19.9.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 326/1


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 326/01)

Contents

E-002772/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Intervention in Uganda

English version 15

E-002773/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Cost of living in European cities

English version 16

E-002774/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Islamic militant groups in Syria

English version 17

E-002775/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Brain tumour research

English version 18

E-002776/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Rise in number of heart transplants

English version 19

E-002777/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Rise in number of organ donors

English version 20

E-002778/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Tackling bladder cancer

English version 21

E-002779/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Motivation for self-harm

English version 22

E-002780/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Increase in violent attacks in educational establishments

English version 23

E-002781/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Islamic extremism in north-eastern Nigeria

English version 24

E-002783/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Effects of sugar in diet

English version 25

E-002784/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Tackling coronary heart disease

English version 26

E-002785/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Human trafficking in south-east Asia

English version 27

E-002786/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Tackling perceptions of mental illness

English version 28

E-002787/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Combating physical and sexual violence against women

English version 29

E-002788/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Relations with Cuba

English version 30

E-002789/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Cybercrime in the public domain

English version 31

E-002790/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Research on prostate cancer

English version 32

E-002791/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Impact of crisis in Ukraine on EU's strategy for the Black Sea

English version 33

E-002792/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Long-term fisheries management plans

English version 34

E-002793/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Fisheries agreements with West African states

English version 35

E-002794/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Implementation of the common fisheries policy's ‘land-all’ policy

English version 36

E-002795/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Impact of bad weather on the EU's fishing fleets

English version 37

E-002796/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Imposition of sanctions on Iceland and the Faeroe Islands

English version 38

E-002797/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Future EU strategy on fisheries negotiations with third countries

English version 39

E-002798/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Progress on implementation of the common market Organisation Regulation

English version 40

E-002799/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Visits to Member States by Fisheries Commissioner

English version 41

E-002800/14 by Diane Dodds to the Commission

Subject: Marine constructions

English version 42

E-002801/14 by Alyn Smith to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Darfur peace process

English version 43

E-002802/14 by Dubravka Šuica to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Protecting the people of Ukraine

Hrvatska verzija 44
English version 45

E-002803/14 by Dubravka Šuica to the Commission

Subject: Situation in Ukraine

Hrvatska verzija 46
English version 47

E-002804/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine

Versione italiana 48
English version 49

E-002809/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: NATO operations in the context of the Ukrainian crisis

Versione italiana 50
English version 51

E-002810/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Regulations on the use of civilian drones

Versione italiana 52
English version 53

E-002811/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Exposure to electromagnetic fields in the area of Setteville Nord

Versione italiana 54
English version 55

E-002812/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Regeneration of the area adjacent to Lake Vico and creation of a park to redevelop the area: potential funding

Versione italiana 56
English version 57

E-002813/14 by Bas Eickhout to the Commission

Subject: Representation in the exchange of information on Best Available Techniques (Seville Process)

Nederlandse versie 58
English version 59

E-002814/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: EU legislation requiring fabricated metal products to carry a ‘CE’ marking

English version 60

P-002815/14 by Pier Antonio Panzeri to the Commission

Subject: Motorway management concessions in Italy

Versione italiana 61
English version 62

E-002816/14 by Axel Voss to the Commission

Subject: Eurojust

Deutsche Fassung 63
English version 64

E-002817/14 by Cristiana Muscardini, Sonia Alfano and Tiziano Motti to the Commission

Subject: Racehorses and slaughter

Versione italiana 65
English version 66

E-002818/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Catering project aimed at rediscovering the values of the food and wine tradition in the region of Lazio: possible funding

Versione italiana 67
English version 68

E-002819/14 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Application to designate the south and east of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote as a Site of Community Interest

Versión española 69
English version 70

E-002820/14 by Philip Bradbourn to the Commission

Subject: EU emissions trading system

English version 71

E-002821/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Protecting children from alcoholism in the family

Version française 72
English version 73

E-002822/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Origin rules

Version française 74
English version 75

E-002823/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Sports clubs

Version française 76
English version 77

E-002824/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Rare diseases

Version française 78
English version 79

E-002825/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Microfinance programmes

Version française 80
English version 81

E-002827/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Promoting human rights in the neighbourhood of the EU

Version française 82
English version 83

E-002828/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Relations between SMEs and big business

Version française 84
English version 85

E-002829/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Digital Agenda

Version française 86
English version 87

E-002830/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: TTIP

Version française 88
English version 89

E-002831/14 by Philippe De Backer to the Commission

Subject: Beer tax

Nederlandse versie 90
English version 91

E-002832/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding I

Versión española 92
English version 93

E-002833/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding II

Versión española 94
English version 95

E-002834/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding III

Versión española 96
English version 97

E-002835/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding IV

Versión española 98
English version 99

E-002836/14 by Jörg Leichtfried to the Commission

Subject: Railway safety and possible penalties

Deutsche Fassung 100
English version 101

E-002838/14 by Gilles Pargneaux to the Commission

Subject: Resistance to livestock antibiotics

Version française 102
English version 104

E-003018/14 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: Poultry carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Version française 102
English version 104

E-002839/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Action to protect the EC conformity mark

Versione italiana 106
English version 107

E-002842/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Arrest of Muammar Gaddafi's third son

Versione italiana 108
English version 109

E-002843/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Terrorist attack in Iraq

Versione italiana 110
English version 111

E-003677/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Turkey and Twitter

Versión española 112
English version 119

E-003921/14 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Twitter block in Turkey

Deutsche Fassung 113
English version 121

E-002844/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Censorship of social media in Turkey

Versione italiana 114
English version 119

E-003730/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Censoring of Twitter in Turkey

Versione italiana 114
English version 120

E-003936/14 by Mara Bizzotto and Mario Borghezio to the Commission

Subject: Turkey: clampdown on Twitter followed by government ban on YouTube

Versione italiana 114
English version 122

P-003468/14 by Philip Claeys to the Commission

Subject: Twitter ban imposed by Turkish Government

Nederlandse versie 116
English version 119

E-003700/14 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen to the Commission

Subject: Blocking of Twitter by Erdoğan

Nederlandse versie 116
English version 120

E-003854/14 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen to the Commission

Subject: Blocking of YouTube by Erdoğan

Nederlandse versie 116
English version 121

E-003659/14 by Michał Tomasz Kamiński to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Access to Twitter blocked in Turkey

Wersja polska 118
English version 119

E-002845/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Fragmentation of the Syrian opposition and fundamentalist infiltration

Versione italiana 123
English version 124

E-002846/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Baby girl apparently cured of AIDS following a course of neonatal treatment

Versione italiana 125
English version 126

E-002847/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: The race for the Arctic: European prospects

Versione italiana 127
English version 128

E-002848/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Freedom of expression in Vietnam: the case of Truong Duy Nhat

Versione italiana 129
English version 130

E-002849/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Possible terrorist attack on the missing Malaysia flight

Versione italiana 131
English version 132

E-002850/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Infringement proceedings against Italy concerning doctors' working hours

Versione italiana 133
English version 134

E-002851/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Safety at ski resorts

Versione italiana 135
English version 136

E-002852/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Traffic-light labelling of food products in the UK

Versione italiana 137
English version 138

E-002853/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Earthquake off the coast of California

Versione italiana 139
English version 140

E-002854/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Cosmetics testing on animals

Versione italiana 141
English version 142

E-002855/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Sale of crude oil by Libyan rebels

Versione italiana 143
English version 144

E-002856/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Shale gas in Italy and Europe

Versione italiana 145
English version 146

E-002857/14 by Sergio Berlato to the Commission

Subject: Verification of the correct transposition by Italy of European legislation on properly securing dangerous goods to vehicles

Versione italiana 147
English version 148

E-002858/14 by Marek Henryk Migalski to the Commission

Subject: Restrictions on the freedom of speech in Russia

Wersja polska 149
English version 150

E-002859/14 by Marek Henryk Migalski to the Commission

Subject: House arrest of Russian opposition leader

Wersja polska 151
English version 152

E-002861/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Non-performing bank loans to Greek political parties

Ελληνική έκδοση 153
English version 154

E-003060/14 by Theodoros Skylakakis to the Commission

Subject: Non-performing loans to Greek political parties in government/preferential credit terms for political parties in Greece

Ελληνική έκδοση 153
English version 154

E-002862/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Sale of ITSO

Ελληνική έκδοση 155
English version 156

E-002863/14 by William (The Earl of) Dartmouth to the Commission

Subject: British Broadcasting Corporation

English version 157

E-002864/14 by Nessa Childers to the Commission

Subject: EU VAT law on defibrillators

English version 158

E-002866/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Sexual abuse and exploitation of minors: state of legislation and possible intervention by the Commission

Versione italiana 159
English version 160

P-002867/14 by Anne Delvaux to the Commission

Subject: CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

Version française 161
English version 162

P-002868/14 by Kartika Tamara Liotard to the Commission

Subject: Unavailability of medicines for people suffering from Cushing's syndrome

Nederlandse versie 163
English version 165

E-002869/14 by Werner Langen to the Commission

Subject: Progress of the European navigation system Galileo

Deutsche Fassung 167
English version 168

E-002870/14 by Kartika Tamara Liotard to the Commission

Subject: Inhumane slaughter of EU animals in third countries

Nederlandse versie 169
English version 170

E-002871/14 by Patrick Le Hyaric to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israel

Version française 171
English version 172

E-002873/14 by Jacek Włosowicz to the Commission

Subject: Common EU rules on sentenced persons

Wersja polska 173
English version 174

E-002876/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Is there a Greek court decision defining the ‘economic crisis’ as a case of ‘force majeure ’?

Ελληνική έκδοση 175
English version 176

E-002877/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Investigation into state aid granted to the concessionaire of the Peloponnese road axis (MOREAS)

Ελληνική έκδοση 177
English version 178

E-002878/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Evidence provided by the Greek Government concerning its responsibility for compensating the concessionaire

Ελληνική έκδοση 179
English version 180

E-002879/14 by Patrick Le Hyaric to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Massacres at Camp Ashraf for Iranian exiles in Iraq

Version française 181
English version 182

E-002881/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Use of surveillance systems on board fishing vessels

Versione italiana 183
English version 184

E-002882/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Action plan to rectify the shortcomings in the Italian fishing system

Versione italiana 185
English version 186

E-002883/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Substances banned in organic farming

Versione italiana 187
English version 188

E-002884/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Impact of new organic farming requirements

Versione italiana 189
English version 190

E-002885/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Tecnobus SpA: protecting workers and safeguarding jobs

Versione italiana 191
English version 192

P-002886/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Rules governing the publication of information on all beneficiaries of public funds in the fisheries sector

Versione italiana 193
English version 194

E-002887/14 by Michael Cramer to the Commission

Subject: Influence of taxation of company cars on mobility behaviour

Deutsche Fassung 195
English version 197

E-002888/14 by Karim Zéribi to the Commission

Subject: Prospects for the Lyon-Turin railway tunnel

Version française 199
English version 200

E-002889/14 by Karim Zéribi to the Commission

Subject: European funds intended for the Mediterranean zone

Version française 201
English version 202

E-002890/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Special production rules for organic farming

Versione italiana 203
English version 204

P-002891/14 by Rina Ronja Kari to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — EU support for drone research

Dansk udgave 205
English version 206

P-002892/14 by Ruža Tomašić to the Commission

Subject: Ratification of the STCW-F Convention

Hrvatska verzija 207
English version 208

E-002893/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: 2013 European Semester in Spain

Versión española 209
English version 210

E-002894/14 by Keith Taylor to the Commission

Subject: Follow-up to Written Question E-014264/2013 on ‘Implementation of EU guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities for EU grants, prizes and financial instruments’

English version 211

E-002895/14 by Fiona Hall to the Commission

Subject: Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos

English version 212

E-002898/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Childhood obesity

Verżjoni Maltija 213
English version 214

E-002899/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Bitcoin

Verżjoni Maltija 215
English version 216

E-002900/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Amnesty on energy supplier

Verżjoni Maltija 217
English version 218

E-002901/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Clean energy at Marsaxlokk port

Verżjoni Maltija 219
English version 220

E-002902/14 by Ruža Tomašić to the Commission

Subject: Division of Protected Designations of Origin with regard to Croatian wine production

Hrvatska verzija 221
English version 222

E-002903/14 by Franco Frigo to the Commission

Subject: Region of Veneto Law that provides for a regional register of the baked specialities which are typical of the region

Versione italiana 223
English version 224

E-002904/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of the European Union's diplomatic presence throughout the world

Versione italiana 225
English version 226

E-002907/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Oxygen-ozone therapy

Versione italiana 227
English version 228

E-002908/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Protection of personal identity

Versione italiana 229
English version 230

E-002909/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Transnational posting of workers and social dumping

Versione italiana 231
English version 233

P-002910/14 by Jürgen Creutzmann to the Commission

Subject: Trade in used, scrap and new metal in other EU countries

Deutsche Fassung 235
English version 236

E-002912/14 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Denial of healthcare to documented immigrants with permission to reside in Spain

Versión española 237
English version 238

E-002913/14 by Glenis Willmott to the Commission

Subject: Status of UK nationals in the event of a UK exit

English version 239

E-002914/14 by Glenis Willmott to the Commission

Subject: Dolphinaria in the EU

English version 240

E-002915/14 by Sir Graham Watson to the Commission

Subject: Erasmus+ and the Leonardo programme

English version 241

E-002916/14 by Sir Graham Watson to the Commission

Subject: ‘Television Without Frontiers’ Directive

English version 242

E-002917/14 by Jens Rohde to the Commission

Subject: Special guarantees regarding salmonella in broiler meat

Dansk udgave 243
English version 244

E-002918/14 by Gilles Pargneaux to the Commission

Subject: Avastin — illicit collusion between Swiss pharmaceutical companies

Version française 245
English version 246

E-002919/14 by Tonino Picula to the Commission

Subject: Combating gender inequality

Hrvatska verzija 247
English version 248

E-002920/14 by Guido Milana to the Commission

Subject: Regulations on specific types of production in organic farming

Versione italiana 249
English version 250

E-002921/14 by Mario Borghezio to the Commission

Subject: Protection of African elephants

Versione italiana 251
English version 252

E-002922/14 by Małgorzata Handzlik to the Commission

Subject: Harmonisation of conditions for the marketing of construction products — European technical approval guidelines and European assessment documents

Wersja polska 253
English version 254

P-002924/14 by Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo to the Commission

Subject: Labelling of fishery products

Versión española 255
English version 256

P-002925/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: State aid for the municipal administration of Rome

Versione italiana 257
English version 258

E-002926/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Decriminalisation of drug consumption

Versión española 259
English version 260

E-002927/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Situation in the Central African Republic (1)

Versión española 261
English version 262

E-002928/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Situation in the Central African Republic (2)

Versión española 263
English version 264

E-002929/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Sexism in advertising

Versión española 265
English version 266

E-002930/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández and Izaskun Bilbao Barandica to the Council

Subject: Situation in Crimea (1)

Versión española 267
English version 268

E-002931/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Situation in Crimea (2)

Versión española 269
English version 270

E-002932/14 by Constanze Angela Krehl to the Commission

Subject: Social housing in Europe

Deutsche Fassung 271
English version 273

E-002933/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in the Solomon Islands

Versione italiana 274
English version 275

E-002934/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in the Vanuatu Islands

Versione italiana 276
English version 277

E-002935/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in Fiji

Versione italiana 278
English version 279

E-002936/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in Barbados

Versione italiana 280
English version 281

E-002937/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in Papua New Guinea

Versione italiana 282
English version 283

E-002938/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Costs of EU representation in Mauritius

Versione italiana 284
English version 285

E-002939/14 by Toine Manders to the Commission

Subject: Fuel duty increases distort the market

Nederlandse versie 286
English version 287

E-002940/14 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Applications for Grundtvig funding

Nederlandse versie 288
English version 289

E-002941/14 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Xenon gas used as a doping agent

Nederlandse versie 290
English version 291

E-002943/14 by Jacek Włosowicz to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Russia's influence in Ukraine

Wersja polska 292
English version 293

E-002944/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: National Water Pact

Versión española 294
English version 295

E-002945/14 by Kriton Arsenis to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons off the coast of Crete

Ελληνική έκδοση 296
English version 297

E-002946/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Gambling apps for children

Versione italiana 298
English version 299

E-002947/14 by Jacek Włosowicz to the Commission

Subject: Mobile phone hacking

Wersja polska 300
English version 301

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002772/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Intervention in Uganda

In the past week, it has been confirmed that Uganda will send a 410-strong special force to guard UN installations in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. This protection force is intended to free up thousands of UN-backed troops to pursue militant Islamists in the city, which include the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab.

In light of this development, can the Commission confirm what action has been — and will be — taken at EU level to further assist the authorities in Somalia in combating the very substantive threat of Islamic extremists and protecting vulnerable constituent groups, including faith groups?

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

(20 May 2014)

The EU has been providing substantive political and developmental support to the Somali Federal Government and regional authorities to combat extremism, protect all Somali people and combat poverty through a comprehensive approach. The EU continues to support the African Union peace support operation in Somalia (Amisom) through its African Peace Facility, as the corner stone of fighting Al-Shabaab alongside the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF). The SNAF itself is supported by the CSDP military training mission, EUTM Somalia, and the European Union intends to continue developing capable Somali Police Forces trained in human rights protection as a complementary approach and to provide support to education to counter the development of extremism and provide opportunities to the population through its Development Fund (EDF). Through its Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (former Instrument for Stability) the EU is also considering support for actions to help counter violent extremism.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002773/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Cost of living in European cities

According to a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore has become the most expensive city in the world in which to live. This was attributed to several factors, including the city’s strong currency and the high cost of household expenses, utility bills and clothes.

In this context, can the Commission detail any corresponding statistics surrounding the cost of living in cities across the EU, and break down these findings by Member State?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

The Economist Intelligence Unit publishes regularly overviews of costs of living of major cities in the world. According to available information, this ranking is based on own surveys by the Economists mainly via their correspondences. Eurostat does not collect statistics closely similar to the Economist data.

Eurostat data on living conditions aim to show a comprehensive picture of the situation in the EU, covering indicators related to income, housing, material deprivation and poverty. The main source of data is the EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) survey. The living conditions indicators are published by different breakdowns, including by Member State and by degree of urbanisation. The degree of urbanisation is a classification of areas. It is determined by the population density and total population of an area and results in three unique area types, one of them is the densely populated (urban) areas: cities. The most recent analysis is available in the Eurostat regional yearbook 2013 (1).

In addition, Eurostat publishes some indicators on individual cities. Some of these indicators are related to the cost of living, for example cost of public transport in a city. The most recent analysis is available in the Eurostat regional yearbook 2013 (2).

Eurostat also publishes the harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICPs) at national level. The aim of the HICPs is to measure inflation on a comparable basis; however, it is not a cost of living index. It is not intended to be a measure of the change in the minimum cost for achieving the same standard of living (i.e. constant utility) from two different consumption patterns.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002774/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Islamic militant groups in Syria

In the past week, it has been reported that rebel jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has been retreating from positions held in northern Syria. The move comes as a result of an ultimatum by a rebel group, the Nusra Front. Infighting between rival rebel groups has seen more than 3 000 people killed in the past two months.

In this context, can the Commission detail what steps it has taken — and will take — to encourage the de-escalation of extremist religious violence in Syria, and to ensure that vulnerable groups, including Christians, are not negatively affected by any power vacuum?

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

(7 May 2014)

The Foreign Affairs Council has repeatedly voiced its concern about the spread of extremism and extremist groups, including ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra. Their involvement in the conflict poses a threat to the peace process, the territorial integrity of Syria and to regional and international security. The Council has called on all relevant parties to halt the support to these groups. The EU has welcomed the Syrian Opposition Coalition's condemnation of all forms of terrorism and extremism, and that the moderate opposition is opposing extremist groups. The EU is concerned about the plight of all vulnerable groups, and ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians.

The EU is involved on a continual basis in high-level diplomatic outreach to all stakeholders of the Syrian crisis to address the issues addressed in the question.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002775/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Brain tumour research

In recent weeks in the UK, three universities which spearhead research into brain tumours have been named as centres of excellence as part of a national network aimed at revolutionising research and best practice. The institutions are the Queen Mary University of London, the University of Portsmouth and Plymouth University. Brain tumours kill more people under 40 than any other form of cancer.

In this context, can the Commission detail what efforts are being made at EU level to support Member States in conducting innovative research into the causes and cures of brain tumours, and outline what funding opportunities will be available to this end under the 2014‐–2020 programming period?

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

(2 May 2014)

Cancer research has been a priority throughout the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (2007‐2013) (3). FP7 devoted EUR 1.4 billion to translational cancer research aimed at valorising basic knowledge into early diagnosis, preventive and therapeutic approaches as well as patient-centred quality-of-life issues.

More specifically, EUR 53 million have been devoted to support frontier and collaborative research on brain cancer causes, diagnosis and treatment, with initiatives such as Theraglio (4) (Microbubble driven multimodal imaging and theranostics for gliomas), Gapvac (5) (Glioma Actively Personalized Vaccine Consortium) and Recurrent Glioma TX (6) (Phase I trial in recurrent high-grade glioma: High-dose vorinostat with concurrent hypofractionated radiation therapy).

The Human Brain Project, part of the Future and Emerging Technologies Initiative, performs large-size ICT and computer modelling-enabled research on both neurosciences and medical applications, with a budget of more than EUR 50 million for the first 30 months of a total duration of 10 years (7).

Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) (8), will offer further opportunities to support research on cancer understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment through the ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’ societal challenge (9). Further information is available on the Research and Innovation Participant Portal (10).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002776/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Rise in number of heart transplants

Recent research conducted in Scotland has found that the number of people receiving heart transplants tripled in 2013. A total of 24 heart transplants were carried out in 2013, compared with just 8 the year before. This has been largely attributed to a rise in the number of organ donors.

In this context, can the Commission outline what efforts are being made at EU level to support the availability and effectiveness of heart transplants, and state what funding opportunities will be available under the 2014-2020 programming period to support these practices and associated research?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to questions E-007300/2013 and E-000780/2013 (11).

EU action on organs primarily seeks to support EU Member States in their efforts to improve the quality and safety of organ transplantations in the EU via EU legislation. (12) The Commission also promotes the exchange of best practices between national competent authorities via the action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation. (13) The main objectives are to increase organ availability, to support transplant systems and to improve quality and safety. Here, the Commission supports under the EU Health Programme a number of projects (14) such as ACCORD (15) (2012-2015) and FOEDUS (16) (2013-2016).

Organ transplantation research has been supported in successive EU Research Framework Programmes (FP). The Seventh FP (2007-2013) launched a specific call for proposals: ‘Innovative approaches to solid organ transplantation.’ Five projects started in 2013 on topics such as widening the donor pool and improving transplant outcomes, receiving a total EU contribution of EUR 26.6 million. In addition, two ongoing projects specifically address the topic of cardiac patients by developing better innovative telemedicine services for cardiovascular implanted assist devices used as bridge to transplant or as destination therapy (project SENSORART (17), EUR 6.2 million) and by developing a novel therapeutic drug monitoring point-of-care-testing device for the measurement of immunosuppressants and related metabolites in transplanted patients (project NANODEM (18), EUR 4 million).

To continue supporting these practices and associated research, the EU Health Programme and Horizon 2020 will further provide funding opportunities for 2014-2020.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002777/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Rise in number of organ donors

According to figures released by NHS Blood and Transport, the highest ever number of organ transplants were carried out in Scotland last year. This represented a 74% increase from 2008. However, worryingly, 600 people remain on the transplant waiting list.

In this context, can the Commission highlight what efforts it has made — and will make — to disseminate accurate information to the general public on the merits of organ donation?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to questions E-00216/2014, E-011096/2013, E-000513/2013, E-001680/2012 and E-010591/2011 (19).

The Commission is actively working on organ donation and transplantation to support EU Member States in their efforts to improve quality and safety of transplantation. Directive 2010/53/EU (20) has been adopted to protect donors and recipients.

The promotion of organ donation, the accessibility of transplant systems and the management of the waiting lists are issues under national responsibility. To support Member States in this area, the Commission also promotes the voluntary exchange of best practices between EU countries through the action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation (2009-2015), one of its main objectives being to help increase organ availability. Many projects (21) funded under the EU Health Programme seek to help to achieve these objectives. Some projects directly focus on communication strategies: EDD (22), FOEDUS (23), and grants to the Council of Europe in particular for European Organ Donation Days. The Commission will soon publish a report outlining main activities under the action plan.

Moreover, the Commission is actively involved in raising awareness about organ donation among European journalists who then disseminate information towards citizens. Journalist workshops (24) on organ donation are organised annually since 2010. Several other Commission initiatives (e.g. EU Health Prize for Journalists (25), Health-EU Newsletter (26) or publications on transplantation projects (27)) also contribute to raising awareness on this crucial issue.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002778/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Tackling bladder cancer

Can the Commission detail what steps have already been — and will be — taken at EU level to aid research into the causes and prevention of, and a cure for, bladder cancer? In doing so, what funding will be made available to these ends as part of the 2014‐2020 EU programming period?

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

(2 May 2014)

Cancer research has been a priority throughout the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (2007‐2013) (28), which devoted EUR 1.4 billion to translational cancer research aimed at valorising basic knowledge into early diagnosis, preventive and therapeutic approaches as well as patient-centred quality-of-life issues.

More specifically, EUR 17 million have been devoted to support frontier and collaborative research on bladder cancer causes, prevention and treatment, such as Decanbio (29) (Novel MS-based strategies to Discover and Evaluate Cancer Biomarkers in urine: Application to Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer), Uromol (30) (Prediction of bladder cancer disease course using risk scores that combine molecular and clinical risk factors) and the Marie Curie grant Bladder Cancer Epid (31).

The European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (32) has supported the identification of best practice in European health services and the promotion of innovative network approaches to exchange experiences, including on bladder cancer.

Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) (33), will offer further opportunities to support research on cancer prevention through the ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’ societal challenge (34). More information can be found through the Research and Innovation Participant Portal (35).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002779/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Motivation for self-harm

A recent survey carried out by Self-harm.co.uk, ChildLine, Youth Net and Young Minds in the UK has found that being subject to bullying is the main motivator for self-harm among young people. The online poll also concluded that most youngsters were feeling alone when they first self-harmed.

In this context, can the Commission detail what action has already been — and will be — taken at EU level to effectively tackle bullying online, in education and in the workplace, and thus protect the psychological and physical well-being of children and young people across the Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

The Commission has expressed concern about violence against children (36) and has addressed bullying and cyber bullying in and out of school settings in several replies to European Parliament Written Questions (37).

The ‘social and civic competences,’ from the European Framework of Key Competences (38), include the need to support the development of social well-being and the ability to show tolerance and behave in a constructive manner. In the communication ‘Improving Competences for the 21st Century — an Agenda for European cooperation on schools’ (39), the Commission emphasised the need to develop schools as safe environments that are based on mutual respect and cooperation; that promote social, physical and mental well-being and where bullying and violence have no place.

Children as victims of bullying at school was one of the priorities of the 2013 Daphne III call for action grants; (40) submitted proposals are currently under evaluation. The Commission will continue to fund under the Erasmus+ programme projects in the field of education, including those educating children, parents, and teachers about bullying at school.

The ‘Strategy for a Better Internet for Children’ (41) proposes actions to be undertaken jointly by the Commission, Member States and industry, to give parents and children the tools they need to fully and safely benefit from being online, including providing report mechanisms and teaching children in schools to be digitally literate and responsible online. Safer Internet Centres (42) are instrumental in raising awareness among children, teachers and parents, regarding the possible risks children may encounter online including cyber bullying. The Centres run also helplines for children if they need advice on any issue they might face online.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002780/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Increase in violent attacks in educational establishments

According to statistics compiled by a coalition of UN agencies and aid organisations, there were almost 10 000 violent attacks on places of education across the world between 2009 and 2013. These findings cover the murder of staff and students and the destruction of buildings and facilities in bomb and arson attacks, and include incidents which took place in Pakistan and Columbia.

In this context, can the Commission detail what steps it has taken — and will take — to facilitate a safe and positive learning environment in Europe's schools and universities?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

Safeguarding security in educational establishments falls within the Member States' competence. Member States can make joint efforts, as they have done for instance by establishing the European Crime Prevention Network. The aim of this network is to promote crime prevention activity across the EU and to provide a forum for exchanging good practices. Good practices include projects for tackling youth crime and more specifically school violence. (43)

Where such incidents are expressions of violent extremism, radicalisation prevention measures may provide a more focused response. The Commission has recently outlined the different areas where further efforts are needed to tackle radicalisation. (44) One of the areas is education and youth work, where Member States are invited to develop programmes to help young people develop their critical thinking skills. The Commission promotes media literacy within the Creative Europe Programme and under the Erasmus+ programme EU in order to improve European citizen and young people in particular to have a critical approach to media content and ultimately developing their resilience to extremist views.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002781/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Islamic extremism in north-eastern Nigeria

Earlier this month, suspected Islamist militants torched a village in north-eastern Nigeria's Borno state, killing at least 11 people, it has been reported.

Witnesses said the suspected militants had raided Jakana through the night, destroying about a third of homes. A local person stated that as many as 40 people had been killed, but this could not be confirmed.

The Islamist group Boko Haram has intensified its insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria in recent weeks.

What steps is the Commission taking at an EU level to raise awareness of these attacks and to aid the prevention of further attacks on Christians in Nigeria?

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

(22 April 2014)

The continued violence in the North East of Nigeria is of great concern.

The EU is working with the Nigerian authorities to help bring an end to the cycle of violence through continuous political dialogue and targeted aid interventions focusing on the underlying root causes for violence.

The 10th EDF is supporting a broad range of actions in the field of democratisation, rule of law, water, sanitation and maternal health. The IcSP (Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace) is supporting several peace and mediation programmes and projects to reform criminal justice and strengthen the Office of the National Security Advisor. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights funds actions to protect human rights, particularly with NGOs.

The terrorist attacks target both Christians and Muslims. They are perpetrated by an amalgam of variously motivated terrorist groups seeking to destabilise the State of Nigeria by all means, especially by seeking to widen all differences, including religious (which in recent years have not been a problem in Nigeria). It is important to avoid actions which may exacerbate inter-communal tensions.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002783/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Effects of sugar in diet

People will be advised to halve the amount of sugar in their diet, under new World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

The recommended sugar intake will stay at below 10% of total calorie intake per day, with the target being 5%, says the WHO.

The suggested limits apply to all sugars added to food, as well as sugar naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

What steps will the Commission take to promote the WHO guidelines?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

The Commission would kindly refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-000249/2014 (45) where it provides details about the activities of the Commission with regard to sugar consumption in the EU.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002784/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Tackling coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is arguably the UK’s biggest killer. CHD develops when the blood supply to the muscles and tissues of the heart becomes obstructed by the build-up of fatty materials inside the walls of the coronary arteries.

In the UK alone, there are an estimated 2.3 million people living with the condition. What measures does the Commission have in place to highlight the seriousness of this disease and promote and educate on prevention?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 2014)

The Commission is aware of importance of coronary heart disease. This disease belongs to the large group of cardio-vascular diseases which are to a large extent preventable. In addressing these diseases, the Commission has put emphasis on addressing the key risk factors:

Tobacco, through legislative action and large scale awareness raising campaigns.

Obesity and lack of physical activity, through the work with Member States and stakeholders by implementing the strategy on nutrition, overweight, and obesity-related health issues.

Alcohol consumption, through a similar approach of building partnerships with Member States and stakeholders in implementing the EU Strategy to support Member States in addressing alcohol-related harm.

The Commission has also financed a number of projects specifically on cardio vascular diseases under the Health Programme, such as the ‘European Heart Health charter’ and the project for a European Heart Health Strategy.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002785/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Human trafficking in south-east Asia

It is estimated that 3.2 million women and girls are trafficked into the sex trade in south-east Asia. Could the Commission outline what steps have been taken at EU level to tackle this awful crime?

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

(5 June 2014)

Human trafficking is a priority area for the EU, as expressed in EU legislation (EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims) and the comprehensive EU strategy towards the eradication of human trafficking (2012-16).

In its strategy, the EU takes a holistic approach, focusing on prevention of trafficking in human beings as well as assistance and protection of victims and the prosecution of traffickers. EU policy is victim and human rights centered as well as gender sensitive, paying special attention to the most vulnerable of victims including children. In this framework particular focus is also given to strenthen partnerships with priority third countries and regions in eradicating trafficking in human beings.

Partnership and Cooperation Agreements have been signed, initialled or are under negotiation with seven South East Asian countries. These Agreements include a clause on migration, by which the parties commit themselves to entering into a comprehensive dialogue on illegal migration including smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

A programme on ‘Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Human Beings and the Smuggling of Migrants’ aimed at assisting selected countries in developing and implementing comprehensive national counter-trafficking and smuggling responses as well as strengthening their capacities to efficiently address these issues is under preparation. South East Asian countries whose participation is considered as part of this programme include Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002786/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Tackling perceptions of mental illness

One in four people are expected to experience a mental health problem during their lives, yet stigma and discrimination are still very common. Myths such as assuming mental illness is somehow down to a ‘personal weakness’ still exist.

What steps has the Commission taken to remove the stigma attached to mental illnesses, thus encouraging those suffering to come forward?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(19 May 2014)

To act against the stigmatisation of mental health issues, the Commission has put mental health visibly on the EU health policy agenda, in particular through the launch of the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being (2008) (46) and the events to implement it. The approach behind these activities is to highlight both the challenges and opportunities in promoting and addressing mental health issues , and to encourage the acceptance of mental health as a priority across society. In October 2013, the Lithuanian Presidency organised a Presidency conference on mental health in this sense. At present, a Joint Action with Member States on Mental Health and Well-being (47), supported from the EU Health Programme, is shaping a common framework of action on mental health.

In addition, the EU-Health Programme, supported a number of projects such as the project ‘Anti Stigma Programme European Network (ASPEN)’ (48) which developed toolkits for addressing stigma, or the ‘European Alliance Against Depression’ (49), which developed in intervention model for regions to inform about depression and encourage help-seeking behaviour. Between 2008 and 2010, the Commission further worked together with the WHO to issue a statement on ‘user empowerment in mental health’ (50).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002787/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Combating physical and sexual violence against women

One third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15, according to a survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. That corresponds to 62 million women across the EU.

What action is being taken by the Commission to tackle this serious issue?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission has adopted a comprehensive framework to protect women against all forms of violence through a range of key initiatives: the Women's Charter (51), the strategy for equality between women and men (52), and the victims' directive (53). The Commission has recently adopted a communication and action plan on FGM (54).

Our key priorities remain improving knowledge and data collection, combating discrimination and empowering women, adopting legislative measures within EU competences, organising exchanges of good practices and providing funding to support the work of grass-root organisations and public authorities in combating violence against women (VAW).

The Commission is actively assisting all Member States with guidance in implementing the recent legal measures adopted in the criminal and civil justice area, in particular Directive 2012/29/EU (55) and Regulation No 606/2013 on the mutual recognition of civil law protection measures (56) complementing the directive on the European protection order applicable in criminal matters (57) and is also vigilant in ensuring that Member States transpose and apply the laws correctly.

The Commission is also committed to continuing to support projects for combating VAW at the grass-roots level. This was done by the DAPHNE III programme and will continue with the future Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme. The Commission also supports Member States in preventing VAW through exchanges of good practices (58) and awareness-raising activities. In 2013, the Commission launched a call for proposals for an amount of 3.7 million Euros, which allows funding of 13 national information campaigns and activities on VAW which are currently put in place at national level.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002788/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Relations with Cuba

Cuba has officially agreed to hold talks with the European Union on restoring bilateral relations. The negotiations are expected to boost trade and investments in the communist-run island, but will be linked to progress on human rights.

What mechanisms does the Commission have in place to ensure progress is made in relation to Cuba’s human rights record?

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

(29 April 2014)

The EU and Cuba established bilateral relations, covering political dialogue, cooperation and trade in 1988. The proposed bilateral Agreement would strengthen the EU‐Cuba relationship and provide a robust framework for constructive dialogue and improved cooperation. It will help to effectively promote EU interests and values in Cuba and ensure continuity in EU policies objectives including support for the on-going reform and modernisation process, the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the strengthening of development cooperation.

Human rights issues will remain at the core of this relationship. These questions are addressed within the framework of the EU-Cuba political dialogue, taking place regularly at different levels in Havana and in Europe. And they will be among the basic principles — and the essential elements — of the bilateral Agreement. Cuba is expected to do what is necessary on its side, especially on the question of human rights. The pace of our negotiations will reflect this.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002789/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Cybercrime in the public domain

Europe’s top cybercrime police officer has stated that sensitive information should not be sent over public wi-fi hotspots, to avoid hackers stealing it. He said the warning was motivated by the growing number of attacks being carried out via public wi-fi.

What measures is the Commission taking to tackle the issue of cybercrime via public wi-fi?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The security vulnerabilities posed by the transmission of sensitive information over public open Wi-Fi hotspots are well known. When a Wi-Fi public hotspot is unprotected (e.g. in hotels, airports) any communication that is not properly secured (59) through that access point can be easily intercepted by hackers. The transmission of sensitive information should not rely on the security of the channel such as Wi-Fi, 3G.

The European Union is taking measures to make the Internet a safer place, and through its Research, Development and Innovation (R&I) Work Programmes has been distributing grants to enterprises, SMEs and universities, to make ICT wireless communication safer including research related to encryption of data transmission, strong authentication of sender and receiver, and radio propagation techniques for a more secured wireless transmission In addition for the period 2014-2020, the EU R&I Work Programme addresses several fields that are related to protecting wireless communications and its devices (e.g. the 5th generation network infrastructure field). Finally, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) also have a responsibility in offering duly secured services (60). If adopted, the Commission's proposal on the Network Information Security (NIS) Directive, operators of Critical Infrastructure, key Internet actors and public administrations will have to take responsibility and ensure a more secure environment when using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Building upon the work of the NIS Platform, voluntary recommendations, will be developed to encourage the uptake of good cybersecurity practices by other entities.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002790/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Research on prostate cancer

A recent study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle showed that men taking selenium or vitamin E supplements could double their risk of prostate cancer, depending on the levels of selenium already in their bodies.

Could the Commission outline what research has been done at EU level on possible links between selenium or vitamin E supplements and prostate cancer?

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

(2 May 2014)

The Commission is aware of the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, referred to by the Honourable Member (61)  (62).

Cancer research has been a priority throughout the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP7, 2007‐2013) (63), which devoted EUR 1.4 billion to translational cancer research aimed at bringing basic knowledge through to early diagnosis, preventive and therapeutic approaches as well as patient-centred quality-of-life issues.

Although research on selenium or vitamin E supplements to reduce the risk of prostate cancer has not been funded, the Marie Curie grant Bladder Cancer Epid addresses the potential preventive role of vitamins C, E, selenium in the initiation of bladder cancer (64). In addition, the projects COGS (65) (Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study) and Promark (66) (Genetic prostate cancer variants as biomarkers of disease progression) have identified genetic variants responsible for an increased risk of breast, ovary and prostate cancer. A further project, Prosper (67), (Prostate cancer: Profiling and evaluation of ncRNA) explored the role of key regulators in prostate cancer initiation and progression.

Horizon 2020 — The framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) (68), will offer further opportunities to support research on cancer prevention through the ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’ societal challenge (69). Further information is available on the Research and Innovation Participant Portal (70).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002791/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Impact of crisis in Ukraine on EU's strategy for the Black Sea

What does the Commission envisage the impact will be on the EU’s strategy for the Black Sea, specifically in terms of fisheries, as a result of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

Relations with Ukraine in the area of fisheries have been very constructive. Although not a member, Ukraine is cooperating very actively with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in all the initiatives that have been recently developed. Ukraine is cooperating as well with the STECF (71), by sending scientist to the ad-hoc meetings where the conservation of the Black Sea stocks is discussed. Ukrainian scientists are cooperating both with EU and Turkish scientists in a very constructive manner.

Before the recent events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the country had been actively contributing to the process of increased regional cooperation on fisheries and maritime affairs reinvigorated by the EU, notably through its participation in the Black Sea Stakeholders conference held in Bucharest, on 30 January 2014. As a follow-up to the event, the EU is aiming at putting in place a dedicated project for technical support that will help the partner countries in the Black Sea to better explore the potential of their ‘blue economies’ and help develop regional projects.

The 14 April FAC (72) reiterated EU's strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation and its refusal to recognise it. Ukraine is showing resolve to continue working within the international framework, in particular the GFCM. The Commission is of the view that the presence of the GFCM, a FAO-UN organisation, may be very valuable in the area.

Against this background, the Commission will continue to foster cooperation with Ukraine and all riparian countries with the objective to achieve sustainable fisheries and healthy stocks in the Black Sea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002792/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Long-term fisheries management plans

What recent progress has been made in addressing the impasse between EU institutions on implementing various long-term fisheries management plans?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

An interinstitutional Task Force was established between European Parliament, Council and the Commission to address the issue and to explore the options to help find an appropriate way forward. In April 2014, this Task Force finalised its work and agreed on a final report, which was addressed to the institutions.

Based on the conclusions of the Task Force, the report sets out general considerations and elements for multiannual plans which can be accepted, as well as a breakdown of specific elements of two-stock plans and of mixed fisheries' plans. The Task Force considers that the key elements developed in the report are an appropriate basis for a practical way forwards toward the development and implementation of multiannual plans to implement the new Common Fisheries Policy.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002793/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Fisheries agreements with West African states

Can the Commission summarise what fisheries agreements are in place with West African states, what the estimated values of these agreements are for EU fisheries, and what financial assistance is offered to these nations?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The EU has signed several fisheries agreements with West African States.

A protocol is in forced for most of them (Mauritania, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, São Tomé é Principe, Gabon). Protocol recently agreed with Morocco and Senegal should soon enter into force.

Three of these fisheries agreement (The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea), are regarded as ‘dormant agreements’, with no associated protocol.

The nature of these agreements differs according to the type of fishing opportunities included in the associated protocols. All of the enforced protocols grant access to tuna, tuna-like fisheries. In addition, two of them (Morocco, Mauritania) cover fishing activities on demersal and on small pelagic species.

West African fisheries agreements and associated protocols currently in force are financed from the EU budget and represent and yearly amount of EUR 73 147 500, of which EUR 4 045 000 is specifically dedicated to the enhancement of fisheries policies and to the economic development of fisheries sectors in the partner countries. Fishing activities of the EU external fleet, partly developed under these agreements, contribute respectively to 7% and 5% of the volume and value of the whole EU catches and to 10% of the wealth (added value) created by the EU fishing fleets. Some valuable data on economic results of the whole EU external fleet is made available in the yearly Annual Economic Report on the EU fishing fleet (73).

Additional information on the agreements is included in our website (74).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002794/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Implementation of the common fisheries policy's ‘land-all’ policy

Can the Commission detail what progress has been made in implementing the common fisheries policy’s ‘land-all’ policy?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The landing obligation introduced under Article 15 of the new Common Fisheries Policy (75) (CFP) will enter into force in a gradual way beginning 1 January 2015. Pelagic fisheries, industrial fisheries and fisheries for salmon and cod in the Baltic will be the first to be covered.

As foreseen under Article 17 of the CFP, at a regional level groups of Members States in consultation with the relevant Advisory Councils (ACs) are developing temporary discard plans for the first stage of the entry into force of the landing obligation. These discard plans are the means to introduce specific provisions regarding the fisheries covered by the landing obligation. The Commission is facilitating these groups and the ACs when requested and has held a number of meetings with them to discuss progress.

The Commission has convened three expert meetings of STECF (76) to consider specific implementation elements and to help regional groups in developing discard plans. ICES (77) has also been asked to look specifically at the inclusion of discards data into the advice for setting fishing opportunities, on the basis of scientifically validated data.

The Commission has also tabled a proposal (78) to facilitate introduction of the landing obligation, by removing all legal inconsistencies and contradictions in the legal framework for technical and control measures. This proposal is currently under negotiation between the co-legislators and needs to be adopted before 1 January 2015 to avoid legal uncertainty.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002795/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Impact of bad weather on the EU's fishing fleets

What assistance, if any, has been requested by Member States to help with the negative impact of prolonged bad weather on the EU’s fishing fleets?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

Until now, following the recent heavy storms in the Atlantic area and based on information the Commission has received from Member States, the UK administration has provided assistance to fishermen through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) operational programme. The assistance is available under ‘Axis 1: Measures for the adaptation of the fishing fleet’ and consists of aid towards replacing lost or damaged fishing gear.

Ireland has been heavily hit by the recent storms, as well. The Irish authorities decided to assist fishermen who lost gears by using state aid under the de minimis rules.

For further details, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the two relevant EFF Managing Authorities: Marine Management Organisation for the UK and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine — Marine Agencies & Programmes Division for Ireland.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002796/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Imposition of sanctions on Iceland and the Faeroe Islands

In light of this week’s latest breakdown in discussions to agree on fishing opportunities for north-east Atlantic mackerel, when does the Commission intend to proceed with the imposition of sanctions on Iceland and the Faeroe Islands?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable member to its answer to Written Question E-001983/2014 (79).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002797/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Future EU strategy on fisheries negotiations with third countries

In light of this week’s failure to agree on fishing opportunities for north-east Atlantic mackerel in 2014, what strategy does the Commission intend to adopt in terms of its future negotiations with third countries on this matter?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(2 June 2014)

On 12 March 2014, the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, finalised an arrangement on mackerel management in the North-East Atlantic between the EU, the Faroe Islands and Norway for the period 2014 to 2018. The Commission considers that the outcome of these negotiations as positive. These parties are the main traditional mackerel fishing parties in the North-East Atlantic. There is a commitment to sustainable fisheries as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) advice will be followed in fixing fishing levels for 2015 to 2018. The arrangement foresees a reserve to cater for the future integration of a Coastal State, as well as for other fishing nations within the context of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC).

The Commission has noted the establishment by Iceland of its autonomous mackerel quota for 2014, the level of which conforms to the share figure it had previously claimed in the Coastal State mackerel negotiations. Consequently, the Commission would welcome Iceland joining the other three Parties at the negotiating table at the earliest opportunity in order to work out the terms of a full four-Party Coastal State arrangement for mackerel.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002798/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Progress on implementation of the common market Organisation Regulation

Can the Commission report on the early progress made by the Member States in the implementation of the common market Organisation Regulation?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

Member States have been applying the new Common Market Organisation Regulation (CMO) since 1 January 2014. For the most part the regulation does not imply a change to the rules that applied previously. However, for those elements that are new, the Commission adopted five delegated acts on 11 March after discussions with experts from Member States and from the European Parliament in the context of the Expert Group for the CMO Regulation, as well as discussions with Comagri Members/MEPs in the context of a series of meetings with the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Commission representatives. These delegated acts covering rules on private storage aid, school fruit, fruit and vegetables, olive oil and wine national support programmes have now been transmitted to the European Parliament and to the Council.

It is the view of the Commission that the remainder of the new CMO Regulation is adequately covered by the existing Commission level Regulations and that no legal vacuum exists that would put at risk the management of the market instruments of the CMO Regulation. Nevertheless, the process of reviewing the Commission level Regulations with a view to aligning them with the Lisbon Treaty has already started and will be undertaken in consultation with experts from the Member States and, as far as new delegated acts are concerned, also with experts from the European Parliament.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002799/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Visits to Member States by Fisheries Commissioner

Can the Commission indicate how many visits the Fisheries Commissioner has made to Member States, and which areas she has visited, on official business since her appointment?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The Commission has committed itself to work in respect of the principle of transparency. In this regard, a diary containing a list of the official visits of the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, since the beginning of the current mandate of the Commissioner, is available on the official Commission website. The Commission therefore invites the Honourable Member to refer to the information provided on the following webpage: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/damanaki/diary/index_en.htm

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002800/14

to the Commission

Diane Dodds (NI)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Marine constructions

Can the Commission provide an opinion on the issue of marine constructions, such as offshore wind energy projects, on fisheries spawning grounds?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

Increasing activities at sea, such as renewable energy and aquaculture installations, can have an impact on other sectors and on the environment, including spawning grounds. In order to develop a more efficient coordination between the spatial development of different maritime activities and a better management of their effects on the surrounding environment, the Commission has proposed legislation on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) which has now been endorsed by the European Parliament and Council and enter into force later this year. MSP will help limiting the effect of new infrastructures on ecosystems. Strategic Environmental Assessments, on the basis of the provisions of Directive 2001/42/EC, will need to be conducted on the plans that are likely to have an effect on the environment.

The Commission is aware of the fact that marine renewable constructions may have an impact on the marine environment, such as electromagnetic fields, subsea noise and vibrations.

To better understand these possible impacts, the Commission has launched a study in the context of the Horizon 2020 (80). The results of this study will be available in the course of 2015.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002801/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Darfur peace process

On 9 June 2011 Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan after the 2011 referendum (81). Paragraph 13 of this resolution notes that Parliament ‘welcomes the conclusions of the UN-backed consultations on the Darfur peace process; calls on all parties to abide by the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities agreements already signed; points out the importance of full transparency during negotiations on the Darfur and Abyei issues, as well as the general north-south dialogue; [and] calls for the representation of all parties to the disputes, as well as civil society and political leaders at local, regional, national and international levels’.

Can I ask the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy what progress has been made with regard to the achievement of the goals of this resolution, and what difficulties remain for those seeking to put an end to hostilities, to improve the security environment and to restore stability to the region?

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

(22 May 2014)

The HR/VP follows developments in Sudan and South Sudan closely. After more than 10 years of conflict the fighting and killing in Darfur continues and millions of Darfuris are still internally displaced persons or refugees. In the first months of 2014 alone, more than 215 000 people have been newly displaced from their homes. There are reports of serious human rights violations and restrictions on access for peacekeepers and donors. Aerial bombings and attacks on civilian areas continue. Inter-tribal conflicts and conflicts involving militias have increased substantially.

The EU is giving strong support to the AU-UN Hybrid Mission for Darfur, and is committed jointly with like-minded partners to support a just and inclusive peace process that can lay the foundation for socioeconomic development. The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur was a positive step forward, which the EU supports politically and with development funding (EUR 27.5 million), but implementation is slow. We regularly urge the Government of Sudan and all armed groups to re-double their efforts to reach a settlement through dialogue (Statement of the HR/VP and Commissioners K. Georgieva and A. Piebalgs of 10 April 2014).

So far, the Government of Sudan has not honoured its repeated announcements of an inclusive national dialogue that would strengthen national unity and promote democratic governance. The EU supports the High Level Implementation Panel of the African Union which is mandated to support the internal democratisation efforts of Sudan.

The EU has provided substantial humanitarian assistance for the people of Darfur since the beginning of the crisis.

(Hrvatska verzija)

Pitanje za pisani odgovor E-002802/14

upućeno Komisiji (potpredsjednici/Visokoj predstavnici)

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(10. ožujka 2014.)

Predmet: VP/HR — Zaštita stanovnika Ukrajine

S obzirom na tešku situaciju u kojoj se Ukrajina nalazi, sudbina milijuna njenih stanovnika dovedena je pod veliki upitnik zbog neizvjesnosti o budućim aktivnostima i razvoju krajnje napete situacije. Svakodnevni prosvjedi na Majdanu jasan su začetak novog demokratskog poretka koji Europska unija mora prepoznati i nesebično podržati na sve načine koji mogu biti relevantni, naravno, osim upotrebe vojne sile. Zbog netom navedenog činjeničnog stanja napominjem kako je u prosincu 1994. godine potpisan Budimpeštanski memorandum čije su se potpisnice, Ukrajina, Rusija, Sjedinjene Američke Države i Ujedinjena Kraljevina, obvezale podržati suverenitet i teritorijalni integritet Ukrajine kao neovisne države.

Po mišljenju Visoke predstavnice, krši li neka od zemalja potpisnica Budimpeštanskog memoranduma međunarodno pravo i teritorijalni integritet Ukrajine te koji se daljnji koraci planiraju poduzeti u svrhu zaštite stanovnika koji se svojim legitimnim pravom bore za europski put Ukrajine?

Odgovor visoke predstavnice/potpredsjednice Ashton u ime Komisije

(6. svibnja 2014.)

U zaključcima Vijeća za vanjske poslove od 3. ožujka navodi se da potezi Rusije predstavljaju očiglednu povredu specifičnih obveza poštovanja suvereniteta i teritorijalne cjelovitosti Ukrajine koje je Rusija preuzela Memorandumom iz Budimpešte iz 1994. (82)

EU je snažno osudio povrede suvereniteta i teritorijalne cjelovitosti Ukrajine te je pozvao Rusiju da u skladu s odgovarajućim sporazumima odmah povuče svoje snage na njihove stalne pozicije. Osim obustave razgovora s Rusijom o viznom režimu i Novom sporazumu, prema odluci čelnika država i vlada EU-a od 6. ožujka, a s obzirom na to da Rusija nije poduzela korake u svrhu smirivanja situacije, 17. ožujka Vijeće za vanjske poslove donijelo je mjere ograničavanja putovanja i zamrzavanja imovine osobama odgovornima za djelovanja kojima se potkopavaju ili ugrožavaju teritorijalna cjelovitost, suverenitet i neovisnost Ukrajine. S obzirom na to da Rusija nije poduzela korake u svrhu smirivanja situacije, Europsko vijeće odlučilo je 20. ožujka proširiti popis osoba koje podliježu mjerama zabrane izdavanja viza i zamrzavanja imovine.

Ambiciozan program strukturnih reformi, uključujući borbu protiv korupcije i jačanje transparentnosti svih poreznih postupaka, najučinkovitije je sredstvo za jačanje ukrajinske državnosti. U tu je svrhu EU osigurao paket potpore (83) putem kojega bi Ukrajina mogla dobiti najmanje 11 milijardi eura u vidu zajmova i bespovratnih sredstava. (84) Nova ukrajinska vlada potvrdila je svoju posvećenost bliskijoj političkoj suradnji i ekonomskoj integraciji s EU-om. EU je 21. ožujka potpisao politički dio Sporazuma o pridruživanju s Ukrajinom, a uskoro će donijeti i jednostrane trgovinske mjere kako bi Ukrajina već sada mogla imati koristi od detaljnog i sveobuhvatnog područja slobodne trgovine.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002802/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Protecting the people of Ukraine

Ukraine is currently in dire straits, and the fate of millions of the country’s residents is under a huge question mark, given the uncertainties over what will happen next in this tense situation. The daily protests on Maidan Nezalezhnosti clearly mark the birth of a new democratic order which the European Union must recognise and generously support by all appropriate means, with the obvious exception of military means. In view of the aforementioned state of affairs, I think it is relevant to mention the signing of the Budapest Memorandum in December 1994. The signatories to this memorandum — Ukraine, Russia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom — made commitments to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the independent state of Ukraine.

Does the High Representative believe that any state which signed up to the Budapest Memorandum is violating international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine?

If so, what additional steps does the High Representative plan to take in order to defend the people of Ukraine who are exercising their legitimate right to fight for a European path for their country?

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

(6 May 2014)

The Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 3 March state how Russia's actions are in clear breach of Russia's specific commitments to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. (85)

The EU has strongly condemned the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces to the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with relevant agreements. In addition to suspending talks with Russia on visa matters and the New Agreement, as decided by the EU Heads of State and Government on 6 March, and in the absence of de-escalation steps, the Foreign Affairs Council introduced travel restrictions and asset freezes on 17 March against persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. In the absence of steps towards de-escalation, the European Council decided on 20 March, to expand the list of individuals to be subject to visa bans and asset freezes.

The most effective tool for consolidating Ukrainian statehood is an ambitious programme of structural reforms, including the fight against corruption and enhancing the transparency of all fiscal operations. To this end, the EU is providing a support package (86) which could bring Ukraine at least EUR 11 billion in loans and grants. (87) The new Ukrainian Government has reiterated its commitment to closer political association and economic integration with the EU. The EU signed the political part of the Association Agreement with Ukraine on 21 March, and will soon adopt unilateral trade measures to allow Ukraine early benefits from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area to be established.

(Hrvatska verzija)

Pitanje za pisani odgovor E-002803/14

upućeno Komisiji

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(10. ožujka 2014.)

Predmet: Situacija u Ukrajini

S obzirom na tešku situaciju u kojoj se Ukrajina nalazi, sudbina milijuna njenih stanovnika dovedena je pod veliki upitnik zbog neizvjesnosti o budućim aktivnostima i razvoju krajnje napete situacije. Svakodnevni prosvjedi na Majdanu jasan su začetak novog demokratskog poretka koji Europska unija mora prepoznati i nesebično podržati na sve načine koji mogu biti relevantni, naravno, osim upotrebe vojne sile. Zbog netom navedenog činjeničnog stanja napominjem kako je u prosincu 1994. godine potpisan Budimpeštanski memorandum čije su se potpisnice, Ukrajina, Rusija, Sjedinjene Američke Države i Ujedinjena Kraljevina, obvezale podržati suverenitet i teritorijalni integritet Ukrajine kao neovisne države.

Po mišljenju Komisije, krši li neka od zemalja potpisnica Budimpeštanskog memoranduma međunarodno pravo i teritorijalni integritet Ukrajine te što Komisija planira poduzeti u svrhu zaštite stanovnika koji se svojim legitimnim pravom bore za europski put Ukrajine?

Odgovor visoke predstavnice/potpredsjednice Ashton u ime Komisije

(7. svibnja 2014.)

U zaključcima Vijeća za vanjske poslove od 3. ožujka navodi se da potezi Rusije predstavljaju očiglednu povredu specifičnih obveza poštovanja suvereniteta i teritorijalne cjelovitosti Ukrajine koje je Rusija preuzela Memorandumom iz Budimpešte iz 1994. (88)

EU je snažno osudio povrede suvereniteta i teritorijalne cjelovitosti Ukrajine te je pozvao Rusiju da u skladu s odgovarajućim sporazumima odmah povuče svoje snage na njihove stalne pozicije. Osim obustave razgovora s Rusijom o viznom režimu i Novom sporazumu, prema odluci čelnika država i vlada EU-a od 6. ožujka, a s obzirom na to da Rusija nije poduzela korake u svrhu smirivanja situacije, 17. ožujka Vijeće za vanjske poslove donijelo je mjere ograničavanja putovanja i zamrzavanja imovine osobama odgovornima za djelovanja kojima se potkopavaju ili ugrožavaju teritorijalna cjelovitost, suverenitet i neovisnost Ukrajine. S obzirom na to da Rusija nije poduzela korake u svrhu smirivanja situacije, Europsko vijeće odlučilo je 20. ožujka proširiti popis osoba koje podliježu mjerama zabrane izdavanja viza i zamrzavanja imovine.

Ambiciozan program strukturnih reformi, uključujući borbu protiv korupcije i jačanje transparentnosti svih poreznih postupaka, najučinkovitije je sredstvo za jačanje ukrajinske državnosti. U tu je svrhu EU osigurao paket potpore (89) putem kojega bi Ukrajina mogla dobiti najmanje 11 milijardi eura u vidu zajmova i bespovratnih sredstava. (90) Nova ukrajinska vlada potvrdila je svoju posvećenost bliskijoj političkoj suradnji i ekonomskoj integraciji s EU-om. EU je 21. ožujka potpisao politički dio Sporazuma o pridruživanju s Ukrajinom, a uskoro će donijeti i jednostrane trgovinske mjere kako bi Ukrajina već sada mogla imati koristi od detaljnog i sveobuhvatnog područja slobodne trgovine.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002803/14

to the Commission

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Situation in Ukraine

Ukraine is currently in dire straits, and the fate of millions of the country's residents is under a huge question mark, given the uncertainties over what will happen next in this tense situation. The daily protests on Maidan Nezalezhnosti clearly mark the birth of a new democratic order which the European Union must recognise and generously support by all appropriate means, with the obvious exception of military means. In view of the aforementioned state of affairs, I think it is relevant to mention the signing of the Budapest Memorandum in December 1994. The signatories to this memorandum — Ukraine, Russia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom — made commitments to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the independent state of Ukraine.

Does the Commission believe that any state which signed up to the Budapest Memorandum is violating international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine? If so, what steps does the Commission plan to take in order to defend the people of Ukraine who are exercising their legitimate right to fight for a European path for their country?

