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Document JOC_2014_405_R_0001

Questions écrites par les membres du Parlement européen avec les réponses données par l'institution européenne concernée

OJ C 405, 14.11.2014, p. 1–284 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

14.11.2014   

FR

Journal officiel de l'Union européenne

C 405/1


http://www.europarl.europa.eu/QP-WEB
QUESTIONS ÉCRITES AVEC RÉPONSE

Questions écrites par les membres du Parlement européen avec les réponses données par l'institution européenne concernée

(2014/C 405/01)

Sommaire

E-004870/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Asylum

Verżjoni Maltija 13
English version 14

E-005483/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Asylum

Verżjoni Maltija 13
English version 14

E-004872/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Assistance to the Aral Sea region

Verżjoni Maltija 15
English version 16

E-004873/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: China-EU — People-to-people exchange

Verżjoni Maltija 17
English version 18

E-004874/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Mobile health

Verżjoni Maltija 19
English version 20

E-004875/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Neighbourhood policies

Verżjoni Maltija 21
English version 22

E-004877/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Hiring of students

Verżjoni Maltija 23
English version 24

E-004878/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Awareness of investment options

Verżjoni Maltija 25
English version 26

E-004879/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Roma populations

Verżjoni Maltija 27
English version 28

E-004880/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Resource productivity

Verżjoni Maltija 29
English version 30

E-004881/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Bologna process

Verżjoni Maltija 31
English version 32

E-004883/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Mobile health

Verżjoni Maltija 33
English version 34

E-004884/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: State debt

Version française 35
English version 36

E-004885/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: Human rights in Bahrain

Version française 37
English version 38

E-004886/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: Brazil — the World Cup and human rights

Version française 39
English version 40

E-004887/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: Commissioner for Enlargement and his stance on Turkey

Version française 41
English version 42

E-004888/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Anti-terrorism law in Egypt

Version française 43
English version 44

E-004890/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: VP/HP — Human rights at risk in Algeria

Version française 45
English version 46

E-004891/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Deficiencies in the Chinese justice system

Version française 47
English version 48

E-004892/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: European Parliament's right to initiate legislation

Version française 49
English version 50

E-004893/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: EU-US agreement: contradiction concerning standards

Version française 51
English version 52

E-004894/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: EU-US agreement: protection of investors

Version française 53
English version 54

E-004895/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: EU-US agreement: contradiction concerning impact assessment

Version française 55
English version 56

E-004896/14 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Sport fishing and storage of fish stock in the Bosco di Dueville (Vicenza) special protection area

Versione italiana 57
English version 58

P-004898/14 by Eva Joly to the Commission

Subject: Publication of EU development aid performance assessments

Version française 59
English version 60

E-004899/14 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Systematic US attacks on Cuba's Etecsa telecommunications service: spying and illegal storage of data by social networks created by USAID

Versión española 61
English version 62

E-004900/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Rise of new technologies

Versión española 63
English version 64

E-004901/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Inequality between men and women

Versión española 65
English version 66

E-004902/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Importance of urban areas in EU decision-making

Versión española 67
English version 68

E-004903/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Protection of children's rights

Versión española 69
English version 70

E-004904/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: The human tragedy of illegal immigration

Versión española 71
English version 72

E-004905/14 by Salvador Sedó i Alabart to the Commission

Subject: Belonging to Europe

Versión española 73
English version 74

E-004906/14 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: EU cohesion funding for the fitting-out of hospitals

Deutsche Fassung 75
English version 76

E-004907/14 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: Allegations of corruption in Turkey

Deutsche Fassung 77
English version 78

E-004908/14 by Kriton Arsenis to the Commission

Subject: Failure to pay the agreed compensation to redundant ERT employees

Ελληνική έκδοση 79
English version 80

E-004909/14 by Kriton Arsenis to the Commission

Subject: The privatisation of Thessaloniki, Chania and Skiathos Airports is in breach of Regulation 1083/2006

Ελληνική έκδοση 81
English version 82

E-004910/14 by Kriton Arsenis to the Commission

Subject: Air services for remote and island areas endangered by regional airport privatisation

Ελληνική έκδοση 83
English version 84

E-004911/14 by Sophocles Sophocleous to the Commission

Subject: Direct trade with the occupied territories

Ελληνική έκδοση 85
English version 86

E-004912/14 by Richard Howitt to the Commission

Subject: EU support for women with autism

English version 87

E-004914/14 by Richard Howitt to the Commission

Subject: ‘Mission for Growth to Israel’: expansion of bilateral cooperation

English version 88

E-004915/14 by Alojz Peterle to the Commission

Subject: Marketing authorisation of homeopathic medicinal products (‘Cyprus clause’)

Slovenska različica 89
English version 90

E-004916/14 by Marietje Schaake to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — New terrorism laws in Saudi Arabia

Nederlandse versie 91
English version 92

E-004917/14 by Dubravka Šuica to the Commission

Subject: Croatian representatives in the Serbian National Assembly

Hrvatska verzija 93
English version 94

E-004918/14 by Cristiana Muscardini and Niccolò Rinaldi to the Commission

Subject: Binational marriages and rights

Versione italiana 95
English version 96

E-004929/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: WEEE reuse and recycling

English version 97

E-004931/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Rights for air passengers in case of flight delays

English version 98

E-004932/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Funding for Olive Tree Programme

English version 99

E-004933/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Validity of national ID cards

English version 100

E-004934/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Eurostar ticket prices

English version 101

E-004935/14 by Syed Kamall to the Commission

Subject: Operation of Greek tax authorities

English version 102

E-004936/14 by Barbara Matera to the Commission

Subject: Violence against children in schools

Versione italiana 103
English version 104

E-004937/14 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: Myrrha project at SCK-CEN Research Centre

Nederlandse versie 105
English version 107

E-004938/14 by Bastiaan Belder to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Report by NGO Monitor: ‘Evaluating Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: EIDHR’

Nederlandse versie 109
English version 110

E-004939/14 by Glenis Willmott to the Commission

Subject: Food poverty

English version 111

E-004940/14 by Jean-Pierre Audy to the Commission

Subject: Excessively stringent provisions regulating ‘e-cigarettes’

Version française 112
English version 113

P-004941/14 by Bastiaan Belder to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — European Court of Auditors report on direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority and Parliament's discharge resolution

Nederlandse versie 114
English version 115

P-004942/14 by Franco Frigo to the Commission

Subject: Study grants for medical specialisations

Versione italiana 116
English version 117

P-004943/14 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: Consultation by the Commission on ISDS

Nederlandse versie 118
English version 119

P-004944/14 by Peter Jahr to the Commission

Subject: Use of sewage sludge to fertilise farmland

Deutsche Fassung 120
English version 121

P-004945/14 by Cornelia Ernst to the Commission

Subject: Structural Fund monies for Roma in Hungary

Deutsche Fassung 122
English version 123

P-004946/14 by Janusz Wojciechowski to the Commission

Subject: European funding to help tackle canine rabies in Romania

Wersja polska 124
English version 125

E-004947/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Discrepancies between Agreement N.4219/2013 and Commission Decision C(2013)9253 final/13.12.2013

Ελληνική έκδοση 126
English version 127

E-004948/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Tax avoidance by Greek nationals in Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 128
English version 129

E-004949/14 by Nikolaos Chountis to the Commission

Subject: Relations between the European Union and the European Patent Office

Ελληνική έκδοση 130
English version 131

E-004951/14 by Mario Borghezio to the Commission

Subject: EU funding of the NGO of Erdogan's daughter

Versione italiana 132
English version 133

E-004952/14 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: European Health Insurance Card

Versione italiana 134
English version 135

E-004953/14 by Lara Comi to the Commission

Subject: Application of Directive 2011/24/EU

Versione italiana 136
English version 137

E-004954/14 by Barbara Matera to the Commission

Subject: Unequal treatment of workers before the law

Versione italiana 138
English version 139

E-004955/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: European funding for the Ponte degli Alpini Bridge in Bassano del Grappa

Versione italiana 140
English version 141

E-004956/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Indian political party candidates have criminal records

Versione italiana 142
English version 143

E-004957/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: The RU486 abortion pill

Versione italiana 144
English version 145

E-004958/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: The scandal of thalidomide and justice for the European survivors

Versione italiana 146
English version 147

E-004959/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: EU/Morocco Agreement: seriously damaging to Italian agriculture

Versione italiana 148
English version 149

E-004960/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Pakistani women abducted, raped and forced to convert to Islam

Versione italiana 150
English version 151

E-004961/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Child poverty in Europe

Versione italiana 152
English version 153

E-004962/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Concerns of Italian seaside businesses

Versione italiana 154
English version 155

E-004963/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Large number of test tubes containing the SARS virus gone missing in Paris

Versione italiana 156
English version 157

E-004964/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Difficult situation for workers in Indian tanneries

Versione italiana 158
English version 159

E-004965/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Treatment of waste in Europe

Versione italiana 160
English version 161

E-004966/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Use of bisphenol A in food packaging in Europe: update

Versione italiana 162
English version 163

E-004967/14 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: Action following the second shutdown of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power units

Nederlandse versie 164
English version 165

E-004968/14 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: Stray dogs in Romania

Nederlandse versie 166
English version 167

P-004969/14 by Aldo Patriciello to the Commission

Subject: Discrimination: the Cesare Lombroso museum in Italy

Versione italiana 168
English version 169

P-005022/14 by Christian Engström to the Commission

Subject: National legislation on the Data Retention Directive

Svensk version 170
English version 171

E-005023/14 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Audit of the Castor project and the Aarhus Convention

Versión española 172
English version 173

E-005025/14 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Exceptional measures to prevent disturbance on the market for citrus fruits

Versión española 174
English version 175

E-005026/14 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: Solar panels

Dansk udgave 176
English version 177

E-005028/14 by Barbara Lochbihler to the Commission

Subject: Human rights violations against the Batwa in Uganda

Deutsche Fassung 178
English version 179

E-005029/14 by Ingeborg Gräßle to the Commission

Subject: Follow-up to Questions E-009713/2013, E-012597/2013 and E-012598/2013

Deutsche Fassung 180
English version 181

E-005030/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Benzene poisoning

Verżjoni Maltija 182
English version 183

E-005031/14 by Robert Sturdy to the Commission

Subject: Fundamental rights of citizens in Greece

English version 184

E-005039/14 by Monica Luisa Macovei to the Commission

Subject: Political arrests in Azerbaijan

Versiunea în limba română 185
English version 186

E-005040/14 by Monica Luisa Macovei to the Commission

Subject: Violence against women in Somalia

Versiunea în limba română 187
English version 188

E-005041/14 by Michèle Rivasi and Karima Delli to the Commission

Subject: Protection of underground railway workers from air pollution at their workplace

Version française 189
English version 190

E-005042/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Animals in planes

Versione italiana 191
English version 192

E-005043/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Biomass-fired power plant at Enego (Vicenza)

Versione italiana 193
English version 194

E-005044/14 by Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Inter-force cooperation in Veneto against crime of East European origin

Versione italiana 195
English version 196

E-005045/14 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

Subject: Euthanasia in children

Versione italiana 197
English version 198

E-005046/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Counterfeiting and unsealed goods

Versione italiana 199
English version 200

E-005047/14 by Cristiana Muscardini and Niccolò Rinaldi to the Commission

Subject: Transparency and education about corruption

Versione italiana 201
English version 202

E-005048/14 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: European aftermarket in spare parts/Eurodesign

Nederlandse versie 203
English version 204

E-005049/14 by Kathleen Van Brempt to the Commission

Subject: Food fraud involving deep-frozen fish

Nederlandse versie 205
English version 206

E-005050/14 by Mitro Repo to the Commission

Subject: Corporate social responsibility of European businesses operating in third countries

Suomenkielinen versio 207
English version 208

P-005051/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land and forests in Lithuania by EU or EEA citizens

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 209
English version 210

E-005052/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Trafficking in human beings

Verżjoni Maltija 211
English version 212

E-005053/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Wildlife trafficking

Verżjoni Maltija 213
English version 214

E-005054/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Undeclared work

Verżjoni Maltija 215
English version 216

E-005055/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Air travel security

Verżjoni Maltija 217
English version 218

E-005056/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Corruption and fraud

Verżjoni Maltija 219
English version 220

E-005057/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Rights of the child

Verżjoni Maltija 221
English version 222

E-005058/14 by Roberta Metsola to the Commission

Subject: Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund for the 2014-2020 period

Verżjoni Maltija 223
English version 224

E-005060/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: GMO and the Commission

Version française 225
English version 226

E-005061/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Council

Subject: Disappearance of the Council

Version française 227
English version 228

E-005062/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: A European Unified Patent Court faced with a twin-track court system

Version française 229
English version 231

E-005064/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Injunctions on invalid patents

Version française 229
English version 231

E-005065/14 by Marc Tarabella to the Commission

Subject: Abuse of a dominant position by patent trolls in a dual system of jurisdiction

Version française 229
English version 231

E-005067/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: TTIP

Version française 233
English version 234

E-005068/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: Abduction of 100 secondary schoolgirls

Version française 235
English version 236

E-005069/14 by Marc Tarabella and Jean Louis Cottigny to the Commission

Subject: Planting rights

Version française 237
English version 238

E-005070/14 by Matteo Salvini to the Commission

Subject: Measures to protect European citizens from infection with the Ebola virus

Versione italiana 239
English version 240

E-005071/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Fire Safety Regulation in Europe

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 241
English version 242

E-005072/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: European support for acquisition of sustainable transport

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 243
English version 244

E-005074/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Allocation of funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 245
English version 246

E-005075/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Green infrastructure policy

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 247
English version 248

E-005076/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: The Conventions on Third Party Liability and the International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 249
English version 252

E-005077/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Scope of the directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 249
English version 252

E-005078/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: The procedures of payment of compensation from the International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 250
English version 253

E-005079/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Special European fund that would supplement the International Funds for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 250
English version 253

E-005080/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Reduction of administrative and regulatory burden for businesses

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 255
English version 256

E-005081/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Financing Programme for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 257
English version 258

E-005082/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: VAT rules

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 259
English version 260

E-005083/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Reports on the Implementation of Small Business Act

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 261
English version 262

E-005084/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Education and teaching initiatives

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 263
English version 264

E-005085/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Use of Lightweight Plastic Bags

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 265
English version 267

E-005086/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Reduction of Use of Lightweight Plastic Bags

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 265
English version 267

E-005087/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Compulsory pricing mechanism for lightweight plastic bags

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 266
English version 268

E-005088/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Overall EU approach to rheumatic, muscle and skeletal system diseases

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 269
English version 271

E-005090/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Rheumatic, Muscle and Skeletal System Diseases

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 269
English version 271

E-005089/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Quality of Life of Patients Suffering from Rheumatic, Muscle and Skeletal System Diseases

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 273
English version 274

E-005091/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Examinations, Diagnosis and Treatment of Rheumatic, Muscle and Skeletal System Diseases

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 275
English version 276

E-005092/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Environmental Performance of the Inland Waterways Transport Fleet

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 277
English version 278

E-005093/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Financing Measures for the Inland Waterways Transport Sector

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 279
English version 280

E-005094/14 by Juozas Imbrasas to the Commission

Subject: Strategic Plan for the Inland Waterways Transport Sector

Tekstas lietuvių kalba 281
English version 282

P-005099/14 by Jan Philipp Albrecht to the Commission

Subject: Post CJEU data retention decision: TFTP and PNR

Deutsche Fassung 283
English version 284

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004870/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Asil

Matul is-sena l-oħra kważi 435 000 persuna applikaw għal asil. Il-Kummissjoni tista’ tagħti l-perċentwali fuq bażi per capita tal-popolazzjoni fl-Istati Membri fejn intalab l-asil?

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005483/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(24 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Asil

Matul is-sena l-oħra kważi 435 000 persuna applikaw għal asil. Il-Kummissjoni tista’ tagħti l-perċentwali fuq bażi per capita tal-popolazzjoni fl-Istati Membri fejn intalab l-asil?

Tweġiba konġunta mogħtija mis-Sinjura Malmström f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(23 ta' Mejju 2014)

Id-dejta ta' bażi għall-kalkoli mitluba mill-Onorevoli Membru jistgħu jinkisbu minn fuq il-websajt tal-Eurostat: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/ fit-taqsima ddedikata għall-istatistika dwar il-popolazzjoni. B'mod aktar speċifiku, hawnhekk wieħed jista' jsib l-informazzjoni dwar l-għadd ta' applikanti għall-asil għal kull Stat Membru kif ukoll informazzjoni dwar il-popolazzjoni għal kull Stat Membru. Il-mehmuż jinkludi l-istatistika kkalkolata abbażi ta' din id-dejta.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004870/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Asylum

Almost 435 000 people applied for asylum last year. Could the Commission give percentages on a per capita basis of the population in the Member States where asylum has been requested?

Question for written answer E-005483/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(24 April 2014)

Subject: Asylum

Almost 435 000 people applied for asylum last year. Could the Commission give percentages on a per capita basis of the population in the Member States where asylum has been requested?

Joint answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2014)

The baseline data for the calculations requested by the Honourable Member can be retrieved from the Eurostat website: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/ in the section devoted to the population statistics. More specifically, information on the number of asylum applications per Member State can be found here and information on the population per Member State. The attachment contains the statistics calculated on the basis of these data.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004872/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Assistenza lir-reġjun tal-Baħar Aral

Il-Kummissjoni taħseb li l-UE qiegħda tagħmel biżżejjed biex tgħin tirrimedja d-diżastru ekoloġiku, dak tas-saħħa u dak ekonomiku fir-reġjun tal-Baħar Aral?

Tweġiba mogħtija mir-Rappreżentant Għoli/Viċi President Ashton f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(17 ta' Ġunju 2014)

L-UE għamlet sforzi konsiderevoli biex tgħin biex titranġa s-sitwazzjoni diżastruza tal-Baħar Aral matul dawn l-aħħar 15-il sena, b’mod partikolari billi tippromwovi riforma f’ħames pajjiżi tar-reġjun, inkluż it-tisħiħ tal-leġiżlazzjoni dwar l-ilma, l-ippjanar strateġiku, l-użu ta’ strumenti ekonomiċi għal politiki dwar l-ilma u l-immaniġġar integrat tar-riżorsi tal-ilma.

L-UE talloka riżorsi sinifikanti biex tappoġġja l-kooperazzjoni reġjonali dwar l-ilma għall-Asja Ċentrali. Żewġ komponenti ta’ dan il-programm jindirizzaw speċifikament il-problemi tal-Baħar Aral:

Il-Pjattaforma CA tal-UE — għall-Ilma u l-Ambjent fejn il-Fond Internazzjonali għall-Baħar Aral (IFAS) huwa benefiċjarju ewlieni. Waħda mill-attivitajiet tal-IFAS hija li ssaħħaħ il-kooperazzjoni għall-mitigazzjoni ta' u l-adattament għall-bidla fil-klima, kif ukoll il-koordinazzjoni ma' donaturi oħrajn;

Sħubija dwar il-ġestjoni tal-ilma u l-organizzazzjonijiet tal-baċir fl-Asja Ċentrali, li l-attivitajiet tagħhom jinkludu t-tisħiħ istituzzjonali u l-bini tal-kapaċità tal-organizzazzjoni tal-baċir tax-xmara biex tappoġġja l-iżvilupp u l-implimentazzjoni tal-Pjanijiet ta’ Mmaniġġjar tal-Baċin tax-xmara, u t-tisħiħ ta’ strutturi ta’ ġestjoni tal-ilma interstatali tal-Kummissjoni Internazzjonali għall-Koordinazzjoni tal-ilma tal-Asja Ċentrali.

L-UE għamlet sforzi sostanzjali biex tistabbilizza l-parti tat-Tramuntana tal-baċir tal-Baħar Aral. Is-sitwazzjoni sfortunatament hija irriversibbli, minħabba l-kawżi strutturali tan-nixfa tal-Baħar Aral aggravata mill-impatt tat-tibdil fil-klima.

Hija r-responsabbilità tal-Istati kkonċernati biex titranġa s-sitwazzjoni; l-għajnuna tal-UE tista’ biss tinkoraġġixxi l-pajjiżi biex jadottaw il-miżuri xierqa. Kooperazzjoni reġjonali aktar xierqa dwar il-kwistjoni tippermetti t-twaqqif ta’ degradazzjoni tas-sitwazzjoni.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004872/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Assistance to the Aral Sea region

Does the Commission think that the EU is doing enough to help remedy the ecological, health and economic disaster in the Aral Sea region?

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

(17 June 2014)

The EU has made considerable efforts to help remediate the disastrous situation in the Aral Sea during the last 15 years, in particular by promoting reform in five countries of the region, including strengthening water legislation, strategic planning, use of economic instruments for water policies and integrated water resource management.

The EU allocates significant resources to support regional water cooperation to Central Asia. Two components of this programme specifically address the problems of the Aral Sea:

The EU — CA Platform for Water and Environment where the International Fund for the Aral Sea (IFAS) is a major beneficiary. One of the activities of the IFAS is to reinforce cooperation for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, as well as coordination with other donors;

A partnership on water management and basin organisations in Central Asia, whose activities include institutional strengthening and capacity building of the river basin organisation to support development and implementation of the River Basin Management Plans, and the strengthening of inter-state water management structures of the International Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia.

The EU has undertaken substantial efforts to stabilise the northern part of the Aral Sea Basin. The situation is unfortunately irreversible, given the structural causes for the drying out of the Aral Sea compounded by the impact of climate change.

To remediate to situation is a responsibility of the concerned states; EU assistance can only encourage the countries to adopt the appropriate measures. More appropriate regional cooperation on the matter would enable arresting degradation of the situation.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004873/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Iċ-Ċina u l-UE — Skambju bejn in-nies

Fi ħdan il-qafas tal-mekkaniżmu ta' skambju bejn in-nies ta' livell għoli bejn iċ-Ċina u l-UE, huwa magħruf li 500 organizzazzjoni taż-żgħażagħ kemm mill-UE kif ukoll miċ-Ċina pparteċipaw fid-djalogu u l-attivitajiet ta' skambju. Kemm hemm individwi li verament ibbenefikaw minn din l-iskema?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Vassiliou f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(4 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Id-diversi attivitajiet u azzjonijiet li ġew appoġġjati fl-2012 u l-2013 fil-qafas tal-“High-Level People-to-People Dialogue” fir-rigward taż-żgħażagħ — fosthom simpożji u proġetti ta' kooperazzjoni li involvew liż-żgħażagħ jew lil professjonisti attivi fis-settur taż-żgħażagħ — involvew b'mod dirett madwar 3 500 ruħ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004873/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: China-EU — People-to-people exchange

Within the framework of the China‐EU high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism, it is known that 500 youth organisations from both the EU and China have participated in the dialogue and exchange activities. How many individuals have actually benefited from this scheme?

(Version française)

Les diverses activités et actions soutenues en 2012 et 2013 dans le cadre du «High-Level People-to-People Dialogue» et concernant la jeunesse — comme des symposiums ou des projets de coopération impliquant des jeunes ou des professionnels actifs dans le secteur de la jeunesse — ont directement impliqué environ 3 500 personnes.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004874/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Is-saħħa mobbli

Kemm huwa għaqli li jiġi ppubblikat dokument ta' diskussjoni dwar is-saħħa mobbli fi tmiem il-leġiżlatura, meta ntemmu s-sessjonijiet tal-Parlament u l-MPE huma impenjati bil-kampanji elettorali?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Kroes f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(10 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Billi l-mHealth (is-saħħa mobbli) huwa qasam li qed jiżviluppa b'ritmu mgħaġġel, huwa importanti li nvaraw azzjonijiet kemm jista' jkun malajr.

Għaldaqstant, sakemm jibdew ħidmithom il-Kulleġġ il-ġdid u l-Parlament Ewropew il-ġdid, l-aqwa użu tal-ħin ikun li nikkonsultaw lill-partijiet interessati, nanalizzaw it-tweġibiet, u nħejju proposti ta' politika potenzjali.

Il-Kummissjoni u l-Parlament Ewropew il-ġodda se jiddeċiedu u se jkunu involuti bis-sħiħ fil-passi potenzjali li ġejjin.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004874/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Mobile health

How sensible is it to publish a consultation paper regarding mobile health at the end of the legislature, when Parliament sessions are over and MEPs are busy campaigning?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

As mHealth is a fast developing domain, it is important to launch actions as soon as possible.

Therefore, the time until the new College/EP will be put in place is optimally used for consulting the stakeholders, analysing the responses and preparing potential policy proposals.

The new Commission/European Parliament will decide and be fully involved, on the potential next steps.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004875/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Il-politiki tal-viċinat

Il-politika tal-viċinat tal-Unjoni Ewropea tirreferi għal 16-il pajjiż. 25 % ta' dawn il-pajjiżi ma qablux dwar pjanijiet ta' azzjoni mal-UE fir-rigward ta' passi biex itejbu l-istat tad-dritt u d-demokrazija. Dan x'impatt għandu fuq il-futur tal-politiki tal-viċinat?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Füle f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(11 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Kif issemmi b'mod korrett il-Membru Onorarju, erbgħa minn 16-il pajjiż tal-Viċinat Ewropew attwalment mhumiex koperti mill-Pjanijiet ta' Azzjoni tal-PEV, jiġifieri l-Alġerija, il-Belarus, il-Libja, u s-Sirja.

Permezz tal-politika Ewropea tal-Viċinat (PEV), l-UE toffri lill-ġirien tagħha relazzjoni privileġġata, li tibni fuq impenn reċiproku għal valuri komuni (id-demokrazija u d-drittijiet tal-bniedem, l-istat tad-dritt, il-governanza tajba, il-prinċipji tal-ekonomija tas-suq u l-iżvilupp sostenibbli).

Għalhekk, il-livell ta' ambizzjoni tar-relazzjoni skont il-PEV jiddependi fuq kemm dawn il-valuri huma kondiviżi. Peress li l-PEV hija prinċipalment politika bilaterali, il-fatt li 4 pajjiżi tal-viċinat tal-UE attwalment ma għandhomx Pjan ta' Azzjoni miftiehem la jaffettwa b'mod negattiv fuq il-validità jew il-funzjonament tal-politika bħala tali, u lanqas ma jipprekludi li, fil-futur, Pjanijiet ta' Azzjoni jistgħu jiġu miftiehma wkoll ma' xi wħud minn dawn il-pajjiżi msieħba.

Fil-fatt, l-UE u l-Alġerija, diġà magħqudin bi Ftehim ta' Assoċjazzjoni (FA), attwalment qed jinnegozjaw Pjan ta' Azzjoni futur. Flimkien mal-Belarus, l-UE tibqa' impenjata lejn politika ta' involviment kritiku, inkluż permezz ta' kooperazzjoni fid-direzzjoni multilaterali tas-Sħubija tal-Lvant. F'dak li għandu x'jaqsam mal-Libja, l-UE se tibqa' tfittex li tniedi mill-ġdid negozjati għal ftehim komprensiv li jinnormalizza r-relazzjonijiet f'qafas ġuridiku ta' benefiċċju reċiproku. Flimkien mas-Sirja, b'reazzjoni għall-kriżi attwali, negozjati dwar Ftehim ta' Assoċjazzjoni ġew iffriżati f'Mejju 2011, filwaqt li programmi ta' kooperazzjoni bilaterali skont il-Politika Ewropea tal-Viċinat ġew sospiżi, anki jekk appoġġ jibqa' jiġi pprovdut lill-popolazzjoni Sirjana affettwata mill-kriżi permezz tal-fondi tal-ENI.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004875/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Neighbourhood policies

The European Union neighbourhood policy refers to 16 countries. 25% of these countries have not agreed action plans with the EU on steps to improve the rule of law and democracy. What impact does this have on the future of neighbourhood policies?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

As the Honourary Member rightly points out, 4 of 16 European Neighbourhood countries are currently not covered by ENP Action Plans, namely Algeria, Belarus, Libya, and Syria.

Through the European Neighbourhood policy (ENP), the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development).

The level of ambition of the relationship under the ENP therefore depends on the extent to which these values are shared. The ENP being a chiefly bilateral policy, the fact that 4 countries of the EU's neighbourhood do not currently have an agreed Action Plan neither impacts negatively on the validity or functioning of the policy as such, nor does it preclude that, in the future, Action Plans may also be agreed with some of these partner countries.

In fact, the EU and Algeria, already linked by an Association Agreement (AA), are currently negotiating a future Action Plan. With Belarus, the EU remains committed to a policy of critical engagement, including through cooperation in the multilateral track of the Eastern Partnership. As concerns Libya, the EU will continue to seek to re-launch negotiations for a comprehensive agreement which will normalise relations in a mutually beneficial legal framework. With Syria, in response to the current crisis, negotiations on an Association Agreement were frozen in May 2011, while bilateral cooperation programmes under the European Neighbourhood Policy have been suspended, even if support keeps being provided to the Syrian population affected by the crisis through ENI funds.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004877/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Ir-reklutaġġ tal-istudenti

Numru ta' stħarriġ riċenti dwar l-impjegaturi juri li l-korrelazzjoni bejn il-kontenut tal-lawrja u l-ispeċifikazzjoni tal-impjieg għadha fattur fit-teħid ta' deċiżjoni li jiġi rreklutat xi ħadd. Dan huwa konformi mal-viżjoni tal-Kummissjoni ta' kif se jiġu rreklutati l-istudenti fil-futur?

Tweġiba mogħtija tas-Sur Andor f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(24 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Skont riċerka li saret bl-appoġġ tal-Kummissjoni, sabiex it-tranżizzjoni mill-iskola għad-dinja tax-xogħol tkun ta' suċċess, trid tiġi ffaċilitata minn livell tajjeb ta' kwalifiki (1), minn sistemi ta' apprentistat li jkunu żviluppati sew, (2) minn swieq tax-xogħol li jkunu inqas frammentati u minn għażliet infurmati dwar il-qasam ta' studju (3).

Id-deċiżjonijiet marbutin mar-reklutaġġ qed ikunu bbażati dejjem aktar fuq il-ħiliet tal-applikanti, u jiġu appoġġati minn tqabbil awtomatiku bejn il-ħiliet ta' min qed ifittex ix-xogħol u r-rekwiżiti tal-offerti tax-xogħol u kulma jmur qed jintużaw aktar għodod ibbażati fuq l-internet. Biex tappoġġa t-tqabbil ibbażat fuq il-ħiliet, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea bħalissa qed tiżviluppa l-ESCO (4), klassifikazzjoni multilingwi ta’ Ħiliet, Kompetenzi, Kwalifiki u Impjiegi Ewropej, li tikkategorizza u torbot flimkien il-ħiliet u l-kompetenzi, il-kwalifiki u l-okkupazzjonijiet rilevanti għas-suq tax-xogħol tal-UE u l-edukazzjoni u t-taħriġ fi 22 lingwa Ewropea. Bl-introduzzjoni ta’ terminoloġija standard, din il-klassifikazzjoni għandha l-għan li ttejjeb it-trasparenza tal-kwalifiki u ttejjeb it-tqabbil tal-impjiegi madwar l-Istati Membri, biex b’hekk tippermetti allinjament aħjar tal-edukazzjoni mal-ħtiġijiet tas-suq tax-xogħol.

Riċerka kwalitattiva, li tinkludi studju riċenti mwettaq minn esperti indipendenti fuq talba tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea (5) tenfasizza li fir-reklutaġġ għal karigi għall-gradwati fil-livell tad-dħul, l-għarfien speċifiku huwa tabilħaqq l-iktar fattur kruċjali, filwaqt li l-ħiliet interpersonali (li juru l-abbiltà li dak li jkun jaħdem f’tim u jikkomunika u jikkoopera b’mod effettiv ma’ diversi kollegi u klijenti) huma kważi tal-istess importanza, u l-“orjentazzjoni internazzjonali” ħafna drabi kienet ikkunsidrata bħala l-fattur li jxaqleb id-deċiżjoni lejn ir-reklutaġġ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004877/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Hiring of students

Recent employer surveys show that the correlation between degree content and job specification is still a decisive factor in making the decision to hire. Is this in line with the Commission’s vision of how students will be hired in the future?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(24 June 2014)

According to research supported by the Commission, the successful transition from school to work is facilitated by a good level of qualification (6), by well-developed apprenticeship systems, (7) by less segmented labour markets and by informed choices of the field of study (8).

Hiring decisions are increasingly based on the skills of applicants, and are supported by automated matching between the skills of the jobseeker and the requirements of vacancies and increasingly using web-based tools. To support skills-based matching, the European Commission is currently developing ESCO (9), a multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations, which categorises and links skills and competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training in 22 European languages. By introducing a standard terminology, it aims to improve transparency of qualifications and enhance job matching across Member States, thus enabling the better alignment of education to labour market needs.

Qualitative research, including a recent study carried out by independent experts at the request of the European Commission (10) underlines that when choosing new recruits for entry-level graduate positions specific knowledge is indeed the most crucial factor, with interpersonal skills (demonstrating the ability to work in a team and communicate and cooperate effectively with diverse colleagues and clients) viewed as almost as important, and ‘international orientation’ was often found to be a tipping factor in the decision to hire.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004878/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Sensibilizzazzjoni dwar għażliet ta' investiment

Il-Parlament u l-Kunsill kienu qablu dwar sensibilizzazzjoni akbar fost iċ-ċittadini fir-rigward ta' għażliet ta' investiment.

X'azzjonijiet għandha l-ħsieb li tieħu l-Kummissjoni biex tqajjem sensibilizzazzjoni dwar il-kwistjoni?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Barnier f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(10 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Bir-Regolament propost dwar Dokumenti bit-Tagħrif Ewlieni għal Prodotti ta' Investiment għall-Konsumaturi Aggregat u bbażati fuq l-Assigurazzjoni (11), li ġie adottat mill-Parlament fil-15 ta' April 2014, se jkun hemm dokument ta' informazzjoni uniku li se jipprovdi lill-investituri potenzjali b'informazzjoni dwar varjetà wiesgħa ta' opportunitajiet ta' investiment li huma disponibbli għall-komunità tal-konsumaturi.

Ir-regolament ikopri l-prodotti ta' investiment ibbażati fuq l-assigurazzjoni, prodotti ta' investiment strutturati maħruġa minn banek u skemi ta' investiment kollettiv (fondi ta' investiment) offruti mis-settur tal-immaniġġar ta' assi.

L-għan prinċipali wara d-dokument bit-tagħrif ewlieni (KID) huwa li joffri preżentazzjoni uniformi li turi b'mod ċar l-opportunitajiet u r-riskji assoċjati ma' din il-varjetà wiesgħa ta' prodotti ta' investiment. Ir-Regolament huwa mfassal biex l-investituri fil-livell tal-konsum ikollhom dokument uniku li jippermettilhom li jqabblu l-proposti ta' investiment differenti li huma disponibbli għalihom, jew mill-konsulent finanzjarju tagħhom jew fuq l-internet.

L-awtoritajiet ta' superviżjoni Ewropej huma fdati bl-iżvilupp ta' standards tekniċi regolatorji (RTS) li se jistabbilixxu r-rekwiżiti dettaljati fuq il-format u l-preżentazzjoni tal-KID. Ir-rekwiżit propost fuq il-format u l-preżentazzjoni se jkun soġġett għall-ittestjar tal-konsumatur. Ladarba dawn l-RTSs jiġu adottati mill-Kummissjoni, il-KID jidħol fis-seħħ.

Barra minn hekk, il-Kummissjoni hija involuta fi proġett ta' taħriġ immirat għal entitajiet mingħajr skop ta' qligħ fl-Istati Membri li jipprovdi pariri finanzjarji ġenerali lill-konsumaturi, sabiex tittejjeb il-kapaċità ta' dawn l-entitajiet li jipprovdu servizz aħjar lill-konsumaturi. Iktar minn 400 parteċipant li jirrappreżentaw madwar 300 entità mingħajr skop ta' qligħ ġew imħarrġa f'27 Stat Membru.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004878/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Awareness of investment options

Parliament and the Council have agreed on how to improve awareness among citizens regarding investment options.

What actions does the Commission intend to take to raise awareness on the matter?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

With the proposed Regulation on Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (12), which was adopted by the Parliament on 15 April 2014, there will be a single information document that will provide potential investors with information about a broad range of investment opportunities that are available to the retail community.

The regulation covers insurance-based investment products, structured investment products issued by banks and collective investment schemes (investment funds) offered by the asset management sector.

The principal aim behind the key information document (KID) is to offer a uniform presentation that clearly spells out the opportunities and risks associated with this broad range of investment products. The regulation is designed so that retail investors will have a single document allowing them to compare the different investment proposals that are available to them, either by their financial advisor or on the Internet.

The European supervisory authorities are entrusted with the development of regulatory technical standards (RTS) that will set out detailed requirements on format and presentation of the KID. The proposed requirement on format and presentation will be subject to consumer testing. Once these RTS are adopted by the Commission, the KID will enter into application.

In addition, the Commission is involved in a training project targeting non-profit entities in Member States that provide general financial advice to consumers, in order to improve the capacity of these entities to provide better service to consumers. More than 400 participants representing approximately 300 non-profit entities have been trained in 27 Member States.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004879/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Il-popolazzjonijiet tar-Roma

Fl-2013 il-Kummissjoni għamlet rakkomandazzjoni speċifika għall-pajjiż għall-ħames Stati Membri li għandhom il-popolazzjonijiet tar-Roma l-aktar imdaqqsa.

Ir-rapport ta’ din is-sena se jistabbilixxi kemm l-awtoritajiet nazzjonali segwew dawn ir-rakkomandazzjonijet. Liema azzjoni hija prevista jekk il-pajjiż/pajjiżi kkonċernati ma rrispettawx dawn ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Reding f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(17 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni tipproponi Rakkomandazzjonijiet speċifiċi għall-pajjiż (CSRs) għal Stati Membri fil-qafas tal-proċess ta' Ewropa 2020 (is-semestru Ewropew). Fis-snin li għaddew, CSRs li jirreferu speċifikament għar-Roma kienu saru għal ħames Stati Membri. Bħal fil-programmi appoġġati mill-Fond Soċjali Ewropew, l-Istati Membri jappoġġaw interventi li jgħinu l-ikbar valur miżjud fir-rigward tal-objettivi tal-Ewropa 2020, il-Kummissjoni tista' titlob Stat Membru jagħmel rieżami u jemenda l-Ftehim ta' Sħubija u Programmi Operazzjonali rilevanti jekk meħtieġ sabiex tiġi appoġġata l-implimentazzjoni tas-CSRs.

Wara l-adozzjoni tal-Qafas tal-UE għall-istrateġiji nazzjonali għall-integrazzjoni tar-Roma (13), il-Kummissjoni tivvaluta l-progress f'kull Stat Membru u tippubblika rapport kull sena (14). Dan ir-rapport jenfasizza l-konklużjonijiet mill-valutazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni, li jindikaw l-oqsma li jinsabu lura u approċċi possibbli biex jimxu “l quddiem. L-implimentazzjoni ta” dawn ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet hija segwita mill-Kummissjoni permezz ta' laqgħat bilaterali mal-awtoritajiet nazzjonali.

Fl-aħħar nett, f'Diċembru li għadda, il-Kunsill adotta Rakkomandazzjoni (15), l-ewwel strument legali adottat dwar l-integrazzjoni tar-Roma fuq livell tal-UE. Hija tipprevedi valutazzjoni sal-1 ta' Jannar 2019 dwar kif din ir-Rakkomandazzjoni tkun ġiet segwita, u aġġornament possibbli jekk meħtieġ.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004879/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Roma populations

In 2013 the Commission made country-specific recommendations for the five Member States which have the most sizeable Roma populations.

This year’s report will set out to what extent national authorities have followed these recommendations. What action is envisaged should the country/countries in question not have adhered to the recommendations?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

The Commission proposes Country specific recommendations (CSRs) to Member States in the frame of the Europe 2020 process (European semester). In the past years, CSRs specifically referring to Roma were made for five Member States. As in the programmes supported by the European Social Fund, Member States shall support interventions that bring the greatest added value in relation to the Europe 2020 objectives, the Commission may request a Member State to review and amend its Partnership Agreement and relevant Operational Programmes if necessary in order to support the CSRs' implementation.

Following the adoption of the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies (16), the Commission assesses progress in each Member State and publishes a report every year (17). This report highlights the conclusions from the Commission's assessment, indicating the areas lagging behind and possible approaches to move forward. The implementation of these recommendations is followed up by the Commission via bilateral meetings with the national authorities.

Finally, last December, the Council adopted a recommendation (18), the first ever legal instrument adopted on Roma integration at EU level. It foresees an assessment by 1st January 2019 of how this recommendation has been followed-up, and a possible update if necessary.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004880/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Il-produttività tar-riżorsi

Panel ta' esperti, politikanti u mexxejja tan-negozji msejħa mill-Kummissjoni ta l-parir li l-UE tista' tirdoppja l-produttività tar-riżorsi sal-2030.

Kemm hu realistiku li wieħed jagħmel previżjonijiet bħal dawn għat-terminu twil meta kien hemm nuqqas ta' qbil serju dwar ir-rakkomandazzjoni finali?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Potočnik f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(11 ta' Ġunju 2014)

L-għan ta’ din il-Pjattaforma Ewropea għall-Użu Effiċjenti tar-Riżorsi huwa li tipprovdi gwida ta’ livell għoli għall-Kummissjoni Ewropea, l-Istati Membri u l-atturi privati dwar it-tranżizzjoni lejn ekonomija aktar effiċjenti fl-użu tar-riżorsi. Il-membri tagħha inklużi Kummissarji Ewropej, Membri tal-Parlament Ewropew, ministri, uffiċjali kapijiet eżekuttivi tan-negozju, akkademiċi u rappreżentanti ta’ NGOs u s-soċjetà ċivili. Fil-31 ta’ Marzu 2014, il-Pjattaforma Ewropea għall-Użu Effiċjenti tar-Riżorsi talbet unanimament lill-UE biex “tiżgura mill-inqas id-doppju tal-produttività tar-riżorsi meta mqabbla mat-tendenza ta’ qabel il-kriżi, ekwivalenti għal żieda ta’ aktar minn 30% sal-2030” fuq il-bażi li din il-mira kienet realistika, iżda ambizzjuża.

L-analiżi li saret għas-servizzi tal-Kummissjoni (19) tikkonferma li ż-żieda fil-produttività materjali mistennija sal-2030 se tkun ta’ madwar 15% mingħajr ma tittieħed azzjoni ulterjuri. Dan huwa ekwivalenti għal żieda fil-produttività materjali bl-istess rata osservata bejn l-2001 u l-2011. Skont l-analiżi, l-irduppjar ta’ din ir-rata se jipprovdi spinta sostanzjali għall-PDG, bir-riżultat ta’ valur miżjud ogħla għall-inputs materjali. Id-dispożizzjoni ta’ mira ta’ apirazzjoni għall-produttività materjali għandha tipprovdi sinjal politiku ċar għall-Istati Membri biex jistabbilixxu l-qafas ta’ politika meħtieġ u jħeġġu l-investimenti meħtieġa biex jiksbu dawn il-benefiċċji fl-oqsma fejn il-benefiċċji ekonomiċi u ambjentali jistgħu jkun l-akbar. Din il-mira tkun tista’ tikkomplementa u tappoġġa l-mira ewlenija eżistenti tal-Istrateġija Ewropa 2020.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004880/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Resource productivity

A panel of experts, politicians and business leaders convened by the Commission has advised that the EU could double resource productivity by 2030.

How realistic is it to make such long‐term forecasts when there has been serious disagreement on the final recommendation?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

The objective of the European Resource Efficiency Platform is to provide high-level guidance to the European Commission, Members States and private actors on the transition to a more resource-efficient economy. Its members included European Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament, ministers, business CEOs, academia and representatives of NGOs and civil society. On 31 March 2014, the European Resource Efficiency Platform unanimously called upon the EU ‘to secure at least a doubling of resource productivity as compared with the pre-crisis trend, equivalent to an increase of well over 30% by 2030’ on the basis that such a target was realistic but ambitious.

The analysis undertaken for the Commission services (20) confirms that the expected improvement in Material Productivity by 2030 will be around 15% without further action. This would equate to continuing at the same rate of improvement in material productivity observed between 2001 and 2011. According to the analysis, doubling this rate would provide an important boost to GDP, resulting in higher added value for material inputs. Providing an aspirational target for material productivity would provide a clear policy signal for Member States to establish the necessary policy framework and encourage the investments needed to achieve these benefits in areas where the economic and environmental benefits would be the greatest. Such a target would complement and support the existing headline target of the Europe2020 strategy.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004881/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Il-proċess ta' Bologna

Intwera li 59 % tal-unions tal-istudenti ma jipparteċipawx fil-proċess usa' ta' ristrutturar tal-edukazzjoni minħabba nuqqas ta' għarfien dwar l-implimentazzjoni tal-proċess ta' Bologna. X'jista' jsir biex jiġi indirizzat dan in-nuqqas ta' għarfien?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Vassiliou f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(6 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni tqis il-parteċipazzjoni u l-involviment tal-partijiet interessati rilevanti, inklużi l-istudenti, fil-governanza tal-edukazzjoni għolja bħala prerekwiżit għall-implimentazzjoni soda u b'suċċess tar-riformi fil-qafas tal-Proċess ta' Bologna. L-Unjoni tal-Istudenti Ewropej, li tirrappreżenta l-interessi tal-unjoni tal-istudenti fil-livell Ewropew u li ilha membru konsultattiv tal-Proċess ta' Bologna mill-2001, tiżvolġi rwol attiv fin-negozjati fi ħdan il-Grupp ta' Segwiment ta' Bologna. Ir-rappreżentanti tal-istudenti jipparteċipaw ukoll fid-diversi gruppi ta' ħidma ta' Bologna.

