performing its tasks effectively and is fully equipped with skilled staff.

Concerning future action, the Commission will undertake further efforts to facilitate cooperation with non-registered NGOs (158), which were indeed supported through EIDHR in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, in order to help NGOs to apply for EU grants the Commission has launched a technical assistance project. It has also continued to increase the annual budget for support to civil society through thematic and geographical programmes.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010984/13

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Vacunación de los infantes en la Unión Europea

En varios países europeos las posiciones contrarias a la vacunación obligatoria, como la llamada triple vírica, se están extendiendo en la sociedad y en las familias. Las familias se niegan a que sus hijos e hijas sean vacunados.

El número de casos de enfermedades como la viruela se está multiplicando exponencialmente en países de la Unión. La razón principal es la negativa de las familias a vacunar a sus hijos e hijas. Eso se debe, en gran medida, a que han recibido información falsa o sesgada sobre los posibles efectos secundarios negativos de la vacunación. Ello crea una situación sanitaria negativa en nuestras sociedades, que puede ir agravándose en el futuro si no se toman las medidas oportunas.

¿Es consciente la Comisión de este problema?

¿Tiene datos la Comisión sobre el porcentaje de infantes sin vacunar en los diferentes países de la Unión?

¿Tiene la Comisión datos actualizados sobre el aumento e incidencia de casos de enfermedades contagiosas, como la viruela, en los países de la Unión?

¿Está la Comisión considerando la posibilidad de lanzar algún tipo de iniciativa en colaboración con las autoridades estatales y locales para contrarrestar la información falsa y sesgada que reciben las familias sobre la vacunación?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión conoce el problema de la posición contraria a la vacunación, que está afectando a los índices de vacunación en la Unión Europea.

Los datos sobre la cobertura de las enfermedades que se previenen mediante vacunación en la infancia son proporcionados por Venice 2, proyecto coordinado por el Centro Europeo para la Prevención y el Control de las Enfermedadess (159). En 1980, la Organización Mundial de la Salud declaró erradicada la viruela a nivel mundial.

En lo que respecta a las iniciativas para mejorar la percepción de los beneficios de la vacunación infantil, en 2011 el Consejo adoptó conclusiones a fin de intensificar los esfuerzos dirigidos a mejorar la cobertura de inmunización para las enfermedades que se previenen mediante vacunación, incluidos el sarampión, las paperas y la rubeola. La conferencia organizada por la Comisión en 2012 sobre inmunización infantil puso de relieve la importancia, en particular, de la vacunación contra el sarampión y la rubeola.

La Decisión del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 22 de octubre de 2013, sobre las graves amenazas transfronterizas para la salud insta a que se mejoren los procesos de intercambio de información en relación con la cobertura de las enfermedades que se previenen mediante vacunación. Además, la Decisión establece una base jurídica para las medidas de coordinación dirigidas a controlar los brotes, incluida la vacunación. La Decisión permite la adquisición conjunta de contramedidas médicas y hará posible que los Estados miembros de la UE que participan en este proceso adquieran conjuntamente las vacunas.

Por último, la vacunación es competencia de las autoridades nacionales de salud pública, que son también responsables de comunicar a la población en general y a los profesionales de la salud los beneficios de la vacunación.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010984/13

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Vaccination of infants in the European Union

In several EU countries, opposition to mandatory vaccinations, such as MMR, is spreading in society and in families. Families refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated.

The number of cases of diseases like smallpox is multiplying exponentially in countries in the Union. The main reason is the refusal of families to vaccinate their children. This is largely due to them having received false or biased information about possible negative secondary effects of vaccination. This is creating a negative health situation in our societies, which may worsen in the future if appropriate measures are not taken.

Is the Commission aware of this problem?

Does the Commission have data on the percentage of unvaccinated infants in the different countries in the European Union?

Does the Commission have up-to-date information on the increase in the incidence of cases of infectious diseases like smallpox in countries in the Union?

Is the Commission considering the possibility of launching some kind of initiative in collaboration with state and local authorities to counter the false and biased information that families receive about vaccination?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission is aware of the issue of vaccination refusal which is impacting vaccination coverage rates in the European Union.

Data on coverage of vaccine preventable diseases in childhood is provided by the VENICE 2 project coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. (160) Smallpox has been declared by the World Health Organisation globally eradicated in 1980.

Concerning initiatives to improve the perception of the benefits of childhood vaccination, the Council adopted conclusions in 2011 to strengthen efforts to improve immunisation coverage for vaccine preventable diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella. The conference organised by the Commission in 2012 on childhood immunisation further underlined the importance in particular of vaccination against measles and rubella.

The European Parliament and Council Decision of 22 October 2013 on serious cross border threats to health calls for improved processes to exchange information related to the coverage of vaccine preventable diseases. In addition, the decision provides a legal basis for coordination measures to control outbreaks, including vaccination. The decision further enables the joint procurement of medical countermeasures and will allow EU Member States that participate in this process to procure jointly vaccines.

Finally, vaccination is the competence of national public health authorities, who are also responsible to communicate the benefits of vaccination to the general population and healthcare workers.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010985/13

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Prestación de desempleo en la Eurozona

¿Conoce la Comisión la sugerencia del FMI de crear una prestación común por desempleo en la eurozona?

¿Qué opinión le merece?

Respuesta del Sr. Rehn en nombre de la Comisión

(20 de noviembre de 2013)

El Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), publicó en septiembre de 2013 el informe titulado «Towards a Fiscal Union for the Euro Area» (Hacia una unión fiscal para la zona del euro), en el que se menciona, entre otras iniciativas para completar la UEM, un sistema de transferencias temporales para mejorar la distribución del riesgo. Una de las opciones consideradas es un régimen común de seguro de desempleo. Si bien el informe del FMI aboga por incrementar la distribución del riesgo en la zona del euro, no destaca ninguna propuesta individual como la más adecuada para conseguir ese propósito. Con el fin de limitar el riesgo moral, el FMI aclara en su informe que, como requisito previo para cualquier incremento de la distribución del riesgo es preciso reforzar la gobernanza y las disposiciones en materia de ejecución. El análisis del FMI coincide en gran medida con el de la Comisión.

En su plan general de profundización de la UEM, de noviembre de 2012, la Comisión analiza las perspectivas a corto, medio y largo plazo. A largo plazo, también menciona la posibilidad de avanzar de forma escalonada hacia una capacidad presupuestaria para reforzar la estabilización que incluya un sistema vinculado a las prestaciones por desempleo. El principio rector sería que todo paso hacia una mayor mutualización del riesgo debe ir acompañado de una mayor disciplina e integración presupuestarias.

En su reciente Comunicación «Strengthening the Social Dimension of EMU» (Refuerzo de la dimensión social de la UEM), la Comisión ha reiterado que a largo plazo podría desarrollarse una capacidad de estabilización a nivel de la UEM. Dado que las competencias de la UE en materia de presupuesto, empleo y protección social son limitadas, esta última etapa requeriría una revisión fundamental de los Tratados que debería ir acompañada de una integración política equivalente, con las necesarias garantías de legitimidad democrática y rendición de cuentas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010985/13

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Unemployment benefit in the euro area

Is the Commission aware of the International Monetary Fund (FMI)’s suggestion to create a common unemployment benefit for the euro area?

What is its opinion of it?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published in September 2013 a staff discussion note ‘Towards a fiscal union for the euro area’ mentioning, among other initiatives to complete the EMU, a system of temporary transfers to improve risk-sharing. A common unemployment insurance scheme is one of the options reviewed. While the IMF note advocates increasing fiscal risk-sharing in the euro area, it does not single out one proposal as best adequate for that purpose. In order to contain moral hazard, the IMF note clarifies that as a prerequisite for any increase in fiscal risk sharing, governance and enforcement provisions should be further strengthened. The IMF analysis is largely consistent with that of the Commission.

In its Blueprint on the deepening of EMU of November 2012, the Commission analysed prospects for further EMU deepening over the short, medium and long-term. For the long-term, it also mentions possibilities for a step-wise move towards a fiscal capacity to enhance stabilisation, including a system linked to unemployment benefits. The guiding principle would be that any steps to further mutualisation of risk go hand-in-hand with greater fiscal discipline and integration.

In its recent communication on ‘Strengthening the Social Dimension of EMU’, the Commission has reiterated that an EMU-level stabilisation capacity could be developed in the long-run. Given that the EU's competences are limited as regards budget, employment and social protection, this final stage would require a fundamental overhaul of the Treaties, which would also have to be accompanied by commensurate political integration, ensuring democratic legitimacy and accountability.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-010986/13

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Primas a renovables y excepciones en España

El Gobierno español aprobó en julio pasado un decreto-ley mediante el cual se reforma el sector eléctrico en el Estado. Este decreto-ley cambia las reglas de juego del sector eléctrico español (Real Decreto-ley 9/2013 de 12 de julio). Por ejemplo, mediante ese decreto-ley se suprimen las primas por generación para las energías renovables.

Sin embargo, el decreto-ley señala una excepción a esa supresión. La misma no afectará de la misma forma a las adjudicatarias de un concurso solar de I+D de 2010. Aunque el texto del decreto está en plural, solo existe un posible beneficiario de esa excepción: Solar Reserve. A esta empresa se le mantendrá la oferta económica que presentó en el concurso.

¿Conoce la Comisión ese hecho?

¿Qué opinión tiene la Comisión sobe el hecho de que el decreto-ley dé trato de favor a un operador concreto del sistema?

¿Considera la Comisión que el decreto-ley defiende la libre competencia?

Respuesta del Sr. Oettinger en nombre de la Comisión

(14 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión no tiene conocimiento del caso concreto al que hace referencia Su Señoría, pero se pondrá en contacto con las autoridades españolas para recabar más información.

Si existiera un caso de discriminación, la Comisión analizaría si dicha medida está justificada en virtud de la legislación de la UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010986/13

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Renewable energy premiums and exceptions in Spain

In July, the Spanish Government adopted a decree-law to reform the country’s electricity sector. This decree-law changes the rules of play for the Spanish electricity sector (Royal Decree-law 9/2013 of 12 July). For example, this decree-law removes the premiums for generating renewable energies.

However, the decree-law makes an exception to this removal. It will not have the same effect on winners of tenders for solar energy R&D in 2010. Although the decree’s text uses the plural, there is only one possible beneficiary of this exception: Solar Reserve. The financial offer made by this company in its bid to tender will be maintained.

Is the Commission aware of this fact?

What is the Commission’s opinion of the fact that this decree-law gives favourable treatment to a particular operator of the system?

Does the Commission consider the decree-law to defend free competition?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2013)

The Commission is not aware of the specific case referred to by the Honourable Member, but it will contact Spanish authorities to obtain further information.

If there is a case of discrimination, the Commission will analyse if such measure is justified according to the EU legislation.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-010988/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Georgios Toussas (GUE/NGL)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Όχι στην ιδιωτικοποίηση της παραλίας της Καραθώνας

Σε εξέλιξη βρίσκεται από το ΤΑΙΠΕΔ η διαδικασία ιδιωτικοποίησης της παραλίας της Καραθώνας — έκτασης 1 000 στρεμμάτων — στο Ναύπλιο της Αργολίδας, με σοβαρές επιπτώσεις για την εργατική τάξη και τα λαϊκά στρώματα της ευρύτερης περιοχής. Απαράδεκτη απόφαση, που εντάσσεται στην αντιλαϊκή πολιτική της συγκυβέρνησης ΝΔ-ΠΑΣΟΚ, της ΕΕ και της τρόικας, για την παράδοση δημόσιων χώρων και υποδομών της χώρας σε μονοπωλιακούς ομίλους.

Η εμπορευματοποίηση της παραλίας της Καραθώνας μεθοδεύεται εδώ και πολλά χρόνια. Ο δημοτική αρχή του Ναυπλίου έχει δώσει άδεια λειτουργίας σε μαγαζιά στη παραλία, τα οποία ουσιαστικά εμποδίζουν την ελεύθερη πρόσβαση των εργαζόμενων κατοίκων.

Με ευθύνη της δημοτικής αρχής του Ναυπλίου, ακριβώς πάνω από την παραλία της Καραθώνας λειτουργεί παράνομη χωματερή που αποτελεί βόμβα για την υγεία των λουόμενων και των κατοίκων της περιοχής και μόνιμη εστία ρύπανσης του περιβάλλοντος. Η κατάσταση με τα σκουπίδια έχει φτάσει στο απροχώρητο καθώς πολλές φορές έχουν πιάσει φωτιά, με αποτέλεσμα να έχει καεί και ένα κομμάτι του βουνού. Η δυσοσμία είναι ανυπόφορη και με τις πρώτες βροχές ρέει βρόμικο νερό από τον σκουπιδότοπο προς τη θάλασσα.

Βαρύτατες είναι οι ευθύνες της συγκυβέρνησης ΝΔ-ΠΑΣΟΚ, όπως και των προηγούμενων κυβερνήσεων, της δημοτικής αρχής Ναυπλίου και της Περιφερειακής Διοίκησης της Ανατολικής Πελοποννήσου γιατί απορρίπτουν τη διαλογή απορριμμάτων (χαρτί, γυαλί, μέταλλα, οργανικά) στην πηγή, βασική προϋπόθεση για την αποτελεσματική ανακύκλωση των απορριμμάτων και χωρίς υψηλό κόστος. Υιοθετούν τη μεγιστοποίηση των σύμμεικτων απορριμμάτων προωθώντας έτσι τη λύση της καύσης, που βάζει σε τεράστιους κινδύνους τη δημόσια υγεία, δεδομένου ότι παράγει τις καρκινογόνες διοξίνες και άλλα επικίνδυνα για την υγεία και το περιβάλλον απόβλητα. Η διαχείριση των απορριμμάτων σχεδιάζεται με κριτήριο τα επιχειρηματικά κέρδη και όχι την προστασία της υγείας της λαϊκής οικογένειας και του περιβάλλοντος της περιοχής.

Πώς τοποθετείται η Επιτροπή στα δίκαια αιτήματα των εργαζόμενων κατοίκων της περιοχής, τα οποία προβάλλουν το ΚΚΕ, η Λαϊκή Συσπείρωση και μαζικοί φορείς ενάντια στην εκχώρηση της παραλίας Καραθώνας σε ιδιώτη και για παραλίες ανοιχτές για όλο το λαό, δωρεάν, με τις κατάλληλες υποδομές; Πώς τοποθετείται στα αιτήματα για δημιουργία κρατικού φορέα για τη διαχείριση των απορριμμάτων, άμεση διαλογή των απορριμμάτων στην πηγή, ανακύκλωση, επεξεργασία κομποστοποίησης (για οργανικό λίπασμα) και ταφή των υπολειμμάτων σε ΧΥΤΑ με κατοχύρωση της δουλειάς και των εργασιακών δικαιωμάτων όλων των εργαζομένων στον τομέα αυτόν και για το άμεσο κλείσιμο της χωματερής και την αποκατάσταση του χώρου;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(20 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Υπεύθυνα να διοργανώνουν τις διαδικασίες ιδιωτικοποίησης είναι τα κράτη μέλη, τηρώντας απολύτως το δίκαιο της ΕΕ και λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τις διεθνείς εμπειρίες και βέλτιστες πρακτικές. Η απόφαση όσον αφορά ποια περιουσιακά στοιχεία του Δημοσίου ή ποιες δημόσιες επιχειρήσεις πρέπει να ιδιωτικοποιηθούν, σε ποιον βαθμό και με ποια σειρά θα διεξαχθούν οι εν λόγω ιδιωτικοποιήσεις υπάγεται εξ ολοκλήρου στην αρμοδιότητα των ελληνικών αρχών.