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

(7 May 2014)

The Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 3 March state how Russia's actions are in clear breach of Russia's specific commitments to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. (91)

The EU has strongly condemned the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces to the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with relevant agreements. In addition to suspending talks with Russia on visa matters and the New Agreement, as decided by the EU Heads of State and Government on 6 March, and in the absence of de-escalation steps, the Foreign Affairs Council introduced travel restrictions and asset freezes on 17 March against persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. In the absence of steps towards de-escalation, the European Council decided on 20 March, to expand the list of individuals to be subject to visa bans and asset freezes.

The most effective tool for consolidating Ukrainian statehood is an ambitious programme of structural reforms, including the fight against corruption and enhancing the transparency of all fiscal operations. To this end, the EU is providing a support package (92) which could bring Ukraine at least EUR 11 billion in loans and grants. (93) The new Ukrainian Government has reiterated its commitment to closer political association and economic integration with the EU. The EU signed the political part of the Association Agreement with Ukraine on 21 March, and will soon adopt unilateral trade measures to allow Ukraine early benefits from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area to be established.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002804/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Sovranità e integrità dell'Ucraina

I preoccupanti avvenimenti in Crimea, che minacciano l'integrità dell'Ucraina, rischiano di scatenare un conflitto dalle conseguenze inimmaginabili anche per l'UE. Mai come in casi simili è palese la debolezza dell'Unione in assenza di una politica estera e di difesa. Un'azione diplomatica incisiva è però possibile e dovrebbe puntare sulla sovranità e l'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina, nel rispetto degli obblighi internazionali.

Ciò premesso, può l'Alto Rappresentante rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

quale strategia ha adottato nella sua azione tendente ad una soluzione pacifica della situazione?

Per quale motivo non si rivolge anche ai membri del Memorandum di Budapest del 1994 in virtù del quale gli Usa, la Gran Bretagna e la Russia si sono fatti garanti dell'indipendenza dell'Ucraina in cambio della sua rinuncia alle armi nucleari?

Non crede che proporre consultazioni immediate per far abbassare la tensione, conformemente all'articolo 6 del Memorandum, e in sintonia con la mozione approvata il 28 febbraio dal Parlamento ucraino, possa contribuire alla garanzia della sovranità e dell'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(23 maggio 2014)

L'UE ha svolto un ruolo di primo piano nell'impegno volto a facilitare e condurre un dialogo significativo che coinvolga l'Ucraina e la Russia, anche mediante l'istituzione di un meccanismo multilaterale, al fine di trovare una soluzione politica. Il Consiglio Affari esteri del 3 marzo ha rilevato che gli interventi della Russia costituiscono una palese violazione dell'impegno di rispettare la sovranità e l'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina assunto nel quadro del Memorandum di Budapest del 1994, del trattato bilaterale di amicizia, cooperazione e partenariato del 1997, della Carta delle Nazioni Unite e dell'Atto finale di Helsinki dell'OSCE (94).

L'UE ha condannato fermamente la violazione della sovranità e dell'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina da parte delle forze russe e ha invitato la Russia a a ritirare le sue truppe riportandole nelle zone in cui sono stazionate in permanenza, in conformità degli accordi pertinenti. Oltre a sospendere i colloqui con la Russia sulle questioni relative ai visti e sul nuovo accordo, come deciso il 6 marzo dai capi di Stato e di governo dell'UE, e in mancanza di misure volte ad allentare le tensioni, il Consiglio Affari esteri ha introdotto restrizioni ai viaggi e misure di congelamento dei beni nei confronti delle persone responsabili di azioni che compromettono o minacciano l'integrità territoriale, la sovranità e l'indipendenza dell'Ucraina. In mancanza di misure volte ad allentare le tensioni, il 20 marzo il Consiglio europeo ha deciso di ampliare l'elenco delle persone soggette a divieto di visto e congelamento dei beni.

L'UE contribuisce a un programma ambizioso di riforme strutturali per sostenere la sovranità dell'Ucraina. L'UE ha firmato il 21 marzo la parte politica dell'accordo di associazione tra l'UE e l'Ucraina, ha adottato un pacchetto di sostegno comprendente almeno 11 miliardi di EUR sotto forma di prestiti e sovvenzioni (95) e adotterà prossimamente misure commerciali unilaterali per consentire al paese di beneficiare in misura sostanziale della zona di libero scambio globale e approfondito.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002804/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine

The worrying events in Crimea, which represent a threat to Ukraine’s integrity, are also threatening to unleash a conflict of unimaginable consequences for the EU. As in similar cases, the weakness of the Union due to its lack of foreign and defence policy is evident. It is, however, able to take hard-hitting diplomatic action, which needs to focus on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, while complying with international obligations.

In the light of the above, we would ask the High Representative to answer the following questions:

Which strategy has she adopted in her action to seek a peaceful solution to the situation?

Why is she not also appealing to the members of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, under which the USA, Great Britain and Russia guaranteed Ukraine’s independence in exchange for the abandonment of nuclear arms?

Does she not think that by proposing that talks take place immediately in order to reduce tensions, in accordance with Article 6 of the Memorandum, and in line with the motion sanctioned by the Ukraine Parliament on 28 February, this may help to guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine?

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

(23 May 2014)

The EU has been at the forefront of efforts to facilitate and engage in a meaningful dialogue involving Ukraine and Russia, seeking to establish a multilateral mechanism, with a view to finding a political solution. The Foreign Affairs Council noted on 3 March that Russia's actions are in clear breach of Russia's commitments to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, as well as the 1997 bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership, the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act (96).

The EU strongly condemned the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russian forces and called on Russia to withdraw its forces to their permanent stations, according to relevant agreements. In addition to suspending talks with Russia on visa matters and the New Agreement, as decided by the EU Heads of State and Government on 6 March, and in the absence of de-escalation steps, the Foreign Affairs Council introduced travel restrictions and asset freezes on 17 March against those responsible for undermining or threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. In the absence of de-escalation steps, the European Council decided on 20 March to expand the list of individuals subject to visa ban and asset freeze.

As a measure of supporting Ukrainian sovereignty, the EU is assisting an ambitious programme of structural reforms. The EU signed the political part of the Association Agreement with Ukraine on 21 March, has adopted a support package which could bring Ukraine at least EUR 11 billion in loans and grants, (97) and will soon adopt unilateral trade measures to allow Ukraine to benefit substantially from the future Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002809/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Operazioni Nato nel contesto della crisi in Ucraina

Lo scorso 5 marzo, gli Stati Uniti hanno inviato nei paesi baltici sei caccia F-15 e un KC-135 Stratotanker per il rifornimento aereo dei caccia, in aggiunta ai quattro aerei già utilizzati per il pattugliamento aereo della regione.

Oltre a questo dispiegamento, il ministero della Difesa statunitense ha autorizzato il rafforzamento delle operazioni di addestramento in Polonia, dove a uno squadrone di F-16 si affiancheranno dodici altri veicoli e trecento militari. Si tratta di operazioni programmate già da tempo, ma che sono state ampliate in risposta alla crisi militare scatenata dalle truppe russe penetrate in territorio ucraino, in Crimea, crisi che, nonostante il ritiro oltre i confini dei militari russi, pare non trovare una soluzione definitiva.

È stato inoltre confermato l'invio nel Mar Nero della nave da guerra Truxtun, che fa parte del gruppo della portaerei George HW Bush, assegnata alla Sesta Flotta per garantire la sicurezza del Mediterraneo. La Truxtun si unirà ad alcune unità rumene e bulgare per un'esercitazione congiunta.

Come già detto, si tratta di operazioni già programmate, ma che, nel clima teso con Mosca, possono rappresentare un chiaro messaggio sia per il Cremlino che per Bruxelles, a dimostrazione dell'attenzione di Washington verso l'Europa orientale.

In merito a queste manovre, può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

non ritiene che, anche se mirate innanzitutto a tranquillizzare i membri europei della Nato, queste misure possano acuire la percezione di pericolo per la Russia, rischiando di peggiorare il clima di incertezza e tensione?

È a conoscenza di altre operazioni che uno o più Stati membri intendano intraprendere, da soli o in maniera congiunta, con i propri alleati intra — ed extra-europei?

Ha motivo di temere per la sicurezza degli Stati membri confinanti con la Federazione Russa?

Risposta dell’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(30 aprile 2014)

Come già sottolineato in diverse posizioni, in particolare nelle conclusioni del Consiglio europeo del 20 marzo e, più recentemente, nella dichiarazione congiunta in occasione del vertice UE-USA del 26 marzo 2014, la Commissione ricorda che qualsiasi azione da parte dell’UE e dei suoi partner deve avere l’unico scopo di allentare la crisi e di facilitare il dialogo costruttivo tra la Russia e l’Ucraina per trovare una soluzione politica.

La Commissione ribadisce il suo pieno appoggio alla missione di monitoraggio speciale dell’OCSE in Ucraina. Ad eccezione del contributo degli Stati membri a questa missione, la Commissione non è a conoscenza di nessuna nuova operazione.

Il ricorso alla forza e alla coercizione per modificare i confini da parte della Russia è in palese violazione del processo di Helsinki e il massiccio dispiegamento militare suscita serie preoccupazioni. La Commissione non può tuttavia rilevare la presenza di una minaccia imminente per gli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002809/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: NATO operations in the context of the Ukrainian crisis

On 5 March, the United States dispatched six F-15 fighters and a KC-135 Stratotanker for aerial refuelling of the fighters to the Baltic states, in addition to the four aircraft already used for aerial patrolling of the region.

In addition to this deployment, the US Department of Defense has authorised the strengthening of training operations in Poland, where an F-16 squadron will be supported by 12 other vehicles and 300 troops. These are operations which have been planned for some time, but they have been extended in response to the military crisis triggered by the incursion of Russian troops into Crimea, in Ukrainian territory, which, despite the retreat of the Russian troops to the border, appears not to have found a definitive solution.

It has also been confirmed that the warship Truxtun, part of the George HW Bush carrier strike group, has been sent to the Black Sea, assigned to the Sixth Fleet to ensure the security of the Mediterranean. The Truxtun will rendezvous with various Romanian and Bulgarian units for joint exercises.

As stated, these are previously scheduled operations, but, in a climate of tension with Moscow, they may represent a clear message to both the Kremlin and Brussels, demonstrating that Eastern Europe has Washington’s attention.

With regard to these manoeuvres, can the Commission answer these questions:

Does it consider that, although primarily intended to reassure NATO’s European members, these measures may exacerbate Russia’s perception of danger, threatening to worsen the climate of uncertainty and tension?

Is it aware of any other operations which one or more Member States intend to undertake, alone or jointly, with their European and other allies?

Does it have any grounds for fearing for the security of Member States bordering the Russian Federation?

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

(30 April 2014)

The Commisison recalls that the aim of any actions by the EU and its partners are solely aimed at de-escalating the crisis and facilitating a meaningful dialogue between Russia and Ukraine with a view to finding a political solution, as underlined in successive EU positions, notably in the Conclusions of the 20 March European Council and most recently in the joint statement at the occasion of the EU-US Summit of 26 March 2014.

The Commission is not aware of any new operations, except for the EU Member State contributions to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission for Ukraine. It reiterates its full support for this mission.

Russia's use of force and coercion to change borders is in clear breach of the Helsinki process and the level of deployed military capability give rise to serious concern. However, the Commission cannot point to an imminent threat to any Member State.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002810/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Regolamentazione sull'utilizzo di droni civili

I droni sono generalmente chiamati in causa in termini di operazioni militari o di soccorso e ricognizione in caso di disastri naturali o antropogenici, ma l'associazione di categoria che riunisce i costruttori e gli operatori di questi velivoli a comando remoto ha di recente posto l'attenzione sul fatto che le loro applicazioni in realtà vanno ben al di là di questi due ambiti. Già oggi nel cielo italiano volano circa quattrocento droni al giorno, utilizzati per una vasta diversità di compiti, che vanno dalla ripresa e fotografia aerea al monitoraggio di terreni agricoli, impianti come dighe, reti elettriche e così via. Un noto operatore di commercio elettronico statunitense ha lanciato l'idea di adottarli per la spedizione di pacchi, alle scorse olimpiadi di Soči sono state utilizzate per regalare riprese da più angolazioni, mentre si pensa di dotare le strutture ospedaliere di droni in grado di effettuare trasporti urgenti di sacche di sangue o altro materiale.

La regolamentazione in materia di droni in Italia è stata affidata all'Ente nazionale per aviazione civile, che ha da poco reso noto il testo definitivo del regolamento per il volo di droni fino a 150 chili di peso, che dovrebbe entrare in vigore il 30 aprile. Secondo il testo, per pilotare un drone bisognerà aver compiuto 18 anni e dimostrare di possedere conoscenze teoriche e pratiche sulle regole dell'aria e sull'uso del proprio mezzo. Anche se non si parla di creare una patente apposita, l'Enac prevede che siano organizzati programmi di addestramento specifici. Diverso se si vuole operare in città, caso in cui sono previste valutazioni più approfondite da parte dell'ente. Un ultimo parametro di riferimento è l'altitudine: per i voli fino a settanta metri le norme sono meno restrittive, mentre per volare entro i 150 metri occorreranno autorizzazioni particolari.

Il settore è fortemente in espansione: solo in Italia oltre trecento aziende operano nel comparto e si prevede che entro il 2021 il giro d’affari mondiale toccherà i 130 miliardi di dollari, contro i 7 del 2012.

In merito a quanto esposto, la Commissione è a conoscenza di altri Stati membri o Stati extra-europei che abbiano adottato, o che siano in procinto di adottare, una regolamentazione per l'utilizzo dei droni? Intende proporre una legislazione o delle linee guida di riferimento a livello europeo?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(29 aprile 2014)

La Commissione è a conoscenza del fatto che un numero crescente di Stati membri sta introducendo normative per l’utilizzo di droni civili. Una legislazione in materia è già stata introdotta in Repubblica ceca, Danimarca, Francia, Germania, Irlanda, Italia, Lituania, Polonia, Svezia e Regno Unito. Vari altri Stati membri stanno elaborando una legislazione in materia di droni. Le normative riguardano principalmente aeromobili più leggeri in uno spazio aereo non complesso e intendono consentire lo sviluppo iniziale di attività commerciali che utilizzano droni.

Gli aeromobili senza pilota con massa operativa superiore a 150 kg rientrano nelle competenze dell’Unione europea. L’Agenzia europea per la sicurezza aerea sta elaborando la legislazione appropriata per garantire la sicurezza delle operazioni con droni civili più pesanti, sulla base di una rigorosa procedura di consultazione.

L’8 aprile 2014 la Commissione ha adottato una comunicazione sull’uso civile dei droni (COM(2014) 207 final), che stabilisce i principali elementi della sua futura strategia e annuncia una serie di iniziative concrete. In base all’esito di una serie di iniziative (valutazione d’impatto e consultazione pubblica), la Commissione intende presentare, se del caso, proposte legislative per eliminare le incertezze giuridiche che ostacolano lo sviluppo del mercato europeo e per rassicurare i cittadini europei in merito al fatto che saranno garantiti elevati livelli di protezione sotto il profilo della sicurezza (safety and security) e della riservatezza.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002810/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Regulations on the use of civilian drones

Drones are usually used for the purposes of military operations or for aid and reconnaissance missions in the event of natural disasters or those caused by human factors, but it has recently been highlighted by the trade association that unites the manufacturers and operators of these remotely operated aircraft that the use of these vehicles does in fact go beyond these two areas. Nowadays, there are around four hundred drones flying in the Italian skies each day. These are used for a wide range of tasks, which range from aerial films and photographs to monitoring agricultural land, installations such as dykes, electricity networks and so on. A well-known American electronics company has come up with the idea of using drones to deliver parcels. In this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, drones were used to provide films from multiple angles, and there are plans to equip hospitals with drones that are capable of making urgent journeys to transport bags of blood or other material.

The task of regulating drones in Italy has been entrusted to the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Enac), which recently announced the definitive text for the regulations on flying drones weighing 150 kilograms or less, which are set to enter into force on 30 April. Under these regulations, only persons over the age of 18 who have theoretical and practical knowledge of the rules of the air and of the use of the drone itself are permitted to pilot a drone. Despite no mention being made of a proper licence, Enac anticipates that specific training programmes will be organised. Different regulations will apply if people wish to operate in cities, in which case Enac will carry out more detailed assessments. A final benchmark is the altitude: the regulations are less stringent for flights up to a height of 70 metres, while specific authorisations apply for flights between 70 and 150 metres.

This sector is growing rapidly: in Italy alone there are more than 300 companies operating in this sector and forecasts predict that global turnover will reach USD 130 billion by 2021, compared with USD 7 billion in 2012.

In the light of the above, is the Commission aware of other Member States or non-European countries that have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, regulations governing the use of drones? Does it intend to propose legislation or reference guidelines at a European level?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The Commission is aware that a growing number of Member States is introducing regulations on the use of civil drones. Such legislation was already introduced in CZ, DK, FR, DE, IE, IT, LT, PL, SV and UK. Several other Member States are preparing drones legislation. The regulations typically concern lighter aircraft in non-complex airspace and aim at allowing the initial development of commercial drones activities.

Unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of more than 150kg fall under EU competence. The European Aviation Safety Agency is preparing the appropriate legislation to allow safe operations with those heavier civil drones, on the basis of its strong consultation process.

The Commission adopted a communication on the civil use of drones on 8 April 2014 (COM(2014) 207 final), setting out the main elements of its future policy and announcing a number of concrete initiatives. Depending on the outcome of a number of preliminary steps (impact assessment and public consultation), the Commission intends to bring forward, where appropriate, legislative proposals to remove legal uncertainties that hinder the development of the European market and to give European citizens confidence that high levels of protection in terms of safety, security and privacy will be assured.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002811/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Esposizioni ai campi elettromagnetici in zona Sette Ville Nord

Nella zona Sette Ville Nord del comune di Guidonia Montecelio sono posizionati elettrodotti ad alta tensione (380 Kv). In particolare, si segnala la presenza di un elettrodotto che risulta avere una distanza troppo ravvicinata alle strutture abitative. Il cavo dell'elettrodotto scorre in alcuni punti a 20 metri di altezza da terra, passando sopra i parcheggi auto adiacenti alle abitazioni. Inoltre, dato che le villette si sono sviluppate in altezza, ne consegue che le distanze tra cavo e mura abitative si sono progressivamente ridotte.

Tale problematica sta suscitando quindi particolare allarme tra gli abitanti della zona con particolare riguardo al rispetto delle norme relative alla protezione dalle esposizioni dai campi elettromagnetici.

Premesso che l'Unione europea ha come priorità quella della tutela della salute dei cittadini, può la Commissione:

riferire se è al corrente della situazione;

far sapere se tale situazione viola le disposizioni europee in materia di esposizioni ai campi elettromagnetici, in particolare la raccomandazione 1999/519/CE, la direttiva 1999/5/CE e la direttiva 2006/95/CE;

illustrare quali azioni possono essere poste in essere per evitare il verificarsi di possibili danni biologici immediati o a lungo termine, derivanti dall'esposizione a campi elettromagnetici;

fornire un quadro generale a livello europeo dello stato della normativa in materia di protezione dall'esposizione ai campi elettromagnetici?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

La Commissione non è al corrente del fenomeno riferito dall’onorevole deputato.

Il trattato sul funzionamento dell’Unione europea conferisce agli Stati membri la competenza a legiferare in tema di tutela dei cittadini dai potenziali effetti di campi elettromagnetici (CEM). La raccomandazione del Consiglio 1999/519/CE (98) stabilisce orientamenti in materia di esposizione volti a garantire un alto livello di tutela della popolazione. La Commissione richiede periodicamente che si effettuino analisi indipendenti su fondamenti scientifici ed adeguatezza dei limiti di esposizione fissati nella raccomandazione. L’ultimo parere preliminare è stato pubblicato a fini di consultazione pubblica, la quale si è conclusa il 16 aprile 2014 (99).

La Commissione ritiene che gli attuali limiti di esposizione suggeriti nella raccomandazione del Consiglio comportino un livello elevato di tutela della salute dei cittadini.

In base alle informazioni in possesso della Commissione l’Italia applica limiti di esposizione più severi (inferiori) rispetto a quanto suggerito dalla raccomandazione del Consiglio.

Il fine della direttiva 1999/5/CE (100) e della direttiva 2006/95/CE (101) è quello di garantire che i prodotti che rientrano nel campo di applicazione di tali direttive e immessi sul mercato soddisfino gli obiettivi di sicurezza. Di questi ultimi fa parte la tutela dai rischi provenienti da apparecchiature elettriche e in particolare da radiazioni.

Nell'attuale quadro legislativo a livello di Commissione per quanto riguarda la tutela dall'esposizione ai CEM fa altresì parte la direttiva 2013/35/UE (102) sulle disposizioni minime di sicurezza e di salute relative all'esposizione dei lavorati ai rischi derivanti dagli agenti fisici.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002811/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Exposure to electromagnetic fields in the area of Setteville Nord

High-voltage power lines (380 kV) have been erected in the area of Setteville Nord in the municipality of Guidonia Montecelio. There are particular reports of a power line which runs too close to residential buildings. In some places, the power cable runs at a height of 20 metres above ground level, passing above the parking spaces alongside the dwellings. In addition, given that the dwellings have been built in an upwardly sprawling manner, the result has been a gradual reduction in the distances between the cable and the walls of the houses.

This issue is therefore causing great alarm among the area’s inhabitants, particularly as regards compliance with the rules governing protection from exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Given that the priority of the European Union is to safeguard the health of its citizens, can the Commission:

State whether it is aware of the situation?

Indicate whether this situation is in breach of the European provisions regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields, in particular Recommendation 1999/519/EC, Directive 1999/5/EC and Directive 2006/95/EC?

Illustrate what actions can be put in place to prevent any potential immediate or long-term biological damage as a result of exposure to electromagnetic fields?

Provide a general framework at European level of the current applicable legislation regarding protection from exposure to electromagnetic fields?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The Commission is not aware of the situation mentioned by the Honourable Member.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union confers the responsibility to the Member States to legislate on the protection of the citizens from the potential effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC (103) sets exposure guidelines meant to ensure a high level of protection of the public. The Commission peridically requests independent reviews of the scientific basis and adequacy of the exposure limits as set in the recommendation. The last preliminary opinion is currently published for public consultation, which closed on 16 April 2014 (104).

The Commission considers that current proposed exposure limits as suggested in the Council Recommendation offer a high level of protection of citizens' health.

According to the information in possession of the Commission Italy applies stricter (lower) exposure limits than those suggested by the Council Recommendation.

Directive 1999/5/EC (105) and Directive 2006/95/EC (106) aim to ensure that the products falling within their scope that are put on the market fulfil the relevant safety objectives. The safety objectives include protection against hazards arising from the electrical equipment and in particular those coming from radiation.

The current legislative framework at the Commission as regarding the protection from exposure to EMF includes also Directive 2013/35/EU (107) on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002812/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Progetto di bonifica dell'area contigua al lago di Vico e realizzazione di un parco per la riqualificazione dell'area: possibili finanziamenti

Il lago di Vico è un lago di origine vulcanica dell'Italia centrale situato nella provincia di Viterbo. Nel 1940 venne costruita sulle rive del lago una base destinata a ospitare laboratori e depositi di armi chimiche, la cosiddetta «chemical city». Nel dopoguerra l'impianto è stato rimesso in funzione per la custodia di armi chimiche e la produzione di candele nebbiogene e fumogeni. Nel 1996 furono scoperti 60 grandi serbatoi di fosgene letale sepolti nella base. Nel 2000 l'area è stata bonificata, ma nel 2009, nell'ambito dell'attività di monitoraggio dello stato ambientale del lago, l'ARPA Lazio ha eseguito alcune analisi su un campione di sedimento, evidenziando la presenza di valori molto superiori alla concentrazione soglia di contaminazione (CSC) per diversi parametri. In seguito all'allarme suscitato dalle analisi del lago, si vorrebbe promuovere un progetto diretto ad affrontare la grave crisi causata dall'inquinamento da veleni che ha investito il lago di Vico. In particolare l'operazione prevede l'utilizzo della tecnica della fitorimediazione, ossia l'uso di piante per l'estrazione e la detossificazione di sostanze inquinanti e la creazione di percorsi pensili su passerelle in legno per la creazione di un parco interattivo di bio-socializzazione.

Alla luce di quanto premesso, può la Commissione:

far sapere se esistono finanziamenti o bandi europei diretti a sostenere tale progetto;

illustrare quali sono i finanziamenti e le sovvenzioni volti a sostenere opere di riqualificazione e bonifica in territori contaminati nella nuova programmazione 2014‐2020;

fornire esempi di buone pratiche o progetti simili realizzati o finanziati nell'Unione europea per promuovere l'occupazione, soprattutto quella giovanile?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

1.-2. In linea di principio, gli Stati membri possono contare sul sostegno della politica di coesione UE, in particolare del Fondo sociale di sviluppo regionale (FESR), per investire in misure adottate nel settore della decontaminazione e rigenerazione dei siti dismessi.

In virtù del principio della gestione condivisa, la selezione delle priorità di investimento nel periodo 2014-2020 è proposta dalle autorità nazionali e regionali ed è approvata dalla Commissione. In particolare, le condizioni per il cofinanziamento FESR nel periodo 2014-2020 e le sue priorità di intervento sono determinate, a livello nazionale, nell'Accordo di partenariato e, a livello regionale, nei vari programmi. Questi documenti devono essere presentati alla Commissione nei prossimi mesi.

3.

Il Fondo sociale europeo (FSE) sostiene le iniziative per l'occupazione anche nei settori dei «lavori verdi», della cultura e del turismo. I giovani sono tra i beneficiari del FSE: le iniziative hanno coinvolto sino ad oggi più di 2 milioni di giovani in Italia (108). L'Onorevole parlamentare può trovare ulteriori informazioni nelle pubblicazioni specifiche indicate in nota (109).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002812/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Regeneration of the area adjacent to Lake Vico and creation of a park to redevelop the area: potential funding

Lake Vico is a caldera lake in the province of Viterbo in central Italy. In 1940, a base was built along the banks of the lake to accommodate laboratories and chemical weapons depots. This base was known as ‘chemical city’. In the post-war period, the plant was reopened for the safekeeping of chemical weapons and the manufacture of smoke-producing flares and smoke-grenades. In 1996, 60 large containers of lethal phosgene were discovered buried in the base. A regeneration of the area took place in 2000, but in 2009, while carrying out activities to monitor the environmental condition of the lake, ARPA Lazio (the Regional Environmental Protection Agency) conducted a number of tests on a sediment sample, which revealed the presence of values which far exceeded the contamination threshold concentrations for several parameters. Due to the alarm triggered by the analyses of the lake, we wish to promote a project to deal with the serious crisis caused by pollution from poisons which has plagued Lake Vico. The operation specifically foresees the use of phytoremediation, which involves the use of plants to extract and detoxify contaminants and the creation of raised paths on wooden walkways to create an interactive bio-socialisation park.

In the light of the above, can the Commission:

Provide details of any European funds or calls for tenders designed to support this project?

Clarify what funds and grants are available to support redevelopment and regeneration work in contaminated regions in the new 2014-20 planning period?

Provide examples of good practice or similar projects which have been implemented or financed by the European Union to promote employment, particularly among young people?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

1 and 2. In principle, Member States can draw on support from EU cohesion policy, in particular the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to invest in measures dealing with the decontamination and regeneration of brownfield sites.

By virtue of the shared management principle, the selection of the priorities for investment in 2014-2020 are proposed by the national and regional authorities and approved by the Commission. In particular, the conditions for ERDF co-financing in the 2014-2020 period and its priorities for intervention are set, at national level, in the Partnership Agreement and, at regional level, in the programmes. These documents are to be submitted to the Commission in the coming months.

3.

The European Social Fund (ESF) supports initiatives for employment also in the fields of green jobs and culture and tourism. Young people are among the ESF recipients: the initiatives involved so far more than 2 million young people in Italy (110). The Honourable Member can find more information in the specific publications listed below (111).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-002813/14

aan de Commissie

Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE)

(10 maart 2014)

Betreft: Vertegenwoordiging bij de uitwisseling van informatie over beste beschikbare technieken (proces van Sevilla)

Overeenkomstig artikel 13 van de richtlijn inzake industriële emissies (IED — 2010/75/EU) dient een uitwisseling van informatie te worden georganiseerd tussen „de lidstaten, de betrokken bedrijfstakken, niet-gouvernementele organisaties die zich inzetten voor milieubescherming, en de Commissie”. In het kader van de lopende herziening van het referentiedocument inzake de beste beschikbare technieken (BREF) voor grote verbrandingsinstallaties hebben diverse lidstaten (CZ, EE, FI, EL, HU, IT, MT, PL, PT, ES, UK) „deskundigen” genomineerd in de officiële delegatie van de lidstaat, die de bedrijven in de sector of gelieerde bedrijven rechtstreeks vertegenwoordigen.

In uitvoeringsbesluit nr. 2012/119/EU van de Commissie tot vaststelling van richtsnoeren voor het verzamelen van gegevens, alsook voor het opstellen van BREF's wordt het volgende bepaald: „Elke technische werkgroep (TWG) bestaat uit technische deskundigen die optreden als vertegenwoordigers van de lidstaten, bedrijfstakken, niet-gouvernementele organisaties (ngo's) die zich inzetten voor milieubescherming, en de Commissie.”

In de IED wordt een formeel onderscheid gemaakt tussen de volgende actoren: „lidstaten”, „bevoegde autoriteiten”, „betrokken bedrijfstak”, „exploitanten”, „betrokken publiek” en „de Commissie”. In artikel 3, lid 15, van de IED wordt de  term „exploitant” gedefinieerd, die de jure en de facto geen lidstaat kan zijn.

1.

Is de praktijk waarbij belanghebbenden die formeel worden gedefinieerd als zijnde geen lidstaten (d.w.z. „exploitanten” overeenkomstig artikel 3, lid 15) formeel optreden als vertegenwoordigers van de lidstaten, in overeenstemming met de IED en de BREF-uitvoeringsbepalingen?

2.

Is de delegatie van een lidstaat volledig vrij om een bepaalde belangengroep te nomineren om „het standpunt van de lidstaat te vertegenwoordigen”?

3.

Hoe draagt de Commissie zorg voor het behoud van een belangenevenwicht of het voorkomen van een belangenconflict tussen de lidstaten en het betrokken Commissiepersoneel, en acht zij het noodzakelijk de betreffende passage van de richtsnoeren te verduidelijken?

Antwoord van de heer Potočnik namens de Commissie

(23 april 2014)

Bij de uitwisseling van informatie inzake de beste beschikbare technieken (BREF) vereist de richtlijn inzake industriële emissies (2010/75/EU) (112) de participatie van drie verschillende groepen belanghebbenden — de lidstaten, de betrokken bedrijfstakken en de niet-gouvernementele organisaties die zich inzetten voor milieubescherming. Elk van deze drie groepen benoemt de deskundigen die hun standpunt in elke technische werkgroep vertegenwoordigen.

Niets in die Richtlijn weerhoudt „exploitanten” of „niet-gouvernementele organisaties die zich inzetten voor milieubescherming” ervan de vertegenwoordigers van de lidstaten bij te staan in de uitwisseling van informatie. Tijdens bijeenkomsten wordt er van de vertegenwoordigers van de lidstaten verwacht dat zij de standpunten van hun nationale autoriteiten aangeven.

De Commissie vindt dat een evenwicht tussen de belangen onmisbaar is voor de doeltreffende en efficiënte exploitatie van de technische werkgroepen, en is van mening dat de aangenomen richtsnoeren (113) geschikt zijn voor dat doel. Elke groep belanghebbenden voegt verschillende standpunten toe aan het proces, en deze zijn van onmisbaar belang bij het correct identificeren van de BREF's.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002813/14

to the Commission

Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Representation in the exchange of information on Best Available Techniques (Seville Process)

According to Article 13 of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) (2010/75/EU), an exchange of information must be organised between ‘Member States, the industries concerned, non-governmental organisations promoting environmental protection and the Commission’. For the ongoing review of the Large Combustion Plants Best Available Techniques Reference Document (BREF), several Member States (CZ, EE, FN, EL, HU, IT, MT, POL, PT, ES, UK) have nominated ‘experts’ within their official Member State delegation who directly represent operators in the sector or affiliates.

Commission Implementing Decision 2012/119/EU laying down rules concerning guidance on the collection of data and on the drawing up of BREFs states the following: ‘Each TWG consists of technical experts representing Member States, industries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promoting environmental protection and the Commission.’

The IED establishes a formal distinction between the following actors: ‘Member States’, ‘competent authorities’, ‘industry concerned’, ‘operators’, ‘public concerned’ and ‘the Commission’. Article 3(15) of the IED defines the term ‘operator’, which de jure and de facto cannot be a Member State.

1.

Is the practice whereby stakeholders formally defined as not being Member States (i.e. ‘operators’ under Article 3(15)) formally represent Member States in compliance with the IED and the BREF implementing rules?

2.

Is the Member State delegation entirely free to nominate any particular interest group to ‘represent the Member State position’?

3.

How does the Commission ensure a balance of interests or prevent a conflict of interests among Member States and the Commission staff involved, and does it see a need to clarify the relevant section of the guidance rules?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

The directive on industrial emissions (2010/75/EU) (114) identifies that exchanges of information on Best Available Techniques (BAT) should involve three distinct stakeholder groups — Member States, the industries concerned and non-governmental organisations promoting environmental protection. Each of these three groups nominates experts to represent their views in each technical working group.

Nothing in the directive precludes ‘operators’ or ‘non-governmental organisations promoting environmental protection’ from assisting Member State representatives in exchanging information. During meetings, Member State representatives are expected to present the views of their national authorities.

The Commission sees a balance of interests as integral to the effective and efficient operation of Technical Working Groups, and considers that the adopted guidance (115) is fit for this purpose. Each stakeholder group brings different perspectives to the process and these are essential to correctly identify BAT.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002814/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: EU legislation requiring fabricated metal products to carry a ‘CE’ marking

I have been contacted by a constituent who believes that there is EU legislation that may be implemented as of June 2014 that will require that fabricated metal products carry a ‘CE’ marking. My constituent is concerned at the amount of bureaucracy that will be involved in order to comply with the related directives.

He is aware that the system will involve structural steel products; however, there is uncertainty as to how it will be implemented. It appears that the ‘CE’ system originally only really applied to products that were traded across Europe as a whole, rather than just within a Member State; however, this no longer appears to be the case.

Could the Commission confirm:

If it can provide further information to help my constituent fully understand the CE marking system?

Whether the CE marking must be applied for goods traded within a Member State?

If it is aware that there are concerns that if the CE system is implemented, it will cripple the general metalworkers sector, since many in the sector do not have the infrastructure needed to handle the administrative burden? If so, what is the Commission doing in order to reduce the administrative burden on smaller companies?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2014)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that, concerning the CE marking for construction products under Regulation (EU) 305/2011, information and replies to frequently asked questions are provided on its website at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/construction/legislation/index_en.htm

Pursuant to Article 4 combined with Article 8 of the above Regulation, when a construction product is covered by a harmonised standard, or if a European Technical Assessment has been issued for it, the manufacturer must draw up a declaration of performance and must affix CE marking when such a product is placed on the market. This rule is applicable also for products intended to be marketed in only one Member State.

The Commission is aware of difficulties in the implementation of the harmonised product standard EN 1090-1 for structural steel components. The Commission intends to clarify the scope of this standard with the help of the competent standardisation experts before 1 July 2014, the date on which CE marking according to standard EN 1090-1 becomes obligatory. It should be noted that manufacturers, subject to their product(s) fulfilling the conditions stipulated in Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 305/2011, may refrain from drawing up the declaration of performance. However, such an action would prohibit them from CE marking the relevant product(s).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-002815/14

alla Commissione

Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Concessioni autostradali italiane

L'attuale quadro normativo italiano relativo all'affidamento dei lavori a terzi da parte dei concessionari autostradali (disposizioni all'articolo 253, comma 25, del codice dei contratti, decreto legislativo 163/2006, in attuazione delle direttive 2004/17/CE e 2004/18/CE) prevede, per i concessionari autostradali titolari di concessioni acquisite prima del 30 giugno 2002, ivi comprese quelle successivamente rinnovate o prorogate, la possibilità di realizzare il 40 % dei lavori direttamente (ossia tramite le proprie controllate), senza ricorso al mercato.

Considerando che:

si tratta, per lo più, di concessionari privati che, in quanto tali, non agiscono come amministrazioni pubbliche;

dette concessioni sono state tutte acquisite e/o prorogate senza confronto concorrenziale;

tale questione, sebbene legata a un caso specifico (Auto-Brennero S.p.A.) è stata già sottoposta all'attenzione della Commissione, con apposita interrogazione parlamentare n. 2576/13, e che la Commissione, in via generale, ha chiarito che il rinnovo e la proroga di una concessione equivalgono in genere all'affidamento diretto di un nuovo contratto non preceduto da procedure d'appalto, e in quanto tale in contrasto con la normativa UE in materia di appalti pubblici e concessioni;

il suddetto articolo 253, comma 25, laddove consenta l'affidamento diretto dei lavori alle collegate da parte dei soggetti ivi richiamati, pone seri dubbi di compatibilità con i principi dell'Unione sulla concorrenza, legittimando il concessionario scelto fiduciariamente ad affidare lavori a imprese scelte fiduciariamente a loro volta, con elusione di tutte le regole sull’evidenza pubblica;

può la Commissione far sapere:

se la norma ex articolo 253, comma 25, del codice dei contratti pubblici è compatibile con il trattato UE laddove consente ai concessionari autostradali che abbiano acquisito «a monte» la concessione senza gara, di realizzare «in house» il 40 % dei lavori;

come intende intervenire, qualora sussista tale incompatibilità, al fine di sanare questa anomalia del sistema di gestione delle concessioni autostradali in Italia?

Risposta di Michel Barnier a nome della Commissione

(8 aprile 2014)

1.

In situazioni come quelle descritte dall'onorevole deputato, l'elemento essenziale ai fini della conformità con il diritto dell'UE è l'aggiudicazione del contratto di concessione. Tali contratti devono essere aggiudicati in conformità con le norme dell'UE in materia di appalti pubblici e concessioni. Ciò significa che, qualora siano soddisfatte le condizioni applicabili, i concessionari devono essere scelti mediante procedure di gara concorrenziali, trasparenti e non discriminatorie (116). Tali concessionari non hanno, in linea di principio, alcun obbligo di concedere subappalti a terzi, a meno che essi non siano amministrazioni aggiudicatrici.

2.

Al fine di garantire il rispetto del diritto dell'UE, la Commissione è attualmente impegnata in discussioni con le autorità italiane sui vari aspetti relativi alle concessioni autostradali.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002815/14

to the Commission

Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Motorway management concessions in Italy

Current Italian framework legislation regarding subcontracting by the holders of motorway management concessions (Article 253(25) of the Public Procurement Code, Legislative Decree 163/2006 implementing Directive 2004/17/EC and Directive 2004/18/EC) authorises the holders of concessions acquired prior to 30 June 2002, including those subsequently renewed or extended, to carry out up to 40% of the works in house without putting them out to tender.

This relates mainly to private concession holders which, as such, do not function in the same way as public administrations, the concessions in question having all been acquired or extended in the absence of a competitive tendering procedure.

In connection with one specific instance ‐– Auto-Brennero Spa — the matter has already been raised in Question for written answer E-002576/2013 addressed to the Commission, which replied that, the extension of the duration or the renewal of a concession generally amounts to the direct award of a new contract without prior tendering procedures, which is contrary to EC law on public procurement and concessions.

The provisions of Article 253(25), authorising the direct award of contracts, raise serious doubts as to compliance with EU competition rules, enabling a directly selected concession holder to subcontract in turn to directly selected companies, regardless of public procurement requirements.

In view of this:

Can the Commission indicate whether the provisions of Article 253(25) of the Public Procurement Code are compatible with the EU Treaty insofar as they allow the holders of ‘upstream’ motorway concessions obtained without a competitive tendering procedure to have up to 40% of the works carried out ‘in house’?

What measures does it intend to take if necessary to remedy this motorway concession management anomaly arising from continued non-compliance in Italy?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 2014)

1.

In situations like those mentioned by the Honourable Member, the key issue in terms of compliance with EC law is the award of the concession contract. Such contracts have to be awarded in compliance with EU rules on public procurement and concessions. This means that, where the relevant conditions are fulfilled, concession holders have to be selected through competitive, transparent and non-discriminatory tendering procedures (117). Such concession holders have in principle no obligation to award sub-contracts to third parties, unless they are contracting authorities.

2.

With the view to ensuring compliance with EC law, the Commission is currently engaged in discussions with the Italian authorities on various issues concerning motorway concessions.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002816/14

an die Kommission

Axel Voss (PPE)

(10. März 2014)

Betrifft: Eurojust

Die Kommission hat am 17. Juli 2013 einen Vorschlag für eine Verordnung des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates betreffend die Agentur der Europäischen Union für justizielle Zusammenarbeit in Strafsachen (Eurojust) (KOM(2013)0535) vorgelegt. Dieser Vorschlag für eine Reform von Eurojust wurde gemeinsam mit einem Vorschlag für eine Verordnung des Rates über die Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft (KOM(2013)0534) eingebracht.

1.

Kann die Kommission angegeben, wie die Reform von Eurojust bewerkstelligt werden kann, wenn die Errichtung einer Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft nicht von allen Mitgliedstaaten unterstützt wird? Kann sie zudem Angaben darüber machen, inwieweit sich dies auf die Rolle von Eurojust auswirken wird?

2.

Kann die Kommission mitteilen, ob sich die Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft auf den Haushaltsplan von Eurojust auswirken wird?

3.

Gemäß Protokoll (Nr. 1) über die Rolle der nationalen Parlamente in der Europäischen Union und Artikel 85 des Vertrags über die Arbeitsweise der Europäischen Union legen das Europäische Parlament und die nationalen Parlamente gemeinsam fest, wie eine effiziente und regelmäßige Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Parlamenten innerhalb der Union gestaltet und gefördert werden kann, und bewerten gemeinsam die Tätigkeit von Eurojust. Kann die Kommission Auskunft darüber geben, in welchem Maß die nationalen Parlamente hieran beteiligt sind?

4.

Kann die Kommission Auskunft darüber geben, wie viele Mitgliedstaaten bislang den Beschluss 2009/426/JI des Rates umgesetzt haben?

5.

Kann die Kommission mitteilen, weshalb die Richtlinie 95/46/EG als Rechtsgrundlage für die Übermittlung personenbezogener Daten in Drittländer und an internationale Organisationen dient, obwohl diese Richtlinie keine Anwendung auf die Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten im Bereich des Strafrechts findet?

Antwort von Herrn Hahn im Namen der Kommission

(2. Mai 2014)

Die gesetzgeberische Arbeit zur Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft ist bereits fortgeschritten, es ist jedoch noch zu früh, um anzugeben, ob diese im Rahmen der verstärkten Zusammenarbeit errichtet wird. Sollte jedoch die Europäische Staatsanwaltschaft für Straftaten, die die finanziellen Interessen der Union betreffen, nicht zuständig sein, wäre Eurojust dafür zuständig, die nationalen Behörden zu unterstützen und die Zusammenarbeit in Fällen sicherzustellen, die sowohl einen teilnehmenden als auch einen nicht-teilnehmenden Mitgliedstaat betreffen.

Die Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft dürfte auf den Haushalt von Eurojust begrenzte Auswirkungen haben, und die Kosten sind durch interne Umschichtung zu bestreiten. Die endgültigen Auswirkungen auf den Haushaltsplan von Eurojust können jedoch erst nach der Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft bewertet werden.

In Bezug auf die Beteiligung der nationalen Parlamente möchte die Kommission auf Artikel 55 ihres Vorschlags verweisen. Den nationalen Parlamenten werden gemäß Artikel 56 des Vorschlags auch die Ergebnisse aller von der Kommission in Auftrag gegebenen Evaluierungen übermittelt.

Die Mitgliedstaaten haben der Kommission keine förmlichen Informationen zu ihrer Umsetzung des Beschlusses 2009/426/JI übermittelt.

„Angemessenheitsbeschlüsse“ können nur im Rahmen der Richtlinie 95/46/EG und nicht gemäß Rahmenbeschluss 2008/977/JI gefasst werden. Artikel 45 Absatz 1 Buchstabe a des Vorschlags stimmt mit Artikel 13 Absatz 1 Buchstabe d des Rahmenbeschlusses überein. Darin ist vorgesehen, dass ein angemessenes Datenschutzniveau in einem Drittstaat oder einer internationalen Organisation gewährleistet sein muss, bevor personenbezogene Daten an diesen Staat oder diese Organisation weitergeleitet werden dürfen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002816/14

to the Commission

Axel Voss (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Eurojust

On 17 July 2013 the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) (COM(2013)0535). This proposal for a reform of Eurojust was presented alongside a proposal for a Council regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (COM(2013)0534).

1.

Can the Commission say how it will proceed with the reform of Eurojust if the establishment of the EPPO is not supported by all the Member States, and can it provide information on the extent to which this will affect the role of Eurojust?

2.

Can the Commission say whether the establishment of the EPPO will have an impact on Eurojust’s budget?

3.

In accordance with Protocol No 1 on the role of national parliaments in the European Union and Article 85 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Parliament and national parliaments are to determine jointly the organisation and promotion of effective and regular interparliamentary cooperation within the Union and evaluate jointly Eurojust’s activities. Can the Commission provide information on the extent of the involvement of national parliaments in this regard?

4.

Can it provide information on the number of Member States that have implemented Council Decision 2009/426/JHA so far?

5.

Can the Commission say why Directive 95/46/EC was chosen as the legal basis for the transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations, even though this directive does not apply to the processing of personal data in the area of criminal law?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The legislative work on establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is well underway, however it is too early to consider whether it will be established under enhanced cooperation. Nevertheless in cases where the European Public Prosecutor's Office will not be competent to deal with a crime affecting the Union's financial interests, Eurojust would be competent to assist the national authorities and to ensure cooperation in cases which concern both a participating and a non-participating Member State.

The consequences of the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office on Eurojust's budget are expected to be limited, and are to be covered through internal redeployment. Nevertheless the final consequences for Eurojust's budget will be assessed once the European Public Prosecutor's Office is set up.

Concerning the involvement of national Parliaments, the Commission would refer to Article 55 of its proposal. National Parliaments will also receive the results of any evaluations commissioned by the Commission in accordance with Article 56 of the proposal.

Member States have not provided any formal information to the Commission on their implementation of Council Decision 2009/426/JHA

‘Adequacy decisions’ can only be taken under Directive 95/46, not under Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA. Article 45(1) point (a) of the proposal is in line with Article 13 (1)(d) of that Framework Decision, which also requires an adequate level of data protection in a third country or international organisation before personal data may be provided to that country or organisation.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002817/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR), Sonia Alfano (ALDE) e Tiziano Motti (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Cavalli da corsa e macellazione

La Commissione è già stata chiamata ad affrontare il problema dei cavalli non idonei alla macellazione venduti in quanto carne bovina o di altra specie animale.

Considerando che l'UE ha adottato diverse norme per la tutela degli animali in generale e di quelli considerati di compagnia o destinati ad attività sportive in particolare, e che vi è un continuo aumento degli introiti della criminalità organizzata del settore delle zoomafie e delle corse clandestine, può la Commissione far sapere se:

è a conoscenza della pericolosa situazione nella quale versano circa cento cavalli adibiti alle corse presso l'ippodromo italiano di Varese, che rischiano la macellazione o che potrebbero essere venduti, in modo ufficioso, per le corse clandestine;

ritiene, a tutela dei consumatori e degli animali, di ricordare alle autorità nazionali la necessità di ottemperare alle norme europee per il rispetto degli animali, e nello specifico dei cavalli da corsa, e per il corretto uso degli ippodromi, considerando l'aumento delle zoomafie e delle corse clandestine di cavalli che arricchiscono la criminalità organizzata;

ritiene di emanare specifiche norme che, per combattere la criminalità organizzata nel settore delle zoomafie, indichino la responsabilità di allevatori e di gestori di ippodromi per l'utilizzo di cavalli di loro proprietà o loro assegnati?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(24 aprile 2014)

La Commissione non è a conoscenza della pericolosa situazione in cui versano i cavalli adibiti alle corse presso l'ippodromo italiano di Varese.

L'UE non dispone di norme volte a proteggere i cavalli usati in occasione di mostre o competizioni. La questione rimane di competenza esclusiva degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002817/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR), Sonia Alfano (ALDE) and Tiziano Motti (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Racehorses and slaughter

The Commission has already been asked to tackle the problem of horses unfit for slaughter being sold as beef or meat of other animal species.

Considering that the EU has adopted various standards protecting animals in general and those considered pets or destined for sports in particular, and that the earnings of mafia-related organised crime from the animal sector and clandestine races are steadily rising, can the Commission state:

whether it is aware of the danger facing around 100 horses entered in races at the Varese race course in Italy, which are at risk of slaughter or could unofficially be sold on for clandestine races;

to protect consumers and the animals, does it consider it necessary to remind the national authorities of the need to conform to the European standards of respect for animals, specifically racehorses, and of proper use of race courses, considering that organised crime is prospering from the rise in the animal mafia and clandestine horse racing;

and does it consider it necessary to issue specific regulations against organised crime by the animal mafia, by making breeders and race course operators liable for the use of the horses owned by, or assigned to, them?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

The Commission is not aware of the danger facing horses used in the context of the Varese course in Italy.

The EU has no rules to protect horses used in the context of shows or competitions events. This issue remains under the sole competence of the Member States.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002818/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Progetto di ristorazione volto a riscoprire i valori della tradizione enogastronomica della regione Lazio: possibili finanziamenti

L'Unione europea si è sempre distinta nella messa a punto di politiche destinate all'educazione a livello di alimentazione e gastronomia sotto tutti i punti di vista, nutrizionale e dietetico, sociale e culturale, sensoriale e gastronomico.

Premesso ciò, è allo studio un progetto di ristorazione volto a riscoprire i valori della tradizione enogastronomica italiana. Lo scopo del progetto è quello di garantire un pasto fresco e genuino, con materie prime tracciate, nostrane e di comprovata qualità a prezzi sociali e al contempo educare e far riscoprire il valore della tradizione gastronomica della regione Lazio. Le materie prime saranno oggetto di un'accurata selezione, si favoriranno i prodotti di filiera corta, di comprovata qualità e di tracciatura garantita. In particolare, si prediligeranno materie prime provenienti da fabbriche artigianali. Verdure e ortaggi verranno forniti da aziende di agricoltura biologica locali, che mettono al primo posto non la produzione fine a se stessa, ma la produttività nella salvaguardia della salute dell'uomo e dell'ambiente. Sarà coinvolta nella filiera anche un'azienda nell'Agro Pontino che è fulcro di attività sociali, formative e didattiche ed è gestita da persone disabili accompagnate da un educatore.

Alla luce di quanto premesso, può la Commissione:

far sapere se esistono finanziamenti o bandi europei diretti alla realizzazione di tale progetto;

far sapere quali sono i finanziamenti previsti nella nuova programmazione 2014-2020 per il sostegno di progetti di ristorazione volti a riscoprire i valori della tradizione enogastronomica attraverso una gestione attenta a garantire qualità e tracciatura delle materie prime?

Risposta di Dacian Cioloș a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

Tra gli interventi cofinanziati dall’Unione europea a favore dello sviluppo rurale figurano progetti per la promozione della qualità degli alimenti, la qualità della vita nelle zone rurali e la diversificazione dell’economia rurale, che sono definiti e attuati a livello regionale.

Non esistono misure specifiche a sostegno del progetto menzionato dall’onorevole parlamentare, ma la creazione di un circuito enogastronomico per la promozione della qualità degli alimenti e del patrimonio rurale della Regione Lazio potrebbe essere sovvenzionata, a determinate condizioni, tramite le misure dell’asse 3 del programma di sviluppo rurale per il Lazio per il periodo 2007-2013, le misure 311 (Diversificazione verso attività non agricole) e 313 (Incentivazione di attività turistiche), nonché tramite l’approccio Leader. Il fornitore di derrate alimentari potrebbe inoltre essere ammissibile al sostegno nell’ambito dell’asse 1, misura 123 (Accrescimento del valore aggiunto dei prodotti agricoli e forestali) e dell'asse 2, misura 214 (Pagamenti agroambientali), in particolare per quanto riguarda la sottomisura specifica per l’agricoltura biologica.

Nel quadro del nuovo periodo di programmazione, il progetto potrebbe beneficiare della misura di cooperazione, degli interventi per la promozione della catena agroalimentare nell’ambito delle priorità dell’Unione in materia di sviluppo rurale e della misura Leader.

Per ulteriori informazioni, si invita l’onorevole parlamentare a contattare l'autorità di gestione del PSR Lazio, sig. Roberto Ottaviani, Assessorato all'Agricoltura, Regione Lazio, Via Rosa Raimondi Garibaldi 00145, 7 Roma, e-mail: rottaviani@regione.lazio.it.

Nell'ambito del FESR, il programma regionale 2007-2013 non prevede finanziamenti specifici. Con riguardo al periodo 2014-2020, questo tipo di progetto non risulta ammissibile al cofinanziamento del Fondo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002818/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Catering project aimed at rediscovering the values of the food and wine tradition in the region of Lazio: possible funding

The European Union has always made a point of devising policies for all-round education in food and catering, covering nutrition and diet, social, cultural, organoleptic and gastronomic aspects.

With this background, a catering project is being studied with the aim of rediscovering the values of Italy’s tradition of food and wine. The project seeks to guarantee a fresh, authentic meal using traced ingredients from our country, of proven quality, at affordable prices. At the same time, the project aims to educate and lead to a rediscovery of the value of the gastronomic tradition in the region of Lazio. The ingredients will be carefully selected. Products with a short supply chain, of proven quality and guaranteed traceability will be preferred. Special preference will be given to ingredients from handicraft factories. Greens and other vegetables will be supplied by local organic farms which prioritise productivity which safeguards human health and the environment rather than output as an end in itself. A farm in Agro Pontino, which is a hub of social, training and teaching activity will also become involved in the sector. The farm is managed by disabled people, with the support of a trainer.

In the light of the foregoing, can the Commission:

Indicate whether there are funds or European calls for applications for the implementation of such projects?

State what funding is provided in the new 2014-20 programme for the support of catering projects aimed at rediscovering the values of food and wine tradition by means of management which is careful to guarantee the quality and traceability of the ingredients?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The European Union co-finances interventions for rural development, including projects for the promotion of food quality, the quality of life in rural areas and the diversification of the rural economy, which are defined and implemented at the regional level.

There are no specific measures to support the project the Honourable Member refers to, however the creation of an eno-gastronomic circuit aimed at the promotion of food quality and of the rural heritage of Lazio Region could be supported, under certain conditions, through Axis 3 measures of the Rural Development Programme for Lazio for the 2007-2013 period, and through measures 311 — Diversification into non-agricultural activities and 313 — Encouragement of tourism activities, as well as through the Leader approach. In addition, the food provider may be eligible for support under Axis 1 measure 123 — Adding value to agricultural and forestry products and Axis 2 measure 214 — Agri-environment payments, with regard in particular to the specific sub-measure for organic farming.

Under the new period, the project could be supported through the cooperation measure, the interventions for the promotion of agri-food chain within the scope of the Union priorities for rural development and through the Leader measure.

For further information, the Honourable Member is invited to contact, the Managing Authority of Lazio RDP, Mr Roberto Ottaviani, Assessorato all'Agricoltura, Regione Lazio, via Rosa Raimondi Garibaldi 7, 00145 Roma, email: rottaviani@regione.lazio.it

As concerns the ERDF, no specific funding is foreseen in the 2007-2013 regional programme. As concerns 2014-2020, this type of project does not appear to be eligible for the ERDF co-financing.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002819/14

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(10 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Solicitud de LIC del sur y oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote

El Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de España parece estar dando un trato discriminatorio a la solicitud para la declaración de Lugar de Interés Comunitario (LIC) del Sur y Oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote, para poder permitir que se realicen las prospecciones petrolíferas proyectadas sin deber atenerse a las exigencias que la Directiva de Hábitats estipula en caso de ser declarado como LIC.

El Ministerio ha propuesto diez LIC marinos situados en diferentes puntos de la costa española, de estos diez, nueve solicitudes han sido tramitadas y enviadas a la Comisión Europea para su estudio. La décima, la propuesta del Sur y Oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote, es la única que no ha sido enviada y se encuentra en espera de tramitación, ralentizando el conjunto del procedimiento y excluyendo tal LIC marino de la protección preventiva que especifica la Directiva de Hábitats. Tal falta de protección es particularmente grave, dada la inminente declaración de impacto ambiental de las prospecciones petrolíferas en Canarias y la anunciada sentencia del Tribunal Supremo el próximo 1 de abril en relación con 8 recursos presentados por distintas instituciones y entidades contra las prospecciones petrolíferas. Las memorias técnicas de todas las solicitudes se encuentran publicadas por el Ministerio, con la excepción de la referente al citado LIC. Los socios de Indemares, que han elaborado la citada memoria técnica para el Sur y Oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote, insisten en que dicha memoria está finalizada y presentada al Ministerio. Miembros de la sociedad civil han solicitado al Ministerio dicha memoria sin, ni tan siquiera, recibir respuesta alguna, impidiendo el acceso a dicha información.

Ante lo expuesto, ¿está al corriente la Comisión de la propuesta de LIC del Sur y Oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote? ¿Ha recibido información alguna por parte del Gobierno de España sobre la citada solicitud y documentación relacionada? ¿Considera justificado dicho retraso en la tramitación del expediente, vista la inminencia de la realización de prospecciones petrolíferas en la zona y los riesgos ambientales que estas pueden acarrear? A la luz de la información presentada, ¿no considera que el Gobierno de España está dando un trato discriminatorio a la citada solicitud de LIC del Sur y Oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote? ¿No considera, pues, que España está infringiendo en este caso la Directiva 2003/4/CE relativa al acceso del público a la información, así como el Convenio de Aarhus?

Respuesta del Sr. Potočnik en nombre de la Comisión

(10 de mayo de 2014)

El sur y el oriente de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote constituyen una de las diez zonas contempladas en el proyecto LIFE Indemares (118) que se han propuesto como lugares de interés comunitario (LIC) para completar las insuficiencias de que adolece actualmente la red marina de Natura 2000. En virtud del proyecto LIFE, España se ha comprometido a presentar estas nuevas propuestas a la Comisión para finales de 2014; esta todavía no ha recibido ninguna.

De acuerdo con lo manifestado por España, la evaluación de impacto ambiental (EIA) del proyecto de prospección petrolífera que se está realizando actualmente tendrá en cuenta todos los factores que se enumeran en el artículo 3 de la Directiva 2011/92/UE (119). Además, España debe establecer un marco jurídico coherente y aplicar un sistema efectivo de protección estricta de las especies animales enumeradas en el anexo IV, letra a), de la Directiva sobre los Hábitats en su medio natural.

La Directiva 2003/4/CE dispone (120) que el público ha de tener acceso a la información medioambiental, salvo en limitadas excepciones. Las autoridades públicas están obligadas a tramitar las solicitudes en unos plazos estrictos y a alegar los motivos por los que se deniegue facilitar información medioambiental. Además, el público tiene derecho a solicitar un recurso administrativo y un examen judicial de la denegación, de su motivación o de la falta de respuesta. De la información facilitada por Su Señoría no queda claro si los plazos aplicables han expirado ni si los solicitantes han hecho uso de las soluciones administrativa y judicial, por lo que no es posible determinar si se han infringido la Directiva 2003/4/CE y el Convenio de Aarhus.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002819/14

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Application to designate the south and east of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote as a Site of Community Interest

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment has been acting discriminately in respect of an application to designate the south and east of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote as a Site of Community Interest (SCI). The Spanish Government’s actions appear to be motivated by a desire to allow oil prospecting to go ahead in the area without having to meet the Habitats Directive requirements relating to SCIs.