Il-Kummissjoni appoġġjat ukoll ir-rappreżentazzjoni tal-istudenti fil-proċess ta' Bologna permezz ta' dak li kien il-Programm għat-Tagħlim tul il-Ħajja, eż. permezz tal-proġett “Insaħħu l-Kontribut tal-Istudenti għall-Proċess ta' Bologna” (21), u bil-promozzjoni tal-parteċipazzjoni tal-istudenti fi ħdan il-Gruppi Esperti ta' Bologna u l-Gruppi ta' Riforma tal-Edukazzjoni Għolja fil-livell nazzjonali (22).

B'mod parallel għar-Rapport ta' Implimentazzjoni tal-Proċess ta' Bologna, li jitħejja għal kull Konferenza Ministerjali, l-Unjoni tal-Istudenti Ewropej tippubblika l-fuljett “Bologna with Student Eyes”. Il-verżjoni tal-2012 ta' din il-pubblikazzjoni tħejjiet għall-Konferenza ta' Bucharest, u kkontribwiet għad-diskussjoni tal-Ministri. Ir-rapport kien iffinanzjat parzjalment mill-Kummissjoni.

Il-Kummissjoni se tkompli tappoġġja l-konsultazzjoni kollha tal-partijiet interessati rilevanti, inklużi r-rappreżentanti tal-istudenti, fl-iżviluppi futuri tal-Proċess ta' Bologna.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004881/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Bologna process

It has been shown that 59% of students’ unions do not participate in the broader process of restructuring education due to a lack of knowledge on the implementation of the Bologna process. What can be done to address this lack of knowledge?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

The Commission sees participation and involvement of relevant stakeholders, including students, in the governance of higher education as a prerequisite for the successful and sound implementation of the reforms under the Bologna Process. The European Students Union, which represents the interests of student unions at European level and which has been a consultative member of the Bologna process since 2001, plays an active role in the negotiations within the Bologna Follow-up Group. Student representatives also participate in the various Bologna working groups.

The Commission has also supported student representation in the Bologna process through the former Lifelong Learning Programme, e.g. through the project ‘Enhancing the Student Contribution to Bologna’ (23) and by promoting students' participation within the Bologna Expert Groups and Higher Education Reform Groups at national level (24).

Parallel to the Implementation Report of the Bologna Process that is prepared for each Ministerial Conference, the European Student Union publishes ‘Bologna with Student Eyes’. The 2012 version of this publication was prepared for the Bucharest Conference and contributed to the discussion of Ministers. The report was part-funded by the Commission.

The Commission will continue to support the full consultation of relevant stakeholders, including student representatives in future developments of the Bologna Process.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-004883/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Is-saħħa mobbli

Il-ġimgħa d-dieħla l-Kummissjoni se tippubblika dokument ta' konsultazzjoni dwar is-saħħa mobbli. Liema miżuri qed jiġu proposti rigward il-kunfidenzjalità?

Tweġiba mogħtija tas-Sinjura Kroes f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(22 ta' Mejju 2014)

Il-Green Paper dwar is-Saħħa mobbli (mHealth), adottata fl-10 ta’ April 2014, nediet konsultazzjoni fejn titlob lill-partijiet interessati jagħtu l-opinjoni tagħhom dwar kwistjonijiet u ostakli marbuta mal-użu tas-saħħa mobbli. Il-konsultazzjoni se tkun miftuħa għall-partijiet kollha interessati u ċ-ċittadini għal perjodu ta’ 12-il ġimgħa, sat-3 ta’ Lulju 2014 (25).

Ir-reazzjonijiet li jaslu se jgħinu biex jiġi identifikat x'għandu jsir fil-livell tal-UE biex jiġi sfruttat il-potenzjal sħiħ tas-saħħa mobbli. Peress li l-pass li jmiss jiddependi fuq ir-riżultat tal-konsultazzjoni, l-ebda azzjoni għadha ma tista' tiġi prevista.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004883/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Mobile health

Next week the Commission will publish a consultation paper on mobile healthcare. What measures are being proposed regarding confidentiality?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The Green Paper on mHealth, adopted on 10th April 2014, launched a consultation, asking stakeholders for their views on issues and barriers related to mHealth deployment. The consultation will be open to all interested parties and citizens for a period of 12 weeks, until 3rd July 2014 (26).

The responses received will help identify the way forward at EU level in order to unlock mHealth full potential. As the next steps depend on the outcome of the consultation, no actions can be predicted yet.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004884/14

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Endettement des États

L'article 123 du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne (ex‐article 101 TCE) stipule que:

«1. Il est interdit à la Banque centrale européenne et aux banques centrales des États membres, ci-après dénommées “banques centrales nationales”, d'accorder des découverts ou tout autre type de crédit aux institutions, organes ou organismes de l'Union, aux administrations centrales, aux autorités régionales ou locales, aux autres autorités publiques, aux autres organismes ou entreprises publics des États membres; l'acquisition directe, auprès d'eux, par la Banque centrale européenne ou les banques centrales nationales, des instruments de leur dette est également interdite».

Les États signataires s'interdisent donc de se financer directement à un taux autour de zéro auprès de leur banque centrale ou de la BCE. Ils sont obligés de s'adresser aux banques privées, qui leur proposent les taux qu'elles décident tout en se finançant actuellement elles‐mêmes à un taux quasi nul auprès de la BCE.

1.

Étant donné l'endettement des États européens, ne serait-il pas judicieux que les États puissent emprunter à la BCE. Qu'en pensez-vous?

2.

Pouvons-nous réformer cet article?

Réponse donnée par M. Rehn au nom de la Commission

(13 juin 2014)

L'interdiction du financement monétaire est l'un des piliers de l'union monétaire européenne (UEM) et vise à encourager une bonne gestion des finances publiques et à éviter les interférences négatives avec l'objectif principal de la politique monétaire, à savoir la stabilité des prix.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004884/14

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: State debt

Article 123 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly Article 101 of the Treaty establishing the European Community) stipulates the following:

‘1. Overdraft facilities or any other type of credit facility with the European Central Bank or with the central banks of the Member States (hereinafter referred to as “national central banks”) in favour of Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of Member States shall be prohibited, as shall the purchase directly from them by the European Central Bank or national central banks of debt instruments.’

Signatory States are thus not allowed to obtain funding directly from the ECB or from their own central banks at rates close to 0%. Instead, they are forced to turn to private banks, which charge them whatever rate they like, even though these banks themselves can borrow money from the ECB for next to nothing.

1.

Given the high levels of State debt in the EU, would it not be more prudent to allow Member States to borrow directly from the ECB?

2.

Could Article 123 be revised?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The prohibition of monetary financing is one of the pillars of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and aims at encouraging a sound management of public finances and at avoiding negative interferences with the primary target of monetary policy, namely price stability.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004885/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Droits de l'homme à Bahreïn

Lors d'une manifestation antigouvernementale à Manama, le 23 juillet 2012, deux adolescents de 15 ans, Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman et Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al Moqdad, ont été arrêtés. Tous deux ont déclaré avoir été forcés de signer des aveux, en l'absence d'un avocat. Ils ont été jugés par un tribunal pour adultes et ont été condamnés à 10 ans de prison en avril 2013. Leurs familles n'ont pas été autorisées à accéder à la salle d'audience pour entendre le verdict.

Cette condamnation a été confirmée en appel en septembre 2013.

Au vue de cette situation, Bahreïn viole les engagements qu'il a pris lors de la signature d'adhésion le 13 août 1992 de la Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant.

1.

Quelle est la position de l'Union européenne face à cette situation?

2.

Pouvez-vous exiger que ces enfants soient envoyés devant un tribunal pour mineurs?

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

(11 juin 2014)

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a connaissance de l'affaire invoquée par l'Honorable Parlementaire. La délégation de l'Union européenne à Riyad (accréditée auprès du Royaume de Bahreïn) surveille de près la situation dans le pays et restera en contact avec les autorités pour plaider en faveur des Droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales au titre des engagements internationaux du Bahreïn et conformément aux recommandations formulées par la commission d'enquête indépendante de Bahreïn, et par le processus d'examen périodique universel des Nations unies.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004885/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Human rights in Bahrain

At an anti-government demonstration in Manama on 23 July 2012, two 15-year-old boys, Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman and Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al Moqdad, were arrested. Both of them claimed to have been forced to sign confessions, with no lawyer present. They were tried by an adult court and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in April 2013. Their families were not allowed to enter the courtroom to hear the verdict.

This sentence was upheld on appeal in September 2013.

Bahrain is thus in breach of the commitments it made on 13 August 1992 when it signed its accession to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1.

What is the EU’s position on this case?

2.

Can the Commission demand that these children be sent for trial before a juvenile court?

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

(11 June 2014)

The HR/VP is aware of the case referred to by the Honourable MEPs. The EU Delegation in Riyadh (accredited to the Kingdom of Bahrain) closely follows the situation in the country and will continue to liaise with its authorities to advocate for the respect of Human Rights and fundamental freedom as per Bahrain's international commitments and as per the recommendations set out by the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry, and by the UN Universal Periodic Review process.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004886/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Brésil — Coupe du monde et droit humain

La liberté d'expression et le droit de réunion pacifique sont menacés au Brésil.

Un certain nombre de propositions de lois «antiterroristes» draconiennes, actuellement devant le Parlement, témoignent de l'intention des autorités d'écraser toute manifestation, même pacifique, dans le pays. Plusieurs organisations ont constaté:

de nouvelles propositions de lois relatives au «terrorisme» et aux «troubles» qui mettent à mal la liberté d'expression et le droit de réunion pacifique au Brésil;

une utilisation excessive de la force par la police lors des manifestations cette dernière année;

l'occupation de favelas de Rio de Janeiro par des forces militaires et de police, ce qui suscite des interrogations quant à un recours excessif à la force et au contrôle des communautés par l'armée;

un mépris total envers les droits humains lors des expulsions opérées à Rio de Janeiro pour les chantiers de la Coupe du monde et des Jeux olympiques de 2016.

Quelles vont être ses actions concrètes sur le sujet?

1.

Comment la Commission réagit-elle?

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

(5 juin 2014)

Le dialogue et la coopération en matière de Droits de l'homme sont des éléments importants des relations UE-Brésil. Durant le dialogue de haut niveau sur les Droits de l'homme entre l'UE et le Brésil qui s'est tenu à Brasilia le 25 avril, le suivi en matière de Droits de l'homme lors d'événements majeurs figurait parmi les points traités. Un échange de vues a eu lieu sur les manifestations et la violence policière potentielle, notamment la violence et les décès qui se sont récemment produits dans les favelas de Rio de Janeiro. L'UE a exprimé ses inquiétudes au sujet de la législation brésilienne nouvellement proposée, qui est susceptible de mettre en danger le droit à la liberté d'expression et de réunion pacifique. De même, l'UE a fait part de ses fortes craintes à l'égard de la brutalité policière lors des réunions bilatérales avec les autorités policières brésiliennes. L'UE continuera à suivre de près l'évolution de la situation, maintiendra le dialogue sur le respect et la promotion des Droits de l'homme dans nos sociétés et interpellera les autorités brésiliennes lorsque cela sera utile pour appuyer les mesures en faveur des Droits de l'homme.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004886/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Brazil — the World Cup and human rights

In Brazil, freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are under threat.

A number of draconian ‘anti-terror’ bills currently before Parliament demonstrate the authorities' intention to crush all demonstrations, even peaceful ones.

According to a number of organisations:

proposed new legislation on ‘terrorism’ and ‘unrest’ undermines the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly in Brazil;

the police have used excessive force during demonstrations over the past year;

the occupation of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro by the military and the police raises questions about the excessive use of force and control of communities by the army;

evictions in Rio to clear sites for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics were carried out with complete disdain for human rights.

1.

What is the Commission’s reaction?

2.

What specific action will it take with regard to these matters?

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

(5 June 2014)

Dialogue and cooperation on Human Rights are important elements of EU-Brazil relations. During the high-level EU-Brazil Human Rights Dialogue held in Brasilia on 25th April, Human Rights monitoring in major events figured among the agenda items. There was an exchange of views on questions of demonstrations and potential police violence, including the recent violence and deaths in the Rio de Janeiro favelas. The EU expressed its concern about the newly proposed Brazilian legislation that could potentially put the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly at risk. Similarly the EU expressed its serious concerns about police brutality at the bilateral meetings with Brazilian police authorities. The EU will continue to monitor developments closely, continue the dialogue on respect and promotion of human rights in our societies and call on Brazilian authorities where this can be useful to support human rights measures.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004887/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Positionnement du commissaire européen à l'élargissement

Le commissaire européen à l'élargissement a critiqué ce jeudi 10 avril les mesures gouvernementales des derniers mois, en disant qu'elles avaient créé des doutes quant à l'engagement de la Turquie envers l'Europe.

1.

Le Commissaire parlait-il en son nom?

2.

Quelles sont les craintes de la Commission?

Réponse donnée par M. Füle au nom de la Commission

(10 juin 2014)

Le 10 avril 2014, le commissaire Füle s'est exprimé devant la commission parlementaire mixte UE-Turquie en sa qualité de commissaire chargé de l'élargissement et de la politique européenne de voisinage, et au nom de la Commission européenne.

Le commissaire a déclaré que les événements en Turquie au cours des trois derniers mois jettent le doute quant à l'engagement de la Turquie à l'égard des valeurs et normes européenne. Les préoccupations de la Commission portent notamment sur les modifications législatives relatives au Haut conseil des juges et des procureurs, et à l'internet.

En outre, le commissaire a exprimé l'espoir que la Turquie relance des réformes qui la rapprocheraient de l'Union européenne. Soulignant par ailleurs que la Commission soutient fermement, et a toujours soutenu, le processus d'intégration de la Turquie à l'Union européenne, il a également formulé des suggestions concrètes sur la manière de renforcer la coopération dans le domaine de l'État de droit.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004887/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Commissioner for Enlargement and his stance on Turkey

On Thursday, 10 April 2014 the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Štefan Füle, criticised the actions of the Turkish Government in recent months, arguing that they call Turkey's commitment to Europe into question.

1.

Was Mr Füle speaking on behalf of the Commission?

2.

What exactly are the Commission's concerns?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

On 10 April 2014, Commissioner Füle addressed the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee in his capacity as Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and on behalf of the European Commission.

The Commissioner said that events in Turkey over the past three months cast doubt on Turkey's commitment to European values and standards. The Commission's concerns include legislative changes regarding the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors and the Internet.

At the same time the Commissioner expressed hope that Turkey would fully re-engage in reforms which would bring the country closer to the European Union. Commissioner Füle also stressed that the Commission is, and has always been, a strong promoter of Turkey's European Union integration process and he made concrete suggestions on how cooperation in the rule of law area could be enhanced.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004888/14

à la Commission (Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante)

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: VP/HR — Loi antiterroriste

Deux propositions de loi soumises le 3 avril à Adly Mansour, le président par intérim, et susceptibles d'être promulguées à tout moment, accorderaient aux autorités égyptiennes des pouvoirs accrus pour restreindre la liberté d'expression et emprisonner opposants et dissidents.

Ces propositions de loi profondément déficientes pourraient faire l'objet d'une utilisation abusive parce qu'elles donnent une définition de plus en plus large et vague du terrorisme.

Ces textes portent par ailleurs atteinte à la liberté d'expression, affaiblissent les garanties contre la torture et la détention arbitraire, et étendent le champ d'application de la peine de mort.

1.

Partagez-vous notre avis sur ces nouvelles lois antiterroristes devant être promulguées par le président égyptien et présentant de graves failles? Ne doivent-elles pas selon vous être abandonnées ou révisées en profondeur?

2.

N'y a-t-il pas danger pour le respect des Droits de l'homme?

3.

Quelle est votre réaction?

Réponse donnée par MmeAshton, Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante, au nom de la Commission

(3 juillet 2014)

L'Union européenne suit, attentivement et avec une inquiétude grandissante, la situation des Droits de l'homme en Égypte, y compris la législation antiterroriste, qui pourrait être utilisée pour faciliter davantage la répression à l'encontre des opposants et des dissidents, un point qui a d'ailleurs fait l'objet d'une mise en garde du représentant spécial de l'Union pour les Droits de l'homme lors de sa visite en Égypte au mois de février.

Entretemps, les deux projets de lois antiterroristes ont été renvoyés par le président par intérim, M. Mansour, pour être soumis à débat public et obtenir l'aval des forces sociales et politiques avant leur promulgation.

Dans les conclusions du Conseil du 10 février 2014, les ministres des affaires étrangères, tout en condamnant avec la plus grande fermeté les actes de terrorisme dans leur ensemble, se déclarent également préoccupés par la détérioration de la situation des Droits de l'homme, en particulier pour l'opposition politique, les militants et les journalistes. Ces conclusions indiquent en outre que «la liberté d'expression, de réunion et de manifestation pacifique doit être préservée».

Dans sa déclaration du 5 juin 2014 sur les élections présidentielles en Égypte, l'UE a demandé une nouvelle fois «que les autorités égyptiennes permettent aux journalistes d'agir librement; qu'elles garantissent la liberté de manifestation pacifique, notamment en modifiant la loi sur le droit de manifester, qu'elles lancent des enquêtes indépendantes et crédibles sur les violences qui ont été perpétrées depuis le 30 juin 2013; qu'elles assurent le droit des défendeurs à un procès équitable et engagé dans des délais raisonnables sur la base d'accusations claires; qu'elles assurent des conditions humaines de détention, conformément au droit international et aux normes internationales; qu'elles réexaminent les nombreuses peines de mort prononcées contre des opposants politiques lors de procès de masse et qu'elles respectent la légalité».

La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a exprimé ses craintes au sujet des menaces qui pèsent sur les Droits de l'homme à travers de nombreuses déclarations ainsi que lors de rencontres avec ses homologues égyptiens, dont la dernière fois au cours de sa visite en Égypte à la mi-avril.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004888/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Anti-terrorism law in Egypt

Two bills submitted on 3 April 2014 to Adly Mansour, the acting President of Egypt, which could be passed into law at any time, would give the Egyptian authorities increased powers to restrict freedom of expression and imprison opponents and dissidents.

These bills, which are profoundly flawed, are susceptible to abuse, as they give an ever broader and vaguer definition of ‘terrorism’.

They also infringe freedom of expression, weaken guarantees against torture and arbitrary detention, and extend the scope of the death penalty.

1.

Does the Vice-President/ High Representative agree with us that these new anti-terrorism bills due to be passed into law by the Egyptian President are seriously flawed? Does she not consider that they should be dropped or thoroughly revised?

2.

Do they not represent a danger to human rights?

3.

What is the Vice-President/ High Representative’s reaction to these bills?

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

(3 July 2014)

The European Union is following the human rights' situation in Egypt closely and with growing concern, including counter-terrorism legislation, which might be used to further facilitate repression of opposition and dissident, as also the EU Special Representative on Human Rights cautioned about during his visit to Egypt in February.

Meanwhile, the two draft laws on counter-terrorism have been sent back by interim President Mansour to be put up for public debate and obtain the endorsement from social and political forces before becoming promulgated.

In the Council Conclusions of 10 February 2014 the Foreign Ministers, while condemning in the strongest possible terms all acts of terrorism, also express concern over the deteriorating human rights situation, especially for political opposition, activists and journalists. The conclusions state further that ‘freedoms of expression, assembly and peaceful protest must be safeguarded’.

In its Declaration of 5 June 2014 on the presidential elections in Egypt, the EU reiterated its call on the Egyptian authorities ‘to allow journalists to operate freely; to ensure peaceful protest notably by amending the protest law, to launch independent and credible investigations into the violent events since 30 June 2013; to ensure the defendant's rights to a fair and timely trial based on clear charges; to ensure humane prison conditions in line with international law and standards; to review the numerous death sentences imposed on political opponents in mass trials and to respect due process’.

The HR/VP expressed her concern on the worrying human rights' situation in numerous statements, as well as in meetings with Egyptian counterparts, lastly during her visit to Egypt in mid-April.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004890/14

à la Commission (Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante)

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: VP/HR — Droits de l'homme en danger en Algérie

La répression menée en cette période préélectorale révèle des «failles béantes» dans le bilan des Droits de l'homme en Algérie:

la liberté d'expression, d'association et de réunion est menacée, le droit de manifester est restreint, une chaîne de télévision privée a été interdite d'antenne et les ONG sont dans le flou juridique;

les groupes internationaux de défense des Droits de l'homme et spécialistes de ces droits aux Nations unies ne sont pas les bienvenus;

les syndicats indépendants sont harcelés sur fond de tensions sociales et de manifestations contre le chômage;

le droit ne protège pas les femmes contre les violences liées au genre, ni les suspects contre la torture;

rien n'est fait pour lutter contre l'impunité généralisée;

les restrictions croissantes à la liberté d'expression imposées en cette période préélectorale en Algérie font apparaître des failles choquantes dans le bilan global des Droits de l'homme dans le pays.

Que compte‐t‐elle faire? Quelles vont être les actions menées?

Des rencontres sur ce sujet spécifique sont-elles prévues?

1.

Quelle est la réaction et l'analyse de la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante?

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

(11 juin 2014)

Les relations entre l'Algérie et l'Union européenne reposent sur l'accord d'association signé en 2005. Dans le cadre de cet accord, et dans le contexte de la politique européenne de voisinage (PEV), les deux parties se rencontrent régulièrement pour assurer le suivi de leurs engagements et discuter de toute une série de questions, et notamment de points relatifs aux Droits de l'homme. Par ailleurs, l'Union européenne et l'Algérie négocient actuellement un plan d'action dans lequel elles s'accordent sur leurs tâches mutuelles. D'autres réunions de haut niveau sont programmées courant 2014. Les deux parties y aborderont certainement les questions soulevées par les Honorables Parlementaires.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004890/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HP — Human rights at risk in Algeria

The repression which is being perpetrated in the run-up to the Algerian presidential elections reveals yawning cracks in Algeria’s human rights record:

freedom of expression, association and assembly is threatened, the right to demonstrate has been restricted, a private TV channel has been banned from broadcasting and NGOs are operating in an atmosphere of legal uncertainty;

international human rights defence groups and UN human rights specialists are not welcome in Algeria;

independent trade unions are being harassed against a background of social tension and demonstrations against unemployment;

the law does not protect women from gender-based violence, nor suspects from torture;

nothing is being done to combat the widespread culture of impunity;

the growing restrictions on the freedom of expression in this pre-electoral period in Algeria reveal shocking cracks in the country’s overall human rights record.

1.

What is the Vice-President/High Representative's analysis of this situation and what is her reaction?

2.

What does she propose to do? What measures will be taken?

3.

Are there any plans for meetings specifically on this subject?

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

(11 June 2014)

Relations between Algeria and the European Union are based on the Association Agreement, signed in 2005. In this framework, and in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the two parties meet regularly to follow-up on their commitments and discuss a wide range of issues, including human right issues. The EU and Algeria are likewise engaged in the negotiation of an Action Plan, in which both sides agree on mutual deliverables. Moreover, additional high-level meetings are scheduled to take place during 2014, in which both sides will undoubtedly tackle the issues raised by the Honorable Members.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004891/14

à la Commission (Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante)

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: VP/HR — Justice chinoise en panne

La décision de la cour chinoise de rejeter l'appel interjeté par l'éminent militant Xu Zhiyong et de confirmer sa condamnation à une peine de quatre ans de prison est une parodie de justice.

Une cour de Pékin a rejeté, le 11 avril dernier, le recours formé par Xu Zhiyong contre sa condamnation en janvier pour «rassemblement d'une foule dans le but de troubler l'ordre public dans un lieu public».

Le jugement rendu aujourd'hui est une parodie de justice; cette décision était plus qu'attendue. La surprise aurait été que la cour d'appel annule le verdict de culpabilité. Au lieu de se ranger du côté de la liberté d'expression et de réunion, la cour a une nouvelle fois choisi de bafouer ces droits fondamentaux.

1.

N'y a-t-il pas là violation des Droits de l'homme et des droits de l'accusé cité ci‐dessus?

2.

Comment la Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante compte‐t‐elle réagir?

3.

Une déclaration officielle européenne est‐elle prévue? Si non, pourquoi?

4.

Le procès de deux autres militants proches de ce mouvement s'est ouvert le 8 avril avant d'être reporté, leurs avocats ayant quitté la salle d'audience pour protester contre ce qu'ils considèrent comme une procédure inique. La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante compte‐t‐elle s'entretenir de ce cas avec les représentants du pays?

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

(3 juillet 2014)

Le 11 avril 2014, une déclaration a été publiée à la suite de la confirmation de la condamnation de M. Xu Zhiyong, défenseur des Droits de l'homme, à une peine d'emprisonnement. La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a exprimé la vive préoccupation de l'UE concernant la confirmation en appel de la peine d'emprisonnement de quatre ans infligée à M. Xu ainsi que concernant les poursuites engagées contre d'autres défenseurs des Droits de l'homme en lien avec leur lutte pacifique contre la corruption et leurs actions publiques en faveur de l'État de droit, de la transparence et de la justice sociale. La Vice-présidente/Haute Représentante a également réitéré la demande de l'UE d'appeler à nouveau les autorités chinoises à libérer toutes les personnes qui sont emprisonnées ou détenues pour avoir exprimé pacifiquement leurs opinions et de garantir les protections et libertés que leur confèrent le droit international relatif aux Droits de l'homme et la Constitution chinoise. L'UE continuera d'aborder avec la Chine la question de la liberté d'expression au cours de leurs dialogues réguliers sur les Droits de l'homme.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004891/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Deficiencies in the Chinese justice system

The decision by a Chinese court to reject the appeal by the prominent militant Xu Zhiyong and to uphold his sentence of four years imprisonment is a parody of justice.

On 11 April 2014 a Beijing court rejected the appeal by Xu Zhiyong against his sentence, handed down in January, for ‘gathering a crowd in a public place to disturb public order’.

Today's judgment is a parody of justice, though it was hardly unexpected. It would have been surprising if the appeal court had overturned the ‘guilty’ verdict. Instead of coming down on the side of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, the court once again opted to trample these fundamental rights underfoot.

1.

Does this case not constitute a violation of human rights and the rights of the defendant Xu Zhiyong?

2.

How does theVice-President/High Representativepropose to respond?

3.

Is an official EU statement planned? If not, why not?

4.

The trials of two other militants with links to this movement opened on 8 April, before being adjourned when their lawyers left the courtroom in protest against what they felt was an iniquitous procedure. Does the Vice-President/High Representativepropose to hold talks with Chinese representatives on these cases?

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

(3 July 2014)

Following the confirmation of the prison sentence of human rights defender Xu Zhiyong, a statement was issued on 11 April 2014. The HR/VP expressed the EU's deep concerns over the confirmation on appeal of the four-year prison sentence handed down to Dr Xu and over the ongoing trials of human rights defenders who have been prosecuted in relation to their criticism of corruption and public advocacy of the rule of law, transparency and social justice. The HR/VP also reiterated the EU's call on the Chinese authorities to release those who are imprisoned or detained for the peaceful expression of their views and to guarantee the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under the international human rights law and China's constitution. The EU will continue to raise the issue of freedom of expression with China during its regular human rights dialogue.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004892/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Initiative législative du Parlement européen

La Commission est-elle en faveur d'un scénario qui donnerait au Parlement européen la possibilité d'être à l'initiative de textes législatifs européens, comme l'est la Commission?

Réponse donnée par M. Barroso au nom de la Commission

(26 mai 2014)

En vertu de l'article 225 du TFUE, le Parlement européen peut demander à la Commission de soumettre toute proposition appropriée sur les questions qui lui paraissent nécessiter l'élaboration d'un acte de l'Union pour la mise en œuvre des traités. Si la Commission ne soumet pas de proposition, elle en communique les raisons au Parlement européen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004892/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: European Parliament's right to initiate legislation

Is the Commission in favour of sharing the right to initiate EU legislation with Parliament?

Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission

(26 May 2014)

On the basis of Article 225 TFEU the European Parliament can request the Commission to submit any appropriate proposal on matters on which Parliament considers that a Union act is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties. If the Commission does not submit a proposal, it shall inform the European Parliament of the reasons.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004893/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Accord Union européenne/États-Unis: contradiction sur les normes

Dans les questions fréquentes publiées par la Commission à propos du pacte transatlantique concernant les normes sanitaires, techniques et autres, il est affirmé que l'harmonisation, c'est‐à-dire le processus permettant de mettre deux choses au même niveau, ne sera pas à l'ordre du jour.

Pourtant, dans le même document, il est mentionné que l'accord prévoira une acceptation réciproque par l'Union européenne et les États-Unis de leurs normes respectives dans de nombreux domaines et que, de la sorte, les deux puissances pourront suivre un même ensemble de règles de fabrication.

1.

La Commission veut-elle dire que les règles de fabrication seront les mêmes, malgré des normes différentes?

2.

Les produits en provenance des États-Unis suivront-elles tous les normes de qualité, sans aucune exception, auxquels sont confrontés les producteurs européens?

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

(25 juin 2014)

En ce qui concerne les aspects réglementaires ayant une incidence sur les échanges de marchandises, l'objectif poursuivi par les négociations sur le partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d'investissement (TTIP) est de réduire, autant que faire se peut, les obstacles aux échanges dus aux différences de réglementations entre l'Union européenne et les États-Unis.

Il n'existe, cependant, pas de solution unique et les différentes formules à examiner dépendront de la situation de chacun des secteurs concernés. Parmi les approches pourraient figurer, par exemple, une plus grande compatibilité entre les réglementations actuelles et futures et les normes de référence s'y rapportant grâce à une coopération renforcée entre les organismes européens et américains de réglementation et de normalisation, des régimes d'équivalence lorsque les conditions de convergence de fond nécessaires sont réunies ou encore une reconnaissance mutuelle des évaluations de la conformité réalisées par les autorités compétentes de chaque partie au regard des exigences de l'autre partie, tout en conservant de part et d'autre des réglementations différentes.

Toutefois, les deux parties garderont leur autonomie réglementaire et le TTIP n'entraînera pas l'abaissement de la protection des consommateurs, de la santé ou de l'environnement.

La réglementation européenne continuera de s'appliquer aux produits, quelle que soit leur origine. Aucune exception générale ne sera faite pour les produits importés des États-Unis. Pour que des produits puissent être commercialisés sur le marché de l'UE en s'appuyant sur une conformité avec des exigences américaines, il faudrait nécessairement que des réglementations particulières des deux parties soient reconnues comme équivalentes dans le cadre du TTIP. L'équivalence ne peut être établie qu'entre exigences européennes et américaines assurant le même niveau élevé de protection en ce qui concerne la sécurité, la santé ou l'environnement.

Par conséquent, dans le cadre du TTIP, les approches fondées sur une équivalence en matière d'exigences ne sont pas envisagées de manière généralisée et ne peuvent être examinées que pour des secteurs précis dans un contexte précis.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004893/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU-US agreement: contradiction concerning standards

The ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document published by the Commission on the transatlantic partnership states that, where health, technical and other standards are concerned, harmonisation, the process of bringing, say, two sets of rules into line with one another, will not be on the agenda.

However, the same document also states that the agreement will provide for mutual acceptance of standards in many areas. It may be, therefore, that the EU and the US end up following the same set of manufacturing rules.

1.

Does the Commission mean that manufacturing rules will be the same despite standards being different?

2.

Will all US products be required to meet the quality standards imposed on European manufacturers?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2014)

As regards regulatory issues affecting trade in goods, the aim of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations is to minimise, as far as possible, obstacles to trade arising from differences between EU and US regulations. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and possible approaches for consideration will depend on the situation of each individual sector. These may include e.g. greater compatibility of existing and future regulations and related supporting standards through enhanced cooperation between EU and US regulators and standardisers, equivalence arrangements when the necessary substantive convergence conditions are met or mutual recognition of conformity assessments carried out by each Party’s competent bodies against the requirements of the other Party, while the regulations of the Parties remain different.

However, the EU and the US will retain their regulatory autonomy and TTIP will not result in a lowering of protection levels for consumers, health or the environment.

EU regulations will continue to apply to products irrespective of their origin, and no general exception will be made for US products. Only if specific EU and US regulations were recognised as equivalent under TTIP would it be possible for products to be placed on the EU market based on compliance with US requirements. Equivalence can only be established between EU and US requirements ensuring the same high level of safety, health or environmental protection.

In TTIP, approaches based on equivalence of requirements are therefore not considered across the board but may only be discussed for specific sectors in a specific context.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004894/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Accord UE/États-Unis: protection des investisseurs

Dans les questions fréquentes publiées par la Commission européenne à propos du partenariat transatlantique, l'extrait numéro un sur la protection des investisseurs énonce qu'un mécanisme de premier ordre sera élaboré pour protéger les investisseurs de l'Union à l'étranger et vice-versa, puisque l'accord est valable aussi pour les États-Unis.

Dans l'extrait numéro quatre, il est dit que les mesures pour protéger les investisseurs n'empêchent pas les gouvernements d'adopter des lois et ne les contraindront pas à en abroger.

Mais ce mécanisme tourné exclusivement vers la défense des investisseurs ne risque-t-il pas d'exiger maintes indemnisations par les États attaqués, puisque telle est la sentence prévue?

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

(11 juin 2014)

Les dispositions relatives à la protection des investissements se composent d'un nombre limité de principes fondamentaux inhérents au traitement des investisseurs étrangers que les gouvernements doivent respecter, tels que l'impossibilité d'expropriation sans compensation, l'accès à la justice, la protection contre le harcèlement et la non-discrimination.

L'objectif spécifique poursuivi par l'UE dans le contexte de la conclusion d'accords commerciaux et d'investissements, y compris le partenariat transatlantique de commerce et d'investissement (TTIP), est d'établir une nouvelle norme pour la protection des investissements qui permettrait d'assurer l'équilibre entre la protection des investisseurs et le droit de légiférer des États membres. L'approche proposée consiste à clarifier et à améliorer les dispositions de fond relatives à la protection des investissements, tout en confirmant le droit de légiférer comme principe sous-jacent fondamental. L'un des moyens d'y parvenir serait de s'assurer que les mesures non discriminatoires conçues et appliquées dans le cadre de la protection d'objectifs d'intérêt général, tels que la protection de la santé ou de l'environnement, ne puissent être considérées comme une expropriation indirecte et ne puissent, par conséquent, être contestées avec succès. Pour de plus amples détails sur cette question, nous vous renvoyons à la consultation publique de la Commission sur la protection des investissements dans le cadre du partenariat transatlantique (27).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004894/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU-US agreement: protection of investors

In the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document published by the Commission on the transatlantic partnership, the first paragraph of the section on protecting investors states that an important tool will be introduced to protect EU investors in the US and US investors in the EU.

Paragraph four, however, states that including measures to protect investors will not prevent governments from passing laws, nor will it force them to repeal any.

Does this provision, which is designed solely to protect investors, not risk punishing States excessively by forcing them to make frequent compensation payments, the penalty proposed for any breach?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

Investment protection provisions consist of a limited number of fundamental principles of treatment of foreign investors that governments must respect, such as no expropriation without compensation, access to justice, protection against harassment, non-discrimination.

The specific EU objective in trade and investment agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is to set a new standard for investment protection that would achieve an adequate equilibrium between the protection of investors and the States’ right to regulate. The proposed approach is based on clarifying and improving the substantive investment protection provisions, while confirming the right to regulate as a basic underlying principle. One of the ways to ensure this would be to provide that non-discriminatory measures that are designed and applied to protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as health or the environment, cannot be considered to constitute indirect expropriation and can therefore not be challenged successfully. For more details on this issue, see the Commission's public consultation on investment protection under TTIP (28).

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004895/14

à la Commission

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

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Accord UE/États-Unis: contradiction sur l'analyse d'impact

Dans les questions fréquentes publiées par la Commission européenne à propos du partenariat transatlantique, il est dit que l'Union européenne a effectué une analyse d'incidence sur les effets possibles de l'accord, plus précisément sur les potentielles incidences économiques, sociales et environnementales.

Plus loin, dans le même document, il est dit que la Commission européenne va lancer une évaluation de ces mêmes incidences dès le début des négociations.

S'agit-il de la même étude ou une étude d'impact a-t-elle été faite et une autre est-elle en train de l'être? La formulation de la Commission jette la confusion sur ce point.

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

(11 juin 2014)

Ces affirmations portent sur deux évaluations différentes mais complémentaires, à savoir l'analyse d'impact, d'une part, et l'évaluation de l'impact du commerce sur le développement durable (EICDD), d'autre part. Chacune de ces deux évaluations a une finalité différente et est menée dans une phase différente du processus d'élaboration de la politique commerciale.

Avant de soumettre une nouvelle initiative, la Commission en évalue les conséquences potentielles sur le plan économique, social et environnemental au moyen de l'analyse d'impact. Cette évaluation a pour objectif de fournir des preuves aux décideurs quant à la nécessité pour l'UE d'agir, mais elle vise aussi à comparer les avantages et les inconvénients des différentes solutions politiques. Elle peut également permettre de constater qu'aucune action ne devrait être entreprise au niveau de l'UE. L'analyse d'impact est très utile dans le contexte de l'élaboration de décisions politiques. L'analyse d'impact à l'origine de la décision d'entreprendre des négociations commerciales avec les États-Unis a été publiée en mars 2013 (29).

En outre, depuis 1999, l'UE effectue une EICDD à l'occasion de chaque négociation commerciale importante. Cette évaluation se déroule durant la négociation et contribue à faire la lumière sur les questions de durabilité liées aux résultats éventuels de la négociation. Elle porte sur l'incidence économique, sociale et environnementale que pourrait avoir la proposition de libéralisation des échanges sur l'UE et les autres pays concernés et contribue ainsi à l'optimisation des décisions et des choix effectués au cours des négociations. L'EICDD relatif aux négociations entre l'UE et les États-Unis est en cours de réalisation et les résultats finaux sont attendus entre la fin de l'année 2014 et le début de l'année 2015. De plus amples informations sur les EICDD sont disponibles en ligne. (30)

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004895/14

to the Commission

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

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU-US agreement: contradiction concerning impact assessment

The ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document published by the Commission on the transatlantic partnership states that the EU has carried out an assessment of the impact that the agreement may have, more specifically on the economy, society and the environment.

Elsewhere, confusingly, it states that the Commission will assess that impact once negotiations begin.

Do both these statements refer to the same impact assessment, or has the Commission already carried out one assessment and is now producing another?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

These statements refer to two different but complementary assessments, i.e. the impact assessment (IA), on the one hand, and the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (Trade SIA), on the other. Each of these two assessments serves a different purpose and is conducted in a different phase of the trade policy-making process.

Before proposing a new initiative the Commission evaluates the potential economic, social and environmental consequences by means of an IA. The goal of such evaluation is to give decision-makers evidence regarding the need for EU action and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative policy choices. It may also find that no action should be taken at EU level. They are a crucial aid to political decision-making. The IA underlying the decision to launch trade negotiations with the US were published in March 2013 (31).

In addition, since 1999, the EU has conducted a Trade SIA for all its major trade negotiations. Trade SIAs are carried out during the negotiation, and help to shed light on questions of sustainability related to the potential outcomes of negotiations. They assess the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of proposed trade liberalisation on the EU and other relevant countries in order to help optimise the decisions and choices made during the negotiations. The Trade SIA in support of negotiations of between the EU and the US is currently being conducted and the final results are expected end of 2014/early 2015. Further information on the Trade SIA is available on a website (32).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004896/14

alla Commissione

Andrea Zanoni (S&D)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Attività di pesca sportiva e stoccaggio di materiale ittico nella Zona di Protezione Speciale «Bosco di Dueville» (Vicenza)

All'interno della Zona di Protezione Speciale «Bosco di Dueville» (ZPS IT3220013), in provincia di Vicenza, è terminato (31 dicembre 2013) un progetto di riqualificazione di habitat di interesse comunitario finanziato dalla UE attraverso una convenzione di sovvenzione (assegnazione di fondi LIFE + Natura e Biodiversità cod.09NAT/IT/00213) che prevedeva il ripristino di un'area di risorgive in luogo di un terreno occupato da una attività di piscicoltura abbandonata.

Con deliberazione del Commissario Straordinario n. 67 del 25/03/2014 l'Amministrazione Provinciale di Vicenza ha approvato il Piano Post-LIFE per la conservazione a lungo termine dell'area riqualificata. All'interno del documento viene elencata l'attività di pesca come strumento di gestione dell'area. Ciò senza valutazione alcuna delle incidenze negative che tale pratica produrrà nel sito, in quanto, date le caratteristiche geomorfologiche e la tipologia di habitat e specie di interesse comunitario presenti, risulta di chiara evidenza che un'attività di pesca sportiva, così com'è configurata nel documento Post-LIFE, rappresenterebbe una minaccia in grado di provocare una drastica riduzione della biodiversità (in primo luogo non permettendo la sosta e l'insediamento di numerose specie di avifauna acquatica che qui si riproducono e/o svernano, ma anche con il disturbo diretto prodotto sull'ittiofauna autoctona).

Inoltre, nello stesso documento, vi è la previsione di stoccaggio periodico all'interno dell'area di materiale ittico proveniente da ambienti fluviali esterni alla Zona di Protezione Speciale, il che comporta rischi altissimi per la biocenosi a seguito dell' immissione accidentale (altamente probabile) di specie alloctone e invasive.

Considerando la fragilità ecologica del contesto ambientale del Bosco di Dueville, attività come la pesca sportiva e lo stoccaggio di materiale ittico risultano estranee e incompatibili per la gestione conservativa a lungo termine delle specie selvatiche e delle tipologie di habitat riqualificate con il progetto SOR.BA.

1.

È a conoscenza la Commissione dei fatti sopra descritti e quale giudizio dà degli stessi?

2.

Quali iniziative intende prendere la Commissione per contrastare l'evenienza che un'area recuperata con fondi comunitari, per prioritarie finalità di conservazione e di educazione ambientale, sia destinata ad attività di pesca sportiva e di deposito di materiale ittico? Come intenda scongiurare le minacce, ad habitat e specie di interesse comunitario, implicite in tali attività?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(13 giugno 2014)

La Commissione è a conoscenza della situazione descritta dall'onorevole parlamentare. È in corso la valutazione della relazione finale del progetto, che include il piano di conservazione post-LIFE.

Se dovessero essere riscontrate prove di effetti negativi, reali o potenziali, sugli habitat e sulle specie di questo sito di importanza comunitaria (SIC), il beneficiario sarà tenuto ad adottare provvedimenti per porre adeguatamente rimedio.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004896/14

to the Commission

Andrea Zanoni (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Sport fishing and storage of fish stock in the Bosco di Dueville (Vicenza) special protection area

A project to regenerate a natural habitat of Community interest in the Bosco di Dueville special protection area (SPA IT 3220013) in the Province of Vicenza ended on 31 December 2013. It was financed by the EU through a grant agreement (allocation of LIFE + Nature and Biodiversity funding — No 09NAT/IT/00213) and aimed to restore an area fed by springs and formerly used for fish farming.

By way of decision of the Special Commissioner No 67 of 25.3.2014, Vicenza Provincial Council approved the after-LIFE plan for the long-term conservation of the regeneration area. The document lists fishing as a management tool for the area, but without any assessment of the adverse effect this will have on the site since, given the geomorphologic characteristics and type of habitats and species of Community interest there, it is clear that sport fishing, as outlined in the after-LIFE document, could trigger a sharp decline in biodiversity (primarily by preventing stop‐overs and nesting by numerous species of aquatic birds that would reproduce and/or spend winters there, but also by causing direct disruption to native fish species).

Furthermore, the same document provides for regular storage within the area of fish stock from rivers outside the special protection area, which poses enormous risks to the area's eco‐balance arising from the accidental (and highly probable) introduction of invasive alien species.

Considering the ecological fragility of the environment in the Bosco di Dueville SPA, activities such as sport fishing and the storage of fish stock are out of keeping and incompatible with the long‐term conservation of the wild species and habitat types that is the aim of the SOR.BA Project.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the situation described above, and what is its view on this?

2.

What steps will it take to address cases where areas regenerated using Community funds, for the priority aims of conservation and environmental education, are used for sport fishing and the storage of fish stocks? How does it plan to avert the threats to habitats and species of Community interest that such activities inevitably entail?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission is aware of the situation described by the Honourable Member. It is currently evaluating the final report of the project, which includes the after-LIFE conservation plan.

Should the Commission find evidence of any actual or potential negative effects on habitats and species in this SPA, the beneficiary will be asked to take the measures necessary to avoid this.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite P-004898/14

à la Commission

Eva Joly (Verts/ALE)

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Rendre publiques les évaluations de performance de l'aide au développement de l'Union européenne

Alors que le budget de l'Union connaît d'importantes réductions et que certains de ses engagements peinent à être tenus, l'aide publique au développement doit tendre vers plus d'efficacité, de résultats tangibles et de transparence, comme les États membres et l'Union s'y sont engagés en 2011 à Busan.

Pourtant, et malgré la création récente, que je salue, du nouvel outil «EU Aid Explorer» visant à accroître la transparence de l'utilisation de l'aide au développement et humanitaire, les évaluations des projets pilotées par les délégations de l'Union restent encore largement inaccessibles tant au Parlement qu'aux citoyens européens. Quant au système de suivi orienté vers les résultats mis en place au début des années 2000 à la demande du Parlement européen, et sur lequel reposent toutes les statistiques de performance publiées dans les rapports annuels de la DG DEVCO, il a été mis à l'arrêt l'année dernière sans justification.

Le mandat de la commission du développement, que je préside, consiste notamment à assurer que les fonds européens dépensés au-delà de nos frontières le soient judicieusement. Or, cette mission est rendue difficile par l'absence de systèmes d'évaluation et de suivi.

Pour réformer et améliorer l'aide publique au développement de l'Union, l'évaluation de la performance de l'aide et l'accès public à ces évaluations sont pourtant indispensables.