Η ευρωπαϊκή νομοθεσία περιλαμβάνει διάφορους στόχους που αποβλέπουν στην ενθάρρυνση της επαναχρησιμοποίησης και της ανακύκλωσης ιδίως των αστικών αποβλήτων (το ποσοστό επαναχρησιμοποίησης/ανακύκλωσης της τάξεως του 50% πρέπει να επιτευχθεί ως το 2020). Είναι αρμοδιότητα των κρατών μελών να οργανώνουν τα δικά τους συστήματα διαχείρισης αποβλήτων, έτσι ώστε να επιτυγχάνονται οι ευρωπαϊκοί στόχοι. Ως εκ τούτου, η ενδεχόμενη δημιουργία ενός εθνικού οργανισμού για τα απόβλητα αποτελεί αποκλειστική αρμοδιότητα των εθνικών αρχών.

Σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία που υπέβαλαν οι ελληνικές αρχές τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2013, όλοι οι παράνομοι χώροι υγειονομικής ταφής αποβλήτων στην περιοχή του Ναυπλίου έχουν κλείσει και προς το παρόν τελούν υπό διαδικασίες αποκατάστασης. Ωστόσο, εάν η Επιτροπή λάβει νέα στοιχεία που αποδεικνύουν τη μη συμμόρφωση στον τομέα αυτό, θα λάβει όλα τα αναγκαία μέτρα ώστε να διασφαλίσει την πλήρη εφαρμογή της ευρωπαϊκής νομοθεσίας.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010988/13

to the Commission

Georgios Toussas (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: No to privatisation of Karathona beach

Privatisation of Karathona beach in Nafplion Argolidas (100 hectares) is currently being negotiated by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund. This will have a serious impact on the working and grassroots classes in the area as a whole. This unacceptable decision forms part of the anti-grassroots policy of the New Democracy/PASOK coalition, the EU and the Troika to sell off the country’s public spaces and infrastructure to monopoly groups.

The commercialisation of Karathona beach has been pursued for many years now. Nafplion municipal council has granted licences for shops on the beach, which basically block free access for local workers.

Nafplion municipal council has allowed an illegal rubbish dump to operate directly above Karathona beach; this is an accident waiting to happen in terms of the health of bathers and local residents and a permanent source of environmental pollution. The rubbish dump is bursting at the seams and fires have broken out on numerous occasions, causing fire damage to part of the mountain. The stench is unbearable and the first rains of the season have washed filthy water down from the dump into the sea.

The New Democracy/PASOK coalition, previous governments, the Nafplion municipal council and the East Peloponnese regional government have a great deal to answer for, because they refuse to separate paper, glass, metal and organic waste as the first step towards effective and cheap recycling. They have opted to maximise mixed refuse dumps and go down the incineration route. This poses a huge threat to public health, because it produces carcinogenic dioxins and other forms of waste which are harmful to health and damage the environment. Waste management is designed so that waste companies make a profit, not to protect the health of ordinary people and the local environment.

What is the Commission’s stand on the fair demands by local workers in the area being put forward by the Greek Communist Party, the Popular Rally and the media that Karathona beach should not be sold off and that beaches with suitable infrastructures should be accessible to everyone, free of charge? What is its stand on the demands being made for a government waste management agency to be set up, for waste to be sorted at source, recycled and composted (for organic fertiliser) and for the remainder to be buried in landfills, for the jobs and labour rights of all workers in this sector to be protected and for the dump to be closed immediately and the site restored?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2013)

The responsibility to organise privatisation processes belongs to Member States, acting in full compliance with EC law, and taking into account international experiences and best practices. The choice of what, how far and in which sequence public assets or companies should be privatised remains entirely with the Greek authorities.

The European legislation includes several targets aiming at encouraging reuse and recycling notably for municipal waste (50% re-use/recycling rate to be met by 2020). It is the responsibility of the Member States to organise their waste management systems so that the European targets are met. Therefore the possible creation of a National Waste Agency is an exclusive competence of the national authorities.

According to the information presented by the Greek authorities in September 2013, all illegal landfills in Naflion zone have been closed and are currently being rehabilitated. However should the Commission receive any new information proving the non-compliance in this area, it will take all necessary steps to ensure full application of the European legislation.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010989/13

to the Council

Nick Griffin (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Tolerance

Could the Council clarify if any taxpayer’s money has been given to the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation?

Reply

(18 November 2013)

There is no Council budget line for financing the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010990/13

to the Commission

Phil Prendergast (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Equitable Life compensation payment scheme

Could the Commission indicate whether there are further redress options available to Equitable Life policyholders, who are being offered about 22% of the calculated losses incurred?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(12 November 2013)

The Commission fully understands the difficulties the collapse of the Equitable Life Assurance Society has created for Equitable Life policy-holders.

However, it should be noted that the Consolidated Life Assurance Directive (161) does not require that Member States have in place appropriate and effective schemes for the out-of-court settlement of disputes between insurance undertakings and their policy-holders.

Nevertheless, the Commission would like to assure the Honourable Member that it will continue to follow the case closely and will be ready to intervene should evidence of any infringement of EC law emerge from the proceedings set in motion by the UK authorities.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010991/13

to the Commission

Phil Prendergast (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Community trade-mark reform and non-agricultural geographical indicators

Could the Commission clarify whether the creation of collective and certification marks will, in any way, prejudice the introduction of a specific sui generis set of rules for non‐agricultural geographical indicators able to encapsulate cultural and collective heritage dimensions which fall beyond the scope of those indicators?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission’s proposal to amend Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark by, inter alia, adding provisions on the protection of European certification marks does not prejudge in any way the Commission's ongoing reflection on the merits of protecting geographical indications for non-agricultural products at EU level.

The proposed rules on certification marks complement the existing provisions on Community collective marks and seek to remedy the current imbalance between the Community trade mark system and national systems, where certification marks are protected in several Member States. Certification marks allow a (mainly private) certifying body to permit adherents to the certification system to use the mark as a sign for goods or services complying with the corresponding certification requirements. Such mark does not need to have any geographic connotation and the certification requirements are freely set by the certification body. In contrast, geographical indications are a tool to identify products with a clear link to a geographical location, they are available to all relevant producers in the given area, and product specifications are linked to production materials or techniques linked to the geographic location and seek to preserve a traditional quality level. The two tools are therefore complementary.

The analysis of the feasibility of an EU-level protection for non-agricultural products has not yet been completed. No decision has therefore been taken yet as to its follow-up. The possible introduction, at EU level, of a specific sui generis set of rules to protect geographical indications for such products is an option that continues to be considered and further studied.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010992/13

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Phil Bennion (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: VP/HR — Protests by Bangladesh workers and the minimum wage

Following the recent BBC Panorama programme investigation and the protests by ready‐made‐‐garment workers (RMG) in Bangladesh, can the Vice‐President/High Representative please update me on any progress that EEAS can see on the following:

Is the protocol agreed between the UN, international companies (especially European‐ based firms), the Bangladesh Government and Bangladeshi trade unions being implemented?

Is the Vice‐President/High Representative aware of any plans by the Bangladesh Government to increase the minimum wage?

Have basic health and safety standards, such as keeping gates to factories unlocked, been implemented?

Has any provision been made to ensure that RMG workers are not being unofficially worked outside of their legal working times? If so, is this mechanism being enforced effectively?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(26 November 2013)

The European Commission understands the question refers to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, to which the Commission is not a party and which was initiated by trade unions and NGOs, together with industry. The EU welcomes this initiative, which has been signed by over 100, mostly European, companies sourcing from Bangladesh. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is coordinating efforts by the Accord and other similar initiatives to strengthen inter alia the inspection of garment factories in Bangladesh, including on safety standards and working conditions.

The Commission is aware that Bangladesh is considering increasing the minimum wage. A new Wage Board has been established, and its members include employers' and workers' representatives.

The Honourable Member is also referred to replies to questions (E-008416/13, E-008417/2013, E-008418/2013, E-008419/2013, E-10828/13) (162) on initiatives by the Commission in Bangladesh, in particular, on the Sustainability Compact for continuous improvements in labour rights and factory safety in the Ready-Made Garment and Knitwear Industry in Bangladesh (163).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010993/13

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Problematiche relative all'applicazione della direttiva 94/62/CE sugli imballaggi e i rifiuti di imballaggi

Il 27 marzo 2013 è stato pubblicato sulla Gazzetta ufficiale della Repubblica italiana il DM 18 marzo 2013 che individua le caratteristiche tecniche dei sacchi per l'asporto delle merci. Le disposizioni del decreto ministeriale dovrebbero entrare in vigore dal 13 settembre 2013, data in cui si sarebbe dovuta concludere la procedura di notifica alla Commissione ai sensi della direttiva 98/34/CE.

Nella risposta alla mia interrogazione E-004332/2013 «Problematiche relative all'applicazione della direttiva 94/62/CE sugli imballaggi e i rifiuti di imballaggio», la Commissione afferma che la legislazione italiana era oggetto di una procedura di infrazione e ne stava valutando la compatibilità con la normativa europea.

Può la Commissione:

riferire quali osservazioni ha sollevato in seguito alla procedura di infrazione cui è stata sottoposta la normativa italiana;

fornire un aggiornamento sullo stato della procedura d'infrazione citata nella risposta all'interrogazione E-004332/2013;

precisare se la disciplina italiana è in linea con la normativa europea in materia, in particolare con la direttiva 94/62/CE sugli imballaggi e rifiuti di imballaggio?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(21 novembre 2013)

La Commissione sta tutt’ora valutando la compatibilità della legislazione italiana (tra cui la più recente legislazione adottata e pubblicata dall’Italia in data 27 marzo 2013) con la normativa e le politiche dell’UE del settore, ivi compresa la direttiva 94/62/CE sugli imballaggi e i rifiuti di imballaggio (164).

La Commissione informa l’onorevole deputato che il 4 novembre 2013 ha adottato una proposta di modifica della summenzionata direttiva in merito alle disposizioni sulle borse di plastica in materiale leggero (165).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010993/13

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Problems with the application of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste

The Ministerial Decree of 18 March 2013 specifying the technical characteristics of carrier bags was published in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic on 27 March 2013. The provisions of the ministerial decree were supposed to enter into force as of 13 September 2013, the date on which the procedure to notify the Commission in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC should have been completed.

In its answer to my Question E-004332/2013 ‘Problems with the application of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste’, the Commission stated that the Italian legislation was the subject of an infringement procedure and that it was assessing its compatibility with EU legislation.

1.

Can the Commission report its observations following the infringement procedure concerning the Italian legislation?

2.

Can it provide an update on the status of the infringement procedure referred to in its answer to Question E-004332/2013?

3.

Can it specify whether the Italian legislation complies with EU legislation in this field, in particular with Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

The Commission has not finalised the assessment of the compatibility of the Italian legislation, including the latest legislation that was adopted and published by Italy on 27/03/2013, with EU legislation and policy in this area, including Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (166).

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that on the 4th November 2013 it adopted a proposal to modify the abovementioned Directive with regard to provisions concerning lightweight plastic bags. (167)

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010994/13

alla Commissione

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Possibile caso di discriminazione sul luogo di lavoro per capigliatura e abbigliamento

Il 6 marzo 2012 presso il Tribunale Militare di Verona si sarebbe verificato un episodio discriminatorio a danno di un dipendente civile del Ministero della Difesa italiano, oggetto di richiamo e preavviso di sanzioni disciplinari in quanto portatore di capelli lunghi e abbigliamento informale, ritenuti non consoni all'ufficialità dell'ente. Il dipendente sarebbe stato richiamato, con un pressante ordine a modificare il taglio di capelli e l'abbigliamento, e con un'espressa minaccia di sanzioni disciplinari, seppur in mancanza di ordini di servizio e/o direttive scritte dell'ente in tal senso (168). Il lavoratore, non essendosi adeguato all'ordine, sarebbe stato poi oggetto di ulteriori condotte mobbizzanti tese al suo isolamento in quanto privato per oltre un mese di un'autonoma postazione di lavoro, nonché attraverso iniziative disciplinari capziose sino ad innescare documentate patologie a carattere psicologico, pervenendo alle successive dimissioni per giusta causa con l'attivazione di azione di risarcitoria nei confronti dell'ente (169).

La vicenda sopra descritta appare come un possibile caso di discriminazione dei lavoratori in ragione del loro aspetto estetico, in assenza di qualsiasi normativa contraria che possa imporre ad un dipendente civile che svolge attività presso un ufficio giudiziario militare di avere i capelli corti e un abbigliamento formale con giacca e cravatta.

1.

Ritiene la Commissione che sia contrario alla normativa in materia di parità di trattamento (direttiva 2000/78/CE) discriminare sul mercato del lavoro gli uomini che hanno capelli lunghi o un abbigliamento informale, a maggior ragione quando alcuna norma o uso aziendale imponga questi criteri estetici?

2.

È essa disposta ad esaminare nei particolari la situazione denunciata dall'interrogante presso il Tribunale Militare di Verona, quale concreto esempio di trattamento discriminatorio riservato agli impiegati di sesso maschile da parte di un datore di lavoro (si veda l'interrogazione n. E-003765/1998 dell'11 dicembre 1998 e relativa risposta del 10 febbraio 1999)?

3.

Viste anche la Raccomandazione 92/131/CEE della Commissione del 27 novembre 1991 e la Risoluzione del Consiglio del 29 maggio 1990, in tema di tutela della dignità delle donne e degli uomini nel mondo del lavoro, quali iniziative intende assumere affinché sia contrastata la discriminazione del lavoratore per canoni estetici e di abbigliamento nel caso concreto ed in via generale?

Risposta di Viviane Reding a nome della Commissione

(21 novembre 2013)

La normativa dell’Unione offre tutela da diverse forme di discriminazione sul posto di lavoro: la direttiva 2000/78/CE (170) vieta le discriminazioni fondate sulla religione o le convinzioni personali, gli handicap, l’età o le tendenze sessuali per quanto riguarda l’occupazione e le condizioni di lavoro, la direttiva 2000/43/CE (171) proibisce la discriminazione per motivi di razza e origine etnica e la direttiva 2006/54/CE (172) attua il principio della parità di trattamento tra gli uomini e le donne in materia di occupazione e impiego.

La normativa dell’Unione in materia di parità di trattamento non contempla altre forme di discriminazione. Pertanto la questione se sia legittimo da parte di un datore di lavoro pubblico discriminare o molestare un dipendente sulla base del suo abbigliamento e della lunghezza dei capelli, come pure del suo aspetto generale, deve essere trattata nell’ambito del diritto nazionale.

La raccomandazione 92/131/CEE della Commissione del 27 novembre 1991 (173) e la risoluzione del Consiglio del 29 maggio 1990 sulla tutela della dignità degli uomini e delle donne nel mondo del lavoro (174) riguardano le molestie sessuali o altro comportamento indesiderato di natura sessuale, e non già i casi di molestia legati all’aspetto generale di un lavoratore.

Alla luce di queste osservazioni, la Commissione non ha titolo a intervenire in virtù del diritto dell’UE per contrastare la discriminazione o le molestie nei confronti di lavoratori per canoni estetici e di abbigliamento.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010994/13

to the Commission

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Possible case of discrimination in the workplace regarding hair and clothing

On 6 March 2012, at the Verona military tribunal, there was a case of discrimination against a civilian employee of the Italian Ministry of Defence. The employee was suspended and received notification of disciplinary sanctions because he had long hair and wore informal clothing, which was considered not in keeping with the body’s official status. Apparently, the employee was suspended and ordered to change the length of his hair and his attire at once, with the express threat of disciplinary sanctions, although the organisation had no service regulations and/or written guidelines relating to these points (175). The worker did not comply with the order and was then subject to further harassment designed to isolate him, since he was deprived for over a month of his own workstation, and specious disciplinary measures were taken, which triggered documented psychological disorders. These apparently led to his subsequent resignation with a claim of just cause, and an action for compensation from the organisation (176).

The events described above seem to constitute a possible case of discrimination against workers on the grounds of their appearance, in the absence of any rules that might require a civilian employee carrying out duties at a military legal office to have short hair and adopt formal attire with a jacket and tie.