The ministry has drawn up applications for 10 marine SCIs at various locations on the Spanish coast. Nine of the applications have been processed and forwarded to the Commission for consideration. The tenth, which concerns the aforementioned areas of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, is the only proposal not to have been forwarded. The application still needs to be processed, which is slowing down the whole procedure and preventing the protection measures specified in the Habitats Directive from being applied to the proposed SCI. This lack of protection is very worrying, given that the findings of an assessment of the environmental impact of oil prospecting in the Canary Islands are about to be released, and that on 1 April 2014 the Supreme Court will give its ruling on eight appeals lodged by various institutions and bodies against the oil prospecting. All the technical reports accompanying the applications have been published by the ministry, save the report on the proposed Fuerteventura‐Lanzarote site. The INDEMARES project partners who drew up that report have said that it has been finalised and forwarded to the ministry. Civil society representatives have asked the ministry to release the report, but have had no response and are therefore unable to gain access to the information it contains.

Is the Commission aware of the proposal to designate the south and east of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote as an SCI? Has it received any information from the Spanish Government regarding the application, or any related documentation? Does it think that the delays in the proceedings are justifiable, given that oil prospecting is set to begin in the area very shortly and could pose environmental risks? In the light of the above, would it not agree that the Spanish Government is discriminating against the application to make the area in question an SCI? Would it not agree that, in this instance, Spain is acting in breach of Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information, and of the Aarhus Convention?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(10 May 2014)

The South and East of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote is one of the ten areas identified under the LIFE project Indemares (121) to be proposed as Sites of Community Importance (SCI) in order to complete the current insufficiencies of the marine Natura 2000 network. Under the LIFE project Spain has committed to present these proposals to the Commission by the end of 2014. The Commission has not received any of these proposals yet.

According to Spain, the on-going environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the oil prospecting project will take account of all the factors described under Article 3 of the directive 2011/92/EU (122). Additionally, Spain should establish a coherent legal framework and implement an effective system of strict protection for the animal species listed in Annex IV (a) of the Habitats Directive in their natural range.

Directive 2003/4/EC provides (123) for the public to have access to environmental information, subject to limited exceptions. The public authorities are obliged to handle the request within strict deadlines and to give reasons for every refusal to make environmental information available. In addition, the public is provided with the right to request an administrative review and judicial review of the refusal, its motivation or the lack of reply. From the information provided by the Honourable Member it is not clear whether the applicable deadlines have expired and whether the applicants have had recourse to the available administrative and judicial remedies. Therefore, on the basis of the available information, a breach of Directive 2003/4/EC and the Aarhus Convention cannot be established.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002820/14

to the Commission

Philip Bradbourn (ECR)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: EU emissions trading system

The Commission published its 2030 climate change package on 22 January 2014 and set a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40%. To achieve this target, those sectors included in the EU emissions trading system will see their linear reduction factor changed from 1.74% to 2.2% in phase IV. The 1.74% reduction factor uses a start point of the average quantity of allowances issued from 2008 to 2012. It is not clear from the information published by the Commission whether the 2.2% reduction factor will use the same start point or whether the 2.2% annual reduction from 2021 onwards will use the 2020 emission cap as the start point. The Commission is asked to clarify this.

Answer given by Ms Hedegaard on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The Commission has not yet made a legislative proposal. However the assumption underlying the calculations relating to the Commission's Communication of 22 January 2014 was that the linear reduction factor of 2.2% would be applied from 2021 onwards to the average total quantity of allowances issued in 2008-2012 for all sectors.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002821/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Protection des enfants contre l'alcoolisme d'un proche

En 2006, la Commission européenne a publié une communication sur une stratégie visant à aider les États membres à réduire les dommages liés à l'alcool. Un des objectifs principaux de cette stratégie était de protéger les enfants contre l'alcoolisme d'un proche. En effet, dans les familles connaissant un ou plusieurs cas d'alcoolisme, les enfants sont les premières victimes d'actes pouvant aller de la négligence à des cas graves de violence et de maltraitance physique. Je suis heureux de voir que l'Union européenne est sensible à ce sujet et que la Commission a déjà lancé une stratégie. Cependant, le rapport d'évaluation de la Commission de 2009 ne montre quasiment aucune évolution de la protection des enfants face à l'alcoolisme. De plus, le rapport indique que onze États membres n'ont toujours pas de stratégie de réduction des dommages liés à l'alcool.

La Commission est invitée à répondre aux questions suivantes:

Comment la situation a-t-elle évolué?

Comment la Commission compte-t-elle inciter les États membres à progresser dans ce domaine?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(24 avril 2014)

L'un des objectifs de la stratégie de l'UE sur l'alcool (124) adoptée en 2006 est de réduire les dommages causés aux enfants dans les familles qui connaissent des problèmes d'alcool. Une évaluation (125) de cette stratégie réalisée en 2012 a confirmé la pertinence de cette approche globale. Cette évaluation a montré que la plupart des États membres ont actualisé et renforcé leurs stratégies sur l'alcool ces dernières années, sur la base de mesures fondées sur des données probantes, et ont évolué dans la direction définie par la stratégie de l'UE.

Du fait que les objectifs et priorités de la stratégie sur l'alcool de l'UE demeurent valides, la Commission continue de mener des initiatives dans ce domaine, avec, notamment, le comité de politique et d'action nationales en matière d'alcool et le Forum européen «Alcool et santé».

Dans ce cadre, le comité susmentionné prépare actuellement un plan d'action de deux ans (2014-2016) axé sur la jeunesse et la surconsommation ponctuelle d'alcool. Ce plan d'action fournira une référence aux États membres et aux autres parties prenantes pour mettre en œuvre des actions concrètes.

En outre, le comité a entamé un processus de réflexion sur l'évolution possible de la politique en matière d'alcool de l'UE. Les conclusions de ce processus seront soigneusement examinées en vue de définir de futures initiatives de la Commission en soutien à l'action des États membres en matière de réduction des dommages liés à l'alcool.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002821/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Protecting children from alcoholism in the family

In 2006, the Commission published a communication on a strategy to help Member States reduce alcohol-related harm. One of the strategy’s main aims was to protect children from alcoholism in their families. In families where alcoholism is present, children are the first to suffer the impact of behaviour ranging from neglect to serious violence and physical abuse. I am pleased to see that the European Union is alive to this issue and that the Commission has rolled out its strategy. However, the evaluation report that it published in 2009 records virtually no progress on protecting children from alcoholism. Moreover, according to the report, 11 Member States still have no strategy in place for reducing alcohol-related harm.

Can the Commission indicate:

whether the situation has changed; and

how it intends to incentivise Member States to do more in this field?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

One of the aims of the EU Alcohol Strategy (126) adopted in 2006 is to reduce the harm suffered by children in families with alcohol abuse related problems. An evaluation (127) of the strategy finalised in 2012 confirmed the pertinence of the comprehensive approach presented in the strategy. According to this evaluation, most Member States have updated and strengthened their alcohol strategies over the past years, building on evidence-based measures and moving in the direction outlined in the EU Strategy.

Based on the fact that the objectives and priorities of the EU Alcohol Strategy are still valid, the Commission continues to implement initiatives in this area in particular with the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action and the European Alcohol and Health Forum.

In this context, the Committee is currently preparing a 2-year Action Plan (2014-2016) focusing on youth and heavy episodic drinking (binge drinking). This Action Plan will provide a reference for Member States and other stakeholders to implement concrete actions.

Furthermore, the Committee has started a reflection process on the possible future development of EU alcohol policy. The result of this process will be carefully examined in view of shaping future Commission initiatives in support to the Member States' action to reduce alcohol related harm.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002822/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Règle d'origine

Les Européens sont mondialement connus pour la qualité de leurs produits alimentaires. Plus que de simples produits de consommation, ils constituent un véritable patrimoine culturel. Avec l'ouverture de nos frontières au reste du monde, nous devons être particulièrement attentifs à la préservation de ceux-ci. L'appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), ou protégée (AOP), est l'un de ces outils. Cependant, force est de constater que les différentes règles d'origine ne sont parfois pas respectées par des pays partenaires de l'Union européenne.

1.

Comment la Commission fait-elle face aux infractions en matière de règle d'origine?

2.

De manière plus générale, quelle est la stratégie de la Commission en matière de contrefaçon?

Réponse donnée par M. Cioloș au nom de la Commission

(12 mai 2014)

Les actions administratives et judiciaires pour empêcher ou mettre un terme à l'utilisation illégale dans l'Union européenne des appellations d'origine protégées (AOP) et des indications géographiques protégées (IGP) relèvent de la compétence des États membres, conformément à l'article 13 du règlement (UE) no 1151/2012 relatif aux systèmes de qualité applicables aux produits agricoles et aux denrées alimentaires (128).

La Commission participe à plusieurs activités visant à renforcer la capacité du système de contrôle de l'UE pour lutter contre la fraude alimentaire. En particulier, elle a mis en place un réseau de points de contact nationaux concernant la fraude alimentaire impliquant des représentants des États membres, échangeant des informations et facilitant la coopération administrative.

La Commission agit en outre en faveur de la protection des AOP et IGP moyennant la négociation d'accords bilatéraux avec les partenaires commerciaux de l'Union européenne, ce qui élargit leur protection en dehors du territoire de l'Union contre toute utilisation illégale ou pratique déloyale.

Le législateur de l'UE a également mis en place l'Observatoire européen des atteintes aux droits de propriété intellectuelle, qui encourage une meilleure collaboration entre les parties prenantes publique et privée dans la lutte contre l'atteinte aux DPI et favorise la sensibilisation des citoyens à ce sujet.

De surcroît, un instrument d'accompagnement pour les enquêtes sur la contrefaçon a été conçu pour collecter des données statistiques sur les saisies effectuées aux frontières de l'UE et au sein du marché intérieur de l'UE, ce qui permet d'identifier les tendances en matière d'infraction.

La Commission prépare également un plan d'action contre ces activités d'atteinte à la propriété intellectuelle proposant une action concertée pour lutter de façon plus efficace contre ce phénomène et axé sur la lutte contre les activités d'atteinte à la propriété intellectuelle commises à une échelle commerciale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002822/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Origin rules

Europe is known throughout the world for the quality of its foods. More than just consumer products, they are part of our cultural heritage. As Europe trades more and more with the rest of the world, we must be particularly careful to safeguard our traditional foods and the protected designation of origin (PDO) scheme is one tool which can be used to do just that. Unfortunately, however, the EU's partner countries do not always observe the origin rules.

1.

How does the Commission deal with breaches of the origin rules?

2.

More generally, what is the Commission's strategy on counterfeiting?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

Administrative and judicial actions to prevent or stop unlawful use in the European Union of protected designations of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indications (PGIs) are the competence of Member States, acting in accordance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (129).

The Commission is engaged in a number of activities aimed at strengthening the ability of the EU control system to counter food fraud. In particular, it has established a network of Food Fraud national contact points involving representatives of Member States, exchanging information and facilitating administrative cooperation.

The Commission further pursues the protection of PDOs and PGIs by negotiating bilateral agreements with the commercial partners of the European Union, thus enlarging their protection outside the territory of the European Union against any unlawful use or unfair practice.

The EU legislator has also established the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, encouraging greater collaboration between public and private stakeholders in the fight against IPR infringements and raising citizens’ awareness in that respect.

In addition, a Counterfeiting Intelligence Support Tool has been developed, collecting statistics on seizures carried out at EU borders and within the EU Internal Market, thus helping to identify infringement trends.

The Commission is also preparing an Action Plan on IP infringing activities, proposing concerted action to tackle IP infringements more efficiently and focus on the fight against commercial scale IP infringing activities.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002823/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Sport associatif

Les associations sportives constituent des éléments importants de cohésion sociale. Les clubs de sport permettent à de nombreuses personnes de se retrouver régulièrement autour d'une même passion. Ce sont ces genres d'initiatives que nous devons promouvoir afin de faire face aux grands défis sociétaux.

Quelle est la politique de la Commission en matière d'associations sportives?

Réponse donnée par Mme Vassiliou au nom de la Commission

(28 avril 2014)

La Commission convient que les clubs sportifs en Europe ont un rôle à jouer en tant que facteurs de cohésion et d'inclusion sociales. Les résultats de la récente enquête Eurobaromètre sur le sport et l'activité physique, qui ont été publiés le 24 mars 2014, confirment que ces clubs contribuent à l'engagement des citoyens dans des activités physiques et sportives. Selon cette enquête, les citoyens de l'UE ont tendance à pratiquer des activités sportives non seulement pour améliorer leur santé, mais également pour s'amuser, passer du temps avec des amis, faire de nouvelles connaissances, rencontrer des gens d'autres cultures et mieux s'intégrer dans la société.

La Commission promeut la participation aux activités physiques et sportives dans le cadre de son programme politique et de la mise en œuvre du nouveau chapitre «Sport» du programme Erasmus+. Dans le contexte d'Erasmus+, les organisations de sport amateur et de sport de masse, les fédérations sportives et les associations sportives nationales peuvent participer à des projets transnationaux de collaboration qui favorisent une plus grande participation sportive et un accès égal au sport, les activités de volontariat dans le sport, l'inclusion sociale, ainsi que la prise de conscience de l'importance d'une activité physique bienfaisante pour la santé. Environ 500 projets de collaboration réunissant à peu près 2 500 partenaires devraient être financés entre 2014 et 2020. Les organisations sportives peuvent également présenter des demandes de financement pour l'organisation de grands événements sportifs européens non commerciaux.

Les clubs sportifs sont susceptibles de bénéficier d'un financement si leurs activités s'inscrivent dans le cadre d'un plan de développement national ou régional.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002823/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Sports clubs

Sports clubs are major factors in social cohesion, making it possible for large numbers of people with a shared enthusiasm to get together regularly. Such activities must be encouraged in order to meet society's major challenges.

What is the Commission's policy on sports clubs?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

The Commission agrees that sport clubs in Europe have a role to play in contributing to social cohesion and inclusion. The results from the recent Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity, published on 24 March 2014, confirm their role in engaging society in sport and physical activity. According to the survey, EU citizens tend to practise sport not only to improve health, but also to have fun, to be with friends, to make new acquaintances, to meet people from other cultures and to better integrate into society.

The Commission promotes participation in sport and physical activity as part of its policy agenda and when implementing the new Sport chapter of the Erasmus+ programme. Within the context of Erasmus+, amateur and grass-root sport organisations, sport federations and national sport associations can participate in transnational collaborative partnerships which promote increased participation in and equal access to sport, voluntary activities in sport, social inclusion, and awareness of the importance of health enhancing physical activity. Some 500 collaborative partnership involving around 2,500 partners are expected to be funded between 2014 and 2020. Sport organisations can also apply for funding for the organisation of non-commercial European sporting events of major importance.

Sports clubs may potentially benefit from funding where their activities form part of a national/regional development plan.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002824/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Maladies rares

Les personnes qui souffrent de maladies rares sont très souvent victimes du manque d'expertise en la matière ou encore du manque d'intérêt des industries pharmaceutiques à leur égard. Le marché unique devrait servir ces personnes en leur facilitant l'accès à des expertises provenant d'autres États membres.

1.

Quelle est la stratégie de la Commission en la matière?

2.

La Commission a-t-elle recensé les différentes maladies rares en Europe?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(29 avril 2014)

La stratégie actuelle de la Commission dans le domaine des maladies rares repose sur sa communication de 2008 (130) et sur la recommandation du Conseil du 8 juin 2009 (131). Elle vise fondamentalement trois objectifs, à savoir améliorer la reconnaissance et la mise en évidence des maladies rares, encourager la recherche sur ces maladies et renforcer la coopération, la coordination et la réglementation à l'échelon européen.

Le règlement (CE) n° 141/2000 (132) du Parlement européen et du Conseil concernant les médicaments orphelins a pour objet d'instaurer des mesures d'incitation visant à favoriser la recherche sur les maladies rares, ainsi que la mise au point et la commercialisation de médicaments permettant de les traiter. À ce jour, la Commission européenne a déjà autorisé quatre-vingt-dix-sept médicaments orphelins et désigné comme tels mille neuf produits.

Par ailleurs, s'agissant des droits des patients en matière de soins de santé transfrontaliers, la Commission doit, en application de la directive 2011/24/UE du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 9 mars 2011 (133), aider à la mise en place de réseaux de référence européens destinés à faciliter l'accès à des soins de qualité aux patients dont l'état de santé nécessite une concentration particulière de compétences d'experts, dans les domaines où de telles compétences sont rares. Elle a adopté une décision déléguée établissant les conditions et critères auxquels doivent satisfaire les réseaux européens de référence et les prestataires de soins de santé qui souhaitent y adhérer, ainsi qu'une décision d'exécution fixant les critères de mise en place et d'évaluation des réseaux de référence européens. Ces deux décisions devraient paraître au Journal officiel en mai (sous réserve de leur approbation par le Parlement européen).

Pour assurer la disponibilité des informations, la Commission, via ses programmes dans le domaine de la santé, apporte un soutien continu au portail Orphanet (134), une base de données mondiale comprenant des informations sur les maladies rares et un inventaire récent de plus de six mille cinq cents maladies rares.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002824/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Rare diseases

People who suffer from rare diseases are very often the victims of a lack of specialist expertise or of the indifference of the pharmaceuticals industry. The single market should cater for such people by facilitating their access to expertise from other Member States.

1.

What is the Commission’s strategy in this regard?

2.

Has Commission identified the various rare diseases found in Europe?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The Commission's current strategy is based on the 2008 Commission Communication on Rare Diseases (135) and the Council recommendation of 8 June 2009 (136), mainly focusing on the need for an increased recognition and visibility of rare diseases, encouraging research and developing cooperation, coordination and regulation at EU level.

The regulation (EC) No 141/2000 (137) of the European Parliament and of the Council on orphan medicines aims at providing incentives for the research, marketing and development of medicines for rare diseases. To date, the European Commission has already authorised 97 orphan medicines and designated 1009 products as orphan medicinal products.

In addition, in the area of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, the directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 (138) requires the Commission to support the development of European Reference Networks in particular to facilitate access to high quality care for patients with conditions requiring a particular concentration of expertise in domains where expertise is rare. The delegated decision establishing the criteria and conditions to be fulfilled by Networks and healthcare provider wishing to join a Network and the implementing decision on the criteria for the establishment and evaluation of the Networks were adopted by Commission. Both of these decisions should be published in the OJ in May (subject to the approval of the European Parliament).

In order to ensure access to information, the Commission via its Health Programmes is continuously supporting the Orphanet database (139) which is a global repository of information on rare diseases and updated lists descriptions of more than 6500 rare diseases.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002825/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Microfinancements

La Commission européenne a mis en place des programmes de microcrédits destinés aux travailleurs indépendants et aux entreprises de moins de dix salariés. La Commission ne finance pas directement ces personnes ou ces entreprises mais se sert d'intermédiaires financiers.

La Commission peut-elle nous expliquer:

Quels sont ces intermédiaires financiers et

De quelle manière sont informés les travailleurs indépendants et les entreprises de la possibilité de recevoir un microcrédit?

Réponse donnée par M. Andor au nom de la Commission

(2 mai 2014)

La Commission, par l'instrument européen de microfinancement Progress, vise à améliorer la disponibilité de microcrédits destinés à la création ou au développement des petites entreprises. La Commission continuera de fournir un soutien au microfinancement dans le cadre du nouveau programme pour l'emploi et l'innovation sociale (140).

La Commission met en œuvre l'instrument de microfinancement Progress en passant par des intermédiaires financiers dans les États membres. Il existe actuellement 40 fournisseurs de microcrédit (banques, prestataires non bancaires, publics, privés) dans 18 États membres. Leur liste est continuellement mise à jour sur le site web de la Commission (141) ainsi que dans un rapport annuel, dont la dernière version a été publiée en juillet 2013 (142). De plus, les sources de microfinancement sont incluses dans le portail général d'accès au financement de l'UE (143).

La promotion de l'instrument de microfinancement Progress s'effectue à divers niveaux. La Commission a créé un site internet spécifique à cet effet et a préparé des documents promotionnels sur papier dans toutes les langues officielles (144). Par ailleurs, la Commission coopère activement avec les réseaux européens qui promeuvent le microfinancement. Des fonctionnaires de la Commission ont participé à de nombreux événements mettant en avant le programme et faisant appel aux médias sociaux.

En outre, les intermédiaires eux-mêmes et le FEI organisent diverses activités pour attirer l'attention des entrepreneurs sur leurs produits.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002825/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Microfinance programmes

The Commission has set up microfinance programmes to assist self-employed persons and firms with fewer than 10 employees. It does not provide the funding directly, but channels it through financial intermediaries.

Can the Commission say:

who these financial intermediaries are, and

how self-employed persons and small firms are informed about the possibility of obtaining a microloan?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission, via the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance), aims at increasing the availability of microcredit for setting up or developing a small business. The Commission will continue to provide microfinance support under the new Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) (145).

The Commission implements Progress Microfinance through financial intermediaries in the Member States. Currently there are 40 microcredit providers (banks, non-bank providers, public and private) in 18 Member States. Their list is continuously updated on the Commission's website (146) as well as in an annual report, the latest version of which was published in July 2013 (147). Moreover, microfinance sources of financing are included in the general Commission portal on access to EU finance (148).

The promotion of Progress Microfinance is done at various levels. The Commission has set up a dedicated website and prepared paper promotional materials in all official languages (149). In addition, the Commission actively cooperates with EU-level networks active in the promotion of microfinance. Commission officials have participated at multiple events where the programme was promoted and made use of social media.

In addition, the intermediaries themselves and the EIF arrange various promotional activities to attract entrepreneurs to their products.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002827/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Promotion des Droits de l'homme dans le voisinage de l'UE

La promotion des Droits de l'homme fait partie intégrante des valeurs de l'Union européenne. De plus, l'UE s'est dotée d'une charte des droits fondamentaux qui possède la même valeur juridique que les traités. La politique de voisinage (PEV) de l'UE concentre sa conditionnalité autour de valeurs telles que la démocratie, l'État de droit et le respect des droits fondamentaux. Pourtant, de nombreux progrès restent encore à faire dans ce domaine.

1.

La Commission peut-elle faire état des avancées en matière de respect des Droits de l'homme dans le voisinage de l'UE?

2.

La Commission estime-t-elle que la conditionnalité est la meilleure façon d'arriver à des résultats positifs?

Réponse donnée par le commissaire Füle au nom de la Commission

(20 mai 2014)

1.

La promotion de la démocratie, de l'État de droit et des Droits de l'homme fait partie des objectifs fondamentaux de la PEV. Ces principes fondateurs ont été particulièrement mis en évidence dans la PEV révisée (25.5.2011) (150), où ils ont été qualifiés de «démocratie solide et durable».

Les progrès accomplis dans le domaine des Droits de l'homme et de la démocratisation sont inégaux dans les pays partenaires. L'an dernier, nombre d'entre eux ont organisé l'élection des pouvoirs exécutif et législatif (GE, AM, MD, AZ, EG, LY, TN, MA). Cependant, dans un certain nombre de cas, ces élections ont été entachées par des irrégularités ou n'ont pas garanti des conditions de concurrence égales pour tous les candidats. Des réformes constitutionnelles ont aussi été approuvées dans plusieurs pays (MA, TN, EG, GE, MD), mais leur mise en œuvre est souvent lente, voire absente. Il n'en reste pas moins que l'établissement d'une démocratie solide et durable constitue un objectif à long terme et un processus complexe qui exige une réelle volonté politique et la participation pleine et entière d'une grande partie de la société. Un soutien à long terme est nécessaire pour améliorer les résultats obtenus par les pays partenaires en matière de Droits de l'homme et de gouvernance démocratique.

2.

La nouvelle PEV suit une approche fondée sur les incitations afin d'encourager l'émergence d'une démocratie solide et durable et la mise en place de réformes majeures en ce sens. Les liens entre l'UE et les pays de la PEV tiennent compte de la manière dont ces valeurs se reflètent dans les pratiques nationales et la mise en œuvre des politiques. L'UE s'est engagée à accorder un appui politique et financier supplémentaire aux pays partenaires qui mettent en œuvre davantage de réformes démocratiques. Elle a renforcé son dialogue et sa coopération sur ces questions, notamment par l'intermédiaire du représentant spécial de l'Union européenne pour les Droits de l'homme.

Cette approche a déjà encouragé et récompensé les réformes de pays tels que la Géorgie, la Moldavie, la Tunisie et le Maroc.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002827/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Promoting human rights in the neighbourhood of the EU

The promotion of human rights is an integral part of the EU’s values. Furthermore, the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same legal value as the Treaties. The ‘conditionality’ of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy is based around values such as democracy, the rule of law and upholding fundamental rights. However, much progress remains to be made in this area.

1.

Could the Commission outline the progress that has been made in the neighbourhood of the EU as regards upholding human rights?

2.

Does the Commission take the view that ‘conditionality’ is the best way of achieving positive results?

Answer given by Commissioner Füle on behalf of the Commission

(20 May 2014)

1.

Promoting democracy, the rule of law and human rights are fundamental objectives of the ENP. Those founding principles were particularly underlined in the revised ENP (25.5.2011) (151) and framed as ‘deep and sustainable democracy’.

Progress in the area of human rights and democratisation are uneven in partner countries. Elections of the executive and of the legislative powers took place last year in many partner countries (GE, AM, MD, AZ, EG, LY, TN, MA). In a number of cases however, these elections were marred by irregularities or did not provide a level playing field for all contestants. Constitutional reforms were also endorsed in several countries (MA, TN, EG, GE, MD), however progress in implementing those reforms is often slow or lacking. Nevertheless, achieving deep and sustainable democracy is a long term goal and a complex process requiring genuine political will and the comprehensive involvement of large parts of societies. Long-term support is needed to improve the human rights and democratic governance record of partner countries.

2.

The renewed ENP has developed an incentive-based approach as a means to foster deep and sustainable democracy as well as major reforms contributing to this goal. The EU’s relationship with ENP countries takes into account the extent to which these values are reflected in national practices and policy implementation. The EU is committed to grant additional political and financial support to partner countries who implement more democratic reforms. It has intensified its dialogue and cooperation on these issues, in particular through the EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

This approach has already encouraged and rewarded reforms in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, Tunisia or Morocco.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002828/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Relations entre PME et grandes entreprises

Il est à présent indéniable que les PME seront vectrices de la relance de l'économie européenne. De nombreux rapports du Parlement européen vont dans ce sens. Pour ce faire, nous devons augmenter leur potentiel concurrentiel tant sur le marché européen qu'à l'échelle internationale. Des réglementations simplifiées et une bureaucratie moins lourde doivent être mises en place afin de faciliter la vie des PME. Mais les PME sont des structures fragiles. Et il existe des cas où de grandes entreprises d'envergure internationale usent de moyens déloyaux aux fins de pression sur les PME.

1.

La Commission peut-elle nous éclairer quant aux stratégies qu'elle utilise afin de promouvoir le rôle des PME et de protéger ces dernières dans le cadre de la relance de l'économie européenne?

2.

Quels sont les moyens légaux qu'une PME peut utiliser pour faire face aux procédés déloyaux d'une grande entreprise?

3.

Les PME sont-elles suffisamment informées des instruments mis à leur disposition?

Réponse donnée par M. Barnier au nom de la Commission

(15 mai 2014)

1.

Les efforts de la Commission se concentrent sur le Small Business Act pour l'Europe et son réexamen (152), et notamment sur le principe «penser en priorité aux PME», pour réduire la charge administrative qui pèse sur les PME. De plus, le programme COSME (153) créera un meilleur environnement pour les entreprises et consacrera 1,4 milliard d'euros pour améliorer l'accès au crédit et au financement sur fonds propres des PME. Quelque 2,7 milliards d'euros seront accordés sur le budget du programme Horizon 2020 pour fournir un financement à des entreprises axées sur la recherche et l'innovation, y compris des PME. Enfin, le soutien aux PME et à l'entrepreneuriat figure parmi les objectifs des Fonds structurels et d'investissement européens: le Fonds social européen promeut l'employabilité et la compétitivité des PME et le Fonds européen de développement régional la compétitivité des PME, en fournissant l'occasion de les soutenir à toutes les étapes de leur développement.

2.

La législation sur les pratiques commerciales inéquitables d'entreprise à entreprise relève principalement du niveau national, par exemple par l'intermédiaire du droit des contrats. En plus des moyens légaux, il est possible de recourir à des initiatives d'autorégulation, comme par exemple des codes de conduite. Dans cet esprit, la Commission a facilité la mise en place d'une initiative volontaire au niveau de l'UE dans le domaine de la chaîne d'approvisionnement alimentaire, qui a été lancée formellement en septembre 2013 (154) suite à une consultation ouverte des parties prenantes (155). La Commission évalue actuellement si cette initiative a besoin d'être complétée par d'autres mesures.

3.

La Commission est consciente du fait que les PME doivent être mieux informées des instruments disponibles. C'est pourquoi le programme COSME soutient le réseau Entreprise Europe (156) qui aide les PME à profiter pleinement de débouchés commerciaux sur le marché intérieur de l'UE et au‐delà. Ce programme promouvra également des instruments et campagnes de communication spécifiques tels que la semaine européenne des PME (157) ou le portail des PME (158).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002828/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Relations between SMEs and big business

There can be no question at present but that SMEs will be the drivers behind the resurgence of the European economy. Many reports produced by Parliament are of this opinion. For this to happen, their competitive potential must be increased both on the European market and internationally. Simplified regulations need to be introduced and red tape reduced to make SMEs' lives easier. But SMEs are fragile structures. And there have been cases of big international businesses resorting to underhand means to bring pressure to bear on SMEs.

1.

Could the Commission say what strategies it employs to promote the role of SMEs in the resurgence in the European economy and protect them?

2.

What legal means may an SME employ to counter unfair practices by a big company?

3.

Are SMEs sufficiently well informed about the tools at their disposal?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

1.

The Commission efforts focus on implementing the Small Business Act for Europe and its Review (159), in particular the Think Small First principle to reduce burden on SMEs. Moreover, the COSME (160) programme will create a better business environment and will devote EUR 1.4 billion to mobilising loans and equity financing for SMEs. EUR 2.7 billion of the Horizon 2020 programme budget will be allocated to providing financing to research and innovation driven businesses, including SMEs. Finally, support for SMEs and entrepreneurship are among the objectives of the European Structural and Investment Funds: the European Social Fund promotes employability and the competitiveness of SMEs and the European Regional Development Fund promotes SME competitiveness offering the opportunity to support SMEs in all stages of their development.

2.

Legislation on unfair business-to-business trading practices is mainly dealt with at national level, for example through contract law. Beyond legal means, self-regulatory initiatives, for example codes of conduct, can also be used. In that spirit, the Commission facilitated the set-up of a EU-wide voluntary initiative in the food supply chain, which was launched formally in September 2013 (161) further to an open stakeholder consultation (162). The Commission is currently assessing whether this initiative needs to be complemented with other measures.

3.

The Commission is well aware that SMEs need to be better informed on the available tools. For this reason COSME supports the Enterprise Europe Network (163) which helps SMEs to fully profit from business opportunities in the EU internal market and beyond. COSME will also promote specific communication tools and campaigns such as the European SME Week (164) or the SME Portal (165).

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002829/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: Stratégie numérique

La Commission européenne a dévoilé en 2010 sa stratégie dont l'objectif est de fournir un accès à l'internet à haut débit à tous les citoyens européens en 2013 ainsi qu'une connexion plus rapide pour tous d'ici à 2020. Dans le cadre de la numérisation du marché unique, ce genre de stratégie est primordial.

1.

Dans cette perspective, la Commission peut-elle donner les résultats de cette stratégie?

2.

Quels sont les autres domaines sur lesquels il faut travailler afin de créer un véritable marché unique numérique?

Réponse donnée par Mme Kroes au nom de la Commission

(16 avril 2014)

La stratégie numérique pour l'Europe a donné des résultats qui ont sensiblement contribué au développement de l'économie numérique en Europe. À titre d'exemples, l'objectif de couverture totale en internet à haut débit a été atteint; près de 55 % des particuliers de l'UE avaient accès au haut débit à grande vitesse en juillet 2013; les tarifs d'itinérance ont été réduits de manière conséquente, avec de bonnes chances de voir leur suppression d'ici à 2016; et plus de 30 000 stages supplémentaires en TIC ont été créés dans le cadre de la grande coalition en faveur de l'emploi dans le secteur du numérique.

Un marché véritablement unique ne pourra se concrétiser que si l'Europe se dote d'un cadre réglementaire adéquat et d'un environnement adapté pour les investissements. En septembre 2013, la Commission a proposé des mesures visant, d'une part, à créer un marché unique des télécommunications et, d'autre part, à stimuler la concurrence et encourager l'investissement dans le haut débit.

Cependant, dans plusieurs domaines comme la protection des consommateurs, la sécurité, les droits d'auteur et la protection des données, la diversité réglementaire continue d'empêcher les entreprises et les consommateurs de profiter pleinement du marché unique du numérique. Or, pour que tous les acteurs puissent véritablement se lancer sur le marché unique du numérique, il est nécessaire de disposer d'un ensemble d'obligations juridiques dénuées d'ambiguïté, claires et applicables.

Dans le même temps, nous avons besoin de conditions-cadres appropriées, de nature à améliorer l'accès au financement pour les entreprises du secteur numérique et à augmenter le vivier de spécialistes en TIC qualifiés, afin de permettre aux entreprises de ce secteur de se développer et de réussir sur le marché unique du numérique.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002829/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Digital Agenda

In 2010 the Commission unveiled its Digital Agenda aimed at bringing broadband to all by 2013 and enabling all European citizens to access higher Internet speeds by 2020. From the point of view of digitising the single market, it is vitally important to follow an approach along those lines.

1.

Bearing that fact in mind, what has been the outcome of the Digital Agenda?

2.

In what other areas does work need to be done in order to create a genuinely digital single market?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

The DAE has delivered results which have measurably contributed to the digital economy development in Europe. For example 100% coverage of broadband has been achieved, in July 2013 nearly 55% of citizens had access to high speed broadband, roaming rates have been reduced consistently with a good prospect of their elimination by 2016, more than 30 000 additional ICT traineeships have been created under the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.

A genuinely single market will not be a reality without the right regulatory framework and investment environment in Europe. In September 2013, the Commission proposed measures to create a telecoms single market as well as to promote competition and enhance the broadband investment environment.

However, in several areas such as consumer protection, security, copyrights and data protection regulatory fragmentation continues to prevent businesses and consumers from taking full advantage of the digital single market. An unambiguous, clear and implementable set of legal obligations is a precondition for all to engage in the DSM.

At the same time we need the right framework conditions, such as to improve access to finance for digital businesses and increase the pool of skilled ICT specialists, to allow digital companies to grow and be successful in the digital single market.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002830/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 mars 2014)

Objet: TTIP

Nombreux sont nos concitoyens qui se posent des questions quant à la transparence des négociations, en vue du Partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d'investissement, entre les États-Unis et l'Union européenne. Je suis bien entendu conscient que dans ce type de négociations, il est impératif que certains documents restent confidentiels. D'un autre côté, les négociateurs européens ont des comptes à rendre, car ils se doivent de tenir le Parlement informé des avancées des négociations.

Afin d'informer les citoyens européens, la Commission peut-elle nous dire:

Quels sont les documents qui peuvent être mis à la disposition du grand public et, sinon, à celle des parlementaires européens?

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

(6 mai 2014)

La Commission s'efforce d'être aussi transparente que possible dans ses négociations en vue d'un partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d'investissement (TTIP) avec les États-Unis. À cet égard, elle consulte et informe le public directement dans l'ensemble de l'Europe; elle associe les parlementaires et les gouvernements nationaux à chaque étape du processus; elle entend les avis d'experts représentant un vaste éventail d'intérêts différents et elle partage avec le grand public le plus grand nombre possible de documents. Tel a notamment été le cas pour les documents exposant les positions initiales de la Commission, ce qui constitue une initiative sans précédent. (166)

La Commission a fourni au Parlement européen toutes les informations pertinentes sur les négociations relatives au TTIP. Donnant suite à l'accord-cadre entre le Parlement européen et la Commission, la Commission partage avec la Commission du commerce international du Parlement européen (INTA) tous les documents fournis au comité de la politique commerciale du Conseil de l'UE. Les documents classifiés «Restreint UE» sont partagés avec la présidence de la commission INTA, les vice-présidents, les groupes coordonnateurs, le rapporteur et les rapporteurs fictifs. Ils sont également partagés avec la présidence et le rapporteur de l'autre ou des autres commission(s) parlementaire(s) compétente(s) pour les questions relevant de leur domaine de compétence.

Dans toute négociation, la Commission doit établir une relation de confiance avec ses partenaires et a besoin, pour ce faire, d'un certain degré de confidentialité. C'est pourquoi certains textes ne peuvent être partagés qu'avec les gouvernements et les députés du Parlement de l'Union européenne et pas avec le grand public. Il s'agit notamment des offres visant à réduire le montant des droits de douane perçus sur certaines marchandises ou d'ouvrir des marchés de services. À l'issue du processus, le grand public pourra examiner l'accord complet avant que les États membres et le Parlement européen ne prennent une décision sur l'opportunité de l'approuver ou non.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002830/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: TTIP

Many EU citizens are asking questions about the transparency of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union. I realise, of course, that in negotiations such as these certain documents must remain confidential. However, the European negotiators are accountable because they have to keep Parliament informed of the progress of the negotiations.

With a view to keeping EU citizens informed, can the Commission state which documents can be made available to the general public or, failing that, to MEPs?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(6 May 2014)

The Commission is working to be as transparent as possible as it negotiates a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US. It is doing so by consulting and updating the public across Europe directly; involving Members of Parliament and national governments at every stage; listening to views from experts representing a wide range of different interests; and sharing as many documents as it can with the general public. This was the case, for example, of the Commission's initial position papers, which represents an unprecedented step (167).

The Commission has been providing all relevant information on TTIP negotiations to the European Parliament. Further to the framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission, the Commission shares with the Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) all the documents provided to the EU Council's Trade Policy Committee. EU restricted documents are shared with the INTA Chairman, Vice-Chairs, Groups coordinators, Rapporteur and shadow-Rapporteurs. They are also shared with the Chair and Rapporteur of other relevant Parliamentary Committee(s) if the topic falls within their area of competence.

In any negotiation, the Commission needs to build trust with its partners and to do so, it needs a degree of confidentiality. Therefore, some texts can only be shared with the EU governments and Members of Parliament, and not with the public at large. These include offers to cut tariffs on goods or open up services markets. At the end of the process, the whole deal will be open to full public scrutiny, before Member States and the European Parliament take a decision on whether to approve it.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-002831/14

aan de Commissie

Philippe De Backer (ALDE)

(10 maart 2014)

Betreft: Biertaks

Het Franse Parlement keurde begin december 2012 een verhoging van de accijnzen op bier met 160 procent goed. De accijnzen op Franse nationale dranken zoals wijn, bleven buiten schot. Eerder gingen al stemmen op dat die maatregel in strijd is met de regels van de interne markt.

De Belgische bierbrouwers reageerden ontzet en dienden een klacht in bij de Europese Commissie. Een derde van het Belgisch bier vloeit immers naar onze zuiderburen. Die klacht werd echter verworpen, waardoor de Belgische bierbrouwers binnenkort een nieuwe klacht indienen bij DG Taxud. Bij deze (nieuwe) klacht doen ze een beroep op artikel 110 van het VWEU.

Een soortgelijke zaak deed zich voor in 1980 in een geschil tussen de Commissie en Frankrijk. Frankrijk hanteerde immers bij de belasting op gedistilleerde dranken een ander belastingtarief voor whisky dan voor cognac, wat hoger belast was. Volgens de Commissie handelde Frankrijk hiermee in strijd met het fiscaal discriminatieverbod van artikel 95 EEG-verdrag (sinds Lissabon artikel 110 VWEU). Dat artikel 110 bepaalt immers dat lidstaten op geïmporteerde producten geen hogere belasting mogen heffen dan op gelijksoortige nationale producten wordt geheven. Het Hof oordeelde toen in een arrest dat het eigenlijk niet veel uitmaakt of de bijkomende taks in strijd is met de eerste of tweede alinea van het artikel, sowieso is het fiscaal discriminatieverbod geschonden waardoor de beslissing in strijd is met het principe van het vrij verkeer van goederen van de interne markt.

Vandaar de volgende vragen:

Erkent de Commissie het probleem?

Is de Commissie voornemens een zaak aan te spannen tegen Frankrijk? Zo ja, wat zijn de gevolgen dan? Zo nee, wat is de argumentatie?

Antwoord van de heer Šemeta namens de Commissie

(22 april 2014)

De Commissie verwijst het geachte Parlementslid naar haar antwoord van 21 december 2012 op de eerdere schriftelijke vraag E-010183/2012 van mevrouw Thyssen en de heer Belet.

Zoals reeds aangegeven zal de Commissie elke gedocumenteerde klacht die over dit onderwerp wordt ingediend, zorgvuldig onderzoeken.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002831/14

to the Commission

Philippe De Backer (ALDE)

(10 March 2014)

Subject: Beer tax

At the beginning of December 2012, the French Parliament approved a 160% increase in excise duty on beer. Excise on French national beverages such as wine was not affected. I am not the first person to object that this measure is contrary to internal market rules.

Belgian brewers were horrified and complained to the Commission. After all, one third of the beer brewed in Belgium is exported to our southern neighbours. However, the complaint was rejected, and Belgian brewers therefore intend shortly to submit a fresh complaint to DG TAXUD, invoking Article 110 TFEU.

A similar case arose in 1980 in a dispute between the Commission and France. In taxing spirit drinks, France was applying a higher rate to whisky than to brandy. The Commission considered that this breached the ban on discriminatory taxation laid down in Article 95 of the EEC Treaty (since the Lisbon Treaty, Article 110 TFEU). That article lays down that Member States are not permitted to tax imported products more heavily than similar domestically produced products. The Court held in the judgment which it gave at that time that in fact it made little difference whether the additional tax infringed the first or the second paragraph of the article: in either case, the ban on discriminatory taxation was breached, so that the decision breached the principle of free movement of goods within the internal market.

1.

Does the Commission recognise the problem?

2.

Will the Commission bring proceedings against France? If so, what will the consequences be? If not, why not?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer given on 21 December 2012 to the previous Written Question E-010183/2012 from Ms Thyssen and Mr Belet.

As already indicated, the Commission will carefully examine any documented complaint that may be submitted on the subject.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002832/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Legislación sobre crowdfunding 1

Hasta el momento no hay una legislación a medida del crowdfunding en el Estado español. (Sí que la hay en el Reino Unido, Francia, Italia o Alemania). Debido a este problema, las empresas tuvieron que adaptarse a la legislación de las SL, aunque esto hacía que las empresas crecieran a un ritmo menor que sus homólogas de otros países con una regulación a medida de sus necesidades.

El pasado 28 de febrero, el Consejo de Ministros del Reino de España aprobó el anteproyecto de ley para el fomento de la financiación empresarial. A diferencia del modelo que aplican otros Estados miembros, la propuesta del Consejo de Ministros pone límites muy estrictos a la financiación que pueden suponer un grave contrapié al sector. De hecho, en el Reino Unido, Francia o Italia han regulado las plataformas y los inversores pueden invertir lo que quieran. En Alemania, los inversores pueden invertir un máximo de 100 000 €/año.

A la luz de lo anterior,

1.

¿Cree la Comisión que la propuesta del Gobierno del Reino de España, con un proceso de tiempo de consulta de tan solo un mes, se ajusta a los estándares europeos?

2.

¿Cree la Comisión que el anteproyecto de ley para el fomento de la financiación empresarial del Gobierno del Estado español debería de ajustarse a los estándares europeos de buenas prácticas?

3.

¿Cree la Comisión que las empresas españolas se encontrarán en igualdad de condiciones para competir con sus homólogas de otros Estados de la UE?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(25 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión es consciente de que varios Estados miembros han presentado recientemente propuestas legislativas o no legislativas en materia de microfinanciación colectiva (crowdfunding) y está siguiendo de cerca la evolución en este ámbito. A nivel de la UE no se han definido normas o mejores prácticas relativas a la forma en que los Estados miembros deben promover el acceso a la financiación a través de la microfinanciación colectiva.

Como se anuncia en la Comunicación «Liberar el potencial de la microfinanciación colectiva en la Unión Europea» (168), la Comisión organizará talleres en materia normativa con vistas a debatir los obstáculos a las actividades transfronterizas. Cuando proceda, la Comisión examinará la necesidad de formular recomendaciones a través del Informe sobre el mercado Único o la Red de Representantes de las PYME, que supervisa la aplicación de la Ley de la Pequeña Empresa, o la Agenda Digital para Europa, a fin de alentar a los Estados miembros a evitar incoherencias en los enfoques nacionales que puedan perjudicar el mercado interior. La Comisión también emprenderá iniciativas para fomentar entre las empresas la concienciación sobre los beneficios y riesgos derivados de la microfinanciación colectiva.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002832/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding I

To date, Spain has no legislation specifically addressing crowdfunding (such legislation does exist in the UK, France, Italy and Germany). Because of this problem, companies have had to make do with the law on limited companies, although this has caused them to grow more slowly than their counterparts in other countries, who also already benefit from legislation adapted to meet their needs in this respect.

On 28 February 2014, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a bill on the promotion of business funding. Unlike the model used by other Member States, the proposal put forward by Spain’s Council of Ministers imposes very strict limits on funding, posing a severe setback to the sector. The United Kingdom, France and Italy have all regulated these platforms, and investors can contribute as much as they please. In Germany, investors can invest up to a maximum of EUR 100 000 per year.

In light of the above:

Does the Commission consider that the Spanish Government’s proposal, for which there is a consultation period of only one month, is adapted to European standards?

Does the Commission consider that the Spanish Government’s draft law on promoting business funding should be adapted to European best practice standards?

Does the Commission believe that Spanish enterprises will enjoy equal conditions when it comes to competing with their counterparts in other EU Member States?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

The Commission is aware that several Member States have recently put forward legislative or non-legislative proposals in relation to Crowdfunding and is following these developments closely. There are currently no best practices or standards defined at EU level as to how Member States should promote access to finance through Crowdfunding.

As announced in the communication on Unleashing the potential of Crowdfunding in the European Union (169), the Commission will hold regulatory workshops with a view to discussing obstacles to cross-border activities. Where relevant, the Commission will examine the need to issue recommendations through the Single Market Report, the Network of the SME Envoyswhich monitors the implementation of the Small Business Act, or the Digital Agenda for Europe, to invite Member States to avoid inconsistencies in national approaches that might hinder the internal market. The Commission will also take initiatives to raise awareness among businesses on benefits and risks related to Crowdfunding.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002833/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Legislación sobre crowdfunding 2

Hasta el momento no hay una legislación a medida del crowdfunding en el Estado español. (Sí que la hay en el Reino Unido, Francia, Italia o Alemania). Debido a este problema, las empresas tuvieron que adaptarse a la legislación de las SL, aunque esto hacía que las empresas del Estado español crecieran a un ritmo menor que sus homólogas de otros países. Además, las empresas que operan en otros países ya parten con una regulación a medida de sus necesidades. Debido a dicho retraso por parte del Gobierno español, el pasado 28 de febrero el Consejo de Ministros del Reino de España aprobó el anteproyecto de ley para el fomento de la financiación empresarial.

Según varias fuentes, las plataformas de crowdfunding están trabajando para que la mencionada regulación gire en torno a 3 pilares:

Acreditar a todas las plataformas a la CNMV (eso sí que ya se especifica en el Anteproyecto de ley), para profesionalizarlas.

Informar a los inversores sobre el funcionamiento de las plataformas y asegurarse de que los inversores están al corriente del riesgo que acarrea invertir en una start-up.

Fijar un proceso para garantizar que los proyectos que reciben financiación no son un fraude.

A la luz de lo anterior, ¿puede informar la Comisión que dichos pilares pueden redundar en beneficio tanto del inversor como del emprendedor y que, por lo tanto, son elementos a tener en cuenta en la citada ley?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(2 de mayo de 2014)

La Comisión cree que la microfinanciación colectiva es una fuente prometedora de financiación para muchos tipos de agentes económicos que no encuentran soluciones para sus necesidades financieras. Teniendo en cuenta el potencial y los principales retos de este nuevo fenómeno, la Comisión desea fomentar, en cooperación con las partes interesadas, un entendimiento común a escala de la UE y preparar el terreno para posibles actuaciones futuras.

Con este fin, la Comisión adoptó el 27 de marzo una Comunicación sobre el tema «Liberar el potencial de la microfinanciación colectiva en la Unión Europea» (170). La consulta pública que precedió a esta Comunicación puso de manifiesto que, entre los principales elementos que las partes interesadas consideran importantes, se cuentan que se haga frente al riesgo de fraude y que haya transparencia en el funcionamiento y las tarifas de las plataformas, así como en lo relativo a los riesgos de las inversiones. Con el fin de recabar más información, la Comisión creará un grupo de expertos sobre la microfinanciación colectiva, con ayuda del cual determinará los temas que deben abordarse para que pueda prosperar la microfinanciación colectiva, teniendo en cuenta los intereses de los contribuyentes. El grupo de expertos también contribuirá a instaurar la confianza y a dar mejor a conocer entre las empresas las ventajas y los riesgos de la microfinanciación colectiva.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002833/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding II

To date, Spain has no legislation specifically addressing crowdfunding (such legislation does exist in the UK, France, Italy and Germany). Because of this problem, companies have had to make do with the law on limited companies, although this has caused them to grow more slowly than their counterparts in other countries, who also already benefit from legislation adapted to their needs in this respect.

Because of this delay by the Spanish Government, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a draft law on the promotion of business funding on 28 February 2014.

According to various sources, crowdfunding platforms are working to ensure that this regulation is based on the following three key considerations:

All platforms should be accredited by Spain’s National Stock Market Authority (CNMV) in order to give them professional status (this is already specified in the bill);

Investors should be informed about the functioning of the platforms and be made aware of the risks inherent to investing in a start-up;

Establishment of a procedure to ensure that projects receiving funding are not fraudulent.

In light of the above, is the Commission able to say that these three elements can be of benefit to both investors and entrepreneurs and should therefore be taken into consideration in the abovementioned regulation?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission considers that crowdfunding is a promising source of funding for many types of actors that do not find solutions to their financing needs. Considering the potential and key challenges of this emerging phenomenon, the Commission would like to develop, in cooperation with stakeholders, a common understanding at EU level and prepare the ground for possible future actions.

To this end, the Commission adopted on 27 March a communication on Unleashing the potential of Crowdfunding in the European Union (171). The public consultation which preceded this communication showed that among the main elements that stakeholders consider to be important are addressing the risk of fraud and transparency around the functioning and fees of platforms as well as around investment risks. In order to gather more information, the Commission will set up an expert group on crowdfunding, with the help of which it will identify issues that may need to be addressed in order for crowdfunding to flourish, while taking into account the interest of contributors. The expert group will also contribute to build confidence and raise awareness among businesses on benefits and risks related to crowdfunding.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002834/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Legislación sobre crowdfunding 3

Hasta el momento no hay una legislación a medida del crowdfunding en el Estado español. (Sí que la hay en el Reino Unido, Francia, Italia o Alemania). Debido a este problema, las empresas tuvieron que adaptarse a la legislación de las SL, aunque esto hacía que las empresas del Estado español crecieran a un ritmo menor que sus homólogas de otros países. Además, las empresas que operan en otros países ya parten con una regulación a medida de sus necesidades. Debido a dicho retraso por parte del Gobierno español, el pasado 28 de febrero el Consejo de Ministros del Reino de España aprobó el anteproyecto de ley para el fomento de la financiación empresarial.

En el citado anteproyecto, se hace referencia a la responsabilidad de las plataformas: por un lado habla de que las plataformas han de tener un capital mínimo de 50 000 € o un seguro de responsabilidad civil de 100 000 € para asumir compensaciones por posibles negligencias de la plataforma. Por el otro, dicen que es responsabilidad de la plataforma que la información del proyecto sea verídica, sin especificar más. Dicho punto acarrea mucha incertidumbre al sector: si la responsabilidad es simplemente porque la plataforma actúa de manera negligente (por ejemplo, porque esconde información de un proyecto perjudicial para los inversores) es muy lógico. Pero si la responsabilidad por parte de la plataforma es el posible riesgo de que una start-up no vaya como el plan previsto es un grave problema.

A la luz de lo anterior y teniendo en cuenta que en el período 2002-2010 el 85 % de los empleos netos generados en Europa fueron creados por las pequeñas y medianas empresas (172), ¿cree la Comisión que es fundamental eliminar cualquier incertidumbre legal para así allanar el camino a los emprendedores e inversores para crear valor y generar empleo?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(2 de mayo de 2014)

La Comisión está muy atenta a la evolución de las políticas nacionales en relación con la microfinanciación colectiva. Actualmente, no existen mejores prácticas o normas definidas a escala de la UE sobre la manera en que los Estados miembros deben promover el acceso a la financiación por esta vía.

Dependiendo de las características del caso concreto, las normas de la UE (por ejemplo, el marco de la MiFID o las normas sobre el abuso de mercado) pueden ser aplicables a las actividades de microfinanciación. La Comisión señala que algunos Estados miembros han tomado, además, medidas reglamentarias a escala nacional. Estas soluciones distintas, según los países, son una de las razones por las que la Comisión decidió examinar este tema con más atención, entre otras cosas mediante la realización de una consulta pública.

De esta consulta, llevada a cabo en 2013, se desprende que la falta de información clara sobre las normas aplicables y la inseguridad jurídica son algunas de las principales preocupaciones de las partes interesadas. Estas también coincidieron en que los gestores de plataformas que funcionan con arreglo a los modelos de préstamo o inversión deben estar obligados a informar a los contribuidores sobre los riesgos de inversión y de crédito.

Tal como se anunció en la Comunicación «Liberar el potencial de la microfinanciación colectiva en la Unión Europea» (173), la Comisión supervisará estrechamente la evolución de todo lo relacionado con este tipo de financiación en el marco del correcto funcionamiento del mercado interior. A tal efecto, se organizarán talleres de reglamentación para debatir los obstáculos a las actividades transfronterizas y se instará a los Estados miembros a evitar incoherencias entre sus estrategias nacionales. La Comisión seguirá estando muy atenta a este asunto y podría proponer medidas complementarias más adelante, si procede.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002834/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding III

To date, Spain has no legislation specifically addressing crowdfunding (such legislation does exist in the UK, France, Italy and Germany). Because of this problem, companies have had to make do with the law on limited companies, although this has caused them to grow more slowly than their counterparts in other countries, who also already benefit from legislation adapted to this need. Because of this delay by the Spanish Government, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a draft law on the promotion of business funding on 28 February 2014.

In the abovementioned draft law, reference is made to the responsibilities of crowdfunding platforms. On the one hand, it is specified that platforms must have a minimum capital of EUR 100 000 in order to provide compensation for any possible negligence on their part; on the other hand, the platforms are held responsible for the veracity of information provided about projects, without further clarification. This point is giving rise to considerable uncertainty in the sector: if said responsibility simply applies to negligence on the part of platforms (for example, concealment of information about projects which could hurt investors), it seems perfectly logical. But if the platform’s responsibility extends to the possible risk that a start-up could fail to develop as planned, it poses a serious problem.

In light of the above, and bearing in mind that during the 2002-2010 period 85% of net jobs created in Europe were in small and medium-sized enterprises (174), does the Commission consider it essential to eliminate any legal uncertainty, in order to clear the way for entrepreneurs and investors and enable them to create added value and jobs?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission is following closely national policy developments in relation to crowdfunding. There are currently no best practices or standards defined at EU level as to how Member States should promote access to finance through crowdfunding.

Depending on the set-up in the individual case, EU rules (for example the MiFID framework or market abuse rules) may be applicable to crowdfunding activities. The Commission notes that, in addition, some Member States have taken regulatory action at national level. These emerging different national solutions are one reason why the Commission decided to look at crowdfunding in more detail, inter alia by doing a public consultation.

If followed from that consultation, carried out in 2013, that the lack of clear information as to the applicable rules and legal uncertainty are among the main concerns of stakeholders. Stakeholders also agreed that platform managers involved in lending‐ and investment models should be required to inform contributors of investment and credit risks.

As announced in the communication on Unleashing the potential of Crowdfunding in the European Union,  (175) the Commission will closely monitor developments around crowdfunding in the context of the proper functioning of the internal market. In this context, regulatory workshops will be arranged in order to discuss obstacles to cross-border activities and invite Member States to avoid inconsistencies between their national approaches. The Commission will continue to monitor this matter closely and may propose further measures at a later stage, if appropriate.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002835/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Legislación sobre crowdfunding 4

El pasado 28 de febrero el Consejo de Ministros del Reino de España aprobó el anteproyecto de ley para el fomento de la financiación empresarial que, entre otras cosas, afecta y pone límites al crowdfunding. El punto más controvertido son los límites impuestos a las aportaciones individuales: se establece que no se podrá invertir más de 3 000 euros por proyecto ni más de 6 000 euros al año por plataforma. Esto supone una discriminación respecto a otras formas de inversión. Además, por sus particularidades existen pocas plataformas albergando la mayoría de proyectos. Así pues, el límite por plataforma puede impedir llevar a cabo la inversión deseada: si quiero financiar 4 proyectos a 2 000 euros cada uno, no podré hacerlo si todos están alojados en la misma plataforma (y repito, esto es probable que ocurra). Por otro lado, los 3 000 euros por proyecto alteran la posibilidad de que empresas que pueden ser viables sean efectivamente financiadas. Los datos nos dicen dos cosas: primero, que la gente se anima a invertir cuando el proyecto ha alcanzado un cierto porcentaje de financiación; segundo, que los primeros en invertir suelen ser la familia y amigos del emprendedor. Hay motivos para que la familia y los amigos quieran invertir usando el crowdfunding: así mandan una señal a otros potenciales inversores. Al limitar estas aportaciones, en el peor de los casos, un proyecto viable podría no alcanzar la financiación necesaria (176).

Cabe señalar que, en el Estado español, existe actualmente una gran dependencia crediticia con el sector bancario y que la existencia y el desarrollo de mercados financieros dirigidos a emprendedores facilita el éxito empresarial de start-ups y las empresas más innovadoras. Esta dependencia excesiva del sector bancario para el crédito ya fue señalada por la Comisión en el MoU del rescate bancario español.

A la luz de todo lo anterior,

¿Qué opina la Comisión sobre dicha medida? ¿No cree la Comisión que esta limitación perjudica a los emprendedores? ¿Cree que es coherente con los principios y las condiciones ligadas al rescate bancario español? ¿No cree la Comisión que esta medida perjudica el propósito de hacer que el crédito sea menos dependiente de la salud del sistema bancario?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(12 de mayo de 2014)

La Comisión sigue con mucha atención la evolución de las políticas nacionales en relación con la microfinanciación colectiva (crowdfunding). La Comisión observa que los Estados miembros adoptan enfoques distintos para proteger a los donantes contra el fraude y los riesgos derivados de la inversión y, al mismo tiempo, promover el acceso de los empresarios a la financiación.

Algunos Estados miembros quieren proteger a los inversores contra pérdidas elevadas mediante la imposición de límites a la contribución de los inversores individuales a un proyecto determinado o a una plataforma. Otros Estados miembros han intentado abordar los problemas que plantea la financiación colectiva mediante directrices.

La Comisión considera que existe el riesgo de que una reglamentación demasiado pesada y prematura obstaculice el desarrollo de la financiación colectiva, mientras que unas políticas excesivamente laxas podrían provocar pérdidas para los inversores, minando la confianza de los consumidores y la fe en este tipo de financiación. Sin prejuzgar la mejor manera de lograr el equilibrio adecuado, los distintos enfoques pueden generar inseguridad jurídica respecto a las normas que se aplican, así como fragmentar el mercado interior.

En la Comunicación titulada «Liberar el potencial de la financiación colectiva en la Unión Europea» (177), la Comisión anunció que seguiría de cerca la evolución de los acontecimientos en el marco del buen funcionamiento del mercado interior y que organizaría talleres de regulación para debatir los posibles obstáculos a las actividades transfronterizas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002835/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Legislation on crowdfunding IV

On 28 February 2014, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a draft law on promoting business funding, which includes measures to regulate and impose limits on crowdfunding. The most controversial aspect involves the limits for individual contributions: the maximum annual investment is set at EUR 3 000 per project and EUR 6 000 per platform. This discriminates against this form of investment, compared with others. Furthermore, owing to its particular nature, only a small number of crowdfunding platforms exist, hosting the majority of projects. This means that the limit per platform may make it impossible for people to make their desired investment: if I wish to invest in four projects, providing EUR 2 000 in funding to each, I will be unable to do so if they are all housed on the same platform (and, I stress, this is likely to be the case). On the other hand, the EUR 3 000 per project limit means that perfectly viable enterprises are in danger of not receiving adequate funding. Available data show that, first, people are encouraged to invest when a project has already reached a certain percentage of its funding requirement and second, that the initial investors are usually the family and friends of the entrepreneur. There is a good reason why family and friends choose to invest via crowdfunding: by doing so they send out a signal to other potential investors. By limiting these contributions, the worst-case scenario is that viable projects could fail to gather the funding they need (178).