1.

La Commission peut-elle nous fournir des explications concernant l'arrêt du système de suivi orienté vers les résultats?

2.

La Commission compte-t-elle rétablir prochainement ce système? Si non, compte-t-elle utiliser une autre méthode d'évaluation des projets qu'elle met en place?

3.

Enfin, la Commission envisage-t-elle de rendre les résultats de ces évaluations accessibles aux députés au Parlement européen et au public?

Réponse donnée par M. Piebalgs au nom de la Commission

(6 juin 2014)

1 et 2. Les services de la Commission œuvrent à la réforme des systèmes de suivi et de rapports concernant la mise en œuvre et les résultats des projets et programmes de développement et de coopération financés par l'UE. Cette réforme a pour but d'améliorer l'efficacité de ces systèmes. Il s'agit notamment d'élaborer un cadre de résultats de l'UE pour le développement et la coopération qui vise à améliorer les rapports sur ces résultats. C'est l'objet du document de travail intitulé «Paving the way for an EU Development and Cooperation Results framework» (33) (Jeter les bases d'un cadre de résultats de l'UE pour le développement et la coopération) qui a été transmis au Parlement et au Conseil en décembre 2013. La réforme porte aussi sur le système de suivi axé sur les résultats («result-oriented monitoring» ROM) visé par l'Honorable Parlementaire. L'ensemble des mesures de réforme sera introduit durant le deuxième semestre de 2014 lorsque sera signée une nouvelle génération de contrats mettant en œuvre le système ROM que la Commission est en train de préparer dans le cadre de la procédure d'appel d'offres obligatoire publiée l'an dernier. Ces nouveaux contrats remplaceront les contrats qui sont arrivés à échéance au début de 2014.

3.

Dans le cadre du processus de réforme, les services de la Commission étudient la meilleure manière de rendre accessibles aux membres du Parlement européen et au grand public les rapports sur les examens à effectuer en application du système révisé.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004898/14

to the Commission

Eva Joly (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Publication of EU development aid performance assessments

Given that the Union budget has been significantly reduced and some of its programmes are now hanging by a thread, public aid for development needs to become more effective, transparent and produce tangible results, in line with the commitment made by Member States at Busan in 2011.

However, although I welcome the recent creation of the new EU Aid Explorer tool, which aims to make the use of development and humanitarian aid more transparent, it remains almost impossible for Parliament and European citizens to gain access to assessments of projects carried out by Union agencies. The results-oriented monitoring system set up in the early 2000s at the request of Parliament and on which all the performance statistics published in DG DEVCO’s annual reports are based was brought to a halt last year without justification.

The Committee on Development, which I chair, is charged with ensuring that European funds spent outside our frontiers are put to good use. This mission is hampered by the lack of assessment and monitoring systems.

In order to reform and improve the EU’s public aid to development, it is essential to assess the performance of such aid and for these assessments to be publicly accessible.

1.

Can the Commission explain why the results-oriented monitoring system has been halted?

2.

Does the Commission intend to reintroduce it in the near future? If not, does it intend to use another method for assessing its projects?

3.

Lastly, does the Commission plan to make the results of these assessments accessible to Members of the European Parliament and the public?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

1 and 2. The Commission’s departments are currently working on the reform of its monitoring and reporting systems with regard to the implementation and results of EU funded development and cooperation projects and programmes. These reforms aim to improve the robustness of the Commission’s monitoring and reporting systems. They include the preparation of an EU Development and Cooperation Results framework which is to improve reporting on such results and is the subject of the Staff Working Document ‘Paving the way for an EU Development and Cooperation Results framework’ (34) transmitted to Parliament and Council in December 2013. They also relate to the results-oriented monitoring (ROM) system referred to by the Honourable Member. These reforms will be introduced in the second half of 2014 when a new generation of contracts for the implementation of the ROM system is signed which the Commission is preparing within the framework of a tender procedure launched last year with the publication of the mandatory tender notice. They are to replace the existing contracts which came to their end at the beginning of 2014.

3.

As part of this reform process, the Commission’s departments are exploring how to make the reports on the reviews to be carried out under the reformed system accessible to Members of the European Parliament and the public.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004899/14

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: VP/HR — Ataques sistemáticos de EE.UU. contra el servicio de telecomunicaciones cubano Etecsa: espionaje y almacenamiento ilegal de datos por redes sociales creadas por USAID

Recientemente, la agencia de noticias norteamericana Associated Press (AP) certificaba lo que el Gobierno cubano lleva años denunciando: es una constante de la Administración estadounidense poner en marcha programas ilegales y planes subversivos que no respetan el Derecho internacional y que buscan desestabilizar el país y provocar cambios en el ordenamiento político, social y económico, creando una oposición artificial a merced de sus intereses económicos, ideológicos y geoestratégicos.

Associated Press constata en el artículo publicado cómo la USAID creó redes sociales y plataformas de comunicación (Zunzuneo, Piramiedeo, Martinoticias y Diario de Cuba, entre otras), construidas a través de empresas pantalla domiciliadas en España y en las Islas Caimán y financiadas por bancos extranjeros que, pirateando las bases de datos del servicio de telecomunicaciones cubano Etecsa, accedieron ilegalmente a datos personales de usuarios para, sin su consentimiento ni conocimiento, utilizar posteriormente estos datos con fines políticos y promocionar redes sociales entre público cubano mayoritariamente joven y, posteriormente, empujar a los usuarios hacia posiciones políticas de defensa de los intereses norteamericanos en la isla y contrarios a la soberanía del pueblo cubano.

Además, desde Etecsa se denuncian constantes operaciones para congestionar y crear inestabilidad en los servicios de telecomunicaciones cubanos a través del envío masivo de mensajes en forma de spam, dificultando y obstaculizando el funcionamiento normal de los servicios de telecomunicación.

De esta manera, queda en evidencia cómo la Agencia Estadounidense para la Cooperación al Desarrollo (USAID), que supuestamente favorece el desarrollo de los países empobrecidos, es un instrumento más de política exterior para la defensa de los intereses estadounidenses y para llevar a cabo actividades de injerencia política e influencia ideológica.

¿Piensa la Alta Representante posicionarse públicamente en contra de este tipo de prácticas injerencistas y denunciar que violan el Derecho Internacional y la Carta de las Naciones Unidas? ¿Que opinión suscita en la Alta Representante esta noticia y la utilización ideológica e injerencista de la supuesta Agencia para la Cooperación al Desarrollo USAID? Dado que los casos de espionaje masivo y acceso ilegal a datos personales también han tenido lugar en Europa, ¿piensa la Alta Representante exigir a EE.UU. que lleve ante la justicia a los autores y que garantice medidas para el cumplimiento de la normativa de la UIT?

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

(5 de junio de 2014)

La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta toma nota de los datos relativos a la plataforma de comunicación financiada por la USAID que ofrece acceso a internet y apoya la libertad de información en Cuba. La AR/VP no tiene conocimiento de que exista una relación entre esta plataforma y las actividades y programas de vigilancia de la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional de los EE.UU. o de otros órganos de inteligencia de dicho país.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004899/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Systematic US attacks on Cuba's Etecsa telecommunications service: spying and illegal storage of data by social networks created by USAID

The North American press agency Associated Press (AP) recently confirmed what the Cuban Government has been maintaining for years: that the US government is constantly involved in creating illegal programmes and subversive plans which flout international law and seek to destabilise Cuba and force changes in its political, social and economic organisation, thereby creating an artificial opposition at the mercy of US economic, ideological and geostrategic interests.

The article published by Associated Press shows how the US Agency for International Development (USAID) created social networks and communication platforms (Zunzuneo, Piramideo, Martínoticias and Diario de Cuba, among others) using front companies based in Spain and the Cayman islands and funded by foreign banks, which hacked into the database of Cuban telecommunications company Etecsa to gain illegal access to users’ personal data in order to then use them without their consent or knowledge for political purposes and promote social networks to a mainly youthful Cuban public, with the aim of subsequently steering users towards political positions which upheld US interests on the island and contrary to the sovereignty of the Cuban people.

Etecsa has also complained of continual operations to saturate and destabilise Cuban telecommunications services, by sending huge numbers of spam messages which obstruct and prevent their normal operation.

This clearly illustrates how USAID, which purports to promote development in poor countries, acts as yet another foreign policy instrument supporting US interests and engaging in political interference and ideological influence.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative intend to take a public stance against these types of interventionist practice and protest at their violation of international law and the UN Charter? How does the VP/HR view this information and the ideological and interventionist use of the so-called development cooperation agency USAID? In view of the fact that mass spying and illegal access to personal data have also taken place in Europe, does the High Representative intend to press the United States to bring those responsible to justice and put measures in place to ensure compliance with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) rules?

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

(5 June 2014)

The High Representative/Vice-President has taken note of the information regarding the USAID-run Internet access and freedom of information programme in Cuba. The HR/VP is not aware of any connection between this programme and the surveillance programmes and activities of the US National Security Agency or other US intelligence bodies.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004900/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: El auge de las nuevas tecnologías

Las nuevas tecnologías han supuesto un cambio radical en nuestra sociedad. Estas nuevas tecnologías ofrecen múltiples oportunidades a quienes vayan acompasados con su imparable avance. Paradójicamente, en un momento en que la crisis económica ha provocado un dramático aumento del desempleo en muchos países de la Unión, nos encontramos que son precisamente los empleos relacionados con las nuevas tecnologías los que a día de hoy precisan más trabajadores y, sin embargo, no pueden cubrir su demanda.

Ante esta situación, ¿tiene previsto la Comisión instaurar nuevas medidas que faciliten la formación para poder acceder a este tipo de puestos de trabajo?

¿Cree la Comisión que hay que insistir en esta necesidad para que los Estados miembros desarrollen y apuesten decididamente por una mayor formación en este campo en sus respectivos sistemas educativos?

Respuesta de la Sra. Vassiliou en nombre de la Comisión

(30 de mayo de 2014)

De conformidad con el artículo 165 del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea, la educación y la formación son competencias exclusivas de los Estados miembros. Por consiguiente, las iniciativas de la UE en este ámbito se limitan a las actividades de apoyo y coordinación en estrecha colaboración con los Estados miembros.

En este contexto, la Comisión ya está abordando el problema que representa el desfase que existe entre las aptitudes en materia de TIC de los trabajadores y las que necesita el mercado de trabajo. Existen estimaciones que apuntan a que, en el año 2020, podrían quedar hasta 900 000 puestos de trabajo para profesionales de las TIC sin cubrir, a pesar de que el desempleo siga siendo elevado. La Comisión está abordando este problema en la reciente Comunicación sobre la apertura de la educación (35), en la que se anima a los Estados miembros y las partes interesadas a tomar medidas y reformar sus sistemas de educación y formación a fin de garantizar que se impartan a las personas que estudian en estos sistemas las aptitudes y las competencias necesarias para que puedan acceder a un puesto de trabajo en el mercado laboral actual. Además, la Gran Coalición para el Empleo Digital facilita la colaboración entre los agentes públicos y privados en lo que respecta a prever la demanda e impartir una educación y una formación efectivas para los empleos en el sector de las TIC.

La Comisión está trabajando en relación con una iniciativa sobre un posible «Espacio Europeo de las Aptitudes y Cualificaciones» a fin de conseguir que las aptitudes y las cualificaciones sean más comparables entre los diferentes países y fomentar el reconocimiento del aprendizaje informal y no formal. Esto podría contribuir a reducir el actual desfase que existe entre la oferta y la demanda, fomentar la mejora de las aptitudes y el aprendizaje continuo y garantizar la movilidad transfronteriza. Asimismo, existen instrumentos tales como el Marco Europeo de Cualificaciones, Europass y Euraxess que tienen por objeto adecuar en mayor medida la oferta y la demanda de aptitudes.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004900/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Rise of new technologies

New technologies have dramatically changed our society. They offer a wide range of opportunities to those who keep abreast of their unstoppable progress. Paradoxically, at a time when the economic crisis has drastically increased unemployment in many Union countries, the new technology sector is creating jobs and an increasing demand for workers, which the market is unable to meet.

Given this situation, does the Commission intend to introduce new measures to improve access to the training needed for jobs of this type?

Does the Commission consider it important to stress this need, so that Member States develop and take decisive action to increase training in this field through their respective education systems?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(30 May 2014)

According to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, education and training are exclusive competences of Member States. Therefore, EU initiatives in the field are limited to support and coordination activities in close cooperation with Member States.

In this context, the Commission is already addressing the ‘skills gap’ between labour supply and demand for ICT skills. According to estimates, in the year 2020 up to 900 000 vacancies for ICT professionals could remain unfilled, even while unemployment remains high. The Commission is addressing this issue in the recent Opening up Education Communication (36) in which Member States and stakeholders are encouraged to take action and to reform their education and training systems to ensure that people in education receive the skills and competences necessary to make them employable in today's labour market. Also, the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs facilitates collaboration among public and private actors on forecasting demand and providing effective education and training for ICT jobs.

The Commission is working on an initiative for a possible ‘European Area of Skills and Qualifications’ to make skills and qualifications more comparable across borders and to encourage the recognition of informal and non-formal learning. This could help to bridge the current supply and demand gap, encourage up-skilling and further learning, and ensure cross-border mobility. Tools such as the European Qualifications Framework, Europass and Euraxess also aim to bring supply and demand of skills closer together.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004901/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: Desigualdades entre hombres y mujeres

Aunque es constatable que en Europa las desigualdades entre hombres y mujeres están disminuyendo, la realidad es que las desigualdades de género persisten en el empleo, los salarios y la representación política, con el añadido del gravísimo problema de la violencia contra las mujeres. En el conjunto de la Unión Europea las mujeres cobran, por término medio, un 16,4 % menos que los hombres y representan solo el 27 % de los parlamentarios de toda Europa; además, una de cada tres mujeres europeas ha sufrido violencia física o sexual después de los quince años.

Es evidente el esfuerzo realizado por la UE para reducir las desigualdades, ya que las inversiones en estructuras para el cuidado de los hijos han contribuido a aumentar la tasa de empleo de las mujeres hasta un 63 %, frente al 58 % de 2002, y la discriminación positiva ha permitido que la proporción de mujeres en consejos de administración haya pasado del 11 % al 17,8 %.

Sin embargo, según el informe de la UE publicado esta semana, al ritmo de progresión actual se necesitarán setenta años para conseguir la igualdad salarial y veinte años para que la representación de las mujeres en los Parlamentos nacionales sea del 40 %.

Ante esta situación, ¿tiene previsto la Comisión adoptar nuevas medidas que aceleren la consecución de la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres? ¿Tiene previsto la Comisión recomendar que se tomen medidas específicas en los países en que esta discriminación es más evidente?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(6 de junio de 2014)

El informe sobre la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres de 2013 (37) explica las medidas adoptadas por la UE durante el año pasado en materia de igualdad entre hombres y mujeres. Entre ellas figuran el control de la aplicación de la legislación sobre igualdad de trato, recomendaciones, posibilidades de cofinanciación y actividades de sensibilización. Todas estas acciones contribuyen a suprimir las desigualdades entre hombres y mujeres.

En el marco de la estrategia para el crecimiento Europa 2020, el Semestre Europeo de 2013 dirigió recomendaciones específicas a 13 Estados miembros, invitándoles a promover la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres y la participación de las mujeres en el mercado de trabajo. Haciendo balance de los progresos realizados, la Comisión publicará su nueva serie de propuestas de recomendaciones específicas para cada país en junio de 2014.

La lucha contra la discriminación salarial y la diferencia salarial entre hombres y mujeres es una de las prioridades de la Comisión en su Estrategia para la igualdad entre mujeres y hombres 2010-2015 (38). En consonancia con la Estrategia, la Comisión se centra en la supervisión y, en su caso, en el control de la correcta aplicación a nivel nacional de las disposiciones de la Directiva 2006/54/CE relativas a la igualdad salarial, y en apoyar a los Estados miembros y a las partes interesadas en la correcta aplicación de las mismas. En diciembre de 2013, la Comisión adoptó un informe sobre la aplicación de la Directiva 2006/54/CE (39) y, en marzo de 2014, una Recomendación sobre el refuerzo del principio de igualdad de retribución entre hombres y mujeres a través de la transparencia (40). La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a las respuestas dadas a las preguntas E-003585/2014 y E-003082/2014, para más detalles.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004901/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Inequality between men and women

Although inequalities between men and women are clearly decreasing in Europe, the reality is that the gender gap still exists in employment, wages and political representation, not to mention the serious problem of violence against women. In the EU as a whole, women are paid on average 16.4% less than men and represent only 27% of parliamentarians throughout Europe. Furthermore, one in three European women has suffered physical or sexual violence after the age of 15.

The efforts made by the EU to reduce inequalities are clear to see; investment in childcare facilities have helped to increase the number of women in employment from 58% in 2002 to 63% at present, while positive discrimination has increased the percentage of women in management positions from 11% to 17.8%.

Nevertheless, according to the EU report published this week, at the current rate of progress it will take 70 years to reach wage parity and 20 years for women’s representation in national parliaments to reach 40%.

In light of this situation, does the Commission intend to adopt new measures to speed up the process of achieving equality between men and women? Does the Commission plan to recommend that specific measures be introduced in those countries where discrimination is most evident?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

The report on progress on equality between women and men in 2013 (41) provides an overview of the action taken by the EU during the last year on gender equality. These include the monitoring the application of legislation on equal treatment, recommendations, co-funding possibilities and awareness-raising activities. These actions all contribute to closing gender gaps.

In the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, the 2013 European Semester addressed country-specific recommendations to thirteen Member States, asking them to promote gender equality and the participation of women in the labour market. Taking stock of progress made, the Commission will release its new set of proposals for country-specific recommendations in June 2014.

Tackling pay discrimination and the gender pay gap is one the Commission's priorities in its Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 (42). In line with the strategy, the Commission focuses on monitoring and where necessary enforcing the correct implementation of the equal pay provisions of Directive 2006/54/EC at national level and supporting Member States and stakeholders with the proper implementation of these rules. The Commission adopted a Report on the application of Directive 2006/54/EC in December 2013 (43) and a recommendation on strengthening the principle of equal pay between men and women through transparency in March 2014 (44). The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its replies to questions E-003585/2014 and E-003082/2014 for further details.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004902/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: La importancia de las ciudades en la toma de decisiones en la EU

Es indudable que las ciudades constituyen el verdadero hábitat de la mayoría de los ciudadanos de la Unión. Hoy, casi tres cuartas partes de los 500 millones de habitantes de la UE viven en ciudades. Pese al peligro que las grandes concentraciones de población pueden sugerir, lo cierto es que hay modelos de ciudad que han sabido conjugar crecimiento con oportunidades y que han centrado la búsqueda de un ambiente urbano más acogedor desde la innovación. Barcelona es un ejemplo de este tipo de gestión y de esta búsqueda de la excelencia urbana, como lo certifica el haber sido reconocida como la Capital Europea de la Innovación.

Pero, pese a la importancia de las ciudades, estas no tienen aún suficiente peso en la política de la Unión Europea. Por ello es necesario dar mayor voz a las ciudades. En Europa los poderes del alcalde de una gran ciudad pueden variar mucho según el Estado miembro, y estamos muy lejos de un enfoque unificado para la participación de nuestras ciudades en los debates sobre la política, pero parece claro que hay que dar a las ciudades una mayor participación en la programación de los fondos europeos, ya que son las administraciones locales las que mejor conocen las necesidades reales de sus ciudadanos.

Ante esta situación, ¿considera la Comisión suficiente la participación de las ciudades en las políticas de la UE?

¿Considera necesario dar a los poderes municipales una mayor presencia en los órganos de la UE para poder dirigir los fondos europeos de una manera más eficiente hacia los ciudadanos?

Respuesta del Sr. Hahn en nombre de la Comisión

(4 de junio de 2014)

La Comisión reconoce la importancia de las ciudades en la Unión Europea como lugares donde vive la mayoría de la población, como motores de la economía, como agentes que aplican nuestras políticas y como sitios con el potencial para hacer frente a los retos sociales más acuciantes. Por estos motivos las ciudades también tienen un papel clave en la aplicación de la Estrategia Europa 2020. En este contexto, la Comisión ha iniciado un debate público sobre una Agenda Urbana de la UE para debatir de qué modo podrían reforzarse la responsabilidad y el compromiso de las ciudades en la elaboración de las políticas de la UE y cómo dichas políticas podrían estar mejor adaptadas a las realidades de las zonas urbanas. El Foro CiTIEs, que tuvo lugar en Bruselas los días 17 y 18 de febrero de 2014, fue un elemento clave en este proceso (45).

La mayor participación de las ciudades no es solo una forma más eficaz de canalizar la financiación a las zonas urbanas, sino que atañe tanto a la coordinación de las políticas sectoriales como a la reformulación de los objetivos políticos que mejor corresponden al lugar donde se están llevando a cabo.

El debate sobre una Agenda Urbana de la UE está en curso y ya hay propuestas sobre la mesa. No obstante, la Comisión desea garantizar que todas las partes interesadas puedan participar en dicho debate antes del balance a finales de este año. Dicho balance ofrecerá una base al nuevo Parlamento y a la próxima Comisión para decidir sobre las siguientes etapas.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004902/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Importance of urban areas in EU decision-making

There is no disputing the fact that most EU citizens live in urban areas, which are currently home to almost three quarters of the EU’s 500 million inhabitants. Despite the dangers that large population centres can present, there are model towns and cities which have clearly managed to combine growth and opportunities by seeking to create a more liveable urban environment through innovation. Barcelona is one example of this type of management and quest for urban excellence, as is testified to by its receipt of the European Capital of Innovation award.

However, despite their importance, urban areas still do not carry sufficient weight when it comes to EU policies and need to be given a bigger say. In Europe, the powers enjoyed by mayors of big cities vary greatly from one Member State to another, and we are a long way from a common approach to participation by our urban areas in policy debates. It is clear, though, that they need to be involved more closely in the programming of EU funds, since it is the local authorities that are most familiar with the real needs of their publics.

Given the above, does the Commission consider that urban areas participate sufficiently in EU policies?

Does it feel that municipal authorities should be better represented on EU bodies, so that they can channel EU funding to the public more effectively?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

The Commission recognises the importance of cities in the European Union; as places where the majority of the population live, as engines of the economy, as actors implementing our policies, and as places with the potential to address the most pressing societal challenges. For these reasons cities also have a key role to play in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. In this context the Commission has initiated a public discussion on an EU urban agenda in order to debate how the ownership and engagement of cities in EU policymaking could be strengthened, and how EU policies could be better tailored to the realities of urban areas. A key step in this process was the organisation of the CITIES Forum in Brussels on 17-18 February 2014 (46).

Stronger involvement of cities is not just a question of more effectively channelling funding to urban areas, but relates as much to the coordination of (sectoral) policies and reformulating policy objectives to better correspond to where they are being implemented.

The discussion on an EU urban agenda is ongoing and there are already proposals on the table. However, the Commission would like to ensure that all stakeholders are able to participate in the debate before taking stock by the end of this year. The stocktaking will give a basis for the new Parliament and the next Commission to decide upon the next steps.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004903/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: La protección de los derechos del niño

La Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea hace especial hincapié en el fomento y la protección de los derechos del niño. Al consagrar los derechos de los niños, la Carta reconoce que las políticas de la UE que afectan directa o indirectamente a los niños deben concebirse, aplicarse y controlarse teniendo en cuenta el principio del interés superior del niño, el cual garantiza que los niños tengan derecho a la protección y a los cuidados necesarios para su bienestar y reconoce la necesidad de proteger a los niños de cualquier forma de abuso, negligencia o violación de sus derechos, así como de situaciones que pongan en peligro su bienestar.

Con la crisis económica han aumentado las dificultades en no pocas familias, y en España esta situación se ha traducido en un aumento de la pobreza infantil. España es el segundo país europeo que menor capacidad tiene para reducir la pobreza infantil a través de las ayudas sociales, según pone de relieve el informe «Pobreza infantil y exclusión social en Europa: una cuestión de derechos», elaborado por Save the Children. No es el primer informe que cuestiona las políticas del Gobierno español en la protección a los niños frente a la pobreza. Hace dos semanas, Cáritas alertó de que España es el país con más porcentaje de niños sin recursos.

Ante esta situación:

¿Tiene previsto la Comisión analizar la situación sobre la pobreza infantil que se padece en España?

¿Cree necesario revisar las políticas sociales adoptadas por el ejecutivo español ante la actual situación?

A la vista de estos informes, ¿cree la Comisión que con las políticas adoptadas hasta el momento por el Gobierno español se están protegiendo de manera satisfactoria los derechos de los niños consagrados en la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la UE?

Respuesta del Sr. Andor en nombre de la Comisión

(13 de junio de 2014)

La Comisión sigue atentamente la evolución de la pobreza infantil en España a través de la encuesta de la UE sobre la renta y las condiciones de vida.

Sobre la base de este control, en el contexto del Semestre Europeo la Comisión examina regularmente con las autoridades españolas los progresos y las medidas adoptadas en este ámbito.

En 2013, el Consejo invitó a España, en una recomendación específica, a: «adoptar y aplicar las medidas necesarias para reducir el número de personas con riesgo de pobreza o exclusión social reforzando las políticas activas del mercado laboral a fin de mejorar la empleabilidad de las personas más alejadas de dicho mercado, centrando mejor las medidas de apoyo —como los servicios de apoyo a la familia— y mejorando la eficacia y la efectividad de tales medidas». Las políticas adoptadas hasta ahora por el Gobierno español van en la dirección adecuada, pero hay que hacer más para reducir significativamente la pobreza (infantil). La Comisión tiene la intención de organizar este año un seminario nacional en España, con las autoridades nacionales y locales, para fomentar la aplicación de su Recomendación «Invertir en la infancia: romper el ciclo de las desventajas» (47). En el seminario se debatirá cómo abordar la pobreza infantil, especialmente mejorando la eficiencia de los servicios de apoyo a la familia. Estos seminarios pueden ser una oportunidad para ver de qué modo se han aplicado enfoques basados en los derechos de los niños a las reformas políticas clave.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004903/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Protection of children's rights

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union places special emphasis on the promotion and protection of children's rights. By enshrining children’s rights, the Charter recognises that EU policies which directly or indirectly affect children should be drafted, implemented and monitored with the principle of the child’s best interest in mind. This principle guarantees children’s right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well being and recognises the need to protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect or violation of their rights and from situations which threaten their wellbeing.

For many families, the economic crisis has increased the difficulties facing them and in Spain this situation is expressed in rising levels of child poverty. According to the Save the Children report entitled ‘Child Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe: a matter of children’s rights’, Spain is the European country with the second lowest capacity to reduce child poverty through social assistance. This is not the first report to question the Spanish Government’s policies to protect children from poverty. Two weeks ago, Caritas warned that Spain is the country with the highest percentage of deprived children.

In view of this:

Does the Commission intend to assess the child poverty situation in Spain?

Does it see a need to review the social policies adopted by the Spanish Government in light of the current situation?

Bearing in mind these reports, does the Commission think that the policies adopted so far by the Spanish Government sufficiently protect children’s rights, as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission closely monitors the development of child poverty in Spain through the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions.

On the basis of this monitoring, in the context of the European Semester the Commission discusses on a regular basis with the Spanish authorities progress and action taken in this field.

In 2013 the Council asked Spain in a Country Specific Recommendation to: ‘Adopt and implement the necessary measures to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion by reinforcing active labour market policies to improve employability of people further away from the labour market and by improving the targeting and increasing efficiency and effectiveness of support measures including quality family support services’. The policies adopted so far by the Spanish Government are going in the right direction but more needs to be done to significantly reduce (child) poverty. The Commission intends to organise this year a national seminar in Spain to promote the implementation of its Recommendation on ‘Investing in children — breaking the cycle of disadvantage’ (48) with national and local authorities. The seminar will discuss how to tackle child poverty, notably through measures such as the improvement of the efficiency of family support services. The seminars can be an opportunity to discuss how children’s rights based approaches have been applied in key policy reforms.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004904/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: La tragedia humana de la inmigración ilegal

Recientemente han vuelto a ser noticia las tragedias periódicamente repetidas que se producen en los países mediterráneos del sur de la Unión provocadas por la presión migratoria que quiere cruzar sus fronteras. Hemos visto horrorizados tragedias como las de Lampedusa o las de Ceuta.

Ante esta situación y ante estos dramáticos casos de pérdida de vidas humanas:

¿Cree la Comisión que este debe ser un problema prioritario abordado por el conjunto de la Unión en su totalidad y no ser solo considerado un problema de los países fronterizos?

¿Tiene previsto la Comisión adoptar medidas de urgencia para evitar que nuevas tragedias se repitan?

¿Cree necesario abordar el problema de la falta de oportunidades en los países de origen y poner en práctica mecanismos de cooperación urgente que eviten la necesidad migratoria de los hombres y mujeres de los mismos?

Respuesta de la Sra. Malmström en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de junio de 2014)

La Comisión Europea está profundamente preocupada por la situación en la frontera exterior marítima de la UE y considera que se trata de una prioridad de actuación de la UE. No es un problema solo para los Estados miembros del sur de la UE, sino para toda Europa. Por esta razón, después de la tragedia de Lampedusa del pasado mes de octubre, la Comisión Europea preside un grupo de trabajo del que forman parte el SEAE, todos los Estados miembros de la UE, países asociados y las agencias pertinentes de la UE con el fin de debatir acciones operativas para evitar la pérdida de vidas en el Mar Mediterráneo. Las conclusiones de las conversaciones del grupo de trabajo se adoptaron el 4 de diciembre de  2013 en forma de una Comunicación de la Comisión Europea (49). La Comunicación la aprobó el Consejo de Justicia y Asuntos de Interior y fue recibida positivamente por el Consejo Europeo en diciembre.

Tras la adopción de la Comunicación, todas las partes participantes en los debates del grupo de trabajo se han dedicado a ejecutar las acciones operativas previstas. La Comisión ya ha informado sobre esta cuestión en dos ocasiones a la Comisión LIBE del Parlamento Europeo, en enero y en abril de 2014, y adoptará en breve un documento de trabajo en el que se resumen las principales medidas derivadas de las recomendaciones del grupo de trabajo.

Además de estas operaciones concretas a corto y medio plazo, la Comisión Europea ejecuta activamente, mediante sus instrumentos de cooperación para el desarrollo y la ayuda humanitaria, las iniciativas destinadas a abordar las causas profundas de la migración y a aliviar el sufrimiento de las personas atrapadas en situaciones de conflicto.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004904/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: The human tragedy of illegal immigration

The tragedies that regularly occur in the Mediterranean countries in the south of the EU owing to the pressure of migrants wanting to cross its borders have recently been making the news again. We have looked on, horrified, as tragedies such as those in Lampedusa and Ceuta have unfolded.

Given this situation and these tragic losses of life, can the Commission state:

whether it considers this issue should be a priority and addressed by the EU as a whole, and not simply viewed as a problem for these border countries;

whether it plans to adopt emergency measures to prevent such tragedies reoccurring;

whether it sees a need to address the issue of the lack of opportunities in the countries of origin and to implement emergency cooperation mechanisms that obviate the need for men and women from those countries to migrate?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

The European Commission is deeply concerned with the situation at the external maritime border of the EU and considers this a priority for EU action. This is not an issue only for the Southern EU Member States, but a challenge for all of Europe. For this reason, after the tragedy of Lampedusa of last October, the European Commission has chaired a Task Force including the EEAS, all EU Member States, associated countries and relevant EU Agencies in order to discuss operational actions to prevent loss of lives in the Mediterranean. The outcome of the Task Force discussions has been adopted on 4 December 2013 in the form of a communication of the European Commission (50). The communication has been endorsed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council and welcomed by the European Council in December.

Following the adoption of the communication all players involved in the Task Force discussions have been working to implement the operational actions foreseen. The Commission has reported on this issue already twice to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament in January and in April 2014, and will soon adopt a Staff Working Document summarising the main actions following up the Task Force recommendations.

Besides these concrete operational short to medium term actions, the European Commission through its development cooperation and humanitarian aid instruments, actively implements initiatives aimed at tackling the root causes of migration, and alleviating the suffering of those who are caught in conflict situations.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-004905/14

a la Comisión

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: Sobre la pertenencia a Europa

Hay quien sólo quiere ver a Europa como un gran mercado. Creo que es un error. La Europa que soñaron los fundadores de la Unión y que también yo defiendo es mucho más que un mercado, porque Europa debe ser una concepción del mundo que sitúa a las personas en el centro de sus actuaciones.

Desde los inicios de la construcción europea hasta el día de hoy hemos visto como caían los muros y como se levantaban nuevos puentes como lazo de unión entre todos los Estados miembros. Sin embargo, ante las elecciones europeas del próximo mes de mayo, vemos como algunas personas están tratando de construir nuevos muros y líneas divisorias. También somos testigos de un creciente sentimiento de malestar de los ciudadanos europeos e incluso la indiferencia entre los pro-europeos.

Por ello se hace necesario reforzar la explicación de todo lo conseguido y superar el déficit existente en la confianza de nuestras propias fuerzas para poder encarar el futuro con más confianza.

Ante esta situación, ¿cree la Comisión suficiente el mensaje de lo que Europa ha conseguido para todos y cada uno de los ciudadanos de la Unión?

¿Cree necesaria una mayor implicación de los Gobiernos de los Estados miembros en la difusión de los logros obtenidos por la UE?

¿Considera pertinente reforzar el sentimiento de pertenencia a Europa y por extensión a una comunidad de valores, de cultura e intereses, para forjar este destino común?

Respuesta de la Sra. Reding en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de junio de 2014)

Aparte de la actividad en los medios de comunicación y de la labor informativa en los Estados miembros, la Comisión ha trasmitido directamente el mensaje a los ciudadanos acerca de los logros de Europa. Últimamente, esto se ha llevado a cabo a través de una serie de más de cincuenta Diálogos con los ciudadanos en todos los Estados miembros (51).

La Comisión cree que los Gobiernos de los Estados miembros deberían desempeñar un papel más importante a la hora de explicar Europa a los ciudadanos, incluida la divulgación de los logros de la UE. Se ha solicitado la participación de los políticos nacionales cuando se considere adecuado.

Las encuestas del Eurobarómetro muestran que, a pesar de la crisis, casi seis de cada diez personas (59 %) todavía se ven como ciudadanos de la UE, frente al 62 % en 2010.

De cara al futuro, la Comisión ha promovido el desarrollo de una nueva narrativa para Europa, que tiene por objeto actuar como catalizador para reforzar nuestro futuro común. En este contexto, la Comisión está llevando a cabo los proyectos piloto «Nueva Narrativa para Europa» (52) con el objetivo de estrechar los lazos entre la UE y sus ciudadanos y «The Promise of the EU» (La Promesa de la UE) con el fin de ayudar a las instituciones europeas a redefinir el papel de la UE en el siglo veintiuno.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004905/14

to the Commission

Salvador Sedó i Alabart (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Belonging to Europe

There are those who only view Europe as a large market. That is a mistake. The Europe that the founders of the Union dreamed of, and which I too champion, is much more than a market. Europe has to stand for an approach to the world which places people at the centre of its activities.

From the start of the European integration process we have seen barriers collapsing and new bridges being built that interlink all the Member States. However, with the approach of the European elections in May, it seems that some people are trying to create new barriers and dividing lines. We are also witnessing growing malaise among the European public, and even indifference among pro‐Europeans.

This is why we need to explain everything that has been achieved more fully and overcome the current lack of confidence in our own capabilities, so that we can face the future more assuredly.

In the light of this situation, can the Commission state whether it believes that a sufficient message is being sent on what Europe has achieved for each and every EU citizen?

Does it think that the Member State governments need to be more closely involved in publicising the EU’s achievements?

Does it feel that the sense of belonging to Europe — and hence to a community of values, culture and interests — needs to be strengthened to forge this common future?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

Beyond activity in the media and information work in the Member States, the Commission has taken the message on what Europe has achieved direct to the people. Most recently, this has been carried out in a series of over 50 Citizens' Dialogues, covering all Member States (53).

The Commission believes that governments of Member States should play a more prominent role in explaining Europe to citizens, including publicising the EU's achievements. It has sought participation of national politicians wherever appropriate.

Eurobarometer surveys show that, despite the crisis, almost six in ten (59%) of people still see themselves as citizens of the EU. This compares with the 2010 figure of 62%.

Looking ahead, the Commission has promoted the development of a new narrative for Europe which aims to act as a catalyst in strengthening our common future. In this context, the Commission is currently implementing the pilot projects ‘New Narrative for Europe’ (54), aiming to reconnect the EU with its citizens, and ‘The Promise of the EU’, aiming to help the European institutions redefine the role of the EU in the 21st century.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-004906/14

an die Kommission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Krankenhausausstattung aus EU-Kohäsionsmitteln

1.

Welche Krankenhäuser in der EU haben in den letzten 10 Jahren Strukturfördermittel bekommen?

2.

Welche Geräte wurden von diesen Mitteln angeschafft?

3.

Wie hoch waren die insgesamt für Krankenhäuser ausgegebenen Strukturfördermittel?

Antwort von Johannes Hahn im Namen der Kommission

(20. Juni 2014)

Die Kommission hält nicht systematisch Informationen über alle spezifischen Projekte vor, die die Förderung einzelner Krankenhäuser umfassen. Im Rahmen der geteilten Verwaltung der Mittel für die Kohäsionspolitik sind die Mitgliedstaaten für die Auswahl und Verwaltung der einzelnen Projekte zuständig.

Was die Förderung der Gesundheitsinfrastruktur allgemein betrifft, so wurden im Zeitraum 2007-2013 für entsprechende Projekte 5,3 Mio. EUR bereitgestellt, hauptsächlich in „Konvergenz“-Mitgliedstaaten und -Regionen. Eine begrenzte Zahl von Beispielen kofinanzierter Gesundheitsprojekte wird in der Projektdatenbank und der Policy-Learning-Datenbank auf der INFOREGIO-Website (55) vorgestellt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004906/14

to the Commission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU cohesion funding for the fitting-out of hospitals

1.

In the last 10 years, which hospitals in the EU have received structural funding?

2.

What equipment has been purchased with that funding?

3.

How much structural funding has been spent, in total, on hospitals?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2014)

The Commission does not hold systematic information on all the specific projects involving support to individual hospitals. In the context of the shared management of cohesion policy, Member States are responsible for selecting and managing individual projects.

In relation to support for health infrastructure in general, EUR 5.3 billion has been allocated to such projects in the 2007-2013 period, primarily in ‘convergence’ Member States and regions. A limited number of examples of co-financed health projects are presented in the project database and the policy learning database on the Inforegio website (56).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-004907/14

an die Kommission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Korruptionsvorwürfe Türkei

Am 3. März zitierten einige Zeitungen einen Bericht, wonach die Europäische Kommission eine Untersuchung zu Korruptionsvorwürfen in der Türkei eingeleitet hat. Den Quellen zufolge werden das türkische Ministerium für EU-Angelegenheiten und dessen früherer Chef, Egemen Bağış, mit den Vorwürfen in Verbindung gebracht.

Gibt es eine Untersuchung vonseiten der Kommission oder OLAF?

Welche Fonds, Programme und Projekte sind betroffen?

Um welche Beträge handelt es sich?

Antwort von Androulla Vassiliou im Namen der Kommission

(11. Juni 2014)

Am 26. Dezember 2013 berichtete die türkische Presse über mutmaßliche Unregelmäßigkeiten im Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauch von EU-Mitteln durch die türkische nationale Agentur (NA), die für die Durchführung des Programms für lebenslanges Lernen (PLL) und des Programms „Jugend in Aktion“ zuständig ist. Es ging dabei um die Verfahren für die Einstellung von Mitarbeitern und die Auftragsvergabe.

Nach Benachrichtigung durch die EU-Delegation in Ankara beschloss die Kommission, vor Ort eine Ad-hoc-Prüfung durchzuführen. Die Prüfung konzentrierte sich auf die Betriebskostenzuschüsse, die der türkischen NA jedes Jahr für die Durchführung der beiden Programme gewährt wurden.

Nachstehend die Höhe des Betriebskostenzuschusses pro Jahr und Programm:

Referenz

Bezugsjahr

Betriebskostenzuschuss der EU

PLL

2012

EUR 2 722 000,00

PLL

2012

EUR 4 141 000,00

„Jugend in Aktion“

2012

EUR 816 000,00

„Jugend in Aktion“

2013

EUR 835 000,00

Die Prüfung wurde im Februar und März 2014 durchgeführt. Geprüft wurden die Verfahren für die Einstellung von Mitarbeitern und die Auftragsvergabe in den Jahren 2012 und 2013, also den Jahren, in denen es angeblich zu Unregelmäßigkeiten gekommen war. Das routinemäßige kontradiktorische Verfahren, in dessen Rahmen die geprüfte Stelle eine Stellungnahme zu dem vorläufigen Bericht abgeben kann, ist derzeit im Gange. Auf der Grundlage der Stellungnahme der geprüften Stelle wird ein abschließender Prüfbericht verfasst, der dann der geprüften Stelle übermittelt wird. Der Inhalt derartiger Berichte ist vertraulich.

Das Europäische Amt für Betrugsbekämpfung (OLAF) ist über die Vorwürfe und die von der Kommission diesbezüglich eingeleiteten Schritte in Kenntnis gesetzt worden. Falls erforderlich, wird OLAF sorgfältig prüfen, ob es im Rahmen seiner Zuständigkeiten angemessene Maßnahmen ergreifen wird.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004907/14

to the Commission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Allegations of corruption in Turkey

On 3 March 2014, a number of newspapers reported that the Commission had launched an investigation into allegations of corruption in Turkey. According to sources, the allegations involve the Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs and its former head, Egemen Bağış.

Is there a Commission or OLAF investigation?

What funds, programmes and projects are involved?

What amounts are involved?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

On 26 December 2013 allegations of irregularities concerning misuse of EU funds by the Turkish National Agency (NA) in charge of the implementation of the Lifelong Learning (LLP) and of the Youth in Action (YIA) programmes appeared in the Turkish press. These allegations concerned staff recruitment and procurement procedures.

Upon notification by the EU delegation in Ankara, the Commission decided to conduct an ad-hoc audit on the spot. The audit focused on the operating grants that the Turkish NA received each year for the implementation of the two programmes concerned.

The amounts of the operating grant per year and per programme are the following:

Reference

Year

EU operation grant

LLP

2012

EUR 2 722 000.00

LLP

2012

EUR 4 141 000.00

YIA

2012

EUR 816 000.00

YIA

2013

EUR 835 000.00

The audit was carried out in February and March 2014. It looked into recruitment and procurement procedures during 2012 and 2013, years in which these irregularities allegedly took place. The routine adversary procedure, by which the auditee can submit comments on the preliminary report, is currently on-going. On the basis of the comments received from the auditee, a final audit report will be elaborated and sent to the auditee. The content of such reports is confidential.

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has been informed of both the allegations and the steps taken by the Commission in this respect. OLAF will duly consider taking any appropriate actions within the realm of its competences, if needed.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004908/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Μη καταβολή των προβλεπόμενων αποζημιώσεων στους απολυμένους της ΕΡΤ

Έχουν περάσει 10 μήνες από την αιφνιδιαστική, αντιδημοκρατική και πρωτοφανή απόφαση της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης να κλείσει τον δημόσιο ραδιοτηλεοπτικό φορέα της χώρας, την ΕΡΤ, απολύοντας συνολικά 2 600 εργαζόμενους. Εκτός από τον αντισυνταγματικό, αλλά και αντίθετο με την ευρωπαϊκή νομοθεσία χαρακτήρα αυτής της απόφασης, η ελληνική κυβέρνηση δεν φρόντισε να τηρήσει τη νομιμότητα ούτε όσον αφορά την καταβολή των αποζημιώσεων στους απολυμένους της εταιρείας.

Μέχρι σήμερα έχουν καταβληθεί μόλις δύο δόσεις σε 1 300 πρώην εργαζόμενους της ΕΡΤ, ενώ έχει ήδη παρέλθει η αποσβεστική προθεσμία για καταβολή της τρίτης δόσης, που έπρεπε να είχε εξοφληθεί τον Οκτώβριο. Ακόμα σε περίπου 1 000 εργαζόμενους οι αποζημιώσεις έχουν καταβληθεί σε λάθος ημερομηνίες και χωρίς να τους έχει γνωστοποιηθεί το συνολικό ποσό της αποζημίωσής τους. Επιπροσθέτως, δεν έχουν καταβληθεί τα οφειλόμενα για την άδεια του 2013, με τις προσαυξήσεις, ούτε τα δεδουλευμένα και οι υπερωρίες σε όσους τους οφείλονται.

Ερωτάται η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή: Είναι σύννομη με το ευρωπαϊκό δίκαιο η μη καταβολή ολόκληρης της αποζημίωσης που δικαιούνται οι πρώην εργαζόμενοι της ΕΡΤ ΑΕ;

Η μη καταβολή των νόμιμων αποζημιώσεων συνιστά, σύμφωνα με τις ευρωπαϊκές οδηγίες, στην πράξη ακύρωση της απόλυσης των εργαζομένων;

Απάντηση του κ. Andor εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(4 Ιουνίου 2014)

Επί του παρόντος, δεν υφίσταται νομοθεσία της ΕΕ σχετικά με την καταβολή αποζημίωσης στους εργαζομένους που απολύονται μετά το κλείσιμο της εταιρείας στην οποία εργάζονταν. Το πρόβλημα, ως εκ τούτου, ρυθμίζεται από την εθνική νομοθεσία.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004908/14

to the Commission

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Failure to pay the agreed compensation to redundant ERT employees

Ten months have now elapsed since the Greek government’s precipitate, undemocratic and unprecedented decision to close down the Greek public broadcaster, ERT, dismissing a total of 2 600 employees. Apart from the unconstitutional nature of this decision and the fact that it is contrary to EC law, the Greek Government has not bothered to respect the legal requirements regarding the payment of compensation to the redundant ERT employees.