1.

Does the Commission believe that it runs counter to the legislation on equal treatment (Directive 2000/78/EC) to discriminate in the workplace against men who have long hair or informal attire, and all the more so in cases where a company rule or practice imposes such criteria regarding appearance?

2.

Is the Commission prepared to take a closer look at the situation at the Verona military tribunal referred to here, as a specific example of discriminatory treatment of male employees by an employer (see Question E-003765/1998 of 11 December 1998 and the answer of 10 February 1999)?

3.

In view of Commission Recommendation 92/131/EEC of 27 November 1991 and the Council Resolution of 29 May 1990 on the protection of the dignity of women and men at work, what action does it intend to take to combat discrimination against workers on the grounds of rules regarding appearance and attire, in this specific case and in general?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2013)

EU Directives provide protection from discrimination at the workplace on a number of grounds: Directive 2000/78/EC (177) prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation in employment and occupation; Directive 2000/43 (178) similarly prohibits such discrimination on grounds of racial and ethnic origin; and Directive 2006/54/EC (179) implements the principle of equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.

EU equal treatment legislation does not cover other grounds of discrimination. Therefore the question whether it is lawful for a public employer to discriminate or harass an employee on the ground of his attire and the length of his hair, as well as his general appearance, has to be solved under national law.

Commission Recommendation 92/131/EEC of 27 November 1991 (180) and the Council Resolution of 29 May 1990 on the protection of the dignity of women and men at work (181) concern sexual harassment or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. Therefore they do not cover cases of harassment based on a worker's general appearance.

In view of the abovementioned observations, the Commission is in no position to take action under EC law to combat discrimination or harassment against workers on the grounds of rules regarding appearance and attire.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010995/13

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Possibili finanziamenti per la ricerca universitaria

L'Università telematica Pegaso, nata con decreto ministeriale del 20 aprile 2006, è una Open University che eroga 9 corsi di laurea, corsi postlaurea e corsi di formazione in ambiente e-learning grazie ad una piattaforma di ultima generazione unica nel suo genere. L'Ateneo dispone di oltre 200 poli didattici sul territorio e di 8 sedi d'esame nelle maggiori città italiane. Pegaso ha come missione il raggiungimento della completa interazione tra accademia e discente finalizzata al costante perfezionamento delle qualifiche culturali e professionali che si realizza attraverso i propri modelli pedagogici di formazione continua (Lifelong Learning) e di apprendimento personale (Personal Learning Environment). Fiore all'occhiello della Pegaso è il servizio di Job Placement che si occupa di guidare lo studente nel difficile percorso di inserimento nel mondo del lavoro successivamente alla conclusione del ciclo di studi.

L'Ateneo — ritenendo il processo di internazionalizzazione come uno dei cardini fondamentali per il proprio sviluppo culturale, scientifico e tecnologico — ha stabilito rapporti di collaborazione con prestigiose università europee ed extraeuropee rafforzando la dimensione internazionale della ricerca. Tramite il proprio Ufficio relazioni internazionali, l'Università facilita la comunicazione tra tutti i soggetti coinvolti nelle relazioni universitarie attraverso la mobilità di studenti e docenti, il trasferimento di tecnologia, progetti di cooperazione, programmi di ricerca congiunti, accordi bilaterali e contatti istituzionali. Proprio nell'ottica del potenziamento della dimensione internazionale Pegaso si candida quale ideatore e realizzatore di una piattaforma — condivisa tra le università telematiche europee — dalle caratteristiche uniche come, a puro titolo di esempio, la ricerca automatica degli argomenti sulla base dell'intelligenza e della relazione semantica. Si tratta di una sorta di «Erasmus telematico» ad altissimo coefficiente di tecnologia e di interazione che rivoluzionerà il modello di open university nel Vecchio Continente.

Tutto ciò premesso, può la Commissione far sapere:

se vi è la possibilità di ricevere finanziamenti per incrementare la ricerca e lo sviluppouniversitario.

se sono presenti iniziative europee riguardanti simili iniziative e, se sì, quali;

se è in grado di fornire un quadro generale della situazione?

Risposta di Androulla Vassiliou a nome della Commissione

(15 novembre 2013)

Le università per l'insegnamento a distanza svolgono un ruolo importante di apertura dell'accesso al sapere; tale ruolo potrà divenire più importante in futuro a motivo della crescente rilevanza di nuovi metodi di insegnamento e di apprendimento. La recente iniziativa della Commissione «Aprire l'istruzione» fornisce sostegno e orientamenti agli stakeholder e agli Stati membri per promuovere l'introduzione di pratiche e contenuti educativi aperti nei loro sistemi di istruzione e formazione. Quest'iniziativa sarà implementata con finanziamenti a valere sui nuovi programmi Erasmus+ e Orizzonte 2020 nonché sui Fondi strutturali e di investimento.

Inoltre, la Commissione ha avviato il portale Open Education Europa (http://openeducationeuropa.eu) che consente ai discenti potenziali di reperire e usare diverse risorse educative aperte, corsi e MOOC (corsi online aperti e di massa) di diverse istituzioni europee. Il portale intende accrescere la visibilità delle istituzioni e agevolare la ricerca di risorse pertinenti agli utilizzatori potenziali. L'università Pegaso potrebbe esaminare le potenzialità di cooperazione con questo portale per promuovere le risorse aperte nell'ambito del suo portafoglio.

L'università Pegaso potrebbe inoltre esaminare le opportunità di finanziamento nell'ambito dei partenariati strategici Erasmus+. Questi partenariati consentono alle organizzazioni di diversi paesi attive nel campo dell'istruzione, della formazione e della gioventù di cooperare per implementare prassi innovative sfocianti in un insegnamento e in un apprendimento di qualità elevata, nella modernizzazione istituzionale e nell'innovazione societale. Uno degli obiettivi consiste nel promuovere una maggiore varietà di modi di studio e nuove forme di apprendimento, segnatamente attraverso l'uso strategico delle TIC, delle risorse educative aperte e della mobilità virtuale a sostegno di approcci apprenditivi personalizzati e dell'apprendimento collaborativo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010995/13

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Possible funding for university research

Pegaso, the distance-learning university, which was established by ministerial decree on 20 April 2006, is an open university that offers nine undergraduate degree courses, postgraduate courses and training courses in an e-learning environment, through a latest-generation platform that is one of a kind. The university has over 200 teaching hubs in Italy and eight examination centres in major Italian cities. Pegaso’s aim is to achieve full interaction between teaching staff and students, with the aim of constantly improving cultural and professional qualifications, through its own educational models for lifelong learning and personal learning environments. The jewel in Pegaso’s crown is the job placement service, which gives students guidance in the difficult task of entering the world of work after finishing their studies.

Believing the process of internationalisation to be one of the vital aspects in its own cultural, scientific and technological development, the university has established collaborative links with prestigious universities in Europe and beyond, strengthening the international dimension of research. Through its international relations office, the university facilitates communication between those involved in university relations through the mobility of students and teachers, technology transfer, cooperation projects, joint research programmes, bilateral agreements and institutional contacts. With a view to strengthening the international dimension, Pegaso is bidding to be the originator and creator of a platform shared between the European distance-learning universities, with unique features such as automatic searching of subjects based on intelligence and the semantic relationship. It is a kind of ‘distance Erasmus’ with very high-level technology and interaction that will revolutionise the open university model in Europe.

1.

Is there a possibility of receiving funding to increase university research and development?

2.

Are there any European initiatives concerning similar initiatives and, if so, what are they?

3.

Can the Commission provide an overview of the situation?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

Distance Teaching Universities have an important role in opening access to knowledge; this role may increase in the future due to the increased importance of new modes of teaching and learning. The Commission's recent initiative on ‘Opening up Education’ provides support and guidance for stakeholders and Member States to enhance the introduction of open education practices and content in their education and training systems. This initiative will be implemented with funding from the new programmes Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020, as well as Structural and Investment Funds.

In addition, the Commission has launched the Open Education Europa portal (http://openeducationeuropa.eu); it allows potential learners to find and access different Open Educational Resources, courses, and MOOCs, by different European institutions. It aims to enhance visibility for institutions and facilitate the search for relevant resources for potential users. Pegaso University may wish to explore the potential of cooperating with this portal to promote Open Resources in its portfolio.

Pegaso university could also explore the funding opportunities of the Erasmus+ strategic partnerships. These partnerships allow organisations from different countries — active in the fields of education, training and youth — to cooperate in order to implement innovative practices leading to high quality teaching and learning, institutional modernisation and societal innovation. One of the objectives is to promote a greater variety of study modes and new forms of learning, notably through strategic use of ICT, open educational resources and virtual mobility, supporting personalised learning approaches, and collaborative learning.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-010997/13

alla Commissione

Pino Arlacchi (S&D)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Fondi europei al Marocco per la gestione dell'immigrazione

L’Unione Europea finanzia lo stato del Marocco con decine di milioni di euro all’anno per controllare e gestire al meglio i flussi migratori verso l’Europa. Il Marocco è, infatti, una delle vie di passaggio più importanti della migrazione clandestina in Europa per chi viene dall’Africa subsahariana. La maggior parte dei migranti arriva in Marocco attraverso i confini con l’Algeria, il Niger, il Mali o in mare dalla Mauritania in fuga da guerre civili o povertà estrema. Un rapporto pubblicato recentemente da «Medici senza frontiere» sottolinea però come la polizia marocchina violi continuamente i diritti umani dei migranti con un aumento costante di abusi, comportamenti degradanti e brutalità, nonché un livello intollerabile di violenze sessuali. Anche se è impossibile determinare la reale portata di questa violenza, i dati di MSF rivelano una situazione allarmante: dal 2010 al 2012, MSF ha prestato assistenza a 700 vittime di violenza sessuale. Sempre stando al rapporto, quando giungono segnalazioni di migranti in viaggio per mare, la guardia costiera spagnola, il più delle volte, riconsegna la nave alle autorità del Marocco. Molti di questi migranti sarebbero poi portati nelle zone più desolate del Marocco o dell’Algeria e abbandonati sul posto. Quasi la metà delle 10.500 consultazioni mediche condotte dal team di MSF tra il 2010 e il 2012 in queste zone sono correlate a condizioni di vita disagiate. I respingimenti delle navi verso le coste marocchine da parte della Spagna é in chiaro contrasto con le norme che riguardano il diritto d'asilo, e la deportazione dei migranti in terre inospitali da parte del Governo marocchino rappresenta una grave violazione dei diritti umani.

1.

La Commissione è al corrente dei fatti denunciati da Medici Senza Frontiere?

2.

Gli aiuti erogati dall'UE al Marocco per la gestione delle frontiere non dovrebbero essere sottoposti a severi controlli per evitare che possano essere usati per violare i diritti dei migranti?

3.

Può la Commissione valutare la possibilità di intraprendere azioni volte a far sì che la Spagna rispetti gli obblighi assunti nell'ambito della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'UE e rispetti anche il divieto di respingimenti collettivi, sancito dall'articolo 4 del Protocollo 4 allegato alla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell'uomo e ribadito all'articolo 19 della Carta dei diritti dell'uomo dell'Unione europea?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(2 dicembre 2013)

La Commissione è a conoscenza del rapporto di «Medici senza frontiere» e ha manifestato la propria preoccupazione al Marocco in merito a tali abusi. La delegazione UE a Rabat ha istituito una task force con i rappresentanti degli Stati membri presenti nella città e i partner internazionali per discutere la situazione.

Attualmente il governo marocchino non fruisce di fondi UE per attività connesse ai controlli di frontiera. L’UE offre sovvenzioni a organizzazioni della società civile che provvedono ai bisogni e tutelano i diritti dei migranti irregolari rimasti bloccati in Marocco, operano per prevenire la migrazione irregolare e collaborano con la diaspora marocchina per favorire lo sviluppo del paese.

In settembre, il consiglio nazionale dei diritti dell’uomo del Marocco ha invitato a un nuovo approccio alla migrazione e all’asilo nel rispetto dei diritti umani dei migranti, un cambiamento approvato al più alto livello in Marocco. Attraverso il partenariato per la mobilità UE-Marocco recentemente concluso, l’Unione si è impegnata a fornire assistenza alle autorità del paese ai fini di una gestione migliore della migrazione, dell’elaborazione ed attuazione di una politica nazionale in materia di asilo nonché di una strategia di lotta alla tratta di esseri umani.

Gli Stati membri, se consegnano migranti illegali via mare alle autorità nazionali di un paese terzo, sono tenuti a rispettare il principio di non respingimento e, laddove le persone in questione abbiano già raggiunto il territorio dell’UE, il diritto di asilo e il divieto di espulsione collettiva, secondo quanto previsto nella legislazione dell’UE. La Commissione sorveglia attentamente il rispetto della normativa unionale da parte degli Stati membri e si tiene in stretto contatto con essi, comprese le autorità spagnole. In quanto custode dei trattati, la Commissione non esiterà a prendere gli opportuni provvedimenti ove sia chiaramente dimostrato che uno Stato membro ha violato il diritto dell’Unione europea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010997/13

to the Commission

Pino Arlacchi (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: EU funds granted to Morocco to manage immigration

The EU is providing tens of millions of euros each year to Morocco to control and manage as effectively as possible migratory flows towards Europe. Morocco is one of the major transit countries for illegal migration to Europe for people coming from sub-Saharan Africa. Most migrants arrive in Morocco across the borders with Algeria, Niger and Mali, or by sea from Mauritania, to escape civil war or extreme poverty. However, a recent report published by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) highlights that Moroccan police constantly violate migrants’ human rights. There has been a steady increase of abuse, degrading behaviour and brutality, as well as an unacceptable level of sexual violence. Although it is impossible to determine the true extent of this violence, MSF’s data paint an alarming picture: between 2010 and 2012, MSF provided treatment to 700 victims of sexual violence. The report also states that when the Spanish coastguard is notified of migrants travelling by sea, they usually return the boat to the Moroccan authorities. Many of these migrants are then said to be taken to the most desolate areas of Morocco or Algeria, and abandoned there. Almost half of the 10 500 medical consultations carried out in these areas by MSF’s teams between 2010 and 2012 were related to poor living conditions. Spain is clearly in breach of the rules on the right to asylum when it sends back boats to Morocco’s coasts, and the Moroccan Government seriously violates migrants’ human rights by deporting them to inhospitable areas.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the facts reported by Médecins Sans Frontières?

2.

Should the EU aid granted to Morocco to manage its borders not be subject to strict controls to prevent it being used to violate migrants’ rights?

3.

Can the Commission consider taking action to ensure that Spain upholds the obligations assumed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and that it also respects the prohibition of collective expulsions enshrined in Article 4 of Protocol No 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights, reiterated in Article 19 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(2 December 2013)

The Commission is aware of the report by Médecins Sans Frontières and expressed concerns to Morocco about such abuses. The EU Delegation in Rabat has set up a task force with Member States present in Rabat and international partners to discuss the situation.

The Moroccan Government does not currently benefit from EU funds for activities related to border controls. The EU provides grants to civil society organisations to cater for the needs and protect the rights of irregular migrants stranded in Morocco, to prevent irregular migration and to work with the Moroccan diaspora in favour of Morocco’s development.

In September, Morocco’s National Council of Human Rights called for a new approach to migration and asylum, respectful of migrants’ human rights, a change endorsed at the highest level in Morocco. Through the recently concluded EU ‐Morocco Mobility Partnership, the EU has committed to provide assistance to the authorities to assist them in improving their capacity to better manage migration and to formulate and implement a national asylum policy as well as a strategy to fight human trafficking.