It should be noted that, in Spain, borrowers are heavily dependent on the banking sector for credit and the existence and that the development of financial markets aimed at entrepreneurs encourages the business success of start-ups and highly innovative companies. The Commission has already drawn attention to this excessive dependency on the banking sector for credit in its Memorandum of Understanding on the Spanish bank bail-out.

In light of all of the above:

What does the Commission think of this measure? Does the Commission agree that these limits harm the interests of entrepreneurs? Does it see this proposal as being in line with the principles and conditions applied to the bail-out of Spanish banks? Does the Commission consider that this measure runs counter to the idea that credit should become less dependent on the health of the system?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The Commission is closely following national policy developments in relation to crowdfunding. The Commission notes that Member States take different approaches to protecting contributors from fraud and investment risks, while promoting access to finance for entrepreneurs.

Some Member States aim to protect investors from high losses by imposing limits on individual investors' contribution to a given project or platform. Other Member States have sought to address concerns around crowdfunding through guidelines.

The Commission considers that the danger is that too burdensome and premature regulatory action could stymie the development of crowdfunding, whereas too lax policies could lead to losses to investors, harming consumer confidence and trust in crowdfunding. Without prejudging how best to strike the right balance, the different approaches may create legal uncertainty as to what rules apply, and might also fragment the internal market.

In the communication on Unleashing the potential of Crowdfunding in the European Union (179), the Commission therefore announced that it will closely monitor developments in the context of the good functioning of the internal market and will hold regulatory workshops to discuss any potential obstacles to cross-border activities.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002836/14

an die Kommission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(11. März 2014)

Betrifft: Eisenbahnsicherheit und Sanktionsmöglichkeiten

In der Richtlinie 2004/49/EG sind in Artikel 32 Sanktionen im Falle von Verstößen gegen die aufgrund dieser Richtlinie erlassenen innerstaatlichen Vorschriften vorgesehen. Diese Sanktionen müssen „wirksam, verhältnismäßig, nichtdiskriminierend und abschreckend“ sein. Auf europäischer Ebene ist grundsätzlich festzustellen, dass es bei den Kontrollen der Eisenbahnunternehmen keine klaren Bestimmungen hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit/Art der Vorortkontrollen gibt. Daraus entstehen in einem gemeinsamen europäischen Markt unterschiedliche Standards. Dies ist der Sicherheit und dem fairen Wettbewerb abträglich.

1.

Was wird in Europa als „wirksam, verhältnismäßig, nichtdiskriminierend und abschreckend“ gemäß der Richtlinie 2004/49/EG angesehen bzw. wie wurden diese Maßnahmen in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten umgesetzt?

2.

Anhand welcher Kriterien werden Eisenbahnunternehmen kontrolliert (auch im laufenden Betrieb)?

3.

Wie viele Eisenbahnunternehmen wurden bis dato in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten kontrolliert bzw. wie viele/welche Verstöße gegen sicherheitsrelevante Regelungen liegen bei diesen vor?

4.

Wie viele/welche Maßnahmen wurden nach Vorliegen der Verstöße bzw. nach Vorfällen seitens der Behörden auf nationaler Ebene und auf EU-Ebene ergriffen und auf ihre Wirksamkeit überprüft?

5.

Wie vielen Eisenbahnunternehmen wurden nach Vorfällen bzw. bei Verstößen gegen sicherheitsrelevante Regelungen die Sicherheitsbescheinigung entzogen?

6.

Geht die Kommission davon aus, dass das Eisenbahnsystem derart sicher ist, da wenige bis keine Sicherheitsbescheinigungen entzogen wurden?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(29. April 2014)

1.

Inwieweit Sanktionen wirksam, verhältnismäßig, nichtdiskriminierend und abschreckend sind, ist im Einzelfall zu entscheiden. Die von den Mitgliedstaaten gemeldeten einzelstaatlichen Bestimmungen lassen es nicht zu, allgemeine Schlussfolgerungen hinsichtlich der Auslegung dieser Kriterien zu ziehen.

2.

Die nationalen Sicherheitsbehörden stützen sich mit ihren Überwachungsstrategien auf die Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1077/2012 der Kommission vom 16. November 2012 über eine gemeinsame Sicherheitsmethode für die Überwachung durch die nationalen Sicherheitsbehörden nach Erteilung einer Sicherheitsbescheinigung oder Sicherheitsgenehmigung (180).

3.

Nur acht nationale Sicherheitsbehörden haben in ihrem der Europäischen Eisenbahnagentur 2013 vorgelegten Jahresbericht Angaben zu Verletzungen der Sicherheitsvorschriften gemacht. Ihrem Bericht zufolge haben sie 2012 zwischen 0 (EL, SI) und 51 (HU) Audits und 0 (EL, LU, RO) bis 980 (in RO) Untersuchungen durchgeführt.

4.

Diese Informationen können der Datenbank über gemeldete nationale Sicherheitsvorschriften nicht entnommen werden.

5.

Insgesamt wurden 63 Sicherheitsbescheinigungen entzogen. In nur drei Fällen (in Norwegen) steht der Entzug offenbar in Zusammenhang mit festgestellten Sicherheitsmängeln oder Mängeln im Sicherheitsmanagementsystem.

6.

Das Sicherheitsniveau wird anhand der in Anhang I der Richtlinie 2004/49/EG aufgeführten gemeinsamen Sicherheitsindikatoren bewertet und der Eisenbahnagentur jährlich von den nationalen Sicherheitsbehörden mitgeteilt. Die Zahl der entzogenen Sicherheitsbescheinigungen ist für diesen Zweck irrelevant.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002836/14

to the Commission

Jörg Leichtfried (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Railway safety and possible penalties

Article 32 of Directive 2004/49/EC provides for penalties for the infringement of the national regulations adopted pursuant to the directive. These penalties must be ‘effective, proportionate, non-discriminatory and dissuasive’. It is apparent that provisions at EU level are unclear as to how often on-site inspections of railway companies must be carried out and what form they should take. This has resulted in differing standards throughout the common European market, which is detrimental to safety and fair competition.

1.

How are the terms ‘effective, proportionate, non-discriminatory and dissuasive’ interpreted in the EU in relation to Directive 2004/49/EC? How have these measures been implemented in the individual Member States?

2.

What criteria are used in inspections of railway companies, including routine operations?

3.

How many railway companies have been inspected in the individual Member States to date? How many cases of infringements of safety regulations have been found, and what were they?

4.

What and how many measures at national and EU level have been introduced and reviewed to assess their effectiveness as a result of infringements or incidents?

5.

How many railway companies have had their safety certificate revoked as a result of incidents or infringements of safety regulations?

6.

Does the Commission assume that the railway system is that much safer because few, if any, safety certificates have been revoked?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

1.

The terms ‘effective, proportionate, non-discriminatory and dissuasive penalties’ must be assessed on a case by case basis. The national provisions notified by the Member States to the Commission do not allow to draw general conclusions on the interpretation of these terms.

2.

The national safety authorities (NSAs) set up their supervision strategy and plans according to Regulation (EU) No 1077/2012 of 16 November 2012 on a common safety method for supervision by national safety authorities after issuing a safety certificate or safety authorisation  (181).

3.

Only eight NSAs included information cases of infringement of safety rules in their last annual report transmitted to the European Railway Agency (ERA) in 2013. They reported having carried out between 0 (EL, SI) to 51 (in HU) audits and 0 (EL, LU, RO) to 980 (in RO) inspections in 2012.

4.

This information cannot be retrieved from the database on notified national safety rules.

5.

63 safety certificates have been revoked in total. Only in 3 cases (in Norway), does the revocation appear to be linked to safety deficiencies identified or deficiencies in the safety management system.

6.

Safety performance is evaluated on the basis of the common safety indicators listed in Annex I to Directive 2004/49/EC and reported to ERA annually by the NSA. The number of revoked safety certificates is not relevant for this purpose.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002838/14

à la Commission

Gilles Pargneaux (S&D)

(11 mars 2014)

Objet: Résistance aux antibiotiques pour animaux d'élevage

De grandes quantités d'antibiotiques et de médicaments sont administrées aux animaux d'élevage en Europe. Or, de plus en plus de bactéries présentes dans les aliments deviennent très résistantes aux antibiotiques. Selon des études récentes, sur cent échantillons de volailles achetés dans des supermarchés en France, 26 sont contaminés par des bactéries et, parmi eux, 61 % sont porteurs de bactéries résistantes à une ou plusieurs familles d'antibiotiques. Plus inquiétant, plus de 23 % de ces échantillons contaminés sont résistants à des antibiotiques critiques, les plus cruciaux auxquels a recours la médecine humaine en dernier ressort pour des pathologies graves.

Les risques pour la santé sont évidents d'autant que les populations les plus pauvres sont les premières victimes de ce phénomène. En effet, ce sont les produits d'entrée de gamme qui sont le plus touchés par l'antibiorésistance. Ces faits doivent nous inciter à tirer la sonnette d'alarme et à élaborer de nouvelles législations européennes plus ambitieuses.

1.

La Commission compte-t-elle proposer une législation pour diminuer la consommation d'antibiotiques dans le secteur agroalimentaire et, ainsi, limiter la résistance croissante des bactéries à ces antibiotiques? La Commission européenne compte-t-elle imposer un objectif chiffré de réduction de l'utilisation des antibiotiques afin de lutter clairement contre l'antibiorésistance?

2.

La Commission va-t-elle proposer une législation sur le problème très préoccupant de l'effet cocktail des antibiotiques dans l'élevage? Selon des études parues dans la revue PLOS ONE, la combinaison de fongicides employés dans l'élevage provoque des effets inattendus sur les cellules du système nerveux de l'homme, notamment dans le cas de la maladie d'Alzheimer. Ces effets ont été observés avec des concentrations proches de celles trouvées dans nos aliments.

3.

La Commission va-t-elle s'opposer à tout allègement des normes de sécurité alimentaire dans le cadre des négociations du traité transatlantique? L'Union européenne ne doit pas brader ses normes dans le domaine alimentaire et doit rester avant tout soucieuse de la sécurité alimentaire des consommateurs.

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-003018/14

à la Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(13 mars 2014)

Objet: Volailles porteuses de bactéries résistantes aux antibiotiques

Après analyse d'une centaine d'échantillons de poulet et de dinde achetés en grande surface, sur les marchés ou en boucherie, l'association de consommateurs «UFC-Que choisir» alerte sur la présence de bactéries résistantes à un ou plusieurs antibiotiques. Le test de l'association de consommateurs, publié lundi 10 mars, démontre que 26 échantillons sont contaminés et parmi eux, 61 % sont porteurs de bactéries résistantes à une ou plusieurs familles d'antibiotiques.

Alors que l'enjeu sanitaire est reconnu par les plus hautes autorités scientifiques et les pouvoirs publics, les réponses législatives et réglementaires européennes sont, à ce jour, loin d'être à la hauteur de ce problème majeur de santé publique.

1.

Face à ce constat alarmant, quelle suite la Commission compte‐t‐elle donner à cette étude qui met en lumière l'ampleur ce problème sanitaire en France mais aussi en Espagne et en Italie?

Selon cette même étude, ce sont les échantillons issus des volailles standards et premiers prix qui semblent être les plus impactés par l'antibiorésistance.

2.

La Commission entend-elle prendre des mesures concrètes pour remédier à la résistance développée par les bactéries en raison de l'usage intensif d'antibiotiques dans l'élevage et ainsi protéger notamment les consommateurs ayant les revenus les plus faibles?

Par ailleurs, l'UFC demande dans le cadre des négociations sur l'accord de libre-échange entre l'Union européenne et les États-Unis que l'Europe se positionne clairement contre tout allégement des normes européennes en matière de sécurité sanitaire, que ce soit sur l'antibiorésistance, les hormones de croissance ou la décontamination des carcasses à l'eau de javel.

3.

La Commission envisage-t-elle de prendre en compte ces recommandations afin de protéger au mieux la santé des citoyens européens?

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

(10 avril 2014)

Le plan d'action de la Commission contre la résistance antimicrobienne (RAM) (182) comprend des actions visant à promouvoir l'utilisation appropriée des antimicrobiens en médecine vétérinaire, à prévenir les infections microbiennes et leur propagation et à renforcer les systèmes de surveillance de la résistance aux antimicrobiens et de la consommation d'antimicrobiens.

Le plan d'action de la Commission souligne également l'importance de la coopération internationale et tient compte des mesures de lutte contre la propagation de bactéries résistantes dans la chaîne alimentaire, liée aux importations en provenance de pays tiers.

Les négociations commerciales entre l'Union européenne et les États-Unis ne compromettront pas le niveau élevé de protection des consommateurs qui est assuré par les normes sanitaires de l'UE et qui doit être respecté pour toutes les denrées alimentaires mises sur le marché de l'UE. La Commission est consciente du caractère sensible des questions de sécurité alimentaire, et veillera à ce que les normes sanitaires de l'UE ne soient pas bradées.

La Commission renvoie à ses réponses aux précédentes questions écrites E-013924/2013 et E‐011036/2013 (183).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002838/14

to the Commission

Gilles Pargneaux (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Resistance to livestock antibiotics

Antibiotics and other drugs are administered to livestock in the EU on a large scale. The fact is that bacteria in foodstuffs are increasingly becoming highly antibiotic-resistant. In recent studies, 26 out of 100 samples of poultry bought in supermarkets in France were found to be contaminated by bacteria and, of those 26, 61% carried bacteria resistant to one or more families of antibiotics. What is more worrying is that 23% of those contaminated samples were resistant to critical antibiotics used in human medicine, as a last resort, to treat serious diseases.

The health risks are self-evident, and the poorest sections of society are most at risk, given that antibiotic resistance is most prevalent in low-end products. These facts should be a wake-up call for us to draw up more ambitious EU legislation.

1.

Does the Commission intend proposing legislation to reduce the use of antibiotics in the agrifood sector and thus curb growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics? Does it intend to tackle antibiotic resistance effectively by laying down a target figure for reducing the use of antibiotics?

2.

Will the Commission propose legislation on the most worrying issue of the cocktail effect of antibiotics in livestock rearing? According to studies published in the journal PLOS ONE, the combination of fungicides used in livestock rearing gives rise to unexpected effects on human nervous system cells, in particular in connection with Alzheimer's disease. Those effects have been observed at levels close to those found in our foods.

3.

In the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will the Commission oppose any relaxation of food safety standards? The EU must not sacrifice its food safety standards; consumer food safety must continue to be its primary concern.

Question for written answer E-003018/14

to the Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(13 March 2014)

Subject: Poultry carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria

After testing around 100 chicken and turkey samples purchased from supermarkets, markets and butchers, the consumer association UFC-Que choisir has issued a warning about the presence of bacteria which are resistant to one or several antibiotics. The association’s study, published on 10 March 2014, shows that, out of 26 contaminated samples, 61% were carrying bacteria which were resistant to one or several classes of antibiotic. Despite the fact that leading scientists and public authorities have drawn attention to this major public health issue, European legislation and regulations in this area are still far from adequate.

1.

In the light of these alarming findings, how does the Commission intend to follow up on the study, which has highlighted the magnitude of the problem in France, Spain and Italy?

The same study suggests that medium‐ and low-cost poultry products are those most affected by the problem of antibiotic resistance.

2.

Does the Commission intend to introduce measures to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance in bacteria which has developed as a result of the intensive use of antibiotics in farming, and thus protect consumers, particularly those on low incomes?

The UFC has urged the EU, in the EU-US free trade negotiations, not to accept any watering-down of European health standards in any area, whether it be antibiotic resistance, growth hormones or the use of bleach to decontaminate carcases.

3.

Will the Commission consider these recommendations, with a view to protecting the health of EU citizens as effectively as possible?

Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

The Commission Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (184) includes actions to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine, to prevent antimicrobial infections and their spread and to strengthen surveillance systems on AMR and antimicrobial consumption.

The Commission action plan also stresses the importance of international cooperation and takes into account measures for the control of the spread of resistant bacteria in the food chain linked to import from third countries.

The EU-US trade negotiations will not undermine the high level of protection of consumers that is ensured by the EU health standards and that must be respected by all food placed on the EU market. The Commission is aware of sensitivities in the food safety sector and will ensure that EU health standards will not be watered down.

The Commission refers to its answers to previous Written Question E-013924/2013 and E-011036/2013 (185).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002839/14

alla Commissione

Matteo Salvini (EFD)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Interventi a tutela del marchio di conformità comunitario CE

Com'è noto oramai da anni, l'industria cinese produce ed esporta nel mondo, specialmente nel mercato europeo, prodotti con apposto un marchio di conformità dall'aspetto grafico palesemente confondibile con il corrispondente marchio dell'Unione europea.

Al di là della qualità degli articoli provenienti dalle fabbriche della Repubblica popolare cinese, della quale non si intende dissertare in questa sede, tale forte somiglianza induce in errore molti consumatori europei, i quali confidano nei rigorosi standard dell'Unione richiesti per l'ottenimento di detta certificazione.

A suggello di quanto affermato, si ricordano le risultanze dell'accreditato istituto Censis italiano, secondo le quali il mercato del falso nella sola penisola contava un fatturato di sette miliardi di euro già nel 2008, con il corrispettivo danno occupazionale, stimato attorno ai centotrentamila posti di lavoro.

Nonostante gli interventi approntati, anche di natura legislativa e regolamentare, a livello sia europeo che nazionale, lo sgradito fenomeno perdura tutt'oggi, procurando notevoli danni all'industria e all'artigianato del panorama continentale.

Si chiede quindi alla Commissione, in base ai dati a sua disposizione, quale sia l'entità attuale delle contraffazioni cinesi del marchio «CE» in Europa.

Non ritiene inoltre utile la Commissione promuovere tutte le iniziative possibili atte a far cessare l'impiego di simili pratiche commerciali fraudolente? Non reputa essa altresì opportuno procedere alla creazione e all'applicazione di un nuovo marchio di conformità, in sostituzione dell'attuale?

Risposta di Michel Barnier a nome della Commissione

(15 maggio 2014)

La Commissione non è a conoscenza di alcun tentativo organizzato di un uso improprio della marcatura CE. Essa è tuttavia consapevole del fatto che tale marcatura (come qualsiasi altro marchio) venga talvolta contraffatta.

Le autorità nazionali dei singoli Stati membri sono responsabili dell'applicazione della legislazione europea. A tale riguardo gli Stati membri, sotto la supervisione e la guida della Commissione, hanno introdotto sanzioni contro qualsiasi utilizzo fraudolento della marcatura CE. La Commissione provvede affinché le autorità degli Stati membri effettuino adeguati controlli e gli opportuni interventi.

A tal fine, la Commissione ha messo a disposizione delle autorità nazionali una piattaforma di comunicazione elettronica per facilitare l'individuazione degli abusi o usi impropri.

La Commissione discute inoltre costantemente con le autorità cinesi allo scopo di assicurare che gli esportatori cinesi rispettino la legislazione UE.

La marcatura CE costituisce un elemento visibile dell'intero sistema di regolamentazione della libera circolazione dei prodotti. Qualsiasi abuso della marcatura CE (come la contraffazione) è una conseguenza visibile di una violazione del sistema normativo. È perciò molto difficile (e può essere ingannevole) quantificare qualsiasi impatto semplicemente in termini numerici.

L'analisi della fattibilità di un marchio europeo per la sicurezza dei consumatori eseguita dai servizi della Commissione (186) ha dimostrato che un nuovo marchio europeo per i consumatori potrebbe creare più problemi di quanti ne risolva. Più recentemente, la valutazione dell'impatto del servizio di ricerca del Parlamento europeo pubblicata nell'aprile 2014 (187), riguardante un emendamento sostanziale del PE sulla marcatura «EU Safety Tested», ha concluso che questa comporterebbe benefici esigui o nulli per i consumatori.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002839/14

to the Commission

Matteo Salvini (EFD)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Action to protect the EC conformity mark

It has been known for many years that Chinese industry is producing and exporting throughout the world, in particular in the European market, products carrying a conformity mark which, in graphic terms, is patently liable to be confused with the corresponding mark used by the European Union.

Quite apart from the quality of the products manufactured in the People's Republic of China, on which we do not intend to expand here, this marked similarity is misleading to many European consumers, who trust in the Union’s rigorous standards for the issue of such certification.

In corroboration of the above, we draw attention to the findings of the accredited Italian Institute Censis (Centre for the Study of Social Investment) to the effect that, in 2008, the market for counterfeited goods in Italy alone generated sales of EUR 7 billion, resulting in an estimated loss of employment of one hundred and thirty thousand jobs.

In spite of legislative and regulatory measures in place in Europe and individual Member States, this unwelcome phenomenon still persists, causing substantial damage to industry and small businesses in Europe.

Can the Commission therefore, on the basis of data in its possession, identify the current scale of Chinese counterfeits of the ‘EC’ mark in Europe?

Does the Commission not also consider it expedient to take all possible action to put an end to the use of such fraudulent commercial practices? Does it not also consider it expedient to create and introduce a new conformity mark to replace the current mark?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

The Commission is not aware of any organised attempt to misuse the CE Marking. However the Commission is aware that the CE Marking (like any other marking) is sometimes counterfeited.

The enforcement of the European legislation is the responsibility of the national authorities in the Member States. In this respect, under the supervision and guidance of the Commission, Member States have established penalties against any infringement of the CE marking. The Commission ensures that adequate controls are carried out and appropriate action taken by the authorities of the Member States.

To this end, the Commission has provided national authorities with an electronic communication platform in order to faciliate the detection of abuses or misuses.

Furthermore, the Commission is in constant discussion with the Chinese authorities in order to ensure that Chinese exporters respect EU legislation.

CE Marking is a visible part of a whole regulatory system for the free movement of products. Any abuse of the CE Marking (e.g. counterfeit) is a visible consequence of an infringement against the regulatory system. It is therefore very difficult (and possibly misleading) to quantify any impact in terms of simple numbers.

The analysis on the feasibility of a European consumer safety mark carried out by the Commission departments (188) demonstrated that a new European consumer mark might create more problems than it would solve. More recently, the European Parliamentary Research Service’s Impact Assessment of a substantive EP amendment on ‘EU Safety Tested’ marking published in April 2014 (189) reached a conclusion that this would yield little to no benefit for consumers.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002842/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Arresto del terzogenito di Muammar Gheddafi

Il terzo figlio dell'ex dittatore libico Muammar Gheddafi è stato consegnato ieri mattina alle autorità della Libia presso l'aeroporto di Matiga, a Tripoli, dopo esser stato trovato e preso in consegna in Niger. La notizia giunge direttamente dal governo libico, che ha pubblicamente ringraziato il Niger per la collaborazione. Il giovane, che prima della primavera araba ricopriva la carica di comandante delle forze speciali libiche, durante le rivolte del 2011 era fuggito attraverso il Sahara e aveva trovato rifugio nel suddetto stato africano.

Appena consegnato è stato scortato con imponenti misure in un carcere di massima sicurezza, dove ora dovrà attendere di essere condotto davanti a un giudice. In merito a tale procedura, e considerando la forte ostilità della popolazione nei confronti della persona in oggetto, può la Commissione far sapere se intende entrare in contatto con le autorità libiche per richiamare la loro attenzione sul fatto che al figlio dell'ex dittatore devono essere garantiti tutti i diritti a lui spettanti in virtù della Convezione europea per la salvaguardia dei diritti dell'uomo e delle libertà fondamentali?

Risposta dell’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(30 aprile 2014)

L’UE ha più volte esortato le autorità libiche a rispettare gli impegni assunti a livello internazionale in materia di diritti umani, anche per quanto riguarda il trattamento dei detenuti, e ha invitato il governo libico a completare il processo volto ad assicurare il suo pieno controllo su tutti i luoghi di detenzione.

L’UE ha precisato che il rispetto dei diritti umani universali deve essere garantito anche nei casi come quello indicato dall’onorevole deputato che riguardano personalità di spicco dell’ex regime.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002842/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Arrest of Muammar Gaddafi's third son

Yesterday morning, the third son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was handed over to the Libyan authorities at Matiga Airport in Tripoli, having been tracked down and arrested in Niger. The news comes directly from the Libyan Government, which publicly thanked Niger for its cooperation. The young man, who before the Arab Spring was a commander in the Libyan special forces, fled across the Sahara during the revolution in 2011 and found refuge in the abovementioned African country.

Immediately after the handover, he was escorted with an impressive degree of security to a maximum security prison, where he will now have to wait to face trial. With regard to these proceedings, and given the significant degree of hostility that people feel towards him, can the Commission advise whether it plans to contact the Libyan authorities to draw their attention to the fact that the son of the former dictator must be granted all the rights afforded to him under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms?

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

(30 April 2014)

The EU has repeatedly urged the Libyan authorities to uphold its international commitments in the field of human rights, including regarding the treatment of detainees, and has called on the Libyan government to complete the process of bringing all places of detention under its full control.

The EU has made clear that compliance with universal human rights should also govern those cases involving prominent figures of the former regime as the one mentioned by the Honourable Member of the European Parliament.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002843/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Attentato terroristico in Iraq

Domenica 9 marzo circa quaranta persone, tra cui diverse donne e bambini, sono rimaste vittime di un attentato suicida presso un posto di blocco a Hilla, a sud di Baghdad, mentre altre centosettanta circa sono rimaste più o meno gravemente ferite. Un kamikaze a bordo di un bus imbottito di esplosivo si sarebbe fatto esplodere in mezzo al traffico nei pressi del checkpoint. Altri attentati hanno aggiunto poi ulteriori nomi alla lista delle vittime in altre città del paese.

È possibile che gli attentati siano legati alle dichiarazioni del primo ministro iracheno, che lo scorso sabato ha accusato Arabia Saudita e Qatar di sostenere gruppi di miliziani, cosa che «equivale a dichiarare guerra al paese».

In merito all'attentato, può la Commissione chiarire se:

vi sono cittadini europei tra le vittime e i feriti;

intende collaborare con le organizzazioni internazionali e gli Stati interessati al fine di monitorare e combattere il traffico di armi illegale nella regione mediorientale?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(16 maggio 2014)

L'AR/VP segue con la massima attenzione l'escalation della violenza in Iraq e non ha ricevuto segnalazioni riguardo a cittadini europei coinvolti negli attentati perpetrati di recente a Baghdad o in altre parti del paese.

Il traffico illegale di armi è fonte di preoccupazione per l'Unione. Diversi strumenti dell'UE finanziano progetti volti ad agevolare la distruzione di armi e munizioni in eccedenza, a migliorare la sicurezza delle scorte e a rafforzare il controllo dei trasferimenti di armi da parte del governo (sia nei paesi esportatori che in quelli importatori) per evitare che siano dirottate verso il mercato illecito. I progetti finanziati dall'UE riducono il rischio che le armi siano trasferite illegalmente e utilizzate, in particolare, nei paesi teatro di conflitti. Tali progetti possono essere attuati da organizzazioni regionali e internazionali competenti quali le agenzie dell'ONU. L'UE ha sostenuto, ad esempio, una conferenza regionale sulla lotta alla proliferazione delle armi di piccolo calibro (Cairo, 10-11 giugno 2013), organizzata congiuntamente dalla Lega degli Stati arabi e dall'Ufficio delle Nazioni Unite per le questioni connesse al disarmo.

L'UE ha appoggiato pienamente l'adozione in sede di ONU del trattato sul commercio delle armi (ATT), che mira ad aumentare la trasparenza e la responsabilità in questo campo. A norma dell'ATT, prima di autorizzare un trasferimento di armi gli Stati firmatari sono tenuti a valutare, fra l'altro, il rischio di diversione e ad adottare, se del caso, misure volte ad attenuarlo. L'UE, che ha sostenuto l'ATT fin dall'inizio, è attualmente favorevole alla sua rapida entrata in vigore e alla sua effettiva applicazione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002843/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Terrorist attack in Iraq

On Sunday 9 March, some 40 people, among them women and children, were the victims of a suicide bombing at a checkpoint in Hilla, south of Baghdad, while a further 170 or so were wounded. A minibus packed with explosives was detonated by a suicide bomber in a busy road in the vicinity of the checkpoint. Other attacks have since added further names to the list of victims in other cities elsewhere in the country.

It is possible that these attacks are linked to statements made by the Iraqi prime minster, who last Saturday accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting militia groups, which ‘is tantamount to declaring war on the country’.

With regard to the attack, can the Commission clarify whether:

European citizens were among the victims and the wounded;

it plans to work with international organisations and the countries involved to monitor and combat illegal arms trafficking in the Middle East?

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

(16 May 2014)

The HR/VP follows closely the situation of increased violence in Iraq and she has not received reports of European citizens having been involved in recent attacks in Baghdad or in the rest of Iraq.

Illegal arms' trafficking is regarded with concern by the EU. A number of projects financed through different EU instruments aim at facilitating the destruction of surplus weapons and ammunition, improving the security of stockpiles, strengthening the governmental oversight over arms transfers (both in the exporting and importing countries) so that they are not diverted to the illicit market. Those EU-funded projects altogether reduce the risk of arms being illegally transferred and used notably in conflict-torn countries. They can be implemented by competent regional and international organisations such as UN agencies. For instance, the EU supported a regional conference co-organised by the League of Arab States and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs on addressing the proliferation of small arms (Cairo, 10-11 June 2013).

The EU strongly supported the adoption within the UN of the Arms Trade Treaty (‘ATT’) that aims at increasing transparency and responsibility in arms trade. Typically, the ATT mandates States Parties to assess inter alia the risk of diversion, and where relevant to take mitigation measures, before possibly approving an arms transfer. In line with its early support to the ATT, the EU now supports its early entry into force and effective implementation.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-003677/14

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Turquía y Twitter

El Primer Ministro de Turquía está impulsando el bloqueo del acceso a la red social Twitter en su país como intento de evitar la difusión de información sobre la supuesta corrupción de su Gobierno antes de las elecciones municipales del 30 de marzo.

Siendo Turquía un país en proceso de adhesión a la Unión y habiendo señalado el «Informe de 2012 relativo a los progresos realizados por Turquía» recientemente aprobado por este Parlamento en su apartado 18 su preocupación sobre situación la libertad de expresión, el pluralismo de los medios de comunicación y los límites a Internet,

¿Qué opinión le merecen a la Comisión los hechos mencionados?

¿Piensa la Comisión dar algún paso para defender la libertad de expresión e información en Turquía y evitar su degradación? En caso afirmativo, ¿cuáles serían estos pasos?

¿Hará la Comisión suyo el informe del Parlamento arriba mencionado y realizará un llamamiento al Gobierno de Turquía para que ultime la revisión del marco jurídico sobre la libertad de expresión y lo adecue a los estándares de la Unión?

Respuesta conjunta del Sr. Füle en nombre de la Comisión

(8 de mayo de 2014)

La Comisión remite a Sus Señorías a su respuesta conjunta a las preguntas escritas E-001101/2014, E-001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E-001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E-001749/2014, E-001817/2014, E-002036/2014 y E-002174/2014 (190).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-003921/14

an die Kommission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(28. März 2014)

Betrifft: Twitter-Sperre in der Türkei

Vorige Woche hatte die türkische Telekommunikationsbehörde den Kurznachrichtendienst Twitter gesperrt. Offiziell begründet wurde dies mit der Weigerung des Unternehmens, von türkischen Gerichten beanstandete Beiträge zu löschen. Hintergrund sind anhaltende Korruptionsvorwürfe gegen Erdogan und seine Regierung, die per Twitter verbreitet wurden. Der Sprecher des UN-Hochkommissariats für Menschenrechte, Rupert Colville, hält die Twitter-Blockade vom 20. März 2014 für mit den Menschenrechtsverpflichtungen der Türkei unvereinbar. Ein Verwaltungsgericht in der türkischen Hauptstadt Ankara hat am 27. März 2014 die Entscheidung der Regierung Erdogan, den Zugang zu Twitter zu blockieren, ausgesetzt.

1.

Wie steht die Kommission zur (vorübergehenden) Twitter-Sperre in der Türkei?

2.

Sieht sie darin ebenfalls eine Unvereinbarkeit mit den Menschenrechtsverpflichtungen der Türkei?

3.

Welche Konsequenzen hat dies für die Beitrittsverhandlungen?

Gemeinsame Antwort von Herrn Füle im Namen der Kommission

(8. Mai 2014)

Die Kommission verweist die Damen und Herren Abgeordneten auf ihre gemeinsame Antwort auf die schriftlichen Anfragen E-001101/2014, E-001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E-001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E-001749/2014,E-001817/2014, E-002036/2014 und E-002174/2014 (191).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002844/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Censura dei social media in Turchia

Il primo ministro turco ha minacciato, durante un'intervista per una tv privata turca, di proibire alcuni famosi social media e social network in Turchia dopo le elezioni municipali del 30 marzo. Questo perché alcuni social media hanno diffuso alcune telefonate del premier che lo coinvolgono in un caso di corruzione, telefonate in cui «insegna» a nascondere grandi somme di denaro sporco in previsione di possibili operazioni di polizia.

Si tratta di una nuova minaccia dopo la legge approvata lo scorso mese in materia di censura, che permette all'Authority di oscurare siti d'informazione senza il permesso della magistratura, attribuendole inoltre la possibilità di controllare l'attività degli utenti.

In merito a quanto detto, può la Commissione indicare come la legge e la minaccia descritte possono ripercuotersi sui negoziati per l'adesione della Turchia?

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003730/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Censura di Twitter in Turchia

Il Premier turco Erdogan ha deciso di bandire Twitter dalla Turchia. Il social network, infatti, non ha rispettato i precisi ordini ministeriali impartiti per censurare e rimuovere alcuni link che circolavano sulla piattaforma. Questa scelta del governo di Ankara è solo la punta dell'iceberg di una strategia mirata a estirpare con ogni mezzo la libertà d'espressione in Turchia mettendola continuamente sotto attacco. Lo testimoniano non solo la chiusura di Twitter, ma anche la censura di Youtube e tutte le centinaia di procedimenti giudiziari a carico di attivisti, giornalisti, scrittori e avvocati «colpevoli» di aver criticato l'operato di rappresentanti dello Stato o di aver espresso legittimamente le loro idee su questioni politiche sensibili.

La mancanza di libertà di espressione in Turchia è stata denunciata anche da Amnesty International attraverso un dettagliato rapporto in cui l'organizzazione per i diritti umani ha portato all'attenzione dell'opinione pubblica i peggiori dieci articoli di legge che pregiudicano il diritto alla libera espressione varati dal governo di Ankara.

1.

Come valuta la Commissione questo atteggiamento della Turchia che viola ancora una volta il principio della libertà di espressione e di stampa saldamenti difesi dalla UE?

2.

Stanti i negoziati del processo di adesione tuttora in corso, considerati i numerosi capitoli dell'acquis comunitario non ancora recepiti e vista questa ennesima presa di posizione del governo turco, intende essa bloccare definitivamente l'ingresso della Turchia in Europa?

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-003936/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD) e Mario Borghezio (NI)

(28 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Turchia: dopo la chiusura di Twitter, il governo blocca l'accesso a Youtube

Dopo il blocco di Twitter annunciato la scorsa settimana, il governo di Ankara ha bloccato oggi definitivamente anche l'accesso a Youtube. La misura interviene dopo che sulla rete sociale è stata diffusa la registrazione di una conversazione fra dirigenti turchi su un possibile intervento in Siria.

La Commissione:

intende intervenire in difesa del diritto alla libertà di espressione, che in Turchia è ormai stata totalmente censurata a favore della sola propaganda di regime?

Come valuta questo atteggiamento della Turchia alla luce dei negoziati per l'ingresso della Turchia nell'UE?

Risposta congiunta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(8 maggio 2014)

La Commissione rinvia gli onorevoli deputati alla risposta congiunta fornita alle interrogazioni scritte E-001101/2014, E- 001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E‐001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E- 001749/2014, E‐001817/2014, E-002036/2014 e E-002174/2014 (192).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-003468/14

aan de Commissie

Philip Claeys (NI)

(21 maart 2014)

Betreft: Turkse regering laat Twitter blokkeren

Sinds middernacht is de socialenetwerksite Twitter geblokkeerd in Turkije. Eerder al had de islamistische premier Erdoğan ermee gedreigd Twitter „uit te roeien”. Het blokkeren van Twitter heeft te maken met de vele tweets over de vermeende corruptieschandalen waarin premier Erdoğan en zijn entourage zijn verwikkeld.

Welke maatregelen overweegt de Commissie te nemen tegen deze brutale censuurmaatregel, los van het gebruikelijke uiten van „bezorgdheid”?

Welke gevolgen heeft het blokkeren van Twitter voor het verdere verloop van de toetredingsonderhandelingen met Turkije?

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003700/14

aan de Commissie

Laurence J. A. J. Stassen (NI)

(26 maart 2014)

Betreft: Erdoğan blokkeert Twitter

De door de Turkse premier Erdoğan aangekondigde verdere inperking van de vrijheid van meningsuiting op internet (zie mijn eerdere vraag: E-002724/2014), vindt doorgang. „Op last van de rechter” is de toegang tot het sociale medium Twitter geblokkeerd. Erdoğan zei daarover: „Het kan me niet schelen wat de internationale gemeenschap zegt.”

1.

Hoe beoordeelt de Commissie de blokkade van Twitter, een verdere inperking van de vrijheid van meningsuiting (193)?

2.

Wat vindt de Commissie ervan dat het Erdoğan „niet kan schelen wat de internationale gemeenschap [over de blokkade van Twitter] zegt” en dat hij daarmee alle aanstaande mogelijke kritiek, aldus ook van EU-zijde, bij voorbaat in de wind slaat?

3.

Uit het voortgangsverslag van de Commissie (194) blijkt dat de toetredingsonderhandelingen tussen de EU en Turkije het doorvoeren van positieve hervormingen zouden moeten bewerkstelligen; hoe beoordeelt de Commissie het dat juist het tegendeel het geval is en dat Turkije almaar verder afglijdt?

4.

Is de Commissie er nu eindelijk van overtuigd dat Turkije absoluut geen boodschap heeft aan de EU en lak heeft aan de herhaaldelijke oproepen van de Commissie om de vrijheid van meningsuiting juist te waarborgen? Zo ja, welke consequenties verbindt de Commissie hieraan? Zo neen, waaruit blijkt volgens de Commissie dat Turkije zich dan wél aan de EU zou willen aanpassen en waarde zou hechten aan de vrijheid van meningsuiting?

5.

Is de Commissie ertoe bereid de onvermijdelijke conclusie te trekken dat Turkije niet Europees is, niet Europees wil/kan zijn en nooit tot de EU moet toetreden? Is de Commissie ertoe bereid voor eens en voor altijd de toetredingsonderhandelingen tussen de EU en Turkije te verbreken?

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-003854/14

aan de Commissie

Laurence J. A. J. Stassen (NI)

(27 maart 2014)

Betreft: Erdoğan blokkeert YouTube

Eerder kondigde de Turkse premier Erdoğan aan de toegang tot sociale media verder in te perken (zie mijn eerdere vraag: E:002724/2014). Hij voegt de daad bij het woord: na de toegang tot Twitter geblokkeerd te hebben (195), is nu YouTube aan de beurt. Vanwege audiofragmenten, die suggereerden dat Erdoğan in 2010 bewust een seksvideo van oppositieleider Baykal zou hebben gelekt, is ook YouTube geblokkeerd (196).

1.

Hoe beoordeelt de Commissie de blokkade van YouTube, een verdere inperking van de vrijheid van meningsuiting? Is zij voornemens hier consequenties aan te verbinden in plaats van, zoals gewoonlijk, slechts „bezorgd te zijn”? Zo ja, welke consequenties? Zo neen, waarom niet?

2.

Wat vindt de Commissie ervan dat Erdoğan het klaarblijkelijk belangrijker vindt zijn eigen straatje schoon te vegen dan de vrijheid van meningsuiting te waarborgen? Deelt de Commissie de mening dat het handelen van Erdoğan volledig indruist tegen de zogenaamde „Europese normen en waarden” die Turkije, als kandidaat-EU-lidstaat, juist zou moeten eerbiedigen?

3.

Deelt de Commissie de mening dat Turkije zélf wederom aantoont absoluut níet in de EU thuis te horen? Zo neen, hoe verklaart de Commissie dan, in deze context, dat Turkije almaar verder afglijdt en de fundamentele vrijheden stelselmatig aan banden legt?

4.

Welke gevolgen heeft de blokkade van YouTube voor de toetredingsonderhandelingen tussen de EU en Turkije? Is de Commissie ertoe bereid een ieder uit dit gebed zonder einde te verlossen door de onderhandelingen voor eens en voor altijd af te breken?

Antwoord van de heer Füle namens de Commissie

(8 mei 2014)

De Commissie verwijst de geachte Parlementsleden naar haar gecombineerd antwoord op de schriftelijke vragen E-001101/2014, E-001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E-001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E-001749/2014, E-001817/2014, E-002036/2014 en E-002174/2014 (197).

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-003659/14

do Komisji (Wiceprzewodniczącej/Wysokiej Przedstawiciel)

Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR)

(25 marca 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Wiceprzewodnicząca/Wysoka Przedstawiciel – Blokada Twittera w Turcji

20 marca br. w wyniku postanowienia sądu, Turcja zablokowała dostęp do popularnego serwisu społecznościowego Twitter. Jest to efekt walki premiera Erdogana z mediami społecznościowymi, w których od kilku miesięcy ukazują się materiały demaskujące skorumpowanie rządu. Recep Tayyip Erdogan zapowiada, że podobny los spotka także inne portale społecznościowe, które jego zdaniem zagrażają bezpieczeństwu państwa.

Jak Wysoka Przedstawiciel ustosunkuje się do jawnego naruszania wolności słowa – wartości zajmującej istotne miejsce w Europejskiej Konwencji Praw Człowieka?

Wspólna odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Štefana Fülego w imieniu Komisji

(8 maja 2014 r.)

Komisja odsyła Szanownych Posłów do swoich wspólnych odpowiedzi na pytania pisemne nr E-001101/2014, E-001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E-001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E-001749/2014, E-001817/2014, E-002036/2014 i E-002174/2014 (198).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002844/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Censorship of social media in Turkey

During an interview for a private Turkish television station, the Turkish Prime Minister threatened to ban a number of well-known social media networks in Turkey after the municipal elections on 30 March, the reason being that some social media networks have circulated telephone calls made by the Premier which implicate him in a corruption case, calls in which he ‘gives instructions’ for the concealment of large sums of dirty money in anticipation of possible police operations.

This is a new threat following on from the law on censorship passed last month, which allows the authorities to black out information sites without permission from the judiciary and gives them control over user activities.

With reference to the above, can the Commission indicate how the new law and the threat described above could impact on Turkey’s accession negotiations?

Question for written answer P-003468/14

to the Commission

Philip Claeys (NI)

(21 March 2014)

Subject: Twitter ban imposed by Turkish Government

Following threats by the Islamic Prime Minister Erdogan to ‘eradicate’ the Twitter social networking site in Turkey, it has since midnight been banned in response to numerous tweets regarding alleged corruption scandals involving the Prime Minister and his entourage.

In view of this:

What measures are now being envisaged by the Commission in response to this brazen act of censorship, aside from its standard expressions of ‘concern’?

What are the implications of the Twitter ban regarding future accession talks with Turkey?

Question for written answer E-003659/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR)

(25 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Access to Twitter blocked in Turkey

Following a court ruling, on 20 March 2014 Turkey blocked access to Twitter, the popular social media service. This is a part of Premier Erdoğan’s on-going battle with social media, where material highlighting government corruption has been published in recent months. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that other social media portals, which in his opinion constitute a threat to national security, will share a similar fate.

What is the High Representative’s response to this clear breach of freedom of speech, a right that has an important place in the European Convention on Human Rights?

Question for written answer E-003677/14

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(26 March 2014)

Subject: Turkey and Twitter

The Prime Minister of Turkey has ordered access to the social network Twitter to be blocked in his country, in an attempt to prevent information about alleged corruption in his government spreading before the municipal elections on 30 March 2104.

Given that Turkey is a candidate state for accession to the EU and in light of the concerns raised with regard to press freedom, media pluralism and Internet limitation in paragraph 18 of the 2012 Progress Report on Turkey, which was recently approved by this Parliament:

What is the Commission’s stance on the above situation?

Does the Commission intend to take any action to support freedom of expression and information in Turkey and prevent these freedoms from being undermined? If so, what action does it intend to take?

Will the Commission take on board the abovementioned report by the Parliament and call on the Turkish Government to finalise the review of its legislative framework on freedom of expression, bringing it into line with Union standards?

Question for written answer E-003700/14

to the Commission

Laurence J.A.J. Stassen (NI)

(26 March 2014)

Subject: Blocking of Twitter by Erdoğan

The further restrictions of freedom of expression on the Internet announced by Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdoğan (see my previous Question E-002724/2014) are going ahead. ‘By court order’, access to the social medium Twitter has been blocked. On this subject, Erdoğan has commented that he does not care what the international community says.

1.

What is the Commission’s view of the blocking of Twitter, a further restriction of freedom of expression? (199)

2.

What view does the Commission take of the fact that Erdoğan claims to be indifferent to what the international community thinks about the blocking of Twitter, thereby, in advance, rejecting any possible criticism which may be forthcoming, including therefore from the EU?

3.

The Commission’s progress report (200) indicates that the accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey ought to bring about positive reforms; what view does the Commission take of the fact that the direct opposite proves to be case and that Turkey is constantly regressing?

4.

Does the Commission now finally realise that Turkey wants to have absolutely nothing to do with the EU and could not care less about the Commission’s reiterated calls for Turkey, on the contrary, to guarantee freedom of expression? If so, how will the Commission act on this realisation? If not, what evidence does the Commission see that Turkey intends to adapt to the EU and attaches value to freedom of expression?

5.

Will the Commission draw the unavoidable conclusion that Turkey is not European, does not wish to be European, is not capable of being European, and ought never to accede to the EU? Will the Commission once and for all halt the accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey?

Question for written answer E-003730/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(26 March 2014)

Subject: Censoring of Twitter in Turkey

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided to ban Twitter in Turkey after the social network failed to comply with specific ministerial orders to censor and remove various links that were circulating on the platform. This decision by the government in Ankara is only the tip of the iceberg of a strategy whose purpose is to use every means to squash freedom of expression in Turkey by placing it under constant attack. This is evidenced not just by the Twitter shutdown, but also by the censoring of YouTube and all the hundreds of court cases against activists, journalists, writers and lawyers who are ‘guilty’ of criticising the actions of government representatives or legitimately voicing their opinions on sensitive political issues.

The lack of freedom of expression in Turkey has also been denounced by Amnesty International in a detailed report in which the human rights organisation draws public attention to the ten worst articles of law passed by the government in Ankara, prejudicing the right to freedom of expression.

1.

What is the Commission’s opinion of Turkey’s behaviour in this matter, which is yet another violation of the principle of freedom of expression and of the press so staunchly defended by the EU?

2.

Given that accession negotiations are still ongoing and that Turkey has yet to adopt many chapters of EU legislation, and given this latest stance taken by the Turkish Government, does the Commission intend once and for all to block Turkey’s entry into Europe?

Question for written answer E-003854/14

to the Commission

Laurence J.A.J. Stassen (NI)

(27 March 2014)

Subject: Blocking of YouTube by Erdoğan

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has previously announced his intention of further restricting access to social media (see my Question E-002724/2014). He is proving as good as his word: after having blocked access to Twitter (201), he has now turned his attention to YouTube. Because of audio fragments suggesting that in 2010 Erdoğan deliberately leaked a sex video featuring opposition leader Baykal, YouTube has also been blocked. (202)

1.

What view does the Commission take of the blocking of YouTube, a further restriction of freedom of expression? Will it take action in response to it, rather than, as usual, merely expressing its ‘concern’? If so, what action? If not, why not?

2.

What view does the Commission take of the fact that Erdoğan clearly considers it more important to clean up his own image by bogus means than to guarantee freedom of expression? Does the Commission agree that Erdoğan’s action is completely contrary to the so-called ‘European standards and values’ which Turkey ought, on the contrary, to be respecting as a candidate for accession to the EU?

3.

Does the Commission agree that Turkey itself is once again demonstrating that it has absolutely no place in the EU? If not, how does the Commission, in this context, account for the fact that Turkey is constantly regressing and systematically restricting fundamental freedoms?

4.

What consequences will the blocking of YouTube have for the accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey? Will the Commission put this endless saga to rest by halting the negotiations once and for all?

Question for written answer E-003921/14

to the Commission

Andreas Mölzer (NI)

(28 March 2014)

Subject: Twitter block in Turkey

Last week, the Turkish telecommunications authorities blocked access to the short messaging service Twitter. The official reason cited for this was the company’s refusal to delete tweets to which the Turkish courts objected. This comes amid persistent allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, which were being circulated via Twitter. The spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, declared the Twitter block on 20 March 2014 as incompatible with Turkey's international human rights obligations. An administrative court in the Turkish capital Ankara ruled on 27 March 2014 that the decision by Mr Erdoğan’s government to block access to Twitter should be suspended.

1.

What is the Commission’s view on the (temporary) Twitter block in Turkey?

2.

Does it also regard this action as incompatible with Turkey's international human rightsobligations?

3.

What implications will this have for negotiations for the country’s accession?

Question for written answer E-003936/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD) and Mario Borghezio (NI)

(28 March 2014)

Subject: Turkey: clampdown on Twitter followed by government ban on YouTube

Following the clampdown on Twitter announced last week, the Ankara Government has now prohibited access to YouTube after it made public a recorded conversation between Turkish leaders concerning possible intervention in Syria.

In view of this:

Does the Commission intend to take action to uphold freedom of expression, which is now being totally censored in Turkey, with only government propaganda being authorised?

What view does it take of Turkey’s actions in the light of negotiations for its accession to the EU?

Joint answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Members to its joint reply provided to the written questions E-001101/2014, E-001308/2014, E-001326/2014, E-001338/2014, E-001502/2014, P-001688/2014, E-001692/2014, E-001723/2014, E-001749/2014, E-001817/2014, E-002036/2014 and E-002174/2014 (203).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002845/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Frammentazione dell'opposizione siriana e infiltrazioni fondamentaliste

La crisi siriana, pur se passata in secondo piano nei media europei, dovrebbe restare un problema centrale della politica estera europea. L'iniziale sostegno ai ribelli siriani contro il governo di Bashar Assad ha visto un progressivo ridimensionamento a causa della frammentazione stessa del fronte di rivolta, ormai composto per il 50 % circa da gruppi islamici fondamentalisti. Lo stesso Consiglio nazionale siriano è oggi, in realtà, una coalizione notevolmente ridimensionata a causa della scissione dei gruppi islamisti. Tra tali gruppi si possono contare la cellula qaedista Fronte al-Nusra (ANF), parte del Fronte per uno Stato islamico in Siria e in Iraq, nonché l'Islamic Front (IF), fondato nel novembre 2013 grazie alla fusione del Syrian Islamic Front, una coalizione di gruppi ribelli accomunati dalla loro appartenenza al movimento salafita, del Syrian Islamic Liberation Front e di altri cinque gruppi islamici minori, tra cui il Kurdish Islamic Front.

D'altro canto sono presenti anche numerose forze moderate e laiche, come la Coalizione nazionale siriana delle forze di opposizione e di rivoluzione, che riunisce le forze laiche moderniste, tra cui gli aderenti alla Dichiarazione di Damasco, l'Organizzazione democratica assira, alcuni dissidenti curdi e alcuni comitati di coordinamento locale. A sostegno della coalizione si è poi affiancato anche il Syrian Free Army (FSA), una parte dell'esercito regolare siriano distaccatasi dalle forze di Assad.

In merito a questa situazione, la Commissione può chiarire:

quali siano i rapporti dell'UE con la Coalizione nazionale siriana delle forze di opposizione e di rivoluzione?

in che modo intende affrontare, in un contesto internazionale, il problema delle infiltrazioni del fondamentalismo islamico nel fronte di opposizione ad Assad?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(14 maggio 2014)

Il Consiglio Affari esteri ha riconosciuto la coalizione nazionale delle forze siriane della rivoluzione e dell'opposizione quale legittimo rappresentante del popolo siriano. L'UE collabora con la coalizione per soccorrere la popolazione siriana attraverso diverse forme di assistenza umanitaria e non militare.

Il Consiglio Affari esteri ha espresso ripetutamente preoccupazione per la diffusione dell'estremismo e dei gruppi estremisti, compresi ISIL e Jabhat al-Nusra. Il loro coinvolgimento nel conflitto costituisce una minaccia per il processo di pace, l'integrità territoriale della Siria e la sicurezza regionale e internazionale. Il Consiglio ha esortato tutte le parti in causa a smettere di sostenere questi gruppi. L'UE ha accolto con favore il fatto che la coalizione nazionale delle forze siriane della rivoluzione e dell'opposizione abbia condannato tutte le forme di terrorismo ed estremismo e che l'opposizione moderata avversi i gruppi estremisti. L'UE continuerà a sollevare la questione della diffusione dell'influenza degli estremisti in Siria con tutte le parti interessate, anche nella regione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002845/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Fragmentation of the Syrian opposition and fundamentalist infiltration

Although it no longer occupies centre stage in the European media, the Syrian crisis should still be seen as a key issue for European foreign policy. The initial support provided to the Syrian rebels against the government of Bashar Assad has been gradually scaled down due to the fragmentation of the rebel front, around 50% of which is now made up of fundamentalist Islamic groups. The Syrian National Council itself is now, in reality, a substantially scaled‐down coalition due to the split-off of the Islamist groups. These groups include the Al Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front (ANF), which is part of the Front for an Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, along with the Islamic Front (IF), founded in November 2013 through the merger of the Syrian Islamic Front, a coalition of rebel groups brought together by their adherence to the Salafi movement, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and five other minor Islamic groups including the Kurdish Islamic Front.

On the other hand, there are also many moderate secular forces, such as the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, which brings together modernist secular forces, including supporters of the Damascus Declaration, the Assyrian Democratic Organisation, some Kurdish dissidents and a few local coordinating committees. The Free Syrian Army (FSA), part of the regular Syrian army that has broken away from Assad's forces, has also come out in support of the Coalition.

With regard to this situation, can the Commission clarify:

the EU’s relationship with the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces?

in what way it plans to deal, within an international framework, with the issue of Islamic fundamentalist infiltration of the front opposing Assad?

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

(14 May 2014)

The Foreign Affairs Council has recognised the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces as legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. The EU has been working with the SOC to assist the Syrian population through the provision of various forms of humanitarian and non-military assistance.

The Foreign Affairs Council has repeatedly voiced its concern about the spread of extremism and extremist groups, including ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra. Their involvement in the conflict poses a threat to the peace process, the territorial integriaty of Syria and to regional and international security. The Council has called on all relevant parties to halt the support to these groups. The EU has welcomed the Syrian Opposition Coalition's condemnation of all forms of terrorism and extremism, and that the moderate opposition is opposing extremist groups. The EU will continue to reach out to all relevant stakeholders, including in the region, to address the issue of spreading extremist influence in Syria.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002846/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Il caso di una bimba apparentemente guarita dall'Aids grazie a una terapia neonatale

Una recentissima scoperta medica apre nuovi e interessanti scenari sulla cura dell'Hiv: una bimba californiana, nata con l'Aids, a quattro ore dalla nascita è stata subito sottoposta a cure antiretrovirali e dopo 11 mesi di terapia non mostra più traccia dell'infezione.

In realtà i test erano negativi già sei giorni dopo la nascita della bambina, per poi rimanere invariati nei mesi successivi. Certo potrebbe trattarsi di semplice remissione dell'infezione e non di una vera e propria guarigione, ma dal momento che la cura non è stata interrotta, è ancora impossibile da chiarire.

In realtà non si tratta del primo caso: già nel marzo 2013 una bimba sieropositiva è stata sottoposta alla stessa cura 30 ore dopo la nascita, presentando gli stessi risultati.

Alla luce di questa sperimentazione, può la Commissione chiarire se in Europa sono state condotte terapie simili e, se del caso, quali sono stati i risultati? Può inoltre riferire se intende finanziare l'avvio o il proseguimento di sperimentazioni simili, che rappresentano forse i più grandi passi avanti nella lotta contro l'Aids?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(28 aprile 2014)

La Commissione è a conoscenza del caso della California presentato nella recente conferenza sui retrovirus e sulle infezioni opportunistiche (CROI), nonché di un altro caso segnalato negli Stati Uniti nel 2013. La prevenzione e il trattamento dell'HIV è in primo luogo responsabilità delle autorità nazionali negli Stati membri. Pertanto la Commissione non monitora sistematicamente il trattamento e la sperimentazione terapeutica in questo settore. Tuttavia il Centro europeo per la prevenzione e il controllo delle malattie vigila sugli sviluppi principali in questo settore, ma per il momento non è a conoscenza di eventuali sperimentazioni in corso in Europa.

La Commissione sostiene la ricerca sull'HIV/AIDS mediante il programma quadro di ricerca e di sviluppo tecnologico (PQ). Nel 7o PQ (2007-2013) sono stati investiti oltre 155 milioni di euro per la ricerca sull'HIV/AIDS, compresi gli studi su trattamenti nuovi ed efficaci per uso pediatrico e per gli adulti. Nel nuovo programma quadro dell'UE per la ricerca e l'innovazione «Orizzonte 2020» (2014-2020), la Commissione continuerà a sostenere la ricerca in tale ambito. Tuttavia nell'UE, grazie all'esistenza di programmi di screening prenatale e alla messa a disposizione di trattamenti antiretrovirali alle madri sieropositive, si verifica un numero relativamente ridotto di casi di trasmissione verticale di HIV. Pertanto, dal punto di vista della salute pubblica e nella sua forma attuale, è improbabile che tale cura funzionale abbia un impatto significativo sulla trasmissione dell'HIV in Europa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002846/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Baby girl apparently cured of AIDS following a course of neonatal treatment

A quite recent medical discovery has opened up interesting new avenues in the search for a cure for HIV. In California, a baby girl born with AIDS was immediately started on a course of antiretroviral treatment, four hours after her birth, and after 11 months of treatment seems to be completely cured.

In fact, the tests were negative from just six days after the birth of the child, and remained so for the following months. It could, of course, just be a question of remission from the disease and not a complete cure, but since the treatment is ongoing it is not yet possible to say.

This is not the first such case. In March 2013, a baby girl who had tested seropositive was given the same treatment 30 hours after her birth, with the same results.

In the light of this experience, can the Commission state whether similar treatments have been administered in Europe and, if so, what the results were? Can it also indicate whether it intends to fund the launch (or continued application) of such treatments, which constitute perhaps the biggest advance ever in the field of combating AIDS?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

The Commission is aware of the California case presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), as well as another case reported in the US in 2013. Prevention and treatment of HIV is primarily a responsibility of the national authorities in the Member States. Therefore the Commission does not systematically monitor treatment and therapeutic trials in this field. Nevertheless the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control maintains a science watch of the main advances in this area, but has currently no knowledge of any ongoing trials on this topic in Europe.

The Commission supports research on HIV/AIDS through the framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP). In the 7th FP, (2007-2013), over EUR 155 million were invested in HIV/AIDS research, including studies on novel and effective treatment intervention for pediatric or adults use. In the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ‘Horizon 2020’ (2014-2020), the Commission will continue to support research in this area. However, relatively few cases of vertically transmitted HIV occur in the EU due to the existence of relatively good antenatal screening programmes and the provision of antiretroviral treatment to mothers who are HIV-positive. Therefore, from a public health perspective and in its current form, such a functional cure is unlikely to have a major impact on HIV transmission in Europe.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002847/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: La corsa all'Artico: prospettive europee

La Marina militare statunitense sta redigendo un piano operativo nel Mar Glaciale Artico, in vista della sua accresciuta accessibilità legata allo scioglimento dei ghiacci. Questo specchio di mare ha tutte le potenzialità per divenire una nuova arena di scontri geopolitici, legati in particolare alle riserve energetiche presenti sotto le acque e sotto i ghiacci della regione artica: il governo statunitense valuta infatti che circa il 30 % delle riserve di gas naturale non ancora scoperte si trovi proprio in questa regione, così come il 13 % delle fonti petrolifere ancora sconosciute.