So far only two instalments have been paid to 1 300 former ERT employees, and the deadline for the payment of the third instalment has already passed — it should have been paid in October. Some 1 000 workers have been paid compensation on the wrong dates and without them having been notified of the total amount of compensation they would be receiving. Furthermore, they have not been paid their due for leave in 2013, with increments; nor have outstanding pay and overtime claims been settled.

Will the Commission state: is the failure to pay the entire amount of compensation to which former ERT employees are entitled in keeping with EC law?

Under EU directives, does the non-payment of legitimate compensation in practice invalidate the decision to dismiss the employees?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

There is, at present, no EU legislation regarding the payment of compensation to workers who are dismissed following the closure of the company that employed them. The issue is therefore regulated by national law.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004909/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Η ιδιωτικοποίηση των αεροδρομίων Θεσσαλονίκης, Χανίων και Σκάθιου παραβιάζει τον Κανονισμό 1083/2006

Το ΤΑΙΠΕΔ έχει προχωρήσει σε διαγωνισμό για την παραχώρηση του δικαιώματος χρήσης, διαχείρισης και εκμετάλλευσης των Περιφερειακών Αεροδρομίων, που χωρίζονται σε δύο ομάδες. Η πρώτη ομάδα περιλαμβάνει τα αεροδρόμια της Θεσσαλονίκης, της Κέρκυρας, της Ζακύνθου, της Κεφαλονιάς, του Ακτίου, της Καβάλας και των Χανίων και, δυνητικά, τα αεροδρόμια της Αλεξανδρούπολης, της Καλαμάτας, της Νέας Αγχιάλου και του Αράξου. Η δεύτερη ομάδα περιλαμβάνει τα αεροδρόμια της Ρόδου, της Κω, της Σαντορίνης, της Μυκόνου, της Μυτιλήνης, της Σκιάθου και της Σάμου και, δυνητικά, τα αεροδρόμια της Χίου, της Καρπάθου, της Νέας Αγχιάλου και της Λήμνου. Η παραχώρηση θα γίνει για χρονικό διάστημα τουλάχιστον 30 ετών και θα αφορά τις υπηρεσίες λειτουργίας και συντήρησής τους. Επιπλέον, το ελληνικό Δημόσιο μπορεί να παρατείνει τη διάρκεια της παραχώρησης για άλλα 10 έτη. Για το αεροδρόμιο Θεσσαλονίκης είναι σε εξέλιξη δύο εργολαβίες, αρχικού κόστους η πρώτη 250 εκατ. ευρώ και η δεύτερη 38,7 εκατ. ευρώ, οι οποίες χρηματοδοτούνται από ευρωπαϊκά κονδύλια. Για το αεροδρόμιο Χανίων εκτελείται εργολαβία επέκτασης και κατασκευής νέου πύργου ελέγχου, το οποίο χρηματοδοτείται από το ΕΣΠΑ, ύψους 110 εκ. ευρώ. Για το αεροδρόμιο Σκιάθου εκτελείται εργολαβία το κόστος της οποίας αγγίζει τα 18,5 εκατ. ευρώ με χρηματοδότηση επίσης από το ΕΣΠΑ.

Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 57 του Κανονισμού 1083/2006 η χρηματοδότηση των ευρωπαϊκών Ταμείων σε επένδυση υποδομής διατηρείται «μόνον εάν, εντός πέντε ετών από την ολοκλήρωσή της, δεν υποστεί σημαντική τροποποίηση η οποία προκαλείται από αλλαγή στη φύση της κυριότητας στοιχείου υποδομής». Με βάση το ανωτέρω, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή: Είναι σύμφωνη με το άρθρο 57 του Κανονισμού 1083/2006 η παραχώρηση εκμετάλλευσης για τουλάχιστον 30 χρόνια των υποδομών που χρηματοδοτούνται από ευρωπαϊκά κονδύλια;

Απάντηση του κ. Rehn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(20 Ιουνίου 2014)

Η παραχώρηση του δικαιώματος χρήσης, διαχείρισης και εκμετάλλευσης των περιφερειακών αεροδρομίων της Ελλάδας, μετά τον διαγωνισμό που αναφέρεται στην ερώτηση, δεν φαίνεται να αποτελεί αλλαγή κυριότητας, δεδομένου ότι η παραχώρηση θα καλύπτει μόνο τη λειτουργία και τη συντήρηση της υποδομής του αεροδρομίου. Ως εκ τούτου, εφόσον δεν θα υπάρχει «σημαντική τροποποίηση η οποία προκαλείται από αλλαγή στη φύση της κυριότητας στοιχείου υποδομής», φαίνεται να πληρούνται οι όροι του άρθρου 57 του κανονισμού (ΕΚ) αριθ. 1083/2006 σχετικά με τη διάρκεια των πράξεων.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004909/14

to the Commission

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: The privatisation of Thessaloniki, Chania and Skiathos Airports is in breach of Regulation 1083/2006

The HRADF has issued a call for tenders for the award of a concession for the right to use, manage and exploit Greece’s regional airports which are divided into two groups. The first group comprises the airports of Thessaloniki, Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Aktion, Kavala and Chania and, possibly, the airports of Alexandroupolis, Kalamata, Nea Anchialos and Araxos. The second group comprises the airports of Rhodes, Kos, Santorini, Mykonos, Mytilini, Skiathos and Samos and, possibly, the airports of Chios, Karpathos, Nea Anchialos and Limnos. The concession will be for a minimum duration of 30 years and will cover operating and maintenance services. Moreover, the Greek Government may extend the duration of the concession for another 10 years. For Thessaloniki Airport, two projects are under way, the first originally costing EUR 250 million and the second EUR 38.7 million, financed from EU funds. For Chania Airport a project is under way involving the expansion of the airport and the construction of a new control tower funded by the NSRF to the tune of EUR 110 million. For Skiathos Airport a project is under way costing approximately EUR 18.5 million, also funded by the NSRF.

Under the terms of Article 57 of Regulation 1083/2006, the financing by EU Funds of infrastructure investments may be retained ‘only if it does not, within five years from its completion, undergo a substantial modification which is caused by a change in the nature of ownership of an item of infrastructure’. In view of the above, will the Commission say: is the aware of concession for a period of at least 30 years for the exploitation of infrastructure funded by EU funds in conformity with Article 57 of Regulation 1083/2006?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2014)

The award of a concession for the right to use, manage and exploit Greece’s regional airports, following the call for tenders mentioned in the question, would not appear to represent a change of ownership since the concession will cover only the operation and maintenance of the airport infrastructure. Therefore, in so far as there would not be a ‘substantial modification which is caused by a change in the nature of ownership of an item of infrastructure’, the conditions of Article 57 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 on the durability of operations would appear to be met.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004910/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Η ιδιωτικοποίηση των περιφερειακών αεροδρομίων θέτει σε κίνδυνο την αεροπορικη σύνδεση απομακρυσμένων και νησιωτικών περιοχών

Το ΤΑΙΠΕΔ έχει προχωρήσει σε διαγωνισμό για την παραχώρηση του δικαιώματος χρήσης, διαχείρισης και εκμετάλλευσης των Περιφερειακών Αεροδρομίων, που χωρίζονται σε δύο ομάδες. Η πρώτη ομάδα περιλαμβάνει τα αεροδρόμια της Θεσσαλονίκης, της Κέρκυρας, της Ζακύνθου, της Κεφαλονιάς, του Ακτίου, της Καβάλας και των Χανίων και, δυνητικά, τα αεροδρόμια της Αλεξανδρούπολης, της Καλαμάτας, της Νέας Αγχιάλου και του Αράξου. Η δεύτερη ομάδα περιλαμβάνει τα αεροδρόμια της Ρόδου, της Κω, της Σαντορίνης, της Μυκόνου, της Μυτιλήνης, της Σκιάθου και της Σάμου και δυνητικά, τα αεροδρόμια της Χίου, της Καρπάθου, της Νέας Αγχιάλου και της Λήμνου. Στο πλαίσιο του Κανονισμού 1008/2008 για την εξυπηρέτηση νησιωτικών και απομακρυσμένων περιοχών έχουν επιβληθεί υποχρεώσεις παροχής δημόσιας υπηρεσίας στις εξής αεροπορικές γραμμές: Αθήνα-Σκιάθος, Θεσσαλονίκη-Σάμος, Θεσσαλονίκη-Κέρκυρα, Θεσσαλονίκη-Χίος, Λήμνος-Μυτιλήνη-Ρόδος, Λήμνος-Μυτιλήνη-Σάμος-Ρόδος, Ρόδος-Καστελόριζο, Ρόδος-Αστυπάλαια, Ρόδος-Κάρπαθος, Θεσσαλονίκη-Ικαρία, Αλεξανδρούπολη-Σητεία, Θεσσαλονίκη-Καλαμάτα. Οι συγκεκριμένες γραμμές είναι μεταξύ ή αφορούν τουλάχιστον ένα από τα υπό ιδιωτικοποίηση αεροδρόμια.

Δεδομένου ότι ο νέος ιδιώτης κάτοχος των αεροδρομίων αγοράζει πακέτο όλα τα γειτονικά περιφερειακά αεροδρόμια (πρώτο πακέτο αεροδρόμια βόρειας Ελλάδας με Χανιά — πακέτο δεύτερο: αεροδρόμια Αιγαίου) και θα μπορεί να περιορίσει την ανάπτυξη μερικών από αυτά για να ευνοήσει άλλα ή ακόμη και να κλείσει κάποια από αυτά για να ευνοήσει την ανάπτυξη γειτονικών τους αεροδρομίων, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή: Είναι σύμφωνη με τον Κανονισμό 1008/2008 η ιδιωτικοποίηση των περιφερειακών αεροδρομίων σε πακέτα που περιλαμβάνουν γειτονικά μεταξύ τους αεροδρόμια δεδομένου ότι μπορεί να θέσει σε κίνδυνο τη σύνδεση απομακρυσμένων και νησιωτικών περιοχών;

Απάντηση του κ. Kallas εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(4 Ιουνίου 2014)

Ο κανονισμός (ΕΚ) αριθ. 1008/2008 (57) θεσπίζει ορισμένες βασικές απαιτήσεις για τις υποχρεώσεις παροχής δημόσιας υπηρεσίας (ΥΔΥ). Ο ίδιος ο κανονισμός, ωστόσο, δεν ορίζει ποιες γραμμές πρέπει να υπόκεινται σε υποχρεώσεις παροχής δημόσιας υπηρεσίας. Εναπόκειται στα κράτη μέλη να καθορίσουν εάν το μέσο ΥΔΥ απαιτείται για τις αεροπορικές γραμμές εντός της δικαιοδοσίας τους.

Ο κανονισμός (ΕΚ) αριθ. 1008/2008 δεν προβλέπει το ιδιοκτησιακό μοντέλο που πρέπει να εφαρμοστεί στους αερολιμένες που εξυπηρετούνται από γραμμές στις οποίες έχουν επιβληθεί υποχρεώσεις παροχής δημόσιας υπηρεσίας.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004910/14

to the Commission

Kriton Arsenis (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Air services for remote and island areas endangered by regional airport privatisation

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (Taiped) has launched a two-part competitive tendering procedure for the use, management and exploitation of regional airports. The first part includes the airports of Thessaloniki, Corfu, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Aktion, Kavala and Chania and possibly the airports of Alexandroupli, Kalamata, Nea Aghialos and Araxos. The second part includes the airports of Rhodes, Kos, Santorini, Mykonos, Mytilini, Skiathos and Samos and possibly the airports of Chios, Karpathos, Nea Aghialos and Limnos. Regulation 1008/2008 contains provisions regarding compulsory air transport services for island and remote areas on the following routes: Athens-Skiathos, Thessaloniki-Samos, Thessaloniki-Corfu, Thessaloniki-Chios, Limnos-Mytilini-Rhodes, Limnos-Mytilini-Samos-Rhodes, Rhodes-Kastelorizo, Rhodes-Astypalaia, Rhodes-Karpathos, Thessaloniki-Ikaria, Alexandroupoli-Siteia and Thessaloniki-Kalamata. The routes in question include at least one if not more of the connecting airports to be privatised.

Given that the new private ownership arrangements will extend to all nearby airports included in the packages (the first package including the airports of northern Greece and Chania and the second the Aegean airports) and that, as a result, a number of them may be allowed to provide restricted services only or even closed down by the new owners in favour of others nearby being allowed to expand:

Can the Commission say whether the inclusion of all nearby airports in a regional airport privatisation package is in line with Regulation 1008/2008, given that this may be detrimental to services for remote and island areas?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

Regulation (EC) 1008/2008 (58) sets out certain essential requirements for public service obligations (PSO). The regulation itself, however, does not designate which routes should be subject to PSOs. It is rather for Member States to determine whether the PSO instrument is required for air routes within their jurisdiction.

Regulation (EC) 1008/2008 does not prescribe the model of ownership to be applied to airports served by routes subject to public service obligations.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004911/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Sophocles Sophocleous (S&D)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Απευθείας εμπόριο με τα κατεχόμενα

Κατόπιν πρότασης που υπέβαλε ο ευρωβουλευτής των Φιλελευθέρων, Νικόλο Ρινάλντι, για επαναφορά του εν λόγω κανονισμού για απευθείας εμπόριο από τα κατεχόμενα λιμάνια της Κύπρου για μια δοκιμαστική περίοδο πέντε χρόνων, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Λαμβάνει καθόλου υπόψη της ότι τόσο η Νομική Υπηρεσία όσο και η Επιτροπή Νομικών του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου θεωρούν λανθασμένη τη νομική βάση του συγκεκριμένου κανονισμού, αφού κάνει αναφορά σε τρίτη χώρα και όχι στα κατεχόμενα εδάφη κράτους μέλους;

Πώς σχολιάζει το γεγονός ότι τέτοιου είδους προτάσεις παραβιάζουν κάθε έννοια και αρχή του διεθνούς δικαίου και ενισχύουν αποσχιστικές ενέργειες;

Γιατί συνεχίζει να προωθείται επαναφορά του εν λόγω ζητήματος, ιδιαίτερα σε μια χρονική στιγμή όπου οι συνομιλίες για επίτευξη λύσης του κυπριακού προβλήματος έχουν ξεκινήσει;

Απάντηση του κ. Füle εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(3 Ιουνίου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή παραπέμπει τον κ. βουλευτή στην απάντησή της στη γραπτή ερώτηση E-003071/2014 (59).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004911/14

to the Commission

Sophocles Sophocleous (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Direct trade with the occupied territories

In respect of a proposal by the ALDE MEP Niccolò Rinaldi to revive the regulation for direct trade from occupied ports in Cyprus for a trial period of five years, will the Commission say:

Does it take any account of the fact that both the Legal Service and the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs consider that the legal basis for this regulation is flawed, since it refers to a third country rather than to the occupied territories of a Member State?

How does it view the fact that such proposals violate every notion and principle of international law and foment separatism?

Why does it continue to promote the revival of this issue, particularly at a time when talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem have re-started?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to its answer to written question E-003071/2014 (60).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004912/14

to the Commission

Richard Howitt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU support for women with autism

A List of Actions 2010-2015 was brought out to implement the European Disability Strategy (EDS) 2010-2020. Presumably there will be a further list of actions for 2015 to 2020.

Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, headed ‘Women with disabilities’, says that: ‘States Parties recognise that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.’

But the report by Angelika Werthmann on women and disabilities regrets the fact that the EDS 2010-2020 ‘does not include any integrated gender perspective or any separate gender specific disability policies’ (p. 8, paragraph 2). The report also states that ‘women and girls with disabilities can only enjoy equal rights if gender justice is realised’ (p. 7, recital N), and insists that ‘disability policies should be gender mainstreamed’ (p. 8, paragraph 2).

1.

Can the Commission provide guidance on how the issue of under-diagnosis of women with autism can be addressed in the EDS List of Actions, given that lack of diagnosis seriously undermines the ability of women to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms?

2.

Can the Commission provide guidance on how countries across the EU can ensure that diagnostic tests are adapted to take into account the differences between women and men with autism (as is starting to take place in the UK and Scandinavia)?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

A review of the implementation of the various actions of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (61) is underway to prepare for a report in 2014 on progress made and for an updated list of actions for 2016-2020. In the list of actions for 2010-2015 (62) under the key action to support policy developments to improve equal access to healthcare, gender considerations are included.

Statistically, Autistic Spectrum Disorders affects more males than females, but the reasons for this remain unclear. Since 2013 the EU FP7 Programme is supporting the project European Autism Interventions — a Multi-centre Study for Developing New Medications (EU AIMS) (63) aimed at developing potential treatments, and funded by the largest single grant for autism worldwide. Research under this project suggest that researchers should stratify their results by gender and avoid assuming that results found in males also apply to females. In this direction the Commission intends to launch in 2014 a Call for Tender to analyse the feasibility of a European Protocol on Early Detection of ASD in which the gender dimension will be taken into account.

The Commission pays specific attention to autism as an important form of disability and also raises awareness about it. In 2014 Autism-Europe (64) received an EU action grant for activities which include awareness raising campaigns (65). For example its project ‘Autism in Pink’ focuses on the specific needs of women with autism.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004914/14

to the Commission

Richard Howitt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: ‘Mission for Growth to Israel’: expansion of bilateral cooperation

On 22 and 23 October 2013, Vice-President Tajani led a ‘Mission for Growth’ to Israel. Letters of intent were signed regarding the expansion of EU-Israel cooperation in industrial policy and the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as an administrative agreement concerning Israel’s participation in the GNSS satellite navigation programme. The Vice-President also met the Israeli Minister of Tourism to discuss cooperation in this area.

The EU has committed itself to making any upgrading of EU-Israel relations conditional on improved respect for international humanitarian law. Parliament has also resolved that ‘Israel’s commitment to respect its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law towards the Palestinian population must be taken into full consideration in the EU’s bilateral relations with the country’. The Foreign Affairs Council has taken the position that ‘in line with international law — all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967’.

1.

How is the signing of the abovementioned letters of intent consistent with the EU’s commitments and positions on conditionality in the context of upgrading EU-Israel relations?

2.

When signing the letters of intent and the administrative agreement, did EU negotiators ensure that their Israeli counterparts were fully aware of the EU’s position on the exclusion of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967? In further negotiations, will EU representatives be given clear instructions on implementing this commitment?

3.

In the proposed expansion of SME cooperation, what safeguards will be put in place to ensure that EU support is not extended to SMEs involved in serious breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law?

4.

For European businesses, the field of tourism entails a particular risk of contributing to the illegal settlement enterprise. What steps have been, or will be, taken to ensure that European tour operators receive guidance on avoiding support for settlement businesses, as recommended in 2011 by the EU heads of mission in Jerusalem?

Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission

(26 June 2014)

1.

The Letters of Intent are fully in line with current EU policies, including the Commission Guidelines on Israel’s participation in EU Programmes and the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and they were formulated in policy areas under the competence of the Commission.

2.

Before the signature, representatives of the EU ensured that the Israeli counterparts were fully aware of the EU’s position on the exclusion of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This commitment is respected at its implementation.

3.

The letters of intent are not intended to create any binding or legal obligations on either side under domestic or international law including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

The EU-Israel Association Agreement frames the legal basis for the letter of intent on SME cooperation, so it respects the EU’s international policy and legal requirements. The EU-Israel Association Agreement prioritizes political stability and economic development, aims to encourage regional cooperation and opens up a regular political dialogue on issues of common interest which is also the aim of the letter of intent.

4.

The Guidelines describe the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014.

The guidelines follow up the decision taken by the EU Foreign Affairs Council in December 2012. This stated that ‘all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967’.

So, the EU institutions guarantee that participating entities from all sectors, including tourism, on both the Israeli and the EU sides respect the Guidelines.

(Slovenska različica)

Vprašanje za pisni odgovor E-004915/14

za Komisijo

Alojz Peterle (PPE)

(16. april 2014)

Zadeva: Dovoljenje za promet s homeopatskimi zdravili („ciprska klavzula“)

Člen 126(a) Direktive 2001/83/ES določa: „Kadar zdravilo nima dovoljenja za promet ali v primeru nerešene vloge za pridobitev dovoljenja za promet za zdravilo, za katero je bilo v skladu s to direktivo dovoljenje izdano v drugi državi članici, država članica lahko iz utemeljenih razlogov javnega zdravja odobri dajanje omenjenega zdravila na trg“.

Isti člen tudi podrobneje določa postopek za tovrstno dovoljenje za promet in v zadnji točki navaja, da bo Komisija Parlamentu in Svetu glede uporabe te določbe najkasneje do 30. aprila 2008 predstavila poročilo, da bi lahko Parlament in Svet predlagala spremembe.

Čeprav je na spletni strani Komisije (66) mogoče najti dodatne informacije o izvajanju in uporabi tega posebnega postopka dovoljenja za promet, pa predvideno poročilo doslej še ni bilo pripravljeno.

Ali lahko Komisija pojasni, kdaj namerava pripraviti in objaviti poročilo, ki je bilo v skladu s členom 126(a) predvideno že aprila 2008?

Odgovor komisarja Tonia Borga v imenu Komisije

(5. junij 2014)

Glavni namen poročila iz leta 2008, ki ga je navedel poslanec, je bil predlagati kakršne koli potrebne spremembe člena 126a Direktive 2001/83/ES. Zakonodajni predlog, ki ga je Komisija sprejela leta 2008 (67), je zajemal takšne spremembe, ki državam članicam omogočajo, da pod določenimi pogoji sprejmejo odstopanja od nekaterih določb Direktive 2001/83/ES v zvezi z označevanjem in pakiranjem, v kontekstu resnih težav v zvezi z dostopnostjo. Zakonodaja, ki je bila nato sprejeta leta 2010 (68), je ustrezno spremenila člen 126a.

Poleg tega je Komisija zunanjega izvajalca zaprosila za poročilo o študiji o dostopnosti zdravil za uporabo v humani medicini. Službe Komisije se trenutno posvetujejo z Odborom za farmacijo o navedenem poročilu o študiji, ki vključuje tudi izvajanje člena 126a. Tako poročilo kot pripombe, ki jih je prejel Odbor za farmacijo, bodo objavljeni po zaključku posvetovalnega procesa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004915/14

to the Commission

Alojz Peterle (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Marketing authorisation of homeopathic medicinal products (‘Cyprus clause’)

Article 126a of Directive 2001/83/EC states that ‘In the absence of a marketing authorisation or of a pending application for a medicinal product authorised in another Member State in accordance with this directive, a Member State may for justified public health reasons authorise the placing on the market of the said medicinal product’.

This article further specifies the procedure for this kind of marketing authorisation and concludes by stating that the Commission shall present a report to Parliament and the Council concerning the application of this provision with a view to proposing any necessary amendments no later than 30 April 2008.

While additional information on the application and the use of this specific marketing authorisation procedure can be found on the Commission’s website (69), the envisaged report has not been produced so far.

Can the Commission indicate when it intends to draw up and publish the report, originally foreseen for April 2008 as stipulated by Article 126a?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2014)

The main purpose of a report by 2008 mentioned by the Honourable Member was to propose any necessary amendments to Article 126a of Directive 2001/83/EC. The legislative proposal that was adopted by the Commission in 2008 (70) included such amendments aimed at allowing Member States to accept, under certain conditions, deviations from certain provisions of Directive 2001/83/EC related to labelling and packaging, in the context of severe availability problems. The legislation which was subsequently adopted in 2010 (71) amended Article 126a accordingly.

In addition, the Commission asked an external contractor to provide a study report on the availability of medicinal products for human use. The Commission services are currently consulting the Pharmaceutical committee on that study report which also includes in its scope the implementation of Article 126a. Both the report and the comments received by the Pharmaceutical committee will be published once this consultation process has been completed.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004916/14

aan de Commissie (Vicevoorzitter/Hoge Vertegenwoordiger)

Marietje Schaake (ALDE)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: VP/HR — Nieuwe  terrorismewetten in Saoedi-Arabië

Nieuwe  terrorismewetten in Saoedi-Arabië verlenen de overheid uitgebreide bevoegdheden om bijna elk individu en elke organisatie als crimineel te beschouwen die wordt ervaren als kritisch ten aanzien van de overheid of de staatsgodsdienst. De nieuwe  terrorismewetten omvatten bepalingen waarmee wordt voorzien in de strafbaarstelling van „daden waarmee wordt opgeroepen tot atheïstische gedachten in welke vorm ook of waarmee de grondslagen in twijfel worden getrokken van de islamitische godsdienst waarop het land is gebaseerd” en van „iedere persoon die niet meer loyaal is ten aanzien van de bestuurders van het land of die trouw zweert aan een partij, organisatie, [gedachte-]stroming, groep of individu binnen of buiten [het koninkrijk]”.

1.

Is de VV/HV op de hoogte van deze wijzigingen en, zo ja, hoe beoordeelt zij deze?

2.

Is de VV/HV het ermee eens dat deze wetten strijdig zijn met de fundamentele vrijheden van gedachte, godsdienst en geloof? Zo niet, waarom niet?

3.

Is de VV/HV het ermee eens dat deze nieuwe wetten een verontrustende ontwikkeling kunnen zijn in een land waar geen sprake is van een vrije en open democratische samenleving en waar het vrije woord, de persvrijheid en de vrijheid van meningsuiting reeds beperkt zijn? Zo niet, waarom niet?

4.

Heeft de VV/HV deze kwestie aangekaart bij de regering van het Koninkrijk Saoedi-Arabië? Zo nee, is de VV/HV van plan dit in de toekomst te doen?

Antwoord van hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter Ashton namens de Commissie

(12 juni 2014)

De HV/VV is ervan op de hoogte dat Saudi-Arabië nieuwe antiterrorismewetgeving heeft goedgekeurd. Deze wetgeving herbevestigt en versterkt reeds bestaande maatregelen inzake de bestrijding van  terrorismefinanciering en heeft met name tot doel om buitenlandse strijders te straffen die in het buitenland gaan vechten of lid worden van  terroristische organisaties.

Wij stellen de aanhoudende inspanningen van Saudi-Arabië om  terrorisme op het eigen grondgebied te bestrijden op prijs en nemen er nota van dat de wetgeving sterk is toegespitst op de strijd tegen  terrorismefinanciering en het opleggen van strenge straffen aan individuen die zich hieraan schuldig maken. Tezelfdertijd zijn wij ook bezorgd over de brede interpretatiemogelijkheden van de wet, die  terrorisme definieert als elke daad met een crimineel motief die op directe of indirecte wijze de openbare orde of de veiligheid of stabiliteit van de staat ondermijnt, of de nationale eenheid in gevaar brengt.

Daarom hebben wij onze bezorgdheid aan de Saudische autoriteiten kenbaar gemaakt en hen opgeroepen om bij de tenuitvoerlegging van de antiterrorismewetgeving de rechten van de mens te eerbiedigen, met inbegrip van de vrijheid van meningsuiting.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004916/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Marietje Schaake (ALDE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — New terrorism laws in Saudi Arabia

New terrorism laws in Saudi Arabia give the government extensive powers to criminalise almost any individual or organisation perceived as being critical of the government or the state religion. The new terrorism laws include provisions criminalising the acts of ‘calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based’ and ‘anyone who throws away their loyalty to the country’s rulers, or who swears allegiance to any party, organisation, current [of thought], group, or individual inside or outside [the kingdom]’.

1.

Is the VP/HR aware of these changes and, if so, what is her assessment of them?

2.

Does the VP/HR agree that such laws are contrary to the fundamental freedoms of thought, religion and belief? If not, why not?

3.

Does the VP/HR agree that these new laws could constitute a worrying development in a country which lacks a free and open democratic society, and where freedom of speech, freedom of the media and freedom of expression are already restricted? If not, why not?

4.

Has the VP/HR addressed this issue with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? If not, does the VP/HR plan to do so in the future?

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

(12 June 2014)

The HR/VP is aware that Saudi Arabia has adopted a new legislation on counter-terrorism. This legislation confirms and strengthens previous measures countering terrorism financing and aims to particularly penalize foreign fighters going to fight abroad or joining terrorist organisations.

While we welcome Saudi Arabia's sustained effort to fight terrorism on its territory and note that the law very much focuses on combating terrorist financing and imposes severe penalties on individuals financing terrorist activity, at the same time we are concerned by the broad scope of the law which defines terrorism as any act with a criminal motive that directly or indirectly undermines public order and the state’s security and stability, or endangers national unity.

We have therefore conveyed to the Saudi authorities our concern and called on them to implement the counter-terrorism legislation in accordance with human rights principles, including freedom of expression.

(Hrvatska verzija)

Pitanje za pisani odgovor E-004917/14

upućeno Komisiji

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(16. travnja 2014.)

Predmet: Hrvatski predstavnici u Skupštini Republike Srbije

Izvješće o napretku Srbije u 2013. godini dobilo je pozitivnu ocjenu Europskog parlamenta, a 1. ožujka 2012. ta zemlja dobiva status kandidatkinje za članstvo u Europskoj uniji, što je svojevrsno priznanje za poduzete napore na europskom putu Srbije. Iako Hrvatska u odnosu sa Srbijom još uvijek ima mnoga neriješena pitanja, najbolnije je svakako nemogućnost pronalaska 1665 osoba nestalih iz Domovinskog rata zbog manjka informacija. Težak položaj hrvatske nacionalne manjine u Srbiji najbolje pokazuje činjenica da je 2005. godine potpisan sporazum između Republike Hrvatske i Republika Srbije i Crne Gore koji potpisnice obvezuje na reciprocitetno jamčenje političkih i građanskih prava pripadnicima srpske nacionalne manjine u Hrvatskoj i hrvatske nacionalne manjine u Srbiji. U skladu s tim sporazumom, ali i Ustavom RH te zakonom o pravima nacionalnih manjina, Srbi u Hrvatskoj imaju pravo na tri zastupnika u Saboru. Građanima Hrvatske koji su srpske nacionalnosti omogućava se da biraju i budu izabrani na listi nacionalnih manjina, ali i na općoj izbornoj listi. Time Hrvatska postavlja visoke demokratske standarde koji su teško dostižni i puno starijim europskim demokracijama.

Nažalost, Srbija ignorira provedbu potpisanog sporazuma iz 2005., a Hrvatima nije osigurano mjesto u Skupštini te zemlje iako prema popisu stanovništva iz 2011. Hrvati predstavljaju 4. najbrojniju nacionalnu manjinu u Vojvodini te ih tamo živi 57 900, što nije zanemariv broj.

Imajući u vidu početak pregovora Srbije s EU-om i ispunjavanje kriterija po poglavljima, a s obzirom na veliku osjetljivost EU-a prema nacionalnim manjinama, što Komisija namjerava poduzeti kako bi Republika Srbija implementirala obveze preuzete potpisivanjem sporazuma i tako omogućila pripadnicima hrvatske nacionalne manjine zastupljenost u Skupštini Republike Srbije, a sve radi osiguranja dobrosusjedskih odnosa i europskog puta Srbije?

Odgovor g. Fülea u ime Komisije

(27. lipnja 2014.)

Europska komisija pomno prati položaj manjina, uključujući hrvatsku manjinu, u svim državama kandidatkinjama i potencijalnim kandidatkinjama. Zaštita manjina ključan je aspekt kopenhaških političkih kriterija za članstvo u EU-u koje treba ispuniti svaka zemlja koja želi pristupiti EU-u, uključujući Srbiju. U najnovijem izvješću o napretku Srbije, u listopadu 2013. (72), Komisija je navela da je pravni okvir za zaštitu manjina uspostavljen i da se u načelu poštuje. Međutim, Komisija je također potvrdila da treba u potpunosti osigurati dosljednu provedbu tog okvira u cijeloj Srbiji, posebno kad je riječ o obrazovanju, uporabi jezika te pristupu medijima i vjerskim uslugama na jezicima manjina.

S obzirom na posebnu situaciju hrvatske manjine i odredbe bilateralnog sporazuma između Hrvatske i Srbije, Komisija nema ovlasti preporučiti Srbiji određeni model za zastupljenost nacionalnih manjina u srpskom parlamentu.

Komisija namjerava dodatno preispitati cjelokupan položaj manjina u Srbiji u okviru pregovora o pristupanju, a osobito u skladu s poglavljem 23. o pravosuđu i temeljnim pravima. Očekuje da će se u Srbiji poduzeti potrebni koraci za dosljedno poboljšanje položaja manjina diljem zemlje te će uključiti preporuke u tom pogledu u izvješće o analitičkom pregledu za to poglavlje, uzimajući u obzir i mišljenja Savjetodavnog odbora Okvirne konvencije za zaštitu nacionalnih manjina Vijeća Europe.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004917/14

to the Commission

Dubravka Šuica (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Croatian representatives in the Serbian National Assembly

The 2013 Progress Report on Serbia received a favourable assessment from Parliament, and on 1 March 2012 that country became an official candidate for EU membership, which constitutes an acknowledgement of sorts of the efforts that Serbia has made on its European path. Although Croatia still has many unresolved issues with Serbia, the most painful of these issues is certainly the failure — due to inadequate information — to locate the remains of 1 665 people who disappeared during the Croatian War of Independence. The difficult situation facing the Croatian national minority living in Serbia is best illustrated by the fact that an agreement was signed in 2005 between the Republic of Croatia and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro which stipulates that its signatories must guarantee the political and civil rights of the Serbian national minority in Croatia and of the Croatian national minority in Serbia. Pursuant to this agreement, as well as to the Croatian Constitution and the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities, Serbs in Croatia are entitled to three representatives in the Croatian Parliament. This enables Croatian citizens of Serbian origin to vote for — and be elected as — candidates on a national minority list, as well as on the general electoral list. In doing this, Croatia has set high democratic standards that are difficult even for Europe's much older democracies to achieve.

Regrettably, though, Serbia is failing to implement the agreement that it signed in 2005, and Croatians still have no guaranteed place in Serbia’s National Assembly. This is despite the fact that the 2011 census shows Croatians to be the fourth most numerous national minority in the province of Vojvodina, where the Croatian population is a not‐insignificant 57 900.

With regard to the beginning of negotiations between Serbia and the EU and to that country’s fulfilment of accession criteria according to chapters, and given that the EU is very sensitive to national minority issues, what steps does the Commission intend to take to ensure that Serbia lives up to the obligations that it assumed with the signing of the agreement by guaranteeing that members of the Croatian national minority are represented in the Serbian National Assembly? The aim of this is to ensure good, neighbourly relations and to encourage Serbia along its European path.

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 2014)

The European Commission closely monitors the situation of minorities, including the Croatian minority, in all candidate countries and potential candidates. The protection of minorities is a key aspect of the Copenhagen political criteria for EU membership which has to be met by any EU-aspiring country, including Serbia. The Commission reported in the latest Progress report on Serbia, in October 2013 (73), that the legal framework providing for the protection of minorities is in place and generally respected. However, the Commission also acknowledged that its consistent implementation throughout Serbia needs to be fully ensured, notably in the areas of education, use of language, and access to the media and religious services in minority languages.

Regarding the specific situation of the Croatian minority and the provisions of the bilateral agreement Croatia-Serbia, the Commission has no competence to recommend to Serbia a specific model for the representation of national minorities in the Serbian Parliament.

The Commission intends to further review the overall situation of minorities in Serbia in the framework of the accession negotiation process and notably under Chapter 23 on judiciary and fundamental rights. It expects from Serbia to take the necessary steps to consistently improve the situation of minorities across the country and will include recommendations in this respect in the screening report for this chapter, also taking into account the opinions of the Council of Europe Advisory Committee of the framework Convention on National Minorities.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004918/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) e Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Matrimoni binazionali e diritti

Nell'Unione europea ogni anno si registrano circa 140 000 separazioni binazionali, oltre alla disgregazione delle copie di fatto. Il diritto di famiglia è difforme negli Stati membri e pertanto le sentenze dei diversi tribunali nazionali sono emesse sulla base di concezioni diverse, a volta diametralmente opposte, rispetto a quello che dovrebbe essere il benessere del minore e anche i codici di procedura permettono di sospendere con modalità diverse l'esecuzione. Il danno maggiore lo subiscono i bambini spesso privati dei loro diritti di poter frequentare in maniera regolare entrambi i genitori, come sancito all'articolo 24 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione. Basti pensare che lo Jugendamt tedesco impone addirittura ai bambini residenti in Germania, o figli di un genitore tedesco separato, di non conoscere a fondo la cultura dell'altro genitore e/o frequentare la parte di famiglia non tedesca. È oltremodo apprezzabile che la Commissaria Reading e il Mediatore europeo per i diritti dei bambini, on. Roberta Angelilli, abbiano presentato una breve guida per essere d'aiuto ai genitori binazionali separati e per rispettare maggiormente i diritti dei minori.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione far sapere se intende proporre a tutti gli Stati membri che nei casi di matrimoni binazionali sia fatto obbligo all'istituzione officiante di consegnare agli sposi, o alle coppie di fatto registrate nei comuni, una guida sintetica e precisa sui loro diritti in caso di separazione, sui diritti dei propri figli e sulle peculiarità dei diversi diritti di famiglia?

Risposta di Viviane Reding a nome della Commissione

(19 giugno 2014)

La crescente mobilità dei cittadini nell'Unione europea ha moltiplicato il numero di famiglie con una dimensione internazionale. La separazione dei genitori è sempre una cosa difficile e dolorosa, ma quando avviene in un contesto transfrontaliero provoca stress e difficoltà ancora maggiori.

Come indicato nell'interrogazione, la Commissione ha sviluppato e lanciato di recente una campagna di informazione sui diritti e gli obblighi delle coppie internazionali in caso di separazione. La Commissione ha informato le autorità nazionali sulla documentazione disponibile in tutte le lingue dell'UE, chiedendo loro di partecipare attivamente alla sua diffusione.

La Commissione si avvale inoltre di canali propri di distribuzione. La diffusione della documentazione è volontaria ma la Commissione si augura che ne sia fatta ampia distribuzione, in cooperazione con le autorità nazionali, onde assicurarne il migliore uso.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004918/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) and Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Binational marriages and rights

Every year some 140 000 binational marriages fail in the EU, as do a large number of binational registered partnerships. Family law differs from Member State to Member State, as a result of which custody rulings can be based on very different, and in some cases diametrically opposed, interpretations of the best interests of the child. The procedures for suspending execution of court orders can also differ greatly. This situation can be extremely damaging for children, often resulting in them being unable to maintain the personal relationship and direct contact with both parents to which they are entitled under Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. For instance, the German child welfare agency will not allow children of separated binational couples to learn about the culture of the non-German parent and/or to maintain a relationship with his or her family. The extremely helpful guide that Commissioner Reding and the European Parliament Mediator for International Parental Child Abduction, Roberta Angelilli, have produced for separated binational couples, with a view to ensuring that children’s rights are upheld in all cases, is therefore to be warmly commended.

Does the Commission intend to suggest that all Member States should require authorities responsible for registering marriages and partnerships to provide binational couples with a brief but comprehensive guide to their rights in the event of separation, as well as to the rights of their children and the main points of the family law applicable?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(19 June 2014)

The growing mobility of citizens within the European Union has resulted in an increasing number of families with an international dimension. Everybody understands that family separation is always a difficult and painful affair, but when it takes place across borders, difficulties and stress are frequently compounded.

As referred to in the question, the Commission has recently prepared and launched the information campaign with the aim of informing international couples of their rights and obligations in case of family separation. It has informed national authorities about the available tools which have been produced, in all EU languages, and asked for an active participation in their dissemination.

The Commission also uses its own distribution channels. While the distribution of the tools is on a voluntary basis the Commission expects that, in cooperation with national authorities, a widespread distribution will be achieved, so that the best use of the materials will be made.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004929/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: WEEE reuse and recycling

I have been contacted by a constituent who is part of a Freecycle recycling and reuse group and who would like to see an increase in the reuse, rather than disposal, of electrical and electronic devices.

My constituent is concerned that manufacturers are forcing consumers to buy newer products and discouraging them from recycling and reusing ‘obsolete’ devices. He tells me that this includes creating new battery packs for newer devices which are often incompatible with older models, even though he believes that the contents of the new battery packs are exactly the same as the older ones.

My constituent would like to see measures to tackle the manufacturing and import of any new generation of devices in the EU that are incompatible with the older models for the sole purpose of preventing reuse and shortening the life of older devices.

Given my constituent’s concerns and the fact that protecting the environment by maximising recycling and minimising landfill is such an important aspect, could the Commission confirm:

if it is in discussion with manufacturers to reduce product obsolescence and to improve backward compatibility when newer models are introduced?

if it has any plans to introduce proposals or requirements to tackle needless product obsolescence and to encourage reuse of older products?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission pays close attention to durability of products, particularly in its policies concerning resource efficiency, Ecodesign and waste. It supports combating planned obsolescence during the design phase, as well as maximising product life-span. The Honourable Member is invited to refer to its replies to questions E-3441/2013 and E-5352/2013 (74).

The WEEE Directive (75) includes product design requirements and provisions encouraging reuse. The Commission undertakes preparatory studies which evaluate inter alia lifetime-extensions for energy-related product groups under the Ecodesign Directive (76). Thereby the Commission addresses planned obsolescence and the strengthening of consumer information for products that are already covered and will be covered in the near future. Mandatory Ecodesign and information requirements including durability requirements are set whenever the associated environmental impacts are found to be significant.

A good example is the Ecodesign implementing measures for vacuum cleaners, which include durability requirements for the hose and the operational motor lifetime, and for computers which will require that consumers are informed of products with batteries that are not easily replaced (77).

The Commission is also examining methodologies to measure durability of other product groups and develop corresponding requirements for possible inclusion of Ecodesign implementing measures, Ecolabel or GPP criteria (78) as appropriate.

The Waste and Circular Economy Package that the Commission will adopt in the coming weeks will make further proposals for improving durability, reparability, upgradability and recyclability of products via the Ecodesign Directive and other measures.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004931/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Rights for air passengers in case of flight delays

I have been contacted by a constituent who tells me that he was delayed by 24 hours on a British Airways flight to Marseille on 24 May 2013. He says that this was due to an emergency landing of a different British Airways flight to Oslo, Norway.

My constituent tells me that he is still trying to claim compensation for this delay in accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004. He says that he has written several letters to British Airways without any success and that he has also made a complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). He tells me that they passed this complaint back to British Airways, who are now claiming that the delay was outside their control.

My constituent claims that his flight was cancelled due to the closure of the runway at Heathrow Airport following the emergency landing of the flight to Oslo, and that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) believes that British Airways was at fault because the cowlings on both engines were left unlatched by British Airway’s maintenance staff, causing one of the engines to catch fire.

My constituent tells me that British Airways are trying to blame the cancellation of his flight on Air Traffic Control rather than their engineers.

Given that my constituent believes that British Airways were solely responsible for this delay, could the Commission confirm:

if British Airways is in breach of EC law by not yet providing any compensation to my constituent?

what action my constituent can take to ensure that he receives compensation from the airline, to which he is entitled under EC law?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

Pursuant to Article 16(1) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 (79), each Member State must designate a National Enforcement Body (‘NEB’), which is responsible in the first instance for ensuring that the regulation is properly applied. The Commission monitors the activities of the NEBs to ensure the correct implementation of the regulation.

With regard to the specific case of your constituent, the Commission has recevied a similar complaint from a passenger who was also not satisfied with the reply received from the UK CAA. Therefore, the Commission has already requested further information from the UK CAA with regard to this particular incident.

Nevertheless, your constituent should be informed that a reasoned opinion issued by a NEB such as UK CAA is not legally binding. Alternatively, he may wish to take legal advice and bring his case in front of a national court as only they can award compensation in such circumstances. Yet, passengers should be aware that there are time limits for bringing a case to court and they may lose their right to take legal action unless they assert them within a definite timeframe.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004932/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Funding for Olive Tree Programme

I have been contacted by a constituent about the Olive Tree Programme at City University. This allows Palestinians and Israelis to study at City University London on a 3-year undergraduate course, while at the same time participating in a parallel programme of dialogue and debate with a view to developing their leadership and conflict resolution skills.

Given that the programme aims to enable conflict management by encouraging dialogue and developing leadership skills in young people from this conflict zone, could the Commission confirm:

If this programme is eligible to apply for any EU funding to support its activities?

If so, how can my constituent apply for such funding?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

The Commission notes with interest the information about the Olive Tree study programme at City University London. Some activities of the Olive Tree project might be eligible for support under Erasmus+.

The short-term Erasmus exchanges between European countries are in the process of being extended to higher education institutions (HEI) beyond Europe. The programme will finance student and staff exchanges between HEIs in one European country (e.g. the UK) and in one partner country (e.g. Israel or Palestine). The European HEI in question would have to sign an interinstitutional agreement with HEI(s) in the partner country.

This short-term mobility with HEIs in partner country will be included in the next Erasmus+ call for proposals which will be published in September 2014 at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm. A detailed programme guide will also be available. Potential applicants from European countries should send their applications to their National Erasmus+ Agency. We would therefore recommend that your constituent contacts the UK National Agency (erasmusplus.enquiries@britishcouncil.org) for further information and more detailed advice.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004933/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Validity of national ID cards

I have been contacted by a constituent who tells me that he recently went shopping at a Sainsbury’s supermarket to purchase some alcohol. He says that he was asked to provide identification in order to buy the alcohol, and he showed his German national identity card, which he uses to enter the UK and as proof of his right to work here. However, he claims that the card was not accepted by Sainsbury’s.

My constituent was informed that the supermarket accepts different UK identity cards as proof of age, and he believes that Sainsbury’s policy is discriminatory towards other EU nationals by not accepting ID cards from other Member States, even though his card is recognised as being legal by the UK Home Office.