When handing over the authority over third-country national boat people to the authorities of a third country, Member States have to respect the non-refoulement principle, and, in case the persons concerned would already have reached EU territory, the right to asylum and prohibition of collective expulsion, as laid down in EC law. The Commission is closely monitoring Member States' compliance with EC law and is in close contact with them, including the Spanish authorities. As guardian of the Treaties, the Commission will not hesitate to take the appropriate steps where there is clear evidence that a Member State has violated EC law.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-010998/13

aan de Commissie

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(26 september 2013)

Betreft: Lokale overheden vrezen de komst van Roemenen en Bulgaren

Uit een onderzoek van „Overheid in Nederland” (182) onder 1 733 raadsleden, wethouders, statenleden en burgemeesters in Nederland blijkt dat 58 % van hen verwacht dat de werkgelegenheid erop achteruit zal gaan als op 1 januari 2014 de grenzen opengaan voor Roemenen en Bulgaren. 36 % van de ondervraagden staat neutraal in zijn beantwoording en 6 % denkt dat de werkgelegenheid zal worden gestimuleerd.

Van de bestuurders en volksvertegenwoordigers uit 53 % zich negatief over vestiging van Roemeense en Bulgaarse arbeidsmigranten in hun regio. 52 % vreest dat zij een negatief effect zullen hebben op de leefbaarheid in de buurten.

In een reactie op het onderzoek heeft de Nederlandse minister van Sociale Zaken, de heer Asscher, verklaard begrip te hebben voor de zorgen van de bestuurders en volksvertegenwoordigers. Hij zegt de negatieve effecten van de komst van Roemenen en Bulgaren onder de aandacht te willen brengen van zijn Europese collega's.

1.

Deelt de Commissie de opvatting van de Nederlandse bestuurders en volksvertegenwoordigers?

2.

Zo neen, waarop baseert de Commissie haar afwijkende mening?

3.

Zo ja, overweegt de Commissie voorstellen te doen om de mogelijkheid van het sluiten van de EU-binnengrenzen te verruimen totdat deze verwachte bestuurlijke noodsituatie is opgelost?

4.

Bestaat er een wijze waarop de negatieve effecten van de komst van Roemenen en Bulgaren naar Nederland op Europees niveau kunnen worden ondervangen zoals de Nederlandse minister van Sociale Zaken suggereert?

Antwoord van de heer Andor namens de Commissie

(19 november 2013)

Het is moeilijk te voorspellen waarnaartoe Roemeense en Bulgaarse werknemers zich zullen begeven wanneer de beperkingen van de overgangsperiode op 1 januari 2014 worden opgeheven. Het is zeer wel mogelijk dat een groot deel van de potentiële migratie uit die lidstaten reeds heeft plaatsgevonden (183). Voorts merkt de Commissie op dat naast Nederland nog acht andere lidstaten op die datum hun arbeidsmarkt openstellen voor werknemers uit die landen. Ervaringen die zijn opgedaan bij afloop van de overgangsregelingen voor de EU-8-landen en in landen die enkele jaren geleden hun arbeidsmarkt voor Roemeense en Bulgaarse werknemers hebben opengesteld (Zweden, Finland en Denemarken) wijzen uit dat een massale instroom uitblijft wanneer de beperkingen eenmaal zijn opgeheven en dat zich geen negatieve gevolgen voor de plaatselijke werkgelegenheid voordoen. Aangezien toekomstige migratiestromen binnen de EU waarschijnlijk grotendeels afhangen van de mogelijkheden op de arbeidsmarkt, is de verwachting dat Roemeense en Bulgaarse werknemers openstaande vacatures in de ontvangende landen zullen vervullen.

De overgangsregelingen voor Roemeense en Bulgaarse werknemers lopen onherroepelijk af op 31 december 2013, zonder mogelijkheid tot verlenging.

De lidstaten wordt verzocht de steun uit het Europees Sociaal Fonds optimaal te benutten om de migrerende werknemers te helpen met hun integratie op de arbeidsmarkt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010998/13

to the Commission

Auke Zijlstra (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Local authorities fear the arrival of Romanians and Bulgarians

According to a survey conducted by ‘Overheid in Nederland’ (184) (‘Government in the Netherlands’), 58% of the 1 733 town councillors, aldermen, provincial councillors and mayors in the Netherlands who were polled anticipate a fall in job opportunities for the current population when the borders open to Romanians and Bulgarians on 1 January 2014. 36% of the respondents feel that the influx will not have any effect and 6% feel that it will stimulate employment.

53% of the administrators and elected officials who were polled were negatively inclined towards the prospect of Romanian and Bulgarian job migrants settling in their region. 52% feared that the migrants would have an adverse effect on quality of life in the local area.

The Dutch Minister for Social Affairs, Lodewijk Asscher, responded to the survey findings, saying that he understood the respondents' concerns. He said that he intended to draw the attention of his European colleagues to the negative effects of the influx of Romanians and Bulgarians.

1.

Does the Commission share the view of the Dutch administrators and elected officials?

2.

If not, on what basis has the Commission reached a different conclusion?

3.

If so, is the Commission evaluating the possibility of allowing the re-establishment of internal EU border controls until the anticipated administrative emergency is resolved?

4.

Is there a way in which the negative effects caused by the influx of Romanians and Bulgarians to the Netherlands can be overcome at European level, as suggested by the Dutch Minister for Social Affairs?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(19 November 2013)

It is difficult to forecast the movement of Romanian and Bulgarian workers when transitional restrictions are lifted on 1 January 2014. It is indeed possible that much of the potential migration from those Member States has already taken place (185). Moreover, the Commission notes that the Netherlands is but one of nine Member States that will open its labour market to workers from those countries on that date. Previous experience at the end of the transitional arrangements for the EU-8 countries and in countries which opened their labour markets to Romanian and Bulgarian workers several years ago (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) suggests no massive influx once the restrictions end and no negative impact on local workers. As future flows are likely to be mainly driven by employment opportunities, future intra-EU movers from Bulgaria and Romania are likely to fill job vacancies in the receiving countries.

The transitional arrangements for Romanian and Bulgarian workers will end irrevocably on 31 December 2013 and there is no possibility of extending them.

The Member States are invited to make full use of support from the European Social Fund to help migrant workers integrate into the labour market.

(Versão portuguesa)

Pergunta com pedido de resposta escrita E-010999/13

à Comissão

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

(26 de setembro de 2013)

Assunto: A espiral da desigualdade

Um estudo da OXFAM Internacional concluiu que os programas europeus de austeridade implementados na Europa — com base em impostos regressivos, cortes nos salários e cortes nos serviços públicos, particularmente em áreas como a educação, a saúde e a segurança social, entre outros — desmantelaram os mecanismos que reduziam a desigualdade e permitiam o crescimento equitativo. O estudo conclui que os mais pobres e as mulheres foram os mais atingidos, ao mesmo tempo que os mais ricos viram as suas fortunas crescer escandalosamente.

Acrescenta que, com a continuação das políticas de consolidação orçamental, a desigualdade e a pobreza aumentarão ainda mais e a Europa enfrentará uma década perdida. Em 2011, havia 120 milhões de pessoas que viviam em situação de pobreza, número que poderá aumentar pelo menos de 15 a 25 milhões até 2025, em resultado das medidas contínuas de austeridade.

Face aos resultados deste estudo, pergunto à Comissão:

Conhece o referido estudo? Qual a avaliação que faz?

Considera que a onda de austeridade económica que está a varrer a Europa está a contribuir para uma Europa solidária?

Pretende alterar a direção destas políticas, nomeadamente, nos países em que intervém no quadro das Troikas?

Como explica o aumento dramático do número de pessoas em situação de pobreza e, em paralelo, o aumento escandaloso das grandes fortunas?

Resposta dada por Olli Rehn em nome da Comissão

(5 de dezembro de 2013)

1.

A Comissão tem conhecimento do recente relatório «A Cautionary tale» da Oxfam e dos efeitos decorrentes da crise económica e financeira e das medidas de consolidação orçamental necessárias para corrigir os défices dos orçamentos públicos (especialmente nos países que beneficiam de assistência financeira internacional) sobre a pobreza e a coesão social. A Comissão está plenamente empenhada em assegurar um apoio adequado aos grupos mais vulneráveis da sociedade.

2.

Como salientado na Análise Anual do Crescimento para 2013, a Comissão recomenda aos Estados-Membros conceberem o processo de consolidação orçamental de modo a minimizar os efeitos negativos para os grupos com rendimentos mais baixos e proteger o potencial de crescimento futuro, nomeadamente através do reforço do investimento em educação e da modernização dos sistemas de proteção social. Os responsáveis políticos têm várias opções em matéria de impacto distributivo da consolidação, selecionando a combinação adequada das despesas e das receitas, a sua conceção e direcionamento.

3.

Um dos cinco objetivos da Estratégia Europa 2020 é a luta contra a pobreza. A Comissão coordena a ação dos Estados-Membros em matéria de realização destes objetivos através do Semestre Europeu e com o apoio dos fundos da UE (186). Para o próximo quadro financeiro plurianual, a Comissão propõe que, pelo menos, 25 % dos fundos de coesão sejam atribuídos ao Fundo Social Europeu. Além disso, propõe que pelo menos 20 % do total dos recursos do FSE em cada Estado-Membro sejam consagrados ao objetivo temático «promoção da inclusão social e luta contra a pobreza».

4.

Por último, o Pacote de Investimento Social dá aos Estados-Membros orientações relativas a uma maior eficiência e eficácia das políticas sociais. O Pacote será implementado através do Semestre Europeu e com o apoio dos fundos da UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-010999/13

to the Commission

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

(26 September 2013)

Subject: The spiral of inequality

A study by Oxfam International has concluded that EU austerity programmes implemented in Europe — consisting of regressive taxes, wage cuts and public service cuts, particularly in areas such as education, healthcare and social security, to mention a few — have dismantled the mechanisms that reduce inequality and enable equitable growth. The study concludes that the poorest people and women have been hardest hit, while the richest have seen their wealth grow to outrageous proportions.

It adds that if fiscal consolidation policies continue, inequality and poverty will increase even more and Europe will face a lost decade. In 2011, there were 120 million people living in poverty, which could increase by at least 15 to 25 million by 2025 as a result of ongoing austerity measures.

In view of the findings of this study:

Is the Commission aware of this study? What is its assessment of it?

Does it think that the wave of economic austerity sweeping across Europe is contributing to European solidarity?

Will it change the focus of these policies, particularly in countries where it is intervening as part of the Troikas?

How can it explain the dramatic rise in the number of people living in poverty and, at the same time, the outrageous growth of large fortunes?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2013)

1.

The Commission is aware of the recent Report ‘A Cautionary tale’ by Oxfam and of the challenges posed by the economic and financial crisis and the fiscal consolidation measures necessary to address public budget deficits — especially in countries receiving international financial assistance — in terms of poverty and social cohesion. It is fully committed to ensuring adequate support for the most vulnerable groups of society.

2.

As stressed in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey, the Commissions recommends MS to devise fiscal consolidation in such a way to minimise adverse effects on low-income groups and preserve future growth potential, including through reinforced investment in education and by modernising social protection systems. Policy-makers do have options to affect the distributional impact of consolidation by selecting the appropriate mix of expenditure and revenue measures, their design and targeting.

3.

Tackling poverty is one of the five headline targets of the Europe2020 strategy. The Commission coordinates MS action on achieving these targets through the European Semester and with the support of EU Funds (187). For the next multi-annual financial framework, the Commission proposes that at least 25% of cohesion funds be allocated to the European Social Fund. Moreover it proposes that at least 20% of total ESF resources in each MS shall be allocated to the thematic objective ‘promoting social inclusion and combating poverty’.

4.

Finally, the Social Investment Package gives guidance to MS on more efficient and effective social policies. The Package wil be implemented through the European Semester and with the support of EU Funds.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite P-011002/13

à la Commission

Véronique De Keyser (S&D)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: Application de l'accord entre l'Union européenne et l'État d'Israël sur l'évaluation de la conformité et l'acceptation des produits industriels (ACAA)

Dans sa réponse du 9 août 2013 à la question écrite P-007039/2013, la Commission a indiqué que:

«Aux fins de l'article 9 de l'ACAA, se référant à l'annexe relative à l'acceptation des produits industriels — bonnes pratiques de fabrication (BPF) des produits pharmaceutiques, Israël a désigné, le 14 janvier 2013, le ministère de la santé comme autorité responsable pour l'État d'Israël. Dans sa réponse du 4 février 2013, la Commission a reconnu cette désignation et indiqué que la reconnaissance de l'Union européenne ne modifie pas sa position selon laquelle la juridiction légitime des autorités israéliennes ne s'étend pas aux territoires placés sous administration israélienne depuis 1967».

La Commission pourrait-elle fournir le texte de cette désignation tel qu'Israël l'a communiqué conformément à l'article 9, paragraphe 1, point a), de l'ACAA, ainsi que le texte de la reconnaissance de cette désignation par la Commission tel qu'elle l'a établi conformément à l'article 9, paragraphe 1, point b), de l'accord?

Réponse commune donnée par M. De Gucht au nom de la Commission

(23 octobre 2013)

La commission INTA du Parlement européen a reçu le 6 février 2013, avec le timbre «limité», l'échange de lettres entre la Commission européenne et les autorités israéliennes relatif à l'application des accords UE-Israël sur l'évaluation de la conformité et l'acceptation des produits industriels.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-011000/13

to the Commission

Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Follow-up to questions P-007039/2013 and E-007251/2013

In its answers to Questions P-007039/2013 and E-007251/2013, dated 9 August and 13 August respectively, the Commission stated that:

For the purpose of Article 9 of the ACAA, as related to the annex on Mutual Acceptance of Industrial Products — Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Israel designated, on 14 January 2013, the Ministry of Health as the responsible authority for the State of Israel. In its reply of 4 February 2013, the Commission acknowledged this designation indicating: ‘The European Union’s acknowledgement does not alter the European Union’s position that the legitimate jurisdiction of Israeli authorities does not extend to the territories brought under Israeli administration since 1967’.

Did Israel designate the Ministry of Health as the responsible authority for the State of Israel by forwarding its nomination to the Union in conformity with Article 9.1(a) of the ACAA, i.e. ‘stating the territory and title of the annex to this Agreement under which the Responsible Authority is competent to carry out the tasks listed in Article 8.1’? If so, how did it ‘state the territory’?

In granting the Union’s acknowledgement, did the Commission expressly state that ‘acknowledgement is granted only on the basis that the territory covered by the responsible authority does not include the territories brought under Israeli administration in 1967’?

Question for written answer P-011002/13

to the Commission

Véronique De Keyser (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Application of the Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) Agreement

In its answer of 9 August 2013 to Written Question P-007039/2013, the Commission indicated that:

‘For the purpose of Article 9 of the ACAA, as related to the annex on Mutual Acceptance of Industrial Products — Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Israel designated on 14 January 2013 the Ministry of Health as the responsible authority for the State of Israel. In its reply of 4 February 2013, the Commission has acknowledged this designation indicating that “The European Union’s acknowledgement does not alter the European Union’s position that the legitimate jurisdiction of Israeli authorities does not extend to the territories brought under Israeli administration since 1967”’.

Could the Commission provide the actual text of the nomination forwarded by Israel in conformity with Article 9, paragraph 1(a) of the ACAA Agreement, as well as the actual text of the Commission’s acknowledgement issued in conformity with Article 9, paragraph 1(b) of the agreement?

Joint answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(23 October 2013)

The INTA committee of the European Parliament received on 6th February 2013 on a limited basis, the exchange of letters between the European Commission and the Israeli authorities regarding the implementation of the EU-Israel Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA).

(Magyar változat)

Írásbeli választ igénylő kérdés P-011001/13

a Bizottság számára

Erik Bánki (PPE)

(2013. szeptember 26.)