Anche il Canada e la Federazione russa hanno chiaramente espresso il loro interesse nella regione e la loro intenzione di estendere la propria sfera di influenza in tale direzione, mentre la Cina si sta adoperando per ottenere lo status di «paese vicino all'Artico».

In merito a questa «corsa all'Artico», può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

L'Unione europea detiene interessi specifici nella regione artica?

Esistono avamposti di ricerca dell'Unione europea o di Stati membri dell'Unione europea nella regione artica?

È a conoscenza di programmi militari degli Stati membri o di azioni dell'Agenzia europea di difesa in materia di studi e produzione di nuovi equipaggiamenti, mezzi aerei, marittimi o terrestri, o di particolari programmi di addestramento ad operazioni in ambiente artico?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(24 giugno 2014)

La comunicazione congiunta dell'Alta Rappresentante e della Commissione (rif.: JOIN (2012)19) adottata il 26 giugno 2012 esamina i progressi compiuti dal 2008 e fissa gli orientamenti per le azioni future. L'UE sta intensificando l'impegno con i partner per affrontare la sfida comune della tutela dell'ambiente e garantire al tempo stesso lo sviluppo sostenibile e pacifico della regione artica attraverso investimenti nelle conoscenze, la promozione di approcci responsabili alle emergenti opportunità commerciali e l'impegno costruttivo con i partner dell'Artico.

I paesi dell'UE dispongono di eccellenti infrastrutture nell'Artico, con stazioni permanenti a terra e nell'oceano, rompighiaccio, aerei e satelliti. La Commissione ha destinato notevoli risorse alla creazione e allo sviluppo di adeguate reti di osservazione e per facilitare l'accesso alle strutture di ricerca nell'Artico agli scienziati europei e di altri paesi, finanziando progetti quali INTERACT, una rete pluridisciplinare di 58 stazioni terrestri di ricerca nella regione artica e settentrionale, che sta creando in tutta la regione capacità di monitoraggio, ricerca, educazione e sensibilizzazione ambientali.

L'Artico sta diventando sempre più importante dal punto di vista strategico ed è emblematico di una cooperazione internazionale proficua, che contribuisce alla pace e alla sicurezza nella regione. Il Mar Glaciale Artico è oggetto di un vasto quadro giuridico, tra cui la Convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sul diritto del mare (UNCLOS). La maggior parte delle risorse attualmente conosciute ricadono all'interno dei confini delle zone di 200 miglia e/o delle piattaforme continentali degli Stati costieri dell'Artico, e non sono contestate.

L'Agenzia europea per la difesa ha commissionato a Wise Pens International uno studio sulle sfide navali nell'Artico, i cui risultati sono stati presentati nel settembre 2013 (disponibile su richiesta presso l'AED).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002847/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: The race for the Arctic: European prospects

The US Marines are putting together an operational plan for the Arctic Ocean, in view of the increased accessibility afforded by melting of the sea ice. This stretch of sea has the potential to become a new arena for geopolitical disputes, related in particular to the energy reserves under the water and ice of the Arctic region: the US Government has estimated that around 30% of the as yet undiscovered reserves of natural gas are to be found precisely in that region, together with 13% of the as yet unknown sources of oil.

Canada and the Russian Federation have also clearly expressed their interest in the region and their intention to extend their own sphere of influence in that direction, whilst China is taking steps to obtain the status of ‘country close to the Arctic’.

With regard to this ‘race for the Arctic’, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does the European Union have specific interests in the Arctic region?

Are there any research outposts of the European Union or EU Member States in the Arctic region?

Is it aware of military programmes by the Member States or action by the European Defence Agency with regard to studies and production of new equipment, air, sea or overland transport facilities, or particular training programmes for operations in the Arctic environment?

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

(24 June 2014)

The joint HR/Commission Communication (ref. JOIN (2012)19) adopted on 26 June 2012 reviews progress since 2008 and sets out directions for future work. The EU is stepping up its engagement with its partners to jointly meet the challenge of safeguarding the environment while ensuring the sustainable and peaceful development of the Arctic region through investment in knowledge, promoting responsible approach to arising commercial opportunities and constructive engagement with Arctic partners.

EU countries sustain excellent infrastructure in the Arctic, with permanent stations on land and in the ocean, icebreakers, aircrafts and satellites. The Commission has devoted substantial resources to create or develop appropriate observatory networks, and to facilitate access to research facilities in the Arctic to scientists from Europe and beyond, by funding projects such as Interact, a multi-disciplinary network of 58 land-based Arctic and northern research stations, which is building capacity throughout the Arctic for environmental monitoring, research, education and outreach.

The Arctic is an area of growing strategic importance. It is an example of successful international cooperation contributing to peace and security in the region. An extensive legal framework applies to the Arctic Ocean, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). Majority of today’s known resources are within the boundaries of the 200-mile zones and/or continental shelves of the Arctic coastal states and are uncontested.

The European Defence Agency contracted a study on naval challenges in the Arctic to the Wise Pens International, the results of which were presented in September 2013 (available upon request at the EDA).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002848/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Libertà di espressione in Vietnam: il caso di Truong Duy Nhat

Questa settimana un popolare blogger e giornalista vietnamita, Truong Duy Nhat, è stato condannato a due anni di reclusione in seguito alla pubblicazione di alcuni articoli critici nei confronti del regime comunista al potere. La sentenza del tribunale di Danang lo ha giudicato colpevole di «abuso delle libertà democratiche contro gli interessi dello Stato», secondo l'art. 528 del codice penale vietnamita. Il giornalista cinquantenne, arrestato lo scorso maggio a circa un mese dalla pubblicazione degli articoli incriminanti, aveva deciso di aprire un proprio blog dopo una carriera spesa a lavorare per diversi media cartacei statali. Ma i media privati in Vietnam sono proibiti e le emittenti televisive sono gestite direttamente dallo Stato.

La condanna rappresenta un chiaro esempio di violazione della libertà di stampa e di espressione, diritti fondamentali e inalienabili, che l'Unione europea si impegna, tramite i trattati, a rispettare e promuovere a livello internazionale.

In che modo giudica la Commissione la condanna del giornalista vietnamita? Ha seguito la questione con attenzione? È entrata in contatto con le autorità vietnamite per garantire che queste libertà, così come il diritto a un equo processo, siano rispettate nel paese asiatico?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(14 maggio 2014)

Attraverso la sua delegazione ad Hanoi, l'UE segue da vicino il caso del blogger e giornalista Trung Duy Nhat e ha chiesto di osservare il suo processo, richiesta che è stata respinta. La sua condanna per avere esercitato il suo diritto fondamentale ad avere ed esprimere liberamente la sua opinione in modo pacifico non è conforme all'impegno assunto dal Vietnam di rispettare i diritti umani universali. Il giorno dopo il processo, il capo della delegazione dell'UE, in un messaggio pubblicato sul sito web della delegazione, ha espresso preoccupazione riguardo alla sentenza, ha ricordato il diritto fondamentale di ciascuna persona ad avere ed esprimere liberamente la propria opinione in modo pacifico e ha sottolineato che l'Unione europea continuerà a collaborare con il Vietnam per migliorare la situazione dei diritti umani nel paese. Il caso del Sig. Trung Duy Nhat è stato altresì menzionato dal direttore operativo dell'EEAS David O'Sullivan nel corso del terzo ciclo di consultazioni politiche ad alto livello tra l'UE e il Vietnam il 25 marzo ad Hanoi. Nel frattempo il Sig. Trung Duy Nhat è stato inserito nell'elenco dell'UE dei casi da seguite, che comprende casi di attivisti condannati o detenuti per avere esercitato i loro diritti fondamentali e che le autorità sono invitare a rilasciare. Tale elenco viene condiviso periodicamente con il governo e l'UE chiede un aggiornamento della situazione delle persone che figurano nell'elenco.

L'UE continuerà a sollevare preoccupazioni circa i diritti umani, tra cui la libertà di espressione e il diritto ad un processo equo, con il governo negli incontri bilaterali e in particolare nel corso delle sessioni del dialogo avanzato sui diritti umani. La prossima sessione del dialogo si terrà nel corso di quest'anno a Bruxelles.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002848/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Freedom of expression in Vietnam: the case of Truong Duy Nhat

On 4 March 2014 Truong Duy Nhat, a popular Vietnamese blogger and journalist, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for posting a number of articles criticising the ruling Communist regime. A Danang court found him guilty of ‘abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state’, an offence under Article 528 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. The 50-year-old journalist, who was arrested in May 2013 about a month after the incriminated postings appeared, decided to start his own blog, having worked up to that point for various state-controlled newspapers. Private media are prohibited in Vietnam, and television stations are run directly by the state.

Truong Duy Nhat’s conviction constitutes a clear violation of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, inalienable fundamental rights which the EU, by virtue of the Treaties, is committed to respecting and championing at international level.

How does the Commission view the sentence passed on the Vietnamese journalist? Has it been keeping a close watch on this matter? Has it approached the Vietnamese authorities and called on them to ensure that the above freedoms, and, moreover, the right to a fair trial, are not denied in Vietnam?

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

(14 May 2014)

The EU through its Delegation in Hanoi has been closely following the case of blogger and journalist Mr Trung Duy Nhat and has requested to observe his trial (which was refused). His conviction for exercising his fundamental right to hold and freely express his opinion in a peaceful manner is not in compliance with Vietnam's commitment to upholding universal human rights. The day after the trial the EU Head of Delegation in a message published on the Delegation's website expressed concerns over the sentencing, recalled the fundamental right for all persons to hold and freely express their opinions in a peaceful manner and emphasised that the European Union will continue to work in partnership with Vietnam towards the improvement of the human rights situation in the country. Mr Trung Duy Nhat's case was also mentioned by EEAS Chief Operating Officer David O'Sullivan during the 3rd EU-Vietnam high-level political consultations on 25 March in Hanoi. In the meantime Mr Trung Duy Nhat has also been added to the EU's list of Persons of Concern, which includes cases of activists sentenced or in prison for exercising their fundamental rights and which the authorities are requested to release. The list is regularly shared with the Government and the EU asks for an update of the situation of the persons on the list.

The EU will continue to raise human rights concerns including freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial with the Government in bilateral meetings and in particular during the sessions of the enhanced Human Rights Dialogue. The next session of the dialogue will be held later this year in Brussels.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002849/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Possibile attentato terroristico sul volo malese sparito

Nella notte tra il 7 e l'8 marzo 2014 un aereo della compagnia di bandiera malese, decollato da Kuala Lumpur e diretto a Pechino, è sparito misteriosamente dai radar senza lasciare alcun tipo di traccia. Nessuna pista è esclusa al momento: potrebbe trattarsi di un incidente, ma si considera anche l'ipotesi terroristica.

Si sa che alcune persone a bordo dell'aereo erano munite di documenti contraffatti, tra cui quello di due cittadini europei (un italiano e un austriaco), tra l'altro registrati nella banca dati dell'Interpol, mostrando la permeabilità dei controlli di sicurezza. I posti riservati tramite i due passaporti sono stati riservati nello stesso giorno, nella stessa città e con numerazione consecutiva, suggerendo che sono stati acquistati in un'unica transazione. Ad avvalorare la tesi terroristica è inoltre una probabile inversione di rotta poco prima di perdere i contatti con la torre di controllo. Le autorità malesi sono appoggiate nell'indagine anche dall'FBI.

La Cina non esclude tra l'altro la possibilità che l'incidente sia stato causato da terroristi jihadisti uiguri, che da anni lottano per l'indipendenza della propria regione, lo Xinjiang, nel nord ovest della Cina.

In merito a quest'incidente, può la Commissione chiarire:

quanti cittadini europei fossero a bordo del velivolo;

se l'UE sta collaborando con le autorità malesi alla ricerca dei resti del velivolo e alle indagini per chiarire la dinamica e le cause della sparizione;

se dispone di dati che avallino la pista terroristica?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(23 aprile 2014)

La Commissione non ha accesso alle banche dati contenenti informazioni sui passeggeri, né per i voli in partenza o in arrivo negli aeroporti dell'UE, né per i voli esterni all'UE.

A livello internazionale gli aspetti relativi alla ricerca e al salvataggio, e alle indagini in caso di incidenti e inconvenienti di aeromobili, sono disciplinate rispettivamente dagli allegati 12 e 13 della Convenzione di Chicago del 1944. Poiché, conformemente alle norme internazionali, un aeromobile disperso rientra nella categoria degli «incidenti», è necessario avviare un'indagine indipendente per accertare le circostanze e le cause dell'incidente e, se necessario, formulare raccomandazioni per prevenire il verificarsi in futuro di incidenti analoghi. Alla Commissione non è stato assegnato alcun compito in questo ambito e, pertanto, la cooperazione con le autorità malesi per quanto riguarda la ricerca dell'aeromobile che operava il volo MH370 è di esclusiva competenza degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002849/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Possible terrorist attack on the missing Malaysia flight

On the night of 7 to 8 March 2014, a Malaysia Airlines flight which had taken off from Kuala Lumpur and was headed for Beijing mysteriously disappeared from radar screens. For the moment, no line of enquiry can be excluded: it could be an accident, but terrorism is also a possibility.

We know that some of the passengers on board were using false identity documents, including passports stolen from two EU citizens (one Italian and one Austrian). The documents had been registered in the Interpol database, which demonstrates the shortcomings of the security checks. The seats that were reserved using the two stolen passports were booked on the same day, in the same city and with consecutive numbering, which suggests that they were purchased in a single transaction. The theory that terrorism is to blame is given added weight by the fact that the flight is alleged to have changed course shortly before contact with the control tower was lost. The Malaysian authorities are receiving help in their investigations, including from the FBI.

China has not ruled out the possibility that jihadist Uighur terrorists, who have been fighting for years for independence for their region, Xinjiang, in north-west China, were involved.

Can the Commission say:

How many EU citizens were on board the plane?

If the EU is cooperating with the Malaysian authorities in the search for the plane and in investigations into how and why it disappeared?

If it has any information that supports the terrorism theory?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

The Commission has no access to any database collecting passenger data, neither for flights departing from or arriving to EU airports, nor for flights outside of the EU.

At the international level, issues relating to search and rescue and issues relating to the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents are respectively governed by Annex 12 and Annex 13 to the 1944 Chicago Convention . According to international rules a missing aircraft is defined as an accident, therefore an independent accident investigation has to start to identify the circumstances and causes of the accident and where necessary, recommend measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. The Commission has not been entrusted with any tasks in this area, and cooperation with the Malaysian authorities in respect of the search of the airplane of flight MH370 is a matter entirely incumbent on Member States.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002850/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Procedura d'infrazione contro l'Italia riguardo all'orario di lavoro dei medici

La Commissione europea ha deciso di portare l'Italia davanti alla Corte di giustizia dell'UE, a causa dell'inottemperanza dello Stato membro nei confronti della normativa europea sull'orario di lavoro dei medici del Servizio sanitario nazionale.

Può la Commissione specificare quali atti legislativi e quali specifiche disposizioni siano stati violati e su quali basi ha stabilito la propria denuncia?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(5 maggio 2014)

In base ad alcune denunce, e dopo uno scambio di corrispondenza con le autorità competenti, la Commissione ha inviato una lettera di costituzione in mora, il 30/04/2012, avente ad oggetto le preoccupazioni sollevate dalle disposizioni del diritto nazionale e dalle relative prassi nell'ambito di applicazione della direttiva sull'orario di lavoro (204). Dopo aver ricevuto la risposta dell'Italia il 1°/08/2012, la Commissione ha inviato un parere motivato il 31/05/2013. Il 20/02/2014 la Commissione ha deciso (205) di deferire l'Italia alla Corte di giustizia per non corretta applicazione della direttiva al personale del Servizio sanitario nazionale.

Secondo il diritto italiano, alcuni dei diritti fondamentali garantiti dalla direttiva, come il limite dell'orario di lavoro (48 ore, a norma dell'articolo 6) e i periodi minimi di riposo (11 ore consecutive ogni 24 ore, a norma dell'articolo 3, e 24 ore per ogni 7 giorni, a norma dell'articolo 5), non si applicano ai «dirigenti» del Servizio sanitario nazionale. L'articolo 17, paragrafo 1, della direttiva consente agli Stati membri di stabilire deroghe a questi diritti quando si tratta di «dirigenti o di altre persone aventi potere di decisione autonomo». I medici che operano all'interno del Servizio sanitario nazionale, tuttavia, sono formalmente classificati come «dirigenti», ma non godono necessariamente di prerogative manageriali o di autonomia per quanto riguarda il loro orario di lavoro.

Il diritto italiano comprende inoltre altre disposizioni volte ad escludere il personale del Servizio sanitario nazionale dal diritto al riposo quotidiano e settimanale. A norma dell'articolo 17, paragrafi 2 e 3, gli Stati membri possono prevedere deroghe che riguardano attività quali i servizi ospedalieri caratterizzati dalla necessità di assicurare la continuità del servizio. Queste regole sono tuttavia soggette alla condizione che i lavoratori possano usufruire di equivalenti periodi di riposo compensativo, che nel caso del riposo giornaliero devono essere garantiti immediatamente dopo un turno prolungato (206).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002850/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Infringement proceedings against Italy concerning doctors' working hours

The European Commission has decided to take Italy before the European Court of Justice because of the Member State’s failure to comply with European legislation on doctors’ working hours in the Italian national health service.

Can the Commission specify which legislative acts and which specific provisions have been infringed and on what grounds it is making its complaint?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 2014)

On the basis of several complaints, and following several exchanges with the authorities, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice on 30.4.2012, setting out the concerns raised by provisions of national law and practice with the Working Time Directive (207). After having received the response of Italy on 1.8.2012 the Commission sent a reasoned opinion on 31.5.2013. On 20.2.2014 the Commission decided (208) to refer Italy to the Court for failing to apply the directive correctly to staff in the public health service.

Under Italian law, several of the key rights provided for in the directive, such as the limit on working time (48 hours, based on Article 6) and the minimum rest periods (11 consecutive hours per 24-hours, based on Article 3, and 24 hours per 7 days, based on Article 5), do not apply to ‘managers’ in the national health service. Article 17(1) of the directive allows Member States to derogate from those rights as regards ‘managing executives or other persons with autonomous decision-taking powers’. However, doctors working in the Italian health service are formally classified as ‘managers’, but do not necessarily enjoy managerial prerogatives or autonomy on their own working time.

In addition, Italian law lays down other provisions that exclude health service staff from the right to daily and weekly rest. Under Article 17(2) and (3), Member States can provide derogations covering activities like hospital services involving a need for service-continuity. However, such derogations are subject to the condition that the workers are afforded equivalent compensatory rest, which in the case of daily rest has to be granted immediately after an extended shift (209).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002851/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Sicurezza degli impianti sciistici

Un ennesimo incidente mortale si è verificato sulle piste sciistiche di Gressoney-St-Jean, in provincia di Aosta. Una bimba di 3 anni, che prendeva lezione di sci insieme ad altri coetanei e un istruttore, è morta dopo essere stata travolta da uno sciatore. Secondo i rilevamenti, la bimba si trovava su una stradina dietro un dosso, segnalato da un cartello che invita gli sciatori a rallentare e è stata travolta e colpita al fianco, per poi perdere i sensi. Nonostante l'immediato soccorso degli addetti e di un rianimatore e un ortopedico che stavano sciando nella zona, come pure del personale del Soccorso alpino, i traumi da impatto hanno decretato il destino della bambina.

Si tratta di uno degli innumerevoli episodi che in questa stagione invernale sono stati la causa di diversi incidenti sulle piste da sci in Italia.

Può la Commissione chiarire se esistano e quali siano le disposizioni relative alla sicurezza degli impianti sciistici a livello europeo e se esistono dati relativi alla corretta applicazione della legislazione europea in materia da parte degli Stati membri, in particolare l'Italia?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(28 aprile 2014)

La regolamentazione e l'applicazione delle norme di sicurezza relative alle attività sciistiche restano di competenza degli Stati membri.

Non esiste alcuna normativa a livello dell'UE e la Commissione non dispone ancora di prove o feedback per quanto concerne l'applicazione delle norme nazionali in materia di sicurezza nelle stazioni sciistiche.

La Commissione desidera inoltre rinviare l'onorevole parlamentare alla sua risposta all'interrogazione scritta E-000100/2014 (210) sulle zone sciabili, come pure alla relazione «Ski resorts in Europe 2012/2013 (Comprensori sciistici in Europa 2012/2013)» (211) della rete dei Centri europei dei consumatori (212).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002851/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Safety at ski resorts

Yet another fatal accident has occurred on the ski slopes of Gressoney-St-Jean, in the province of Aosta. A three-year-old girl, who was having a skiing lesson with other children of her age and an instructor, died after being knocked over by a skier. Inquiries indicate that the child was on a track below a knoll bearing a sign asking skiers to slow down, and that she was knocked over and struck in the side before losing consciousness. Although she received immediate attention from first-aiders and from a resuscitation specialist and orthopaedic surgeon who were skiing in the area, as well as from mountain rescue staff, impact injuries determined the little girl’s fate.

This is just one of many incidents this season that have led to various accidents on Italy’s ski slopes.

Can the Commission clarify whether there are any provisions governing the safety of ski resorts at European level and, if so, what these provisions are? Also, is there any data on the correct application of European legislation on the matter by the Member States, particularly Italy?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

The competence to regulate and enforce safety issues in relation to skiing activities remain the competence of Member States.

There is no legislation at the EU level and the Commission has at this point no evidence or feedback regarding the enforcement of national rules in relation to safety in ski resorts.

The Commission would furthermore like to refer the Honourable member to its answer to Written Question E-000100/2014 (213) on skiable areas, as well as the report ‘Ski resorts in Europe 2012/2013’ (214) of the European Consumer Centres Network (215).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002852/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Sistema di etichettatura semaforica dei prodotti alimentari nel Regno Unito

Il sistema volontario di bollini colorati da apporre sugli imballaggi dei cibi per indicarne la «pericolosità» per la salute continua a suscitare diverse critiche. I bollini (rossi, gialli o verdi) che indicano quanto un prodotto sia nocivo per la salute del consumatore di fatto tendono a deviare le scelte degli acquirenti. Ad esempio, l'olio d'oliva, prodotto simbolo del Made in Italy oltre che elemento centrale della dieta mediterranea, è indicato come un prodotto sconsigliato ai consumatori, quando in realtà sono ben note le sue proprietà positive sull'organismo.

Il risultato è che, ad oggi, ben 17 Stati membri si oppongono a questa scelta guidati dall'Italia, che ha già presentato due ricorsi. In questi giorni, inoltre, anche la Francia ha presentato due diversi ricorsi.

Le accuse contro il sistema di etichettatura britannico riguarda la sua parzialità e l'effetto discriminante, oltre che l'opera di pressione sulla piccola distribuzione, che potrebbe portare il sistema a divenire obbligatorio de facto.

A proposito di tale sistema di etichettatura, può la Commissione chiarire se:

tale etichettatura comporta una distorsione del mercato interno in violazione del diritto dell'Unione;

in base a quale metodo di valutazione i bollini vengono assegnati ai diversi prodotti;

quali sono le motivazioni che Londra ha addotto a giustificazione dell'introduzione di questo sistema?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(28 aprile 2014)

1.

Il sistema di etichettatura nutrizionale raccomandato dal Regno Unito è di carattere volontario. La Commissione tuttavia vigila affinché tale sistema non crei ostacoli al commercio.

2.

Tali sistemi di etichettatura volontari possono essere utilizzati dagli operatori economici e raccomandati dalle autorità nazionali, purché siano in linea con i criteri cumulativi di cui all'articolo 35 del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 relativo alla fornitura di informazioni sugli alimenti ai consumatori (216). Tra questi criteri vi è l'obbligo di non creare ostacoli alla libera circolazione delle merci (articolo 35, paragrafo 1, lettera g) mediante l'applicazione di un sistema di etichettatura volontaria.

3.

Secondo l'articolo 35 del regolamento (UE) n. 1169/2011 non è necessaria alcuna giustificazione per l'uso o la raccomandazione di tali sistemi di etichettatura. Tuttavia devono essere trasmesse alla Commissione le informazioni relative ai sistemi di etichettatura che sono raccomandati dalle autorità nazionali.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002852/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Traffic-light labelling of food products in the UK

The introduction of a voluntary system of coloured labels on food packaging to indicate the level of ‘danger’ to health is continuing to attract criticism of various kinds. The labels (red, amber or green) indicating how dangerous a product is to consumers’ health actually tend to mislead buyers in their choices. For example, olive oil, an iconic ‘Made in Italy’ product that is also a key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, is labelled as not being recommended to consumers, when its positive effects on health are in fact well known.

The result is that, to date, as many as 17 Member States are opposing this system, led by Italy, which has already submitted two appeals. France has also recently submitted two different appeals.

Complaints against the British labelling system concern its partiality and discriminatory effect, and the pressure being applied to retailers, which could lead to the system becoming effectively compulsory.

With respect to this labelling system, can the Commission clarify the following:

Does this labelling imply a distortion of the internal market, in breach of EC law?

What assessment method is being used to assign labels to products?

What reasons has London given to justify introducing this system?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

1.

The nutrition labelling system recommended by the United Kingdom has voluntary character. However, the Commission is vigilant that this system does not create barriers to trade.

2.

Such voluntary labelling systems can be used by economic operators and recommended by national authorities provided they are in line with the cumulative criteria laid down in Article 35 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (217). Among these criteria there is the requirement that the application of a voluntary labelling system ‘does not create obstacles to the free movement of goods’ (Article 35.1(g)).

3.

Article 35 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 does not require any justification for the use or the recommendation of such labelling systems but only the transmission to the Commission of the details of the labelling systems that are recommended by national authorities.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002853/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Terremoto al largo delle coste californiane

Una scossa di magnitudo 6.9 è stata registrata alle 21:18 di ieri, ora locale, (le 6:18 in Italia) nelle acque dell'Oceano Pacifico, al largo della California con ipocentro a soli 7 km di profondità. Si è trattato di una scossa dal potenziale distruttivo medio, percepita distintamente dalla popolazione.

Può la Commissione chiarire se cittadini europei sono stati coinvolti in eventuali danni o incidenti provocati dal sisma?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(25 aprile 2014)

A quanto risulta alla Commissione, il terremoto verificatosi al largo della California il 9 marzo 2014 non ha fatto vittime.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002853/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Earthquake off the coast of California

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake was recorded at 21.18 yesterday, local time (6.18 in Italy), in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Its epicentre was at a depth of just 7 km. It was a potentially damaging earthquake and was clearly felt by the population.

Can the Commission clarify whether any European citizens were affected by any damage or incidents caused by the earthquake?

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

(25 April 2014)

The Commission is not aware of any casualties as a consequence of the earthquake which took place off the coast of California on 9 March 2014.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002854/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Test cosmetici su animali

Il congresso statunitense sta discutendo in questi giorni una proposta legislativa nota come Humane Cosmetics Act avanzata da un deputato democratico. La proposta mira alla messa al bando nell'arco complessivo di tre anni dei test cosmetici sugli animali e alla proibizione di tutti i prodotti cosmetici in vendita che siano stati testati sugli animali.

In merito alla questione dei test cosmetici su animali, può la Commissione chiarire:

quali siano gli atti legislativi di riferimento nel diritto dell'UE;

quali Stati membri hanno sinora seguito l'esempio europeo in materia, proponendo restrizioni che garantiscano un elevato livello di protezione per gli animali;

se sono state mosse critiche contro la legislazione europea e quali punti sono stati attaccati in particolare;

se ritiene che esistano ancora margini di miglioramento nel diritto unionale?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(24 aprile 2014)

La direttiva 76/768/CEE («direttiva Cosmetici») (218) ha introdotto disposizioni per un'eliminazione progressiva nell'UE delle sperimentazioni animali per i prodotti cosmetici. Le sperimentazioni animali per i prodotti cosmetici finiti sono vietate sin dal 2004 e per gli ingredienti dei cosmetici dal marzo 2009 («divieto di sperimentazione»). A decorrere dall'11 marzo 2009 è vietata anche la commercializzazione nell'Unione dei prodotti cosmetici e dei loro ingredienti che siano stati sottoposti a sperimentazioni animali specifiche a fini cosmetici («divieto di commercializzazione»). Questo divieto è stato applicato a tutti i prodotti cosmetici, ma per quanto concerne gli effetti più complessi sulla salute umana la scadenza è stata estesa all'11 marzo 2013. A decorrere da tale data si applica appieno il divieto di commercializzazione. Il regolamento (CE) n. 1223/2009 («regolamento Cosmetici») (219), che abroga e sostituisce la direttiva Cosmetici a decorrere dall'11 luglio 2013, contiene all'articolo 18 le stesse disposizioni.

Diversi paesi terzi hanno già seguito l'approccio europeo come, ad esempio, la Russia, l'India, Israele e la Corea del Sud.

Si registra un ampio sostegno del pubblico, dei gruppi animalisti e dell'industria per quanto concerne un divieto integrale, anche se le sperimentazioni animali non possono ancora essere pienamente rimpiazzate da metodi alternativi. È però troppo presto per quantificare l'impatto reale dell'interdizione totale poiché la sicurezza degli ingredienti usati nei cosmetici che si trovano adesso sul mercato è stata stabilita uno o due anni fa.

Un aspetto critico è rappresentato dall'applicazione e dall'enforcement del divieto di commercializzazione. La Commissione opera di concerto con gli Stati membri e con gli stakeholder per sostenerne e agevolarne l'applicazione. In tale contesto, è stato preparato un documento orientativo in cui si indica chiaramente quali informazioni devono essere riportate dal fabbricante nella documentazione informativa sul prodotto e controllate dalle autorità degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002854/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Cosmetics testing on animals

The US Congress is currently debating a bill called the Humane Cosmetics Act, introduced by a Democratic congressman. The aim of the bill is to ban cosmetics testing on animals within the next three years and to prohibit the sale of any cosmetic products that have been tested on animals.

As regards the issue of cosmetics testing on animals, can the Commission clarify the following:

Which legislation under EC law governs this issue?

Which Member States so far have followed the European example on the matter by proposing restrictions that guarantee a high level of protection for animals?

Have there been criticisms of the European legislation and which aspects in particular have been criticised?

Does the Commission think there is still room to improve EC law on the subject?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

Directive 76/768/EEC (‘Cosmetics Directive’) (220) introduced provisions for a phasing-out of animal testing for cosmetic products in the EU. Animal testing of finished cosmetic products has been prohibited since 2004 and of cosmetic ingredients since March 2009 (‘testing ban’). As from 11 March 2009, it is also prohibited to market in the Union cosmetic products and their ingredients which are based on cosmetic-specific animal tests (‘marketing ban’). This marketing ban applied to all cosmetic products but for the most complex human health effects the deadline was extended until 11 March 2013. As from this date the full marketing ban applies. Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 (‘Cosmetics Regulation’) (221), which repealed and replaced the Cosmetics Directive as of 11 July 2013, contains the same provisions in its Article 18.

Several third countries have already followed the European approach, such as Russia, India, Israel and South Korea.

There is very wide support from the general public, animal welfare groups as well as industry for the full ban even though animal testing cannot yet be fully replaced by alternative methods. However, it is too early to quantify the real impact of the full ban because the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics which is on the market today was established one or two years ago.

A critical aspect is the application and enforcement of the marketing ban. The Commission has been working with Member States and stakeholders to support and facilitate its enforcement. In this context, a guidance document was prepared outlining clearly which information should be provided for in the product information file by the manufacturer and checked by Member State authorities.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002855/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Vendita di greggio da parte dei ribelli libici

Una nave petroliera battente bandiera della Repubblica democratica popolare di Corea ha ricevuto pochi giorni fa, nel terminal di Al Sidra, il primo carico di petrolio venduto dai ribelli libici della Cirenaica, che detengono il potere de facto nella regione, non riconoscono l'autorità di Tripoli e chiedono maggiore autonomia se non l'indipendenza.

L'economia della Libia è fortemente dipendente dal petrolio, ma dalla crisi del 2011 la produzione è calata da 1,6 milioni a 260 mila barili giornalieri, di cui una certa percentuale è in mano ai ribelli.

Il governo centrale ha minacciato di contrastare con la forza i ribelli che avessero osato vendere il greggio, persino affondando le petroliere cariche che avessero osato lasciare il porto, ma le forze armate regolari sono in realtà molto deboli.

In merito alla questione, può la Commissione riferire:

come si sta muovendo al fine di stabilizzare la situazione della Cirenaica;

se sta intervenendo a livello diplomatico per normalizzare i rapporti tra il governo centrale libico e le diverse milizie presenti sul territorio al fine di preservare l'integrità territoriale della Libia;

se intende ostacolare le minacce di uso della forza contro navi petroliere, che potrebbero portare a conseguenze ambientali devastanti?

Risposta dell’Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(30 aprile 2014)

L’UE, in stretto coordinamento con la missione di sostegno delle Nazioni Unite in Libia (UNSMIL), sostiene il processo di transizione democratica nel paese. Con istituzioni statali più forti, un maggiore controllo sulle forze di sicurezza, un processo di redazione della costituzione inclusivo e una società civile maggiormente preparata sarà possibile aumentare le possibilità di trovare una soluzione per la situazione in Cirenaica.

L’UE non entra formalmente in contatto i con gruppi di miliziani ad est della Libia; spetta al legittimo governo libico mantenere relazioni con tali gruppi. L’UE fornisce sostegno alla mediazione dei conflitti, in particolare coinvolgendo i componenti più anziani delle tribù. Le attività dell’UE nell’est del paese sono tuttavia limitate a causa di problemi di sicurezza.

Da sempre l’UE incoraggia le autorità libiche a trovare una soluzione pacifica e negoziata alla questione sollevata dall’onorevole deputato. Con l’adozione della risoluzione 2146 del Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite, che autorizza gli Stati membri delle Nazioni Unite a ispezionare in alto mare navi che potrebbero esportare illegalmente petrolio greggio libico e ad adottare misure proporzionate per garantire la restituzione del petrolio alla Libia, il rischio di ulteriori vendite illegali di petrolio è notevolmente diminuito.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002855/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Sale of crude oil by Libyan rebels

A few days ago at the al-Sidra oil terminal, a tanker flying the flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took on board the first load of oil sold by Libyan rebels in Cyrenaica. The rebels effectively hold power in the region, do not recognise the authority of Tripoli and are calling for greater autonomy, if not independence.

The Libyan economy is heavily dependent on oil but, since the crisis of 2011, production has fallen from 1.6 million to 260 000 barrels a day, a certain percentage of which is in rebel hands.

The central government has threatened to use force against rebels who attempt to sell crude oil, including sinking loaded tankers that attempt to leave port, but the regular armed forces are actually very weak.

With regard to this issue, can the Commission answer the following questions:

What steps is it taking to stabilise the situation in Cyrenaica?

Is it taking diplomatic steps to normalise relations between the central Libyan Government and the various militias in the area, in order to protect Libya’s territorial integrity?

Is it planning to oppose the threats to use force against oil tankers, which could have devastating environmental consequences?

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

(30 April 2014)

The EU, in close coordination with the UN Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), supports the democratic transition process in Libya. Stronger state institutions, more control over security forces, an inclusive constitution drafting process and a better equiped civil society will all enhance the opportunites of finding a solution for the situation in Cyrenaica.

The EU does not formally engage with militia groups in the East of Libya. It is the responsibility for the legitimate government of Libya to maintain relations with these groups. The EU does provide support for conflict mediation, in particular involving eldery tribesmen. EU activities in the East are however limited due to the security constraints.

The EU has always encouraged the Libyan authorities to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the issue raised by the Honorable Member. With the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2146 ‐which authorises UN Member States to inspect on the high seas vessels suspected of illicitly exporting Libyan crude oil and to take commensurate measures to ensure the return of this oil to Libya — the risk of a repetition of illegal oil sales has significantly decreased.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002856/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Shale gas in Italia e in Europa

Lo shale gas, la cui estrazione è iniziata da tempo negli Stati Uniti con ottimi risultati per il prezzo dell'energia, è una risorsa totalmente naturale che, grazie alle nuove tecnologie, può essere estratta con facilità. In Europa è stato scoperto un enorme giacimento che va dal Regno Unito ai paesi baltici, comprendendo quasi tutta la Polonia, mentre altre zone ricche di risorse sono in Portogallo, Romania, sui Pirenei e nella Pianura Padana.

L'UE ha già provveduto a una parziale regolamentazione delle estrazioni, che peraltro non sono ancora cominciate, anche se rimangono aperti numerosi interrogativi sulla sostenibilità ambientale delle estrazioni: i metodi utilizzati, un mix di acqua, sabbia e agenti chimici, potrebbero portare alla contaminazione del suolo e delle falde acquifere e alcuni denunciano che possa esserci anche un collegamento con eventi sismici.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se intende promuovere uno studio rapido e approfondito sui giacimenti di shale gas in Europa e sugli eventuali rischi ambientali, come già fatto da alcuni Stati membri;

se ritiene che l'estrazione di shale gas possa portare ad una maggiore autonomia energetica degli Stati membri;

se pensa che ci debbano essere ulteriori legislazioni in tema oltre a quelle già presenti a livello comunitario;

se ritiene che nell'ambito dei negoziati sul TTIP con gli USA debba essere sottolineata l'importanza dello shale gas, specialmente per quanto riguarda la ricerca e lo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie e l'autorizzazione ad esportare nell'UE, in modo preferenziale, shale gas estratto negli Stati Uniti;

se è in grado di stimare l'eventuale diminuzione del prezzo dell'energia in caso di estrazione di shale gas negli Stati membri?

Risposta di Günther Oettinger a nome della Commissione

(22 maggio 2014)

1.

I rischi ambientali sono oggetto della raccomandazione sui principi minimi applicabili alla ricerca e alla produzione di idrocarburi (come il gas di scisto) mediante la fratturazione idraulica a elevato volume (222) adottata dalla Commissione il 22 gennaio 2014 e della comunicazione (223) e valutazione d'impatto (224) che la accompagnano. Oltre alle attività menzionate nella comunicazione (225), la Commissione intende valutare le risorse europee di gas convenzionale e di petrolio in collaborazione con gli istituti di studi geologici degli Stati membri.

2.

L'utilizzo di risorse nazionali di gas naturale, compreso il gas di scisto, potrebbe aiutare a diversificare le fonti energetiche dell'UE.

3.

Entro agosto 2015 la Commissione valuterà l'efficacia della raccomandazione summenzionata e, in base a tale valutazione, deciderà se sia necessario presentare proposte legislative vincolanti.

4.

Nei negoziati per il partenariato transatlantico su commercio e investimenti (TTIP) l'UE difende la posizione per cui in futuro le esportazioni libere e incondizionate di gas naturale verso l'UE dovrebbero essere garantite da disposizioni giuridicamente vincolanti integrate nel TTIP. La condivisione delle conoscenze sullo sviluppo sostenibile di risorse energetiche alternative, fra cui il gas di scisto, avviene nel contesto del Consiglio energia UE-USA.

5.

Le possibili conseguenze per i prezzi dell'energia dipenderanno dai costi di produzione del gas di scisto nell'UE. Questi dati non sono ancora disponibili. Con il proseguire dei progetti di ricerca si otterranno ulteriori informazioni in merito.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002856/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Shale gas in Italy and Europe

Shale gas, whose extraction began some time ago in the United States and which has brought optimum results in terms of energy prices, is an entirely natural resource which, thanks to new technologies, can be extracted with ease. In Europe, a vast deposit has been discovered, extending from the United Kingdom to the Baltic States, including almost all of Poland, while other zones rich in shale resources exist in Portugal, Romania, the Pyrenees and the Po Valley.

The EU has drafted partial regulation on shale extraction, which has yet to begin. However, there are numerous unanswered questions on the environmental sustainability of the extraction methods used, which involve a mixture of water, sand and chemical agents with the potential to contaminate soil and groundwater and even, according to some sources, be the cause of seismic events.

Can the Commission indicate whether:

It intends to promote a rapid in-depth study on shale gas deposits in Europe and the potential environmental risks, as a number of Member States have already done?

It considers that shale gas extraction could bring greater energy autonomy in the Member States?

It considers that further legislation, over and above the existing legislation, should be introduced on this matter at Community level?

It considers that, within the scope of TTIP negotiations with the US, attention should be drawn to the importance of shale gas, in particular as regards research and development into new technologies and authorisation to export shale gas extracted in the United States to the EU under preferential conditions?

It can estimate the potential fall in energy prices as a result of shale gas extraction in Member States?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

1.

Environmental risks are addressed by the recommendation on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (226) adopted by the Commission on 22 January 2014 and in the accompanying Communication (227) and Impact Assessment (228). Apart from the activities mentioned in the communication (229), the Commission plans to assess Europe's unconventional gas and oil resources in cooperation with geological surveys of the Member States.

2.

Exploitation of domestic sources of natural gas including shale gas could contribute to diversifying EU energy supplies.

3.

By August 2015, the Commission will assess the effectiveness of the abovementioned Recommendation and, on this basis, will decide whether it is necessary to put forward binding legislative proposals.

4.

The EU position in the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is that free and unconditional exports of natural gas to the EU should be guaranteed in the future by the legally binding provisions in the TTIP. Knowledge-sharing on the sustainable development of unconventional energy resources, such as shale gas, takes place in the context of the EU-US Energy Council.

5.

Potential energy price impacts will depend on the extent to which the EU's shale gas resources can be produced economically. This is not known yet. As exploration projects develop, further knowledge will be gained.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002857/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Berlato (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Verifica del corretto recepimento da parte dell'Italia della normativa europea relativa al corretto ancoraggio sui mezzi di trasporto dei carichi di merci pericolose

Un cittadino italiano ha fatto richiesta alla Camera di commercio di Bolzano per ottenere l'attestato come persona qualificata in seguito al superamento degli esami previsti dalla normativa europea EN 12195/2010. Si è visto rigettare la domanda in quanto non esisterebbe in Italia una norma che preveda i requisiti per la chiara identificazione di coloro che possono insegnare come avviene l'ancoraggio del carico per trasporti pericolosi e non pericolosi. L'Unione europea ha emanato alcune direttive specifiche in tema di sicurezza stradale inerenti all'ancoraggio del carico sui mezzi di trasporto, in particolare la direttiva 2008/68/CE relativa al trasporto interno di merci pericolose e la direttiva 95/50/CE sull'adozione di procedure uniformi in materia di controllo dei trasporti su strada di merci pericolose.

Numerosi incidenti stradali avvengono proprio in seguito a un errato ancoraggio del carico dei mezzi pesanti. In Italia le stesse forze di Polizia preposte ai controlli su strada sembrerebbero non essere adeguatamente formate sulla procedura da seguire per la verifica del corretto ancoraggio del carico, nonostante l'emissione della normativa EN12195 inerente l'assicurazione del carico per veicoli con massa complessiva oltre a 3,5 tonnellate.

Poiché sembra che l'Italia non abbia attuato la procedura di recepimento della suddetta normativa in maniera corretta, può la Commissione far sapere se:

in base alle informazioni in suo possesso è in grado di chiarire se l'Italia ha recepito correttamente la normativa europea vigente in materia di corretto ancoraggio sui mezzi di trasporto dei carichi di merci pericolose;

le Camere di commercio, o enti simili, siano tenute a rilasciare attestati per le persone qualificate per l'insegnamento del corretto ancoraggio del carico per trasporti pericolosi e in caso di risposta affermativa, quali sono le modalità per l'ottenimento di questo attestato?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(25 aprile 2014)

La Commissione desidera informare l'onorevole deputato che, ad oggi, la legislazione dell'Unione non prevede norme in materia di corretto ancoraggio del carico; finora sono stati pubblicati solo degli orientamenti sulle migliori pratiche in materia (230). Tali orientamenti non stabiliscono i requisiti previsti per coloro che sono abilitati ad insegnare come effettuare un corretto ancoraggio del carico.

La Commissione desidera inoltre richiamare l'attenzione dell'onorevole deputato sulla direttiva, di recente adozione, relativa ai controlli tecnici su strada dei veicoli commerciali (231) che stabilisce i principi generali in materia di ancoraggio del carico nonché le norme relative alla sua ispezione.

Per quanto riguarda il trasporto di merci pericolose, l'applicazione della norma EN 12195-1:2010 per l'ancoraggio del carico non è obbligatoria, ma è considerata un modo per ottemperare ai requisiti previsti. Spetta alle autorità nazionali approvare i corsi di formazione previsti per i conducenti di veicoli adibiti al trasporto di merci pericolose. Non esistono, tuttavia, certificati obbligatori per quanto riguarda gli istruttori. Ulteriori informazioni sulle autorità nazionali competenti sono disponibili all'indirizzo: http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/adr/country-info_e.html#Italy.

Inoltre, la direttiva 2008/68/CE relativa al trasporto interno di merci pericolose (232) prevede all'allegato I, capo I.1, punto 1.8.3, i requisiti per la formazione e l'esame di consulente per la sicurezza, che, tra l'altro, devono contenere le istruzioni per la manipolazione e il magazzinaggio di merci pericolose, incluso il loro corretto ancoraggio.

Secondo le informazioni fornite alla Commissione, l'Italia ha pienamente recepito i requisiti della direttiva 2008/68/CE relativa al trasporto interno di merci pericolose.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002857/14

to the Commission

Sergio Berlato (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Verification of the correct transposition by Italy of European legislation on properly securing dangerous goods to vehicles

An Italian citizen applied to the Chamber of Commerce in Bolzano, Italy, for certification that he was qualified to provide training in securing cargo after he had passed the examinations deemed necessary under European standard EN12195-1:2010. His request was rejected because there is no standard in Italy which lays down the requirements to be met by persons wishing to give instruction to others on the securing of cargo in the form of dangerous and non-dangerous goods. The EU has issued specific guidelines on road safety which deal with the securing of cargo to vehicles, in particular Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods and Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road.

Numerous road accidents have in fact occurred as a result of the incorrect securing of cargo to heavy-duty vehicles. In Italy, even road transport police officers are not properly trained in the procedure used to check if cargo has been secured correctly, despite the adoption of standard EN12195 on cargo insurance requirements for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes.

Given that Italy does not seem to have correctly implemented the above legislation, can the Commission say whether:

Italy has correctly implemented European legislation on properly securing cargo of dangerous goods to vehicles, on the basis of the information available?

Chambers of Commerce, or similar bodies, are required to issue certificates to persons qualified to provide training in the correct securing of cargo of dangerous goods and, if so, what formalities persons wishing to obtain such a certificate have to complete?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that up to now Union legislation does not regulate the area of cargo securing; only best practice guidelines on securing of cargo (233) have been issued so far. These guidelines do not lay down requirements for persons who give instructions to others on cargo securing.

Furthermore the Commission would like to draw the Honourable Member's attention to the recently adopted Directive on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles (234) that introduces the general principles of cargo securing as well as rules on its inspection.

As regards transport of dangerous goods, the application of the standard EN 12195-1:2010 for securing the cargo is not compulsory, but it is considered as one way of complying with the requirements. National authorities approve the training courses provided for drivers of vehicles transporting dangerous goods. However, there are no obligatory certificates regarding the instructors. Further information on national competent authorities is available at: http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/adr/country-info_e.html#Italy

Furthermore, Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods (235) provides in Annex I, Section I.1, Chapter 1.8.3, requirements for training and examination of safety advisers which, inter alia, should provide instructions on the handling and storage of dangerous goods, including its securing.

According to the information provided to the Commission Italy has fully transposed the requirements of Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-002858/14

do Komisji

Marek Henryk Migalski (ECR)

(11 marca 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Ograniczanie wolności słowa w Rosji

Jak informują rosyjskie media, Moskiewski Państwowy Instytut Stosunków Międzynarodowych (MGIMO) zwolnił z pracy profesora, który porównał sytuację na Krymie do Anschlussu Austrii przez III Rzeszę. Historyk, prof. Andriej Zubow, wykładał na wydziale filozofii MGIMO. Władzom uczelni nie spodobał się artykuł profesora „To już było” opublikowany na łamach „Wiedomosti”.

Pragnę podkreślić, że rosyjskie władze bardzo zdecydowanie reagują na wszelkie próby antywojennych wystąpień. 2 marca funkcjonariusze policji i OMONu zatrzymali w Moskwie ponad 360 osób, które chciały pokojowo zademonstrować swój sprzeciw wobec wprowadzania rosyjskich wojsk na terytorium Ukrainy.

Te przykłady pokazują, że wolność słowa jest w Rosji fikcją, a osoby, które ośmielą się skrytykować działania rosyjskich władz muszą liczyć się z prześladowaniami. W związku z tym, zwracam się z zapytaniem, czy Komisja posiada informacje na temat tych przypadków ograniczania wolności słowa w Rosji i zamierza podjąć interwencję w celu zagwarantowania poszanowania podstawowych praw człowieka w tym kraju?

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

(28 kwietnia 2014 r.)

Wysoka Przedstawiciel/Wiceprzewodnicząca zna ostatnie przykłady ograniczeń wolności słowa i wolności zgromadzeń w Rosji, o których wspomniał szanowny Pan Poseł.

UE wyraziła jasno i jednoznacznie swoje obawy w sprawie powyższych kwestii podczas posiedzenia Stałej Rady, które odbyło się 27 marca 2014 r.

(http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/vienna/documents/eu_osce/permanent_council/2014/pc_992_eu_on_russia.pdf).

UE będzie nadal poruszać te kwestie z władzami rosyjskimi na wszystkich szczeblach stosunków UE z Rosją, zwłaszcza podczas konsultacji UE-Rosja na temat praw człowieka oraz na forach wielostronnych.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002858/14

to the Commission

Marek Henryk Migalski (ECR)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Restrictions on the freedom of speech in Russia

According to Russian media sources, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) fired a professor who compared the situation in Crimea to the Anschluss of Austria to the Third Reich. Professor of History Andrei Zubov lectured at the Department of Philosophy at MGIMO. The university authorities were displeased with the professor’s article entitled ‘This Has Happened Before’, which was published in Vedomosti.

I would like to stress that the Russian authorities have been taking resolute steps against all attempts at expressing anti‐war sentiments. On 2 March 2014, police officers — including members of OMON special police units — detained over 360 people who wanted to peacefully demonstrate their opposition to the entry of Russian forces into Ukrainian territory.

These examples show that freedom of speech in Russia is a fiction and that people who dare to criticise the actions of the Russian authorities must expect to face repression. In this connection, is the Commission aware of these examples of freedom of speech being restricted in Russia and does it intend to take steps to ensure that basic human rights are respected in that country?

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

(28 April 2014)

The HR/VP is aware of the recent examples of restrictions to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Russia mentioned by the Honourable Member.

The EU expressed in clear and unequivocal terms its concerns with those developments during the session of the OSCE Permanent Council held 27 March 2014 (http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/vienna/documents/eu_osce/permanent_council/2014/pc_992_eu_on_russia.pdf).

The EU will continue raising those issues with the Russian authorities at all levels of the EU-Russia relationship, notably during the EU-Russia human rights consultations, as well as in multilateral fora.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-002859/14

do Komisji

Marek Henryk Migalski (ECR)

(11 marca 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Areszt domowy dla lidera rosyjskiej opozycji

28 lutego, na wniosek Komitetu Śledczego Federacji Rosyjskiej, sąd w Moskwie zmienił zastosowany wobec lidera antykremlowskiej opozycji, Aleksieja Nawalnego, środek zapobiegawczy – z zakazu opuszczania stolicy Rosji na areszt domowy. Sąd zabronił opozycjoniście kontaktowania się z dziennikarzami, korzystania z Internetu oraz telefonu. Grozi mu też odwieszenie pięcioletniego wyroku, który zasądzono mu w zawieszeniu za malwersacje finansowe.

Wniosek o zmianę środka zapobiegawczego Komitet uzasadnił tym, że Nawalny niejednokrotnie bez zgody śledczych wyjeżdżał z Moskwy. Teraz, wraz z innymi opozycjonistami, został skazany na 7 dni aresztu za udział w proteście przeciwko wyrokom więzienia dla uczestników demonstracji na Placu Błotnym w Moskwie.

Rosyjskie władze masowo wszczynają sprawy karne przeciwko Alieksiejowi Nawalnemu. W lipcu ubiegłego roku zapadł już pierwszy wyrok – opozycjonista został skazany na 5 lat pozbawienia wolności w zawieszeniu. Kreml nie ustaje jednak w wysiłkach, by usunąć groźnego rywala z politycznej gry. Decyzja moskiewskiego sądu niewątpliwie jest kolejną próbą ograniczenia działalności opozycjonisty.

W związku z tym zwracam się z zapytaniem, czy Komisja posiada informacje na temat sytuacji jednego z liderów rosyjskiej opozycji, Alieksieja Nawalnego i ma zamiar podjąć interwencję w tej sprawie?

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

(25 kwietnia 2014 r.)

Wysoka Przedstawiciel wie o areszcie domowym oraz innych środkach zastosowanych wobec Aleksieja Nawalnego i jest zaniepokojona tą decyzją.

UE będzie nadal apelować do władz rosyjskich o niestosowanie środków sądowych w celu uciszania rosyjskich opozycjonistów za pomocą nieprzekonujących dowodów, stronniczo prowadzonych postępowań lub nieproporcjonalnie surowych kar.

UE zamierza w dalszym ciągu zgłaszać swoje zastrzeżenia dotyczące sprawy Aleksieja Nawalnego, zarówno na forum publicznym, jak i w ramach kontaktów dwustronnych z Federacją Rosyjską.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002859/14

to the Commission

Marek Henryk Migalski (ECR)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: House arrest of Russian opposition leader

On 28 February 2014, a Moscow court changed — at the request of the Russian Federal Investigative Committee — the preventive measures applied against the anti‐Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny from a ban on leaving the Russian capital to house arrest. The court has banned Navalny from contacting journalists, using the Internet or making telephone calls. He has also been threatened with having the suspension of his five‐year sentence for embezzlement lifted.

The Committee justified its request to change the preventive measures by stating that Navalny had, on several occasions, left Moscow without the permission of investigators. Now he and a number of other opposition members have been sentenced to seven days of house arrest for attending a protest against the prison sentences handed down to participants in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square protests.

The Russian authorities are launching a whole host of criminal cases against Alexei Navalny. In July 2013, the first sentence was handed down, with Navalny receiving a five‐year suspended sentence. However, the Kremlin is persisting in its attempts to eliminate this dangerous rival from the political stage. The decision of the Moscow court is, without a doubt, the latest in a series of attempts to curb the activities of this opposition leader.

With this in mind, does the Commission have any information about the situation of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny? Does it intend to take action on this matter?

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

(25 April 2014)

The HR/VP is aware of the house arrest and the other measures taken against Alexey Navalny and is concerned with this decision.

The EU will continue to urge the Russian authorities to refrain using judicial means to silence the Russian opposition, on the basis of unconvincing evidence, biaised procedures or disproportionate sentences.

The EU intends to continue voicing its concerns on the case of Mr Navalny publicly as well as in its bilateral contacts with the Russian Federation.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002861/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Μη εξυπηρετούμενα δάνεια τραπεζών προς ελληνικά κόμματα

Σύμφωνα με απάντηση της Επιτροπής (Ε-013481/2013) αναφορικά με τη χορήγηση δανείων σε ελληνικά πολιτικά κόμματα από ελληνικές τράπεζες, η «συντριπτική πλειονότητα των εν λόγω δανείων είναι μη εξυπηρετούμενα, ήδη από τον Ιανουάριο του 2013».

Με δεδομένο ότι οι τράπεζες που έχουν στο χαρτυφυλάκιό τους μη εξυπηρετούμενα δάνεια ελληνικών πολιτικών κομμάτων έχουν ανακεφαλαιοποιηθεί από το Ταμείο Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας, μέσω δανείων που πληρώνει ο ελληνικός λαός, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Πόσο είναι το ύψος των δανείων ανά πολιτικό κόμμα που έχουν δοθεί από τις τράπεζες τα τελευταία χρόνια; Ποιο ποσοστό αυτών θεωρείται σήμερα μη εξυπηρετούμενο;

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-003060/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE)

(14 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Μή εξυπηρετούμενα δάνεια των κομμάτων της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης/Προνομιακές ρυθμίσεις των δανείων των πολιτικών κομμάτων στην Ελλάδα

Μετά από ερώτησή μου (Ε-013481/2013) σχετικά με τα χρέη των κομμάτων της ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης στις κρατικές τράπεζες της χώρας, η απάντηση του Επιτρόπου κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής (7 Φεβρουαρίου 2014) επιβεβαίωσε ότι «τρεις από τις τέσσερις υπό παρακολούθηση τράπεζες έχουν χορηγήσει δάνεια στα πολιτικά κόμματα» και «η συντριπτική πλειονότητα των εν λόγω δανείων είναι μη εξυπηρετούμενα ήδη από τον Ιανουάριο του 2013». Την περασμένη εβδομάδα, η Νέα Δημοκρατία, σε πλήρη αντίθεση με τη γραπτή απάντηση της Επιτροπής, υποστήριξε μέσω στελεχών της ότι τα δάνεια του κόμματος εξυπηρετούνται κανονικά.

Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη τη γραπτή απάντηση του κ. Almunia στις 7 Φεβρουαρίου και το γεγονός ότι τα υπάρχοντα χρέη 145 εκατ. ευρώ σε δάνεια της ΝΔ είναι απίθανο να εξυπηρετούνται κανονικά όταν η ετήσια κρατική χρηματοδότηση που λαμβάνει ως κόμμα είναι περίπου ίση με το 50% μόνο των τόκων που οφείλει ετησίως στις τράπεζες, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Εξακολουθεί η «συντριπτική πλειοψηφία» των δανείων της Νέας Δημοκρατίας να μην εξυπηρετούνται;

Ή, μήπως, υπήρξε πρόσφατα μια ειδική, προνομιακή ρύθμιση του χρέους της Νέας Δημοκρατίας στις κρατικές τράπεζες, όπως π.χ. η μείωση των επιτοκίων, προκειμένου να βελτιωθεί «χαριστικά» η οικονομική κατάσταση του κόμματος πριν από τις ευρωεκλογές;

Κοινή απάντηση του κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(16 Μαΐου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ανακεφαλαιοποίηση των ελληνικών τραπεζών από το Ελληνικό Ταμείο Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας (ΕΤΧΣ) συνιστά κρατική ενίσχυση και χρηματοδοτήθηκε με χρήματα των φορολογουμένων. Οι εντολοδόχοι παρακολούθησης που έχουν οριστεί για τις ελληνικές τράπεζες από τον Ιανουάριο 2013 παρακολουθούν τη διαδικασία χορήγησης νέων δανείων και την αναδιάρθρωση υφιστάμενων δανείων των δανειοληπτών, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των πολιτικών κομμάτων. Η Επιτροπή αποβλέπει, μέσω του εντολοδόχου παρακολούθησης, στην εξασφάλιση της χορήγησης των δανείων με εμπορικά κριτήρια και σε βάση πλήρους ανταγωνισμού, καθώς και στη βελτίωση της συνολικής κατάστασης των τραπεζών, περιορίζοντας έτσι τις πιθανότητες να χρειαστούν περαιτέρω κρατικές ενισχύσεις, και αυξάνοντας την τιμή που το ΕΤΧΣ μπορεί να προσδοκά από τη μελλοντική πώληση της συμμετοχής του στο μετοχικό κεφάλαιο των τραπεζών.

Ωστόσο, ο ρόλος της Επιτροπής δεν έγκειται στη δημοσιοποίηση πληροφοριών για μεμονωμένα δάνεια από τράπεζες οι οποίες έχουν ανακεφαλαιοποιηθεί με κρατικές ενισχύσεις, στην Ελλάδα ή σε άλλα κράτη μέλη.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002861/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Non-performing bank loans to Greek political parties

According to the Commission's answer to my Question E-013481/2013 regarding Greek bank loans to Greek political parties, ‘the vast majority of these loans are non-performing, as they were already in January 2013’.