Could the Commission confirm:

If Sainsbury’s policy on identity cards is in breach of EC law?

If so, does it intend to raise this issue with the company to ensure that it adheres to EC law?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

The practice of service providers discriminating on the grounds of nationality or residence of the service recipient is dealt with specifically by Art. 20§2 of Directive 2006/123/EC on Services in the internal market (the ‘Services Directive’). According to this provision, ‘Member States shall ensure that the general conditions of access to a service, which are made available to the public at large by the provider, do not contain discriminatory provisions relating to the nationality or place of residence of the recipients’.

Differences in the conditions of access may be allowed only when they are justified by objective criteria.

Refusing the provision of a service, in this case purchase of alcohol, because valid identity documents provided for proving the citizen's age are not recognised by the service provider would appear to constitute a restriction of access to the said service based on nationality.

The Commission Services will inform the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in the UK about the matter mentioned by the Honourable Member and will discuss, together with the ECC, the appropriate course of action. If necessary, the Commission Services will also contact the UK authorities in order to ensure that the rules of the directive are correctly applied.

In order to raise awareness of EU rules among citizens and national authorities, the Commission Services will publish shortly a practical guide for consumers entitled ‘Buying services everywhere in the EU’.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004934/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Eurostar ticket prices

I have been contacted by a constituent who believes that Eurostar is in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by imposing unfair purchase prices on its tickets.

My constituent tells me that on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 he sought to purchase a non-refundable and non-exchangeable return ticket to visit Paris on 6 May for a price of GBP 66. He tells me that he was able to purchase this ticket but with the earliest departure date at 4.20 p.m. on 6 May and that the price of all the previous departure times on that day were up to approximately GBP 150.

My constituent alleges that the prices had been fixed by Eurostar in order to abuse its dominant position in the field of rail transport and that this blocking of cheaper seats on the Eurostar train has a negative effect on the free movement of EU citizens. He is also concerned that such practices reduce the practical economic use of high-speed electric trains between the UK and the continent as well as increasing air traffic and ferry crossings.

My constituent also tells me that Eurotunnel, as the owner and provider of the railway track and tunnel facilities, charges Eurostar GBP 25 per passenger for a return trip from London to Paris.

Given my constituent’s concerns that both companies are exploiting their monopoly on direct rail passenger transport between London and Paris, could the Commission confirm if Eurostar and Eurotunnel are in breach of EC law and if my constituent’s allegation of price-fixing has any basis?

If so, does the Commission intend to take any action to ensure that Eurostar and Eurotunnel change their pricing policy?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2014)

The fact that Eurostar sets different prices depending on the departure time does not constitute per se an abuse of dominant position within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU. Under EU competition law, companies are in principle free to set prices as they wish, depending on market conditions, level of demand, conditions attached to a given ticket, etc. The practice of pricing variably otherwise identical services is common to various industries (such as the airlines industry) and is not used solely by Eurostar. In the absence of sufficient indications of an infringement of competition law, the Commission does not plan to intervene.

The fact that Eurotunnel charges Eurostar GBP 25 per passenger for a return trip from London to Paris for the use of the infrastructure does not constitute per se an abuse of dominant position within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU. Based on the indications provided, there does not appear to be sufficient indication of an infringement of competition law in that regard.

The 2001 First Railway Package (80) requires track access charges to be set on the costs directly incurred as a result of operating a train service. As an exception for specific investment projects such as Eurotunnel, higher charges can be set on the basis of the long-term costs of such projects. In September 2011, the Commission opened an infringement procedure against France and the UK for failure to comply with EU rules with respect to the Channel Tunnel. In April 2014, Eurotunnel announced that they would commit to reducing the current level of track access charges imposed on rail freight operators using the Tunnel by up to 50% (see IP-14-477). The Commission will assess implementation of these measures.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004935/14

to the Commission

Syed Kamall (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Operation of Greek tax authorities

I have been contacted by a constituent who tells me that the Greek tax authorities are demanding a payment of taxes on properties in Greece which he no longer owns.

My constituent tells me he owned the properties up until 18 April 2008 and that he paid a property tax in Greece as was required by the legislation in Greece at the time. He tells me that he informed the tax authorities in Greece when he cancelled his ownership of the properties and that he had paid all his taxes up to that date.

My constituent tells me that he subsequently received tax demands from the Greek tax authorities for the same properties for the tax year 2009. He says that he wrote back to them to explain his position and included in his correspondence the unpaid tax demand and copies of the legal documents which proved the sale of these properties. He asked for confirmation that they had recognised, accepted and recorded his correct tax status. However, he says that no response was received by himself or his Greek lawyer.

My constituent informs me that he received another tax demand for the same properties during the following year in respect of the tax year 2010. He says that he resent copies of all the legal documents to the tax authorities and that he still did not receive any response. He also tells me that he recently had three tax demands sent to him for the tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

My constituent is concerned that this may also be happening to other people who used to pay tax in Greece and that the Greek authorities may not be collecting as much tax as they are promising the European authorities.

Given my constituent’s concerns, could the Commission inform me if it intends to investigate this issue in order to ensure that the Greek tax authorities are operating in a clear and transparent manner?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

The collection of property tax is a national responsibility of the Member States. Monitoring the way in which a Member State has organised revenue collection is a task that falls outside the scope of the European Commission's competences. Therefore, the Commission has no authority to investigate the issue that the Honourable Member refers to.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004936/14

alla Commissione

Barbara Matera (PPE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Violenza contro i bambini nelle scuole

I bambini sono la popolazione più vulnerabile al mondo, ma sono soprattutto le ragazze a essere esposte a scioccanti elevati tassi di molestie sessuali e aggressioni, non solo da parte dei compagni di studi ma anche degli insegnanti di sesso maschile. Secondo uno studio sulla violenza contro i bambini nell'Africa occidentale e centrale, pubblicato dall'UNICEF nel 2010, il 46 % delle alunne congolesi è stata vittima di abusi sessuali, molestie o violenze da parte degli insegnanti o altre figure dell'amministrazione scolastica. Il problema non riguarda soltanto l'Africa, infatti in Nepal, ad esempio, stando allo studio dell'UNICEF intitolato «Violenza contro i bambini nelle scuole e nelle strutture educative», il 18 % di coloro che hanno commesso abusi sessuali erano insegnanti. Nella relazione dell'ONU intitolata «Contrastare la violenza nelle scuole: una prospettiva globale» si osserva che: «la violenza nelle scuole è uno degli elementi più significativi che contribuiscono alla sottorappresentanza delle ragazze nelle strutture educative». Questa è una delle principali ragioni per cui dobbiamo garantire che ogni bambino al mondo abbia non solo accesso all'istruzione, ma anche a un'istruzione sicura e di qualità. I bambini passano la maggior parte del tempo a scuola, pertanto non devono avere paura di subire violenze nelle strutture educative, oltre al fatto che le scuole dovrebbero essere un ambiente sicuro.

Quali forme di tutela internazionale, come ad esempio il ricorso al Fondo europeo di sviluppo, può impiegare l'UE per aiutare i suoi partner in via di sviluppo a porre fine alla violenza contro i bambini nelle scuole?

In questo ambito l'Europa ha compiuto notevoli progressi, prendendo le distanze dalle punizioni corporali e da altre forme di violenza nelle scuole. Quali sono i piani in essere finalizzati allo scambio di buone pratiche e dati, in particolare con i paesi in via di sviluppo, su come proteggere i bambini nelle scuole?

Risposta di Andris Piebalgs a nome della Commissione

(17 giugno 2014)

L'UE è pienamente impegnata ad assicurare una protezione globale dei diritti dei minori. L'obiettivo di porre fine alla violenza contro i bambini è stato identificato come una priorità dell'azione esterna dell'UE. Ciò è stato ricordato negli orientamenti dell'UE in materia di promozione e tutela dei diritti del bambino del 2007, nelle conclusioni del Consiglio del 2008 e nell'Agenda dell'UE sui diritti dei minori del 2011.

L'invito a presentare proposte sul problema della «violenza contro i bambini» (41 milioni di EUR) è stato lanciato nel 2012 nell'ambito dello strumento «Investire nelle persone», il cui scopo è combattere la violenza contro i bambini in diversi ambienti (famiglia, scuola, comunità) e promuovere l'attuazione delle disposizioni del diritto internazionale in materia di protezione dei minori. Diversi progetti volti ad affrontare il problema della violenza contro i bambini sono in corso in Asia e in Africa. Ad esempio in Nepal, l'organizzazione non governativa Save the Children Norvegia ha attuato il progetto « Promoting a Child Protection System to Achieve Violence-free Schools » (promuovere un sistema di protezione dei minori che garantisca l'assenza di violenza nelle scuole). Del progetto beneficiano direttamente 150 000 tra bambini e ragazzi che frequentano una scuola, insegnanti, comitati di gestione delle scuole, genitori, gruppi già esistenti all'interno della comunità che si occupano di bambini e duty-bearer (chi ha il dovere di rispettare e promuovere i diritti dei minori). Sono stati adottati codici di condotta per le scuole e designati punti di contatto per la protezione dei bambini con l'obiettivo di assicurar loro un ambiente protetto a livello della comunità. L'UNICEF ha sostenuto — al di fuori dei finanziamenti dell'UE — l'istituzione di comitati paralegali per facilitare l'accesso alla giustizia, in particolare per le vittime di abusi sessuali.

L'UE sostiene inoltre la UNESCO International Task Force for Teachers (task force internazionale dell'UNESCO per gli insegnanti), che incoraggia i governi a elaborare una politica nazionale per gli insegnanti che comprenda un codice di condotta e di autoregolamentazione professionale. Ciò va ad aggiungersi agli investimenti dell'UE per un'istruzione di qualità, strumento fondamentale per proteggere i bambini dai pericoli e ripristinare la normalità (81).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004936/14

to the Commission

Barbara Matera (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Violence against children in schools

Children are the most vulnerable population in the world, and girls especially face shockingly high rates of sexual harassment and assault, not only from classmates but also from male teachers. A 2010 Unicef report on violence against children in West and Central Africa found that 46% of Congolese schoolgirls had been victims of sexual abuse, harassment or violence at the hands of their teachers or other school administrative figures. The problem is not just in Africa, as the Unicef study ‘Violence against children in schools and educational settings’ found that, for example, in Nepal, 18% of sexual abusers of girls in school were teachers. The 2012 UN report ‘Tackling Violence in Schools: a Global Perspective’ notes that ‘Violence in schools is one of the most significant factors contributing to the underrepresentation of girls in the educational setting’. This is one of the many reasons for which we need to ensure that every child around the globe not only has access to education but to safe and quality education. Children spend the majority of their time in school, so they should not fear violence in an educational setting, and school should be a safe zone.

What forms of protection at international level, such as through the European Development Fund, can the EU employ to assist its developing partners in ending violence against children in schools?

Europe has improved noticeably in this area, and moved away from corporal punishment and other forms of violence in schools. What plans are there to exchange good practices and data, specifically with developing countries, on the ways to protect children while they attend school?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

The EU is fully committed to the comprehensive protection of child rights. Putting an end to violence against children has been identified as a priority for EU external action. This was recalled by the 2007 EU guidelines for the protection and the promotion of the rights of the child as well as the 2008 Council Conclusion and the 2011 EU Agenda for the rights of the child.

A Call for Proposals ‘Violence against Children’ (EUR 41 million) launched in 2012 under the Investing in People instrument aims to address violence against children in different settings (home, school, community) and push for the implementation of international legal provisions on child protection. Several projects tackling violence against children are under way in Asia and Africa. Examples for Nepal include a project implemented by Save the Children Norway specifically dedicated to ‘Promoting a Child Protection System to Achieve Violence-free Schools’. It directly benefits 150 000 children and targets school-going children, teachers, school management committees, parents, existing child focused community groups and duty-bearers. School codes of conduct have been adopted and child protection focal points nominated to ensure a protective environment for children at community level. Unicef supported — outside EU funding — the establishment of paralegal committees to facilitate access to justice, notably for child victims of sexual abuse.

The EU also supports the Unesco International Task Force for Teachers which encourages governments to develop a national Teacher Policy encompassing a professional code of conduct and self-regulation. This is on top of EU investment for a quality education as a fundamental tool to protect children from harm and restore normality (82).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004937/14

aan de Commissie

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: MYRRHA-project in het onderzoekscentrum SCK-CEN

Het SCK-CEN (het Belgische Studiecentrum voor kernenergie in Mol) werkt al verscheidene jaren aan het ontwerpen van de MYRRHA-reactor (de voor meerdere doeleinden geschikte hybride onderzoeksreactor voor hightechtoepassingen). Deze moet de verouderde BR2-reactor vervangen, die sinds 1962 in gebruik is en een belangrijke rol speelt bij onderzoek en de productie van medische radio-isotopen. Naast nationale steun zal het project ook aanzienlijke internationale financiering nodig hebben om een kans van slagen te hebben.

De Commissie toont al een aantal jaren belangstelling voor het project. Op 11 november 2010, tijdens het Belgische voorzitterschap, vond een conferentie over het SET-plan plaats, die het startsein gaf voor het Europees Initiatief voor duurzame kernenergie (ESNII). MYRRHA maakt deel uit van dit initiatief. In 2010 plaatste ook het Europees Strategisch Forum voor onderzoeksinfrastructuur (ESFRI) MYRRHA hoog op zijn prioriteitenlijst. Volgens het Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC) moest ISOL@MYRRHA (een onderdeel van het MYRRHA-project) deel gaan uitmaken van een langetermijnplan voor de benodigde kernfysicafaciliteiten in Europa.

In november 2012 werd een gezamenlijke taskforce opgericht door commissaris Oettinger en Melchior Wathelet, de Belgische staatssecretaris voor Energie. Doel was de meerwaarde van het project voor het onderzoeks‐ en ontwikkelingsprogramma van de Commissie te beoordelen. De taskforce bracht eind 2013 een eindverslag uit waarin werd aanbevolen dat de EU aan MYRRHA zou deelnemen. Commissaris Oettinger heeft staatssecretaris Wathelet een brief gestuurd, maar geeft helaas geen duidelijkheid over de daadwerkelijke deelname van Europa aan het project.

1.

Kan de Commissie duidelijk laten weten of dit project al dan niet Europese steun zal krijgen?

2.

Als er is besloten het project te steunen, welke soort en hoeveel financiële steun zal er worden verleend?

3.

Als er nog geen formeel besluit is genomen, wanneer denkt de Commissie dat zij hierover zal beslissen?

4.

Wanneer zal het definitieve besluit worden meegedeeld?

Antwoord van de heer Oettinger namens de Commissie

(13 juni 2014)

De Commissie steunt de ontwikkeling van MYRRHA sinds een aantal jaren, met name via vergelijkende oproepen tot het indienen van voorstellen voor het Euratom-kaderprogramma (Framework Programme, FP). Onderzoeksprojecten met betrekking tot MYRRHA hebben tussen 1998 en 2013 (FP5 (83) tot FP7 (84)) in totaal zo'n 65 miljoen EUR aan Euratom-subsidie ontvangen, waarvan alleen al 6 miljoen EUR als directe steun aan MYRRHA in het kader van FP7.

Mogelijkheden voor verdere EU-steun voor MYRRHA worden geboden in het kader van Horizon 2020 (85), en dan vooral in het gedeelte dat betrekking heeft op Euratom. Het is aan het consortium om van die mogelijkheden gebruik te maken. Dit zal onder meer afhangen van het feit of de MYRRHA-partners in staat zijn om concurrerende voorstellen te doen in het kader van de komende oproepen en van de conclusies van de Raad inzake de voorgestelde priorisering van projecten van de Esfri-routekaart (86).

Wat betreft onderzoeksbeurzen moet worden opgemerkt dat een aantal punten in het Euratom-werkprogramma voor 2014-2015 (87) voor MYRRHA van belang zijn, zoals transmutatie van mindere actiniden. Voorstellen die in de evaluatie van 2014 worden goedgekeurd, zullen begin 2015 financiering ontvangen.

Projectfinanciering kan ook beschikbaar komen via een lening van Euratom en/of een lening van RSFF-II (88). Om aanspraak te maken op financiering via die instrumenten moet aan een aantal voorwaarden worden voldaan. Allereerst moeten het bedrijfsplan van het consortium en de daaraan verbonden inkomsten positief worden beoordeeld door zowel de Europese Investeringsbank als de Commissie. Wat betreft het RSFF-II moet het Comité voor het kernsplijtingsprogramma daarnaast akkoord gaan om een deel van het kernsplijtingsbudget aan dit instrument te besteden. Dit zal in de komende maanden met het Comité voor het kernsplijtingsprogramma worden besproken. Afhankelijk van een overeenkomst op dit punt zou er vanaf 2016 binnen RSFF-II financiering kunnen worden vrijgemaakt  ter ondersteuning van kernsplijtingsprojecten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004937/14

to the Commission

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Myrrha project at SCK-CEN Research Centre

For several years now, the SCK-CEN (the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre in Mol) has been working on the design of the Myrrha reactor (the multi-purpose hybrid research reactor for high-tech applications). This is in order to replace the ageing BR2 reactor, which has been in operation since 1962 and plays an important role in research and the production of medical radioisotopes. Aside from national aid, the project will need substantial international funding in order to have a chance of succeeding.

Over the years, the Commission has shown interest in the project. On 11 November 2010, during the Belgian presidency, an SET-Plan conference took place, launching the European sustainable nuclear industrial initiative (ESNII). Myrrha is part of this initiative. Also in 2010, the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) put Myrrha on its high-priority list. According to the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC), ISOL@Myrrha (a part of the Myrrha project) was to be part of the long-range plan for nuclear physics facilities needed in Europe.

In November 2012, a joint task force was established by Commissioner Oettinger and Melchior Wathelet, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Energy. Its purpose was to evaluate the added value of the project for the Commission’s R&D programme. The task force delivered a final report at the end of 2013 which recommended the participation of the EU in MYRRHA. Commissioner Oettinger has sent a letter to Mr Wathelet, but unfortunately remains unclear about Europe’s effective participation in the project.

1.

Could the Commission provide a clear view on whether or not this project will receive European support?

2.

If the decision is taken to support the project, what will be the nature and level of the financial support granted?

3.

If no decision has yet been formally taken, when does the Commission think it will decide on the matter?

4.

When will the final decision be communicated?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission has supported Myrrha development for a number of years, notably through competitive calls for proposals of the Euratom Framework Programme (FP). The Euratom grants awarded to Myrrha-related research projects between 1998 and 2013 (FP5 (89) to FP7 (90)) account for a total amount of around EUR 65 million, of which around EUR 6 million as direct contribution to Myrrha in FP7 alone.

Opportunities for further EU support to Myrrha are offered in the context of Horizon 2020 (91), and notably its Euratom component. It is up to the consortium to grasp them. This will depend inter alia on the capacity of the Myrrha partners to put forward competitive proposals in the context of the forthcoming calls and on the conclusions of the Council on the proposed prioritisation of projects of the ESFRI (92) roadmap.

With respect to research grants, it should be noted that the Euratom Work Programme 2014-2015 (93) includes topics of relevance to Myrrha, such as transmutation of minor actinides. Successful proposals arising from the 2014 evaluation exercise will receive funding in early 2015.

Project financing may also become available through a Euratom loan and/or a loan from the RSFF-II (94). Both instruments require a number of conditions to be fulfilled in order to be successful and first of all, that the consortium's business-plan and associated revenue streams are positively evaluated by both the European Investment Bank and the Commission. Also, regarding the RSFF-II, the Fission Programme Committee has to agree initially to dedicate a part of the fission budget to this instrument. This will be discussed with the Fission Programme Committee in the coming months. Subject to this agreement, funds could be earmarked as from 2016 within the RSFF-II to support fission projects.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004938/14

aan de Commissie (Vicevoorzitter/Hoge Vertegenwoordiger)

Bastiaan Belder (EFD)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: VP/HR — Rapport van NGO Monitor: „Evaluatie van de financiering van ngo's voor politieke belangenbehartiging in het Arabisch-Israëlische conflict: EIDHR”

Met betrekking tot het door NGO Monitor gepubliceerde rapport getiteld „Evaluatie van de financiering van ngo's voor politieke belangenbehartiging in het Arabisch-Israëlische conflict: EIDHR” stel ik de volgende vragen.

1.

Is de hoge vertegenwoordiger het met mij eens dat de EU verantwoordelijk moet worden gesteld voor andere opvattingen van ngo's die subsidie voor een project ontvangen, aangezien de subsidie de hele ngo legitimiteit verleent en niet alleen het project?

2.

Zowel de EU als Israël kent grote waarde toe aan de vrijheid van meningsuiting en hecht veel belang aan een levendig openbaar debat. Acht de hoge vertegenwoordiger het tegen deze achtergrond raadzaam om financiële steun te verlenen voor projecten van ngo's in Israël en de Palestijnse Gebieden die de Palestijnse politieke zienswijze ondersteunen, ook al dragen zij wellicht niet bij aan een oplossing in het vredesproces in het Midden-Oosten (95)? Is de hoge vertegenwoordiger het met mij eens dat zowel de Israëlische als de Palestijnse zienswijze in projecten aan bod moet komen of met de nodige gevoeligheid benaderd moet worden, teneinde het vredesproces in het Midden-Oosten te bevorderen?

3.

Acht de hoge vertegenwoordiger het, gezien het belang van bevordering van het vredesproces en de mensenrechten in de regio, noodzakelijk dat er steun wordt verleend voor EIDHR-projecten in landen als Iran, Saoedi-Arabië en de VAE (die door Freedom House als „niet vrije” landen worden aangemerkt)? Waarom ontvangt Israël in het kader van EIDHR meer middelen dan de meeste van zijn buurlanden, terwijl het door Freedom House wordt beschouwd als het enige vrije land in het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika (96)?

Antwoord van hoge vertegenwoordiger/vicevoorzitter Ashton namens de Commissie

(3 juli 2014)

Ik dank u voor uw belangstelling voor de financieringsmechanismen van het EIDHR. 

Ngo's die voor hun projecten steun krijgen van de EU, moeten volledig voldoen aan de EU-regels en procedure en, in het algemeen, werken op een manier die helemaal overeenstemt met de democratische waarden van de EU. De EU staat helemaal achter de pluraliteit van meningen en de vrijheid van meningsuiting, zolang die strookt met haar fundamentele democratische beginselen.

Bovendien moeten alle publicaties van projecten een disclaimer bevatten waarin staat dat de inhoud van een bepaald document in geen geval kan worden beschouwd als de weergave van het standpunt van de Europese Unie.

Daarnaast is het EIDHR een wereldwijd instrument dat in alle derde landen kan worden gebruikt, met inbegrip van de landen die het geachte lid noemt. Ieder jaar wordt gemiddeld 20 miljoen euro toegewezen voor de ergste situaties in de wereld. Hier kan een zekere mate van vertrouwelijkheid mee gepaard gaan, in het bijzonder voor steun aan mensenrechten en mensenrechtenvoorvechters in landen waar zij het meeste gevaar lopen. De EU hecht veel belang aan dit programma.

De EU vindt het ook nodig de EIDHR-projecten te ondersteunen in de landen die het geachte lid noemt. Het budget dat in 2013 aan Syrië werd toegewezen in het kader van EIDHR was bijvoorbeeld vier keer meer dan dat voor Israël.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004938/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Bastiaan Belder (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Report by NGO Monitor: ‘Evaluating Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: EIDHR’

Concerning the report published by NGO Monitor, entitled ‘Evaluating Funding for Political Advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: EIDHR’:

Would the High Representative agree that the EU should be held responsible for other views held by NGOs in receipt of funding for a project, since the funding gives legitimacy to the entire NGO and not just to the project?

While both the EU and Israel cherish the value of freedom of speech and attach great importance to vibrant public debate, does the High Representative deem it advisable to fund projects by NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Territories which promote the Palestinian political narrative, even though they might not be conducive in the resolution of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP)? (97) Would the High Representative agree that projects should incorporate or be sensitive to both Israeli and Palestinian narratives so as to promote the MEPP?

In light of the importance of promoting the MEPP and human rights in the region, does the High Representative deem it necessary to promote EIDHR projects in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (countries considered ‘not free’ by Freedom House)? Why does Israel receive more funding under EIDHR in comparison to most of its neighbours while being considered the only free country in the Middle East and North Africa by Freedom House? (98)

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

(3 July 2014)

Thank you for your interest in the funding mechanisms of the EIDHR.

NGOs whose projects are supported by the EU need to be fully compliant with EU rules and procedures, and in general, operate in a way which is fully consistent with the democratic values of the EU. The EU fully supports diversity of opinion and freedom of expression as long as this is in line with its fundamental democratic principles.

Moreover, all project publications must carry a disclaimer stating that the contents of a given document can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Furthermore, the EIDHR is a worldwide instrument that can be used in all third countries, including the countries mentioned by the Honourable Member. Each year an average budget of EUR 20 million is allocated to the worst-kind situations in the world. This may require a certain level of confidentiality, particularly when supporting Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders in countries where they are most at risk. The EU attaches great importance to this programme.

The EU, indeed, deems it necessary to promote EIDHR projects in the countries mentioned by the Honourable Member. For instance, the 2013 budget allocated to Syria in the framework of the EIDHR was 4 times higher than for Israel.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004939/14

to the Commission

Glenis Willmott (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Food poverty

It has been reported that last year around one million food parcels were handed out by just one charity in the UK. Food poverty is a real problem across Europe, and it is clear there is a steep social gradient; the poorer a person is, the less able they are to access adequate nutritious food.

We know that this is a worsening problem, but the latest reliable European data on food poverty is from 2009.

1.

Is the Commission planning to produce any new figures on food poverty, especially in the wake of the economic crisis, and the cost of living crisis for many people living in Europe? In 2009 it was estimated that 43 million people were in food poverty in the EU, and we need to know how the problem is developing.

2.

What is the Commission doing to ensure funds such as the Fund for the Most Deprived are spent on foods with proven nutritional value?

3.

What is the Commission doing to address food and nutritional poverty in the long term, beyond these emergency measures, to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The concept of food poverty mentioned by the Honourable Member is currently not used in the EU but there is a concept that comes very close called severe material deprivation (99). The latest figures for severe material deprivation from the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU SILC) indicate that in 2012 there were 49 million materially deprived people living in the EU 27. The corresponding number for 2009 was 40.2 million (100).

The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) is implemented under shared management: Member States are primarily responsible for the content of their operational programmes and their implementation. In this way it offers tailor-made financial assistance that can satisfy national needs. In particular, Member States opting to provide food aid can themselves choose the types of food distributed, and are in a position to ensure that the products contribute to a balanced diet of the severely deprived persons.

The FEAD is meant to have a catalytic and supporting role for national schemes and to complement sustainable national poverty eradication and social inclusion policies. While the latter remain the responsibility of the Member States, the European Social Fund regulation (101) for the period 2014-2020 foresees that 20% of the resources of the Fund in each Member State shall be allocated to the thematic objective ‘promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination’.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-004940/14

à la Commission

Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE)

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Réglementation de la «e-cigarette» — dispositions excessives

Selon certaines sources, il semblerait que la réglementation de la cigarette électronique imposée par la directive européenne des produits du tabac remettrait en cause l'existence même de ce produit. De plus, il semblerait que la consultation des principaux acteurs en la matière n'ait pas été faite lors de la rédaction de la proposition, notamment en ce qui concerne la question du volume des bouteilles d'e-liquide. En effet il a été décidé de réduire le volume de ces bouteilles à 2 ml. Une telle consultation n'aurait pas eu lieu non plus sur la question du délai imposé aux fabricants avant la mise sur le marché de nouveaux produits et la limitation de la nicotine dans ce produit.

C'est dans ce contexte que le député soussigné a l'honneur de poser à qui de droit au sein de la Commission européenne les questions suivantes:

Le volume décidé a-t-il été arrêté après une analyse d'impact justifiant l'utilisation d'un petit volume (inférieur à 2 ml) au lieu d'un plus grand (analyse d'impact notamment sur l'environnement en raison de la quantité de bouteilles en plastique qui seront jetées dans les poubelles)?

Le délai imposé avant une mise sur le marché ne remet-il pas en cause l'innovation en la matière et quels critères seront utilisés pour permettre une mise sur le marché?

Le principe de libre circulation des produits n'est-il pas remis en cause par le risque d'une législation nationale interdisant les ventes transfrontalières aux consommateurs?

La quantité de nicotine maximale dans la cigarette électronique a-t-elle été décidée après une analyse d'impact notamment au regard des taux de nicotine présents dans les cigarettes classiques et des besoins des consommateurs?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(3 juin 2014)

L'adoption de la proposition de la Commission du 19 décembre 2012 relative à la révision de la directive sur les produits du tabac a été précédée d'une analyse approfondie de l'incidence économique, sociale et sanitaire du cadre d'action. L'analyse d'impact (102) contient un examen des différentes possibilités de réglementation des produits contenant de la nicotine, dont les cigarettes électroniques.

Sur la base de la proposition, le Parlement européen et le Conseil sont parvenus à un accord en décembre 2013. Le rôle de la Commission dans le processus décisionnel était de faciliter les négociations entre les colégislateurs.

Tout au long du processus de révision, la Commission a veillé à ce que la réglementation des cigarettes électroniques améliore le fonctionnement du marché intérieur et elle a consulté le secteur et les parties prenantes pertinentes, leur offrant ainsi la possibilité de donner leur avis.

Les dispositions relatives aux cigarettes électroniques se trouvent à l'article 20 de la nouvelle directive sur les produits du tabac (103). En ce qui concerne les dispositions relatives au niveau de concentration maximal de nicotine des cigarettes électroniques et aux volumes maximaux des cartouches et réservoirs, les données du marché et les données scientifiques existantes ont été collectées pendant le processus d'élaboration et de négociation.

La période de notification n'est pas considérée comme ayant des répercussions négatives sur l'innovation. En ce qui concerne les ventes à distance transfrontalières, la Commission étudiera les législations nationales dans le cadre de la vérification des mesures de transposition, afin de s'assurer qu'elles sont conformes à la directive. Si tel n'est pas le cas, l'État membre en question devra prendre les mesures correctives adéquates.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004940/14

to the Commission

Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Excessively stringent provisions regulating ‘e-cigarettes’

It has been reported that continued production of e-cigarettes is being compromised by the relevant provisions of the European tobacco products directive. Furthermore, it would seem that the principal stakeholders were not consulted on the drafting of the proposal, particularly regarding the reduction of e-liquid bottle size to 2 ml. Neither were they consulted on the pre-marketing deadlines or nicotine content limits to be met by manufacturers of the new product. .

In view of this:

Can the Commission indicate whether the decision to reduce the volume (to less than 2 ml) was the result of an impact assessment (particularly regarding the environmental impact of the quantity of plastic bottles disposed of as waste)?

Is innovation in this area not being restricted by the pre-marketing deadlines being imposed and what marketing criteria will apply?

Is the principle of free movement of goods not being undermined by the risk of national legislation banning cross-border retailing?

Was the maximum nicotine content of e-cigarettes decided after an impact assessment, taking account for example of nicotine levels in standard cigarettes and consumer requirements?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

The adoption of the Commission’s proposal for a revised Tobacco Products Directive of 19 December 2012 was preceded by a thorough analysis of the economic, social and health impacts of policy measures. The impact assessment (104) contains the analysis of the policy options available for the regulation of nicotine containing products, including e-cigarettes.

On the basis of the proposal, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement in December 2013. The Commission's role in the decision-making process was to facilitate the negotiations between the co-legislators.

Throughout the revision process, the Commission sought to ensure that the regulation of e-cigarettes improves the functioning of the internal market and consulted with industry and relevant stakeholders, granting stakeholders the possibility to make their views known.

The requirements on e-cigarettes are set out in Article 20 of the new Tobacco Products Directive (105). As regards the provisions on a maximum nicotine concentration level for e-cigarettes and a maximum volume for their cartridges and tanks, the available scientific evidence and market data was gathered during the drafting and negotiation process.

The notification period is not considered to impact negatively on innovation. As regards cross-border distance sales, the Commission will review national legislations, as part of its transposition checks, to ensure they are correctly aligned with the directive. If this is found not to be the case, the Member State in question will be required to take the appropriate corrective measures.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-004941/14

aan de Commissie (Vicevoorzitter/Hoge Vertegenwoordiger)

Bastiaan Belder (EFD)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: VP/HR — verslag van de Europese Rekenkamer over rechtstreekse financiële steun aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit en de kwijtingsresolutie van het Parlement

Met betrekking tot het verslag van de Europese Rekenkamer over rechtstreekse financiële steun aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit en resolutie P7_TA(2014)0288 (106) van het Parlement stel ik de volgende vragen:

De Commissie en EDEO hebben erop gewezen dat het Pegase-programma zich tot op zekere hoogte laat leiden door de indicatoren in het Palestijnse Nationale Ontwikkelingsplan (NOP). In het NOP voor de periode 2011-2013 werd eerbiediging van de mensenrechten vermeld en volgens het NOP voor de periode 2014-2016 zal de Palestijnse Autoriteit „eerbiediging van de mensenrechten” tot een van de nieuwe beginselen verheffen. Is de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger van mening dat overeenkomstig het „meer-voor-meer-beginsel” eerbiediging van de mensenrechten een voorwaarde moet zijn voor rechtstreekse financiële steun uit Pegase, gelet op de zorgen op dit gebied, zoals klachten van christenen over „toenemende druk in de Palestijnse samenleving om conservatieve islamitische waarden te aanvaarden” (107)? Zo niet, waarom niet?

Hoe gebruiken de Commissie en EDEO de grote bedragen aan rechtstreekse financiële steun uit Pegase om de Palestijnse Autoriteit tot hervormingen aan te zetten? Heeft de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger praktische voorbeelden van gevallen waarin rechtstreekse financiële steun uit Pegase de Palestijnse Autoriteit tot hervormingen heeft bewogen? In hoeverre beschouwt de vicevoorzitter/hoge vertegenwoordiger een dergelijke benadering als doeltreffend, gelet op de verslechterende begrotingssituatie? Wordt er aan nieuwe maatregelen gewerkt om de gewenste hervormingen door de Palestijnse Autoriteit te bewerkstelligen?

Hoe zien de Commissie en EDEO de uitvoering van paragraaf 283 van resolutie P7_TA(2014)0288 van het Parlement, waarin wordt gevraagd om een wijziging van de programma's, „gericht op een duurzaam werkgelegenheidsperspectief en verbetering van de administratie”?

Antwoord van de heer Füle namens de Commissie

(28 mei 2014)

1.

De EU spreekt de Palestijnse Autoriteit vaak aan over mensenrechten. In de interim-associatieovereenkomst is een subcomité over mensenrechten, goed bestuur en de rechtsstaat voorzien, waar zaken zoals godsdienstvrijheid en andere mensenrechten openlijk worden besproken. In het voortgangsverslag over het Europees nabuurschapsbeleid staat ook dat „christenen op het politieke niveau goed vertegenwoordigd zijn” en dat de druk om conservatieve islamitische waarden te aanvaarden vooral toeneemt in Gaza. Pegase houdt geen algemene steun aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit in. Het gaat om doelgerichte steun voor vier sectoren, die rechtstreeks aan de begunstigden wordt betaald.

2.

Er komen prestatie-indicatoren voor de door de Rekenkamer voorgestelde domeinen. Over vele van de voor die indicatoren vereiste factoren heeft de Palestijnse Autoriteit echter geen of weinig zeggenschap. Pegase-steun is belangrijk voor een algemene hervorming van de sociale bescherming, zowel in de Gazastrook als op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Het is echter duidelijk dat de duurzaamheid van de EU-steun in gevaar is als er geen doorbraak op het politieke front komt waardoor de Palestijnse Autoriteit toegang krijgt tot middelen en inkomsten. De Palestijnse Autoriteit werkt aan een hervorming van het ambtenarenapparaat.

3.

Met de Palestijnse Autoriteit worden besprekingen gevoerd over de ambtenaren die in Gaza hun werk niet kunnen doen. Er wordt gestreefd naar een oplossing die zowel aan de bezorgdheden van de Rekenkamer en het Parlement tegemoetkomt als de levensbelangrijke politieke band tussen de Westelijke Jordaanoever en de Gazastrook in stand houdt. In het licht van de recente verzoening tussen de Palestijnse partijen is er enige hoop dat de betrokken ambtenaren opnieuw aan het werk kunnen.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004941/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Bastiaan Belder (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — European Court of Auditors report on direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority and Parliament's discharge resolution

Concerning the report by the European Court of Auditors on direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Parliament resolution P7_TA(2014)0288 (108):

The Commission and the EEAS have noted that the Pegase DFS programme is to some extent guided by the indicators contained in the Palestinian National Development Plan (NDP). In the 2011-2013 NDP respect for human rights was mentioned, and in the 2014-2016 NDP the PA will make ‘respect for human rights’ one of the new principles. Is the Vice-President/High Representative of the opinion that, following the ‘more for more’ principle, support from Pegase DFS should be conditional upon respect for human rights, given the human rights concerns such as complaints by Christians of ‘increasing pressure in Palestinian society to accommodate conservative Islamic values’ (109)? If not, why not?

How do the Commission and the EEAS make sufficient use of the large-scale funding from Pegase DFS to leverage reforms from the PA? Does the Vice-President/High Representative have any practical examples where Pegase DFS funding has leveraged reforms by the PA? To what extent does the Vice-President/High Representative consider such an approach effective given the deteriorating fiscal situation? Are new measures being drawn up to achieve desired reforms from the PA?

How do the Commission and the EEAS envision the implementation of Article 283 of Parliament resolution P7_TA(2014)0288, which requests the modification of the programmes ‘with the aim of a sustainable employment perspective and administrative improvement’?

Answer given by M. Füle on behalf of the Commission

(28 May 2014)

1.

The EU regularly addresses Human rights issues with the Palestinian Authority. The Interim Association Agreement foresees a Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law where issues such as freedom of religion and other human rights concerns are raised and discussed frankly. The European Neighbourhood Policy Progress Report also notes that ‘Christians are well-represented at the political level’ and that the increasing pressure to accommodate conservative Islamic values is mostly prevalent in Gaza. Pegase DFS is not a general support to the PA. It provides targeted support to four sectors and payments are made to direct beneficiaries.

2.

Performance indicators will be introduced in the areas suggested by the Court, although many of the elements required for such indicators to be met lie partly or wholly out of control of the PA. PEGASE funding has been instrumental in a wholesale reform of the system of social protection, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It is, however, clear that without a breakthrough on the political front allowing the PA access to resources and revenue, the sustainability of the EU’s support is threatened. A project on civil service reform is underway with the PA.

3.

Discussions have already started with the PA concerning those civil servants in Gaza who are prevented from working, with the aim of finding a solution which would take into account the concerns of the Court of Auditors and Parliament, while maintaining the vital political link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the light of the recent reconciliation between the main Palestinian factions, there are some grounds for optimism that the officials concerned can return to work.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-004942/14

alla Commissione

Franco Frigo (S&D)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Borse di studio per specializzazioni mediche

La specializzazione di medicina è un titolo necessario per legge per accedere ai ruoli del Sistema sanitario nazionale Italiano. Il decreto legislativo (D.Lgs) 368/99, che ha recepito la normativa comunitaria 93/16/CEE in tema di mobilità dei medici e di riconoscimento dei titoli di studio, contiene anche disposizioni in materia di formazione medica specialistica, prevedendo l'adozione di uno schema tipo di contratto definito con successivo decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri (DPCM) e di un trattamento annuo onnicomprensivo da corrispondere al medico in formazione specialistica. Il decreto ministeriale (D.M.) del 1agosto 2005 ha aumentato la durata delle scuole di specializzazione senza un conseguente adeguamento del capitolo di spesa, con un ammacco di risorse dall'anno 2014 in poi. Con il disegno di legge (ddl) n. 1150 di conversione in legge del decreto-legge 12 settembre 2013, n. 104 recante misure urgenti in materia di istruzione, università e ricerca, è stata ridotta la durata delle specializzazioni e introdotta la graduatoria nazionale, che permetterà di recuperare le borse di specializzazione che, con le graduatorie locali, non verrebbero assegnate. Tuttavia, a fronte di 8000 laureati all'anno (in crescita esponenziale, in quanto nel 2016 se ne prevedono 10.000 e successivamente ancora di più), i contratti di formazione posti in essere per il 2014 saranno 3700, un numero chiaramente insufficiente. Ciò comporta due problematiche. Innanzitutto quasi il 60 % dei medici laureati in Italia non potrà accedere alla formazione specialistica e quindi non potrà inserirsi nel mondo del lavoro. Inoltre, nei prossimi anni si prevede il pensionamento di quasi 100.000 medici specialistici, con conseguente importante carenza di medici specialisti a fronte di un esubero di medici laureati impossibilitati ad accedere alle scuole di specializzazione. Il problema quindi non riguarderà solo gli studenti di medicina, bensì l'intera popolazione italiana. Un maggiore sostegno alla formazione post laurea in area medica da parte delle Regioni eviterebbe a molti medici formati e laureati in prestigiose università italiane di trasferirsi all'estero per conseguire una specializzazione.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se esiste la possibilità per le Regioni di utilizzare il Fondo sociale europeo, o altri finanziamenti comunitari, per attivare borse soprannumerarie a livello regionale, in modo da supplire alla mancanza di borse nazionali e far fronte alle richieste del mercato;

se è possibile un intervento a livello comunitario per far sì che anche in Italia, come già accade in altri paesi europei (Francia e Germania), il numero delle borse sia vincolato alle previsioni di necessità di figure professionali specialistiche, in modo da averne un numero congruo e largamente soddisfacente.

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(22 maggio 2014)

1.

Le formazioni specialistiche possono essere sovvenzionate dal Fondo sociale europeo (FSE). Gli studi post-laurea sono chiaramente indicati come rilevanti ai fini dell'assistenza nell'ambito dell'obiettivo «Convergenza» del FSE per il periodo 2007-2013 (110). I compiti del FSE per il periodo 2014-2020 comprendono la promozione di «un livello elevato di istruzione e di formazione per tutti» (111).

La Commissione desidera segnalare che, conformemente al principio di gestione condivisa, i programmi dei fondi strutturali sono gestiti a livello nazionale o regionale sotto la responsabilità delle autorità di gestione. Per ulteriori informazioni sulle possibilità di finanziamento, l'onorevole deputato è invitato a contattare le autorità di gestione del FSE nelle regioni interessate.

2.

Conformemente al principio di sussidiarietà è lo Stato membro interessato a decidere riguardo alle borse da assegnare a seconda del numero di specialisti che risulteranno necessari.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004942/14

to the Commission

Franco Frigo (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Study grants for medical specialisations

A specialist medical qualification is required by law in order to register as a practitioner in the Italian National Health Service. Legislative Decree 368/99, which transposed Directive 93/16/EEC on the free movement of doctors and the mutual recognition of their diplomas, also contains provisions on specialist medical training, providing for the adoption of a standard format for contracts which was then defined by a Prime Ministerial Decree, and comprehensive annual processing of candidates for specialist medical training. The Ministerial Decree of 1 August 2005 extended the duration of specialist training without correspondingly adjusting the budget for it, so that resources are declining as from 2014. Draft Law No 1150, converting into a law Decree-Law No 104 of 12 September 2013 providing for urgent measures relating to education, universities and research reduced the duration of specialist training and introduced the national ranking list, which will make it possible to recover specialist training grants which would not be awarded to anybody under the system of local ranking lists. However, as against the figure of 8 000 graduates per annum (a figure which is growing exponentially, so that in 2016 there are expected to be 10 000 graduates, and even more thereafter), 3 700 training contracts will be awarded in 2014 — a number which is manifestly insufficient. This gives rise to two problems. Above all, some 60% of graduates in medicine in Italy will not be able to obtain specialist training or, therefore, to practise. Moreover, over the next few years it is anticipated that around 100 000 medical specialists will retire, causing a substantial shortage of specialists despite the existence of large numbers of graduates in medicine who are debarred from specialist training. Thus the problem will affect not only students of medicine but the entire population of Italy. Greater support for postgraduate medical training by regional authorities would avoid the necessity for many graduates from medicine courses at prestigious Italian universities to move abroad in order to obtain specialist training.

1.

Would it be possible for regional authorities to draw on the European Social Fund or other sources of EU funding in order to award additional grants at regional level to compensate for the lack of national grants and meet market demand?

2.

Would EU action be possible with the aim of arranging for the number of grants to be linked to estimates of the numbers of specialists who will be needed in Italy, in the same way as already happens in other European countries (France and Germany), so as to have an appropriate, and amply sufficient, number of specialists?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

1.

Postgraduate training may be funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Postgraduate studies are explicitly mentioned as falling within the scope of assistance of the ESF’s Convergence objective for the 2007-13 programming period (112). The ESF’s missions for the 2014-20 programming period include encouraging ‘a high level of education and training for all’ (113).

The Commission would point out that, in accordance with the principle of shared management, Structural Fund programmes are managed at national or regional level under the responsibility of managing authorities. For more information on funding possibilities, the Honourable Member should contact the ESF managing authorities of the regions concerned.

2.

In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, it is for the Member State concerned to decide on the grants to be made in the light of the number of specialists it anticipates will be needed.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-004943/14

aan de Commissie

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: Consultatie van de Europese Commissie over ISDS

De Europese Commissie (EC) lanceerde op 27 maart 2014 een publieke consultatie over investeringsbescherming en ‐arbitrage (ISDS) in het kader van het EU-VS vrijhandelsverdrag waarover momenteel onderhandeld wordt (TTIP). De EC verklaart dat zij dit nodig achtte gezien het „groeiende publieke debat en de toegenomen bezorgdheid over ISDS binnen het TTIP”. In de publieke consultatie ontbreken echter fundamentele kwesties die in het publieke debat aangekaart worden. Zo wordt de eerste fundamentele vraag, of ISDS überhaupt in een handels‐ en investeringsverdrag met de VS dient opgenomen te worden, niet aangekaart in de consultatie. Dit is echter waar het publieke debat rond draait. Bovendien is de consultatie in een zo complex juridisch jargon opgesteld dat het zeer moeilijk is voor het brede publiek om aan de consultatie deel te nemen.