Tárgy: A víz-keretirányelvből fakadó kötelezettségek a cianidos bányászat engedélyezése során

A víz Földünk egyik legbecsesebb természeti erőforrása. A Föld vízkészletének mindössze 2%-a édesvíz. Ezen szűkös természeti erőforrás azonban meghatározó fontosságú a biológiai, társadalmi és gazdasági élet valamennyi szegmensében. A növekvő lakossági igények és az éghajlatváltozás nyomán az egymással versengő vízigények 2030-ra várhatóan 40%-os globális vízellátási hiányt eredményeznek. Ez a folyamat Európát is érinteni fogja: a vízhez való hozzáférés mind egyéni, mind nemzeti szinten még inkább a prosperitás és a béke alapvető kérdésévé válik majd.

Bizonyára ismert a Bizottság előtt, hogy a kanadai hátterű Rosia Montana Gold Corporation Verespatakon tervezi megnyitni Európa legnagyobb külszíni aranybányáját, ahol ciántechnológiás eljárással 330 tonna aranyat és 1600 tonna ezüstöt akar kitermelni. A visszamaradó cianidos bányászati zagy elhelyezésére a tervek szerint egy 250 millió tonna összbefogadó kapacitású és 180 méter magas völgyzárógáttal ellátott tározó szolgálna. Egy jövőbeli baleset esetén – szakértők szerint – román és magyar területeken több száz folyam-kilométernyi édesvíz szennyeződne cianiddal, beleértve a Maros és a Tisza folyókat is, ami helyrehozhatatlan környezeti és közegészségügyi károkat okozna az érintett vízgyűjtő területen.

Az uniós vízvédelmi jog számos szabálya tiltja a vizek veszélyes anyagokkal való szennyezését, ennek alapjait a víz-keretirányelv fekteti le. A keretirányelv VIII. mellékletének 6. pontja alapján a cianidok fő szennyezőanyagnak minősülnek. A víz-keretirányelv továbbá széles körű együttműködési kötelezettséget ír elő a közös vízgyűjtő területen osztozó tagállamok számára a vizek jó állapotának elérése és fenntartása érdekében.

1.

Tekintettel a verespataki beruházás rendkívüli mértékű határon átnyúló szennyezési potenciáljára, a víz-keretirányelv rendelkezései alapján milyen konkrét együttműködési kötelezettség terheli Romániát a szomszédos országok tekintetében a projekt engedélyezése során?

2.

Milyen jogokat biztosít továbbá a víz-keretirányelv egy tagállam számára annak érdekében, hogy vizeinek jó állapotát ne veszélyeztethesse a szomszédos tagállamban zajló ipari tevékenység?

Janez Potočnik válasza a Bizottság nevében

(2013. november 4.)

A Bizottság osztja a tisztelt képviselő úr álláspontját, miszerint a víz Földünk egyik legbecsesebb természeti erőforrása.

A víz-keretirányelv (188) nem határoz meg szabályokat az egyedi projektek engedélyezési eljárására vonatkozóan, ugyanakkor azon tevékenységek, melyek a felszíni víztestek fizikai jellemzőinek új változásából következő állapotromlást eredményeznek, csak abban az esetben hajthatók végre, amennyiben a víz-keretirányelv 4. cikkének (7) bekezdésében megállapított feltételek teljesülnek.

A nemzetközi együttműködésre vonatkozóan a víz-keretirányelv 3. cikke értelmében a tagállamoknak biztosítaniuk kell, hogy az egy tagállam területénél nagyobb területen fekvő vízgyűjtőket egy nemzetközi vízgyűjtő kerülethez rendelik. A tagállamoknak továbbá azt is biztosítaniuk kell, hogy összehangolják a víz-keretirányelvben meghatározott, a környezeti célkitűzések elérésére vonatkozó követelményeket, különösen a vízgyűjtő kerület egészére vonatkozó intézkedési programokat. Nemzetközi vízgyűjtő kerületek esetében az érintett tagállamoknak együtt kell biztosítaniuk ezt a koordinációt annak érdekében, hogy egyik tagállam vízkészletének megfelelő állapotát se veszélyeztethesse egy másik tagállam.

Nemcsak a víz-keretirányelv, hanem más, bányászati projektek engedélyezésére vonatkozó irányelvek – így a környezeti hatásvizsgálatot (189) vagy a bányászati hulladékokat (190) érintő irányelvek – is nemzetközi együttműködést írnak elő abban az esetben, ha egy projekt/hulladékkezelő létesítmény működése valószínűleg jelentős hatást gyakorol a környezetre egy másik tagállam területén, vagy amennyiben a valószínűleg jelentősen érintett tagállam kérelmet nyújt be erre vonatkozóan.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-011001/13

to the Commission

Erik Bánki (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Obligations arising from the Water Framework Directive concerning authorisation for cyanide mining

Water is one of the earth’s most precious natural resources. 2% of the earth’s water is comprised of fresh water. This scarce natural resource is, however, of crucial importance in all areas of biological, social and economic life. People’s increasing demands together with climate change will result in a 40% shortfall in water provision by 2030. This process will also have an impact on Europe: access to water will increasingly become a basic question of prosperity and peace at individual and national level.

The Commission is no doubt aware that the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, which is listed in Canada, is planning to open Europe’s largest open-cast gold mine in Verespatak and extract 330 tonnes of gold and 1 600 tonnes of silver using cyanide technology. There are plans to store the resultant sludge in a reservoir with a capacity of 250 million tonnes and a 180-metre-high coffer dam constructed across the valley. According to experts, in the event of an accident, fresh water in river systems for hundreds of kilometres in parts of Romania and Hungary, including the Maros and Tisza rivers, would suffer cyanide pollution, which would cause irreparable damage to the environment and to public health in the drainage area concerned.

A number of provisions in the EU’s water legislation prohibit the polluting of waters by hazardous substances. The basis for this is laid down in the Water Framework Directive. Point 6 of Annex VIII of the framework Directive classifies cyanides as a main pollutant. The directive also lays down an obligation of cooperation for Member States sharing drainage basins in order to reach and preserve the 'good status' of waters.

1.

Given the enormous potential for cross-border pollution of the Verespatak project, what specific obligations of cooperation do the provisions of the Water Framework Directive impose on Romania in terms of its neighbouring countries during the authorisation procedure?

2.

What rights are laid down in the directive for a Member State to ensure that the good status of its waters is not put at risk by industrial activities undertaken in a neighbouring Member State?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(4 November 2013)

The Commission shares the view of the Honourable Member that water is one of the earth's most precious natural resources.

The Water Framework Directive (191) (WFD) does not set rules for authorisation procedures of individual projects, but certain activities resulting in deterioration of status due to new modifications to the physical characteristics of surface water bodies are only allowed if conditions laid down in Article 4.7 of the WFD are met.

Regarding international coordination, Article 3 of the WFD requires that Member States ensure that a river basin covering the territory of more than one Member State is assigned to an international river basin district. Member States should also ensure that the requirements of the WFD for the achievement of the environmental objectives, and in particular all programmes of measures are coordinated for the whole of the river basin district. For international river basin districts the Member States concerned are required to ensure this coordination, in order to ensure that the good status of waters of a Member State is not put at risk by another Member State.

Not only the WFD but also other Directives addressing authorisation of mining projects such as those on Environmental Impact Assessment (192) and on Mining Waste (193), require international coordination where a project/the operation of a waste facility is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another Member State or where a Member State, that is likely to be significantly affected, so requests.

(Dansk udgave)

Forespørgsel til skriftlig besvarelse E-011004/13

til Kommissionen

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(26. september 2013)

Om: Borgerinitiativet »Minority Safepack«

Den. 15. juli i år blev EU-Kommissionen ansøgt om registrering af det europæiske mindretals borgerinitiativ »Minority Safepack«. De europæiske mindretals ansøgning blev afvist med beskeden om, at det ikke er Unionens opgave at tage sig af mindretal, det må være op til medlemsstaterne.

Borgerinitiativet blev netop en del af Lissabontraktaten for at fremme borgernes indflydelse i EU, og hele idéen med borgerinitiativet er, at borgerne skal være med til at bestemme, hvad EU skal beskæftige sig med.

Med baggrund i Artikel 2 i Traktaten om den Europæiske Union (der bl.a. lyder: Unionen bygger på værdierne respekt for den menneskelige værdighed, frihed, demokrati, ligestilling, retsstaten og respekt for menneskerettighederne, herunder rettigheder for personer, der tilhører mindretal.) kan jeg simpelthen ikke forstå at EU kommissionen har afvist initiativet.

Læg hertil at tredje afsnit om ligestilling i EU's charter om grundlæggende rettigheder, samt den del af Københavnskriterierne, ligeledes stiller skrappe krav til nye medlemslandes beskyttelse af mindretal i høj grad kvalificere mindretalsbeskyttelse som et vigtigt EU kompetenceområde — både hvad angår mindretal i nye og gamle medlemslande.

Mit spørgsmål til Kommissionen er derfor:

Hvilken reel årsag er der til, at Kommissionen på forhånd afviser initiativet fra den store del af EU's borgere, der er en del af de mange mindretal? Vil kommissionen genoverveje afslaget?

Vil Kommissionen i benægtende fald genoverveje borgerinitiativet, så det i fremtiden reelt kan bruges til de emner, der optager borgerne?

Svar afgivet på Kommissionens vegne af Maroš Šefčovič

(4. november 2013)

Forslaget til borgerinitiativ, der henvises til i det ærede medlems spørgsmål, opfylder ikke en af de retlige betingelser for registrering, jf. artikel 4, stk. 2, i forordningen om borgerinitiativer (194), nemlig at »forslaget til borgerinitiativ falder ikke åbenbart uden for Kommissionens beføjelse til at fremsætte et forslag til EU-retsakt med henblik på gennemførelsen af traktaterne«. Denne betingelse kommer direkte fra artikel 11, stk. 4, i traktaten om Den Europæiske Union, der lyder, at »et antal unionsborgere på mindst en million, der kommer fra et betydeligt antal medlemsstater, kan tage initiativ til at opfordre Kommissionen til inden for rammerne af sine beføjelser at fremsætte et egnet forslag om spørgsmål, hvor en EU-retsakt efter borgernes opfattelse er nødvendig til gennemførelse af traktaterne«.

Kommissionen henviser det ærede medlem til sit brev af 13. september 2013 til initiativtagerne af dette initiativ, hvor begrundelsen for afslaget er specificeret. Dette brev er gjort offentligt tilgængeligt på borgerinitiativets websted:

http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/documents/1765

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011004/13

to the Commission

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: The ‘Minority Safepack’ citizens' initiative

On 15 July this year, an application was submitted to the Commission for the registration of the European minorities’ citizens’ initiative ‘Minority Safepack’. The European minorities’ application was rejected with the explanation that it is not the job of the Union to look after minorities; it is the responsibility of the Member States.

The citizens’ initiative was included in the Treaty of Lisbon precisely in order to promote the influence of citizens in the EU, and the whole point of the citizens’ initiative is that citizens should be involved in determining what the EU should concern itself with.

On the basis of Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (which states, amongst other things, that ‘[t]he Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities’), I simply cannot understand why the Commission rejected the initiative.

When you also consider that Title III (Equality) of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, as well as the relevant section of the Copenhagen Criteria, also lays down stringent requirements for new Member States concerning the protection of minorities, the protection of minorities most definitely qualifies as an important area of competence of the EU — in respect of minorities in both new and old Member States.

What is the real reason for the Commission’s rejection from the outset of the initiative put forward by the large proportion of EU citizens that belong to the many minority groups? Will the Commission reconsider its refusal?

If not, will it re-evaluate the citizens’ initiative so that in future it can actually be used for those matters that concern citizens?

Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission

(4 November 2013)

The proposed citizens' initiative referred to in the Honourable Member's question did not meet one of the legal conditions for registration as set out in Article 4(2) of the regulation on the citizens' initiative (195), namely that ‘the proposed citizens’ initiative does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties’. This condition directly results from Article 11(4) of the Treaty on European Union which states that ‘not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties’.

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its letter of 13 September 2013 sent to the organisers of this initiative in which the reasons for the refusal are detailed. This letter has been made publicly available in the citizens' initiative website:

http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/documents/1765

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-011005/13

an die Kommission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Verordnung (EU) Nr. 576/2013 über die Unterbringung von Heimtieren

Die neuen Verordnungen ((EU) Nr. 576 & 577/2013) zu Heimtieren sind seit Mitte des Jahres 2013 in Kraft getreten und gelten ab 29. Dezember 2014. Im Anhang I B sind neben Vögeln, Amphibien, Reptilien, Nagetieren, Kaninchen und Wassertieren auch wirbellose Tiere aufgeführt. Daraus ergeben sich folgende Fragen:

Ist die Kommission im Begriff, Rechtsvorschriften zu erlassen, welche die Bestimmungen der unter Anhang I A aufgeführten Lebewesen auch auf die unter I B ausweiten? Diese Frage bezieht sich insbesondere auf die Notwendigkeit von Heimtierpass und Kennzeichnungspflicht (Tätowierung/Pass).

Falls nein, plant die Kommission hier einen Eingriff zur Abänderung nationaler Vorschriften?

Falls ja, in wie weit beachtet die Kommission die Verhältnismäßigkeit nicht nur in Hinblick auf das Risiko für die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier, sondern auch in Bezug auf den Aufwand oder die generelle Durchführbarkeit, wie zum Beispiel bei der erlaubten Transportmenge, der Kennzeichnungspflicht oder der Notwendigkeit eines Heimtierpasses für Wirbellose (Würmer, Larven oder Käfer)?

Warum ist diese Verordnung ausschließlich auf Privatpersonen beschränkt und nicht auf Großhändler und Importeure ausgeweitet worden, da diesen hier gegebenenfalls nun ein legislatives Schlupfloch durch argumentative Verneinung/Umgehung des Handelszwecks ermöglicht werden könnte?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(15. November 2013)

1.

Die Kommission plant derzeit keine Vorschriften für die Verbringung von Heimtieren zu anderen als Handelszwecken bei den in Anhang I Teil B der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 576/2013 (196) des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates aufgeführten Arten.

2.

Bis zur Festlegung von Unionsvorschriften kann die Kommission weder intervenieren noch die von den Mitgliedstaaten angewandten Vorschriften kommentieren, sofern diese in einem angemessenen Verhältnis zum mit der Verbringung dieser Art von Heimtieren zu anderen als Handelszwecken zusammenhängenden Risiko für die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier stehen und nicht strenger sind als die Vorschriften für den Handel und die Einfuhr dieser Arten in die Europäische Union gemäß der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 576/2013.

3.

Im Falle einer unmittelbaren Gefahr für die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier im Zusammenhang mit der Verbringung dieser Arten von Heimtieren zu anderen als Handelszwecken kann die Kommission nach angemessener Konsultation einen delegierten Rechtsakt über artenspezifische präventive Gesundheitsmaßnahmen und Kennzeichnungsanforderungen erlassen, der alle nationalen Anforderungen berücksichtigt.

4.

Die Verordnung (EU) Nr. 576/2013 gilt für ein Heimtier einer in Anhang I aufgelisteten Art, das seinen Halter während einer Reise begleitet, die weder den Verkauf des Heimtiers noch den Übergang des Eigentums an dem Heimtier bezweckt („Verbringung zu anderen als Handelszwecken“). Falls eine dieser Bedingungen nicht erfüllt ist, muss das Heimtier die EU-Tiergesundheitsanforderungen erfüllen, die für den Handel oder die Einfuhr der betreffenden Tierarten in die Europäische Union gelten („Verbringung zu Handelszwecken“). Ziel der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 576/2013 ist die Stärkung des Rechtsrahmens für die amtlichen Kontrollen, um wirksamer zu verhindern, dass Verbringungen zu Handelszwecken in betrügerischer Absicht als Verbringungen zu anderen als Handelszwecken getarnt werden.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011005/13

to the Commission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals

The new Regulations ((EU) No 576 and 577/2013) on pet animals came into force in the middle of 2013 and apply from 29 December 2014. Annex I B lists invertebrates alongside birds, amphibia, reptiles, rodents, rabbits and aquatic animals. This raises the following questions:

Is the Commission in the process of adopting legislation which extends the provisions relating to the animals listed in Annex I A to those in Annex I B? This question concerns in particular the need for a pet passport and the requirement to be able to identify the animal (tattoo/passport).