Given that the banks that have on their books non-performing loans to Greek political parties have been recapitalised by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund through loans paid for by the Greek people, will the Commission say:

How much has been granted in loans by the banks per political party over the last few years? What percentage of these loans is now considered non-performing?

Question for written answer E-003060/14

to the Commission

Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE)

(14 March 2014)

Subject: Non-performing loans to Greek political parties in government/preferential credit terms for political parties in Greece

In reply to my question for written answer (E-013481/2013) concerning amounts owed by political parties in government to state-controlled banks in Greece, Commissioner Almunia confirmed (7 February 2014) that ‘three of the four monitored banks hold loans to the political parties’ and ‘the vast majority of these loans are non-performing as they were already in January 2013’. Last week, however, a number of senior representatives of the New Democracy party indicated exactly the opposite, maintaining that loans to the party were in fact being regularly serviced.

In view of the above statement by Mr Almunia and the unlikelihood of the ND being able to service regularly its outstanding debt of EUR 145 million with an annual government grant amounting to only 50% of the annual interest owing to the banks:

Can the Commission indicate whether the ‘vast majority’ of loans to New Democracy are in fact non-performing?

Has New Democracy recently been granted any special ‘favours’, in fthe form of an interest rate reduction on its debt to state-controlled banks for example, in order to bolster party finances in the run-up to the European elections?

Joint answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(16 May 2014)

The Commission confirms that the Greek banks' recapitalisation by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund constitute state aid and was funded by taxpayers' money. The Monitoring Trustees appointed for the Greek banks as of January 2013 monitor the process of new lending and restructuring of existing loans of the borrowers, including political parties. The Commission aims to ensure, via the Monitoring Trustees, that loans are granted on a commercial and arm’s length basis and improve the Bank’s overall situation, reducing thereby the chance that further state aid is needed and increasing the price which HFSF can expect to receive from the future sale of its shareholdings in the banks.

The role of the Commission is not, however, to make public information on individual loans by a bank that has been recapitalised with state aid in Greece or other Member States.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002862/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Πώληση ΑΔΜΗΕ

Πρόσφατα η ελληνική κυβέρνηση υιοθέτησε νόμο σύμφωνα με τον οποίο ανοίγει ο δρόμος για την ιδιωτικοποίηση του 66% των δικτύων μεταφοράς ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, ο Ανεξάρτητος Διαχειριστής Μεταφοράς Ηλεκτρικής Ενέργειας (ΑΔΜΗΕ), μιας θυγατρικής επιχείρησης της Δημόσιας Επιχείρησης Ηλεκτρισμού (ΔΕΗ) και πλήρως ανεξάρτητης διοικητικά, πωλείται, μέσω αύξησης μετοχικού κεφαλαίου, κατά 66% σε στρατηγικό επενδυτή και κατά 34% στο ελληνικό δημόσιο.

Σε συνδυασμό με την προγραμματισμένη ιδιωτικοποίηση των δικτύων μεταφοράς ενέργειας, προωθείται από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση και η αναδιάρθρωση της ΔΕΗ και η πώληση ενός κομματιού της σε ιδιώτες. Ανεξάρτητα από την πολιτική θέση που μπορεί κάποιος να έχει για τις ιδιωτικοποιήσεις, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Μπορεί να περιγράψει ποιες είναι οι δεσμεύσεις της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης σύμφωνα με το πρόγραμμα ιδιωτικοποιήσεων, αναφορικά με τα ενεργειακά περιουσιακά στοιχεία της χώρας; Ποιος είναι ο προϋπολογισμός εσόδων από αυτές τις ιδιωτικοποιήσεις;

Πού θα κατευθυνθούν τα έσοδα από την πώληση του 66% των μετοχών του ΑΔΜΗΕ; Θα τα λάβει η ΔΕΗ ή θα κατευθυνθούν στο ΤΑΙΠΕΔ και στην εξυπηρέτηση του ελληνικού δημοσίου χρέους;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(28 Μαΐου 2014)

1.Η κυβέρνηση έχει δεσμευτεί να πωλήσει το 65% της ΔΕΠΑ, κατεστημένου παρόχου φυσικού αερίου, ενώ έχει ήδη προβεί στην πώληση του ΔΕΣΦΑ, του διαχειριστή του ελληνικού συστήματος μεταφοράς φυσικού αερίου. Ως προς την τελευταία εταιρεία, βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη κανονιστική έγκριση, όπως απαιτείται από τις οδηγίες της ΕΕ. Ως προς τη ΔΕΗ, η Κυβέρνηση έχει δεσμευτεί να πωλήσει το 17% της δημόσιας επιχείρησης μέχρι το πρώτο τετράμηνο του 2016. Μετά την πώληση, η συμμετοχή της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας στη ΔΕΗ θα ανέρχεται στο 34%. Το ΤΑΙΠΕΔ δεν δημοσιεύει εκτιμήσεις σχετικά με τα έσοδα που αφορούν μεμονωμένα περιουσιακά στοιχεία που πρόκειται να ιδιωτικοποιηθούν.

2.

Δεδομένου ότι o ΑΔΜΗΕ ανήκει κατά 100% στη ΔΕΗ, η διαδικασία ιδιωτικοποίησης εκτελείται από τη ΔΕΗ, σε συνεργασία με το ΤΑΙΠΕΔ και τις ελληνικές αρχές. Το στάδιο της εκδήλωσης ενδιαφέροντος μόλις ξεκίνησε.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002862/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Sale of ITSO

The Greek Government recently adopted a law opening the way for the privatisation of 66% of electricity transmission networks. More specifically, the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ITSO), a subsidiary of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) which is fully independent from an administrative point of view, is being sold through an increase in share capital: 66% to a strategic investor and 34% to the Greek state.

In connection with the planned privatisation of energy transmission networks, the Greek Government is also pushing for the restructuring of the PPC and the sale of part of it to private individuals. Regardless of one’s political position on privatisation, will the Commission say:

Can it describe the Greek government’s commitments, under the privatisation programme, with respect to the country’s energy assets? What is the budget for revenue from these privatisation measures?

Where will the proceeds from the sale of the 66% of ITSO shares be channelled? To the PPC or to the HRADF to service the Greek Government debt?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(28 May 2014)

1.

The Government has committed to sell 65% of DEPA, the incumbent gas wholesale supplier, and has sold DESFA, the gas transmission system operator. For the latter, regulatory clearance is on-going as required by EU directives. As for PPC, the Government has committed to sell 17% of it, bringing the Hellenic Republic's participation in PPC to 34%, by the first quarter of 2016. The HRADF does not publish revenue estimates relating to individual assets to be privatised.

2.

As the ITSO is 100% owned by PPC, the privatisation procedure is being executed by PPC, in coordination with HRADF and the Greek Authorities. The expression of interest phase has just been launched.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002863/14

to the Commission

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (EFD)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: British Broadcasting Corporation

It has been reported in a British newspaper (The Sunday Telegraph, 9 March 2014) that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) received GBP 20 million from the EU for unspecified projects between 2007 and 2012.

1.

Can the Commission confirm whether these figures are accurate?

2.

Has the Commission any plans to increase this funding from 2015?

3.

Has the Commission any plans to reduce this funding from 2015?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The BBC is together with partner organisations from other Member States involved in 14 projects with an EC contribution of EUR 5.8 million under the 7th research framework programme (236) from between 2007 and 2012. In 2013 the BBC was involved in a further three projects with an EC contribution of EUR 1.5 million. Topics are largely in the domain of ‘converging media and content’. Funding amounts allocated to past projects under FP 7 (including those in which BBC has been involved) are fixed, so no increase can be considered.

Future funding (under Horizon 2020, the new EU programme for Research and Innovation) depends on whether the legal entity in question (237) together with partners from other Member States submit proposals to projects, and the extent to which these projects are selected through an independent, external evaluation on the basis of well-defined criteria.

Some programmes aired by the BBC have been produced by small, independent companies who received funding from ERDF projects. The BBC is not the beneficiary of the funding. It bought the rights to show the programmes.

The EC has consulted with the managing authority in England (the Department for Communities and Local Government) who has confirmed that the BBC has not received, nor will it receive in the future, direct funding from the ERDF.

A BBC associated charity (BBC Media Action — BBC MA) received EUR 1.5 million over the same period (2007-2012) to carry out humanitarian aid actions. BBC MA has renewed its framework partnership agreement (FPA) in the field of humanitarian aid for the period 2014-2018. Any future grants are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the humanitarian needs prevailing at any given point in time and the merits of the proposal submitted by a NGO or charity to meet those needs.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002864/14

to the Commission

Nessa Childers (NI)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: EU VAT law on defibrillators

The VAT rating of goods and services in Ireland is constrained by the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. First responders are trained in first aid, cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and the administration of oxygen, and the primary equipment needed for these services is a defibrillator. Defibrillators, with the exception of implantable defibrillators, are liable to VAT at the standard rate — currently 23% — as are parts or accessories. EU VAT law does not allow for the introduction of an exemption from VAT on the supply of defibrillators.

The Irish VAT code provides for the refund of VAT incurred on the purchase of new medical appliances or instruments valued in excess of EUR 25 390, by a person who donates the medical appliances/equipment to a hospital. However, the purchase of defibrillators, in this case by first responders, would not qualify for this VAT refund.

Will the Commission consider allowing groups involved in the community first responder schemes, in association with the Health Service Executive’s national ambulance service, to be exempt from VAT on the equipment they purchase?

If so, can the Commission release a statement on the matter?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

Pursuant to the rules laid down in the Treaty, any amendment of the current VAT Directive, for instance any extension to the list of exemptions in the public interest would require the unanimous adoption of a respective legal act by the Council, based on a corresponding proposal from the Commission.

It must be considered that according to the general VAT principles every activity which is carried out for a consideration and qualifies as an economic activity within the meaning of Article 9 of the VAT Directive is in principle taxed at the standard VAT rate; if the purchaser is a taxable person he is entitled to an input-VAT deduction in so far as the related input supply is used for the purposes of his taxed transactions. Any deviation of these general principles, for instance by an extension of tax exemptions or the implementation of zero rates, would entail more complexity and less harmonisation. Thus, it must be carefully examined whether an amendment of these rules would be an appropriate means to improve the situation of first responders as raised by the Honourable Member. Immediate financial support granted by Member States outside the VAT system appears to be the most appropriate and flexible tool in this respect, provided that in doing so Member States comply with EU law, in particular the provisions on state aid. In this context it must be referred to the fact that Member States are free to introduce targeted compensation mechanisms, outside the VAT system, to alleviate the cost of (non-deductible) VAT on acquisitions.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002866/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Sfruttamento e abuso sessuale dei minori: stato della normativa e possibile intervento della Commissione

Lo sfruttamento e l'abuso sessuale dei minori rappresentano una realtà sconvolgente che impone un livello di attenzione e di preoccupazione massimi. I dati relativi agli abusi, allo sfruttamento sessuale dei minori e alla pornografia minorile sono allarmanti. Basti pensare che, secondo una ricerca delle Nazioni Unite, sono 2 milioni i bambini in schiavitù sessuale e che 1 bambino su 5 riceve proposte sessuali. Da studi realizzati in 21 paesi, è emerso che il 36 % delle donne e il 29 % degli uomini hanno riferito di essere stati abusati sessualmente durante l'infanzia.

La pedofilia è un reato aberrante che costituisce una grave violazione dei diritti fondamentali, in particolare del diritto dei minori alla protezione e alle cure necessarie per il loro benessere, come sancito nella Convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sui diritti del fanciullo del 1989 e nella Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione europea. I soggetti vittime degli abusi possono subire danni irreparabili che impediscono il regolare sviluppo psico-fisico e la prosecuzione di una vita normale.

Tutto ciò premesso e su sollecitazione di due organizzazioni che hanno preso a cuore il problema della pedofilia (Venerabilis equester Ordo Sacri Principatus Sancti Sepulchri — V.E.O.S.P.S.S. di Seborga (IM) e Mani Colorate di Imperia), può la Commissione riferire:

se dispone di un quadro generale a livello europeo della situazione relativa all'armonizzazione delle normative nazionali in relazione alla direttiva 2011/93/UE;

se intende presentare nuove proposte di legge volte a rafforzare la lotta contro lo sfruttamento e l'abuso sessuale dei minori;

se considera la possibilità di qualificare la pedofilia, quando esercitata nelle forme di molestia, abuso e violenza, come crimine contro l'umanità?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

Gli Stati membri dovevano porre in vigore le disposizioni legislative, regolamentari ed amministrative necessarie per conformarsi alla direttiva sullo sfruttamento sessuale dei minori (238) entro il 18 dicembre 2013. La Commissione sta attualmente seguendo l'attuazione della direttiva da parte degli Stati membri. Al 1o aprile 2014, 23 Stati membri avevano notificato le misure d'attuazione nazionali, la cui conformità è in corso d'esame.

La direttiva in questione è uno strumento legislativo ambizioso, che riguarda l'azione penale contro gli autori dei reati, la protezione delle vittime e la prevenzione, e — a meno che non vengano individuate specifiche necessità o carenze — prima di prendere in considerazione l'opportunità di proporre nuovi atti legislativi deve esserne assicurata l'effettiva attuazione. La Commissione sostiene altre iniziative non legislative in corso, come l'Alleanza mondiale contro l'abuso sessuale di minori online.

Le forme più gravi di abuso e sfruttamento sessuale di minori, come lo stupro, la schiavitù sessuale, la prostituzione forzata, o qualunque altra forma di violenza sessuale di gravità paragonabile, possono sempre essere considerate come incluse nella definizione di crimine contro l'umanità, se commesse nell'ambito di un attacco esteso o sistematico contro popolazioni civili, e con la consapevolezza dell'attacco (239). La Commissione non ha progetti per alcuna iniziativa a tale riguardo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002866/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Sexual abuse and exploitation of minors: state of legislation and possible intervention by the Commission

The sexual abuse and exploitation of minors are a disturbing reality that calls for a high level of attention and concern. The figures on abuse, the sexual exploitation of minors and child pornography are alarming. For example, a UN investigation indicates that two million children are trapped in sexual slavery and that one child in five receives sexual advances. Studies carried out in 21 countries have revealed that 36% of women and 29% of men say they were sexually abused as children.

Paedophilia is an aberrant crime that constitutes a serious violation of fundamental rights, particularly minors’ right to the protection and care necessary for their well-being, as sanctioned by the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Victims of abuse can suffer irreparable damage that prevents them from developing properly both psychologically and physically, and from leading a normal life.

In view of all of this, and at the request of two organisations that are committed to combating the problem of paedophilia — Venerabilis Equester Ordo Sacri Principatus Sancti Sepulchri (VEOSPSS) in Seborga (province of Imperia) and Mani Colorate (also in Imperia) — can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does it have a general picture at European level of the situation as regards the harmonisation of national legislations with Directive 2011/93/EU?

Is it planning to propose any new bills to strengthen the fight against the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors?

Is it considering the possibility of classifying paedophilia that takes the form of molestation, abuse and violence as a crime against humanity?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

Member States had to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Child Sexual Exploitation Directive (240) by 18 December 2013. The Commission is currently monitoring the implementation of the directive by Member States. By 1 April 2014, 23 Member States had notified national implementation measures, which are being analysed for conformity.

The directive is a very ambitious piece of legislation, covering prosecution of the offenders, protection of the victims and prevention. Effective implementation of the directive has to be ensured before considering proposing new legislation, unless a specific need or gap were detected. The Commission supports other non-legislative initiatives underway, including the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse online.

The most serious forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation, such as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity, can already be considered as included in the definition of crimes against humanity, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack (241). The Commission does not have plans for any initiative in this regard.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite P-002867/14

à la Commission

Anne Delvaux (PPE)

(11 mars 2014)

Objet: Émissions de CO2 des véhicules lourds

Dans une précédente réponse sur le sujet, la Commission note à juste titre l'actuel manque de transparence du marché des poids lourds et de ce fait, l'impossibilité, pour un acheteur, de comparer les véhicules de constructeurs différents sur la base de leurs émissions.

Malheureusement, le choix de la Commission de retenir, pour les véhicules lourds, une méthode de mesure des rejets par simulation ne permettra pas d'installer cette transparence souhaitée sur le marché des poids lourds et de plus, elle ne constituera pas un incitant à la recherche et au développement de solutions techniques innovantes dans le domaine de la motorisation.

Ce type de simulation peut donner des résultats représentatifs pour les technologies de motorisation traditionnelles, sur la base d'un moteur thermique, mais elle ne pourra pas être appliquée pour des véhicules hybrides.

En effet, la simulation de la consommation des véhicules lourds hybrides demanderait d'introduire dans l'ordinateur des données confidentielles et protégées par le constructeur, à savoir la stratégie de gestion hybride du véhicule, ce qui représente toute l'intelligence de sa conception.

La seule méthode qui permettrait à la fois d'assurer la transparence du marché des poids lourds et de préserver la propriété intellectuelle des constructeurs serait d'effectuer, comme c'est le cas pour les voitures, un test du véhicule complet sur banc à rouleaux en le faisant «parcourir» plusieurs trajets normalisés.

Cette méthode non intrusive, qui considère le véhicule comme une boîte noire consommant du carburant et émettant de la pollution, permettra de comparer des véhicules de conceptions très différentes, d'éclairer véritablement l'acheteur et de pousser les constructeurs à innover et à développer des motorisations plus performantes.

1.

La Commission a-t-elle envisagé cette possibilité?

2.

Si oui, pourquoi la Commission ne décide-t-elle pas de l'appliquer, afin d'offrir aux acheteurs une comparaison objective de leurs émissions, ce qui agirait de plus comme un incitant à l'innovation technologique?

3.

Si la Commission a déjà rejeté cette possibilité, peut-elle en fournir les raisons?

Réponse donnée par Mme Hedegaard au nom de la Commission

(9 avril 2014)

Le marché des véhicules utilitaires lourds est un marché complexe qui se caractérise par une grande diversité des spécifications et des performances/types d'utilisation finals des véhicules. Les véhicules utilitaires lourds sont destinés à diverses applications (transport longue distance, livraisons en milieu urbain, autobus, autocars, etc.) et sont disponibles dans des centaines de configurations différentes (nombre d'essieux, véhicule rigide, semi-remorque, moteurs, boîtes de vitesses, cabines, etc.). C'est pourquoi il serait extrêmement long et coûteux de réaliser des tests sur banc à rouleaux pour chaque véhicule. Dans ce contexte, la Commission s'est attelée à la mise au point d'un outil de simulation (VECTO) des émissions de CO2 des véhicules complets, qui permettra de mesurer la consommation de carburant des véhicules utilitaires lourds ainsi que les émissions de CO2 de ces véhicules. La première phase de mise au point de cet outil de simulation est pratiquement achevée et a été sanctionnée par des résultats de validation satisfaisants, qui sont résumés dans un rapport du Centre commun de recherche (242).

La consommation de carburant et les émissions de CO2 calculées dans le cadre d'une simulation effectuée par VECTO de l'utilisation sur route dans des conditions réelles se situent dans une fourchette de ± 3 % par rapport aux résultats des mesures en conditions réelles et, dans plusieurs cas, dans une fourchette plus étroite (± 1,5 %). Cette marge de ± 3 % offrant déjà un degré de précision beaucoup plus important que les mesures obtenues pour les voitures particulières (banc dynamométrique), ces résultats sont considérés comme très bons.

La Commission est aussi tout à fait consciente du potentiel que recèlent les technologies hybrides et veillera le moment venu à ce que les véhicules utilitaires lourds hybrides soient également couverts par le système VECTO.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002867/14

to the Commission

Anne Delvaux (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

In its answer to a previous question on the subject, the Commission admitted that there is a lack of transparency in the heavy-duty vehicles (HDV) market. This makes it impossible for consumers to compare vehicles made by different manufacturers properly on the basis of their emissions.

Unfortunately, the Commission’s decision to use computer-based simulations to measure HDV emissions will not create the desired market transparency. What is more, it will do nothing to encourage research into and the development of innovative engine technologies.

Simulations of this kind generate meaningful results for vehicles with traditional combustion engines, but are unworkable for hybrids: accurately simulating hybrid HDV consumption would require the use of data which manufacturers regard as confidential and protected because disclosing it would serve to reveal their engine management strategy and, thus, their design secrets.

The only way to ensure HDV market transparency whilst protecting manufacturers’ intellectual property rights would be to test each complete vehicle on a roller bench by making it cover a number of simulated standardised routes, as is already done with cars.

This non-intrusive process, which treats the vehicle merely as a consumer of fuel and an emitter of pollutants, would make it possible to compare very different vehicle designs. As a result, consumers would have more accurate information and manufacturers would be given an incentive to develop innovative, better-performing engines.

1.

Has the Commission considered this as a possible solution?

2.

If so, will it introduce this testing method with a view to enabling consumers to compare vehicle emissions objectively and encouraging innovation?

3.

If it has already ruled out this method, can it say why?

Answer given by Ms Hedegaard on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) market is complex with significant diversity in final vehicle specification and performance/use. HDVs are used in various applications (long haul, urban delivery, buses, coaches, etc) with hundreds of different configurations (number of axles, rigid, semi-trailer, engines, gearboxes, cabins, etc). For these reasons, it would be extremely costly and time consuming to test each vehicle on a roller bench. Instead, to measure HDV fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the Commission is developing a simulation tool (VECTO) of complete vehicles' CO2 emissions. The first phase of the simulation tool development has been almost completed with satisfactory validation results, which are summarised in a report from the Joint Research Centre (243).

The VECTO-simulated fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of on-road real world operation was calculated to be within a +/-3% range from the real world measurement results, and in several cases in an even narrower band (+/-1.5%). Given that a +/-3% margin is already much more accurate than measurements being achieved for passenger cars (chassis dynamometer measurement), such results are considered to be very good.

The Commission is also fully aware of the potential that lies with hybrid technologies and will in due course make sure that Heavy Duty Hybrids are also covered by VECTO.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-002868/14

aan de Commissie

Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL)

(11 maart 2014)

Betreft: Onbeschikbaarheid van medicijnen voor mensen met syndroom van Cushing

Op basis van een advies van het Europees Geneesmiddelenbureau (EMA) is in 2014 het medicijn Nizoral, net als alle overige orale vormen van ketoconazol, uit de handel gehaald in alle EU‐lidstaten. Nizoral wordt vooral gebruikt om schimmelinfecties te bestrijden, maar is tevens van levensbelang voor patiënten met het syndroom van Cushing. Mensen met dit syndroom gebruiken het medicijn onder scherp toezicht van een endocrinoloog, waardoor de risico's waarop het EMA wijst beperkt blijven. De risico's voor mensen met het syndroom van Cushing zijn zonder Nizoral/ketoconazol vele malen groter dan wanneer zij het medicijn wel gebruiken.

1.

Hoever is de Commissie met het nemen van een besluit betreffende het (orale) medicijn ketoconazol? Wordt het advies van het EMA hierbij volledig overgenomen?

2.

Is de Commissie ervan op de hoogte dat Nizoral en overige vormen van orale ketoconazol onlangs in alle lidstaten uit de handel zijn genomen?

3.

Is de Commissie ervan op de hoogte dat dit acute, levensbedreigende problemen veroorzaakt voor mensen met het syndroom van Cushing?

4.

Weet de Commissie dat er voor een deel van deze groep mensen geen ander effectief medicijn beschikbaar is en dat ook een operatie bij hen niet (meer) tot de mogelijkheden behoort, dat zij zonder ketoconazol niet normaal in de maatschappij kunnen functioneren en een sterk verkorte levensduur tegemoet zien?

5.

Veruit de grootste groep Nizoral‐ en ketoconazolgebruikers, slikten het middel tegen schimmelinfecties. Is de Commissie zich bewust van het feit dat het voor medicijnfabrikanten financieel te onaantrekkelijk is geworden om Nizoral en orale vormen van ketoconazol te produceren, omdat de groep Cushing-patiënten te klein is om het medicijn rendabel te produceren?

6.

Realiseert de Commissie zich dat het theoretisch advies van het EMA aan lidstaten, om het medicijn slechts toe te staan voor behandeling van het syndroom van Cushing, in de praktijk onhaalbaar is, omdat het medicijn door dit advies (vooruitlopend op een beslissing van de Commissie) niet meer geproduceerd wordt?

7.

Realiseert de Commissie zich dat in dit geval Europese coördinatie vereist is, omdat lidstaten zelf niet in staat zullen zijn om de productie van ketoconazol in tabletvorm veilig te stellen?

8.

Wat gaat de Commissie doen om er op korte  termijn voor te zorgen dat patiënten met het syndroom van Cushing weer toegang hebben tot Nizoral, dan wel tot tabletten met minimaal 200 mg ketoconazol?

Antwoord van de heer Borg namens de Commissie

(14 april 2014)

Het besluit van de Commissie in het kader van verwijzing op grond van artikel 31 (244) over het schorsen van een vergunning voor het in de handel brengen van geneesmiddelen voor orale toediening die ketoconazol bevatten, werd op 11 oktober 2013 (245) vastgesteld na raadpleging van de lidstaten en is in overeenstemming met het advies van het Europees Geneesmiddelenbureau (246).

De voorwaarde voor de opheffing van de schorsing van de vergunningen voor het in de handel brengen van het geneesmiddel, is dat bedrijven robuuste gegevens verstrekken om een patiëntenpopulatie te identificeren waarbij de klinische voordelen van ketoconazol bevattende producten voor oraal gebruik duidelijk opwegen tegen de risico's (247).

De Commissie is ervan op de hoogte dat ketoconazol wordt gebruikt bij de behandeling van het syndroom van Cushing. Deze aanduiding is echter nog niet goedgekeurd als deel van een vergunning voor het in de handel brengen in de EU.

In de EU worden verschillende andere geneesmiddelen gebruikt bij de behandeling van het syndroom van Cushing. Signifor, een geneesmiddel voor de behandeling van de ziekte van Cushing bij patiënten voor wie een operatie niet aan de orde is, is door de Commissie goedgekeurd voor gebruik in de EU (248).

Geneesmiddelen voor de behandeling van zeldzame ziekten, zoals het syndroom van Cushing, komen in aanmerking voor stimulansen zoals beschreven in de wetgeving voor weesgeneesmiddelen (249). Momenteel worden twee vergunningsaanvragen voor het in de handel brengen van weesgeneesmiddelen met ketoconazole, die worden gebruikt bij de behandeling van het syndroom van Cushing, via de gecentraliseerde EU-procedure geëvalueerd (250). Als de Commissie via een gecentraliseerde procedure een vergunning verleent voor het in de handel brengen van een geneesmiddel, dan is die geldig in heel de EU.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002868/14

to the Commission

Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Unavailability of medicines for people suffering from Cushing's syndrome

On the basis of a report by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the medicine Nizoral was withdrawn from sale in all EU Member States in 2014, as were all other oral forms of ketoconazole. Nizoral is primarily used to treat fungal infections, but is also of vital importance to people suffering from Cushing’s syndrome. Sufferers from this condition take the medicine under strict supervision by an endocrinologist, which limits the risks reported by the EMA. Cushing’s syndrome sufferers are far more at risk without Nizoral/ketoconazole than they are if they take it.

1.

What progress has the Commission made towards a decision on the oral form of ketoconazole? Does it intend to accept the EMA’s recommendations in full?

2.

Is the Commission aware that Nizoral and other forms of ketoconazole for oral administration have recently been withdrawn from sale in all Member States?

3.

Is the Commission aware that this is causing acute, life-threatening problems for people with Cushing’s syndrome?

4.

Does the Commission know that, for some of these people, no other effective medicine is available and that even an operation is not (or is no longer) possible in their case, that they cannot function normally in society and that their life expectancy is severely curtailed?

5.

The majority, by far, of users of Nizoral and ketoconazole were taking the medicine against fungal infections. Is the Commission aware that it has become financially too unattractive for manufacturers to produce Nizoral and oral forms of ketoconazole, because there are too few Cushing’s syndrome sufferers to make the medicine’s manufacture viable?

6.

Does the Commission realise that, in practice, the EMA’s theoretical recommendation that Member States authorise the medicine only for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome is not feasible, because as a result of this recommendation (pending a decision by the Commission), the medicine is no longer being produced?

7.

Does the Commission realise that European coordination is needed in this case because Member States themselves will no longer be able to safeguard the production of ketoconazole in tablet form?

8.

What will the Commission do to ensure without delay that Nizoral, or tablets containing at least 200 mg of ketoconazole, once again become(s) available to patients with Cushing’s syndrome?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2014)

The Commission Decision in the framework of Article 31 referral (251) on the suspension of marketing authorisations for oral ketoconazole-containing medicinal products was adopted on 11 October 2013 (252) after consultation of the Member States and in agreement with the opinion of the European Medicines Agency (253).

The condition for the lifting of the suspension of the marketing authorisations is that the companies will provide robust data to identify a patient population in which the benefits of ketoconazole use clearly outweigh the risks (254).

The Commission is aware that ketoconazole is being used for treatment of Cushing’s syndrome. However, this indication has not been so far approved as part of a marketing authorisation in the EU.

Several other medicines are being used in the EU for the treatment of Cushing syndrome. Signifor, a medicinal product for treatment of Cushing’s disease in patients for whom surgery is not an option, has been authorised for EU-wide use by the Commission (255).

Medicinal products for treatment of rare diseases, as Cushing’s syndrome, benefit from incentives as set up by the legislation for orphan medicinal products (256). The evaluation of two marketing authorisation applications via the EU centralised procedure for ketoconazole-containing orphan medicinal products for treatment of Cushing’s syndrome is on-going (257). If a marketing authorisation via a centralised procedure is granted by the Commission, it is valid in the whole EU.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002869/14

an die Kommission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(11. März 2014)

Betrifft: Aktueller Stand des europäischen Navigationssystems Galileo

Am 27. Mai 2013 wurde offiziell vereinbart, dass das europäische Navigationssystem GALILEO zu gleichen Teilen von der EU und der ESA finanziert wird. Das Satellitensystem mit genauer Positionsbestimmung soll die EU unabhängig von anderen Diensten machen, sowohl im kommerziellen als auch im militärischen Bereich.

1.

Nachdem das Industriekonsortium „GALILEO Industries“ im Jahr 2006 und mit ihm die geplante kommerzielle Finanzierung gescheitert war, wird das Projekt nun von europäischen Steuergeldern getragen. Die Kosten sind mit etwa 6 Milliarden Euro (beim derzeit geplanten Ablauf) bereits doppelt so hoch als anfangs geplant. Wie werden die Überschreitung des finanziellen Rahmens und die Umlegung der Finanzierung gerechtfertigt, und warum leistet man sich gerade vor dem Hintergrund der finanziellen Lage zwei Kontrollstationen in Rom und München, wo doch eine technisch ausreichen würde?

2.

Inwieweit ist der anfangs prophezeite Innovationsschub durch das GALILEO-Projekt in der europäischen Wirtschaft eingetreten, und wie ist er zu beziffern?

3.

Ist der Kommission bekannt, warum der Start seit Juni 2013 immer wieder verschoben wird und wie wahrscheinlich der angestrebte Start im Juli dieses Jahres ist?

4.

Der Europäischen GNSS-Aufsichtsbehörde GSA zufolge wird der Umsatz für Geräte und Anwendungen im Jahr 2022 auf 250 Milliarden EUR und die Anzahl der empfangsfähigen Geräte im selben Jahr auf 7 Milliarden geschätzt. Was unternimmt die Kommission, um vor dem Hintergrund dieser rasanten Entwicklung einen schnelleren und effizienteren Aufbau des europäischen Navigationssystems zu ermöglichen und den Ablauf nicht durch weitere interne Konflikte zu verzögern?

5.

Inwiefern kann es nach Einschätzung der Kommission gelingen, dass das europäische System neben dem russischen GLONASS-, dem chinesischen BEIDOU- und dem amerikanischen GPS-System auf dem Weltmarkt wettbewerbsfähig sein wird, wo doch die zivile Nutzung der genannten Systeme kostenlos und bereits auf dem Markt ist?

Antwort von Herrn Barnier im Namen der Kommission

(13. Mai 2014)

Mit dem Galileo-Programm wird die erste zivile weltweite Infrastruktur für die satellitengestützte Navigation und Positionsbestimmung aufgebaut und betrieben. Das Programm wird seit 2008 vollständig aus dem Haushalt der Europäischen Union finanziert. Diese Finanzierung wird gemäß der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1285/2013 (258) bis Ende 2020 fortgesetzt.

Finanzierung, Kosten und Nutzen des Galileo-Programms wurden in der Halbzeitüberprüfung der europäischen Satellitennavigationsprogramme (KOM(2011)5) und in der Folgenabschätzung (SEC(2011)1446.) ausführlich dargelegt. Unabhängige Studien zeigen außerdem, dass Galileo in den ersten 20 Betriebsjahren der EU-Wirtschaft rund 90 Mrd. EUR einbringen wird, und zwar in Form von direkten Einnahmen für die Raumfahrt-, Empfänger- und Anwendungsindustrie und in Form von indirekten Einnahmen für die Gesellschaft (effizientere Verkehrssysteme, wirksamere Rettungseinsätze usw.).

Beide Galileo-Kontrollzentren (GCC) sind notwendig, damit die Stabilität der Infrastruktur von Galileo und die Kontinuität der Galileo-Dienste gewährleistet ist. Das Zentrum in Oberpfaffenhofen (Deutschland) kontrolliert die Satelliten selbst und das Zentrum in Fucino (Italien) deren Einsatz. Außerdem unterstützen sich beide Zentren gegenseitig.

Für 2014 sind derzeit zwei Starts vorgesehen: im Sommer und im Herbst. Der genaue Zeitplan dafür wird von Arianespace vorgeschlagen.

Die Kommission ist entschlossen, bis zum vollen Einsatz des Systems im Jahr 2020 die Weiterentwicklung der Boden- und Weltrauminfrastruktur weiterhin zu unterstützen und die Qualität der Dienste zu verbessern.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002869/14

to the Commission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Progress of the European navigation system Galileo

On 27 May 2013, it was officially agreed that the European navigation system Galileo should be financed equally by the EU and the ESA. The satellite system, which facilitates precise position-finding, is intended to make the EU independent of other services, in both the commercial and the military fields.

1.

Since the industrial consortium GALILEO Industries failed in 2006, with the result that the planned commercial financing was lost, the project has been financed by the European tax-payer. At around EUR 6 bn (according to the current schedule), the costs are already twice the original estimate. How are the overrun of the financial framework and the apportionment of the costs justified, and why — particularly bearing in mind the financial situation — has the costly option of two ground control stations at Rome and Munich been selected when from the technical point of view one would be enough?

2.

To what extent have the benefits to European industry in terms of innovation which were initially forecast to flow from the GALILEO project actually been reaped, and what figure can be placed on them?

3.

Does the Commission know why the launch has repeatedly been postponed since June 2013 and how likely it is to take place in July this year, as is the stated aim?

4.

According to the European GNSS supervisory authority GSA, turnover in equipment and applications in 2022 is estimated at EUR 250 bn and the number of receivers in the same year at 7 bn. In the light of this rapid development, what will the Commission do to facilitate swifter and more efficient establishment of the European navigation system and to avoid delaying progress by further internal conflicts?

5.

How competitive does the Commission believe that the European system can be on the world market alongside the Russian system GLONASS, the Chinese system BEIDOU and the American GPS system, bearing in mind that these systems can be put to civil use free of charge and are already on the market?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2014)

The Galileo programme will establish and operate the first civil global satellite navigation and positioning infrastructure. It has been fully funded from the budget of the European Union since 2008. This financing will continue until the end of 2020 as provided for by Regulation (EU) 1285/2013 (259).

A detailed explanation on the financing, costs and benefits of the Galileo programme was presented in the Mid-term review of the European satellite radio navigation programmes COM(2011) 5 and in the impact assessment SEC/2011/1446. Independent studies also show that Galileo will deliver around EUR 90 billion to the EU economy over the first 20 years of operations, in the form of direct revenues for the space, receivers and applications industries and in the form of indirect revenues for society (more effective transport systems, more effective rescue operations etc.)

As for the Galileo Control Centres (GCC), both are necessary to ensure the robustness of the Galileo infrastructure and the continuity of Galileo services. The centre in Oberpfaffenhofen (Germany) controls the satellites and the centre in Fucino (Italy) controls the ‘navigation’ mission. Furthermore, both centres are backing-up each other.

Two launches are now foreseen in 2014, one in the summer and one in autumn. The exact launch schedule will be proposed by Arianespace.

The Commission is committed to continuing deployment of the ground and space infrastructures and to improve service levels as the system moves towards full deployment in 2020.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-002870/14

aan de Commissie

Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL)

(11 maart 2014)

Betreft: Inhumaan slachten van uit de EU afkomstige dieren in derde landen

In de strategie van de Commissie voor dierenwelzijn wordt benadrukt hoe belangrijk het is voortgang te boeken op internationaal niveau, waarbij in het bijzonder wordt verklaard dat de Commissie zal „onderzoeken hoe dierenwelzijn beter geïntegreerd kan worden in het kader van het Europees nabuurschapsbeleid”.

1.

Welke stappen heeft de Commissie genomen om te onderzoeken hoe dierenwelzijn beter geïntegreerd kan worden in het kader van het Europese nabuurschapsbeleid?

2.

De schokkende omstandigheden waaronder uit de EU afkomstige dieren in Turkije, Libanon, Jordanië, de westelijke Jordaanoever en Gaza worden geslacht, zijn onlangs aan het licht gekomen. Uit de EU afkomstige dieren lijden vreselijk tijdens het slachten in deze landen, die hulp nodig hebben om in te zien hoe veranderingen in uitrusting, infrastructuur en gedrag van personeel het dierenwelzijn kan verbeteren. Dergelijke veranderingen zijn dikwijls eenvoudig en niet duur. Is de Commissie bereid deze landen praktische hulp te bieden, zodat de aldaar geldende normen voor het slachten verbeterd kunnen worden?

Antwoord van de heer Borg namens de Commissie

(13 mei 2014)

In het kader van TAIEX, het instrument van DG Uitbreiding voor technische bijstand en uitwisseling van informatie (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange), is het mogelijk om ondersteuningsprogramma's te ontwikkelen voor derde landen die ofwel kandidaat-lidstaten zijn (zoals Turkije), ofwel deel uitmaken van het Europees nabuurschapsbeleid (zoals Libanon en Jordanië). Met name het programma „Betere opleiding voor veiliger voedsel” maakt het mogelijk dat ambtenaren uit derde landen deelnemen aan opleidingen en informatie uitwisselen, ook over dierenwelzijn. In principe kunnen zulke programma's ook bezoeken aan landen en maatregelen voor opleidingen en de uitwisseling van informatie inhouden. TAIEX-bijstand wordt echter enkel verleend na een aanvraag van ambtenaren die voor de administratie van de begunstigde landen werken.

Bovendien heeft de Wereldorganisatie voor diergezondheid (OIE) in de Gezondheidscode voor landdieren (260) normen vastgesteld betreffende het dierenwelzijn tijdens het transport en het slachten. Al de bovenvermelde landen zijn lid van de OIE en de Commissie verleent haar volle steun aan het werk dat de OIE op dit gebied verricht. Momenteel wordt er met financiële bijdrage van de Commissie gewerkt aan de oprichting van een regionaal dierenwelzijnsplatform voor Europa van de OIE. In het kader van het regionaal platform is een driejarenactieplan voor 2014-2016 overeengekomen. Dit omvat ook opleidingen over dierenwelzijn tijdens het transport en het slachten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002870/14

to the Commission

Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Inhumane slaughter of EU animals in third countries

The Commission’s animal welfare strategy emphasises the importance of making progress at an international level, stating in particular that the Commission will ‘examine how animal welfare could be better integrated in the framework of the European neighbourhood policy’.

1.

What steps has the Commission taken to examine how animal welfare could be better integrated in the framework of the European neighbourhood policy?

2.

The shocking conditions in which EU animals are slaughtered in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza have recently been revealed. EU animals are suffering dreadfully during slaughter in these countries, which need assistance to understand how changes in layout, infrastructure and personnel behaviour can improve animal welfare. Such changes are often simple and inexpensive. Is the Commission prepared to give practical assistance to these countries so that they can improve their slaughter standards?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2014)

In the framework of DG Enlargement’s TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange) instrument, it is possible to develop programmes of assistance for third countries that are either candidate countries (like Turkey), or part of the European Neighbourhood policy (like Lebanon or Jordan). The Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) programme in particular has provided opportunities for third country officials to participate in trainings and exchange of information also on animal welfare. In principle, such programmes could include country visits and measures for training and exchange of information. However, TAIEX assistance is given in response to requests sent by officials working for the administrations of beneficiary countries.

In addition, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has established standards concerning the welfare of animals during transport and at slaughter in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (261). All the abovementioned countries are members of the OIE and the Commission strongly supports the work of the OIE in this area. Current work includes the establishment of an OIE Regional Platform on Animal Welfare for Europe with financial contributions from the Commission. A three year action plan 2014-2016 for the Regional Platform has been agreed and includes training on the topics of animal welfare during transport and slaughter.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002871/14

à la Commission (Vice-Présidente/Haute Représentante)

Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)

(11 mars 2014)

Objet: VP/HR — Prisonniers et détenus palestiniens en Israël

En février 2014, Israël détenait quelque 4 800 Palestiniens dans 70 prisons, centres de détention et centres d'interrogatoire, en infraction au droit international. Environ 11 034 Palestiniens, dont 2 500 enfants, ont été faits prisonniers par l'armée israélienne ces trois dernières années, au cours d'incursions et de violations militaires israéliennes dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés.

Israël détient toujours arbitrairement 150 personnes sur ordonnance d'arrestation pour détention administrative, c'est à dire sans inculpation ni procès, parmi lesquels douze parlementaires élus, dont Marwan Barghouti, emprisonné depuis 2002. Ces dix dernières années, Israël a enlevé et incarcéré plus de 60 parlementaires et anciens ministres.

Israël continue de dénier aux prisonniers malades le droit à un traitement médical professionnel et spécialisé et 1 500 prisonniers souffrent d'affections diverses, notamment de cancers, tandis que d'autres ont complètement perdu leur mobilité et différentes fonctions corporelles.

Depuis 1967, 205 détenus sont morts après leur arrestation. Les causes de leur mort vont de la torture létale pendant leur interrogatoire au manque de soins médicaux appropriés, sans parler d'un usage excessif de la force. Des dizaines de Palestiniens sont décédés très peu de temps après leur libération, en raison de complications de santé résultant du manque, voire de l'absence de soins médicaux dans les prisons israéliennes.

1.

Que fait la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante pour traiter la question des prisonniers palestiniens, de leurs souffrances, ainsi que des infractions et des abus psychologiques et physiques commis contre eux dans les geôles israéliennes?

2.

Quand a eu lieu la dernière réunion au sujet des prisonniers palestiniens? Quelles sont les étapes à venir?

3.

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante s'est-elle intéressée au sort de Monsieur Barghouti? Par quels moyens?

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

(16 mai 2014)

Parmi les sujets abordés par l'UE au cours de la dernière réunion du groupe de travail informel UE-Israël sur les Droits de l'homme, qui s'est tenue en janvier 2013, figuraient les conditions de détention des prisonniers palestiniens et un certain nombre de pratiques connexes ayant cours en Israël. Il a notamment été question des préoccupations de l'UE en ce qui concerne le recours excessif à la détention administrative (les incarcérations étant nombreuses et prolongées) et le maintien en isolement, l'UE réclamant des garanties de nature à assurer un usage limité et justifié de ces instruments. S'agissant des conditions de détention, l'UE a également demandé que les Palestiniens détenus dans les prisons israéliennes, notamment les mineurs, bénéficient du même traitement que les prisonniers israéliens.

De plus, le rapport de suivi de la PEV sur Israël, publié le 27 mars 2014, met l'accent, dans ses chapitres 2 et 8, respectivement, sur les conditions de détention des enfants palestiniens et sur le recours intensif à la détention administrative, sans procès, des Palestiniens; il y est demandé aux autorités israéliennes de réaliser de nouvelles avancées dans ces domaines.

Des messages similaires pourront être adressés lors des prochaines réunions du groupe de travail informel sur les Droits de l'homme ainsi que du sous-comité «Dialogue politique».

L'UE aborde régulièrement la situation des prisonniers palestiniens avec ses homologues palestiniens, comme cela a été le cas récemment lors de la réunion d'un groupe de travail informel qui s'est tenue à Bruxelles en mars 2014, au cours de laquelle d'importantes questions d'intérêt commun ont été débattues.

L'UE suit de près la question de tous les prisonniers et détenus palestiniens, y compris la situation de M. Barghouti dont l'épouse, Mme Fadwa Barghouti, a été reçue à Bruxelles et à Jérusalem à plusieurs reprises.

L'UE a appelé à la libération des députés palestiniens détenus, ce qui constitue également un des objectifs du nouveau plan d'action UE-AP dans le cadre de la PEV.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002871/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israel

In February 2014, Israel held some 4 800 Palestinians in 70 prisons, detention centres and interrogation centres, in defiance of international law. Approximately 11 034 Palestinians, including 2 500 children, have been taken prisoner by the Israeli army in the last three years during Israeli military incursions and violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Israel still holds 150 people arbitrarily on an arrest warrant for administrative detention , i.e. without charge or trial , including twelve elected members of Parliament, including Marwan Barghouti , who has been imprisoned since 2002. Over the past decade, Israel has kidnapped and imprisoned more than 60 members of parliament and former ministers .

Israel continues to deny sick prisoners the right to professional and specialised medical treatment and 1 500 prisoners suffer from various illnesses, including cancers, while others have completely lost their mobility and various bodily functions .

Since 1967, 205 prisoners have died after their arrest. The causes of death range from death from torture during interrogation to a lack of proper medical care and the excessive use of force. Dozens of Palestinians have died very shortly after their release , due to health complications resulting from a lack or absence of medical care in Israeli prisons.

1 . What is the HR/VP doing to address the issue of Palestinian prisoners and their suffering , and and the violations and psychological and physical abuse committed against them in Israeli jails ?

2 . When was the last meeting held on the Palestinian prisoners ? What are the next steps ?

3 . Is the HR/VP interested in the fate of Mr Barghouti ? If so, how?

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

(16 May 2014)

At the latest meeting of the EU-IL Informal Working Group on Human Rights, held in January 2013, the EU addressed the conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners and a number of related practices in Israel. More specifically, it raised the EU's concerns as regards the excessive use of administrative detention — both in terms of numbers and of the length of the period of detention‐ and solitary confinement, calling for proper safeguards to ensure limited and justified use of those instruments. Also, as regards the conditions of detention, it pleaded for the Palestinians detainees in Israeli prisons, including minors, to enjoy equal treatment as Israeli detainees.

Moreover, the ENP progress report on Israel, issued on 27 March 2014, emphasises in its chapters 2 and 8, the situation of detention of Palestinian children as well as the extensive use of administrative detention without trial of Palestinians respectively, and calls the Israeli Authorities for further progress in these areas.

Similar messages may be conveyed during the upcoming meetings of the IWG on Human Rights as well as of the Political Dialogue subcommittee.

The EU discusses the situation of Palestinian prisoners on a regular basis with its Palestinian counterparts including a recent informal working group on Brussels in March 2014 where key issues of mutual concern were discussed.

The EU has been following closely the issue of all Palestinian prisoners and detainees including that of Mr Barghouti whose wife Fadwa Barghouti has been received in Brussels and Jerusalem on various occasions.

The EU has called for the release of detained Palestinian legislators, which is also an objective in the new EU-PA European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-002873/14

do Komisji

Jacek Włosowicz (EFD)

(11 marca 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Wspólne unijne przepisy w sprawie osób skazanych

KE wzywa państwa członkowskie do wdrożenia wspólnych zasad dla osób skazanych lub oczekujących na proces w innym kraju UE. Obecnie połowa państw Unii ma opóźnienia w tym zakresie. Trzy unijne regulacje umożliwiają, aby m.in. wyroki więzienia były wykonywane w państwie UE innym niż kraj, w którym dana osoba została skazana lub oczekuje na proces.

Obecnie jednak tylko 18 państw członkowskich wdrożyło decyzję, 14 – decyzję w sprawie zawieszenia i obowiązków wynikających z kar alternatywnych, a 12 – europejski nakaz nadzoru.

Opóźnione lub niepełne wdrożenie przez kilka państw członkowskich jest szczególnie godne ubolewania, jako że decyzje ramowe mogą potencjalnie prowadzić do obniżenia kar więzienia nakładanych przez sędziów w stosunku do osób niebędących rezydentami danego kraju. Mogłoby to służyć zmniejszaniu przepełnienia więzień i tym samym poprawić w nich warunki, a także umożliwić oszczędności krajowych środków przeznaczanych na więziennictwo.

W związku z powyższym pragnę zapytać:

Jakie kroki podjęła Komisja, aby opóźnione lub niepełne wdrażanie jednolitych zasad przez pozostałe państwa członkowskie nie spowodowało obniżenia kar więzienia nakładanych przez sędziów w stosunku do osób niebędących rezydentami danego kraju?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Johannesa Hahna w imieniu Komisji

(6 maja 2014 r.)

Jak stwierdził Szanowny Pan Poseł, z opublikowanego przez Komisję w dniu 5 lutego 2014 r. sprawozdania w sprawie wykonania jasno wynika, że dotychczas mniej niż połowa państw członkowskich UE dokonała transpozycji wspólnych zasad dotyczących zatrzymania (262).

We wspomnianym sprawozdaniu Komisja wzywa związku z tym wszystkie państwa członkowskie, które jeszcze tego nie uczyniły, do podjęcia szybkich działań w celu pełnego wdrożenia tych przepisów UE (263).

Komisja nie może obecnie wszcząć postępowania w sprawie naruszenia przepisów z powodu niewdrożenia do grudnia 2014 r., czyli do końca okresu przejściowego, o którym mowa w art. 10 ust. 1 protokołu 36 w sprawie postanowień przejściowych, załączonego do Traktatu o funkcjonowaniu Unii Europejskiej.

Na przestrzeni ostatnich kilku lat Komisja jednak ściśle monitorowała postępy państw członkowskich w realizacji decyzji ramowej. W tym celu oraz w celu przyspieszenia procesu wdrażania, Komisja zorganizowała w 2010 r. trzy warsztaty, a także dwa spotkania ekspertów w 2012 r. i jeden w listopadzie 2013 r.

Ponadto w ostatnich latach Komisja sfinansowała wiele projektów, które mają na celu wsparcie państw członkowskich we wdrażaniu decyzji ramowych w dziedzinie aresztu oraz do zwiększenia wiedzy na temat tych projektów wśród przedstawicieli zawodów prawniczych. Praktyka ta będzie kontynuowana w ramach nowego programu „Sprawiedliwość” (rozporządzenie (UE) nr 1382/2013 z dnia 17 grudnia 2013 r. ustanawiające program „Sprawiedliwość” na lata 2014-2020).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002873/14

to the Commission

Jacek Włosowicz (EFD)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Common EU rules on sentenced persons

The Commission is calling on the Member States to introduce common rules with regard to people who have either been sentenced or who are awaiting trial in another EU country. There are currently delays on this matter in half of the Member States. There are three EU regulations that enable people to serve prison sentences in EU countries other than that in which their sentence has been handed down, or in which they are awaiting trial.

As yet, however, only 18 Member States have implemented the decision, 14 have implemented the decision on probation and alternative sanctions, and 12 have brought in the European supervision order.

Any delays in, or incomplete implementation in some Member States is particularly regrettable, since framework decisions might result in judges handing down reduced prison sentences in the case of people who are not resident in the country concerned. This could reduce overcrowding and improve conditions in prisons, as well as enable countries to make savings as far as spending on prisons is concerned.

In this connection:

What steps has the Commission taken to ensure that delays in implementing, or incomplete implementation of, uniform rules in other Member States do not result in reduced prison sentences being handed down by judges to people who do not reside in the country in question?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(6 May 2014)

As indicated by the Honourable Member, it is clear from the implementation report as published by the Commission on 5 February 2014 that to date fewer than half of EU Member States have transposed common rules on detention (264).

In its report, the Commission therefore urges all those Member States that have not yet done so to take swift measures to implement these EC laws fully (265).

Currently, the Commission cannot launch infringement proceedings for non-implementation until December 2014, the end of the transitional period as provided in Article 10(1) of Protocol 36 on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

However, over the last number of years, the Commission has been closely monitoring the implementation of the framework Decision by Member States. To this effect, and to speed up the implementation process, the Commission organised three workshops in 2010, two experts' meetings in 2012 and one in November 2013.

Moreover, in recent years, the Commission has funded many projects that aim to support Member States in the implementation of the framework Decisions in the field of Detention and to raise awareness of these projects among legal practitioners. This practice will be continued within the new Justice programme (Regulation (EU) No 1382/2013) of 17 December 2013 establishing a Justice Programme for the period 2014 to 2020).

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002876/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Υπάρχει απόφαση ελληνικού δικαστηρίου για τον προσδιορισμό της «οικονομικής κρίσης» ως γεγονότος «ανωτέρας βίας»;

Στις ερωτήσεις Ε-014373/2013 και Ε-014375/2013 σχετικά με την επίκληση της «οικονομικής κρίσης» ως γεγονότος «ανωτέρας βίας» υπέρ των παραχωρησιούχων των μεγάλων οδικών αξόνων στην Ελλάδα, η Επιτροπή απάντησε ότι «Όσον αφορά την έννοια της “οικονομικής κρίσης”, υπό ορισμένες προϋποθέσεις, θα μπορούσε να εννοηθεί ως περίπτωση ανωτέρας βίας. Ο ορισμός της έννοιας της ανωτέρας βίας είναι καταρχήν θέμα της εθνικής νομοθεσίας».

Σύμφωνα με το ελληνικό δίκαιο, ο ορισμός μίας κατάστασης ως ανωτέρας βίας προσδιορίζεται κατά περίπτωση και μόνο με νομική απόφαση.

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Απέστειλε το Ελληνικό Δημόσιο νομική απόφαση στην οποία προσδιορίστηκε η «οικονομική κρίση» ως γεγονός ανωτέρας βίας; Εάν ναι, ποιου δικαστηρίου και με τι περιεχόμενο;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(2 Μαΐου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή θα ήθελε να πληροφορήσει το Αξιότιμο Μέλος του Κοινοβουλίου ότι δεν είναι ενήμερη για τυχόν απόφαση των ελληνικών δικαστηρίων σχετικά με το κατά πόσον η οικονομική και χρηματοπιστωτική κρίση στην Ελλάδα θα μπορούσε να χαρακτηριστεί ως περίσταση «ανωτέρας βίας » σύμφωνα με το ελληνικό δίκαιο.

Σημειωτέον ότι στο πλαίσιο αυτό, η ύπαρξη «ανωτέρας βίας » δεν αποτελεί απαραίτητη προϋπόθεση για να θεωρηθεί η τροποποίηση δημόσιας σύμβασης σύμφωνη με το περί δημοσίων προμηθειών δίκαιο της ΕΕ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002876/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Is there a Greek court decision defining the ‘economic crisis’ as a case of ‘force majeure ’?

In its joint answer to questions E-014373/2013 and E-014375/2013 on defining the ‘economic crisis’ as a case of ‘force majeure ’ for the concessionaires of major road projects in Greece, the Commission stated that: ‘Regarding the notion of the “economic crisis”, under specific conditions, it could be understood as force majeure. Defining the notion of force majeure is in principle a matter of national law.’

Under Greek law, whether a situation is classified as force majeure is determined on a case-by-case basis and only by judicial decision.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

Has the Greek Government forwarded to it a judicial decision defining the ‘economic crisis’ as a case of ‘force majeure ’? If so, which court handed down the decision and what is its content?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that it is not aware of any judgment by the Greek courts on whether the economic and financial crisis in Greece could qualify as an event of force majeure ’ under Greek law.

In this regard, it should be noted that the incidence of force majeure is not a necessary condition for a modification of a public contract to be deemed as compliant with EU public procurement law.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002877/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Διερεύνηση κρατικών ενισχύσεων στον οδικό άξονα παραχώρησης Πελοποννήσου (Μορέας)

Τον Δεκέμβριο του 2013, υποβλήθηκε από πολίτες της Πελοποννήσου καταγγελία για διερεύνηση τυχόν κρατικών ενισχύσεων στον διευρωπαϊκό άξονα Πελοποννήσου ΜΟΡΕΑΣ. Η καταγγελία αφορούσε στον τρόπο με τον οποίο εφαρμόστηκε η σύμβαση παραχώρησης του έργου, που υπεγράφη το 2007 (Ν.3559/2007), και ειδικότερα σειρά οικονομικών ενισχύσεων που δόθηκαν στον παραχωρησιούχο με διάφορες «αιτιολογίες» και οι οποίες δεν εξετάστηκαν από την επιτροπή στην απόφασή της E(2008)312 τελικό «Κρατική ενίσχυση N.566/2007 — Ελλάδα Οδικές υποδομές — Δημόσια χρηματοδότηση του αυτοκινητοδρόμου Κόρινθος-Τρίπολη-Καλαμάτα και του κλάδου Λεύκτρο-Σπάρτη».

Ανάμεσα στα άλλα, οι πολίτες επεσήμαιναν:

α) την καθυστέρηση έναρξης του έργου και την «επιχορήγηση» με 68 εκατομμύρια ευρώ του παραχωρησιούχου γι' αυτό,

β) την μονομερή τροποποίηση της σύμβασης, με αποτέλεσμα το Ελληνικό Δημόσιο να εκπληρώνει τις οικονομικές υποχρεώσεις του στον παραχωρησιούχο χωρίς όμως ο παραχωρησιούχος να κατασκευάζει το τμήμα του έργου που είχε συμφωνηθεί στη σύμβαση,

γ) την ασάφεια στον προσδιορισμό της ημερομηνίας έναρξης επιδοτούμενης λειτουργίας,

δ) την αποκλειστική εκχώρηση του δικαιώματος εμπορικής εκμετάλλευσης των σταθμών εξυπηρέτησης αυτοκινητιστών από τον παραχωρησιούχο, χωρίς αυτό να περιλαμβάνεται στην απόφαση της Επιτροπής E(2008)312 τελικό και

ε) την απόκτηση λατομείου αδρανών υλικών του παραχωρησιούχου, στο όνομα του έργου, αλλά με αμφισβητούμενη αναγκαιότητα.

Η Επιτροπή απάντησε ότι για τα τέσσερα πρώτα σημεία, οι πολίτες δεν αποτελούν ενδιαφερόμενα μέρη, όπως αυτά ορίζονται στον Κανονισμό (ΕΚ) αριθ. 659/1999. Η Επιτροπή όμως δεν έλαβε υπόψη της το άρθρο 10 παράγραφο 1 του Κανονισμού (ΕΚ) αριθ. 659/1999, όπου ρητά αναφέρεται ότι: «Εφόσον η Επιτροπή έχει στην κατοχή της πληροφορίες από τις οποίες απορρέει ότι υπήρξαν τυχόν παράνομες ενισχύσεις, ανεξαρτήτως της πηγής τους, εξετάζει αμελλητί τις πληροφορίες αυτές». Με δεδομένο ότι η Επιτροπή οφείλει να εξασφαλίζει τη συμμόρφωση με το άρθρο108 της ΣΛΕΕ, και ιδίως τις παραγράφους 1 και 3 αυτού, και να εξετάζει τις πληροφορίες για τυχόν κρατικές ενισχύσεις προερχόμενες από κάθε πηγή, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Έχει διερευνήσει τα ανωτέρω αναφερόμενα στοιχεία, και ιδιαίτερα τα (α) έως (δ);

Εμπίπτουν στα άρθρα 107-108 της ΣΛΕΕ;

Απάντηση του κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(28 Απριλίου 2014)

Αφότου υπεβλήθη η περί ής ο λόγος καταγγελία, η Επιτροπή ερεύνησε σχετικά με τα ζητήματα που ετέθησαν υπόψη της από τον εν λόγω όμιλο πολιτών, με βάση τον κανονισμό (ΕΚ) αριθ. 659/1999, όπως τροποποιήθηκε.