1.

Waarom ontbreekt de meest fundamentele vraag, ISDS in de TTIP ja of nee, in de publieke consultatie?

2.

Kan de Commissie onderbouwen waarom ISDS nodig is in een handels‐ en investeringsverdrag met de VS? Bestaat er systematische discriminatie van Europese investeerders in Amerikaanse gerechtshoven?

3.

Waarom heeft de Commissie de publieke consultatie niet althans gedeeltelijk vereenvoudigd opgesteld, zodat het bredere publiek kan deelnemen aan de consultatie?

4.

Kan de Commissie uitleggen waarom volgende aspecten niet opgenomen zijn in de consultatie en de voorgestelde verbeteringen aan de ISDS-bepalingen?

a. De rol en de voorrang van nationale rechtssystemen, waarbij ISDS arbitrage slechts toegepast zou kunnen worden na uitputting van de nationale rechtswegen.

b. Het waarborgen van de integriteit van de arbiters door de opzet van de ISDS tribunalen (in plaats van slechts via een „code of conduct”) namelijk door bijvoorbeeld het aanpakken van het ad hoc karakter van de tribunalen en het feit dat arbiters per uur betaald worden.

Antwoord van de heer De Gucht namens de Commissie

(28 mei 2014)

In de onderhandelingsrichtsnoeren voor het trans-Atlantisch partnerschap voor handel en investeringen (TTIP) dat in juni 2013 door de lidstaten werd bekrachtigd, is ook de beslechting van geschillen tussen investeerders en staat (ISDS) opgenomen. De openbare raadpleging over investeringsbescherming en ISDS beoogt standpunten te verzamelen over een aantal innovatieve elementen die de bezorgdheid in verband met ISDS binnen het TTIP aanpakken. Het doel hiervan is om een goed evenwicht te garanderen tussen de bescherming van investeerders en de instandhouding van het recht en het vermogen van de EU om regelgeving uit te vaardigen in het algemeen belang.

Er bestaan gevallen van discriminatie tegen buitenlandse investeerders in lokale rechtbanken van de VS. Aangezien de bepalingen inzake investeringsbescherming van een overeenkomst tussen de EU en de VS niet rechtstreeks afdwingbaar is in de rechtbanken van de VS, is de beslechting van geschillen tussen investeerders en de staat het enige instrument om de bepalingen inzake investeringsbescherming van zo'n overeenkomst af te dwingen.

De Commissie heeft alle mogelijke inspanningen gedaan om de belangrijkste technische en complexe betrokken kwesties toe te lichten in de aankondiging en de vragenlijst van de raadpleging. Een te eenvoudige weergave van de belangrijkste punten zou het doel van de raadpleging ondermijnen en zou de Commissie niet in staat hebben gesteld na te denken over en verder te bouwen op de standpunten van het publiek.

De twee aspecten die door het geachte Parlementslid worden vermeld (d.w.z. de relatie met nationale rechtbanken en de integriteit van arbiters) worden door de openbare raadpleging in de vragen 7 en 8 behandeld. Respondenten krijgen de kans te reageren op en verbeteringen voor te stellen voor de benadering van de Commissie ten aanzien van deze twee kwesties.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004943/14

to the Commission

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Consultation by the Commission on ISDS

On 27 March 2014, the Commission launched a public consultation exercise on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in connection with the free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA (TTIP). The Commission has stated that it considered this necessary ‘as a response to the growing public debate and increased concerns over ISDS within TTIP’. However, the public consultation is failing to consider fundamental issues which are raised in public debate. For instance, the first fundamental question — whether ISDS ought to feature in a trade and investment agreement with the USA at all — is not being raised in the consultation. Yet this is the key issue in the public debate. Moreover, the consultation is framed in such complex legal jargon that it is very difficult for the general public to participate in it.

1.

Why is the most fundamental issue — ISDS as part of TTIP: yes or no? — not being considered in the public consultation?

2.

Can the Commission explain why ISDS is necessary as part of a trade and investment agreement with the USA? Do European investors suffer systematic discrimination in American courts?

3.

Why has the Commission not at least partially organised the public consultation in simplified form, so that the general public can take part in it?

4.

Can the Commission explain why the following aspects have not been included in the consultation and the proposed improvements to the ISDS provisions?

(a) The role and precedence of national legal systems, such that ISDS arbitration could only be applied once domestic remedies had been exhausted.

(b) Guarantees of the integrity of arbiters by means of the way in which ISDS tribunals are organised (rather than only via a code of conduct), i.e., for example, by tackling the ad hoc character of the tribunals and the fact that arbiters are paid by the hour?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(28 May 2014)

The negotiating directives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership adopted by Member States in June 2014 include Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The objective of the public consultation on investment protection and ISDS is to gather views on a series of innovative elements that address concerns over ISDS within TTIP. The aim is to ensure the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU's right and ability to regulate in the public interest.

There are cases of discrimination against foreign investors in US local courts. As the Investment Protection provisions of an EU-US agreement would not be directly enforceable in US Courts, Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement would constitute the only instrument to enforce investment protection provisions of such an agreement.

The Commission has made every efforts to explain all the key technical and complex issues at stake in the consultation notice and the questionnaire of the consultation. An oversimplification of the main issues would have undermined the aim of the consultation and would not have allowed the Commission to reflect and build on the views expressed by the public.

The two aspects mentioned by the Honourable Member (i.e. relationship to domestic courts and integrity of arbitrators) are covered by the public consultation in questions 7 and 8. Respondents have the opportunity to react and propose any improvements to the Commission's approach on these two issues.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-004944/14

an die Kommission

Peter Jahr (PPE)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Verwendung von Klärschlamm zur Düngung landwirtschaftlicher Flächen

Die Richtlinie 86/278/EWG regelt die Verwendung von Klärschlamm in der Landwirtschaft, insbesondere seine Ausbringung auf landwirtschaftliche Flächen zur Düngung. Zahlreiche Mitgliedstaaten haben jedoch von Art. 13 der Richtlinie Gebrauch gemacht und weiter gehende Maßnahmen als in der Richtlinie vorgesehen, wie beispielsweise strengere Grenzwerte, erlassen.

1.

Wie bewertet die Kommission die Tendenz, in den Mitgliedstaaten strengere Regelungen für die Verwendung von Klärschlamm in der Landwirtschaft zu erlassen? Plant sie selbst eine Überarbeitung der geltenden Richtlinie? Wenn ja: Welche Zielstellung verfolgt die Kommission?

2.

Wäre nach Ansicht der Kommission ein vollständiges nationales Verbot der Ausbringung von Klärschlamm auf landwirtschaftlichen Flächen durch einen Mitgliedstaat mit dem Primär- und Sekundärrecht der EU, insbesondere der geltenden Richtlinie 86/278/EWG, vereinbar?

3.

Wie bewertet die Kommission ein nationales Verbot der Klärschlammausbringung, insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund des freien Warenverkehrs in der Europäischen Union? Welche Konsequenzen erwartet die Kommission für den Import und die Verwendung von Klärschlamm aus anderen Mitgliedstaaten zur landwirtschaftlichen Düngung?

Antwort von Herrn Potočnik im Namen der Kommission

(6. Juni 2014)

Die Richtlinie 86/278/EWG (114) ist eine der fünf Richtlinien, die die Kommission derzeit einem Eignungstest zur Bewertung ihrer Wirksamkeit, Effizienz, Relevanz und Kohärenz unterzieht (115). Anhand der Schlussfolgerungen dieser Prüfung wird die Kommission untersuchen, ob diese Richtlinien möglicherweise überarbeitet werden müssen.

Die Mitgliedstaaten können strengere Grenzwerte oder Beschränkungen für die Verwendung von Klärschlamm einführen, sofern die Bedingungen des Artikels 193 des Vertrags über die Arbeitsweise der Europäischen Union erfüllt sind.

Die grenzüberschreitende Verbringung von Klärschlamm wird durch die Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1013/2006 (Abfallverbringungsverordnung der EU) (116) geregelt. Änderungen dieser Verordnung sind derzeit nicht vorgesehen.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004944/14

to the Commission

Peter Jahr (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Use of sewage sludge to fertilise farmland

Directive 86/278/EEC regulates the use of sewage sludge in farming, particularly its spreading on fields as a fertiliser. However, many Member States have taken advantage of Article 13 of the directive and enacted more far-reaching provisions than required by the directive, such as stricter limit values.

1.

What is the Commission’s assessment of the tendency in the Member States to adopt stricter provisions concerning the use of sewage sludge in farming? Is the Commission itself planning to revise the directive? If so, what is the Commission’s aim in doing so?

2.

Does the Commission consider that, if a Member State were to impose a complete national ban on spreading sewage sludge on farmland, this would be compatible with the EU’s primary and secondary legislation, particularly the current Directive 86/278/EEC?

3.

What is the Commission’s assessment of a national ban on spreading sewage sludge, particularly in the light of the free movement of goods in the European Union? What consequences does the Commission anticipate for the importation and use of sewage sludge from other Member States for use as fertiliser on farmland?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

Directive 86/278/EEC (117) is one of five Directives that the Commission is currently submitting to a fitness check to assess their effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and coherence (118). Building on the conclusions of this exercise the Commission will assess the need for a possible revision of these Directives.

The introduction by Member States of more stringent limits or limitations on the use of sewage sludge is possible, provided the conditions set in Art. 193 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union are fulfilled.

The transboundary movement of sewage sludge is regulated by the regulation (EC) 1013/2006 (the EU Waste Shipment Regulation) (119). No changes to this regulation are currently anticipated.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-004945/14

an die Kommission

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Mittel aus den Strukturfonds für Roma in Ungarn

1.

Wie viele Mittel hat Ungarn in der letzten Förderperiode 2007-2013 für die Förderung/soziale Inklusion von Roma ausgegeben?

2.

Welche Projekte sind im Einzelnen in diesem Rahmen gefördert worden?

3.

Wie spiegelt sich die Förderung/soziale Inklusion von Roma in dem neuen operationellen Programm für die aktuelle Förderperiode 2014-2020 wider?

4.

Wie bewertet die Europäische Kommission die Tatsache, dass nach Aussagen von ungarischen Roma-Organisationen keine Gelder aus den Strukturfonds bei ungarischen Roma ankommen (außer im Rahmen von öffentlichen Arbeitsprogrammen, die verpflichtend sind, um Sozialhilfe zu erhalten)?

5.

Wie bewertet die Europäische Kommission die Option für Minderheiten, Gelder aus den europäischen Strukturfonds direkt bei der Europäischen Kommission zu beantragen, um eine Diskriminierung seitens der nationalen Ministerien zu umgehen?

Antwort von László Andor im Namen der Kommission

(22. Mai 2014)

1.

Für den Zeitraum 2007-2013 gibt es keine aus EU-Fonds kofinanzierten Roma-spezifischen OP (120) oder Prioritätsachsen in OP. Es existiert keine nach Ethnien aufgeschlüsselte Berichterstattung. Im Rahmen seiner nationalen Strategie zur sozialen Inklusion hat Ungarn ESF-Mittel für Bildungsprojekte (121), beschäftigungsbezogene (122) und gesundheitsbezogene (123) Maßnahmen verwendet, von denen marginalisierte Gemeinschaften wie die Roma profitieren können. Es wurden 20,6 Mio. EUR zur Unterstützung von Antidiskriminierungsmaßnahmen ausgegeben und 26,8 Mio. EUR für das Wohnungswesen, ergänzt durch 8,6 Mio. EUR aus dem EFRE. Aus dem Programm für die Mikroregionen mit dem größten Entwicklungsrückstand (124) werden 33 Mikroregionen unterstützt, in denen fast 30 % der Roma leben.

2.

Die einzelnen geförderten Projekte betrafen unter anderem integrierte Wohnraumkonzepte mit Sozialdiensten, außerschulische Aktivitäten für benachteiligte Schüler, Weiterbildung und Unterstützungsmaßnahmen zur Steigerung der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit, Kurse für Roma-Frauen über das Sozialschutzsystem und ein neues Roma-Kulturzentrum (125).

3.

Die Partnerschaftsvereinbarung räumt der sozialen Inklusion und der Unterstützung der Roma hohe Priorität ein, unter anderem um ihre Beschäftigungssituation, ihren Bildungsstand, ihre Wohnsituation und ihren Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung zu verbessern. Die Zuweisung ausreichender Mittel zur Beschleunigung der Roma-Integration wird ein maßgeblicher Punkt bei den Verhandlungen über die künftigen OP sein.

4.

Die Kommission beobachtet seit 2012 die Fortschritte bei der Integration der Roma. Der jüngste Bericht (126) enthält Länderübersichten, unter anderem über Ungarn, aus denen hervorgeht, wie die Verwendung von Strukturfondsmitteln für diesen Zweck beurteilt wird.

5.

Der EU-Regelungsrahmen verlangt von den Mitgliedstaaten die Beachtung des Partnerschaftsgrundsatzes und des Diskriminierungsverbots bei der gemeinsamen Verwaltung der EU-Struktur‐ und Investitionsfonds. Zu den direkt von der Kommission verwalteten Förderprogrammen, die die Roma in Anspruch nehmen können, zählen Erasmus+ (127) und EaSI (128).

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004945/14

to the Commission

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Structural Fund monies for Roma in Hungary

1.

During the last funding period, 2007-2013, how much did Hungary spend on assistance for Roma and on their social inclusion?

2.

What specific projects were supported in that connection?

3.

To what extent does the new operational programme for the current funding period, 2014-2020, incorporate assistance for Roma and their social inclusion?

4.

How does the Commission view the fact that, according to Hungarian Roma organisations, no Structural Fund monies are spent on Hungarian Roma (except in connection with public work programmes, in which participation is mandatory in order to receive benefits)?

5.

How does the Commission view the suggestion that minorities should have the option of applying for EU Structural Fund monies directly to the Commission so that they are not discriminated against by national ministries?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

1.

For the 2007-2013 period there are no Roma-specific OPs (129) or dedicated priority axes in OPs co-financed by EU funds. There is no reporting based on ethnicity. Under its national social inclusion strategy, Hungary spent ESF resources on education projects (130), employment-related measures (131) and for health (132) from which marginalized communities such as Roma can benefit. EUR 20.6 million was spent in support of measures to combat discrimination and EUR 26.8 million for housing complemented by EUR 8.6 million from the ERDF. The Least-Developed Micro-Regions Programme (133) supports 33 micro-regions where nearly 30% of Roma live.

2.

Specific projects included integrated housing support with social services, extracurricular educational activities for disadvantaged students, training and support services to increase employability, training of Roma women on the social welfare system, and a new Roma cultural centre (134).

3.

The Partnership Agreement gives high priority to social inclusion and assistance for Roma, inter alia to improve their employment situation, educational level, housing conditions and access to healthcare. Allocating sufficient funds to step up Roma integration is be a key point in the negotiations of the future OPs.

4.

Since 2012 the Commission has monitored progress on Roma integration. The latest report (135) includes country fiches, such as on Hungary which reflect the assessment of using Structural Fund resources in this respect.

5.

The EU regulatory framework calls for the application of the principles of partnership and non-discrimination by the Member States as part of shared management of the EU Structural and Investment Funds. Funding opportunities for Roma managed directly by the Commission include Erasmus+ (136) and EaSI (137).

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej P-004946/14

do Komisji

Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR)

(16 kwietnia 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Środki Unii Europejskiej na zwalczanie wścieklizny psów w Rumunii

Proszę o informacje, czy Komisja Europejska przekazywała Rumunii jakiekolwiek środki UE przeznaczone na zwalczanie wścieklizny u psów, jeśli tak, to jakie to były środki i czy Komisja nadzoruje w jakikolwiek sposób ich wydatkowanie? Czy w ramach walki z wścieklizną przewidziane są jakieś działania w odniesieniu do populacji bezdomnych psów?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Tonia Borga w imieniu Komisji

(21 maja 2014 r.)

Ponieważ wścieklizna w Europie to przede wszystkim wścieklizna leśna, działania współfinansowane w ramach programu zwalczania wścieklizny polegają na zakupie przynęt ze szczepionkami doustnymi i ich zrzucaniu z powietrza w celu szczepienia lisów przeciwko wściekliźnie oraz na badaniu próbek pobranych w terenie od dzikich zwierząt w celu monitorowania postępów w uodpornieniu lisów.

W programie realizowanym w 2014 r. i zatwierdzonym decyzją wykonawczą Komisji 2013/722/UE (138) wymienione są inne środki mające na celu zwalczanie tej poważnej choroby odzwierzęcej, w tym szczepienia domowych zwierząt mięsożernych, ale środki te nie są współfinansowane przez UE.

Komisja uważa, że zatwierdzony program zwalczania wścieklizny jest zgodny z zasadą prawa UE dotyczącą wyboru skutecznych strategii opartych na najlepszych międzynarodowych praktykach w tej dziedzinie, a dalsze środki służące zwalczaniu choroby u zwierząt domowych są pozostawione w gestii państwa członkowskiego, na podstawie określonej sytuacji epidemiologicznej.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004946/14

to the Commission

Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: European funding to help tackle canine rabies in Romania

Has the Commission allocated any EU funding to Romania to help eradicate rabies in dogs, and if so, what kind of funding has it provided and how is it monitoring the use of those funds? Will any measures be taken to tackle the stray dog population as part of the effort to eradicate the disease?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(21 May 2014)

As rabies in Europe is predominantly sylvatic rabies, the co-funded measures approved for Rabies eradication programme are the purchase of oral vaccine baits and their aerial distribution in order to vaccinate foxes against rabies and the testing of samples taken from wild animals collected in the field in order to monitor the immunisation of foxes.

The programme to be implemented in 2014, approved by Commission Implementing Decision 2013/722/EU (139), lists other measures to tackle this important zoonosis, including the vaccination of domestic carnivores but those measures are not co-funded by EU.

The Commission considers that the approved Rabies eradication programme respects the principle of EC law in relation to the choice of effective policies based on international best practice in this field and further measures to tackle the disease in domestic animals are left under MS responsibility, on the basis of the specific epidemiological situation.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004947/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Διαφοροποίηση στοιχείων υπογραφείσας σύμβασης (Ν.4219/2013) και απόφασης της Επιτροπής (C(2013)9253 τελικό/13.12.2013)

Η Επιτροπή, με την απόφασή της C(2013)9253/2013, απεφάνθη ότι για το έργο της ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΣ ΟΔΟΥ η αναθεώρηση της Σύμβασης, όπως κυρώθηκε από το Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο (Ν.4219/2013), συνιστά κρατική ενίσχυση (άρθρο 107(1), ΣΛΕΕ), η οποία όμως δεν νοθεύει τον ανταγωνισμό και το εμπόριο στα κράτη της ΕΕ. Μεταξύ της απόφασης της Επιτροπής και της Σύμβασης, διαπιστώνονται οι εξής διαφοροποιήσεις: α) των ορισμών περιόδων Τ1 και Τ2, (σημείο 11 της C(2013)9253/2013 και άρθρα 5.1.18 και 5.1.32, παρ. Δ, Ν.4219/2013), β) της ημερομηνίας περάτωσης του έργου (Δεκέμβριος 2015 στο σημείο 21 της C(2013)9253/2013 και Δεκέμβριος 2017 στο Παρ. Δ, Προσάρτ. 1, Ν.4219/2013), γ) στη C(2013)9253/2013 (σημ. 30) εγκρίνεται αποζημίωση 930 εκατ. ευρώ προς τον παραχωρησιούχο για την «προς τα πάνω αναθεώρηση του κόστους κατασκευής», στη δε Σύμβαση (Άρθ. 5.1.32 παρ. Δ) το ποσό αυτό περιγράφεται ως «τίμημα εκτελεσμένων μελετών — κατασκευών του τμήματος Τ2», δ) στη C(2013)9253/2013 (σημ. 32) αναφέρεται ότι «η κατασκευή των τμημάτων Πάτρα-Πύργος και Πύργος-Τσακώνα θα αναβληθεί για 3 έτη μετά το πέρας της περιόδου Τ1», στη δε Σύμβαση (Άρθ. 5.2.5, παρ. Δ) αναφέρεται ότι «το δημόσιο έχει το δικαίωμα να εξαιρέσει τα τμήματα αυτά από την κατασκευή του έργου». Επίσης σύμφωνα με τον Υπουργό ΥΠΟΜΕΔΙ (15.04.2014), τα τμήματα Πάτρα-Πύργος και Καλό Νερό-Τσακώνα θα δημοπρατηθούν ως δημόσιο έργο με προϋπολογισμό 470 εκ. ευρώ. Στη σύμβαση το κόστος κατασκευής του έργου από τον παραχωρησιούχο εκτιμάται σε 881 466 405 ευρώ.

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Πώς σχολιάζει τις τεράστιες σε σημασία αποκλίσεις των 2 εγγράφων; Μπορεί να μας διευκρινίσει αν δεσμεύει τον παραχωρησιούχο και την ελληνική κυβέρνηση η έγκριση της Επιτροπής ή ο Ν.4219/2013 που ψηφίστηκε από την ελληνική Βουλή;

Η χρηματοδοτική συμβολή του Δημοσίου παραμένει σταθερή (608 εκ ευρώ) επειδή για τα τμήματα «Πάτρα-Πύργος» και «Καλό Νερό-Τσακώνα» αναβάλλεται χρονικά η κατασκευή τους και δεν εξαιρούνται συνολικά από την κατασκευή του έργου. Μετά την εξαγγελία του υπουργού ΥΠΟΜΕΔΙ, εξαίρεσης των τμημάτων αυτών και κατασκευής τους ως δημόσιου έργου, δε θα έπρεπε να μειωθεί αναλογικά η χρηματοδοτική συμβολή του δημοσίου;

Πώς αντιμετωπίζει η Επιτροπή το γεγονός ότι τα τμήματα του έργου «Πάτρα- Πύργος» και «Καλό Νερό-Τσακώνα», εάν κατασκευαστούν ως δημόσιο έργο, κοστίζουν στους πολίτες 50% λιγότερο από την περίπτωση που θα τα κατασκεύαζε ο παραχωρησιούχος;

Απάντηση του κ. Hahn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(16 Ιουνίου 2014)

Μετά την κοινοποίηση της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας και βάσει των πληροφοριών που υποβλήθηκαν, η απόφαση της Επιτροπής της 13ης Δεκεμβρίου 2013 στην υπόθεση SA. 36878 (2013/N) καθορίζει τους λόγους για τους οποίους η Επιτροπή θεωρεί ότι η ενίσχυση είναι συμβατή με την εσωτερική αγορά. Η Επιτροπή δεν αποφαίνεται σχετικά με την εφαρμογή του εθνικού νόμου N.4219/2013. Ωστόσο, οι ελληνικές αρχές δεν κοινοποίησαν καμία τροποποίηση των όρων που διέπουν τη χορήγηση της εγκεκριμένης ενίσχυσης και η Επιτροπή δεν μπορεί να διαπιστώσει καμία απόκλιση μεταξύ της απόφασης και του νόμου.

Τα τμήματα Πάτρας-Πύργου και Καλού Νερού-Τσακώνας αποτελούν έργα που συνδέονται με το μεγάλο έργο για το οποίο λήφθηκε απόφαση συγχρηματοδότησης. Ωστόσο, τα τμήματα αυτά δεν αποτελούν μέρος ούτε του φυσικού ούτε του οικονομικού αντικειμένου του έργου, όπως έχει κοινοποιηθεί. Η απόφαση αναγνώρισε ήδη στην αιτιολογική σκέψη 66 ότι «το κράτος δεν έχει μειώσει την αρχική [χρηματοδοτική συμβολή] του κατ' αναλογία με τα μέρη που δεν κατασκευάζονται, διότι αυτό θα οδηγούσε πιθανόν στην αύξηση του ελλείμματος χρηματοδότησης του έργου, το οποίο εν πάση περιπτώσει θα πρέπει να καλυφθεί από το κράτος. […]. Κάθε ενδεχόμενο πλεονέκτημα που απορρέει από το εν λόγω μέτρο κρίνεται, ως εκ τούτου, στο πλαίσιο των μέτρων 2 και 3 κατωτέρω».Κατά την αξιολόγηση των μέτρων 2 (πρόσθετη κρατική χρηματοδότηση) και 3 (ανακύκλωση των δημοσίων εσόδων της περιόδου T2), η Επιτροπή αξιολόγησε την κρατική ενίσχυση ως συμβατή με την εσωτερική αγορά, σύμφωνα με τους κανόνες περί κρατικών ενισχύσεων της ΕΕ.

Τέλος, η Επιτροπή δεν έχει λάβει καμία αίτηση για ενδεχόμενη συγχρηματοδότηση του τμήματος Πάτρας-Πύργου ή Καλού Νερού-Τσακώνας. Ως εκ τούτου, και ελλείψει επίσημων στοιχείων, η Επιτροπή δεν μπορεί να σχολιάσει τις δαπάνες ή μια ενδεχόμενη φυσική περιγραφή των εν λόγω έργων.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004947/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Discrepancies between Agreement N.4219/2013 and Commission Decision C(2013)9253 final/13.12.2013

In its Decision C(2013)9253/2013, the Commission ruled that the measures amending Agreement N.4219/2013 for the ‘Olympia Odos’ motorway project endorsed by the Greek Parliament constituted state aid (within the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU) which did not, however, distort competition or trade within the EU Member States. The discrepancies between the Commission Decision and the Agreement are as follows:

Periods T1 and T2 (as specified in paragraph 11 of Decision C(2013)9253/2013 and Articles 5.1.18 and 5.1.32 (D) of N.4219/2013 respectively);

The completion deadline (December 2015 in paragraph 21 of Decision C(2013)9253/2013 and December 2017 in Annex 1, paragraph D, of N.4219/2013);

Paragraph 30 of Commission Decision C(2013)9253/2013 approves payment of compensation of EUR 93 million to the concessionaire to offset ‘the upwards revision of the construction costs’, while Article 5.1.32(D) of the Agreement states that the amount relates to the ‘studies completed’ and ‘T2 construction’ phases;

Paragraph 32 of Decision C(2013)9253/2013 indicates that construction of the Patras-Pyrgos and Pyrgos-Tsakona sections shall be deferred for a maximum of three years after the conclusion of the T1 period, while Article 5.2.5(D) of the Agreement states that the Government shall have the right to remove these sections from the construction project.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks (15 April 2014) has also indicated that a public invitation to tender will be issued for the Patras-Pyrgos and Kalo Nero-Tsakona sections with a budget of EUR 470 million, construction costs to be incurred by the concessionaire being estimated in the contract at EUR 881 466 405.

In view of this:

What view does the Commission take of the massive discrepancies between the two documents? Can it specify whether the concessionaire and the Greek Government are bound by Commission approval or by the terms of Agreement N.4219/2013 adopted by the Greek Parliament?

Public funding (EUR 608 million) has remained unaltered on the understanding that construction of the Patras-Pyrgos and Kalo Nero-Tsakona sections is being simply deferred and not completely excluded. However, following the announcement by the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks that these sections will now no longer form part of the project, should public funding not be reduced accordingly?

What view does the Commission take of the fact that the Patras-Pyrgos and Kalo Nero-Tsakona sections will cost taxpayers only half as much if completed as a public project rather than by the concessionaire?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(16 June 2014)

Following the notification of the Greek Republic and drawing upon the information supplied, the Commission decision of 13 December 2013 in case SA.36878 (2013/N) provides the reasons why the Commission deemed the aid to be compatible with the internal market. The Commission does not take a view on the application of the national law N.4219/2013. However, the Greek authorities have not notified any modification of the terms governing the granting of the approved aid and the Commission cannot establish any discrepancies between the decision and the law.

The sections of Patra — Pyrgos and Kalo Nero — Tsakona are works linked to the major project for which a co-financing decision was taken. However, these sections do not form a part of either the physical or the financial object of the project as notified. The decision already acknowledged in Recital 66 that ‘the State has not reduced its initial [State Financial Contribution] proportionally to the parts not being constructed, because this would likely result in an increase of the financing gap of the project, which would in any event need to be covered by the State. […]. Any potential advantage deriving from this measure is therefore assessed in the context of Measures 2 and 3 below.’In its assessment of Measures 2 (Additional State funding) and 3 (Recycling of T2 State revenue), the Commission assessed the state aid as compatible with the internal market pursuant to EU State aid rules.

Finally, the Commission has not received any application for a potential co-financing of Patra — Pyrgos or Kalo Nero — Tsakona. As such, and without official data, it cannot comment on costs or a potential physical description of said projects.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004948/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Φοροδιαφυγή στην Ελλάδα μέσω Βουλγαρίας

Σύμφωνα με στοιχεία του ελληνικού Σώματος Δίωξης Οικονομικού Εγκλήματος, του Γραφείου Οικονομικών και Εμπορικών Υποθέσεων της ελληνικής πρεσβείας στη Σόφια της Βουλγαρίας και του βουλγαρικού Υπουργείου Δικαιοσύνης, υπάρχουν δεκάδες χιλιάδες περιπτώσεις ίδρυσης εικονικών επιχειρήσεων στην Βουλγαρία από έλληνες πολίτες, με σκοπό τη φοροαποφυγή τελών κυκλοφορίας και τελών πολυτελείας αυτοκινήτων.

Πιο συγκεκριμένα, έλληνες κάτοχοι πολυτελών αυτοκινήτων, τα οποία επιβαρύνονται με υψηλή φορολογία στην Ελλάδα, εκμεταλλεύονται το «χαλαρό» νομικό και θεσμικό πλαίσιο για την ίδρυση επιχείρησης στη Βουλγαρία, καθώς επίσης και τους σαφώς χαμηλότερους φορολογικούς συντελεστές της γειτονικής χώρας. Το αποτέλεσμα είναι να χάνει το ελληνικό δημόσιο τεράστια ποσά από τη συγκεκριμένη διαδικασία, με σοβαρές δημοσιονομικές, και άλλες, επιπτώσεις και, από την άλλη να δημιουργείται ένα «ρυθμιστικό και φορολογικό ντάμπινγκ» μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Βουλγαρίας.

Με δεδομένα τα παραπάνω, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Γνωρίζει το φαινόμενο φοροαποφυγής των τελών κυκλοφορίας και πολυτελείας αυτοκινήτων; Γνωρίζει κατά πόσο συνεργάζονται οι φορολογικές αρχές της Ελλάδας και της Βουλγαρίας για τη διόρθωση αυτού του προβλήματος;

Τι μέτρα σκοπεύει να λάβει για να σταματήσει, από τη μια, η φορολογική αιμορραγία του ελληνικού δημοσίου λόγω της φοροαποφυγής των τελών αυτοκινήτων (κυκλοφορίας και πολυτελείας) και, από την άλλη, να περιορίσει την έκταση του ρυθμιστικού και φορολογικού ντάμπινγκ μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Βουλγαρίας;

Απάντηση του κ. Šemeta εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(13 Ιουνίου 2014)

Υπό την επιφύλαξη ορισμένων εξαιρέσεων, η φορολόγηση των μηχανοκίνητων οχημάτων δεν έχει εναρμονιστεί. Τα κράτη μέλη είναι, επομένως, ελεύθερα να ασκούν τη φορολογική τους αρμοδιότητα στον τομέα αυτό, υπό την προϋπόθεση ότι την ασκούν σύμφωνα με το πρωτογενές δίκαιο της Ένωσης.

Το Δικαστήριο της ΕΕ έχει αποφανθεί ότι κράτος μέλος μπορεί να επιβάλλει φόρο κατά την ταξινόμηση οχήματος που τίθεται στη διάθεση προσώπου που κατοικεί στο κράτος αυτό από εταιρεία εγκατεστημένη σε άλλο κράτος μέλος, όταν το όχημα αυτό προορίζεται να χρησιμοποιηθεί κυρίως εντός του πρώτου κράτους μέλους σε μόνιμη βάση ή χρησιμοποιείται πράγματι κατ' αυτόν τον τρόπο (βλ. για παράδειγμα συνεκδικασθείσες υποθέσεις C-151/04 και C-152/04, Nadin et al.· Υπόθεση C-242/05 Coevering).

Είναι έργο των εθνικών φορολογικών αρχών και των εθνικών δικαστηρίων να εκτιμήσουν εάν το όχημα πληροί τις προϋποθέσεις αυτές, με άλλα λόγια να εκτιμήσουν τη διάρκεια ισχύος της σύμβασης μεταξύ της εταιρείας και του προσώπου που χρησιμοποιεί το όχημα, όσο και τον τρόπο με τον οποίο το όχημα έχει πράγματι χρησιμοποιηθεί.

Η Επιτροπή δεν διαθέτει αρμοδιότητες σε αυτόν τον τομέα και, ως εκ τούτου, δεν είναι σε θέση να αναλάβει δράση είτε όσον αφορά την Ελλάδα είτε τη Βουλγαρία.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004948/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Tax avoidance by Greek nationals in Bulgaria

According to the Greek Fraud Squad, the Economic and Trade Affairs Office of the Greek Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian Justice Ministry, tens of thousands of bogus companies are being set up in Bulgaria by Greek nationals seeking to avoid road tax and luxury vehicle tax.

Greek owners of luxury vehicles, on which high taxes are payable in Greece, are taking advantage of ‘relaxed’ legal and institutional framework provisions to set up companies in Bulgaria, where taxes are considerably lower. This is costing the Greek Government enormous sums in lost revenue, which is having serious financial and other implications, while at the same time encouraging regulatory and fiscal dumping between Greece and Bulgaria.

In view of this:

Is the Commission aware this road tax and luxury vehicle tax avoidance? To what extent are the Greek and Bulgarian tax authorities cooperating in a bid to resolve the problem?

What action is the Commission envisaging to stem the massive losses in tax revenue being sustained by Greek Government as a result of non-payment of road tax and luxury vehicle tax and to contain regulatory and fiscal dumping practices between Greece and Bulgaria?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

Subject to certain exceptions, the taxation of motor vehicles has not been harmonised. Member States are therefore free to exercise their powers of taxation in that area, provided they do so in compliance with primary Union law.

The Court of Justice of the EU has ruled that a Member State may levy a registration (road) tax on a vehicle made available to a person residing in that State by a company established in another Member State when that vehicle is intended to be used essentially in the first Member State on a permanent basis or is in fact used in that way (see for example Joined Cases C-151/04 and C-152/04, Nadin et al.; Case C-242/05 Coevering).

It is the task of the national tax authorities and the national courts to assess if the vehicle fulfils these conditions, in other words to assess the length of the contract between the company and the person using the vehicle, and to establish how the vehicle in fact has been used.

The Commission has no competences in this field and therefore, is not in a position to take action towards either Greece or Bulgaria.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-004949/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

Θέμα: Σχέσεις Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου Ευρεσιτεχνίας

Σύμφωνα με δημοσιεύματα της γερμανικής εφημερίδας Suddeutsche Zeitung, η διοίκηση του Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου Ευρεσιτεχνίας έχει υιοθετήσει εσωτερικούς κανονισμούς λειτουργίας που, μεταξύ άλλων, αμφισβητούν θεμελιώδη δημοκρατικά και συνδικαλιστικά δικαιώματα, όπως το δικαίωμα στην απεργία και το δικαίωμα της συνδικαλιστικής εκπροσώπησης. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες της εφημερίδας, το δικαίωμα των εργαζομένων σε απεργία τίθεται υπό την έγκριση του Διευθυντή του Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου Ευρεσιτεχνίας, ακυρώνοντας ουσιαστικά κάθε συνδικαλιστική ελευθερία.

Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη ότι το Ευρωπαϊκό Γραφείο Ευρεσιτεχνίας διαθέτει ένα ειδικό και ιδιαίτερο νομικό καθεστώς, καθώς επίσης, έχει συγκεκριμένες θεσμικές σχέσεις με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Μπορεί να βεβαιώσει τα παραπάνω δημοσιεύματα;

Ποιο είναι το καθεστώς που διέπει τις σχέσεις του Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου Ευρεσιτεχνίας και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης; Τι δυνατότητες διαθέτει προκειμένου να σταματήσει επιτέλους το απαράδεκτο αυτό αντι-εργατικό καθεστώς;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(4 Ιουλίου 2014)

1.

Η Επιτροπή έχει υπόψη της τα δημοσιεύματα του Τύπου σχετικά με τις αλλαγές στον εσωτερικό κανονισμό του Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου Διπλωμάτων Ευρεσιτεχνίας (ΕΓΔΕ), που επηρεάζουν, μεταξύ άλλων, την εκπροσώπηση του προσωπικού. Η Επιτροπή, ωστόσο, δεν είναι σε θέση να εκτιμήσει το περιεχόμενο των εν λόγω δημοσιευμάτων καθόσον το ΕΓΔΕ είναι όργανο του Ευρωπαϊκού Οργανισμού Διπλωμάτων Ευρεσιτεχνίας, ενός διεθνούς οργανισμού που ιδρύθηκε με τη Σύμβαση για το ευρωπαϊκό δίπλωμα ευρεσιτεχνίας (ΣΕΔΕ), τελείως διακριτό από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Τα προνόμια και οι ασυλίες του προσωπικού του ΕΓΔΕ ορίζονται στο άρθρο 8 της Σύμβασης για το ευρωπαϊκό δίπλωμα ευρεσιτεχνίας και το πρωτόκολλο περί προνομίων και ασυλιών που είναι προσαρτημένο στη ΣΕΔΕ. Εφαρμόζονται επίσης λοιποί εσωτερικοί κανόνες που καθορίζουν τους όρους απασχόλησης στον ΕΓΔΕ.

2.

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση έχει την ιδιότητα του παρατηρητή στο διοικητικό συμβούλιο του Ευρωπαϊκού Οργανισμού Διπλωμάτων Ευρεσιτεχνίας, οι σχέσεις όμως μεταξύ των δύο οργανισμών δεν διέπονται από κάποια επίσημη συμφωνία.

Η Επιτροπή πιστεύει ακράδαντα στην ενεργό κοινωνική πολιτική και φυσικά αναμένει πλήρη σεβασμό όλων των εργασιακών δικαιωμάτων σε κάθε περίπτωση.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004949/14

to the Commission

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Relations between the European Union and the European Patent Office

According to reports in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the administration of the European Patent Office has adopted internal operating rules that, inter alia, call into question basic democratic and trade union rights, such as the right to strike and the right to union representation. More specifically, according to the newspaper, workers’ right to strike is subject to the approval of the head of the European Patent Office, an arrangement that essentially abolishes any union freedom.

Given that the European Patent Office has a special and unique legal status and also has specific institutional relations with the European Union, will the Commission say:

Can it confirm these reports?

What is the regime governing relations between the European Patent Office and the European Union? What opportunities does it have to ensure that this unacceptable anti-labour regime finally ceases?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 2014)

1.

The Commission is aware of the press reports concerning the changes in the internal rules of the European Patent Office (EPO) affecting inter alia the staff representation. The Commission, however, is not in a position to assess the content of these reports as the EPO is a body of the European Patent Organisation — an international organisation established by the European Patent Convention (EPC) and entirely separate from the European Union. The privileges and immunities of the employees of the EPO are defined in Article 8 of the EPC and the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities annexed to the EPC. Further internal rules establishing the conditions of employment within the EPO also apply.

2.

The European Union is an observer at the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation but the relations between the two organisations are not governed by any formal agreement.

The Commission strongly believes in active social policy and of course expects full respect of all employment rights at all times.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004951/14

alla Commissione

Mario Borghezio (NI)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Fondi UE all'ONG della figlia di Erdogan

Secondo alcune fonti di stampa, l'ONG a cui fa capo la figlia del premier turco Erdogan e che si occupa di diritti e tutela delle donne avrebbe ricevuto fondi europei.

Questa ONG nel 2014 avrebbe ricevuto quasi due milioni di fondi europei. In particolare, 135 mila euro sarebbero andati a progetti fra Turchia ed Europa non meglio specificati e 400 mila euro a progetti che favoriscono il ruolo delle donne in politica e nel mondo del lavoro. Quasi un milione di dollari sarebbero stati destinati a progetti volti ad aiutare le donne in carcere e altri 150 mila dollari a progetti non meglio determinati che si occupano di problemi delle donne.

La Commissione può specificare:

quali sono i progetti fra Turchia ed Europa per i quali sono stati elargiti 135 mila euro;

quali sono i progetti per i quali la ONG ha ricevuto 150 mila dollari per i problemi delle donne;

se era a conoscenza fin dalla richiesta iniziale che questi finanziamenti sarebbero stati a favore della ONG della figlia di Erdogan?

Risposta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(11 giugno 2014)

KADEM, l'ONG a cui si riferisce l'onorevole deputato, non ha ricevuto fondi UE né ha chiesto finanziamenti nell'ambito dei programmi gestiti dalla delegazione dell'UE (Sivil Düsün, strumento europeo per la democrazia e i diritti umani).

L'assistenza ricevuta attraverso lo strumento di assistenza preadesione per la Turchia viene utilizzata dalle autorità turche mediante gestione indiretta, il che significa che la pubblicazione degli inviti a presentare proposte/dei bandi di gara e l'aggiudicazione degli appalti sono di competenza dei ministeri e delle strutture operative nazionali incaricati dalla Commissione.

La Commissione è disposta a fornire informazioni complementari qualora dovesse venire a conoscenza di ulteriori sviluppi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004951/14

to the Commission

Mario Borghezio (NI)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU funding of the NGO of Erdogan's daughter

According to some press sources, the NGO headed by the daughter of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan which deals with women’s rights and their protection has received European funding.

In 2014 this NGO is said to have received almost two million in European funding. In particular, EUR 135 000 has been allocated to unspecified Turkish/European projects and EUR 400 000 to projects supporting the role of women in politics and in the workplace. Almost a million dollars are said to have been allocated to projects aimed at helping women in prison and another USD 150 000 to indeterminate projects involving women’s issues.

Can the Commission state:

which Turkish/European projects have received EUR 135 000;

what are the projects relating to women’s problems for which the NGO has received USD 150 000;

whether it was aware from the initial application that this funding would benefit the NGO of Erdogan’s daughter?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

KADEM, the NGO you refer to, has not received any EU funding. KADEM has also not applied for funds under any of the schemes managed by the EU Delegation (Sivil Düsün, European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights).

Assistance under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance to Turkey is implemented by Turkish authorities through indirect management, meaning that the launch of calls for proposals/tenders and the contracting responsibility are under the responsibility of different Turkish Ministries and Operating Structures which have been entrusted by the Commission.

The Commission is ready to provide complementary information should further developments come to its knowledge.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004952/14

alla Commissione

Lara Comi (PPE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Carta europea di assicurazione malattia

La tessera europea di assicurazione malattia estende il diritto di accesso alle istituzioni sanitarie non solo pubbliche ma, allo stesso titolo, private accreditate o convenzionate, secondo l'organizzazione dei sistemi sanitari nazionali. Ora tale diritto deve essere correttamente citato in tutti i siti di riferimento, a livello nazionale ed europeo, per una adeguata informazione dei cittadini dell'UE.

1.

Ritiene la Commissione che in tutte le comunicazioni al pubblico, e nelle diverse versioni linguistiche, tali informazioni siano chiare e complete? (Esempio: la DG Affari sociali).

2.

Ritiene la Commissione che la versione francese del proprio sito relativo alla carta europea di assicurazione malattia prenda nella dovuta considerazione un settore privato accreditato che con 1 100 strutture fornisce cure ad 8 milioni di pazienti all'anno?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(5 giugno 2014)

Il sito Internet della Commissione dedicato alla Tessera europea di assicurazione malattia (TEAM) (140) ha lo scopo di illustrare le caratteristiche e le modalità di funzionamento della tessera. Vi si chiarisce che i soggetti assicurati hanno il diritto di usufruire dell'assistenza sanitaria alle stesse condizioni e agli stessi costi (o gratuitamente, in alcuni paesi) dei soggetti assicurati nel paese in cui la utilizzano. Ciò comprende anche fornitori privati di assistenza sanitaria registrati nelle strutture di assistenza pubblica in alcuni Stati membri dell'UE.

Dal momento che gli Stati membri possono determinare liberamente le caratteristiche dei rispettivi sistemi di assistenza sanitaria, il sito Internet della Commissione dedicato alla TEAM non comprende una descrizione particolareggiata di tutti i sistemi nazionali, poiché essi rientrano nell'ambito di responsabilità degli Stati membri.

La sezione dal titolo «Cure mediche impreviste» comprende un panorama di informazioni per ciascun paese fornite dalle autorità degli Stati membri dell'UE. Ad esempio, la parte dedicata alla Francia (141) chiarisce che i detentori della TEAM possono consultare solo medici e dentisti convenzionati con il sistema sanitario pubblico (conventionnés) e che le cure negli ospedali privati sono coperte dalla TEAM solo se essi sono conventionnés. Viene indicato il link di contatto con il Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale (Centro per i rapporti europei e internazionali nel settore della previdenza sociale)  (142), in cui vengono fornite ulteriori informazioni.

L'applicazione TEAM per cellulari, creata dalla Commissione, indica i punti di contatto nazionali TEAM.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004952/14

to the Commission

Lara Comi (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: European Health Insurance Card

The European Health Insurance Card extends the right of access not only to public healthcare institutions but also to accredited or contracted private institutions, in accordance with the organisation of national health systems. This right must be duly mentioned on all websites, whether national or European, to ensure that EU citizens are properly informed.

1.

Does the Commission think that full, clear information in this respect is being provided in all communications with the public and in all the different language versions? (Example: DG Social Affairs).

2.