If this is not the case, is the Commission planning to intervene in order to amend national regulations?

If it is the case, to what extent is the Commission taking into consideration the proportionality of the measures, not only with regard to the health of humans and animals, but also in respect of the cost and the general feasibility, for example the permitted transport volume, the identification requirements and the need for a pet passport for invertebrates (worms, larvae or beetles)?

Why does this regulation apply only to private individuals and not to wholesalers and importers who could exploit a legislative loophole by denying or circumventing the commercial purposes of their activities?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2013)

1.

At present, the Commission does not envisage adopting rules for the non-commercial movement of pet animals of the species listed in Part B of Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 (197) of the European Parliament and of the Council.

2.

Pending the establishment of Union rules, the Commission cannot intervene nor comment on rules applied by Member States where they are applied proportionately to the risk to public or animal health associated with the non-commercial movement of the pet animals of those species, and are not stricter than those applied to trade in and imports into the Union of those species, as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013.

3.

In the event of an imminent risk to public or animal health associated with the non-commercial movement of pet animals of one of those species, the Commission may adopt a delegated act, following appropriate consultation, on species-specific preventive health measures, and on species-specific requirements concerning their marking taking into account any relevant national requirements.

4.

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 applies to a pet animal of the species listed in Annex I thereto, which accompanies its owner during his or her movement not aiming at the sale or the transfer of ownership of that pet animal (‘non-commercial movement’). If one of the aforementioned conditions is not met, the animal must meet the EU animal health requirements applicable to trade in or imports into the Union of animals of the species concerned (‘commercial movement’). Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 strengthens the legal framework for the official controls with the aim to better prevent that commercial movements are fraudulently disguised as non-commercial movements.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-011006/13

an die Kommission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Angekündigte Neuerungen zur Netzneutralität

Die geplanten Neuerungen (European Commission — SPEECH/13/498 04/06/2013) bezüglich der Netzneutralität steuern auf ein Zwei-Klassen-Internet zu. Die Neuerungen erlauben dem Telekom-Unternehmen, für eine schnellere Durchführung im Internet eine „Extra-Maut“ zu verlangen. Dies widerspricht jedoch der Gleichberechtigung aller Daten im Internet. Des Weiteren bedeutet das erhebliche Mehrkosten für Internetnutzer.

Kann die Kommission dazu folgende Fragen beantworten:

Wie beurteilt die Kommission dieses Vorhaben im Hinblick auf die unterschiedliche Finanzkraft der Unternehmen?

Wie sind diese Neuerungen in Hinblick auf die Förderungen von KMU zu bewerten?

Wie soll die Umsetzung im Hinblick auf die Änderungen bei den bestehenden Kunden erfolgen? Im Besonderen: Welche Auflagen könnten in diesem Zusammenhang der Telekommunikationsbranche vonseiten der EU auferlegt werden?

Welchen Zweck verfolgt die Kommission mit dieser qualitativen Ungleichbehandlung von Kunden?

Welche Unternehmen, Interessengemeinschaften und Verbände haben die Kommission in Hinblick auf diese legislativen Neuerungen beraten? Wie setzt sich der legislative Fußabdruck zusammen?

Antwort von Frau Kroes im Namen der Kommission

(6. November 2013)

Der Kommissionsvorschlag garantiert den offenen Zugang zum Internet, indem er jegliches Blockieren, Drosseln, Beeinträchtigen oder Diskriminieren verbietet. Auf diese Weise werden alle Inhalte, Dienste und Anwendungen für alle Endnutzer über das offene Internet zugänglich und nutzbar sein. Dem Vorschlag zufolge haben Endnutzer unabhängig von ihrer Finanzkraft die Möglichkeit, mit Anbietern von Inhalten und Anwendungen sowie mit Betreibern elektronischer Kommunikation Verträge über Spezialdienste mit einer höheren Dienstqualität zu schließen, sofern solche Dienste zu keiner wiederholten oder dauerhaften Beeinträchtigung der allgemeinen Qualität des Internetzugangs führen. Die nationalen Regulierungsbehörden müssen dafür sorgen, dass die Qualität des Internetzugangs dem technischen Fortschritt entspricht, dass ein hochwertiger Zugang zum Internet zur Verfügung steht und dass Spezialdienste diese Qualität nicht beeinträchtigen. Außerdem sind sie befugt, Betreibern elektronischer Kommunikation bestimmte Mindestanforderungen an die Dienstqualität aufzuerlegen.

Der Vorschlag wird KMU und neugegründete Internet-Unternehmen bei der Innovation unterstützen, weil deren Anwendungen und Dienste dann nicht mehr blockiert oder beeinträchtigt werden können, wie dies heute oft noch geschieht. Um die Nachfrage der Endnutzer nach innovativen, hochwertigen Diensten wie Internetfernsehen (IPTV), Cloud-Angeboten oder elektronischen Gesundheitsdiensten decken zu können, werden KMU die Möglichkeit haben, Vereinbarungen über eine garantierte Dienstqualität zu schließen. Die Inanspruchnahme solcher Dienste ist freiwillig, so dass sich hieraus keine Änderungen für bestehende Kunden ergeben. Da ein Spezialdienst kein bloßer Ersatz für den Internetzugang sein darf, wird es auch kein Zwei-Klassen-Internet geben.

Dieses ausgewogene Konzept für die Netzneutralität beruht auf zahlreichen Zusammenkünften mit Interessenträgern (198), auf den eingegangenen Stellungnahmen (199) und auf einer breiten öffentlichen Konsultation (200), die im Jahr 2012 stattfand.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011006/13

to the Commission

Franz Obermayr (NI)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Announcement of new measures concerning net neutrality

The planned new measures (European Commission — SPEECH/13/498 04/06/2013) concerning net neutrality represent a move towards a two-tier Internet. They allow telecoms companies to charge an additional toll for faster processing on the Internet. However, this conflicts with the principle of the equality of all the data on the Internet. It also involves significant additional costs for Internet users.

1.

What is the Commission’s assessment of this plan with regard to the differences in the financial strength of the companies?

2.

How should we evaluate these new measures in relation to support for SMEs?

3.

How should the measures be implemented with regard to changes for existing customers? In particular, what conditions could the EU impose on the telecoms industry in this context?

4.

What is the Commission’s aim in introducing this qualitative unequal treatment of customers?

5.

Which companies, lobby groups and associations advised the Commission about this new legislation? What is the legislative footprint made up of?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2013)

The Commission's proposal guarantees open access to the Internet by prohibiting blocking, throttling, degradation or discrimination. Thus all content, services and applications will be available over the open Internet to all end-users. Under the proposal end-users may conclude agreements with content and application providers, regardless of their financial size, and with electronic communications providers for specialised services with an enhanced quality of service, provided such services do not cause recurring or continuous impairment of the general quality of Internet access. National regulators shall ensure that the quality of Internet access reflects advances in technology, that a high quality Internet is available and that specialised services are not impairing that quality. They are also empowered to set minimum quality of service requirements on electronic communications providers.

The proposal will help SMEs and Internet start-ups to innovate, as they will not see their applications and services blocked or degraded, as is currently often the case. SMEs will have the option to conclude agreements for a guaranteed quality of service, which is essential to satisfy demand from end-users for innovative, high-quality services such as IPTV, cloud or e-health. Availing of such services is on a voluntary basis, thus there will be no change for existing Internet customers. As specialised services must not be a substitute to the Internet access service, there will not be a two-tier Internet.

This balanced approach towards net neutrality is based on a large number of meetings with stakeholders (201) and on the responses received (202) to a wide-ranging public consultation (203) carried out in 2012.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-011007/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Κίνδυνος υποβάθμισης της ποιότητας των υπηρεσιών σε επαγγελματικούς κλάδους από την ενσωμάτωση της 2005/36/EK στην ελληνική έννομη τάξη. Η περίπτωση του φυσικοθεραπευτή

Στο ευρύτερο πλαίσιο της εμπέδωσης μιας κοινής στρατηγικής για την ενιαία αγορά και με στόχο την άρση των εμποδίων για την ελεύθερη κυκλοφορία επαγγελματιών και διακίνηση υπηρεσιών εκδόθηκε από το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο και το Συμβούλιο η 2005/36/EK σχετικά με την αναγνώριση των επαγγελματικών προσόντων, που ενσωματώθηκε στην ελληνική έννομη τάξη με το Π.Δ. 38/2010, το οποίο σε δεύτερη φάση υπέστη τροποποιήσεις με την ψήφιση των νόμων 4093/2012 και 4111/2013. Με τις τελευταίες αυτές τροποποιήσεις διευρύνονται τόσο το πεδίο εφαρμογής όσο και οι προϋποθέσεις υπαγωγής στις διατάξεις της σχετικής Κοινοτικής Οδηγίας, καθιερώνοντας ουσιαστικά μια παράλληλη διαδικασία αναγνώρισης επαγγελματικών προσόντων — και όχι επαγγελματικής ισοδυναμίας τίτλων σπουδών — η οποία εγκυμονεί σοβαρούς κινδύνους, αφενός, για την υποβάθμιση των παρεχόμενων υπηρεσιών σε συγκεκριμένους κλάδους και, αφετέρου, για τη διαμόρφωση ενός ασαφούς περιβάλλοντος απόκτησης πρόσβασης από μη πραγματικούς δικαιούχους στην άσκηση επαγγελματικής δραστηριότητας στην Ελλάδα και, κατ' επέκταση, σε όλα τα κράτη-μέλη της ΕΕ. Με δεδομένη την εισαγωγή — σύμφωνα με την 2005/36/EK — της έννοιας του «μετανάστη εργαζόμενου-επαγγελματία», καθώς και του δικαιώματος των κρατών μελών να ορίζουν ένα ελάχιστο επίπεδο απαραίτητων προσόντων, ώστε να διασφαλίζεται η ποιότητα των παρεχόμενων υπηρεσιών στην επικράτειά του, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Συμμερίζεται τον κίνδυνο και την αγωνία των επαγγελματικών ενώσεων για την υποβάθμιση των παρεχόμενων υπηρεσιών του κλάδου τους από ενδεχόμενη αναγνώριση τίτλων σπουδών απονεμηθέντων από εγχώριες σχολές ιδιωτικού δικαίου που έχουν συμφωνίες δικαιόχρησης (franchising) με εκπαιδευτικά ιδρύματα άλλων κρατών μελών, όταν τα τελευταία δεν είναι αναγνωρισμένα από το εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα της χώρας τους;

Με βάση την αυξημένη ευθύνη άσκησης του επαγγέλματος του φυσικοθεραπευτή και ταυτόχρονα την ευχέρεια των κρατών μελών να αναγνωρίζουν σύμφωνα με την νομοθεσία τους τα επαγγελματικά προσόντα, κρίνει σκόπιμη την εισαγωγή πρόσθετων προϋποθέσεων — ανάλογων άλλων ιατρικών και παραϊατρικών επαγγελμάτων — για την απόκτηση της σχετικής επαγγελματικής ισοδυναμίας;

Υπάρχουν αντίστοιχα παραδείγματα άλλων κρατών μελών που, στην κατεύθυνση της θωράκισης της αξιοπιστίας του εν λόγω επαγγέλματος, έχουν προχωρήσει στη θέσπιση πρόσθετων κριτηρίων ή διαδικασιών; Αν ναι, τότε ποια είναι αυτά;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(14 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

1)

Η Επιτροπή δεν συμμερίζεται τις ανησυχίες ορισμένων επαγγελματικών οργανώσεων, δεδομένου ότι η οδηγία 2005/36/ΕΚ (204) προβλέπει διασφαλίσεις όσον αφορά την αναγνώριση των επαγγελματικών προσόντων που παρέχεται μέσω συμφωνίας δικαιόχρησης. Ειδικότερα, το κράτος μέλος υποδοχής μπορεί να εξακριβώσει μέσω του κράτους μέλους καταγωγής:

α) κατά πόσον η εκπαίδευση στο ίδρυμα που παρέσχε την κατάρτιση έχει πιστοποιηθεί επισήμως από το εκπαιδευτικό ίδρυμα που βρίσκεται στο κράτος μέλος καταγωγής του τίτλου·

β) κατά πόσον οι τίτλοι επαγγελματικών προσόντων που έχουν εκδοθεί είναι οι ίδιοι με εκείνους που θα είχαν χορηγηθεί εάν η εκπαίδευση είχε πραγματοποιηθεί εξ ολοκλήρου στο κράτος μέλος καταγωγής·

γ) κατά πόσον τα επαγγελματικά προσόντα προσδίδουν τα ίδια επαγγελματικά δικαιώματα στην επικράτεια του κράτους μέλους καταγωγής.

Εφόσον δεν πληρούται ένα από αυτά τα κριτήρια, η αναγνώριση μπορεί να απορριφθεί.

2)

Σύμφωνα με τα διαθέσιμα στη βάση δεδομένων της Επιτροπής στατιστικά στοιχεία σχετικά με τα νομοθετικά κατοχυρωμένα επαγγέλματα, μεταξύ του 1997 και του 2012 χορηγήθηκε αναγνώριση για το επάγγελμα του φυσιοθεραπευτή στο 82% των περιπτώσεων (και για τις περισσότερες από αυτές η αναγνώριση έγινε αυτόματα). Ωστόσο, το σύστημα μπορεί να βελτιωθεί περαιτέρω. Αυτός είναι ο λόγος για τον οποίο η νέα οδηγία για την τροποποίηση της οδηγίας 2005/36/ΕΚ θεσπίζει τη δυνατότητα δημιουργίας «κοινών πλαισίων εκπαίδευσης» και «κοινών δοκιμασιών εκπαίδευσης». Οι τίτλοι που αποκτώνται στο πλαίσιο αυτών των κοινών πλαισίων εκπαίδευσης ή δοκιμασιών πρέπει να αναγνωρίζονται αυτομάτως στα άλλα συμμετέχοντα κράτη μέλη. Η Επιτροπή μπορεί να καθιερώσει τα πλαίσια αυτά με κατ' εξουσιοδότηση πράξεις. Τα κράτη μέλη μπορούν να εξαιρούνται από την εφαρμογή των κοινών πλαισίων εκπαίδευσης ή δοκιμασιών υπό συγκεκριμένους όρους.

3)

Η Επιτροπή δεν διαθέτει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τη θέσπιση των εν λόγω μέτρων από άλλα κράτη μέλη.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011007/13

to the Commission

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Possible deterioration in quality of professional services, for example in the field of physiotherapy, following the transposition into Greek law of Directive 2005/36/EC

In a bid to consolidate the joint single market strategy and remove obstacles to the free movement of professions and freedom to provide services, the European Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications transposed into Greek law under Presidential Decree 38/2010. This was subsequently amended by Laws 4093/2012 and 4111/2013 widening the scope of the provisions and conditions of inclusion, thereby effectively creating a parallel procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications — as opposed to equivalence — leading to a serious risk of deterioration in the quality of professional services in certain fields, accompanied by doubts as to the professional qualifications of those admitted as practitioners in Greece and, by extension, all EU Member States. At the same time, Directive 2005/36/EC introduces the concept of the migrant professional, while Member States are entitled to establish minimum qualifications with a view to safeguarding the quality of services provided within their territory.

In view of this:

Does the Commission share the concerns of certain professional organisations regarding the risk of deterioration in the quality of services provided within their particular branch through recognition of qualifications issued by private law schools under franchising agreements with non-recognised professional institutions in other Member States?

With a view to ensuring more responsible professional standards in the field of physiotherapy and make it easier for Member States to recognise qualifications in accordance with their own legislation, does the Commission consider it advisable to introduce additional conditions of eligibility as for other medical and paramedical professions?