Πραγματοποιήθηκαν ανταλλαγές πληροφοριών με τις αρμόδιες εθνικές αρχές, με σκοπό να ενημερωθεί για την άποψη του κράτους μέλους σχετικά με τα υπό εξέταση θέματα. Στο παρόν στάδιο, η Επιτροπή δεν μπορεί να λάβει θέση για το κατά πόσον τα μέτρα εμπίπτουν στις διατάξεις των άρθρων 107 και 108 της Συνθήκης. Ωστόσο, η Επιτροπή θα λάβει όλα τα απαραίτητα μέτρα για να εξασφαλίσει ότι τηρούνται οι κανόνες για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002877/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Investigation into state aid granted to the concessionaire of the Peloponnese road axis (MOREAS)

In December 2013, a group of citizens of the Peloponnese lodged a complaint demanding an investigation into whether state aid had been granted for the trans-European road axis MOREAS in the Peloponnese. The complaint concerned the implementation of the concession contract, which was signed in 2007 (N.3559/2007), in particular a series of financial aid packages given to the concessionaire with various ‘justifications’. The Commission had failed to examine these in its Decision E (2008) 312 final on state aid N.566/2007 — Greece Road Infrastructure — Public Funding of the Korinthos — Tripoli — Kalamata Motorway

and Lefktro — Sparti Branch Project.

Among other things, the citizens noted:

the start of the project was delayed and on this account the concessionaire was paid a ‘subsidy’ of EUR 68 million;

the contract was unilaterally amended, and as a result the Greek State has met its financial obligations to the concessionaire without the latter constructing the section of the project agreed on in the contract;

the date on which the subsidised operation should have begun is not clearly fixed;

the concessionaire is awarded the exclusive right to the commercial exploitation of the motorway service stations, even though this was not included in Commission Decision E (2008) 312 final; and

the concessionaire acquired a quarry for construction aggregates, in the name of the project, without any obvious need to do so.

The Commission has replied that, as regards the first four points, these citizens are not interested parties, as defined in Regulation (EC) No 659/1999. However, it failed to take into account Article 10, paragraph 1, of Regulation (EC) No 659/1999, which expressly states that: ‘Where the Commission has in its possession information from whatever source regarding alleged unlawful aid, it shall examine that information without delay.’ Given that the Commission has a duty to ensure compliance with Article 108 TFEU, and in particular paragraphs 1 and 3 thereof, and examine any information about putative state aid from whatever source, will the Commission say:

Has it investigated the abovementioned facts, and in particular points a) to d)?

Do they fall within the purview of Articles 107-108 TFEU?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

Following submission of the complaint referred to, the Commission has been investigating the matters brought to its attention by the group of citizens in question, in line with Regulation (EC) No 659/1999, as amended.

Exchanges of information with the competent national authorities have taken place, with a view to obtaining the opinion of the Member State on the issues concerned. At this stage, the Commission cannot yet take a view on whether the measures fall under the provisions of Article 107 and 108 of the Treaty. However, the Commission will take all necessary action to ensure that state aid rules are complied with.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002878/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 Μαρτίου 2014)

Θέμα: Αποδεικτικά στοιχεία ελληνικού Δημοσίου για αποζημίωση παραχωρησιούχου

Στις ερωτήσεις μου Ε-014373/2013 και Ε-014375/2013, η Επιτροπή απάντησε στις 25.2.2014 ότι «Οι ελληνικές αρχές προσκόμισαν αποδεικτικά στοιχεία για το ότι, στο πλαίσιο της αρχικής συμφωνίας παραχώρησης, το Δημόσιο ήταν υπεύθυνο για την αποζημίωση του αναδόχου σε περίπτωση καθυστερήσεων και κάθε άλλης οικονομικής επίπτωσης στις επιχειρήσεις του».

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Ποια είναι τα αποδεικτικά στοιχεία που προσκόμισε το Ελληνικό Δημόσιο και αποδεικνύουν ότι ήταν υπεύθυνο για την αποζημίωση του αναδόχου της Ολυμπίας Οδού;

Απάντηση του κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(16 Μαΐου 2014)

Το Ελληνικό Δημόσιο διαβίβασε τις αρχικές συμβάσεις παραχώρησης και περαιτέρω εξηγήσεις βάσει των συναφών άρθρων, ως αποδεικτικά στοιχεία του γεγονότος ότι, σύμφωνα με την αρχική σύμβαση παραχώρησης, το Δημόσιο ήταν υπεύθυνο για την αποζημίωση του αναδόχου της Ολυμπίας Οδού για τυχόν καθυστερήσεις και κάθε άλλο δημοσιονομικό αντίκτυπο στη λειτουργία του Ταμείου Συνοχής.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002878/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Evidence provided by the Greek Government concerning its responsibility for compensating the concessionaire

In its joint answer to my questions E-014373/2013 and E-014375/2013, the Commission replied on 25/02/2014 that: ‘The Greek authorities provided evidence that under the original Concession Agreement, the State was responsible to compensate the Concessionaire for delays and any other financial impact on its operations.’

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

What evidence has the Greek State provided that it was responsible for compensating the contractor of the Olympia Odos?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(16 May 2014)

The Greek State provided the original concession agreements and additional explanations under the relevant articles as evidence that under the original Concession Agreement, the State was responsible for compensating the Concessionaire of Olympia Odos for delays and any other financial impact on its operations.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002879/14

à la Commission (Vice-Présidente/Haute Représentante)

Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)

(11 mars 2014)

Objet: VP/HR — Tueries dans le camp d'exilés iraniens d'Achraf en Iraq

En septembre 2013, plus de cinquante réfugiés iraniens ont été tués dans leur camp d'Achraf en Iraq. Les affrontements ont eu lieu au camp d'Achraf, à une quarantaine de kilomètres au nord-est de Bagdad, où des Iraniens exilés vivent depuis de nombreuses années.

Le camp d'Achraf est censé être protégé par l'ONU, qui a désigné les habitants du camp comme des demandeurs d'asile, et par les États-Unis, qui ont signé un accord de protection avec les résidents en échange de leur désarmement. Depuis 2009, ce sont les autorités iraquiennes qui ont hérité de ce devoir de protection. Les États-Unis s'étaient engagés à veiller au respect de cet accord et sont responsables, par omission de protection, des massacres perpétrés dans ce camp.

La passivité de la communauté internationale et aussi de l'Union européenne a été dénoncée à maintes reprises.

1.

Pourquoi la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante et l'Union européenne n'ont-elles pas répondu aux appels à l'aide lancés pour demander le renforcement de la sécurité du camp avant la tuerie?

2.

Quels sont les résultats des enquêtes menées après les meurtres?

3.

Quel rôle joue en ce moment l'Union dans la protection des exilés iraniens dans les camps d'Achraf et Liberty?

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

(16 mai 2014)

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a suivi de près le dossier délicat des dissidents de l'organisation des moudjahidines du peuple iranien (OMPI) et s'est personnellement engagée dans la recherche d'une solution au problème. Elle a publiquement condamné l'attaque du 1er septembre 2013 menée contre le camp d'Achraf et a lancé un appel pour que ses auteurs aient à répondre de leurs actes. À plusieurs reprises, la haute représentante a prié le gouvernement iraquien de publier les résultats de ses enquêtes.

Le camp d'Achraf a été évacué en septembre 2013 et ses résidents ont tous été transférés vers le camp Hurriya. Selon le protocole d'accord conclu entre les Nations unies et le gouvernement iraquien en vue de la réinstallation volontaire des résidents du camp Nouvel Iraq, la responsabilité de la sécurité du camp Hurriya incombe aux autorités iraquiennes, tandis que son contrôle relève de l'ONU. L'UE, à l'appui des Nations unies, a insisté sur la nécessité d'améliorer la sécurité dans le camp et des progrès ont été enregistrés, notamment avec l'installation de nouveaux murs de protection en T, d'abris fortifiés et de sacs de sable.

À terme, la réinstallation des résidents du camp en dehors de l'Iraq semble être la seule solution viable. L'UE a joué un rôle essentiel dans les efforts de réinstallation, en octroyant un montant de 14 millions d'euros en faveur d'activités connexes d'agences des Nations unies, notamment du HCR.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002879/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Massacres at Camp Ashraf for Iranian exiles in Iraq

In September 2013, more than 50 Iranian refugees were killed at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Camp Ashraf, where exiled Iranians have been living for several years, is approximately 40 kilometres north-east of Baghdad.

Camp Ashraf is supposed to receive protection from the UN, which has designated the camp inhabitants as asylum-seekers, and from the USA, which signed a protection agreement with the residents in exchange for them giving up their weapons. Since 2009, the Iraqi authorities have taken over the task of providing this protection. The USA had agreed to ensure that the agreement was complied with and, by failing to provide protection, bears responsibility for the massacres.

The failure on the part of both the international community and the EU to take action has been repeatedly condemned.

1.

Why did the VP/HR and the EU not respond to the appeals for assistance that were issued before the massacre and request that camp security be improved?

2.

What was the outcome of the investigations conducted following the murders?

3.

What is the EU currently doing to protect the Iranian exiles in Camps Ashraf and Liberty?

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

(16 May 2014)

The HR/VP has been closely following the difficult question of the Iranian MEK dissidents and she is personally engaged in trying to find a solution. She publicly condemned the 1 September 2013 attack on Camp Ashraf and called for those responsible to be held accountable. On several occasions, the High Representative has urged the Government of Iraq to publish the results of their investigations.

Camp Ashraf has been evacuated in September 2013 and its residents have been all relocated to Camp Hurriya. According to the memorandum of understanding between the UN and the Iraqi Government for Voluntary Relocation of Residents of Camp New Iraq, the responsibility for security at Camp Hurriya lies with the Iraqi authorities, while the UN monitors the camp. The EU, supporting the UN, has insisted on an improvement of the security situation in the Camp and progress has been reported notably with the installation of additional T-walls, bunkers and sandbags.

Looking to the long-term, resettlement of the camp residents beyond Iraq appears to be the only viable solution. The EU has been a key contributor to resettlement efforts, with EUR 14 million granted to related activities of UN agencies, including UNHCR.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002881/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Interrogazione parlamentare sull'uso di sistemi di sorveglianza a bordo di pescherecci

In riferimento all'articolo 14 della proposta di regolamento (COM(2013) 0889) che introduce l'obbligo di registrare tutte le quantità di ciascuna specie catturate e salpate a bordo attraverso l'installazione del remote electronic monitoring (controllo elettronico a distanza, articolo 25 bis), si chiede alla Commissione:

se ha preso in considerazione l'articolo 8 della Carta dei Diritti Fondamentali dell'Unione europea e l'articolo 16, paragrafo 1, del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione Europea (TFUE);

se ha preso in considerazione che la carta dei Diritti Fondamentali ha lo stesso valore dei trattati e quindi è giuridicamente vincolante e che l'articolo 8 considera la tutela della privacy come un diritto fondamentale fondato sulla sicurezza, sulla libertà e sulla dignità umana;

se ha ritenuto necessario, per contrastare la pesca illegale, procedere con questa misura preventiva e non a seguito di un'azione sospetta, sorvegliando e controllando tutti i pescatori professionisti sul loro posto di lavoro?

Risposta di Maria Damanaki a nome della Commissione

(19 maggio 2014)

1.

Il nuovo «articolo 25bis» della proposta legislativa COM(2013) 889 della Commissione fa riferimento ai sistemi di controllo elettronico a distanza dei pescherecci e in particolare all’uso della televisione a circuito chiuso (CCTV) a bordo di tali imbarcazioni.

2.

La Commissione presta la massima attenzione alle disposizioni della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione europea e del trattato sul funzionamento dell’Unione europea riguardo alla protezione dei dati personali. Tuttavia, è opportuno sottolineare che l’obiettivo dei sistemi CCTV è monitorare le attività di pesca in mare, come ad esempio la manipolazione delle attrezzature da pesca e, se del caso, la trasformazione del pesce catturato al fine di garantire il rispetto dell’obbligo di sbarco. Nel perseguire questo obiettivo, i dati personali (come ad esempio le riprese dei pescatori) possono essere raccolti e trattati. Tali dati personali devono rispettare le pertinenti disposizioni della direttiva 95/46/CE e del regolamento (CE) n. 45/2001 (266). Nel complesso, le possibili interferenze con la sfera dei dati personali sono giustificate dall’obiettivo predominante di conservazione perseguito in questo particolare contesto e dal principio di efficienza e proporzionalità nell’applicazione delle disposizioni riguardanti la protezione dei dati personali.

3.

L’impiego dei sistemi CCTV è una delle opzioni menzionate all’articolo 15, paragrafo 13, del regolamento (UE) n. 1380/2013 dell’11 dicembre 2013 relativo alla politica comune della pesca per garantire una documentazione dettagliata e accurata di tutte le bordate di pesca al fine di controllare il rispetto dell’obbligo di sbarco. Considerando il fatto che i sistemi CCTV monitorano attività difficilmente controllabili con altri mezzi, è probabile che, limitarne l’uso (come proposto dall’onorevole deputato) possa ridurre notevolmente l’efficienza di tale misura.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002881/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Use of surveillance systems on board fishing vessels

With reference to its proposal for a regulation COM(2013) 0889, which amends Article 14 of Regulation No 1224/2009 to require the quantities of each species caught and kept on board to be recorded using a remote electronic monitoring system (new Article 25a), can the Commission say:

Whether it has taken proper account of Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 16(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)?

Whether it has taken into consideration the fact that the Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same status as the Treaties, and is therefore legally binding, and the fact that Article 8 establishes privacy as a fundamental right that is essential to the safety, freedom and dignity of the individual?

Whether it is really necessary, with a view to preventing illegal fishing, to adopt a preventive approach which involves blanket on-board monitoring of all fishermen, rather than taking such action only when illegal fishing is suspected?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(19 May 2014)

1.

New ‘Article 25a’ in the Commission's legislative proposal COM(2013) 889 refers to remote electronic monitoring of fishing vessels in particular the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) on board these vessels.

2.

The Commission pays the greatest attention to the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union pertaining to the protection of personal data. It is nevertheless worth highlighting that the objective of CCTV is to monitor fishing activities at sea such as the handling of fishing gear and, as appropriate, the processing of the catch with a view to ensuring compliance with the landing obligation. In the pursuit of this objective, personal data (such as footage of fishermen) may be captured and processed. Such personal data must respect the relevant provisions of Directive 95/46/EC and Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 (267). On balance, the possible interference with the sphere of personal data is justified on grounds of the predominant conservation objective pursued in this particular context and of the principle of efficiency and proportionality in application of the provisions pertaining to the protection of personal data.

3.

The use of CCTV is one of the options mentioned in Article 15(13) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of 11 December 2013 on the common fisheries policy to ensure detailed and accurate documentation of all fishing trips for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the landing obligation. Taking into account the fact that CCTV are monitoring activities which are difficult to control by other means, limiting their use, as suggested by the Honourable member, is likely to severely reduce the efficiency of such measure.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002882/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Piano d'azione per ovviare alle carenze del sistema ittico italiano

In relazione alla decisione della Commissione europea C(2013) 8635, del 6.12.2013, che istituisce un piano d'azione per ovviare alle carenze del sistema ittico italiano di controllo della pesca, si chiede di conoscere quali ragioni abbiano indotto la Commissione a prevedere, al punto 17 dell'action plan, allegato 1 della Decisione 8635, misure fortemente penalizzanti ed irreparabili per gli operatori del settore produttivo, e in particolar modo una misura, in precedenza non contemplata, quale il ritiro definitivo della licenza di pesca in caso di recidiva, a fronte di carenze riconducibili alla responsabilità dello Stato membro nell'esercizio dell'attività di controllo ad esso attribuite?

Risposta di Maria Damanaki a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

La Commissione si pregia di comunicare all'onorevole Deputato che il piano d'azione è stato elaborato, discusso e concordato con l'Italia e formalmente adottato con decisione C(2013)8635 del 6 dicembre 2013, ai sensi dell'articolo 102, paragrafo 4, del regolamento (CE) n. 1224/2009 del Consiglio (il «regolamento di controllo»).

Le misure contenute nel piano d'azione, compresa la riformulazione delle sanzioni finanziarie per violazioni gravi, sono conseguenza diretta dell'indagine amministrativa condotta dall'Italia su richiesta della Commissione ai sensi dell'articolo 102 del regolamento di controllo.

La revoca definitiva della licenza di pesca è già prevista dall'articolo 129 del regolamento di esecuzione (UE) n. 404/2011 della Commissione, dell'8 aprile 2011, nell'ambito del sistema di punti per infrazioni gravi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002882/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Action plan to rectify the shortcomings in the Italian fishing system

In connection with the European Commission’s decision C(2013) 8635, of 6 December 2013, which introduces an action plan to rectify the shortcomings in the Italian fisheries control system, I would like to know the reasons behind the Commission’s decision to set out, under point 17 of the action plan, Annex 1 to Decision 8635, highly damaging and irreversible measures for the operators of the production sector, and in particular a measure — which has never before been contemplated — to permanently withdraw the fishing licence where reoffending occurs, for shortcomings for which the Member State is responsible in terms of carrying out the control activities assigned to it?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that the action plan has been established, discussed and agreed with Italy and formally adopted by Commission decision C(2013)8635 of 6 December 2013, in line with Article 102(4) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 (the ‘Control Regulation’).

The measures contained in the action plan, including the revision of financial penalties for serious infringements are directly stemming from the Administrative inquiry conducted by Italy, at the request of the Commission, in accordance with Article 102 of the Control Regulation.

The permanent withdrawal of the fishing license is already foreseen by Article 129 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 404/2011 of 8 April 2011 within the framework of the points system for serious infringements.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002883/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Sostanze non ammesse in agricoltura biologica

L'articolo 191 del Trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione europea prevede il principio «chi inquina paga» (polluter-pays principle). Perché la Commissione non applica questo principio nel caso in cui un'azienda agricola biologica subisca contaminazioni dall'attività di agricoltori non biologici? Inoltre, un'eventuale decisione di stabilire un limite massimo di residui (LMR) più basso per i prodotti biologici non minerebbe il concetto generale di limite massimo di residui che oggi si applica a tutti i prodotti alimentari, convenzionali e bio? Non si rischierebbe che gli LMR per i prodotti convenzionali vengano considerati meno sicuri di quelli per i prodotti bio? Avere due differenti LMR per lo stesso tipo di prodotto causerebbe molta confusione nei consumatori.

Risposta di Dacian Cioloș a nome della Commissione

(22 maggio 2014)

Il principio «chi inquina paga» di cui all'articolo 191 del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione europea (TFUE) si applica alle situazioni in cui si verifica un danno ambientale. La perdita economica che può essere arrecata agli agricoltori biologici per effetto di attività agricole convenzionali non può considerarsi un danno ambientale ai sensi dell'articolo 191 TFUE. Ne consegue che il principio «chi inquina paga», appartenente alla normativa ambientale, non si può applicare ai rapporti fra l'agricoltura biologica e quella convenzionale.

Per rimediare a situazioni in cui gli agricoltori biologici subiscono perdite economiche dovute al divieto di commercializzare i loro prodotti come biologici in seguito a una contaminazione accidentale, la Commissione ha proposto di autorizzare pagamenti a livello nazionale o di ricorrere agli strumenti della Politica agricola comune, a condizione che siano state prese tutte le misure precauzionali necessarie per evitare tale contaminazione.

La proposta della Commissione di nuovo regolamento sulla produzione biologica e sull'etichettatura dei prodotti biologici (268) non modifica le regole attuali per il controllo degli operatori, che sono essenziali per garantire l'integrità della filiera biologica e preservare la fiducia dei consumatori.

Il nuovo regolamento proposto contiene norme armonizzate sulle modalità di intervento degli Stati membri in caso di rilevazione di sostanze o prodotti non autorizzati nei prodotti biologici. Oggi tali modalità variano in funzione dello Stato membro, dell'autorità, dell'organismo di controllo e perfino del singolo laboratorio interessato. Così non sono garantite condizioni eque di concorrenza.

La proposta della Commissione sarà sottoposta al vaglio del Parlamento europeo nell'ambito della procedura legislativa ordinaria.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002883/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Substances banned in organic farming

Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union lays down the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Why does the Commission not apply this principle in cases where an organic farm suffers contamination as a result of activities carried out by conventional farmers? In addition, would any decision to set a lower maximum residue limit (MRL) for organic products not undermine the overall concept of maximum residue limits as currently applied to all food products, both conventional and organic? Would this not potentially lead to MRLs for conventional products being regarded as less safe than those for organic products? Having two different MRLs for the same type of product would be very confusing for consumers.

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The polluter pays principle, referred to in Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) applies in the context of environmental damage. The economic loss that may incur to organic farmers due to effects of conventional farming cannot be considered as an environmental damage as referred to in Article 191 TFEU. The polluter pays principle in the area of environmental legislation cannot therefore be transposed to the relationship between conventional and organic farming.

To address cases where farmers incur economic loss due to the prohibition to market their products as organic because of accidental contamination, provided that they have taken all required precautionary measures to avoid contamination, the Commission has proposed to allow national payments or the use of Common Agricultural Policy instruments.

The Commission's proposal for a new regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products  (269) does not change the current rules for controls of operators that are essential for the integrity of the organic chain and for consumers' confidence.

It provides harmonised rules for action that Member States are required to take when non-authorised substances or products are detected in organic products. Today varying treatments apply according to the Member State, control authority/body or even laboratory involved. This does not ensure fair competition.

The Commission's proposal will be discussed with the European Parliament under the ordinary legislative procedure.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002884/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Nuovi requisiti in agricoltura biologica e loro impatto

Ha considerato la Commissione europea che avere requisiti più rigidi significherebbe una riduzione della produzione biologica in Europa e che, per sopperire alla grande richiesta del mercato europeo, si ricorrerebbe ancor di più ad importazioni da Paesi terzi?

Per esempio, sembra che nella revisione dell'attuale regolamento bio la Commissione preveda un requisito che obbliga gli agricoltori ad assoggettare l'intera azienda agricola al sistema di controllo bio nell'arco massimo di tempo di tre anni. Questo sarebbe un disincentivo a convertirsi al bio. Un agricoltore che ha un'azienda agricola di medie dimensioni con produzione diversificata potrebbe voler provare a convertire l'azienda agricola in fasi successive. La Commissione ha a disposizione dati su quante aziende agricole effettuano oggi una produzione mista convenzionale e bio? Ha considerato che molte di queste aziende potrebbero abbandonare il bio e contribuire ad abbassare ulteriormente la produzione bio europea?

Risposta di Dacian Cioloș a nome della Commissione

(24 aprile 2014)

L'articolo 11 del regolamento (CE) n. 834/2007 (270), in vigore dal 2009, stabilisce che l'intera azienda agricola sia gestita in conformità ai requisiti applicabili alla produzione biologica. Una limitata eccezione a questa norma può essere autorizzata in alcuni casi. Di conseguenza alcuni agricoltori biologici gestiscono l'intera azienda in conformità alle norme sulla produzione biologica, mentre altri hanno la possibilità di effettuare in parallelo una produzione convenzionale e biologica. Questa situazione non garantisce una concorrenza leale.

Essa crea inoltre problemi di controllo, in quanto verificare l'integrità dei prodotti biologici in tali aziende miste risulta difficile, è oneroso e costoso dal punto di vista amministrativo e comporta spese di ispezione più elevate. La Corte dei conti ha raccomandato alla Commissione di porre rimedio alle carenze di controllo nel regime biologico.

Ai fini del riesame della normativa sulla produzione biologica la Commissione ha effettuato una valutazione d'impatto (consultabile all'indirizzo: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/documents/eu-policy/policy-development/impact-assessment/).

Dalla valutazione emerge che gli ostacoli allo sviluppo della produzione biologica nell'Unione, quali il numero elevato di eccezioni, hanno come conseguenza il fatto che la crescente domanda di prodotti biologici sia soddisfatta da importazioni piuttosto che dalla produzione dell'UE. La Commissione propone di eliminare tali ostacoli per promuovere lo sviluppo della produzione biologica nell'Unione.

Nell'ambito del riesame è stata considerata la questione della produzione parallela. Non si dispone tuttavia di dati precisi sulla percentuale di aziende biologiche miste. In considerazione delle prospettive di mercato positive del settore, la proposta prevede un periodo di transizione sufficiente.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002884/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Impact of new organic farming requirements

Has the European Commission considered the fact that imposing stricter requirements would lead to a reduction in organic production in Europe and that, in order to meet the large demand from the European market, we will be forced to import even greater volumes from non-member countries?

For example, it appears that in the review of the current organic regulations, the Commission is intending to introduce a requirement under which farmers are obliged to make their entire farm subject to the organic control system within a maximum of three years. This would discourage farmers from changing over to organic production. A farmer engaged in diversified production on a medium‐sized farm may wish to convert the farm to organic production in stages. Does the Commission have any data at its disposal on the numbers of farms which currently employ mixed farming methods (conventional and organic)? Has it considered that many of these farms could abandon organic farming, leading to a further reduction in organic production in Europe?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 (271), applied since 2009, lays down the requirement for an organic farm to be managed entirely organically. A limited exception to this rule may be authorised in certain cases. As a result, some organic farmers manage their entire farm according to organic rules and others have the possibility to carry out in parallel organic and conventional agriculture. This situation does not ensure fair competition.

Furthermore, it causes control problems: it is difficult to check the integrity of organic products on such mixed farms, and involves a heavy and costly administrative burden and higher inspection fees. The Court of Auditors has recommended to the Commission to address the control weaknesses in the organic scheme.

For the organic review, an impact assessment was carried out by the Commission (to be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/documents/eu-policy/policy-development/impact-assessment/).

It shows that the obstacles to the development of organic production in the Union, such as the large number of exceptions, have as a consequence that the growing demand for organic products is being met by imports rather than by EU production. The Commission is proposing to address such obstacles to help organic production develop in the Union.

In the context of the review, the issue of parallel production was examined. There is however no precise data on the share of organic farms with parallel production. In view of the positive market outlook of the sector, a sufficient transition period is allowed in the proposal.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002885/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(11 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Tecnobus S.p.A.: tutela dei lavoratori e salvaguardia dei livelli occupazionali

Nelle scorse settimane la società italiana Tecnobus S.p.A. ha annunciato la volontà di ricorrere al licenziamento collettivo e messa in mobilità dei lavoratori, annunciando la chiusura delle sedi di Roma, Frosinone, Firenze e Napoli.

Vale la pena ricordare che i lavoratori svolgono attività di manutenzione di autobus per il trasporto pubblico locale di piccole dimensioni esclusivamente a trazione elettrica e ibrida, un'attività di eccellenza in questo settore in tema di ecologia ed energia alternativa.

I dipendenti della rimessa di Trastevere, pur non percependo il proprio salario da più di 3 mesi, continuano a svolgere le loro mansioni, con l'obiettivo di portare avanti il servizio e garantire il corretto funzionamento delle linee elettriche molto importanti per il centro storico di Roma.

Ai lavoratori l'azienda ha giustificato il non mantenimento degli obblighi contrattuali a causa del costante e progressivo ritardo nel pagamento delle somme dovute alla Tecnobus S.p.A. da parte delle aziende del trasporto pubblico locale delle città di Roma e Firenze.

Tutto ciò premesso, si interroga la Commissione per sapere:

se la Tecnobus ha rispettato le disposizioni della direttiva 98/59/CE in materia di licenziamenti collettivi ed in particolare l'articolo 2;

se sono state rispettate le previsioni della direttiva 94/45/CE, modificata dalla direttiva 2009/38/CE, la direttiva 2002/14/CE, la direttiva 2001/23/CE e la direttiva 2008/94/CE;

quali azioni possono essere messe in atto contro i ritardi dei pagamenti da parte delle PA;

quali azioni possono essere intraprese a tutela e salvaguardia dei posti di lavoro oggi in pericolo?

Risposta di Laszlo Andor a nome della Commissione

(2 maggio 2014)

1.-2. La Commissione non è in grado valutare se una società privata abbia rispettato o no le disposizioni nazionali che attuano il diritto UE sull'informazione e la consultazione dei lavoratori, cui fa riferimento l'on. parlamentare. Spetta alle autorità nazionali competenti, compresi i tribunali, garantire che la legislazione nazionale che recepisce le direttive UE sia applicata in modo corretto ed efficace dal datore di lavoro interessato, considerando le circostanze specifiche del caso.

3.

Per quanto riguarda le misure da adottare in caso di pagamenti ritardati, la direttiva 2011/7/UE relativa alla lotta contro i ritardi di pagamento nelle transazioni commerciali (272) ha stabilito alcune norme per quanto riguarda i periodi di pagamento e stabilisce che in caso di ritardo di pagamento le imprese hanno il diritto di pretendere un interesse e un risarcimento per i costi di recupero. Le imprese possono inoltre contestare dinnanzi ai tribunali nazionali termini e prassi grossolanamente iniqui. Gli Stati membri hanno dovuto recepire la direttiva entro il 16 marzo 2013.

4.

La Commissione sottolinea che non ha il potere d'interferire sulle decisioni delle società. Invita tuttavia le compagnie a seguire le buone prassi nell'anticipare e gestire in modo socialmente responsabile le ristrutturazioni, come sottolineato nella sua comunicazione «Quadro di qualità dell'UE per l'anticipazione dei cambiamenti e delle ristrutturazioni» (273). Sottolinea inoltre che i lavoratori interessati possono beneficiare del sostegno del Fondo sociale europeo e, se ne sussistono le condizioni, del Fondo europeo di adeguamento alla globalizzazione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002885/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(11 March 2014)

Subject: Tecnobus SpA: protecting workers and safeguarding jobs

The Italian company Tecnobus SpA recently announced that it would be embarking on a programme of collective redundancies and closing its facilities in Rome, Frosinone, Florence and Naples.

It should be pointed out that the firm’s workers maintain buses used on public transport routes. The fact that the entire fleet is made up of small hybrid or electrically powered buses makes the firm an environmental and alternative energy trend setter in this sector.

Despite not having been paid for more than three months now, the employees at the Trastevere garage have continued to come into work each day, in order to keep the business going and to ensure the continued provision of electrically powered transport services, which are extremely important for Rome’s old city centre.

The company has told its employees that it has been unable to meting its contractual obligations towards them owing to the increasingly late payment of the sums owed to it by the local public transport companies in Rome and Florence.

In the light of the above, can the Commission say:

Whether Tecnobus has complied with the requirements of Directive 98/59/EC relating to collective redundancies, in particular Article 2 thereof?

Whether the company has complied with the requirements of Directive 94/45/EC, as amended by Directive 2009/38/EC, and of Directive 2002/14/EC, Directive 2001/23/EC and Directive 2008/94/EC?

What measures can be taken in response to late payment by public transport companies?

What action can be taken to safeguard the jobs that are currently under threat?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

1 and 2. The Commission is not in a position to assess whether a private company has or has not complied with the national provisions which serve to implement the EC law on worker information and consultation referred to by the Honourable Member. It is for the competent national authorities, including the courts, to ensure that the national legislation transposing EU directives is correctly and effectively applied by the employer concerned, having regard to the specific circumstances of the case.

3.

As concerns measures to be taken in response to late payments, Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions (274) has established certain rules as concerns payment periods and provides that in case of late payments enterprises are entitled to claim interest for late payment and compensation for recovery costs. Enterprises can also challenge grossly unfair terms and practices more easily before national courts. The directive had to be transposed by Member States by 16 March 2013.

4.

The Commission would point out that it has no power to interfere in company decisions. However, it urges companies to follow good practice in anticipating and managing restructuring in a socially responsible way, as outlined in its communication ‘EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring’ (275). It would also point out that workers affected may qualify for support from the European Social Fund and, provided that the necessary conditions are met, from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-002886/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Disposizioni che disciplinano la pubblicazione di informazioni riguardanti tutti i beneficiari di finanziamenti pubblici nel settore della pesca

Nuove disposizioni sulla pubblicazione di informazioni riguardanti tutti i beneficiari di finanziamenti dei fondi agricoli europei tengono conto della necessità di un controllo pubblico al fine di tutelare gli interessi finanziari dell'Unione.

Nel settore della pesca non abbiamo lo stesso modello vigente in quello dell'agricoltura che prevede una soglia de minimis al di sopra della quale verrà pubblicato il nome della persona fisica beneficiaria, nonostante ciò sia necessario per accrescere la trasparenza ed evidenziare quanto realizzato dai beneficiari nella prestazione di beni pubblici, garantendo al contempo che non si oltrepassi lo stretto necessario al raggiungimento di tali legittimi obiettivi. La pubblicazione dei nominativi è obbligatoria soltanto per le persone giuridiche.

1.

Come intende la Commissione controllare e monitorare la trasparenza dei finanziamenti erogati nel settore della pesca a beneficiari che sono persone fisiche?

2.

Intende la Commissione rivedere l'aspetto della trasparenza e chiedere la pubblicazione obbligatoria dei nominativi delle persone fisiche destinatarie di finanziamenti nel settore della pesca?

Risposta di Maria Damanaki a nome della Commissione

(12 maggio 2014)

Per il periodo 2014-2020 la Commissione presterà particolare attenzione all'accessibilità e alla trasparenza delle informazioni riguardanti le modalità di utilizzo del finanziamento unionale erogato dal Fondo europeo per gli affari marittimi e la pesca (FEAMP). La Commissione farà tutto quanto in suo potere per perseguire eventuali presunte violazioni degli obblighi di trasparenza stabiliti dal regolamento sul FEAMP, votato dal Parlamento europeo lo scorso 16 aprile. In tale contesto la Commissione sorveglierà attentamente le modalità secondo cui gli Stati membri attuano l'obbligo di creare un sito o un portale web di agevole consultazione recante informazioni sui programmi operativi del FEAMP, in particolare l'elenco delle operazioni sovvenzionate e i nomi dei beneficiari. Essa provvederà affinché tali siti web specifici siano accessibili da un unico sito ufficiale dell'Unione, in modo da agevolare l'accesso del pubblico alle informazioni di tutti gli Stati membri.

In alcuni Stati membri esistono già normative nazionali che prevedono la pubblicazione del nome dei beneficiari di finanziamenti. Fatta salva l'applicazione della direttiva 95/46/CE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio (276), la Commissione incoraggerà gli Stati membri ad adottare misure di questo tipo. Valuterà inoltre in che modo tali misure nazionali concernenti la pubblicazione dei nomi dei beneficiari negli Stati membri hanno contribuito a migliorare l'accessibilità e la trasparenza delle informazioni sul FEAMP e trasmetterà i risultati di tale valutazione al Parlamento europeo e al Consiglio. In funzione dei risultati ottenuti, la Commissione esaminerà le modalità per migliorare ulteriormente l'accessibilità e la trasparenza delle informazioni sul FEAMP.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002886/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Rules governing the publication of information on all beneficiaries of public funds in the fisheries sector

New rules on the publication of information on all beneficiaries of the European agricultural funds take into account the need for public control in order to protect the Union's financial interests.

The fisheries sector model differs from the agricultural sector model in that it does not include a de minimis threshold above which the names of the beneficiaries are published where those beneficiaries are natural persons: only the names of legal persons are necessarily disclosed. It is crucial, however, to enhance transparency and highlight the achievements of beneficiaries in providing public goods, while ensuring that they do not spend more than is necessary to achieve these legitimate aims.

1.

How does the Commission plan to control and monitor the transparency of the funds distributed in the fisheries sector to beneficiaries who are natural persons?

2.

Does the Commission envisage revising the transparency issue and calling for mandatory publication of the names of beneficiaries of the fisheries sector funds who are natural persons?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

For the 2014-2020 period, the Commission will pay particular attention to the accessibility and transparency of information on how Union funding is spent in the framework of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The Commission will exhaust its margin of discretion to pursue an alleged infringement of the transparency obligations set out in the EMFF Regulation, which has just been voted in the European Parliament on 16 April 2014. In this context, the Commission will closely monitor how Member States implement the obligation to create a user friendly website or website portal providing information on their EMFF operational programmes, including the list of operations supported and the names of beneficiaries. The Commission will ensure that these dedicated websites are accessible from a single official Union website to facilitate public access to information from all Member States.

Some Member States have national legislation in place concerning the publication of beneficiaries. Without prejudice to the application of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (277), the Commission will encourage all Member States to put in place similar measures. Furthermore the Commission will assess how such national measures concerning the publication of beneficiaries in those Member States have contributed to strengthening the accessibility and transparency of information on the EMFF, and transmit to the European Parliament and the Council the results of this assessment. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, the Commission will consider further improvements of accessibility and transparency of information on the EMFF.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002887/14

an die Kommission

Michael Cramer (Verts/ALE)

(12. März 2014)

Betrifft: Einfluss der Besteuerung von Firmenwagen auf das Mobilitätsverhalten

In etwa 50 % aller Neuwagen in der EU werden als Firmenwagen verkauft. In einer Veröffentlichung der GD TAXUD zur Besteuerung von Firmenwagen [ISSN 1725-7557] steht Folgendes:

„Dadurch wird der Besitz von Kraftfahrzeugen (…) und die Gewohnheit zum Autofahren gefördert was zu einer Verschlimmerung der durch den Verkehrssektor verursachten Umweltprobleme führt. (…) Daten aus Belgien und den Niederlanden zufolge beläuft sich die rein geschäftliche Nutzung von Firmenwagen nur auf 20 bis 30 %, während sie in der restlichen Zeit privat genutzt werden.“

Des Weiteren enthält das Dokument folgende wichtige Schlussfolgerungen: in der Regel werden Firmenwagen in der EU unterbesteuert; Wohlstandsverluste, die sich aus Verzerrungen bei den Entscheidungen der Verbraucher ergeben, machen 0,1 bis 0,3 % des BIP (12-37 Mrd. EUR) aus; der Kraftstoffverbrauch könnte um 4-8 % ansteigen, was einen beträchtlichen Anstieg der CO2-Emissionen durch den Autoverkehr zur Folge hätte.

Laut den Autoren der Veröffentlichung bedarf die Besteuerung von Firmenwagen aufgrund der erheblichen Steuerausfälle, der Verzerrungen bei den Entscheidungen der Verbraucher und der negativen Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt eindeutig einer Reform. Das Problem der „verzerrten Preissignale“ wird zudem im 7. Umweltaktionsprogramm (UAP) und im Verkehrsweißbuch anerkannt. Die Initiative 39 des Weißbuchs mit dem Titel „Intelligente Preisgestaltung und Besteuerung“ enthält als Ziel im Rahmen der Phase I (bis 2016) die „Überprüfung der steuerlichen Behandlung von Firmenwagen, um Verzerrungen zu vermeiden und die Einführung umweltfreundlicher Fahrzeuge zu unterstützen“. In der mit dem Verkehrsweißbuch einhergehenden Folgenabschätzung steht unter Punkt 2.4.1 Folgendes:

„Die Steuervorschriften für Verkehrsträger und Kraftstoffe sind uneinheitlich (…). Im schlimmsten Fall werden innerhalb der Steuersysteme nicht umweltverträgliche Formen subventioniert. So bieten etwa die günstigen Steuervorschriften für Firmenwagen Anreize für eine übermäßig starke Nutzung von Kraftfahrzeugen.“

In diesem Zusammenhang wird die Kommission um die Beantwortung folgender Fragen gebeten:

Hat die Kommission Maßnahmen zur Überprüfung der Besteuerung von Firmenwagen ergriffen, um gemäß der Initiative 39 zur „Intelligenten Preisgestaltung und Besteuerung“ Verzerrungen zu beseitigen? Falls nicht: Welcher Zeitrahmen ist vorgesehen?

Falls ja: Welche Ergebnisse liegen vor und welche künftigen Maßnahmen wird die Kommission ergreifen?

Wie gedenkt die Kommission die Besteuerung von Firmenwagen in den Mitgliedstaaten zu reformieren? Welche Ziele werden in diesem Zusammenhang angestrebt?

Welche Initiativen gedenkt die Kommission zu entwickeln und auf welcher rechtlichen Grundlage?

Wie tragen diese Initiativen dazu bei, die gleichen Bedingungen für die Nutzung von Fahrrad und Auto zu schaffen, was finanzielle Anreize und anderweitige Unterstützung für die Beförderung zwischen Wohnung und Arbeitsplatz betrifft?

Antwort von Herrn Šemeta im Namen der Kommission

(13. Mai 2014)

1./2. Bisher wurde keine direkte Maßnahme zur Überprüfung der Systeme zur Kraftfahrzeugbesteuerung in der EU eingeleitet, da jeder Vorschlag auf diesem Gebiet im Einklang mit dem gesamten Besteuerungsrahmen stehen muss, der vorwiegend auf nationaler Ebene festgelegt wird. Die Kommission richtet ihre Bemühungen vor allem auf den Bereich gerechter und effizienter Straßenbenutzungsgebühren, da die Mitgliedstaaten durch ein modernisiertes System für die Pkw-Maut ihre Systeme zur Kraftfahrzeugbesteuerung besser gestalten könnten.

Die Kommission versucht das Problem der verzerrenden Besteuerung von Firmenwagen im Wesentlichen dadurch anzugehen, dass sie einzelne Mitgliedstaaten im Rahmen des Europäischen Semesters zu Reformen ihrer Systeme zur Kraftfahrzeugbesteuerung ermutigt und mit der OECD und Interessenträgern zusammenarbeitet, um die Debatte zu fördern und bewährte Verfahren zu verbreiten.

Der Bericht der Europäischen Kommission über Steuerreformen in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten (278) aus dem Jahr 2013 kennzeichnet die Besteuerungssysteme für Firmenwagen in acht Mitgliedstaaten (279) als besonders großzügig. Der Jahreswachstumsbericht 2014 (280) fordert eine Umlenkung der Steuerlast vom Faktor Arbeit hin zu weniger wachstumsschädlichen Steuern (z. B.: Ökosteuern) und fordert die Länder auf, umweltschädliche Subventionen abzuschaffen. Besonders großzügige Besteuerungssysteme für Firmenwagen können als umweltschädliche Subventionen angesehen werden.

Die Ermittlung solcher Systeme im Rahmen des Europäischen Semesters hat dazu beigetragen, dass Mitgliedstaaten, die großen Herausforderungen im Bereich der Ökosteuern gegenüber stehen, umfassendere länderspezifische Empfehlungen zu ökologisch ausgerichteten Steuern erteilt wurden oder dass auf diese in der mit den Empfehlungen einhergehende Wirtschaftsanalyse Bezug genommen wurde (281).

3./4. Die Besteuerung fällt vorrangig in die Zuständigkeit der EU-Mitgliedstaaten, auch wenn diese bei der Gestaltung ihrer Steuervorschriften den vom EU-Recht vorgegebenen Rahmen einhalten müssen.

5.

Die Kommission hofft, dass sie die Mitgliedstaaten durch ihre Empfehlungen und Hinweise auf bewährte Verfahren zur Einführung weniger verzerrender Rahmenbedingungen für unterschiedliche Beförderungsarten ermutigen kann.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002887/14

to the Commission

Michael Cramer (Verts/ALE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Influence of taxation of company cars on mobility behaviour

Company cars account for roughly 50% of all new sales of cars in the EU. Company Car Taxation, a paper commissioned by DG TAXUD [ISSN 1725-7557] concludes as follows:

‘It encourages car ownership (…) as well as driving habits, and in this way aggravates the environmental problems caused by the transport sector. (…) evidence from Belgium and the Netherlands suggests that pure business use represents only 20-30% of company car use, the rest being private use.’

Other main conclusions from the same paper include: under-taxation of company cars is the norm in the EU; welfare losses from distortions of consumer choices are equal to 0.1 to 0.3% of GDP (EUR 12 billion to EUR 37 billion); fuel consumption may be up by 4 to 8%, resulting in a serious increase in CO2 emissions from car transport.

The authors of the paper have found that ‘The considerable tax losses, distortions in consumer choices and adverse impact on the environment make company car taxation an evident candidate for a reform.’ The issue of ‘distortion to price signals’ is also explicitly acknowledged by the 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP) and the Transport White Paper. Initiative 39 of the latter is called ‘Smart pricing and taxation’, and includes the objective of ‘revising company car taxation to eliminate distortions and favour the deployment of clean vehicles’ as part of phase I (up to 2016). The impact assessment accompanying the White Paper on Transport states the following under point 2.4.1:

‘There are inconsistent taxation rules between transport modes and fuels (…). In the worst case, tax systems subsidise environmentally unsustainable choices: for example, the favourable company car taxation rules give incentives for an artificially high car use.’

In light of the above, the Commission is asked to answer the following:

Has the Commission taken steps to revise the taxation of company cars to eliminate distortion as planned under initiative 39 on ‘Smart pricing and taxation’? If not, what is the planned time frame?

If so, what are the results and what future steps will the Commission take?

How is the Commission planning to reform company car taxation in Member States? What are its objectives in this regard?

What kind of initiatives will the Commission develop and of what legal nature will these initiatives be?

How will these initiatives help to create a level playing field for bike and car transport with regard to financial incentives and other support for travel between home and the work place?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2014)

1 and 2. No direct initiative to revise the vehicle taxation regimes in the EU has been launched to date, as any proposal in this field would have to fit within the overall taxation framework which is predominantly set at national level. The Commission focuses its efforts in the area of fair and efficient road pricing, as a modernised road charging system would also allow Member States (MS) to better design their vehicle taxation schemes.

The Commission tries to address the issue of distortive taxation of corporate cars mainly by encouraging individual MS, in the context of the European Semester, to reform their car taxation schemes and by collaborating with the OECD and stakeholders to foster the debate and spread good practices.

The 2013 report on Tax reforms in EU MS (282) identifies the taxation regimes for company cars as particularly generous in eight MS (283). The Annual Growth Survey 2014 (284) calls for a tax shift from labour towards tax bases less detrimental to growth (e.g. green taxes) and urges countries to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS). Particularly generous company car taxation regimes can be considered as EHS.

The identification of such regimes in the context of the European Semester have contributed to broader country-specific recommendations on green taxes, or reference in the economic analysis accompanying the recommendations, for MS facing major environmental tax challenges (285).

3 and 4. Taxation mostly remains within the competences of EU MS, although in designing their tax rules they must comply with the framework provided by EC law.

5.

The Commission hopes that through its recommendations and indication of best practices it would encourage MS to introduce less distortive framework for various transport modes.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002888/14

à la Commission

Karim Zéribi (Verts/ALE)

(12 mars 2014)

Objet: Perspectives du tunnel ferroviaire Lyon-Turin

Le 19 novembre 2013, les parlementaires européens ont adopté l'accord conclu avec les États membres concernant le nouveau mécanisme pour l'interconnexion en Europe (MIE) ainsi que les lignes directrices du développement du réseau transeuropéen de transport (RTE-T).

Sur les 29,3 milliards d'euros prévus dans le budget du MIE, 23,2 milliards d'euros seront ainsi alloués de 2014 à 2020 au secteur des transports dans le but d'améliorer les connexions transfrontalières, d'éliminer les goulets d'étranglement et de compléter les réseaux. Cela est à mettre en perspective avec les 300 milliards d'euros que vos services estiment nécessaires à la finalisation des RTE-T en Europe d'ici à 2050.

Face à un si faible investissement, il est donc important d'opérer des choix pertinents, équitables et permettant une optimisation des deniers publics. Ce pragmatisme nous entraînera à favoriser le financement d'infrastructures, d'équipements et de tronçons transfrontaliers stratégiques plutôt que de projets de plus grande envergure, tel le Lyon-Turin, qui ne feront qu'absorber les deniers européens sans pour autant favoriser la mobilité des citoyens et des marchandises de manière significative. Il conviendrait plutôt de moderniser l'infrastructure existante, ce qui permettrait de répondre utilement aux besoins tant du transport de marchandises que de celui de nos concitoyens et aurait l'avantage d'être dix fois moins coûteux que le projet actuel.

En effet, selon les derniers calculs, ce projet faramineux nécessiterait à lui seul 8,5 milliards d'euros pour la création du tunnel, et 7 milliards d'euros en termes d'aménagement côté français. Cela représente, sur la base d'un cofinancement européen de 20 % et sans compter la partie aménagement côté italien, une enveloppe de 3,1 milliards d'euros, soit 13 % de l'enveloppe globale du MIE.

Dans ce cadre, la Commission peut-elle indiquer sa position sur les clés de répartition financière entre les projets pour la période 2014-2020 et notamment les perspectives données à ce projet?

Réponse donnée par M. Kallas au nom de la Commission

(2 mai 2014)

Dans sa communication du 7 janvier 2014 (286), la Commission a fixé ses priorités de financement pour la période 2014-2020. Ces priorités seront prises en compte dans les programmes de travail annuels et pluriannuels en vue d'apporter une visibilité à long terme au Parlement européen, aux États membres et aux parties intéressées.

Comme elle l'a indiqué dans cette communication, la Commission compte concentrer les ressources financières disponibles sur les projets qui présentent la plus forte valeur ajoutée européenne, c'est-à-dire ceux qui concernent d'importantes liaisons transfrontalières qui font défaut, les principaux goulets d'étranglement et d'autres tronçons transfrontaliers qui doivent être améliorés. La Commission considère la nouvelle liaison ferroviaire Lyon-Turin comme un important tronçon transfrontalier du réseau européen. Pour les grands projets tels que le Lyon-Turin, compte tenu du temps que requièrent les travaux de construction, il est probable que les coûts soient financés sur la période 2014-2020, mais également sur la période suivante. C'est pourquoi la Commission est d'avis que ces grands projets mentionnés dans la communication pourraient absorber au total jusqu'à 5 milliards d'euros sur les 26,3 milliards d'euros du mécanisme pour l'interconnexion en Europe entre 2014 et 2020.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002888/14

to the Commission

Karim Zéribi (Verts/ALE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Prospects for the Lyon-Turin railway tunnel

On 19 November 2013, Members of the European Parliament adopted the agreement concluded between the Member States relating to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the guidelines for the development of the trans‐European transport network (TEN‐T).

Accordingly, of the EUR 29.3 billion set aside in the CEF budget, EUR 23.2 billion will be allocated to the transport sector from 2014 to 2020 with the aim of improving cross‐border connections, removing bottlenecks and completing the networks. This has to be put into perspective with the EUR 300 billion that your services deem necessary for the completion of the TEN‐T networks in Europe by 2050.

Faced with such meagre investment, it is therefore important to make judicious and fair choices that enable optimal use to be made of public funds. Such pragmatism will result in us giving priority to financing strategic infrastructures, facilities and cross‐border sections as opposed to projects of a larger scale, such as the Lyon‐Turin project, that will only consume European funds without significantly benefiting the mobility of citizens and goods. It would be more beneficial to modernise the existing infrastructure, which would enable the transport needs of goods and our citizens to be catered for effectively and would have the advantage of being ten times less expensive than the current project.

In fact, according to the most recent calculations, this enormous project alone would require EUR 8.5 billion for the construction of the tunnel and EUR 7 billion for development on the French side. Based on a European co‐financing rate of 20%, and without factoring in the portion for development on the Italian side, this represents a budget allocation of EUR 3.1 billion, being 13% of the total CEF budget allocation.

In this context, could the Commission indicate what its position is on the allocation of funds between the projects for the period 2014‐2010 and, in particular, on the prospects that have been opened up for this project?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

In its communication of 7 January 2014 (287) the Commission laid down its funding priorities for the period 2014-2020. These priorities will be reflected in the annual and multiannual work programmes with a view to giving a long-term visibility to the European Parliament, Member States and stakeholders.

As stated in this communication, the Commission intends to focus available financing on the projects that have the highest EU added value, notably major missing cross-border projects, major bottlenecks and other cross-border sections to be improved. The Commission considers the new railway link Lyon-Turin to be a major cross-border sections on the European network. For those major projects such as Lyon — Turin, due to the time needed for construction works, costs are likely to be financed over the period 2014 ‐2020 but also over the next period. This explains why the Commission is of the opinion that these major projects mentioned in the communication could absorb altogether up to EUR 5 billion of the EUR 26.3 billion of the Connecting Europe Facility between 2014 and 2020.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002889/14

à la Commission

Karim Zéribi (Verts/ALE)

(12 mars 2014)

Objet: Fonds européens à destination de la zone méditerranéenne

En novembre 2011, les ministres de l'Union pour la Méditerranée se sont réunis dans le cadre d'une conférence à Strasbourg afin d'impulser une stratégie à moyen terme pour les transports en Méditerranée. Pilier de la lutte contre le changement climatique et du développement des partenariats économiques méditerranéens, le domaine des transports est également l'un des enjeux essentiels à l'accomplissement d'une véritable stratégie méditerranéenne de développement durable et de mobilité quotidienne des citoyens des deux rives.

Actuellement en cours de négociation, le plan d'action régional de transport pour la région méditerranéenne 2014-2020 devrait voir le jour dans les prochains mois. Ce programme devra, au vu des enjeux propres à la région, permettre notamment le déploiement d'autoroutes de la mer dans la zone méditerranéenne ainsi qu'une mobilité et une intermodalité accrues.

À ce titre, quel est le programme d'action envisagé pour le futur MEDA-MoSII? Quel est le montant envisagé par la Commission pour ce programme? Dans le détail, est-il envisagé de prolonger, au cours de la période à venir (2014-2020), les actions entamées dans le cadre de WEST MED MOS Corridor IB?

Réponse donnée par M. Füle au nom de la Commission

(15 mai 2014)

Les ministres responsables des transports de l'Union pour la Méditerranée se sont réunis à Bruxelles le 14 novembre 2013. Dans leur déclaration, ils ont réaffirmé «la nécessité d'un système de transport sûr, sécurisé, durable et efficace reposant sur des normes de transport harmonisées pour permettre la croissance économique et l'intégration dans la région méditerranéenne en facilitant les échanges commerciaux et en rapprochant les personnes».

En outre, les ministres ont approuvé les orientations prioritaires pour la mise en place du plan d'action régional de transport pour la période 2014-2020. Ce plan s'appuiera sur la coopération étendue engagée depuis 2007 dans tous les modes de transport, notamment dans le cadre d'une série de projets de coopération. (288) Il définira des actions concrètes concernant la réforme de la réglementation, ainsi que le développement du réseau transméditerranéen de transport à connecter avec le réseau transeuropéen de transport, en particulier par l'intermédiaire des autoroutes de la mer.

Ce plan témoigne par conséquent d'un engagement ferme de l'Union européenne comme de ses partenaires du sud de la Méditerranée à progresser dans ce domaine. En ce qui concerne l'UE, il importe également de souligner que le nouveau mécanisme pour l'interconnexion en Europe prévoit d'inclure dans le cadre des autoroutes de la mer des actions s'adressant également aux pays voisins. Ces objectifs et ces priorités seront axés sur le développement de liaisons de transport maritime performantes et de systèmes d'interopérabilité des transports.

En ce qui concerne les futurs programmes de coopération régionale, la Commission en est encore à la phase de planification et de consultation avec ses partenaires. Il est donc trop tôt pour indiquer les activités concrètes qui pourront être menées.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002889/14

to the Commission

Karim Zéribi (Verts/ALE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: European funds intended for the Mediterranean zone

In November 2011, the Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean met within the context of a conference in Strasbourg in order to give momentum to a medium‐term strategy for transport in the Mediterranean. A key element in combating climate change and developing Mediterranean economic partners, the field of transport is also one of the key issues in creating a genuine Mediterranean strategy for sustainable development and the day‐to‐day mobility of the citizens on both sides of the Mediterranean.

Currently under negotiation, the 2014‐2020 Regional Transport Action Plan for the Mediterranean region should be released in the coming months. In view of the issues inherent to the region, this programme must, in particular, provide for the construction of motorways of the sea in the Mediterranean zone as well as greater mobility and intermodality.

In light of this, what course of action is envisaged for the future programme MEDA-MoSII? What sum does the Commission have in mind for this programme? In detail, is it envisaged that the action initiated within the framework of WEST MED MOS Corridor IB will be extended during the course of the period to come (2014‐2020)?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

The Ministers responsible for Transport of the Union for the Mediterranean met in Brussels on 14 November 2013. In their declaration, they reaffirmed ‘the need for a safe, secure, sustainable and efficient transport system based on harmonised transport standards as a condition for economic growth and integration in the Mediterranean region by facilitating trade and connecting people’.

In addition, the Ministers endorsed the priority guidelines for the establishment of the Regional Transport Action Plan 2014-2020. The Plan will build on the substantial cooperation undertaken since 2007 in all transport modes, including through a series of cooperation projects. (289) It will lay down concrete actions on regulatory reform as well as on the development of the Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network to be connected with the Trans-European Transport Network in particular through the Motorways of the sea.

There is thus a strong commitment from both the EU and Southern Mediterranean partners to progress in this area. On the EU side, it is also important to highlight that the new Connecting Europe Facility foresees to include actions involving neighbouring countries within the framework of the Motorways of the sea. Those objectives and priorities will focus on the development of efficient maritime connections and of transport interoperability systems.

Regarding future regional cooperation programmes, the Commission is still in the planning phase and consulting with partners. It is therefore too early to indicate concrete future activities.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002890/14

alla Commissione

Guido Milana (S&D)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Regole di produzione eccezionali in agricoltura biologica

Considerando i risultati della consultazione pubblica online sulla revisione delle politiche europee sull'agricoltura biologica (290) effettuata nel primo trimestre del 2013, il 61 % dei rispondenti risulta essere a favore della rimozione delle attuali regole di produzione eccezionali. Tuttavia, se estrapoliamo il risultato relativo agli agricoltori che hanno partecipato alla consultazione, ben il 75 % dei rispondenti risulta essere contrario alla rimozione delle stesse. Le regole di produzione eccezionali sono particolarmente importanti negli Stati membri nei quali il settore bio non è ancora sufficientemente sviluppato (es. la maggior parte dei nuovi Stati membri) e sono necessarie per dare agli agricoltori il tempo di adattarsi ai requisiti delle legislazione bio.

Può la Commissione comunicare se ha ancora intenzione di rimuovere la maggior parte delle regole di produzione eccezionali senza neanche prevedere un adeguato periodo transitorio?

Risposta di Dacian Cioloș a nome della Commissione

(24 aprile 2014)

Il 24 marzo 2014 la Commissione ha adottato una proposta di regolamento del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio relativo alla produzione biologica e all'etichettatura dei prodotti biologici (291). Tale proposta è intesa ad adeguare la normativa dell'Unione alla situazione attuale del mercato biologico dell'UE, in modo che il settore possa continuare a svilupparsi e far fronte alle sfide future.

La Commissione propone in particolare di rafforzare e armonizzare le norme, sia all'interno dell'Unione sia per i prodotti importati, eliminando una serie di eccezioni, alcune delle quali in vigore da oltre 20 anni, alle norme di produzione. Ad esempio, non sarebbe più possibile scindere un'azienda in unità biologiche e unità non biologiche. Inoltre, l'utilizzo di sementi non biologiche e di animali non biologici a fini di riproduzione, attualmente possibile nell'ambito delle norme di produzione eccezionali, non sarebbe più autorizzato dopo il 31 dicembre 2021.

La Commissione ritiene che disposizioni transitorie o eccezionali, anche se necessarie quando è introdotta una nuova normativa, non dovrebbero essere prorogate a tempo indeterminato, in quanto tendono a minare la fiducia dei consumatori nella produzione biologica. Esse pongono inoltre in una situazione di svantaggio competitivo gli agricoltori che rispettano le norme rispetto a quelli che fanno ampio ricorso alle eccezioni.

Con la sua proposta la Commissione ha agito nell'interesse degli agricoltori biologici, dei consumatori e dell'intero settore, il cui futuro dipende dall'integrità dei prodotti commercializzati con il logo europeo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002890/14

to the Commission

Guido Milana (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Special production rules for organic farming

Judging from the results of the online public consultation on the revision of European policies on organic farming (292), which was carried out in the first quarter of 2013, 61% of respondents are in favour of removing the special production rules that are currently in force. However, if we extrapolate the score for the farmers who took part in the consultation, over 75% of the respondents are against the removal of these rules. The special production rules are of particular importance in those Member States in which the organic sector has not yet developed sufficiently (for example the majority of the new Member States) and are necessary in order to give farmers time to adapt to the requirements of organic farming legislation.

Can the Commission state whether it still intends to remove the majority of the special production rules without even providing a satisfactory transitional period?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

On 24 March 2014, the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on organic production and labelling (293). This proposal aims at adjusting the EU legislation to the current situation in the EU organic market, so that the sector can further develop and respond to future challenges.