Does the Commission think that the French version of its own site on the European Health Insurance Card gives due consideration to an accredited private sector that has 1 100 structures and provides care to eight million patients a year?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2014)

The Commission website on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (143) aims to give an overview of the Card and how it works. It explains that insured persons have a right to healthcare under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in the country where they use it. This includes private healthcare-providers registered to provide public healthcare in some EU Member States.

Since the Member States are free to determine the details of their own healthcare systems, the Commission EHIC website does not seek to provide a full description of all features of national systems, which is the Member State’s responsibility.

The section headed ‘Unforeseen medical treatment’ on the Commission EHIC website gives an overview of country-specific information provided by the authorities of the individual EU Member States. For example, the webpage on France (144) makes it clear that EHIC holders must consult only doctors and dentists who are registered to provide public healthcare (conventionnés) and that treatment in private hospitals is only covered by the EHIC where they are conventionnés. It gives the contact details of the French Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale  (145), where further details can be obtained.

The EHIC smartphone application introduced by the Commission provides national EHIC contact points.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004953/14

alla Commissione

Lara Comi (PPE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Applicazione della direttiva 2011/24/UE

Alla luce dell'articolo 1, punto 4, della direttiva 2011/24/UE, della Carta dei diritti fondamentali del paziente e della brochure informativa sull'applicazione della nuova direttiva indirizzata al cittadino e intitolata «Come ricevere cure mediche in un altro Stato membro dell'UE: i tuoi diritti»,

può la Commissione far sapere:

Se ritiene che i testi interpretativi siano sufficientemente chiari e dettagliati e non generino equivoci, soprattutto in termini di libero accesso per il paziente alle cure fornite da istituzioni sanitarie pubbliche e private e limitazioni nella scelta?

Quali azioni ha intrapreso per accertarsi che nei punti di contatto nazionali sia correttamente presentata l'intera offerta disponibile sul territorio nazionale, senza alcuna esclusione delle strutture e degli operatori privati accreditati o convenzionati per fornire cure per conto dell'assicurazione sociale obbligatoria o del servizio sanitario nazionale?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(5 giugno 2014)

La Commissione ha provveduto a fornire informazioni sui diritti dei pazienti previsti dalla direttiva 2011/24/UE concernente l'applicazione dei diritti dei pazienti relativi all'assistenza sanitaria transfrontaliera (146) in modo chiaro e preciso, sia nell'opuscolo a cui si riferisce l'onorevole deputato, sia sui sito web «La tua Europa» (147). Questi definiscono il diritto dei pazienti alla scelta di un trattamento in centri sanitari pubblici e privati e le limitazioni a cui può essere soggetto il diritto al rimborso (p. es. se un dato Stato membro decide di ricorrere al sistema di autorizzazione preventiva previsto dalla direttiva).

Le informazioni che i punti di contatto nazionali sono tenuti a fornire a norma degli articoli 4 e 6 di detta direttiva non dovrebbero escludere i prestatori privati. Tali punti di contatto dovrebbero fornire ai pazienti informazioni sul regime di regolamentazione al quale sono soggetti i prestatori e sul diritto di un dato prestatore a fornire servizi di assistenza medica.

La Commissione sta attualmente esaminando il modo in cui gli Stati membri hanno recepito la direttiva e valuterà il funzionamento dei punti di contatto nazionali nel corso di tale esame. Finora non è stato presentato alcun reclamo riguardo all'esclusione dei prestatori privati dalle informazioni fornite dai punti di contatto.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004953/14

to the Commission

Lara Comi (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Application of Directive 2011/24/EU

In the light of Article 1(4) of Directive 2011/24/EU, the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, and the information leaflet on the application of the new directive, which is written for citizens and entitled, ‘Seeking healthcare in another EU Member State: your rights’,

can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does it think that the interpretative texts are sufficiently clear and detailed to rule out any misunderstandings, particularly as regards patients’ freedom of access to healthcare provided by public and private institutions, and restrictions on choice?

What measures has the Commission taken to ascertain whether all healthcare available in a country is duly presented at National Contact Points, without any exclusions of private structures and operators that are accredited or contracted to provide healthcare on behalf of the statutory social care insurance scheme or national health service?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2014)

The Commission has sought to provide information on the rights of patients under the directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare (148) in a clear and accurate manner, both in the leaflet to which the Honourable Member refers, and via the Your Europe website (149). These set out patients’ right to choose their treatment in both public and private health centres, and the restrictions which may be placed on the right to reimbursement (if, for example, a given Member State chooses to use the system of prior authorisation provided for in the directive).

The information which National Contact Points are required to provide under Articles 4 and 6 of the directive should not exclude private providers. These Contact Points should provide patients with information regarding the regulatory regime to which such providers are subject, as well as information on a given provider’s right to provide medical services.

The Commission is currently examining the way in which Member States have transposed the directive, and will examine the functioning of National Contact Points as part of this process. So far no complaints have been made regarding the exclusion of private providers from the information provided by Contact Points.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004954/14

alla Commissione

Barbara Matera (PPE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Disuguaglianza di trattamento per i lavoratori dinanzi alla legge

Tutte le autorità internazionali e nazionali si attivano da sempre per tutelare e garantire i diritti fondamentali dell'uomo. Arrivano, però, sempre più denunce di forme di discriminazione, dirette e indirette, nel garantire i diritti di uguaglianza davanti alla legge (articolo 20).

Un cittadino italiano sostiene di non aver ricevuto un trattamento uguale a quello dei suoi colleghi sul posto di lavoro. La persona in questione nel 2006 ha lavorato per «Poste Italiane» per 5 mesi, con un contratto a tempo determinato, così come tanti suoi colleghi.

Avvocati e sindacati, in base a mansioni svolte e altri dettagli, hanno constatato delle imperfezioni in tutti questi tipi di contratti a tempo determinato e hanno così deciso di fare causa ai datori di lavoro, chiedendo il reintegro a tempo indeterminato nell'azienda. Molti di questi lavoratori hanno vinto la causa, rientrando a tempo indeterminato nell'azienda «Poste Italiane», mentre la persona in questione ha perso la causa in primo grado il 22/11/2012.

Egli si chiede perché non abbia ricevuto lo stesso trattamento dei suoi colleghi, avendo la medesima situazione contrattuale imperfetta ed essendosi appellato agli stessi articoli.

Può la Commissione far sapere quali strumenti di sostegno può fornire per rappresentare l'interesse dei cittadini e dei lavoratori, tenendo conto dell'articolo 20 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione europea, a norma del quale tutte le persone sono uguali davanti alla legge?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(4 giugno 2014)

L'articolo 20 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'UE stabilisce che tutte le persone sono uguali davanti alla legge e si applica agli Stati membri allorché questi danno attuazione alla normativa dell'UE. Disposizioni specifiche della legislazione dell'UE possono stabilire il diritto alla parità di trattamento in casi specifici. Ad esempio, la direttiva sul lavoro a tempo determinato (150) stabilisce che, per quanto concerne le condizioni lavorative, i lavoratori con contratto a tempo determinato non devono essere trattati in modo meno favorevole rispetto ai lavoratori comparabili con contratto a tempo indeterminato per il fatto che il loro contratto è a tempo determinato, a meno che non vi siano motivi oggettivi che giustifichino una differenza di trattamento.

La Commissione non è a conoscenza dei fatti cui fa riferimento l'Onorevole deputata o dei motivi per cui il tribunale nazionale abbia respinto l'istanza della persona menzionata. Spetta alle autorità nazionali, anche nelle sedi giudiziarie, determinare i fatti ed assicurare che vengano applicati i diritti di cui alla Carta e alla direttiva quale recepita nella normativa nazionale. La Commissione può intervenire, ad esempio avviando una procedura di infrazione, soltanto nel caso in cui la direttiva non sia stata adeguatamente recepita, le autorità nazionali applichino ripetutamente e in modo incorretto i diritti previsti dalla direttiva o i diritti e le libertà tutelati dalla Carta siano violati all'atto di dare attuazione alla normativa dell'UE. Sulla base dei fatti esposti dall'Onorevole deputata ciò non sembra essere il caso.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004954/14

to the Commission

Barbara Matera (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Unequal treatment of workers before the law

All the international and national authorities have always worked to safeguard and guarantee fundamental human rights. However, there are growing numbers of complaints about forms of direct and indirect discrimination in those rights which are guaranteed equal before the law (Article 20 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union).

An Italian citizen is claiming that he did not receive equal treatment while working for Poste Italiane (an Italian postal services company) for five months in 2006. He was on a fixed-term contract, like many of his colleagues.

Based on the duties of the job and other details, lawyers and trade unions found flaws in all the fixed-term contracts of this type, and decided to sue the employers for permanent reinstatement of the employees. Many have won their cases, re-joining the company Poste Italiane on a permanent basis, though the plaintiff in question lost his case at first instance on 22.11.2012.

He wonders why he did not receive the same treatment as his colleagues, since he had the same flawed contract and had invoked the same articles.

What means of support can the Commission provide to represent the interests of citizens and workers, taking account of Article 20 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, whereby all people are equal before the law?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

Article 20 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU provides that everyone is equal before the law and applies to Member States when they are implementing EC law. Specific provisions of EC law may provide for a right to equal treatment in specific cases. For instance, the Fixed-Term Work Directive (151) provides that fixed-term workers must not be treated less favourably than comparable permanent workers as regards employment conditions because they are on fixed-term contracts, unless there are objective grounds justifying a difference in treatment.

The Commission is not aware of the facts of the case to which the Honourable Member refers or the reasons why the national court rejected the person’s claim. Determining the facts and ensuring that the rights set out in the Charter and in the directive as transposed into national law are applied are a matter for the national authorities, including the courts. The Commission can take action, for instance by initiating an infringement procedure, only where the directive is not properly transposed, where the national authorities consistently and incorrectly apply the rights provided for in the directive or if the rights and freedoms protected under the Charter are violated when implementing EC law. On the basis of the facts presented by the Honourable Member, this does not appear to be the case.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004955/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Fondi europei a favore del Ponte degli Alpini di Bassano del Grappa

Il Ponte di Bassano (Ponte Vecchio o Ponte degli Alpini) rappresenta uno dei monumenti più belli e importanti d'Europa, un patrimonio di arte, storia e sentimenti che da secoli accompagna la vita dei cittadini di Bassano del Grappa, in provincia di Vicenza.

Il ponte ha una storia lunga mille anni ed è stato ricostruito più volte dopo essere stato distrutto da guerre e piene del fiume Brenta. Il 17/02/1945 il ponte fu fatto saltare in aria dai «Volontari della libertà» per salvare la città dai bombardamenti e finita la guerra furono gli alpini a ricostruirlo. Il 3 ottobre del 1948 il Ponte degli Alpini viene inaugurato alla presenza del Presidente del Consiglio Alcide de Gasperi. L'alto valore architettonico di quest'opera progettata da Andrea Palladio si aggiunge all'immenso valore simbolico per Bassano del Grappa, per il Veneto e per l'intero paese.

Preso atto che, come tutte le maggiori opere architettoniche, anche il Ponte di Bassano richiede costosi e costanti interventi di manutenzione; considerato che, dal 2007 a oggi, l'Italia ha ricevuto oltre 2 miliardi di euro per restaurare i suoi monumenti e rilanciare il turismo riuscendo a spenderne solo la metà; preso atto che l'Europa ha destinato al salvataggio del sito archeologico di Pompei ben 105 milioni di euro — 78 milioni elargiti direttamente da Bruxelles e 27 milioni messi a disposizione dal cofinanziamento statale — che rischiano di rimanere inutilizzati a causa della burocrazia italiana e dell'incapacità degli amministratori locali nel mettere a punto programmi operativi per spendere i fondi europei; può la Commissione far sapere:

se ha intenzione di intervenire come ha già fatto per Pompei, per sostenere finanziariamente la conservazione e il rispristino del Ponte di Bassano?

Se intende mettere a disposizione dell'amministrazione di Bassano del Grappa i fondi del programma Orizzonte 2020 destinati alla conservazione del patrimonio culturale?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(10 giugno 2014)

1.

Il programma 2007-2013 per il Veneto, cofinanziato dal Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale, fornisce un sostegno per la valorizzazione e promozione del patrimonio culturale. Un invito a presentare proposte (valore: 14 milioni di euro) per progetti legati al patrimonio culturale, pubblicato nel 2010, ha cofinanziato 8 progetti. In linea con il principio di gestione concorrente usato per l'amministrazione della politica di coesione, la selezione e l'implementazione dei progetti rientrano nelle responsabilità delle autorità di gestione. Pertanto, la Commissione suggerisce all'Onorevole deputato di mettersi direttamente in contatto con l'autorità di gestione del programma:

Regione Veneto

Direzione Programmazione

Managing Authority Director

Rio dei Tre Ponti — Dorsoduro, 3494/A

30123 Venezia (VE)

Tel. 041 2791469 — 1470 — 1472

e-mail: programmazione@regione.veneto.it

2.

Il patrimonio culturale, in tutti i suoi aspetti, è una componente forte della strategia Orizzonte 2020. In particolare, la sfida societale 5 «Azione per il clima, efficienza delle risorse e materie prime», tratta la conservazione e la gestione del patrimonio culturale esposto ai rischi determinati dal cambiamento climatico e da altri fattori ambientali e umani. La strategia Orizzonte 2020 è implementata tramite inviti aperti a presentare proposte che sono valutati da esperti esterni. Non sono previsti stanziamenti alle autorità locali per la conservazione del patrimonio culturale.

Per quanto concerne le eventuali altre fonti di finanziamento diretto per la salvaguardia del patrimonio culturale, l'azione dell'UE si limita ad incoraggiare la cooperazione tra gli Stati membri e ad appoggiarne e integrarne l'azione (152), tra l'altro al fine di conservare e salvaguardare il patrimonio culturale di importanza europea. La protezione del patrimonio culturale rientra precipuamente nelle competenze degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004955/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: European funding for the Ponte degli Alpini Bridge in Bassano del Grappa

The bridge at Bassano del Grappa (known as the Ponte di Bassano, Ponte Vecchio or Ponte degli Alpini) is one of Europe’s finest and most important monuments. It is evocative of history and of an artistic heritage which has been part of the lives of the citizens of Bassano del Grappa, in the province of Vicenza, for centuries.

The bridge dates back 1 000 years and has been rebuilt several times after destruction by war and by flooding of the river Brenta. On 17.2.1945 it was blown up by the Volontari della Libertà (freedom volunteers) to save the city from being bombed. After the war, the military corps of the Alpini rebuilt it as Ponte degli Alpini and it was officially opened, in the presence of Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi, on 3 October 1948. Designed by Andrea Palladio, the bridge is of great architectural value. It also has immense symbolic value for Bassano del Grappa, the Veneto and the whole of Italy.

Like all major architectural works, Bassano’s bridge requires constant, expensive maintenance work. From 2007 to date, Italy has received more than EUR 2 billion to restore its monuments and revive its tourism, and has only managed to spend half this sum. For example, Europe has allocated more than EUR 105 million to save the archaeological site of Pompeii, of which EUR 78 million was granted directly by Brussels and EUR 27 million co-funded with the Italian Government. There is a risk that this money will remain unspent, because of Italian bureaucracy and the inability of local government to draw up programmes of works to spend the European funding.

1.

Does the Commission plan to intervene, as at Pompeii, with financial support for the conservation and restoration of the Ponte di Bassano?

2.

Does it intend to provide funds earmarked for the conservation of cultural heritage under the Horizon 2020 programme to the local authority in Bassano del Grappa?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

1.

The 2007-2013 programme for Veneto co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund provides support for the promotion and enhancement of cultural heritage. A call for proposals (EUR 14 million) for cultural heritage projects, published in 2010, has co-financed 8 projects. In line with the shared management principle used for the administration of cohesion policy, project selection and implementation is the responsibility of managing authorities. Therefore the Commission suggests that the Honourable Member contact directly the managing authority of the programme:

Regione Veneto

Direzione Programmazione

Managing Authority Director

Rio dei Tre Ponti — Dorsoduro, 3494/A

30123 Venezia (VE)

Tel. 041 2791469 — 1470 — 1472

e-mail: programmazione@regione.veneto.it

2.

Cultural heritage in all its forms is a strong component of Horizon 2020. In particular, Societal Challenge 5 ‘Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials’, deals with cultural heritage preservation and management at risk from climate change and other environmental and human risk factors. Horizon 2020 is implemented by open calls for proposals that are evaluated by external experts. There are no earmarked funds to local authorities for the conservation of cultural heritage.

Concerning any other sources of direct funding for the safeguarding of cultural heritage, action by the EU is limited to encouraging cooperation between Member States and supporting and supplementing their actions (153), inter alia, with a view to conserving and safeguarding cultural heritage of European significance. The protection of cultural heritage is primarily a national responsibility.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004956/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Forza politica indiana composta da pregiudicati

L'agenzia d'informazione indiana PTI ha pubblicato un'analisi realizzata dall'Associazione per le riforme democratiche (ADR) e dall'osservatorio sulle elezioni dello Stato del Madhya Pradesh circa il partito Aam Aadmi (AAP), forza politica indiana che ha focalizzato nelle ultime tornate elettorali la sua piattaforma programmatica sulla lotta senza quartiere alla corruzione. Il partito è composto per il 40 % da politici pregiudicati e per il 30 % da ricchissimi miliardari. Nelle dieci circoscrizioni in cui si è andati al secondo turno (17 aprile 2014), quattro candidati dell'AAP risultano infatti avere precedenti penali.

1.

È l'Alto Rappresentante a conoscenza dei fatti descritti?

2.

Ritiene che queste circostanze mettano a repentaglio il processo di democratizzazione del paese?

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

(19 giugno 2014)

L'UE segue le elezioni politiche indiane, il cui termine è previsto per il 12 maggio 2014, con l'interesse dovuto a un processo democratico che coinvolge oltre 800 milioni di elettori in uno dei suoi partner strategici.

L'UE è a conoscenza del fatto che vari candidati alle elezioni indiane paiono avere problemi con le autorità giudiziarie (e ciò non riguarda esclusivamente il partito Aam Aadmi). Confidiamo che sia le elezioni sia la nomina dei nuovi membri del Parlamento indiano si svolgano nel rispetto della legislazione in vigore.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004956/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Indian political party candidates have criminal records

The Indian news agency PTI has published an analysis by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Madhya Pradesh Election Watch (MPEW) concerning the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This is an Indian political party whose campaign programme in the last elections centred on an all-out fight against corruption. The party is made up of 40% of politicians with criminal records and 30% of ultra-rich billionaires. In the ten constituencies that went to the polls in the second phase on 17 April 2014, four AAP candidates in fact had criminal records.

1.

Is the High Representative aware of the facts described above?

2.

Does she believe that those circumstances jeopardise the democratic process in the country?

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

(19 June 2014)

The EU is following the Indian parliamentary elections, to be completed on 12 May 2014, with the interest that is due to a democratic process involving more than 800 million voters in one of its strategic partners.

The EU is aware that several candidates in the Indian elections may have issues with judicial authorities (and this does not concern exclusively the Aam Aadmi Party). We trust that both the election and the appointment of the new members of the Indian Parliament will take place in compliance with the applicable laws.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004957/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Pillola abortiva RU486

Come riportato dal quotidiano La Stampa, all'ospedale Martini a Torino una donna di 37 anni è morta dopo un'interruzione di gravidanza ottenuta tramite la pillola abortiva RU486. Negli ambienti medici si sono accese polemiche circa la mancanza di un vero protocollo che, al di là dell'uso della RU486, stabilisca in modo certo quali farmaci aggiuntivi vadano somministrati (il mifepristone infatti non funziona da solo come abortivo ma viene associato a un'altra sostanza, più esattamente una prostaglandina).

1.

È la Commissione al corrente dei fatti sopra descritti?

2.

Quali provvedimenti intende adottare per tutelare l'incolumità delle donne che optano per l'aborto farmacologico?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(3 giugno 2014)

Conformemente alla legislazione farmaceutica (154) l'informazione allegata ad un prodotto medicinale, approvata dall'autorità competente nel contesto dell'autorizzazione all'immissione in commercio, contiene informazioni sull'uso del prodotto (indicazioni) e sui rischi ad esso legati (reazioni avverse, avvertimenti). Autorizzazioni all'immissione in commercio di medicinali contenenti mifepristone sono state concesse dagli Stati membri e non sono oggetto di un'autorizzazione centralizzata a livello di UE, pertanto l'informazione relativa al prodotto può variare tra i diversi paesi dell'UE.

La Commissione è tuttavia a conoscenza dell'uso del mifepristone con una prostaglandina nel contesto dell'indicazione terapeutica per l'interruzione medica della gravidanza. A livello di UE sono stati effettuati due riesami di prodotti contenenti mifepristone, uno nel 2007 (Mifegyne) (155) e uno nel 2012 (Mifepristone Linepharma) (156). Le informazioni sul prodotto, che fanno parte di decisioni pertinenti della Commissione a carattere vincolante per gli Stati membri, contengono indicazioni testuali sull'uso sequenziale del mifepristone e della prostaglandina.

Dopo l'autorizzazione iniziale il prodotto medicinale è assoggettato a una sorveglianza post commercializzazione per il suo intero ciclo di vita. La legislazione farmaceutica1 prescrive che i detentori dell'autorizzazione alla commercializzazione segnalino alla base dati dell'UE Eudravigilance tutte le reazioni negative gravi sospette derivanti dall'uso del prodotto in un tempo circoscritto. Se si identifica un problema potenziale di sicurezza esso viene discusso a livello dell'UE in seno al comitato di valutazione dei rischi per la farmacovigilanza facente capo all'Agenzia europea per i medicinali. La legislazione farmaceutica prevede gli strumenti legali per modificare l'informazione del prodotto o per ritirare l'autorizzazione all'immissione in commercio, a seconda dei casi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004957/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: The RU486 abortion pill

The Italian daily La Stampa has reported that a 37-year-old woman has died at Martini Hospital in Turin after her pregnancy was terminated with the RU486 abortion pill. Controversy has arisen in medical circles about the lack of a proper protocol that clearly sets out what additional drugs should be administered together with RU486. (Mifepristone does not in fact act as an abortifacient by itself but is used in combination with another substance, a prostaglandin.)

1.

Is the Commission aware of the facts described above?

2.

What measures does it intend to adopt to ensure the safety of women who choose to have a pharmacological abortion?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

According to the pharmaceutical legislation (157), medicinal product information, approved by the competent authorities as part of the marketing authorisation, contains information about the product’s use (indications) and risks (adverse reactions, warnings). Marketing authorisations for mifepristone-containing medicinal products have been granted by the Member States and are not subject to a centralized authorisation at EU level; therefore their product information may vary across the EU.

However, the Commission is aware of the use of mifepristone with a prostaglandin in the therapeutic indication of medical termination of pregnancy. Two reviews of mifepristone-containing products have been performed at the EU level, in 2007 (Mifegyne) (158) and in 2012 (Mifepristone Linepharma) (159). Product informations, which are part of relevant Commission Decisions binding on the Member States, contain text on sequential use of mifepristone and prostaglandin.

After the initial authorisation, the medicinal product is subject to a post-marketing surveillance during its whole life-cycle. Pharmaceutical legislation1 requires, that the marketing authorisation holders report to the EU Eudravigilance database all suspected serious adverse reactions arising from use of the product in an expedited timeframe. If a potential safety concern is identified, it is discussed at the EU level by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee of the European Medicines Agency. The pharmaceutical legislation provides for legal tools to modify the product information or to withdraw the marketing authorisation, if appropriate.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004958/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Lo scandalo del talidomide e la giustizia per i superstiti europei

Durante gli anni '50 e '60 il farmaco talidomide era venduto o prescritto alle donne incinte di vari paese europei come medicinale contro le nausee mattutine. Tale farmaco, si è scoperto poi, è stato il responsabile della nascita di almeno 20 000 bambini invalidi e di altri 100 000 morti in utero.

Considerato che in Europa sono circa 4 000 le vittime sopravvissute al talidomide, che hanno superato le aspettative degli esperti medici dell'epoca conducendo una vita indipendente; intende la Commissione: sensibilizzare i governi degli Stati membri in merito allo scandalo in questione al fine di garantire il completo riconoscimento delle esigenze sanitarie delle vittime sopravvissute, assicurando loro giustizia e qualità di vita?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(1o giugno 2014)

La Commissione è a conoscenza delle questioni sollevate dall'onorevole deputato. La Commissione invita a consultare le risposte fornite a precedenti interrogazioni scritte di altri membri del Parlamento europeo sulla tragedia del talidomide, quali E-004855/2012, E-007905/2013, E-012387/2013, E-000800/2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004958/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: The scandal of thalidomide and justice for the European survivors

During the 1950s and 1960s, the drug thalidomide was sold or prescribed to pregnant women in various European countries as a remedy for morning sickness. It was subsequently established that the drug had been responsible for the birth of at least 20 000 babies with birth defects and a further 100 000 still births.

Some 4 000 thalidomide victims have survived, who have fared better than medical experts predicted in that they are able to lead independent lives; will the Commission raise awareness of the thalidomide scandal among Member State governments, so as to secure full recognition of the healthcare requirements of surviving victims and thereby guarantee them justice and quality of life?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(1 June 2014)

The Commission is aware of the events raised by the Honourable Member. The Commission refers to its answers to previous questions by other Members of the European Parliament on the Thalidomide tragedy, such as questions number E-004855/2012, E-007905/2013, E-012387/2013, E-000800/2014.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004959/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Accordo UE-Marocco: gravi danni per l'agricoltura italiana

L'accordo siglato tra l'Unione europea e il Marocco sulla liberalizzazione di alcuni prodotti ortofrutticoli e ittici mette in serio pericolo alcune delle più importanti produzioni ortofrutticole italiane. Il testo prevede, infatti, l'aumento delle quote di scambio per una serie di prodotti che potranno essere importati a tariffe doganali ribassate o pari a zero eliminando immediatamente il 55 % delle tariffe doganali sui prodotti agricoli e di pesca marocchini (dal 33 % attuale) e il 70 % delle tariffe sui prodotti agricoli e di pesca dell'UE.

Il Parlamento europeo dando seguito alle preoccupazioni espresse da alcune associazioni di categoria ha inserito nel testo delle misure salvaguardia per alcuni prodotti come fragole, pomodori, cocomeri e aglio. Mancano però all'appello gli agrumi, a dimostrazione del fatto che i grandi gruppi industriali del Nord Europa riescono a protegger le loro economie difendendo i loro prodotti di serra. Oggi grazie ai dazi le arance marocchine sono vendute nel nostro paese a 30 centesimi al chilo, un prezzo che equivale più o meno a quelli applicati sulle arance siciliane. Dopo l'entrata in vigore dell'accordo i prezzi precipiteranno almeno a 17 centesimi al kg, rendendo insostenibile per i nostri produttori restare nel settore.

Considerato che i produttori europei sono penalizzati dal fatto che le produzioni marocchine, come ad esempio i pomodori, accedono al mercato comunitario in periodi diversi rispetto alla normale commercializzazione europea, provocando gravi ripercussioni sull'andamento dei mercati, la volatilità dei prezzi in primis, e preso atto che gli elevati standard comunitari in materia di protezione ambientale, condizioni dei lavoratori, tutela sindacale, normativa antidumping e sicurezza alimentare non avrebbero riscontro nei prodotti marocchini importati nell'Unione europea, può la Commissione precisare quanto segue:

Intende monitorare con molta attenzione il rispetto delle quote previste dall'accordo e rafforzare i controlli alle frontiere per evitare frodi e violazioni dei prezzi d’importazione?

Ha intenzione di valutare l'impatto dell'accordo sugli agricoltori europei?

Intende integrare il differenziale sociale e ambientale pagato dai produttori europei con l'inserimento delle dovute clausole sociali e antidumping?

Risposta di Dacian Cioloș a nome della Commissione

(11 giugno 2014)

La Commissione controlla attentamente l'utilizzo dei contingenti tariffari previsti dall’accordo agricolo con il Marocco (160). I controlli di frontiera sono competenza delle autorità doganali degli Stati membri, che garantiscono l’applicazione del regime del prezzo d’entrata e la riscossione di dazi all’importazione collegati al meccanismo del prezzo d’entrata.

L’accordo di associazione (161) prevede una struttura istituzionale di cooperazione tra le parti, con un comitato di associazione responsabile dell’attuazione dell’accordo. La Commissione si avvale dell’attuale sottocomitato per la pesca e l’agricoltura per raccogliere informazioni sulla produzione agricola in Marocco e scambiare dati commerciali.

In occasione dell'ultima riunione del sottocomitato, la Commissione ha avuto modo di constare, sulla base di dati Eurostat, che, dalla data di applicazione dell’accordo agricolo nel 2012, le importazioni di prodotti ortofrutticoli dal Marocco verso l’UE sono in realtà diminuite nel 2013 e che il Marocco non ha sfruttato tutti i quantitativi disponibili nell’ambito dei contingenti tariffari stabiliti.

Le importazioni dal Marocco devono rispondere alle norme sanitarie e fitosanitarie dell'UE, al pari di quelle da qualsiasi paese terzo. Le verifiche dell’Ufficio alimentare e veterinario mostrano che le importazioni marocchine sono in genere conformi agli obblighi UE.

L’accordo, oltre a prevedere una clausola di salvaguardia nei casi di concorrenza sleale, contempla anche disposizioni sociali e un regime di cooperazione in questo campo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004959/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: EU/Morocco Agreement: seriously damaging to Italian agriculture

The agreement signed between the European Union and Morocco, concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products, seriously jeopardises some of Italy’s most important fruit and vegetable production. In fact the agreement increases the trade quotas for a number of products, which it will allow to be imported at reduced or zero-rated customs tariffs. It will immediately eliminate 55% of the customs tariffs on Moroccan agricultural and fishery products (compared with 33% at present) and 70% of the tariffs on EU agricultural and fishery products.

Acting on the concerns expressed by some industry associations, the European Parliament has added safeguards to the agreement for produce such as strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons and garlic. This ignores citrus fruits, because the major North European industrial groups successfully protect their economies by defending their greenhouse produce. With the reduced duties, Moroccan oranges now sell in our country at EUR 0.30 per kilogram, roughly the same price as Sicilian oranges. When the agreement enters into force, prices will plummet to at least EUR 0.17 per kilogram, so that it will no longer be viable for our growers to remain in the sector.

Moroccan production, such as tomatoes, is released onto the Community market at different times of year from the ordinary European market seasons. This puts European growers at a disadvantage and has serious repercussions on the working of the markets, resulting primarily in price volatility. Furthermore, the Moroccan produce imported into the EU does not meet the high Community standards of environmental conservation, working conditions, trade union rights, anti-dumping regulations and food safety.

Does the Commission intend:

to keep a very close watch on compliance with the quotas allowed under the agreement and to reinforce frontier checks to avoid fraud and import price infringements?

to assess the agreement’s impact on European farmers?

to add suitable social welfare and anti-dumping clauses to offset the social and environmental differential paid by European growers?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

The Commission closely monitors the use of tariff-rate quotas set out in the agricultural Agreement with Morocco (162). The border check falls under the responsibility of the Customs authorities of the Member States, who ensure the application of the entry price system and the levying of import duties linked to the entry price mechanism.

The Association Agreement (163) establishes an institutional structure of cooperation between the parties, including an Association Committee responsible for the implementation of the Association Agreement. The Commission uses the existing agricultural and fisheries subcommittee to collect information on the agricultural production in Morocco and to exchange trade data.

At the most recent subcommittee the Commission noted (based on Eurostat data) that following the start of application of the agricultural Agreement in 2012, EU imports of fruit and vegetables from Morocco have in fact declined in 2013 and that Morocco has not used all the quantities available within the tariff rate quotas established.

Imports from Morocco are required to meet EU health and sanitary and phytosanitary standards just like imports from all other third countries. Verification of these requirements by the Food and Veterinary Office shows that Moroccan imports generally comply with EU requirements.

The Agreement contains a safeguard clause to address potential cases of unfair competition. It also contains provisions on social matters, including a cooperation scheme in the social field.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004960/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Donne pakistane rapite, violentate e costrette a convertirsi all'Islam

Secondo il nuovo rapporto del Movimento per la solidarietà e la pace del Pakistan e il Pakistan Today, ogni anno, nel paese, almeno 700 donne cristiane e 300 indù tra i 12 e i 25 anni vengono rapite dalla loro stessa famiglia, convertite all'Islam e costrette a sposare a un musulmano. Il rituale è sempre lo stesso: la famiglia della vittima denuncia il rapimento alla polizia, mentre il rapitore fa una controdenuncia in nome della donna rapita, accusando la sua famiglia di voler molestare la donna obbligandola a tornare alla religione di provenienza. In seguito, alla donna viene chiesto di testimoniare davanti alla corte o alla polizia per determinare se è stata convertita e sposata a forza oppure no. Nella maggior parte dei casi, la rapita viene lasciata in custodia ai rapitori anche attraverso la falsificazione della sua età nel caso sia minorenne. Vi sono altri casi in cui non vi è nessun accordo con le famiglie e queste vengono rapite da uomini musulmani intenzionati a farle convertire.

La donna è sempre costretta a testimoniare il falso, i rapitori la violentano, la picchiano, la prostituiscono o la vendono al miglior offerente. Per le donne che riescono a scappare e a ricongiungersi alle proprie famiglie, l'incubo non è finito perché continuano a ricevere minacce di morte e attacchi violenti. Il più delle volte sono costrette a tornare dai propri mariti per assicurare la salvezza delle proprie famiglie d'origine.

Alla luce di quanto precede, può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

È essa al corrente dei fatti sopra descritti?

Quali provvedimenti intende essa prendere per tutelare la vita di queste donne e il loro diritto di professare la propria religione?

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

(5 giugno 2014)

L'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente rinvia l'onorevole parlamentare alle seguenti risposte a interrogazioni scritte: E-10897/2013; E-10927/2013; E-13601/2013 e E-4251/2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004960/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Pakistani women abducted, raped and forced to convert to Islam

According to a new report from the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan and Pakistan Today, every year at least 700 Christian women and 300 Hindu women in that country between 12 and 25 are abducted by their own families, converted to Islam and forced to marry a Muslim man. The ritual is always the same: the victim’s family report the abduction to the police, whilst the abductor files a counter-complaint on behalf of the abducted woman, accusing the family of seeking to harass the woman by forcing her to convert back to her original religion. After that, the woman is required to testify in court or to the police to determine whether or not she has been converted and married against her own free will. In most cases, the victim remains in the custody of her abductors, sometimes by falsifying her age if she is a minor. There are other cases in which the family is not in agreement and the women are kidnapped by Muslim men determined to make them convert.

The woman is always forced to give false evidence, and is raped, beaten or prostituted by the kidnappers or sold to the highest bidder. For those women who manage to escape and return to their families, the nightmare is not over, as they continue to receive death threats and violent attacks. Most of the time they are forced to return to their husbands in order to ensure the safety of their birth family.

In view of the above,

1.

Is the Commission aware of the above facts?

2.

What measures does it intend to take to protect the lives of these women and their right to practise their own religion?

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

(5 June 2014)

The HR/VP refers the honourable member to the following replies: E-10897/2013; E-10927/2013; E-13601/2013; E-4251/2014.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004961/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Povertà minorile in Europa

Il rapporto «Povertà ed esclusione sociale minorile in Europa — In gioco i diritti dei bambini», diffuso oggi da Save the Children, mette in luce le pesanti conseguenze per i bambini e gli adolescenti europei della crisi economico-finanziaria iniziata nel 2008. Lo studio rileva che il numero di bambini a rischio povertà o esclusione sociale raggiunge i 27 milioni, con una crescita di quasi 1 milione in quattro anni (2008-2012) e di mezzo milione in un solo anno (2011-2012).

In Norvegia, Svezia, Danimarca, Finlandia e Islanda, infatti, ma anche in Slovenia, Olanda, Germania, Svizzera e Repubblica Ceca, la percentuale dei minori a rischio povertà o esclusione varia dal 12 al 19 %, in Italia raggiunge il 33,8 %, in Grecia, Ungheria e Lettonia varia dal 35 al 41 %, mentre in Romania e Bulgaria raggiunge il 52 %.

1.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione far sapere se è al corrente dei fatti sopra descritti?

2.

Quali provvedimenti intende assumere per tutelare tutti i bambini europei che versano in tali difficili condizioni?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(4 giugno 2014)

1.

La Commissione è perfettamente al corrente delle statistiche sulla povertà menzionate nel rapporto Save the Children. Tali dati provengono dalle nostre statistiche unionali sul reddito e le condizioni di vita (EU-SILC) (164).

2.

La Commissione attribuisce la massima importanza politica alla lotta contro la povertà infantile.

Nella sua recente raccomandazione «Investire nell'infanzia per spezzare il circolo vizioso dello svantaggio sociale», che è parte del suo Pacchetto di investimenti sociali (165), la Commissione sollecita gli Stati membri ad intensificare la lotta contro la povertà e l'esclusione infantile e a far leva sia sui finanziamenti nazionali che su quelli unionali, come ad esempio quelli a valere sul FEAD, sul FSE e sul FESR, per sostenere politiche in tema di educazione e assistenza precoci dei bambini, conciliazione della vita lavorativa e della vita privata e accesso a una salute di qualità elevata, all'istruzione e agli alloggi.

La riduzione della povertà infantile è anche tra gli obiettivi della strategia Europa 2020 ed è affrontata annualmente nel quadro del Semestre europeo. Nel 2013 sono state indirizzate a 14 Stati membri raccomandazioni specifiche nel campo della politica della famiglia e dell'infanzia (166).

La Piattaforma europea per investire nell'infanzia è stata creata per raccogliere e rendere visibili le buone pratiche in ambiti chiave correlati alla raccomandazione di cui sopra e per assicurare il coinvolgimento delle organizzazioni pertinenti.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004961/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Child poverty in Europe

The report entitled ‘Child Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe: A matter of children’s rights’, which is published today by Save the Children, highlights the dire consequences of the economic and financial crisis that started in 2008 for Europe’s children and young people. The study reveals that the number of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion stands at 27 million, up by almost 1 million in four years (2008‐2012) and by half a million in a single year (2011‐2012).

In Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, and also in Slovenia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, the percentage of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion is in the range of 12‐19%; in Italy it is 33.8%; in Greece, Hungary and Latvia it varies between 35% and 41%; while in Romania and Bulgaria it is 52%.

1.

Can the Commission say whether it is fully aware of the facts described above?

2.

What measures is it planning to adopt to protect all European children experiencing such hardship?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

1.

The Commission is fully aware of the poverty statistics mentioned in the Save the Children Report. They come from our own EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) (167).

2.

The Commission considers the fight against child poverty of the utmost political importance.

The Commission is urging the Member States in its recent Recommendation on ‘Investing in Children ‐Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage’ which is part of its Social Investment Package (168), to step up their fight against child poverty and exclusion, and to use both national and EU funding, such as FEAD, ESF and ERDF, in order to support policies like early childhood education and care, reconciliation of work and private life and access to high quality health, education and housing services.

A reduction in child poverty is also part of the Europe 2020 strategy and addressed every year in the frame of the European Semester. In 2013, 14 Member States received Country Specific Recommendations in the area of family and child policy (169).

The European Platform for Investing in Children was set up to gather and highlight good practices in key areas linked to the aforementioned Recommendation and ensure the involvement of relevant organisations.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004962/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Preoccupazioni delle imprese balneari italiane

La competitività delle 30.000 imprese turistiche italiane operanti nel settore della balneazione — stabilimenti, camping, alberghi, ristoranti etc. — è minacciata non solo dal loro svantaggio competitivo rispetto alle imprese concorrenti situate in altri paesi europei, dove ad esempio le concessioni demaniali sono più lunghe, ma anche dagli effetti negativi determinati dalla mancanza di nuovi investimenti nel settore, inibiti dalla precarietà normativa che attualmente caratterizza le imprese che operano sul pubblico demanio. A gravare sul settore balneare è la direttiva Bolkestein che minaccia pesantemente la sopravvivenza delle imprese italiane del settore. Il 17 marzo 2014, ad Atene, il Commissario europeo agli affari marittimi Maria Damanaki ha dichiarato che la Commissione modificherà la direttiva 2006/123/CE relativa ai servizi nel mercato interno, la cosiddetta direttiva Bolkestein, nella parte che riguarda le concessioni balneari perché «i vincoli applicati alle concessioni demaniali sono troppo rigidi». Inoltre, lo scorso marzo 2014, le principali associazioni di categoria del settore, che rappresentano il 95 % degli operatori italiani hanno redatto un documento comune in cui indicano chiaramente gli interventi di cui necessitano per riconquistare competitività a livello europeo.

1.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione far sapere se intende tutelare il riconoscimento del valore commerciale delle imprese qualora, per cause di forza maggiore, il titolare dovesse perdere la concessione?

2.

Intende prevedere l'adeguamento della durata per le nuove concessioni a quella minima, di almeno 30 o più anni, e comunque a quella minima di tutti gli altri paesi europei, al fine di salvaguardare le caratteristiche storiche e peculiari della balneazione attrezzata italiana costituita da imprese familiari in cui è centrale il fattore lavoro?

3.

Intende riconoscere il diritto di opzione da riconoscere all'attuale concessionario?

Risposta di Michel Barnier a nome della Commissione

(10 giugno 2014)

Spetta agli Stati membri, e non alla Commissione, decidere se e come tutelare il riconoscimento del valore commerciale dei concessionari preesistenti qualora dovessero perdere la concessione a seguito dell'avvio della procedura di selezione per l'attribuzione delle autorizzazioni a norma dell'articolo 12 della direttiva 2006/123/CE relativa ai servizi nel mercato interno (direttiva sui servizi).

Come spiegato in recenti risposte (ad es., all'interrogazione E-01198/2013), spetta agli Stati membri, e non alla Commissione, stabilire la durata adeguata delle concessioni, tenuto conto dell'esigenza del prestatore di ammortare l'investimento e di ottenere una remunerazione equa.

La Commissione ritiene che il diritto di opzione nella procedura di attribuzione delle concessioni marittime sia contrario alla direttiva sui servizi.

Su un piano più generale, la Commissione ricorda che negli ultimi quattro anni sono stati compiuti sforzi considerevoli per migliorare l'attuazione della direttiva sui servizi. La Commissione non reputa al momento necessario proporre una nuova direttiva o una modifica del testo vigente.

La Commissione segnala infine che le dichiarazioni della Commissaria per gli affari marittimi e la pesca citate nell'interrogazione riguardano esclusivamente la comunicazione della Commissione sul turismo marino (COM(2014) 86 final) e la proposta di direttiva sulla pianificazione dello spazio marittimo (COM(2013) 133 final), entrambe volte, tra gli altri obiettivi, a promuovere il settore europeo del turismo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004962/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Concerns of Italian seaside businesses

The competitiveness of the 30 000 Italian firms operating in the seaside tourism sector — bathing establishments, camp sites, hotels, restaurants, etc. — is under threat, not only because of their competitive disadvantage compared with rivals in other European countries, where longer concessions are granted to operate on publicly owned land, for example, but also because of the adverse effects of the lack of new investment in the sector. Such investment has been inhibited by the current precarious legal status of businesses operating on public property. Seaside businesses have been badly hit by the Services Directive, which poses a serious threat to the survival of Italian firms in the sector. On 17 March 2014, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, announced in Athens that the Commission would amend Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market — also known as the Bolkestein Directive — in the part relating to seaside concessions, because ‘the constraints applied to public concessions are too restrictive’. Furthermore, in March 2014 the main business associations in the sector, which represent 95% of Italian operators, drew up a joint document clearly setting out the interventions they need to be able to compete effectively again at a European level.

1.

Can the Commission say whether it will ensure that the commercial value of these firms is recognised in the event that they lose their concessions due to circumstances outside their control?

2.

Will it stipulate that the length of new concessions be set to a minimum of 30 years or more, and in any case to the minimum prevailing in all other European countries, so as to safeguard the special historical features of the Italian seaside sector, which is made up of family firms for whom work is of prime importance?

3.

Will it recognise that current concession holders should have the right of first refusal?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

It is for the Member States, and not for the Commission, to decide whether and how to recognise the commercial value of the existing ‘concessioners’ if they lose their ‘concessions’ following the launch of the selection procedure for the attribution of authorisations according to Article 12 of Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market (the Services Directive).

As the Commission explained in its recent replies (e.g. to Question E-01198/2013), it is for the Member States, and not for the Commission, to set the appropriate duration of the ‘concessions’, taking into consideration the need for providers to recoup costs of investment and generate a fair return.

The Commission considers that the right of first refusal in the procedure of the attribution of maritime ‘concessions’ is contrary to the Services Directive.

More generally, the Commission wishes to recall that, for the past four years, significant efforts have been put into improving the implementation of the Services Directive. The Commission does not consider it necessary to submit a proposal for a new directive or amend the existing text of the one in force at this point in time.

In addition, the Commission would like to mention that the statements of the Member of the Commission responsible of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries referred to in the question related only to the Commission Communication on marine tourism (COM(2014) 86 final) and the proposed Directive on maritime spatial Planning (COM(2013) 133 final), both of which intend to promote, amongst others, the European tourism sector.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004963/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Scomparsa a Parigi di numerose provette contenenti il virus della Sars

L'Istituto Pasteur di Parigi, durante un inventario di routine, ha costatato la scomparsa di 2 349 provette contenenti il virus mortale della Sars. Gli esperti, «in base agli elementi disponibili e conosciuti della letteratura medica sulla sopravvivenza del virus Sars», hanno minimizzato il potenziale infettivo delle provette scomparse. La Commissione:

È al corrente dei fatti sopra descritti?