Have any other Member States adopted additional criteria and procedures with a view to upholding confidence in this profession and, if so, which?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2013)

1.

The Commission does not share the concerns of certain professional organisations, given that directive 2005/36/EC (205) provides safeguards with regard to the recognition of professional qualifications delivered through a franchised agreement. In particular, the host Member State may verify with the home Member State:

whether the training course at the establishment which gave the training has been formally certified by the educational establishment based in the Member State of origin;

whether the professional qualification issued is the same as that which would have been awarded if the course had been followed entirely in the Member State of origin; and

whether the professional qualification confers the same professional rights in the territory of the Member State of origin.

If one of these criteria is not fulfilled, recognition may be refused.

2.

According to the statistics available in the Commission database on regulated professions, between 1997 and 2012 recognition for the profession of physiotherapist was granted in 82% of cases (and for most of them it was automatic). However, the system can still be improved. This is why the new directive amending Directive 2005/36/EC introduces the possibility to set up ‘common training frameworks’ and ‘common training tests’. Qualifications obtained under such common training frameworks or tests should automatically be recognised in the other participating Member States. The Commission may introduce such frameworks by delegated acts. Member States may be exempted from the application of common training frameworks or tests under specific conditions.

3.

The Commission has no information about the introduction of such measures by other Member States.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-011008/13

προς την Επιτροπή

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(26 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013)

Θέμα: Ενεργειακό κόστος — βιωσιμότητα και ανταγωνιστικότητα των ελληνικών βιομηχανιών

Το ενεργειακό κόστος αποτελεί έναν από τους βασικότερους παράγοντες διαμόρφωσης του συνολικού κόστους παραγωγής, με την «επιρροή» του να είναι ακόμη πιο σημαντική στους κλάδους της ενεργοβόρου βιομηχανίας, επηρεάζοντας καθοριστικά την τελική τιμή πώλησης, άρα και την ανταγωνιστικότητα των προϊόντων τους. Στην Ελλάδα, σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία των αντίστοιχων Βιομηχανικών Ενώσεων, οι ιδιαίτερα υψηλές τιμές ενέργειας υπονομεύουν τόσο την ανάπτυξη όσο και τη βιωσιμότητα των ελληνικών βιομηχανιών, με συνέπεια τη μείωση της παραγωγικής δραστηριότητας, την απώλεια θέσεων εργασίας και την ουσιαστική αποδόμηση κάθε εγχειρήματος για την δημιουργία του αναγκαίου εξωστρεφούς προσανατολισμού, καθώς και η εγχώρια ζήτηση εμφανίζεται εξαιρετικά περιορισμένη. Με δεδομένο, λοιπόν, αφενός, ότι η ανάκαμψη της ελληνικής οικονομίας και η βελτίωση του ισοζυγίου τρεχουσών συναλλαγών συνδέεται άρρηκτα με την «αναζωογόνηση» της ελληνικής βιομηχανίας και, αφετέρου, το διακηρυγμένο στόχο για την αύξηση της ανταγωνιστικότητας, ερωτάται η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή:

Διαθέτει στοιχεία για το ενεργειακό κόστος (τιμή kWh) στους βασικότερους κλάδους της βιομηχανίας έντασης ενέργειας (π.χ. μεταλλουργία, χαλυβουργία, τσιμεντοβιομηχανία, λιπάσματα, χαρτοποιία, υαλουργία κ.λπ.) στα κράτη μέλη;

Πώς αξιολογεί, ως μέλος και της τρόικας, μια πρόταση για μείωση του κόστους ενέργειας σε όλο το φάσμα της ελληνικής οικονομίας — τουλάχιστον στα επίπεδα του ευρωπαϊκού μέσου όρου — με στόχο την αύξηση της ανταγωνιστικότητάς της;

Υπάρχουν βέλτιστες πρακτικές και παραδείγματα άλλων κρατών μελών που προχώρησαν (είτε σε μεμονωμένους κλάδους, είτε συνολικά) σε μειώσεις του κόστους ενέργειας για τη στήριξη της παραγωγικής δραστηριότητας και της απασχόλησης; Αν ναι, ποια είναι αυτά και με ποιο τρόπο;

Απάντηση του κ. Oettinger εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(25 Νοεμβρίου 2013)

Η Επιτροπή καταρτίζει επί του παρόντος έκθεση σχετικά με τις τιμές και το κόστος της ενέργειας, η οποία εξετάζει επίσης τις επιπτώσεις στις βιομηχανίες έντασης ενέργειας. Η έκθεση θα αναλύσει τη σύνθεση των ενεργειακών τιμών για τον μέσο καταναλωτή σε διάφορους τομείς έντασης ενέργειας. Στόχος είναι να εκδοθεί η εν λόγω έκθεση εγκαίρως για το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο για την ανταγωνιστικότητα που θα διεξαχθεί τον Φεβρουάριο.

Κατά το δεύτερο εξάμηνο του 2012, οι μέσες τιμές λιανικής πώλησης ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας για βιομηχανικούς καταναλωτές που καταγράφηκαν στην Ελλάδα ήταν σε γενικές γραμμές ευθυγραμμισμένες με τον μέσο όρο της ΕΕ (206). Το κόστος της ενέργειας διαδραματίζει σημαντικό ρόλο στην ανταγωνιστικότητα της βιομηχανίας, αλλά και το κόστος της εργασίας, οι εμπορικές πολιτικές και οι περιβαλλοντικές υποχρεώσεις, μεταξύ άλλων, έχουν επίσης επίδραση στην ανταγωνιστικότητα. Τα μέτρα που αποσκοπούν στη μείωση του ενεργειακού κόστους για τις επιχειρήσεις έντασης ενέργειας στην Ελλάδα πρέπει να λαμβάνουν πλήρως υπόψη τα οφέλη και το κόστος για ολόκληρο το σύστημα και όλους τους καταναλωτές ενώ, παράλληλα, θα μεγιστοποιούν τα οφέλη από την ενεργειακή απόδοση. Τα μέτρα κρατικών ενισχύσεων θα πρέπει να είναι καλά στοχοθετημένα και να περιορίζονται στα ελάχιστα αναγκαία ώστε να αποφεύγονται οι αρνητικές συνέπειες όπως οι στρεβλώσεις στην αγορά ηλεκτρισμού και πρόσθετα προβλήματα ρευστότητας για τους παραγωγούς ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας, που ήδη βρίσκονται σε δυσχερή κατάσταση.

Οι εθνικές πολιτικές σχετικά με τους φόρους και τις εισφορές σε αρκετά κράτη μέλη έχουν επίσης αμβλύνει τον αντίκτυπο του κόστους της ενέργειας για τις βιομηχανίες έντασης ενέργειας που είναι εκτεθειμένες στον παγκόσμιο ανταγωνισμό, με σκοπό να αποφευχθούν οι αρνητικές επιπτώσεις για την ανταγωνιστικότητα και την απασχόληση. Η Επιτροπή θεωρεί ότι η ολοκλήρωση της εσωτερικής αγοράς ενέργειας και η διαρκής έμφαση στην ενεργειακή απόδοση, σύμφωνα με τη νομοθεσία της ΕΕ, θα είναι ο πλέον αποτελεσματικός τρόπος για τη μείωση του ενεργειακού κόστους και τη βελτίωση της ανταγωνιστικότητας των βασικών βιομηχανιών. Επί του παρόντος δεν υπάρχει διαθέσιμη επισκόπηση των βέλτιστων πρακτικών σε όλα τα κράτη μέλη.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011008/13

to the Commission

Konstantinos Poupakis (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Energy costs — sustainability and competitiveness of Greek industries

Energy is a major factor with regard to total production costs, even more so in energy-intensive sectors, having a decisive impact on retail prices and competitiveness. According to the Greek industrial associations concerned, excessively high energy prices are undermining industrial growth and sustainability in Greece, leading to reduced output and job losses and effectively stifling any outward-looking entrepreneurial initiative, a situation aggravated by exceptionally weak domestic demand. Economic recovery in Greece and an improvement in its current account situation are therefore closely dependent on revitalising its industries and achieving its declared aim of becoming more competitive.

In view of this:

Does the Commission have information regarding energy costs (kWh) with regard to energy-intensive industries in the Member States (the metallurgical, steel, cement, fertiliser, paper and glass production sectors, for example)?

As a member of the Troika, what view does it take of the proposal to reduce the energy costs across the beard in Greece — at least compared with European averages — so as to make it more competitive?

Have best practices been established, for example by other Member States (in individual sectors or across the board) in reducing energy costs with a view to boosting output and employment figures? If so, which Member States have achieved this and how?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

The Commission is currently preparing a report on energy prices and costs which also examines the impact on energy intensive industries. The report will analyse the composition of energy prices for an average consumer in different energy intensive sectors. The aim is to adopt this report in time for February's European Council on competitiveness.

In the second half of 2012, average retail electricity prices in Greece for industrial consumers were roughly in line with the EU average (207). Energy costs play an important role in industrial competitiveness; but labour costs, trade policies and environmental obligations inter alia also have an effect on competitiveness. Measures intended to reduce energy costs for energy-intensive companies in Greece need to take full account of benefits and costs for the whole system and all consumers, while maximising gains from energy efficiency. State aid measures should be well targeted and limited to the minimum necessary to avoid negative consequences such as distortions in the electricity market and additional liquidity problems for electricity producers, who are already in a distressed situation.

National policies on taxes and levies in several Member States have also softened the impact of energy costs on energy-intensive industries that are exposed to global competition, with a view to avoiding negative impacts on competiveness and employment. The Commission considers that the completion of the internal energy market and a continued focus on energy efficiency in line with EU legislation will be the most effective way to reduce energy costs and improve key industries' competitiveness. An overview of best practices across Member States is currently not available.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011009/13

to the Commission

Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Price controls on fuel supplies

There have been some suggestions recently that government price controls should be instituted on domestic fuel supplies in the UK.

Can the Commission clarify the legal position on price controls and whether such an instrument would be in breach of EU competition rules?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2013)

The EU competition rules, which prohibit anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominance, concern behaviour by companies. To the extent that a company is required to act in a certain way as a result of binding national law or regulation, leaving no space for autonomous behaviour, the company would not be regarded as in breach of the EU competition rules.

(Magyar változat)

Írásbeli választ igénylő kérdés E-011010/13

a Bizottság számára

Bánki Erik (PPE)

(2013. szeptember 26.)

Tárgy: A Bizottság hivatalos válasza a Parlament cianidos bányászatról szóló állásfoglalására

A Parlament 2010. május 5-én túlnyomó többséggel elfogadta azt az állásfoglalást, amelyben felszólította a Bizottságot, hogy 2011 végéig tegyen javaslatot a cianidos bányászati technológia általános uniós betiltására.

Az Európai Unió működéséről szóló szerződés 225. cikke szerint a Parlament tagjainak többségével felkérheti a Bizottságot olyan kérdésre vonatkozó megfelelő javaslat előterjesztésére, amely az Európai Parlament megítélése szerint a Szerződések végrehajtása céljából uniós jogi aktus kidolgozását teszi szükségessé.

A cikk azt is kiköti, hogy amennyiben a Bizottság nem terjeszt elő javaslatot, ennek okairól tájékoztatja a Parlamentet.

Tekintettel arra, hogy a Bizottság még nem terjesztett elő javaslatot a cianidos bányászat tilalmáról, melyik hivatalos dokumentumban értesítette a Parlamentet azokról az okokról, amelyek a javaslat benyújtásának elmulasztását indokolják?

Janez Potočnik válasza a Bizottság nevében

(2013. november 22.)

A Bizottság 2010. július 6-án elfogadott feljegyzésében (208) tájékoztatta a Parlamentet arról, miért nem tervez – a Parlament 2010. május 5-i állásfoglalásában megfogalmazott kérésének eleget téve – jogalkotási javaslatot előterjeszteni a cianid bányászatban történő alkalmazásának általános tilalmáról.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011010/13

to the Commission

Erik Bánki (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Commission's formal response to Parliament's resolution on cyanide mining

Parliament adopted its resolution of 5 May 2010, in which it called on the Commission to propose a general EU ban on the use of cyanide in mining by the end of 2011, by an overwhelming majority.

Under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Parliament may, acting by a majority of its component Members, request the Commission to submit any appropriate proposal on matters on which it considers that a Union act is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

This article also stipulates that if the Commission does not submit a proposal, it must inform Parliament of the reasons.

Given that the Commission has not yet proposed a ban on cyanide mining, in which official document did it formally inform Parliament of its reasons for not submitting a proposal?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(22 November 2013)

The Commission informed the Parliament by note adopted by the Commission on 6/07/2010 (209) of the reasons why it did not intend to come forward with a legislative proposal introducing a general ban on the use of cyanide in mining as requested by the Parliament in its resolution adopted on 5/05/2010.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-011011/13

a la Comisión

Paolo De Castro (S&D), Giancarlo Scottà (EFD), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) y Michel Dantin (PPE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Etiquetado de productos alimenticios — sistema «semáforo» del Reino Unido

A raíz de una recomendación del Ministerio de la Salud del Reino Unido, de 19 de junio de 2013, las grandes cadenas de distribución del Reino Unido emplean en el etiquetado de sus productos alimenticios un código de colores (rojo, naranja y verde) para señalar su contenido en grasas, ácidos grasos saturados, sales y azúcares. Dicha recomendación se emitió con carácter voluntario al amparo del Reglamento (UE) n° 1169/2011 (artículo 35, apartado 2). El referido Reglamento establece, en su artículo 35, apartado 1, una serie de requisitos que se deben cumplir a este respecto y prevé la adopción de actos de ejecución por la Comisión. Ahora bien, un sistema que clasifica los productos alimenticios sobre la base de su contenido en grasas, primordialmente, puede tener un efecto penalizador para muchos productos europeos (queso parmesano, queso mozzarella, otros quesos, jamones, etc.), que de esta manera, aun siendo de elevada calidad, corren el riesgo de ser considerados como productos poco saludables. Además, la imposición de etiquetas por los principales establecimientos de venta al por menor puede penalizar en particular a las pequeñas y medianas empresas al imponerles costes adicionales y crecientes de producción.

1.

¿Ha verificado la Comisión la conformidad de la Recomendación del Gobierno británico con lo previsto por el artículo 35, apartado 1, del Reglamento (UE) n° 1169/2011, esto es, que las referidas indicaciones «sean objetivas y no discriminatorias, y que su aplicación no suponga obstáculos a la libre circulación de mercancías»?

2.

¿Tiene la Comisión la intención de velar por la correcta aplicación del artículo 35, apartado 6 (relativo a los actos de ejecución), del Reglamento (UE) n° 1169/2011 haciendo suya la recomendación del Gobierno del Reino Unido y de precisar los requisitos enunciados en el artículo 35, apartado 1?

3.

¿No considera la Comisión que, de conformidad con lo previsto por la Directiva 98/34/CE, el Gobierno del Reino Unido debiera notificar su recomendación a la Comisión Europea?

Respuesta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(6 de noviembre de 2013)

1.

Por su carácter voluntario, el código de colores para etiquetado nutricional recomendado por las autoridades del Reino Unido no crea un obstáculo de iure al comercio. Algunas empresas británicas han anunciado públicamente que utilizarán ese sistema, pero otras han declarado que no lo harán; esto indica que, en la situación actual, tampoco puede considerarse de facto un sistema obligatorio. Sin haber recibido más información sobre este sistema, la Comisión no puede verificar su conformidad con los demás criterios del artículo 35, apartado 1, del Reglamento (UE) n° 1169/2011, sobre la información alimentaria facilitada al consumidor (210).

2.

La Comisión dará inicio a las acciones de ejecución encaminadas a garantizar la uniforme aplicación del artículo 35 en el momento oportuno.

3.