The Commission proposes in particular to strengthen and harmonise rules, both in the EU and for imported products, by removing a number of the current exceptions to the production rules, some of which have been in place for over 20 years. For instance, it would no longer be possible to split a holding into organic and non-organic units. Also, the use of non-organic seeds and non-organic animals for breeding purposes, currently possible under exceptional production rules, would no longer be possible after 31 December 2021.

The Commission considers that transitional or exceptional rules, although necessary when new rules are introduced, should not be prolonged indefinitely, as they tend to undermine consumers' confidence in the organic production system. They also put at a competitive disadvantage those farmers who comply with the rules of the legislation compared with those farmers who use the exceptional rules liberally.

With its proposal, the Commission has acted in the best interest of organic farmers and consumers and of the whole sector whose future depends on the integrity of the products marketed with our European logo.

(Dansk udgave)

Forespørgsel til skriftlig besvarelse P-002891/14

til Kommissionen (Næstformand/Højtstående repræsentant)

Rina Ronja Kari (GUE/NGL)

(12. marts 2014)

Om: VP/HR — EU-støtte til forskning i droner

Ifølge rapporten » Eurodrones Inc. «  (294) udgivet af Statewatch og Transnational Institute den 12. februar 2014 har Kommissionen tildelt mindst 315 mio. EUR til virksomheder, der forsker i fjernstyrede flysystemer (RPA eller droner). Heraf er næsten 120 mio. EUR gået til forskning i større sikkerhedsprojekter (295).

Derudover påpeger rapporten, at Kommissionen har afsat 70 mio. EUR under SESAR-programmet (forskning i lufttrafikstyring i det fælles europæiske luftrum) til integrering af droner i ATM-masterplanen (lufttrafikstyring). Ifølge rapporten skulle integrering af droner i luftfartstyringen være en »politisk drevet prioritet« (296).

1.

Kan næstformanden for Kommissionen/Unionens højtstående repræsentant bekræfte, at disse oplysninger fra rapporten Eurodrones Inc er korrekte?

2.

Kan næstformanden for Kommissionen/Unionens højtstående repræsentant bekræfte at forskningen i droner omhandler teknologi med dobbeltanvendelse? Forskningen kan altså potentielt bruges både til militære og civile formål. Dette på trods af, at EU-midler — herunder midler til forskning — ikke må bruges til at finansiere militære projekter.

3.

Kan næstformanden for Kommissionen/Unionens højtstående repræsentant oplyse, om Kommissionen holder konti uden for budgettet (»hors budget«) til at finansiere forskning i droner?

Svar afgivet på Kommissionens vegne af Michel Barnier

(5. maj 2014)

Kommissionen kan ikke bekræfte, at oplysningerne i Eurodrones Inc.-rapporten er korrekte. Anvendelsen af droner udgør kun en lille del af de projekter, der er opført i rapporten. En mere realistisk vurdering af den finansiering, der er tildelt direkte til dronerelateret forskning i RP7, dvs. forskning, der tager sigte på at udvikle teknologier, som specifikt vedrører droner, ville være et tocifret millionbeløb i euro. Det bør også understreges, at budgettet til »Rummelige, innovative og sikre samfund« er på 1,7 mia. EUR og ikke 3,8 mia. EUR som fejlagtigt angivet i rapporten.

Al forskning, der gennemføres under RP7 og Horisont 2020, er udelukkende rettet mod civile anvendelsesformål (297); der finansieres ingen militære forskningsprojekter gennem EU-rammeprogrammet. Dette udelukker imidlertid ikke udvikling af teknologier med dobbelt anvendelsesformål. Både særprogrammet for sikkerhedstemaet under FP7 (298) og for Horisont 2020 »Rummelige, innovative og sikre samfund« anerkender betydningen af synergier for dobbelt anvendelsesformål i forbindelse med sikkerhedsforskning (299). Lignende erklæringer er også fremsat af Rådet (300).

Kommissionen holder ingen »konti uden for budgettet« til at finansiere forskning i droner. Alle oplysninger om EU’s forskningsprojekter er offentligt tilgængelige på CORDIS-webstedet (301).

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002891/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Rina Ronja Kari (GUE/NGL)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — EU support for drone research

According to the report entitled ‘Eurodrones Inc.’ (302) , published by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute on 12 February 2014, the Commission has allocated at least EUR 315 million to firms engaged in research in connection with remotely piloted vehicles (RPV), or drones. Of that amount, almost EUR 120 million has gone on major security research projects (303).

The report points out in addition that the Commission has earmarked EUR 70 million under the SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) programme for drone integration into the air traffic management master plan. According to the report, drone integration into air traffic management is a ‘politically driven priority’ (304).

1.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative confirm that this information from the ‘Eurodrones Inc.’ report is correct?

2.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative confirm that drone research involves dual-use technology? The research is therefore usable for both military and civil purposes in spite of the fact that EU funds, including research funds, may not be used to finance military projects.

3.

Can the Vice-President/High Representative say whether the Commission maintains off-budget accounts in order to finance drone research?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 2014)

The Commission cannot confirm the correctness of the information given in the Eurodrones Inc. report. The use of drones is only a small component of the projects listed in the report. A more realistic assessment of the funding allocated directly to drones related research in FP7, i.e. research aiming to develop technologies specifically related to drones, would be in the tens of millions of Euros. It should also be underlined that the budget for the Secure Societies Challenge amounts to EUR 1.7 billion and not EUR 3.8 billion as erroneously stated in the report.

All research in FP7 and Horizon 2020 has an exclusively civilian focus (305), there are no military research projects financed through the EU Framework Programme. This does not however preclude the development of dual use technologies. The Specific Programme of the FP7 Security Theme (306) and of the Horizon 2020 Secure Societies Programme both recognises the importance of dual use synergies in the context of security research (307). Similar statements have also been made by the Council (308).

The Commission does not maintain any ‘off-budget accounts’ for drone research. All the information on EU research projects is publicly available on the CORDIS website (309).

(Hrvatska verzija)

Pitanje za pisani odgovor P-002892/14

upućeno Komisiji

Ruža Tomašić (ECR)

(12. ožujka 2014.)

Predmet: Ratifikacija konvencije STCW-F

Republika Hrvatska članica je Međunarodne pomorske organizacije (IMO) i Međunarodne organizacije rada (MOR), ali nije ratificirala Međunarodnu konvenciju o standardima izobrazbe, izdavanju svjedodžbi i držanju straže pomoraca (Konvencija STCW-F) te Konvenciju o radu u sektoru ribarstva (MOR br. 188).

S obzirom na to da te konvencije izravno utječu na ribarsku djelatnost te da se u prijedlogu Komisije članice poziva na ratifikaciju Konvencije STCW-F, hrvatske ribare zanima hoće li Republika Hrvatska biti obvezna ratificirati ovu konvenciju ako prijedlog COM(2013) 595 prođe potrebnu proceduru.

Ako ratifikacija bude obvezna, željela bih znati hoće li postojati neki rok do kojeg će države članice morati provesti ratifikaciju spomenute Konvencije STCW-F.

Odgovor gđe Damanaki u ime Komisije

(15. travnja 2014.)

EU nije članica ni Međunarodne pomorske organizacije (IMO) ni Međunarodne organizacije rada (ILO). Samo države članice imaju pravo ratificirati Konvenciju IMO-STCW-F ili Konvenciju ILO-C.188.

Budući da obje konvencije sadržavaju odredbe o pitanjima koja su u nadležnosti EU-a, nije isključeno da se mogu pojaviti suprotnosti s pravom EU-a. Stoga države članice mogu ratificirati, pod određenim uvjetima, samo ako su za to ovlaštene i ako je to u interesu EU-a. Komisija je predložila posebne odluke Vijeća kako bi se omogućilo državama članicama polaganje svojih isprava o ratifikaciji.

Što se tiče prijedloga STCW-F koji se trenutačno razmatra na razini Vijeća, može doći do suprotnosti jer odredbe iz te Konvencije kojima se omogućuje korištenje isključivo svjedodžbi o osposobljenosti IMO-a nisu spojive s načelom međusobnog priznavanja među državama članicama EU-a svjedodžbi o stručnim kvalifikacijama koje izdaju nacionalna tijela, kako je utvrđeno Direktivom 2005/36/EZ.

Komisija poziva sve države članice da započnu pristupanje jer će se općim pristupanjem država članica izbjeći moguće suprotnosti s pravom. Komisija priznaje da neke države članice nisu obuhvaćene Konvencijom jer nemaju ni ribarsku flotu ni ustanove za osposobljavanje koje izdaju stručne kvalifikacije u sektorima ribarstva. Te države članice mogu se izuzeti od obveze da ratificiraju jer s obzirom na njihov položaj postupovni zahtjevi ne bi bili opravdani. Komisija će Vijeću podnijeti izvješće o napretku pristupanja Konvenciji.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002892/14

to the Commission

Ruža Tomašić (ECR)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Ratification of the STCW-F Convention

Croatia is a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but it has not ratified the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F Convention) or the ILO Work in Fishing Convention (No 188).

Given that these conventions directly affect fishing activity and that there is a Commission proposal calling on Member States to ratify the STCW-F Convention, Croatian fishermen are interested to know whether Croatia will be obliged to ratify that convention if the proposal in question (COM(2013)0595) goes through the necessary procedure.

If ratification of the STCW-F Convention does become mandatory, will Member States be required to complete it within any set deadline?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(15 April 2014)

The EU is not a member of either IMO or ILO. Only Member States are entitled to ratify the IMO-STCW-F Convention or the ILO-C.188 Convention.

Since both these Conventions contain provisions on matters that are under the responsibility of the EU, it is not excluded that a conflict with EC law may arise. Therefore Member States cannot ratify unless they have been authorised to do so, under certain conditions, in the interest of the EU. The Commission has proposed specific Council Decisions aimed at allowing Member States to deposit their instruments of ratification.

As regards the STCW-F proposal which is currently being examined at Council level, a conflict may arise because the provisions contained in that Convention that allow only the use of IMO certificates of competence is not compatible with the principle of mutual recognition between EU Member States, of certificates of professional qualifications delivered by national authorities, as laid down by Directive 2005/36/EC.

The Commission is calling on all Member States to proceed to the accession, as a general accession by Member States will prevent any possible conflict of law. The Commission recognises that some Member States are not concerned by the Convention as they have neither a fishing fleet nor training institutes that issue professional qualifications in the fisheries sectors. These Member States may be exempted from any obligation to ratify as the procedural requirements would be unjustified with regard to their situation. The Commission will report to the Council on the progress on the accession to the Convention.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002893/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(12 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Semestre europeo de 2013 en el Estado español

En la respuesta E-012932/2013, el Sr. Kallas respondió en nombre de la Comisión: «En el marco del semestre europeo de 2013, la Comisión insistió respecto a España en lo siguiente: “La infraestructura de transporte es abundante, pero hay margen para que la selección de las inversiones sea más estricta y se dé prioridad al mantenimiento eficiente de las redes existentes. La creación de un observatorio independiente, tal como está previsto, sería de utilidad a este respecto.”»

Ya han pasado más de dos meses de la respuesta, ¿tiene conocimiento la Comisión de si el Estado español ya ha creado este observatorio, tal y como está previsto?

Respuesta del Sr. Kallas en nombre de la Comisión

(28 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión no ha recibido más información sobre la creación del observatorio al que se refiere Su Señoría.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002893/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: 2013 European Semester in Spain

In his reply to Written Question E-012932/2013, Mr Kallas stated, on behalf of the Commission: ‘The Commission stressed, in the framework of the 2013 EU Semester for Spain, that “The transport infrastructure is abundant but there is scope to make the selection of investment more stringent and prioritise efficient maintenance of existing networks. Setting up an independent observatory, as planned, would help in this respect.”’

More than two months have passed since that reply was given. Does the Commission know whether Spain has yet set up the observatory as planned?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

The Commission has not received any additional information on the implementation of the observatory quoted by the Honourable Member.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002894/14

to the Commission

Keith Taylor (Verts/ALE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Follow-up to Written Question E-014264/2013 on ‘Implementation of EU guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities for EU grants, prizes and financial instruments’

Collaborative arrangements, even with good will, can be difficult to monitor. We know that Ariel University (AU) is built on illegally expropriated Palestinian land and the answer to Written Question E‐014264/2013 confirms that AU is not eligible to participate in Union research programmes. But we also note the following, taken from AU’s website:

‘Many studies are conducted in collaboration with researchers affiliated with other institutions, including Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben Gurion University, the Technion, and other advanced research institutions, colleges and universities in Israel and overseas. University researchers are also extensively involved in research projects that are initiated by the industrial sector. We conduct studies that are commissioned by and/or in collaboration with IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries), ELTA, Elbit, El-Op, Refael, and other companies from Israel, Europe and the US. The total annual research budget for the University exceeds NIS 30 million (not including salaries for researchers who are faculty members)’.

The question is, how does the EU intend to prevent funds awarded to Israeli and other eligible institutions filtering through to AU and other ineligible institutions via collaboration agreements?

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

(6 June 2014)

As regards the eligibility of entities, the conditions stipulated in the text of the guidelines are very clear: any entity outside Israel's pre-1967 borders is considered ineligible.

The Commission will pay particular attention to ensuring that the work programmes and calls for proposals comply with the requirements for implementing the EU budget and, thus, include the eligibility conditions set out in Sections C and D of the guidelines text. If any activity fails to meet the requirements set out in point 12(a) of the guidelines that activity will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered as part of the application.

In practice, in the field of higher education, the executive agency managing the EU supported programmes (closing the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes and now opening Erasmus+) makes sure that the Ariel University is neither an applicant nor a partner organisation in projects selected in Israel. In all project proposals, not only the name of the applicant is mentioned, but also of all partners involved in one way or another in the project.

The same remark applies to activities supported in the research field through the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (under Horizon 2020) managed by the European Research Agency.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002895/14

to the Commission

Fiona Hall (ALDE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos

In response to other parliamentary questions regarding Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos, the Commission stated that ‘it continues to monitor the implementation of the directive and will examine any well founded and substantiated evidence that is brought to its attention in regard to failures of transposition or implementation of the directive and, if necessary, legal action will be taken against the Member State not respecting the rules’.

Can the Commission confirm whether it has taken infringement proceedings against Member States for failing to meet the requirements of Directive 1999/22/EC?

What has the Commission done since the publication of the Born Free Foundation Report ‘The EU Zoo Inquiry 2011’ to ensure that zoo animals within the EU are being kept in satisfactory conditions?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

The Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against Member States for failing to transpose the Zoos Directive (310) as well as for failures in implementation.

The Zoos Directive is strongly based on subsidiarity and foresees a limited role for the Commission in relation to implementation. However, following the publication of the Born Free Report on the EU Zoo Inquiry the Commission has launched an initiative to prepare EU guidelines to assist Member States in implementing the Zoos Directive. This work has been undertaken in consultation with Member State authorities, experts, and key stakeholders groups and will be published in the coming months.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002898/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 ta' Marzu 2014)

Suġġett: Obeżità infantili

Biż-żieda fl-obeżità infantili, kien hemm tnaqqis fl-ikel tajjeb għas-saħħa u fil-konsum ta' ikel tajjeb għas-saħħa bħal frott u ċereali.

Il-Kummissjoni biħsiebha tiżviluppa jew tirrakkomanda programm għall-edukazzjoni tan-nutrizzjoni fl-iskejjel?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Borg f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(24 ta' April 2014)

L-edukazzjoni hija kompetenza tal-Istati Membri, u skont l-Artikolu 6 tat-TFUE, il-Kummissjoni għandha l-kompetenza li tappoġġa, tikkoordina jew tissupplimenta l-azzjonijiet tal-Istati Membri f’dan il-qasam.

Sabiex jgħinu lill-Istati Membri jippromwovu l-konsum ta' ikel tajjeb għas-saħħa fl-iskejjel, l-Iskema tal-Frott u l-Ħaxix għall-Iskejjel u l-Iskema tal-Ħalib għall-Iskejjel (311)  (312), li qed isiru fl-UE kollha, jikkontribwixxu lejn il-ħolqien ta' drawwiet tal-ikel iktar tajbin għas-saħħa fost it-tfal tal-iskola. Fit-30 ta’ Jannar 2014, il-Kummissjoni adottat proposta ġdida (313) maħsuba biex issaħħaħ id-dimensjoni edukattiva taż-żewġ skemi, bl-għan li l-effikaċja tagħhom tiġi mtejba.

F’kooperazzjoni mal-Istati Membri, il-Kummissjoni tkompli tikkontribwixxi aktar lejn il-promozzjoni ta' għażliet tajbin għas-saħħa. L-Istrateġija għall-Ewropa dwar kwistjonijiet ta' saħħa marbuta man-Nutrizzjoni, il-Piż Żejjed u l-Obeżità (314), li ġiet ippubblikata fl-2007, tippromwovi dieta bbilanċjata u stil ta’ ħajja attiv għal kulħadd. L-Istrateġija tħeġġeġ sħubiji orjentati lejn l-azzjoni li jinvolvu t-28 Stat Membru (il-Grupp ta' Livell Għoli dwar in-Nutrizzjoni u l-Attività Fiżika (315)) u s-soċjetà ċivili (il-Pjattaforma tal-UE għal Azzjoni dwar id-Dieta, l-Attività Fiżika u s-Saħħa (316)).

It-tfal huma fost il-gruppi ta’ prijorità fl-istrateġija tal-UE. F’dan il-kuntest, fl-24 ta’ Frar 2014, il-Grupp ta’ Livell Għoli Dwar in-Nutrizzjoni u l-Attività Fiżika qabel (317) dwar Pjan ta’ Azzjoni dwar l-Obeżità fost it-Tfal (318).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002898/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Childhood obesity

With the increase in childhood obesity, there has been a decline in healthy eating and the consumption of healthy foods such as fruit and cereals.

Does the Commission intend to develop or recommend a programme for nutrition education in schools?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

Education is a Member State competence and according to Article 6 TFEU the Commission has the competence to support, coordinate or supplement actions of the Member States in this field.

To support Member States in promoting healthy eating in schools, the EU-wide School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and School Milk Scheme (319)  (320) contributes to establishing healthier eating habits among school children. On 30 January 2014, the Commission adopted a new proposal (321) to strengthen the educational dimension of the two schemes in order to increase their effectiveness.

In cooperation with the Member States, the Commission further contributes to promoting healthy choices. The 2007 Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues (322) promotes a balanced diet and active lifestyle for all. The strategy encourages action-oriented partnerships involving the 28 EU Member States (High Level Group for Nutrition and Physical Activity (323)) and civil society (EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (324)).

Children are among the priority groups in the EU Strategy. In this context, on 24 February 2014 the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity agreed (325) an Action Plan on Childhood Obesity (326).

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002899/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 ta' Marzu 2014)

Suġġett: Bitcoin

Fid-dawl tal-iskandlu riċenti fil-Ġappun rigward il-munita diġitali, Bitcoin, il-Kummissjoni kif biħsiebha tipprevjeni jew tindirizza kwalunkwe skandlu simili potenzjali fl-Istati Membri?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Barnier f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(14 ta' Mejju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni qed issegwi bir-reqqa l-iżviluppi li jsiru fil-muniti virtwali u diġitali bħall-Bitcoin u bdiet tagħmel dan ferm qabel l-iskandlu reċenti ta' Mt. Gox fil-Ġappun.

Għal dan l-għan, il-Kummissjoni bħalissa qed tipparteċipa f’task force apposta mmexxija mill-awtorità Bankarja Ewropea inkluż il-BĊE, l-ESMA u diversi rappreżentanti tal-Istati Membri bil-għan li tiddefinixxi muniti virtwali u tevalwa jekk muniti virtwali għandhomx u jistgħux jiġu regolati. Il-konklużjonijiet ta’ din it-task force huma mistennija għal Mejju 2014. Il-Kummissjoni għad ma għandhiex pożizzjoni finali dwar din il-kwistjoni importanti iżda se tieħu azzjoni hekk kif joħorġu l-konklużjonijiet tat-task force dwar muniti virtwali.

Qed tinġibed l-attenzjoni wkoll lejn il-fatt li l-Awtorità Bankarja Ewropea (EBA) ħarġet twissija fit-13 ta’ Diċembru 2013 dwar serje ta’ riskji potenzjali li jirriżultaw mix-xiri, id-depożitu jew in-negozjar ta' muniti virtwali bħall-Bitcoin.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002899/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Bitcoin

In view of the recent scandal in Japan concerning the digital currency, Bitcoin, how does the Commission intend to prevent or deal with any potential similar scandals in the Member States?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(14 May 2014)

The Commission is following attentively the developments around virtual/digital currencies such as Bitcoin and started doing so well before the recent Mt. Gox scandal in Japan.

To this end, the Commission is currently participating in a dedicated task force led by the European Banking Authority including the ECB, ESMA and various Member States representatives with the aim of defining virtual currencies and assessing whether virtual currencies should and can be regulated. The conclusions of this task force are expected by May 2014. The Commission does not yet have a final position on this important matter but will take action as soon as the conclusions of the task force on virtual currencies are out.

Attention is also drawn to the fact that the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a warning on 13 December 2013 on a series of potential risks deriving from buying, holding or trading virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002900/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 ta' Marzu 2014)

Suġġett: Amnestija dwar fornitur enerġetiku

Hi konxja l-Kummissjoni li l-Oppożizzjoni f'Malta (PPE) qiegħda tagħmel pressjoni fuq il-gvern ħalli ma joħroġx amnestija lil dawk kollha li ddefrawdaw lill-fornitur Malti tal-enerġija jekk kemm-il darba jħallsu lura dak li hu dovut minnhom, flimkien mal-imgħax u multa, u jikxfu r-reati kommessi mill-uffiċjali tal-enerġija?

L-Oppożizzjoni ssostni li l-gvern qed imur oltre l-funzjonijiet tiegħu u takkuża lill-Prim Ministru li qed iqiegħed lilu nnifsu 'l fuq mil-liġi. L-Oppożizzjoni stess kienet ħarġet bosta amnestiji. Tista' l-Kummissjoni tikkonferma li l-Gvern Malti ma qiegħed jikser l-ebda liġi billi joħroġ amnestija bħal din?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Hahn f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(7 ta' Mejju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni m'għandhiex il-kompetenza biex tinvestiga każijiet individwali fejn ikunu nħarġu amnestiji bħal dawn.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002900/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Amnesty on energy supplier

Is the Commission aware that the opposition in Malta (PPE) is putting pressure on the government not to issue an amnesty to all those who have defrauded the Maltese energy supplier if they pay back what they owe, plus interest and a fine, and disclose crimes committed by energy officials?

The opposition claims that the government is going beyond its remit and accuses the Prime Minister of placing himself above the law. The opposition itself has issued several amnesties. Can the Commission confirm that the Maltese Government is not breaking the law by issuing such an amnesty?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(7 May 2014)

The Commission is not competent to look into individual cases where such amnesties have been issued.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002901/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 ta' Marzu 2014)

Suġġett: Enerġija nadifa fil-port ta' Marsaxlokk

Hi konxja l-Kummissjoni li l-Oppożizzjoni f'Malta (PPE) qed tqanqal lir-residenti ta' madwar il-port ta' Marsaxlokk fi protesta kontra t-tqegħid ta' tanker tal-ħżin tal-gass fil-port?

Dan it-tixrid ta' biża' jmur oltre mill-kritika demokratika ġusta u jxekkel il-politika tal-gvern li jwassal enerġija nadifa b'kost baxx. Taqbel il-Kummissjoni li oppożizzjoni demokratika għandha l-obbligu li tkun objettiva fuq kwestjonijiet importanti bħalma hu t-twassil ta' enerġija nadifa u tnaqqis tal-kostijiet enerġetiċi għar-residenti, fabbriki, lukandi u negozji?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Oettinger f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(22 ta' Mejju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni d-dettalji tal-protesta li saret fil-port ta’ Marsaxlokk ma tafhomx u mhijiex f’pożizzjoni li tikkummenta dwar il-proċessi politiċi interni fi Stati Membri individwali.

F’termini ġenerali, il-Kummissjoni tappoġġa l-isforzi li qed tagħmel Malta biex tiżviluppa l-infrastruttura li tista' tnaqqas id-dipendenza kbira ħafna li bħalissa Malta għandha fuq iż-żejt. L-iżvilupp ta’ tali infrastrutturi għandu jsir b’konformità sħiħa mal-leġiżlazzjoni ambjentali u leġiżlazzjonijiet oħra relevanti u għandu jkun garantit djalogu xieraq maċ-ċittadini u l-komunitajiet lokali li huma l-aktar milquta b'din il-kwistjoni.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002901/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Clean energy at Marsaxlokk port

Is the Commission aware that the opposition in Malta (EPP) is rallying residents around the port of Marsaxlokk in protest against the stationing of a gas storage tanker in the port?

This scaremongering goes beyond fair democratic criticism and hinders government policy to provide clean energy at a lower cost. Does the Commission agree that a democratic opposition has an obligation to be objective on important matters such as providing clean energy and reducing energy costs for residents, factories, hotels and businesses?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The Commission is not aware of the details of the protest in the port of Marsaxlokk and is not in the position to comment on internal political processes in individual Member States.

In general terms, the Commission supports Malta’s efforts to develop infrastructure which can reduce its currently very high dependence on oil. The development of such infrastructure must be pursued in full compliance with the relevant environmental and other legislation and a proper dialogue with citizens and local communities most affected must be ensured.

(Hrvatska verzija)

Pitanje za pisani odgovor E-002902/14

upućeno Komisiji

Ruža Tomašić (ECR)

(12. ožujka 2014.)

Predmet: Podjela vinogradarske Hrvatske na Zaštićene oznake izvornosti

Tijekom procesa pristupanja Hrvatske Europskoj uniji hrvatski je pregovarački tim dogovorio podjelu vinogradarske Hrvatske na 16 zaštićenih oznaka izvornosti (ZOI).

Tom je podjelom Dalmacija kao prirodna i povijesna hrvatska regija podijeljena na 4 ZOI-a, a slično se dogodilo i s ostalim regijama. Veliki dio hrvatskih vinara nije zadovoljan ovakvom podjelom jer im otežava strategiju stvaranja robne marke i marketinšku prezentaciju na zajedničkom europskom tržištu.

Želja dobrog dijela hrvatskih vinara jest promicanje njihovih proizvoda kao „Vina Hrvatske” s osnovnom podjelom na 4 regije (Slavonija i hrvatsko Podunavlje, Istra i Kvarner, bregovita Hrvatska i Dalmacija).

Stoga bih željela pitati Komisiju postoji li mogućnost reforme označavanja vinogradarskih položaja i vina u Hrvatskoj koja bi bila u duhu europske regulative. Također, zanima me može li Komisija pomoći hrvatskim proizvođačima vina preporukom najboljih europskih praksa na tom području.

Odgovor g. Cioloșa u ime Komisije

(12. svibnja 2014.)

U skladu s člancima 95. i 105. Uredbe (EU) br. 1308/2013 o uspostavljanju zajedničke organizacije tržišta poljoprivrednih proizvoda (327) bilo koja zainteresirana skupina proizvođača iz Hrvatske može podnijeti zahtjev za zaštitu oznake izvornosti (ZOI) ili oznake zemljopisnog podrijetla (ZOZP) koja se odnosi na ime regije ili za odobrenje izmjene postojeće specifikacije proizvoda.

Nadalje, u skladu s člankom 67. Uredbe (EZ) br. 607/2009 o utvrđivanju određenih detaljnih pravila za provedbu Uredbe Vijeća (EZ) br. 479/2008 u pogledu zaštićenih oznaka izvornosti i oznaka zemljopisnog podrijetla, tradicionalnih izraza, označavanja i prezentiranja određenih proizvoda u sektoru vina (328), vina s oznakom izvornosti ili oznakom zemljopisnog podrijetla mogu se označivati imenom manje ili veće zemljopisne jedinice, uključujući ime regije. Proizvođači (s pomoću specifikacije proizvoda) i države članice mogu uspostaviti dodatna pravila o uporabi tih zemljopisnih jedinica.

Stoga se europskim pravom proizvođačima pružaju pravi alati kojima mogu bolje označiti svoja vina i promicati ih u pogledu posebnih svojstava koja se mogu pripisati zemljopisnom podrijetlu.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002902/14

to the Commission

Ruža Tomašić (ECR)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Division of Protected Designations of Origin with regard to Croatian wine production

During Croatia's EU accession process, the Croatian negotiating team managed to reach a deal on allocating 16 Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) to Croatian wine production.

Under this division method, Dalmatia — a historic region of Croatia with great natural wealth — was allocated four PDOs. Other regions received similar allocations. Many Croatian winemakers are not satisfied with this division, as it hinders their strategy to establish a brand name and to market their products on the single European market.

Very many Croatian wine producers would like to promote their products as ‘Croatian wine’ accompanied by a basic division into four regions: Slavonia and the Croatian Danube, Istria and Kvarner, the Croatian Uplands, and Dalmatia.

Could the Commission say if it would be possible to reform the designation of vineyard locations and wines in Croatia in order to bring it into the spirit of European regulations? Can the Commission help Croatian wine producers by recommending best European practices in this area?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

In accordance with Articles 95 and 105 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (329), any interested group of Croatian producers may apply for the protection of a new designation of origin (PDO) or geographical indication (PGI) that refers to the name of a region or for approval of an amendment of the product specification of an existing one.

Furthermore, in accordance with Article 67 of Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 laying down certain detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 as regards protected designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector products (330), wine with PDO or PGI may be labelled with the name of a smaller or larger geographical unit, including the name of a region. Producers, through the product specifications, and Member States may establish additional rules concerning the use of these geographical units.

Therefore European law provides the right tools, for the producers, to better identify and promote their wines with specific characteristics attributable to the geographical origin.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002903/14

alla Commissione

Franco Frigo (S&D)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Legge della Regione Veneto che prevede un registro regionale delle specialità da forno tipiche

La legge regionale del Veneto n. 36 del 24 dicembre 2014, concernente disposizioni in materia di produzione e vendita di pane, prevede l'istituzione di un registro regionale delle specialità da forno tipiche della tradizione del Veneto.

Sulla base degli articoli di stampa usciti recentemente pare che vi sia stata una denuncia di tale legge per via della mancata notifica della stessa, prevista dalla direttiva 1998/34/CE.

La Commissione può confermare la veridicità di questa informazione e dire se effettivamente sia riscontrabile un ostacolo al commercio nella legge regionale, posto che questa afferisce solo a produzioni artigianali locali per le quali non c'è distribuzione oltre un ambito di vicinato?

Risposta di Michel Barnier a nome della Commissione

(15 maggio 2014)

La Commissione è stata informata della legge regionale del Veneto n. 36 del 24 dicembre 2013 concernente disposizioni in materia di produzione e vendita di pane.

Tale legge potrebbe contenere requisiti in materia di etichettatura che costituiscono regolamentazioni tecniche ai sensi della direttiva 98/34/CE, la quale prevede una procedura d'informazione nel settore delle norme e delle regolamentazioni tecniche e delle regole relative ai servizi della società dell’informazione (331). Sembra tuttavia che la legge della Regione Veneto n. 36 del 24 dicembre 2013 concernente disposizioni in materia di produzione e vendita di pane non sia stata notificata alla Commissione nella fase di progetto, come prescritto dalla direttiva 98/34/CE.

Pertanto, la Commissione non ha ancora esaminato se tale legge rappresenti un ostacolo al commercio. Essa ha contattato le autorità italiane per chiedere chiarimenti in merito alla sua mancata notifica. La risposta non è ancora pervenuta.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002903/14

to the Commission

Franco Frigo (S&D)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Region of Veneto Law that provides for a regional register of the baked specialities which are typical of the region

Region of Veneto Law No 36 of 24 December 2014, relating to provisions concerning the production and sale of bread, provides for the creation of a regional register of baked specialities that are typical of the Veneto tradition.

It seems from the articles that have appeared in the press recently that there has been condemnation of this law owing to the lack of notification thereof, the requirement for this being laid down in Directive 1998/34/EC.

Can the Commission confirm the veracity of this information and state whether, if it is true, the Regional Law could represent a barrier to trade given that it relates exclusively to products that have been handmade locally and that are not distributed beyond the neighbouring areas?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

The attention of the Commission has been drawn to the Veneto Regional Law No 36 of 24 December 2013 on production and protection of bread making activity.

This law could contain labelling requirements which are technical regulations in the meaning of Directive 98/34/EC laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical regulations and of rules on Information Society services  (332). However, it appears that the Veneto Regional Law No 36 of 24 December 2013 on production and protection of the bread making activity was not notified to the Commission at its draft stage as required under Directive 98/34/EC.

Thus, the Commission has not yet examined whether the Veneto Regional Law No 36 of 24 December 2013 on production and protection of the bread making activity represents a barrier to trade. The Commission has contacted the Italian authorities to request clarifications on this lack of notification. The reply is still awaited.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002904/14

alla Commissione

Matteo Salvini (EFD)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Costi della presenza diplomatica dell'Unione europea nel mondo

Un'inchiesta dell'autorevole testata britannica «Sunday Times» riportò nel dicembre 2010 alcune voci di spesa relative alla diplomazia estera.

Dalle attuali risultanze di bilancio esaminate, esse non risultano significativamente variate.

In particolare, si è appreso dell'imponente organico impiegato per il Servizio europeo per l'azione esterna (SEAE), che ammonta a più di tremila unità, alcune delle quali godono di retribuzioni superiori ai duecentomila euro annui. La testata ha altresì constatato la presenza di delegazioni di rappresentanza presso coordinate geopolitiche di dubbia rilevanza mondiale: a mero titolo esemplificativo si ricorda il caso delle Isole Vanuatu o dell'isola Barbados.

Il costo totale del SEAE si è affermato essere approssimabile al mezzo miliardo di euro. Inoltre, l'ente risulta poter contare su più di 130 sedi diplomatiche.

Si chiede pertanto alla Commissione di confermare oppure smentire tali fonti giornalistiche, specificando nel caso quali siano invece i reali stanziamenti previsti per la diplomazia europea, sotto qualsiasi forma. Non ritiene la Commissione, stante la grave e tuttora perdurante situazione di crisi economica, che sia opportuno ridimensionare, in ogni caso, la spesa diplomatica, cominciando dalle sedi di rappresentanza di secondario interesse?

Risposta dell'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente Catherine Ashton a nome della Commissione

(7 maggio 2014)

Il servizio europeo per l'azione esterna è stato istituito dal trattato di Lisbona. La sua organizzazione e il suo funzionamento sono stati stabiliti dalla decisione 2010/427/UE, che il Consiglio ha approvato all'unanimità.

Il SEAE ha un organico di 3 406 persone (funzionari, agenti temporanei, agenti contrattuali, esperti nazionali distaccati, agenti locali e giovani professionisti nelle delegazioni), di cui 1 520 a Bruxelles e 1 886 in 138 delegazioni dell'UE (compresi 1 057 agenti locali).

Nel 2013 il SEAE ha speso 496,8 milioni di EUR. La sua dotazione di bilancio per il 2014 è di 518,6 milioni di EUR.

Pienamente consapevole della grave crisi economica e finanziaria nell'Unione europea, il SEAE ha incluso risparmi pari all'1,3 % del suo bilancio per il 2013, al 3,8 % del suo bilancio per il 2014 e all'1,4 % del suo progetto di bilancio per il 2015. Il SEAE sta inoltre riducendo il numero di posti in organico dell'1 % all'anno.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002904/14

to the Commission

Matteo Salvini (EFD)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Costs of the European Union's diplomatic presence throughout the world

An investigation carried out in December 2010 by the influential British newspaper, the Sunday Times, made reference to certain items of expenditure relating to foreign diplomacy.

Current figures reveal that there has been no significant change in these items of expenditure.

In particular, we were informed of the impressive workforce of the European External Action Service (EEAS), which numbers more than three thousand units, some of whom receive remuneration in excess of EUR 300 000 per annum. The paper also referred to the presence of delegations in geopolitical coordinates of dubious world significance, for example the Vanuatu islands and the island of Barbados.

The total cost of the EEAS has been estimated at half a billion euro. The organisation also has more than 130 diplomatic representations.

The Commission is therefore asked to confirm or deny these press reports, indicating where necessary the actual appropriations (in any form) for European diplomacy. Does the Commission not consider, in view of the grave and persistent economic crisis, that it would be expedient to scale down diplomatic expenditure, beginning with the representations of secondary interest?

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

(7 May 2014)

The EEAS was created by the Lisbon Treaty. It was set up on 1 January 2011 by the decision 2010/427/EU unanimously approved by the Council.

The EEAS has 3 406 staff (including officials, temporary agents, contract agents, seconded national experts, local agents and junior professionals in delegation), 1 520 in Brussels and 1 886 in 138 EU Delegations (which includes 1 057 local agents).

The EEAS spent EUR 496.8 million in 2013. It was granted a budget of EUR 518.6 million for 2014.

Fully aware of the acute economic and financial situation in the European Union, the EEAS included savings representing 1.3% of its budget for 2013, 3.8% of its budget for 2014 and 1.4% of it draft budget for 2015. The EEAS is also reducing the number of its establishment plan posts by 1% a year.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002907/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Ossigeno-ozono-terapia

L'ossigeno-ozono-terapia è una metodica che ha più di un secolo di vita, un rimedio rivoluzionario per la salute e il benessere, applicabile con diverse modalità a svariate patologie. Nei primi decenni dell'1800 fu Christian Friedrich Schonbein, chimico tedesco naturalizzato svizzero, a scoprire l'ozono, ma i primi trattamenti — con risultati evidenti — si ebbero durante la prima guerra mondiale, quando centinaia di soldati con ferite settiche furono trattati con ozono medicale e salvati da morte sicura per gangrena gassosa dal tedesco Hans Wolff. Per questo, l'interesse per questa terapia è particolarmente radicato in Germania, ma anche in Svizzera. «Qualunque dolore, sofferenza o malattia, è causato da un'insufficiente ossigenazione a livello cellulare» ha affermato il prof. Arthur C. Guyton, M.D., presidente della Società americana di fisiologia. L'ozono, tra l'altro, si usa anche al di fuori della medicina ed è il disinfettante più potente di cui l'uomo può disporre (120 volte più attivo del cloro). Non c'è virus, batterio o fungo che possa resistere alla sua azione.

In Italia tale terapia ha avuto ufficialmente inizio soltanto nel 1983, con la costituzione della Società Scientifica di Ossigeno-Ozono-Terapia (SIOOT). Oggi, per il 30° anniversario della fondazione, è stato pubblicato un volume che ne traccia l'attività e che descrive i risultati ottenuti. La terapia in questione è una possibilità medica sottovalutata, non è una medicina alternativa e tanto meno un metodo alla moda.

La Commissione:

È in grado di comunicare in quali paesi dell'Unione si pratica normalmente questa terapia?

Possiede dati e statistiche sui suoi benefici ed è a conoscenza dell'ampia bibliografia scientifica pubblicata su www.pubmed.com, alle voce ozone therapy?

Potrebbe invitare gli Stati membri a farne uso in modo più regolare per le patologie suggerite dall'esperienza dei paesi che praticano questa terapia?

Valuta l'ipotesi di monitorare, dal punto di vista organizzativo e scientifico, le Società Scientifiche di Ossigeno Ozono terapia che promuovono la terapia, e di proporre corsi plurinazionali di formazione di questa disciplina, allo scopo di diffondere benessere tra le popolazione, monitorando nel contempo anche l'eventuale risparmio che questa terapia può portare?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(2 maggio 2014)

La Commissione non dispone di una banca dati che rifletta i diversi trattamenti di medicina tradizionale o alternativa, come l'ozonoterapia, praticati negli Stati membri dell'UE, né raccoglie dati o statistiche sui benefici dei trattamenti, siano essi scientificamente provati o presunti.

In termini più generali, nell'ambito della raccolta e diffusione di dati e informazioni sanitari comparabili nell'UE occorre prendere atto del lavoro comune svolto in stretta collaborazione dagli Stati membri, dalla Commissione, da Eurostat, dall'OMS, dall'OCSE e da altre organizzazioni internazionali nel quadro dell'azione congiunta per il monitoraggio degli indicatori sanitari della Comunità europea

(http://ec.europa.eu/eahc/projects/database.html?prjno=20082391).

Relativamente alla promozione dell'ozonoterapia e al risparmio conseguibile in futuro con il suo impiego, la Commissione non è competente per privilegiare un determinato trattamento. A norma dell'articolo 168 del TFUE la gestione dei servizi sanitari e dell'assistenza medica e l'assegnazione delle risorse loro destinate rientrano tra le responsabilità degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002907/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Oxygen-ozone therapy

Oxygen-ozone therapy is a treatment which is over a century old. It has a galvanising effect on health and well-being and can be used in various ways to treat various conditions. It was Christian Friedrich Schonbein, a German chemist who became a naturalised Swiss citizen, who discovered ozone in the early decades of the 19th century. This therapy was first employed successfully during the First World War, when hundreds of soldiers with septic wounds were treated with medical ozone and saved from certain death from gaseous gangrene by a German, Hans Wolff. For this reason, interest in the therapy is particularly strong in Germany and Switzerland. According to Professor Arthur C. Guyton MD, Chair of the American Physiological Society, ‘all chronic pain, suffering, and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level’. Ozone also has non-medical uses. It is the most potent disinfectant known to man (120 times more powerful than chlorine) and no virus, bacteria or fungus is resistant to it.

In Italy, this therapy was not administered officially until 1983, the year in which the Italian Scientific Society for Oxygen-Ozone Therapy (SIOOT) was founded. To mark the 30th anniversary of that event, a book has today been published which charts the society’s activities and achievements. Oxygen-ozone therapy is undervalued as a medical option, and it is neither a form of alternative medicine nor a modish phenomenon.

1.

Can the Commission say in which Member States this therapy is regularly employed?

2.

Does it have data and statistics on its benefits and is it aware of the extensive scientific bibliography published (under the heading Ozone Therapy) on www.pubmed.com?

3.

Could it urge Member States to make more regular use of this therapy to treat conditions against which it has been shown to be effective?

4.

Could it consider monitoring, in organisational and scientific terms, bodies which promote oxygen-ozone therapy and propose international training in this discipline, in an effort to promote public well-being, and at the same time assess the potential savings to be achieved through the use of this therapy?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission does not have a database reflecting the different mainstream or alternative medicine treatments, as the ozone therapy, practiced in the EU Member States. Further, it does not collect data or statistics on the scientifically established or alleged benefits of the treatments.

On a more general level in the area of collecting and disseminating comparable health data and information across the EU, note should be taken of the joint work carried out in close collaboration between Member States, the Commission, Eurostat, WHO, OECD and other international organisations, within the framework of the Joint Action for European Community Health Indicators and Monitoring (http://ec.europa.eu/eahc/projects/database.html?prjno=20082391).

As to the promotion of the ozone therapy and the eventual savings resulting from its use, the Commission does not have the competence of privileging a particular treatment. According to Article 168 TFEU the management of health services and medical care and the allocation of the resources assigned to them is the responsibility of the Member States.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002908/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Tutela dell'identità personale

Cronache tra loro differenti pongono come problema d'attualità la questione della tutela dell'identità personale e del suo riconoscimento da parte delle autorità, anche a fini di sicurezza.

La vicenda dell'aereo scomparso nelle acque del Mar della Cina, con a bordo persone di identità diversa da quella certificata dai loro passaporti, da un lato pone la problematica emergente delle false identità che sempre più si diffondono sui social network, corrispondenti però a persone vere e fatte oggetto di scherno, e dall'altro evidenzia la necessità di una tutela dell'identità personale rispetto alle nuove tecnologie.

Può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

è in grado di chiarire se esista nell'UE un sistema, e nel caso quale, per registrare e rendere nota all'intera rete doganale europea la denuncia di smarrimento o furto di documenti di identità personali, quando la persona che ha subito lo smarrimento o trafugamento faccia tale denuncia presso autorità preposte a raccoglierla?

Può indicare se vi sia una disciplina europea e/o internazionale, e nel caso quale, a tutela dell'identità individuale sui social network, per evitare che siano creati profili di persone realmente esistenti all'insaputa o contro la volontà di queste, come spesso avviene per finalità di scherno e dileggio, se non per compiere reati?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(22 maggio 2014)

1.

A livello dell'Unione europea esiste la banca dati del SIS II (333), che consente alle autorità nazionali competenti di trasmettere e consultare informazioni su documenti d'identità che possono essere stati rubati, sottratti o smarriti.

A livello internazionale, Interpol ospita la banca dati sui documenti di viaggio rubati e smarriti (Stolen and Lost Travel Documents, SLTD), che contiene informazioni sui passaporti di cui è stata segnalato lo smarrimento o il furto. I paesi membri di Interpol, tra i quali tutti gli Stati membri dell'UE, devono consultare tale banca dati prima di autorizzare i viaggiatori a entrare nei loro territori.

2.

Le disposizioni della direttiva sulla protezione dei dati e della direttiva sulla protezione della vita privata nel settore delle comunicazioni elettroniche (334), recepite dagli Stati membri, si applicano ai fornitori di reti sociali (social network providers, SNP), anche se stabiliti al di fuori dall'UE, purché ricorrano a strumenti situati nel territorio di uno Stato membro. Il trattamento di dati personali e le attività di commercializzazione di tali fornitori devono rispettare le norme previste dalle leggi nazionali che attuano entrambe le direttive, in particolare gli obblighi di comunicare agli utenti la loro identità, di dare informazioni ampie e chiare sulle finalità e sui diversi modi con cui intendono trattare i dati personali, di offrire impostazioni predefinite e informazioni orientate alla privacy e di mettere adeguatamente in guardia gli utenti sui rischi per la privacy derivanti dall'inserimento dei dati in rete.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002908/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Protection of personal identity

A number of different news reports have highlighted the current problem of the protection of personal identity and its recognition by the authorities for security purposes.

The case of the aircraft which has gone missing in the waters of the China Seas, carrying passengers with identities which differ from that certified on their passports, on the one hand poses the emerging problem of the increasing propagation on social network sites of false identities which, although corresponding to real people, are set up for the purposes of abuse, and on the other highlights the need for the protection of personal identity in the light of new technologies.

Can the Commission answer the following questions:

Can the Commission clarify whether a system exists in the EU (and if so what) to record and share knowledge among the European customs network as a whole on reports of the loss or theft of personal identity documents when victims of the latter have reported this event to the relevant authorities?

Can the Commission indicate whether European and/or international regulations exist (and if so what are they) to protect individual identities on social network sites and prevent the creation of profiles of real people without their knowledge or against their will, as frequently occurs for abusive purposes, if not to perpetrate crimes?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

1.

At EU level, there is the SIS II database (335) which allows competent national authorities to issue and consult information on identity documents that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.

At international level, Interpol hosts the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. It contains information on passports which have been reported lost or stolen. Interpol member countries, (including all EU Member States) are expected to consult this database before allowing travellers to enter their territory.

2.

The provisions of the Data Protection Directive and of the ePrivacy Directives, (336) as transposed by Member States, apply to social network providers (SNP) even if they are established outside the EU but make use of equipment situated on the territory of a Member State. Processing of personal data and marketing activity by SNP must comply with the rules laid down in national laws transposing both Directives in particular the obligations to inform users of their identity, provide comprehensive and clear information about the purposes and different ways in which they intend to process personal data, offer privacy-friendly default settings and information and adequate warning about privacy risks when users upload data onto the networks.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002909/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Distacchi transnazionali e dumping sociale

Dal 2010 al 2011, secondo dati UE, con la regola del distacco sono arrivati in Italia 10 mila lavoratori dalla Romania, oltre 800 dalla Bulgaria e più di 14 mila da Lituania, Lettonia, Polonia e Slovenia. Con questa forma di distacco non vengono versati contributi all'Italia, ma ai paesi di provenienza. Si tratta di un ulteriore danno allo Stato italiano, con conseguente aumento della disoccupazione nel settore del trasporto. Il distacco transnazionale è consentito da una direttiva comunitaria nell'ambito della libera circolazione dei lavoratori e della prestazione dei servizi, che tuttavia impone la parità salariale con i lavoratori dei paesi ospitanti. Ma la mancata chiarezza interpretativa fa sì che agli autisti stranieri che operano sul territorio italiano vengano applicati solo i minimi tabellari e non le altre componenti salariali previste dal contratto collettivo nazionale di lavoro. Le imprese straniere che organizzano il trasporto merci in Italia non riconoscono le indennità di straordinario e quelle di trasferta, attuando un dumping senza precedenti. Molte sono imprese italiane che hanno delocalizzato nell'Est europeo. Il costo di un lavoratore straniero è di circa 2.000 euro mensili, mentre un lavoratore italiano ne costa 4.000. Nei paesi dell'Est, inoltre, non esiste tredicesima, quattordicesima e trattamento di fine rapporto. Le organizzazioni sindacali che denunciano questa situazione non intendono «cacciare» i lavoratori stranieri, ma auspicano che anch'essi debbano ricevere la stessa retribuzione dei lavoratori italiani.

Alla luce di quanto sopra, può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

è informata della situazione dei lavoratori stranieri distaccati in Italia?

Considera normale l'applicazione anomala dei distacchi transnazionali?

Ha competenza per controllare la corretta applicazione del distacco internazionale, così come è regolamentato dalla direttiva specifica?

Può eventualmente intervenire presso il governo italiano, o di altri paesi europei, nel caso in cui esista una situazione analoga nel settore dei trasporti, per attivare la clausola di salvaguardia per il cabotaggio e l'aumento dei controlli per la corretta applicazione della direttiva sui distacchi?

Non ritiene che l'esistenza di illegalità riferite al non rispetto dei contratti di lavoro, del codice della strada e delle regole fiscali contribuisca a diffondere sfiducia nella regolamentazione europea non applicata e non controllata come invece dovrebbe essere?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(5 maggio 2014)

1.

La Commissione non ritiene che i lavoratori distaccati in Italia abbiano maggiori probabilità di affrontare situazioni irregolari nelle loro condizioni di lavoro rispetto ai lavoratori distaccati altrove.

2.

Riconoscendo che vi sono carenze nel modo in cui la direttiva 96/71/CE (337) è attualmente attuata e applicata, la Commissione ha proposto (338) una direttiva di applicazione, provvisoriamente concordata dai colegislatori e votata dal Parlamento europeo il 15 aprile 2014. Essa dovrebbe contribuire a ridurre il numero e la gravità degli abusi.

3.-4. Il controllo delle condizioni di lavoro dei lavoratori distaccati e l'attuazione delle norme relative rientrano nella sfera di competenza degli Stati membri. Al fine di prevenire l'elusione delle norme e lottare contro gli abusi, la proposta direttiva di applicazione, tra l'altro, prevede disposizioni sulla portata delle misure nazionali di controllo e sui criteri qualitativi relativi alla natura temporanea del distacco e all'esistenza di un effettivo collegamento tra il datore di lavoro e lo Stato membro di invio. Le richieste di attivare la clausola di salvaguardia nell'ambito dell'articolo 10 del regolamento (CE) n. 1072/2009 (339) possono essere inviate alla Commissione in caso di grave perturbazione del mercato dei trasporti nazionali dovuta all'attività di cabotaggio o aggravata da tale attività. Nessuno Stato membro ha informato la Commissione in merito a tale situazione.

5.

In generale, solo accordi collettivi o lodi arbitrali dichiarati universalmente applicabili in conformità con la direttiva 96/71/CE possono essere imposti a fornitori esteri di servizi che distaccano lavoratori in uno Stato membro. La Commissione collabora strettamente con gli Stati membri al fine di migliorare la normative sui trasporti stradali, mediante note orientative sull'attuazione delle disposizioni sociali nel trasporto su strada, il finanziamento di progetti di formazione comune destinati ai funzionari che hanno il compito di far applicare le norme relative e una categorizzazione comune delle più gravi violazioni delle norme in materia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002909/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Transnational posting of workers and social dumping

According to EU figures, under the directive on the Posting of Workers, in 2010 and 2011 10 000 workers arrived in Italy from Romania, over 800 from Bulgaria and over 14 000 from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia. Under the posting of workers system, taxes are not paid to Italy, but to the country of origin, resulting in further loss of revenue for the Italian Government and an exacerbation of unemployment in the transport sector. Transnational posting is permitted under a Community Directive in the framework of freedom of movement for workers and freedom to provide services, regimes which however impose equality of pay with workers in the host States. However, unclear interpretation of the directive means that foreign drivers working on Italian territory receive the basic pay only and not any other salary components provided for under the Italian national collective agreement. Foreign companies which commission freight transport to Italy do not pay overtime or subsistence allowances, hence engaging in dumping on an unprecedented scale. Many such companies are Italian entities which have relocated to Eastern Europe. In approximate terms, a foreign worker costs EUR 2 000 per month and an Italian worker EUR 4 000. In addition, in Eastern European countries the year-end bonus, holiday bonus and severance payment do not exist. Trade unions which criticise this situation do not intend to ‘drive out’ foreign workers, but merely want them to receive the same remuneration as Italian workers.

In the light of the above, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of the situation of foreign workers posted to Italy?

Does it consider the anomalous implementation of transnational posting regulations to be normal?

Does it have jurisdiction to exert controls over the proper implementation of the directive on transnational posting?

Can the Commission take action vis-à-vis the Italian Government or the Governments of other European Member States in which an analogous situation exists in the transport sector, to implement the cabotage safeguard clause and heighten controls over the proper implementation of the Posting Directive?

Does the Commission not consider that the existence of illegal practices in terms of the breach of national collective agreements, road traffic and tax regulations are contributing to a spread of mistrust of European regulations which are not being implemented or enforced as they should?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 2014)

1.

The Commission does not consider that workers posted to Italy are more likely to encounter irregularities affecting their working conditions than those posted elsewhere.

2.

Recognising there are shortcomings in the way Directive 96/71/EC (340) is currently implemented and applied, the Commission proposed (341) an enforcement directive, which was provisionally agreed by the co-legislators, and voted by the Parliament on 15 April 2014. It should help to reduce the number and seriousness of abuses.

3 and 4. Monitoring posted workers’ working conditions and enforcing the rules are a Member State competence. To prevent circumvention of the rules and combat abuse, the proposed enforcement directive, inter alia, foresees provisions on the scope of national control measures and on qualitative criteria on the temporary nature of posting and the existence of a genuine link between the employer and the sending Member State. Requests to trigger the safeguard clause under Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 (342) may be referred to the Commission in the event of a serious disturbance of the national transport market due to, or aggravated by, cabotage. No Member State has made the Commission aware of such a situation.

5.

In general, only collective agreements or arbitration awards declared universally applicable in accordance with Directive 96/71/EC can be imposed on foreign service-providers posting workers to a Member State. The Commission works closely with Member States to better implement road transport legislation, through guidance notes on the implementation of social provisions in road transport, the funding of projects for common training of enforcement officers and a common categorisation of most serious infringements to road transport rules.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-002910/14

an die Kommission

Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE)

(12. März 2014)

Betrifft: Handel mit Altmetallen und Schrott sowie Neumetall in anderen EU-Ländern

Angesichts knapper Ressourcen gewinnen wiederverwertbare Rohstoffe immer mehr an Bedeutung für die Versorgung der Wirtschaft mit Rohstoffen. Der Handel mit Altmetallen und Schrott sowie Neumetallen erreicht in Deutschland ein Umsatzvolumen von 30 Milliarden EUR. Getragen wird dieses Volumen von 700 Unternehmen mit 25 000 Beschäftigten.

Die Unternehmen der Branche wurden in den zurückliegenden Jahren immer wieder mit Risiken aus Karussellgeschäften belastet. Der deutsche Metallhandel hat sich vor diesem Hintergrund für die Einführung von Reverse Charge (Steuerschuldumkehr) bei der Umsatzsteuer eingesetzt.

Die Branche steht jedoch im Wettbewerb mit Unternehmen aus anderen EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Hohe Relevanz haben daher für den deutschen Metallhandel bei der Durchführung von entsprechenden Umsätzen vergleichbare, zentrale Wettbewerbsbedingungen.

Im Hinblick auf die Gewährleistung von Wettbewerbsneutralität in der Europäischen Union stellen sich daher folgende Fragen

1.

Welche umsatzsteuerlichen Besteuerungsvorschriften bestehen in den einzelnen EU-Mitgliedstaaten bei der Besteuerung von Umsätzen (Erhebungsverfahren) aus dem

a. Handel mit Altmetall und Schrott sowie dem

b. Handel mit Neumetallen?

2.

Inwieweit und gegebenenfalls in welchen Mitgliedstaaten erfolgt die Besteuerung nach dem Reverse-Charge-Verfahren?

3.

Welche Steuersätze werden in den Mitgliedstaaten der EU auf Umsätze im Handel mit

a. Altmetall und Schrott sowie mit

b. Neumetall

erhoben?

Antwort von Herrn Šemeta im Namen der Kommission

(10. April 2014)

Im Einklang mit Artikel 199 Absatz 1 Buchstabe d der Mehrwertsteuerrichtlinie 2006/112/EG können die Mitgliedstaaten eine Umkehrung der Steuerschuldnerschaft (Reverse-Charge-Verfahren) auf Lieferungen von in Anhang VI dieser Richtlinie aufgeführtem Altmetall und Metallschrott anwenden. In Bezug auf andere Metalle kann das Reverse-Charge-Verfahren seit dem 15. August 2013 gemäß den Bedingungen des Artikels 199a Absatz 1 Buchstabe j der Mehrwertsteuerrichtlinie auch auf Lieferungen von Rohmetallen und Metallhalberzeugnissen einschließlich Edelmetalle angewendet werden.

Gemäß Artikel 199 Absatz 4 bzw. Artikel 199a Absatz 2 der Mehrwertsteuerrichtlinie sind die Mitgliedstaaten verpflichtet, den Mehrwertsteuerausschuss über die Anwendung jeder dieser Optionen zu unterrichten.

Eine Auflistung der Mitgliedstaaten, die die Anwendung des Reverse-Charge-Verfahrens in diesem Bereich gemeldet haben, ist auf folgender Website der Kommission abrufbar:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/vat/key_documents/vat_committee/notifications.pdf

Andere Mitgliedstaaten, die von dieser Möglichkeit nicht Gebrauch gemacht haben, erheben die Mehrwertsteuer auf Umsätze über das reguläre System, bei dem der Lieferant seinem Kunden die Mehrwertsteuer in Rechnung stellt und diese nach Abzug seiner Vorsteuer an die Steuerverwaltung abgeführt.

Grundsätzlich ist bei Lieferungen von Metallen der Mehrwertsteuerregelsatz anzuwenden. Ein Überblick über die geltenden Mehrwertsteuersätze in den verschiedenen Mitgliedstaaten ist auf folgender Website der Kommission abrufbar:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/rates/vat_rates_de.pdf

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002910/14

to the Commission

Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE)

(12 March 2014)

Subject: Trade in used, scrap and new metal in other EU countries

In the face of scarce resources, recyclable raw materials are playing an increasingly important role in supplying the economy. In Germany, the trade in used, scrap and new metals has a turnover of EUR 30 billion, involving 700 undertakings and providing 25 000 jobs.

In recent years, undertakings in this sector have repeatedly had to cope with risks arising from carousel transactions. German metal dealers have therefore called for turnover tax to be made subject to a reverse charge procedure.

However, the sector is competing with undertakings from other EU Member States. German metal dealers therefore attach great importance to comparable, central competitive conditions in relation to turnover.

In the interests of guaranteeing a level playing field in the European Union, the following questions arise:

1.

What national rules apply in the EU Member States in relation to the procedure for collecting tax on turnover from the trade in:

used and scrap metal and

new metals?

2.

To what extent and in which Member States is the reverse charge procedure applied?

3.

What tax rates are applied in the EU Member States to turnover from the trade in

(a)

used and scrap metal and

(b)

new metal?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

In accordance with point (d) of Article 199(1) of the VAT Directive 2006/112/EC, Member States may apply the reverse charge mechanism to supplies of used and scrap metal as set out in Annex VI of that directive. As regards other metals, there is the possibility since 15 August 2013 to apply the reverse charge mechanism to supplies of raw and semi-finished metals, including precious metals, under the conditions of point (j) of Article 199(1)a of the VAT Directive.

When applying any of these options, Member States are obliged to inform the VAT Committee in accordance with Article 199(4) or Article 199a(2) of