La Comisión considera que la recomendación de las autoridades británicas sobre este sistema de etiquetado no precisa de una notificación con arreglo a la Directiva 98/34/CE, ya que, a la vista de la información disponible, no puede considerarse vinculante ni de iure ni de facto. La Comisión estará atenta a que así sea y a que la medida no cree obstáculos a la libre circulación de mercancías consagrada en las disposiciones pertinentes del Tratado, en particular, los artículos 34 a 36, así como en el artículo 35, apartado 1, letra g), del Reglamento (UE) n° 1169/2011.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-011011/13

an die Kommission

Paolo De Castro (S&D), Giancarlo Scottà (EFD), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) und Michel Dantin (PPE)

(26. September 2013)

Betrifft: Lebensmittelkennzeichnung im Vereinigten Königreich nach dem Ampel-System

Gemäß einer Empfehlung des Gesundheitsministeriums des Vereinigten Königreichs vom 19. Juni 2013 kennzeichnen die meisten Einzelhändler im VK ihre Lebensmittelprodukte nach dem Ampelsystem (rot, orange und grün), basierend auf ihrem Gehalt an Fett, gesättigten Fettsäuren, Salz und Zucker. Diese Empfehlung wurde gemäß Artikel 35 Absatz 2 der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1169/2011 auf freiwilliger Basis angenommen. Diese Verordnung schreibt ferner vor, dass gewisse Voraussetzungen erfüllt sein müssen (Artikel 35 Absatz 1) und dass die Kommission Durchführungsrechtsakte erlassen muss. Ein System, bei dem Lebensmittel fast ausschließlich nach ihrem Fettgehalt eingestuft werden, droht zahlreiche europäische Produkte (Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozzarella und andere Käsesorten, Schinken usw.) zu benachteiligen, die dann trotz ihrer hohen Qualität als „ungesund“ gelten würden. Außerdem bedroht diese Etikettierung durch die Haupt-Einzelhändler die Existenz der kleineren und mittleren Unternehmen zu benachteiligen, vor allem aufgrund der zusätzlichen — und eskalierenden — Produktionskosten.

1.

Hat die Kommission überprüft, dass die oben genannte Empfehlung der britischen Regierung auch mit Artikel 35 Absatz 1 der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1169/2011 in Einklang steht, das heißt, dass die besagte Lebensmittelkennzeichnung objektiv und nicht diskriminierend ist und dass deren Anwendung kein Hindernis für den freien Warenverkehr darstellt?

2.

Wird die Kommission sicher stellen, dass Artikel 35 Absatz 6 der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1169/2011 (betreffend Durchführungsrechtsakte) bei der Umsetzung der Empfehlung der Regierung des VK korrekt angewendet wird und wird sie ferner die Anforderungen, die sich aus Artikel 35 Absatz 1 ergeben, genauer definieren?

3.

Ist die Kommission nicht der Auffassung, dass die Regierung des VK sie gemäß Richtlinie 98/34/EG über die besagte Empfehlung hätte in Kenntnis setzen müssen?

Antwort von Herrn Borg im Namen der Kommission

(6. November 2013)

1.

Da die Verwendung der von den britischen Behörden empfohlenen Kennzeichnung von Lebensmitteln nach dem Ampelsystem auf freiwilliger Basis erfolgt, schafft das System kein rechtliches Hindernis für den freien Warenverkehr. Einige britische Unternehmen haben öffentlich angekündigt, dass sie die Kennzeichnung verwenden werden, andere dagegen lehnen sie ab; dies zeigt, dass das System zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt auch de facto nicht als verpflichtend betrachtet wird. Die Kommission hat noch keine genauen Informationen über das fragliche System erhalten und kann daher nicht überprüfen, ob es auch in Einklang mit den anderen Kriterien des Artikels 35 Absatz 1 der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1169/2011 betreffend die Information der Verbraucher über Lebensmittel (211) steht.

2.

Die Kommission wird die Umsetzungsmaßnahmen, mit denen die einheitliche Anwendung des Artikels 35 sichergestellt werden soll, rechtzeitig in die Wege leiten.

3.

Nach Auffassung der Kommission erfordert die Empfehlung der britischen Behörden betreffend die Verwendung dieses Kennzeichnungssystems keine Mitteilung gemäß der Richtlinie 98/34/EG, da sie — nach Maßgabe der vorliegenden Informationen — weder de jure noch de facto als Pflichtvorgabe anzusehen ist. Die Kommission wird darauf achten, dass dies weiterhin der Fall bleibt und dass die Maßnahme keine Hindernisse für den freien Warenverkehr gemäß den einschlägigen Vertragsbestimmungen (insbesondere Artikel 34 bis 36) und Artikel 35 Absatz 1 Buchstabe g der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1169/2011 schafft.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-011011/13

à la Commission

Paolo De Castro (S&D), Giancarlo Scottà (EFD), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) et Michel Dantin (PPE)

(26 septembre 2013)

Objet: Étiquetage des denrées alimentaires: système britannique des «feux de signalisation»

À la suite d'une recommandation émise, le 19 juin 2013, par le ministère britannique de la santé, la grande distribution au Royaume-Uni procède à un étiquetage des produits alimentaires conformément à un système de codes de couleurs (rouge, orange et vert) qui varient selon la teneur en matières grasses, en graisses saturées, en sel et en sucre des aliments. Cette recommandation a été adoptée sur une base volontaire, conformément à l'article 35, paragraphe 2, du règlement (UE) n° 1169/2011. Le même règlement dispose que certaines exigences doivent être respectées (article 35, paragraphe 1) et que la Commission doit adopter des actes d'exécution. Tout système qui classifie les denrées alimentaires sur la seule base de leur teneur en matières grasses risque de pénaliser de nombreux produits européens (le parmigiano reggiano, la mozzarella, d'autres fromages, le jambon, etc.) qui seraient alors réputés «mauvais pour la santé», malgré la qualité élevée de ces produits. Par ailleurs, l'apposition d'étiquettes spécifiques par la grande distribution risque de pénaliser notamment les petites et moyennes entreprises en raison de l'augmentation — et de l'escalade — des coûts de production.

1.

La Commission a-t-elle vérifié la conformité de la recommandation du gouvernement britannique susmentionnée avec l'article 35, paragraphe 1, du règlement (UE) n° 1169/2011; en d'autre termes, a-t-elle vérifié que les étiquettes des denrées alimentaires sont objectives et non discriminatoires et où l'application de ce système d'étiquetage n'entrave pas la libre circulation des biens?

2.

La Commission entend-elle assurer la bonne mise en œuvre de l'article 35, paragraphe 6, du règlement (UE) n° 1169/2011 (concernant les actes d'exécution) compte tenu de la recommandation du gouvernement britannique, et de définir plus précisément les exigences de l'article 35, paragraphe 1?

3.

La Commission n'estime-t-elle pas que le gouvernement britannique doit lui notifier la recommandation susmentionnée, conformément à la directive 98/34/CE?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(6 novembre 2013)

1.

En raison de son caractère facultatif, le système d'étiquetage nutritionnel par codes de couleurs recommandé par les autorités britanniques ne crée pas d'entrave de jure aux échanges commerciaux. Certaines entreprises britanniques ont annoncé publiquement qu'elles utiliseront ce système et d'autres qu'elles ne le feront pas, ce qui montre qu'en l'état actuel, ce système ne peut pas non plus être considéré comme un système obligatoire de facto. La Commission, du fait qu'elle n'a pas reçu les détails du système en question, ne peut en vérifier la conformité avec les autres critères de l'article 35, paragraphe 1, du règlement (UE) n° 1169/2011 concernant l'information des consommateurs sur les denrées alimentaires (212).

2.

La Commission commencera à s'occuper de la mise en œuvre des actions relatives à l'application uniforme de l'article 35 dans les délais prévus.

3.

La Commission estime que la recommandation de ce système d'étiquetage par les autorités britanniques ne nécessite pas de notification en vertu de la directive 98/34/CE car, sur la base des données disponibles, il n'est pas considéré comme obligatoire, que ce soit de jure ou de facto. La Commission veillera à ce que ce soit le cas et à ce que cette mesure ne crée pas d'entrave à la libre circulation des marchandises comme le prévoient les dispositions pertinentes du traité, notamment ses articles 34 à 36, ainsi que l'article 35, paragraphe 1, point g), du règlement (UE) n° 1169/2011.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-011011/13

alla Commissione

Paolo De Castro (S&D), Giancarlo Scottà (EFD), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) e Michel Dantin (PPE)

(26 settembre 2013)

Oggetto: Etichettatura dei prodotti alimentari: il sistema semaforo usato nel Regno Unito

Conformemente alla raccomandazione del 19 giugno 2013 del ministero della sanità del governo britannico, i principali rivenditori del Regno Unito etichettano i prodotti utilizzando un sistema a più colori (rosso, arancione e verde) per illustrare il contenuto di grassi, grassi saturi, sale e zuccheri presenti nel prodotto alimentare. Questa raccomandazione è stata adottata volontariamente, in linea con il regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 (articolo 35, paragrafo 2). Lo stesso regolamento (articolo 35, paragrafo 1) prevede che siano soddisfatti determinati requisiti e che la Commissione adotti atti di esecuzione. Un sistema che classifica i generi alimentari esclusivamente in base al contenuto di grassi, rischia di penalizzare numerosi prodotti europei (Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella, prosciutto e altri formaggi, ecc.) che in tal caso sarebbero considerati «non sani», nonostante gli elevati standard di qualità. La diffusione di queste etichette fra i principali rivenditori rischia inoltre di penalizzare innanzitutto le PMI, con costi di produzione ulteriori.

1.

Ha la Commissione verificato la conformità della raccomandazione del governo britannico all’articolo 35, paragrafo 1, del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 (forme e simboli grafici che «sono obiettivi e non discriminatori e la loro applicazione non crea ostacoli alla libera circolazione delle merci»)?

2.

Intende la Commissione assicurare la corretta applicazione dell'articolo 35, paragrafo 6, del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 (atti di esecuzione), in seguito alla raccomandazione del governo britannico, nonché definire meglio i requisiti di cui all'articolo 35, paragrafo 1?

3.

Non ritiene necessario che il governo britannico notifichi la raccomandazione alla Commissione, ai sensi della direttiva 98/34/EC?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(6 novembre 2013)

1.

Dato il suo carattere facoltativo, il sistema di codici cromatici di etichettatura nutrizionale raccomandato dalle autorità britanniche non costituisce un ostacolo «de jure» agli scambi commerciali. Alcune aziende del Regno Unito hanno annunciato pubblicamente che ricorreranno a questo sistema, mentre altre hanno affermato che non lo faranno; ciò dimostra che, allo stato dei fatti, il sistema non può nemmeno essere considerato obbligatorio «de facto». Non avendo ricevuto informazioni dettagliate sul sistema in questione, la Commissione non può verificare la relativa conformità agli altri criteri di cui all'articolo 35, paragrafo 1, del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 relativo alla fornitura di informazioni sugli alimenti ai consumatori (213).

2.

A tempo debito la Commissione avvierà i lavori per l'attuazione di azioni riguardanti l'applicazione uniforme dell'articolo 35.

3.

La Commissione ritiene che la raccomandazione di tale sistema di etichettatura da parte delle autorità britanniche non richieda alcuna notifica a norma della direttiva 98/34/CE dato che, sulla scorta delle informazioni disponibili, esso non viene considerato obbligatorio né «de jure» né «de facto». La Commissione vigilerà affinché ciò corrisponda al vero e tale misura non crei ostacoli alla libera circolazione delle merci, in linea con le disposizioni pertinenti del trattato, segnatamente quelle di cui agli articoli da 34 a 36 nonché all'articolo 35, paragrafo 1, lettera g), del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011011/13

to the Commission

Paolo De Castro (S&D), Giancarlo Scottà (EFD), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Giovanni La Via (PPE), Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), Iratxe García Pérez (S&D) and Michel Dantin (PPE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Food labelling: UK traffic-light system

Following a recommendation issued by the UK Government’s Department of Health on 19 June 2013, major retailers in the UK are labelling food products according to a colour‐coding system (red, orange and green) based on their fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content. This recommendation was adopted on a voluntary basis in accordance with Article 35(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011. The same regulation stipulates that certain requirements must be met (Article 35(1)) and that the Commission must adopt implementing acts. Any system which classifies foodstuffs exclusively according to fat content risks penalising numerous European products (Parmigiano‐Reggiano, mozzarella and other cheeses, ham, etc.), which would thus be considered ‘unhealthy’ despite their high quality. Furthermore, the attribution of labels by major retailers runs the risk of penalising small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, owing to additional — and escalating — production costs.

1.

Has the Commission verified that the abovementioned UK Government recommendation conforms with Article 35(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, i.e. that the food labels in question are objective and non‐discriminatory and that their application does not create obstacles to the free movement of goods?

2.

Does the Commission intend to ensure the correct application of Article 35(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (on implementing acts) following the UK Government recommendation, and to define the requirements of Article 35(1) more precisely?

3.

Does the Commission not think it necessary for the UK Government to notify the Commission of the abovementioned recommendation, in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2013)

1.

Because of its voluntary character, the colour coded nutrition labelling scheme recommended by the UK authorities does not create a ‘de jure’ barrier to trade. Some UK companies announced publicly that they would use the scheme, while others announced they would not, which shows that, as the situation stands today, the system cannot be considered as a ‘de facto’ mandatory system either. The Commission, not having received the details of the scheme in question, cannot verify its conformity with the other criteria of Article 35(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (214).

2.

The Commission will initiate work on the implementing actions concerning the uniform application of Article 35 in due time.

3.

The Commission considers that the recommendation of this labelling scheme by the UK authorities does not require a notification under Directive 98/34/EC since, on the basis of the available information, it is considered neither ‘de jure’ nor ‘de facto’ mandatory. The Commission will be vigilant that it is the case and that the measure does not create obstacles to the free movement of goods as provided by the relevant provisions of the Treaty, notably Articles 34 to 36, and in Article 35(1)(g) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-011017/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Proyecto de Directiva sobre energía renovable y criterios de sostenibilidad de la biomasa

Según algunas informaciones que se pueden encontrar en algunos medios, la Comisión Europea está a punto de finalizar un proyecto de Directiva que establecería criterios de sostenibilidad para la biomasa utilizada en el sector de la energía y, concretamente, sobre la biomasa de origen forestal. En particular, y según estas informaciones, se plantea que las zonas forestales consideradas de elevada biodiversidad no podrían ser proveedoras de materia prima con la consideración de energía renovable.

A la luz de lo anterior,

1.

¿puede la Comisión informar si estas informaciones son válidas?

2.

¿Cuándo tiene la Comisión previsto presentar dicho proyecto de Directiva?

Respuesta del Sr. Oettinger en nombre de la Comisión

(7 de noviembre de 2013)

La Comisión está analizando actualmente los problemas de sostenibilidad relacionados con el creciente uso de biomasa sólida y gaseosa para la generación de electricidad y calor. El objetivo de este análisis es determinar si convendría emprender nuevas acciones a escala de la UE mediante la introducción de criterios de sostenibilidad de carácter vinculante. Se tomará una decisión definitiva a la mayor brevedad posible.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-011017/13

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 September 2013)

Subject: Draft directive on renewable energy and sustainability criteria for biomass

According to reports in the media, the Commission is about to finalise a draft directive establishing sustainability criteria for biomass used in the energy sector, and specifically for forest biomass. In particular, according to these reports, it is proposed that forest areas of high biodiversity should not be used to provide raw material that is considered as a renewable energy source.

In view of the above:

Can the Commission confirm whether these reports are correct?

When does the Commission intend to present this draft directive?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2013)

The Commission is currently analysing the sustainability issues related to the increasing use of solid and gaseous biomass for power and heat. The objective of this analysis is to determine whether additional EU action through the introduction of a EU binding sustainability criteria is needed and appropriate. A final decision will be taken as soon as possible.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-011018/13

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 de septiembre de 2013)

Asunto: Proyecto de Directiva sobre energía renovable — Zonas forestales

Se