Quali misure intende assumere per evitare che il virus contenuto in queste provette possa mettere in pericolo l'incolumità dei cittadini europei e per accertare che queste provette non siano state sottratte per fini terroristici?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(3 giugno 2014)

Le autorità responsabili in Francia hanno riferito questo incidente alla Commissione, agli Stati membri dell'UE e al Centro europeo di prevenzione e controllo delle malattie utilizzando il Sistema di allarme rapido e di reazione (SARR) creato dalla decisione del Parlamento e del Consiglio per lottare contro gravi minacce per la salute a carattere transfrontaliero (170).

Le autorità francesi, in base al parere di un comitato di esperti, hanno informato che i campioni sono privi di potenziale infettivo. Le autorità francesi responsabili stanno attualmente analizzando la situazione e, se necessario, forniranno ulteriori dettagli alla Commissione e agli Stati membri attraverso SARR.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004963/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Large number of test tubes containing the SARS virus gone missing in Paris

During a routine inventory, the Institut Pasteur in Paris has discovered that 2 349 test tubes containing the deadly SARS virus have gone missing. ‘On the basis of the available known evidence in the medical literature on the survival of the SARS virus’, the experts have said there is little risk of infection from the contents of the missing test tubes.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the facts described above?

2.

What measures is it planning to take to prevent the virus contained in these test tubes from threatening the safety of European citizens, and to ascertain whether the test tubes have been stolen for terrorist purposes?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

The responsible authorities in France have reported this incident to the Commission, EU Member States and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control using the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) established by the decision of the Parliament and of the Council on serious cross-border threats to health (171).

The French authorities, based on the advice of an expert committee, have informed that the samples are devoid of infective potential. An investigation is on-going by the responsible authorities in France which will report further details to the Commission and to EU Member States through the EWRS as necessary.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004964/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Situazioni difficili per i lavoratori delle concerie indiane

Uno studio condotto nel 2008 dall'Indian institute of toxicology research menzionato dal Pulitzer Center ha reso note le gravi condizioni in cui si trovano i lavoratori delle concerie di Calcutta esposti ad agenti chimici (per esempio il cromo) a causa dei quali rischiano di contrarre malattie e infezioni mortali.

Sebbene l'industria conciaria rivesta un ruolo importante nell’economia indiana e sia un settore che genera occupazione, bisogna tener presente che è costituito da lavoratori sottopagati, da donne e bambini, e che le sostanze tossiche impiegate per questa industria finiscono inoltre nelle acque e nei campi, inquinando e intaccando così anche la catena alimentare.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione riferire:

se è al corrente dei fatti sopra descritti;

che provvedimenti intende assumere per tutelare la salute di questi lavoratori e di tutti i cittadini esposti all'inquinamento causato dagli agenti chimici?

Risposta di Andris Piebalgs a nome della Commissione

(20 giugno 2014)

La Commissione sa che le condizioni di lavoro nelle concerie indiane sono spesso pericolose. Sebbene questo settore appartenga in gran parte all'economia sommersa, la questione è adeguatamente documentata grazie alle reti delle organizzazioni non governative in India.

Il governo indiano ha posto in essere, a livello centrale e statale, quadri normativi che disciplinano l'uso dei prodotti chimici e il trattamento degli effluenti nelle concerie, ma l'applicazione di queste regolamentazioni può differire da uno Stato all'altro.

L'UE intrattiene con l'India un dialogo sulla politica occupazionale e sociale che riguarda anche temi come la protezione sociale e la salute e la sicurezza sul lavoro. L'Unione sostiene inoltre la ratifica e l'attuazione delle convenzioni fondamentali dell'Organizzazione internazionale del lavoro.

La componente «Occupazione, lavoro dignitoso, competenze, protezione sociale e inclusione sociale» del programma «Beni pubblici e sfide globali» (strumento di cooperazione allo sviluppo) terrà conto dell'agenda per il lavoro dignitoso e seguirà un approccio basato sui diritti in materia di occupazione e lavoro comprendente la salute e la sicurezza sul lavoro e il diritto alla protezione sociale e giuridica, specialmente per i lavoratori più svantaggiati.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004964/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Difficult situation for workers in Indian tanneries

A study conducted in 2008 by the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research cited by the Pulitzer Center revealed the harsh conditions of workers in Kolkata’s tanneries, who are exposed to chemical agents (such as chromium) that put them at risk of contracting deadly infections and diseases.

Although the tanning industry plays an important role in the Indian economy and is an industry that creates employment, it must be borne in mind that its workers, including women and children, are underpaid and that the toxic substances used in the industry end up in water courses and on the fields, causing pollution and therefore also damaging the food chain.

In view of this, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of the facts described above?

What measures is it planning to take to protect the health of these workers and all the people being exposed to pollution caused by chemical agents?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2014)

The Commission is fully aware that working conditions in Indian tanneries are often hazardous. Despite the prevalence of the informal economy in this sector the issue is well documented through Non-Governmental Organisations networks in India.

The Indian Government at Central or State level has put in place regulatory frameworks regarding the use of chemicals and treatment of effluents in tanneries. However, implementation of these regulations can differ from one State to another.

The EU maintains a dialogue with India on employment and social policy that also covers subjects such as social protection and health and safety at work. The EU also supports the ratification and implementation of the fundamental Conventions of the International Labour Organisation.

Within the framework of the Global Public Goods and Challenges (Development Cooperation Instrument), the component: Employment, decent work, skills, social protection and social inclusion, will take into account the Decent Work Agenda and rights-based approach to employment and labour, including health and safety at work and the right to social and legal protection, especially for the most disadvantaged workers.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004965/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Trattamento dei rifiuti in Europa

Secondo nuovi dati diffusi da Eurostat, in UE la percentuale media dei rifiuti urbani trattata attraverso riciclaggio o compostaggio è passata dal 18 % del 1995 al 42 % del 2012.

I Paesi più virtuosi risultano essere la Germania col 65 %, l'Austria col 62 % e il Belgio col 57 % di rifiuti trattati, mentre fanalino di coda del trattamento rifiuti sono la Romania col 99 %, la Croazia con l'85 % e la Lettonia con l'84 % dei rifiuti inviati direttamente alle discariche.

Considerando la direttiva 2008/98/CE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio relativa ai rifiuti e le politiche ambientali europee che puntano a ridurre al minimo le conseguenze negative della produzione e della gestione dei rifiuti, per tutelare sia la salute umana sia l'ambiente, la Commissione può indicare come agirà al fine di stimolare gli Stati membri poco attivi nella gestione dei rifiuti ad innalzare i propri standard?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(11 giugno 2014)

La responsabilità per migliorare la gestione dei rifiuti e conseguire gli obiettivi di riutilizzo e riciclaggio fissati nella direttiva quadro relativa ai rifiuti (2008/98/CE) (172) spetta agli Stati membri.

La Commissione assiste gli Stati membri meno efficienti fornendo un sostegno amministrativo e finanziario. Il sostegno amministrativo comprende sia l’emissione di raccomandazioni pertinenti ad ulteriori azioni sia la diffusione e lo scambio delle migliori pratiche. Nel 2012-2013 la Commissione ha avviato un'iniziativa per promuovere l'osservanza della normativa che comprendeva una valutazione dei risultati conseguiti dagli Stati membri e alcuni seminari bilaterali tenutesi nei 10 Stati membri meno efficienti; l'iniziativa ha prodotto schede informative sulla situazione attuale e tabelle di marcia per ulteriori azioni presso gli Stati membri coinvolti (173). Il sostegno finanziario viene fornito — tra l’altro — attraverso finanziamenti a titolo dei fondi strutturali dell’UE.

La prossima revisione degli obiettivi nell'ambito della legislazione europea sui rifiuti intende studiare il problema dei diversi livelli di efficienza degli Stati membri e sarà collocata nel più ampio contesto della trasformazione dei rifiuti in risorse che possono essere immesse nuovamente nel ciclo economico per un uso produttivo, attraverso il riciclaggio e modelli di economia circolare.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004965/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Treatment of waste in Europe

According to new data published by Eurostat, the average percentage of urban waste treated by recycling or composting in the EU increased from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012.

The best performing countries appear to be Germany with 65%, Austria with 62% and Belgium with 57% of waste treated, whereas bringing up the rear in waste treatment are Romania with 99%, Croatia with 85% and Latvia with 84% of waste going straight to landfill.

Considering Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste and European environmental policies which aim to reduce to a minimum the negative consequences of production and waste management, to protect both human health and the environment, can the Commission state what steps it will take to encourage those Member States which are less active in waste management to raise their standards?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

The responsibility for improving waste management and meeting the reuse and recycling targets set in the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (174) lies with the Member States.

The Commission assists the less performing Member States by providing administrative and financial support. Administrative support includes the issuance of recommendations for further action as well as dissemination and exchange of best practice. In 2012-2013 the Commission carried out a compliance promotion initiative which included an assessment of Member States’ performance and bilateral seminars in 10 less performing Member States resulting in preparation of factsheets on current situation and roadmaps for further action for these Member States. (175) Financial support is inter alia provided through funding from the EU structural funds.

The forthcoming review of targets in European waste legislation will address the issue of differing levels of performance of Member States and be placed in the wider context of turning waste into resources that can be put back into productive use in the economy through recycling and circular economy models.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-004966/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Uso del biosfenolo A per l'imballaggio dei prodotti alimentari in Europa: aggiornamento

Con riferimento all'interrogazione E-010023/2011 presentata dalla scrivente, può la Commissione fornire aggiornamenti sui risultati delle azioni illustrate nella sua risposta?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(13 giugno 2014)

L'Autorità europea per la sicurezza alimentare (EFSA) ha valutato la relazione del 2011 dell'ANSES (176) sul bisfenolo A (BPA) ed è giunta alla conclusione che le informazioni ivi contenute non modificano il suo parere del 2010 (177). Tuttavia l'EFSA, avendo osservato anche che nuovi studi sui possibili effetti tossicologici sono stati disponibili dopo la pubblicazione del parere nel 2010, ha deciso di riesaminare tale parere e prevede di portare a termine tale riesame entro il 2014. Solo in seguito la Commissione sarà in grado di valutare se sia necessario adottare misure per l'utilizzo del bisfenolo A nei materiali a contatto con prodotti alimentari oltre ai biberon (178).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004966/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Use of bisphenol A in food packaging in Europe: update

With reference to my Question E-010023/2011, can the Commission provide an update on the results of the measures mentioned in its answer?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the 2011 ANSES report (179) on Bisphenol-A (BPA) and concluded that the information contained therein would not change its 2010 opinion (180). However, because EFSA also noted that new studies on possible toxicological effects had become available since its 2010 opinion, EFSA decided to review it. EFSA plans to finalise this review within 2014. Only then the Commission would consider whether there is a need to take measures on the use of BPA in food contact materials beyond infant feeding bottles (181).

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004967/14

aan de Commissie

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: Acties na tweede stillegging Doel 3 en Tihange 2

De kerncentrales van Doel 3 en Tihange 2 liggen momenteel opnieuw stil. Eerder, vanaf de zomer 2012 tot juni 2013, werden de reactoren ook al stil gelegd. Dit gebeurde nadat er „onregelmatigheden” ontdekt werden in de reactorkuipen tijdens een driejaarlijkse controle. Na testen gedurende 2012 en 2013, mochten de reactoren in juni 2013 opnieuw opgestart worden. Bijkomende testen in 2013 en 2014 hebben echter resultaten beneden de verwachtingen opgeleverd. Daardoor werd uit veiligheidsoverwegingen besloten om de centrales opnieuw stil te leggen.

De exploitanten geven aan dat de onregelmatigheden (of waterstofvlokken), die aanleiding geven tot de mogelijke veiligheidsproblemen en aan de basis liggen van het stil leggen van de reactoren, ontstaan zijn tijdens het productieproces.

Er zijn in Europa nog andere kerncentrales operationeel die reactorkuipen hebben afkomstig van dezelfde fabrikanten als die van Doel 3 en Tihange 2. Het risico dat deze met dezelfde problemen kampen lijkt dus reeël.

In vraag E-007810/2012, werd reeds gepeild of de Commissie weet had van reacties uit andere lidstaten op de gebeurtenissen in België. Dat was toen niet het geval.

1.

Heeft de Commissie ondertussen wel weet van acties ondernomen door andere lidstaten, met name aangaande die reactoren die mogelijk met dezelfde problemen kampen?

2.

Zo nee, welke acties kan/gaat de Commissie ondernemen om de lidstaten attent te maken op de mogelijke problemen en hen aan te manen de situatie te onderzoeken?

3.

Zijn er andere Europese acties gepland inzake dit dossier?

Antwoord van de heer Oettinger namens de Commissie

(11 juni 2014)

De Commissie verwijst het geachte Parlementslid naar haar antwoord op vraag E-008256/2012 (182).

1.

De Commissie is ervan op de hoogte dat andere lidstaten en Zwitserland, die over reactoren met reactorkuipen van dezelfde fabrikant beschikken, deze zaak ook onderzoeken. De Commissie is niet op de hoogte van concrete maatregelen die op dit gebied zijn genomen.

2 en 3. De hoofdverantwoordelijkheid voor de nucleaire veiligheid van een kerninstallatie berust bij de vergunninghouder, die de veiligheid geregeld moet beoordelen onder toezicht van de bevoegde regelgevende autoriteit. De herziening van de richtlijn inzake nucleaire veiligheid (183), die in de nabije toekomst zou moeten zijn afgesloten, verandert niets aan dit fundamentele principe. Op Europees niveau is de Commissie ervan op de hoogte gebracht dat Wenra (Vereniging van West-Europese regelgevers op nucleair gebied ) in augustus 2013 een aanbeveling tot zijn leden heeft gericht inzake de veiligheidscontroles op Europese reactorkuipen, in het licht van de bevindingen bij de kerncentrales Doel 3 en Tihange 2.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004967/14

to the Commission

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Action following the second shutdown of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power units

The Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power units are currently again offline; they were previously taken offline in summer 2012, remaining offline until June 2013. That came in response to the discovery of ‘irregularities’ in the reactor pressure vessels during a three-yearly inspection. In June 2013, following tests in 2012 and 2013, the reactor units were allowed to be restarted. Additional tests in 2013 and 2014 produced unexpected results, however. It was therefore decided on safety grounds to take the nuclear power units offline again.

According to the operator, the production process for the reactor pressure vessels is the source of the irregularities (i.e. presence of hydrogen flakes) which may give rise to safety problems and which prompted the shutdown of the reactor units.

Other nuclear power plants in operation in Europe have reactor pressure vessels from the same manufacturer which produced the vessels for Doel 3 and Tihange 2. Accordingly, there seems to be a genuine risk that they face the same problems.

In Question E-007810/2012, the Commission was asked whether it was aware of any responses from other Member States to the events in Belgium. The Commission was not aware of any such responses at the time.

1.

In the meantime, has the Commission become aware of measures taken by other Member States, in particular concerning reactor units which may have the same problems?

2.

If it is not aware of any such measures, what can or will the Commission do to draw the attention of Member States to the possible problems concerned and to urge them to investigate the situation?

3.

Are other European measures planned in this connection?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its reply to Written Question E-008256/2012 (184).

1.

The Commission is aware that other Member States and Switzerland in which there are reactor units having pressure vessels of the same manufacturer are also investigating this problem, but it is not aware of concrete measures taken so far.

2 and 3. Prime responsibility for the nuclear safety of a nuclear installation rests with the licence holder, who is required to regularly assess this safety under the supervision of the competent regulatory body. The revision of the Nuclear Safety Directive (185), which should be finalised in near future, does not change this fundamental principle. At European level, the Commission is informed that WENRA (Western European Nuclear Regulators Association) issued a recommendation to its members in August 2013 about the safety verification of European Reactor Pressure Vessels in the light of findings in Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear power plants.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-004968/14

aan de Commissie

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: Zwerfhonden in Roemenië

Het probleem van de zwerfhonden in Roemenië is reeds decennia lang gekend. In Boekarest alleen al dolen er meer dan 65 000 zwerfhonden over de straten. De problemen die deze situatie creëert zijn legio. De zwerfhonden kunnen besmettelijke ziektes verspreiden. Mensen worden zeer regelmatig gebeten, in 2012 werden in Boekarest meer dan 16 000 mensen gebeten, waaronder veel kinderen. In de ernstigste gevallen kwamen de slachtoffers te overlijden. Hoewel er sinds 2001 verschillende wetten en initiatieven ontwikkeld werden in Roemenië om het probleem in te perken, blijft de situatie alarmerend. Bovendien worden de honden vaak op gruwelijke manier mishandeld, gemarteld of gedood.

De afgelopen jaren hebben wij honderden mails en oproepen ontvangen om deze wreedheden een halt toe te roepen en het probleem van de zwerfhonden in Roemenië op te lossen. In de verordening (A7-0129/2014) aangaande dierenwelzijns, werd ook het thema van zwerfdieren aangehaald. Naast „wilde dieren” en „gehouden dieren” krijgen nu ook „zwerfdieren” of „niet-gehouden” dieren een aparte status. Ook wordt opgeroepen om krachtige maatregelen te ontwikkelen inzake de controle en bestrijding van de ziekten verspreid door zwerfdieren. Daarnaast wordt herhaald en beklemtoond dat moet vermeden worden dat de dieren lijden onder pijn of stress.

1.

Welke initiatieven heeft de Commissie reeds ondernomen om de situatie van zwerfhonden in Roemenië aan de kaak te stellen en aan te pakken?

2.

Welke acties zal de Commissie nog nemen in de toekomst?

3.

Zal de verordening aangaande dierenwelzijn (A7-0129/2014) verandering brengen in de situatie?

Antwoord van de heer Borg namens de Commissie

(4 juni 2014)

Het geachte Parlementslid wordt verzocht de antwoorden op de schriftelijke vragen E‐006543/2011, E-007161/2011, E-002062/2012 en E-005276/2013 (186) te raadplegen: hierin worden de straathondenkwestie, het beheer van de hondenpopulatie en de EU-bevoegdheden  ter zake behandeld.

Het document A7-0129/2014 is het door de Commissie landbouw en plattelandsontwikkeling van het Europees Parlement ingediende verslag over het voorstel van de Commissie voor een verordening van het Europees Parlement en de Raad betreffende diergezondheid (187). Dit voorstel stelt maatregelen vast voor de preventie en bestrijding van dierziekten, maar behandelt geen dierenwelzijnsproblemen.

Overeenkomstig de definities van artikel 4 van het voorstel en met het oog op de bestrijding van dierziekten worden zwerfdieren beschouwd als „wilde dieren” wanneer zij niet door mensen worden gehouden, en worden zij beschouwd als „gehouden dieren” eens zij wel door mensen worden gehouden (bijvoorbeeld in asielen), zodat in alle gevallen de geschiktste ziektebestrijdingsmaatregelen kunnen worden toegepast, afhankelijk van de manier waarop zij worden gehouden.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-004968/14

to the Commission

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Stray dogs in Romania

The problem of stray dogs in Romania has been known about for decades. In Bucharest alone, more than 65 000 of them roam the streets. This situation creates numerous problems. Stray dogs may transmit infectious diseases. People are very regularly bitten: in 2012, more than 16 000 people were bitten by them in Bucharest, including many children. In the most serious cases, the victims died. Although since 2001 various laws have been passed and initiatives taken in Romania to limit the problem, the situation remains alarming. Moreover, the dogs are often mistreated, tortured or killed in cruel ways.

In recent years, we have received hundreds of e-mails and appeals calling for an end to these cruel practices and a solution to the problem of stray dogs in Romania. The regulation (A7-0129/2014) on animal welfare also mentions the subject of stray animals. In addition to ‘wild animals’ and ‘kept animals’, it now also assigns a separate status to ‘stray domestic animals’ and ‘non-kept domestic animals’. There is also a call for vigorous measures to control and combat the diseases spread by stray animals. In addition, it is reiterated and stressed that pain and stress to the animals must be avoided.

1.

What steps has the Commission already taken to denounce and tackle the stray-dog situation in Romania?

2.

What action will the Commission take in future?

3.

Will the regulation on animal welfare (A7-0129/2014) change the situation?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

The Honourable Member is invited to refer to the answers to written questions E‐006543/2011, E-007161/2011, E-002062/2012 and E-005276/2013 (188) which address the issues of stray dogs and of dog population management and the EU competence on this matter.

The document ‘A7-0129/2014’ is the report issued by EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Animal Health (189). This proposal lays down measures for the prevention and control of animal diseases but it does not address animal welfare problems.

In line with the definitions given in Article 4 of the proposal and for the purpose of the control of animal diseases, stray animals would be considered ‘wild animals’ when they are not kept by humans and ‘kept animals’ once they are kept by humans (for example in shelters), so that in all cases the most appropriate disease control measures can be applied to them, depending on the way they are kept.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-004969/14

alla Commissione

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Discriminazione, il caso del museo italiano «Cesare Lombroso»

Il Museo di Antropologia criminale «Cesare Lombroso» è stato aperto a Torino il 27 novembre 2009. La struttura espone il lavoro, gli studi e le idee del medico positivista dell'Ottocento, sostenitore di quel «razzismo scientifico» che, attraverso l'analisi sui teschi di persone defunte, intendeva dimostrare l'esistenza del «nato delinquente», vale a dire la sussistenza di una predisposizione a delinquere di alcune persone dovuta a conformazioni fisiognomiche e antropomorfiche.

— Considerato che l'esposizione museale (oltre 900 teschi) non ha alcun valore scientifico, storico o sacro essendo, a tutti gli effetti, niente più che una macabra esposizione di resti umani;

— considerato che le teorie del Lombroso, oltre ad aver rappresentato un'importante base ideologica per le aberranti condotte razziste del secolo scorso, ha permesso la diffamazione e la calunnia nei confronti delle popolazioni dell'Italia del Sud;

— considerato che l'istituzione del Museo ha indignato migliaia di persone e che la cui chiusura è stata chiesta, tramite apposita delibera comunale, da numerose città italiane;

— considerato che un'Ordinanza di primo grado del Tribunale di Lamezia Terme del 3 Ottobre 2012 ha condannato il Museo a restituire i resti di Giuseppe Vilella, esposti ai visitatori, al suo paese natale;

— considerato che il Trattato di Lisbona pone il principio di uguaglianza e di non discriminazione come valore fondamentale dell'Unione europea;

voglia la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

Ritiene la Commissione che l'apertura del Museo rappresenti una forma di sostegno a forme di intolleranza, violenza e razzismo, assolutamente incompatibili con i principi e i valori fondanti dell'Unione europea?

Intende la Commissione interessare il Governo italiano, affinché intervenga sulla questione e attivi quanto prima ogni azione efficace e utile a tutela del rispetto dei principi di non discriminazione e di uguaglianza?

Risposta di Viviane Reding a nome della Commissione

(3 giugno 2014)

La parità di trattamento e la non discriminazione sono valori fondamentali dell'UE, sanciti dai trattati dell'UE (articolo 3 del TUE e articoli 10 e 19 TFUE) e dalla Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'Unione europea (articolo 21). La Commissione europea ha ripetutamente condannato tutte le forme e tutte le manifestazioni di discriminazione, razzismo e xenofobia, indipendentemente dalla loro origine, in quanto fenomeni incompatibili con i valori e i principi su cui si fonda l'Unione europea. La Commissione è impegnata nella lotta a tali fenomeni con tutti i mezzi disponibili in applicazione dei trattati.

A norma della decisione quadro 2008/913/GAI gli Stati membri devono far sì che sia punita l'intenzionale istigazione pubblica alla violenza o all'odio nei confronti di un gruppo o di un singolo individuo definiti in riferimento alla razza, al colore, alla religione, all'ascendenza o all'origine nazionale o etnica. La relazione della Commissione sull'attuazione della decisione quadro 2008/913/GAI, che contempla la situazione di tutti gli Stati membri, è stata adottata il 27 gennaio 2014.

Quando si tratta di casi concreti di presunta istigazione all'odio negli Stati membri, tuttavia, spetta alle autorità e ai giudici nazionali determinare, in base alle circostanze e al contesto di ciascuna situazione individuale, se la fattispecie configuri un incitamento alla violenza o all'odio razzista o xenofobo. La Commissione non può sostituirsi alla valutazione del giudice penale a livello nazionale.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-004969/14

to the Commission

Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Discrimination: the Cesare Lombroso museum in Italy

The Cesare Lombroso Museum of Criminal Anthropology was opened in Turin on 27 November 2009. It presents the work, studies and ideas of this 19th century positivist doctor, a proponent of ‘scientific racism’, which, by analysing the skulls of the dead, sought to demonstrate that some people were born criminal, in other words, that they had a predisposition to commit crimes due to their physiognomy and anthropomorphic features.

The contents of the museum (more than 900 skulls) possess no scientific, historical or religious value: to all intents and purposes, they are nothing more than a macabre exhibition of human remains. Lombroso’s theories not only provided a significant ideological basis for the aberrant racist conduct witnessed in the last century but also served as a justification for slander and calumny against the people of southern Italy. The museum has angered thousands of people, and there have been calls for its closure from numerous towns in Italy where the local council has adopted a formal decision on the matter. On 3 October 2012, the Court of Lamezia Terme issued an order at first instance requiring the museum to return the remains of Giuseppe Vilella, which had been on display to visitors, to his home locality. The Lisbon Treaty sets forth the principle of equality and non-discrimination as a fundamental value of the European Union.

1.

Does the Commission consider that the opening of the museum constitutes an expression of support for forms of intolerance, violence and racism which are absolutely incompatible with the fundamental values and principles that underpin the European Union?

2.

Will the Commission contact the Italian Government to ask it to act on the matter and to take all possible effective measures to ensure respect for the principles of non-discrimination and equality?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental values of the EU enshrined in the EU Treaties (Articles 3 TEU and Articles 10 and 19 TFEU) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 21). The European Commission has repeatedly condemned all forms and manifestations of discrimination, racism and xenophobia, irrespective of who they come from, as these phenomena are incompatible with the values and principles on which the European Union is founded. The Commission is committed to fight against these phenomena by all means available under the Treaties.

The framework Decision 2008/913/JHA obliges the Member States to penalise the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred against groups or individuals defined by reference to their race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The Commission report on the implementation of Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA was adopted on 27 January 2014 and covers all Member States.

When it comes to concrete cases of alleged hate speech in the Member States, however, it is for the national authorities and courts to determine, according to the circumstances and context of each individual situation, whether such situation represents an incitement to racist or xenophobic violence or hatred. The Commission cannot replace the assessment of the criminal judge at national level.

(Svensk version)

Frågor för skriftligt besvarande P-005022/14

till kommissionen

Christian Engström (Verts/ALE)

(16 april 2014)

Angående: Nationell lagstiftning om datalagringsdirektivet

EU-domstolen har slagit fast att datalagringsdirektivet är ogiltigt, men nationell lagstiftning som bygger på direktivet blir inte automatiskt ogiltig genom detta utslag.

Eftersom nationell lagstiftning är baserad på EU-direktiv bör det också finnas ett EU-ansvar för att se till lagstiftning som är bygger på det ogiltiga datalagringsdirektivet upphävs så snart som möjligt.

Hur kommer kommissionen att agera för att nationell lagstiftning som bygger på datalagringsdirektivet snarast ogiltigförklaras?

Svar från Cecilia Malmström på kommissionens vägnar

(17 juni 2014)

Europeiska unionens domstol har fastställt att i det särskilda fall som omfattas av direktivet innebär datalagring som sådan inte att de grundläggande rättigheterna påverkas negativt. Domstolen konstaterade att vissa begränsningar av de grundläggande rättigheterna skulle kunna motiveras av ett berättigat och allmänt intresse, nämligen kampen mot grov brottslighet och terrorism. Samtidigt betonade den behovet av att respektera proportionalitetsprincipen och fastställde strikta villkor för detta.

Domen bekräftar generellt en del av kritiken i kommissionens utvärderingsrapport från 2011 om genomförandet av direktivet.

De frågor som domstolen tar upp är mycket komplexa och deras konsekvenser måste noggrant bedömas. Kommissionen genomför för närvarande en sådan bedömning, som även involverar relevanta instanser såsom brottsbekämpande myndigheter och dataskyddsmyndigheter.

Medlemsländernas nationella lagstiftning berörs inte direkt av beslutet eftersom domstolen endast beslutade om själva direktivets lagenlighet. I avsaknad av ett EU-datalagringsdirektiv får medlemsstaterna bibehålla eller införa nya bestämmelser om lagring som grundar sig på artikel 15.1 i direktivet om integritet och elektronisk kommunikation. Detta innebär enligt artikel 15.1 att medlemsländernas bestämmelser om datalagring inte får gå utöver vad som är nödvändigt, lämpligt och proportionerligt och att de måste respektera de allmänna principerna i EU:s lagstiftning.

Varje medlemsland måste noggrant bedöma om dess lagstiftning uppfyller dessa krav och om det finns behov av att ändra den.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-005022/14

to the Commission

Christian Engström (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: National legislation on the Data Retention Directive

The EU Court of Justice has ruled that the Data Retention Directive is invalid, but this ruling does not automatically render invalid national legislation based on that directive.

Because national legislation is based on an EU directive the EU should also have a responsibility to ensure that legislation based on the invalid Data Retention Directive is repealed as soon as possible.

What action will the Commission take to ensure that national legislation based on the Data Retention Directive is declared invalid as soon as possible?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

The Court of Justice of the European Union has considered that, in the particular case covered by the directive, data retention as such does not adversely affect the essence of fundamental rights. The Court recognised that some limitations to fundamental rights could be justified in the name of a legitimate and general interest, namely the fight against serious crime and terrorism. At the same time it emphasised the need to respect the principle of proportionality and established strict conditions for this to be the case.

The judgment generally confirms some of the critical conclusions of the Commission Evaluation report of 2011 on the implementation of the directive.

The issues raised by the Court are very complex and require careful assessment of their impacts. The Commission is currently undertaking such an assessment, involving the relevant constituencies such as law enforcement and data protection authorities.

Member States' national legislation is not directly concerned by the ruling since the Court decided only on the legality of the directive itself. In the absence of an EU Data Retention Directive, Member States may still maintain or set up new data retention schemes, based on Article 15(1) of the e-privacy Directive. This means according to Article 15(1) itself that Member States' data retention schemes cannot go further than what is ‘necessary, appropriate and proportionate’ and that they must be in line with general principles of EC law.

Each Member State has to carefully assess whether its legislation meets those requirements, and whether there is a need to change it.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005023/14

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: Auditoría del proyecto Castor y Convenio de Aarhus

El Convenio de Aarhus asegura el acceso a la información, la participación del público en la toma de decisiones y el acceso a la justicia en materia de medio ambiente. Este Convenio tiene por objeto contribuir a proteger el derecho de cada persona, de las generaciones presentes y futuras, a vivir en un medio ambiente adecuado para su salud y su bienestar. Para alcanzar dicho objetivo, el Convenio propone intervenir en tres ámbitos: garantizar el acceso del público a la información sobre medio ambiente de que disponen las autoridades públicas; favorecer la participación del público en la toma de decisiones que tengan repercusiones sobre el medio ambiente y ampliar las condiciones de acceso a la justicia en materia de medio ambiente.

El almacén de gas Castor, situado en Vinaròs (Castellón), es un almacén de la empresa Escal UGS financiado con obligaciones para proyectos («project bonds») por el BEI. En octubre de 2013, el almacén provocó un total de 500 terremotos (dos de ellos de 4,1 grados en la escala de Richter). Como consecuencia de estos seísmos, el almacén de gas Castor fue paralizado y el Ministerio de Industria del Gobierno español encargó a la empresa de consultoría Det Norske Veritas (DNV) la elaboración de una auditoría técnica y financiera del proyecto Castor. La consultora DNV entregó la auditoría definitiva el pasado 17 de enero de 2014 al Ministerio de Industria y a la empresa Escal UGS y, a día de hoy, el informe de 500 páginas resultante de esa auditoría no es accesible (190).

¿Considera la Comisión que el Ministerio de Industria del Gobierno de España debería hacer público la totalidad del informe derivado de la auditoría, tal y como se contempla en la normativa de la Unión?

¿Qué mecanismos tiene la Comisión para asegurar que los Estados miembros cumplan la normativa europea?

¿Qué acciones pretende realizar la Comisión con vistas al cumplimiento del Convenio de Aarhus y al acceso de toda la población a dicho informe?

Respuesta del Sr. Potočnik en nombre de la Comisión

(25 de junio de 2014)

Basándose en la información de Su Señoría, la Comisión no está en condiciones de juzgar si el informe de auditoría al que alude constituye información medioambiental en la acepción de la Directiva 2003/4/CE (artículo 2) (191) ni si hacerlo público podría afectar negativamente a un interés protegido o si se ha presentado una solicitud para que se haga público según los procedimientos y recursos de la legislación nacional. Así pues, la Comisión no puede pronunciarse sobre una posible vulneración de los requisitos de la Directiva.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005023/14

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Audit of the Castor project and the Aarhus Convention

The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters is designed to help protect the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being. To this end, it provides for action in three areas: ensuring public access to environmental information held by the public authorities; fostering public participation in decision-making that affects the environment; and improving access to justice in environmental matters.

The Castor gas storage facility in Vinaròs (Castellón) is run by the company Escal UGS and funded using European Investment Bank project bonds. In October 2013 the storage facility caused 500 earthquakes (two of which measured 4.1 on the Richter scale), putting it out of action. The Spanish Ministry of Industry subsequently commissioned the consultancy firm Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to perform a technical and financial audit of the Castor project. DNV submitted the final audit report, totalling 500 pages, to the Ministry and Escal UGS on 17 January 2014 but this has still not been made available to the public. (192)

In the Commission’s view, should the Spanish Ministry of Industry publish the audit report in full, as required by EC law?

How does the Commission ensure that Member States comply with EC law?

What does the Commission intend to do to ensure that the Aarhus Convention is respected and the audit report is made available to the public?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2014)

From the information provided by the Honourable Member, the Commission is not in a position to judge whether the audit report in question constitutes environmental information within the meaning of Directive 2003/4/EC (Article 2) (193), whether its disclosure would not adversely affect a protected interest and whether a request for disclosure has been made according to national procedures and remedies. Based on this, the Commission cannot conclude on a possible infringement of the requirements of Directive.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-005025/14

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(16 de abril de 2014)

Asunto: Adopción de medidas excepcionales para evitar perturbaciones del mercado de los cítricos

Dada la grave crisis que está viviendo el sector productor de cítricos en el Estado español (especialmente en el mercado de la naranja para su consumo en fresco), con una reducción acumulada del margen económico neto en el período 2009-2013 para las explotaciones especializadas en naranjas de 1 292,90 EUR/ha (reducción del 64 %) y de 1 123,97 EUR/ha en las explotaciones especializadas en mandarinas (un 38 % de caída) y que alcanza el 96 % considerando el actual nivel de precios de las naranjas en la Lonja de Valencia:

¿Considera la Comisión Europea que, tal y como establece el artículo 219 del Reglamento (UE) n° 1308/2013 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 17 de diciembre de  2013, por el que se crea la OCM de productos agrarios, se ha producido una bajada significativa del precio en el mercado interior de los cítricos, que puede continuar o deteriorarse y debe, por tanto, ser necesario adoptar las medidas excepcionales contempladas en ese artículo para evitar perturbaciones del mercado?

¿Considera la Comisión, además, que existen razones imperativas de urgencia que justifiquen la aplicación del procedimiento previsto en el artículo 228 del mismo Reglamento, dado que una actuación inmediata evitaría que esas amenazas de perturbación del mercado continúen o den lugar a una perturbación más grave o prolongada?

Respuesta del Sr. Cioloș en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de junio de 2014)

El artículo 219 del Reglamento (UE) n° 1308/2013 (Reglamento de la OCM) (194) otorga a la Comisión los poderes para adoptar actos delegados con objeto de tomar las medidas necesarias para hacer frente a las perturbaciones del mercado que amenacen con producirse como consecuencia de incrementos o bajadas significativos de los precios en el mercado interior o exterior o de otros acontecimientos o circunstancias que perturben o amenacen con perturbar de manera significativa el mercado.

Cuando, en los casos de amenaza de perturbación del mercado, existan razones imperativas de urgencia que lo justifiquen, se aplicará el procedimiento previsto en el artículo 228 a los actos delegados que se adopten en virtud del párrafo primero.

La bajada del precio de los cítricos en el mercado de la Unión resulta de una combinación de factores, pero se debe principalmente a las condiciones meteorológicas adversas y a una oferta de calidad inferior, elementos que no pueden considerarse excepcionales y, por lo tanto, no entran en el ámbito del artículo 219 del Reglamento de la OCM.

Las organizaciones de productores reconocidas con un programa operativo pueden beneficiarse de medidas de prevención y gestión de crisis (entre ellas, las retiradas del mercado y el seguro de cosecha). Además, en virtud del nuevo programa de desarrollo rural, los Estados miembros pueden introducir medidas de gestión de riesgos, destinadas a ayudar a los agricultores a hacer frente a las consecuencias de los fenómenos climáticos adversos asimilables a catástrofes naturales o a compensar un descenso significativo de los ingresos.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005025/14

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Exceptional measures to prevent disturbance on the market for citrus fruits

The Spanish citrus fruit sector is in crisis (particularly the market for fresh oranges), and has seen profit margins shrink in the period between 2009 and 2013; farms producing oranges and mandarins have lost EUR 1 292.90 per hectare (a 64% decrease) and EUR 1 123.97 per hectare (-38%) respectively. Profits have shrunk by 96% in some cases, given the current prices for oranges on the Valencian market.

1.

Does the Commission think that there has been a significant reduction in prices on the internal market in citrus fruits (which could remain low or fall still further), and, accordingly, that the exceptional measures against market disturbance provided for in Article 219 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products should be taken?

2.

Does it think that there are urgent grounds for launching the procedure provided for in Article 228 of the regulation, given that immediate action would prevent such threats of market disturbance from continuing or turning into a more severe or prolonged disturbance?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

Article 219 of the CMO Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 (195) empowers the Commission to adopt delegated acts to take the measures necessary to address threats of market disturbance caused by significant price rises or falls on internal or external markets or other circumstances significantly disturbing or threatening to disturb the market.

Where, in the cases of threats of market disturbances, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 228 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to the first paragraph.

The price fall for citrus fruit on the Union market results from a combination of factors, but is mainly due to adverse weather conditions and lower quality supply, which cannot be considered to be exceptional and therefore do not fall under the scope of Article 219 of the CMO Regulation.

Recognised producer organisations with an operational programme may take advantage of crisis prevention and management measures (among which market withdrawals and harvest insurance). Moreover, under the new Rural Development programme, Member States are able to introduce risk management measures, which are designed to help farmers deal with the consequences of adverse climatic events assimilated to a natural disaster or to compensate a significant drop of income.

(Dansk udgave)

Forespørgsel til skriftlig besvarelse E-005026/14

til Kommissionen

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(16. april 2014)

Om: Solceller

Den danske regering ændrede sidste år i september reglerne for tilskud til solceller. Den nye ordning skal godkendes af EU-Kommissionen, da der er tale om en statsstøtteordning. Sådan skal det også være, og det er vigtigt, at vi sikrer, at der ikke er nogen lande, som snyder med statsstøtten. EU-Kommissionens undersøgelse har dog trukket meget ud, og der er stadig ikke kommet en afgørelse.

Den lange sagsbehandlingstid har betydet, at danskerne ikke tør investere i nye solceller. Tal fra den ansvarlige myndighed på området, Energinet, viser, at der kun er blevet opstillet 5.348 solcelleanlæg i Danmark fra april 2013 til 27. januar i år, hvorimod der fra april 2012 til april 2013 blev opsat 80.315 solcelleanlæg.

Det kan ikke være rimeligt, at de mange danske virksomheder, som lever af at opsætte solcelleanlæg, ikke ved, om de skal lukke deres virksomheder. Det rammer mange erhvervsdrivende på deres levebrød og koster danske arbejdspladser.

Hvornår kan borgere og virksomheder forvente nyt i sagen om statsstøtteordningen til solceller, og anser EU-Kommissionen det for rimeligt, at sagsbehandlingstiden er så lang, at salget af solceller i Danmark er gået helt i stå og nu koster arbejdspladser?

Hvad agter EU-Kommissionen at gøre for at nedbringe sagsbehandlingstiden, så vi ikke ser flere situationer, hvor en manglende godkendelse koster arbejdspladser i medlemsstaterne?

Svar afgivet på Kommissionens vegne af Joaquín Almunia

(20. juni 2014)

Kommissionen er i øjeblikket ved at undersøge en statsstøtteanmeldelse om støtte til solcelleanlæg. Visse spørgsmål skal stadig afklares, før Kommissionen kan træffe en afgørelse, og Kommissionen er i denne forbindelse i tæt kontakt med de danske myndigheder. Det skal sikres, at ordningen er i overensstemmelse med statsstøttereglerne og med andre traktatbestemmelser.

Kommissionen har for nylig vedtaget nye retningslinjer for statsstøtte til miljø og energi, som vil gælde fra den 1. juli 2014. Disse retningslinjer fastlægger en harmoniseret ramme for den fortsatte støtte til vedvarende energi, såsom solenergi, samtidig med at det sikres, at producenter af vedvarende energi er mere underlagt markedets signaler.

Kommissionen er opmærksom på, at den berørte sektor i Danmark afventer godkendelse af statsstøtten, og gør alt for at færdiggøre vurderingen så hurtigt som muligt.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005026/14

to the Commission

Christel Schaldemose (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Solar panels

In September 2013 the Danish Government amended the rules on subsidies for solar (photovoltaic) panels. The new rules have to be approved by the Commission, since these are state aid rules. This is of course as it should be, and it is important to ensure that no country cheats with state aid. However, the Commission’s investigation has taken a very long time, and still no decision has yet been reached.

The long delay in dealing with this case has meant that Danes are reluctant to invest in new solar panels. Figures from the relevant authority, Energinet, show that only 5 348 photovoltaic systems were set up in Denmark from April 2013 to 27 January 2014, as compared with 80 315 from April 2012 to April 2013.

It is surely unfair that the many Danish firms which make their living from installing photovoltaic systems do not know whether they will have to close down. This is affecting the livelihoods of many businesspeople and is costing Danish jobs.

When can businesses and the general public expect some news in the state aid rules case on solar panels, and does the Commission consider it fair that the delay in considering this case means that the sale of solar panels in Denmark has come to a complete standstill and is now costing jobs?

What does the Commission propose to do to reduce the delay in dealing with such cases, so that there will be no more of these situations where, in the absence of approval, jobs are lost in the Member States?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2014)

The Commission is currently investigating a state aid notification concerning the support for solar installations. Some issues still need to be clarified before the Commission can take a decision, and the Commission is in close contact with the Danish authoritites in this regard. It needs to be ascertained that the scheme is in line with state aid rules and with other Treaty provisions.

The Commission recently adopted new Environment and Energy Aid Guidelines, which will apply as from 1 July 2014. These Guidelines provide a harmonised framework for the continued support of renewable energies such as solar while also ensuring that renewable energy producers are more exposed to market signals.

The Commission is aware that the sector concerned in Denmark awaits the approval of the state aid, and everything is being done to finalise the assessment as swiftly as possible.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005028/14

an die Kommission

Barbara Lochbihler (Verts/ALE)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Menschenrechtsverletzungen an den Batwa in Uganda

Im Zuge der Errichtung verschiedener Nationalparks, die auch von der Europäischen Union finanziell unterstützt wurden, wurde in Uganda das Batwa-Volk aus seinem ursprünglichen Lebensraum umgesiedelt. Die Batwa sind traditionell Sammler und Jäger, müssen nun aber häufig ihren Lebensunterhalt mit Tänzen und Touren für Touristen sowie durch den Verkauf von Kunsthandwerk verdienen. Hierzu sind sie umgeschult worden.

Der neue Lebenswandel hat stellenweise verheerende Konsequenzen. Berichten zufolge ist die Lebenserwartung der Batwa stark gesunken. Außerdem hat sich die soziale Struktur laut Experten grundlegend verändert, bis hin zu einer Zunahme sexueller Gewalt. In jüngster Vergangenheit soll es sogar zu Nahrungsmittelknappheit und Hungersnot gekommen sein.

Im Einklang mit der von sämtlichen EU-Staaten unterzeichneten Erklärung der Vereinten Nationen zu den Rechten indigener Bevölkerungen müssen die Rechte der Batwa geschützt werden, und sie müssen wieder einen Lebensraum zugesprochen bekommen, der ihrer Lebensweise entspricht. Wenn ein Rückzug in den ursprünglichen Lebensraum nicht möglich ist, muss für Ersatz gesorgt werden.

Welche Maßnahmen hat die EU bereits ergriffen, um die Einhaltung der Rechte der Batwa in Uganda sicherzustellen? Sind weitere Maßnahmen geplant?

Wie kontrolliert die Kommission angesichts wiederholter Korruptionsvorwürfe in der Vergangenheit, ob die Gelder der EU auch dort ankommen, wo sie eingeplant sind? Welche Ergebnisse haben diese Kontrollen bislang zutage gebracht?

Sind Folgeabschätzungen geplant, mit denen die tatsächliche Wirkung der unterstützten Maßnahmen überprüft wird?

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

(13. Juni 2014)

Die EU räumt ein, dass die Batwa in Uganda nicht uneingeschränkt und gleichberechtigt am sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Leben teilnehmen können. Der nationale Planungsrahmen enthält zwar Entwicklungsprogramme zur Unterstützung ethnischer Minderheiten einschließlich der Batwa, doch die Umsetzung ist verbesserungsbedürftig.

Die EU misst der Erklärung der Vereinten Nationen über die Rechte der indigenen Völker große Bedeutung zu. Die EU-Delegation hat gegenüber den ugandischen Behörden Bedenken wegen der Umsiedlung der Batwa aus ihrem ursprünglichen Lebensraum geäußert. Im Zeitraum 2006-2008 gewährte die EU einer zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisation vor Ort zwei EIDHR-Zuschüsse für Projekte zur Verbesserung der Existenzgrundlagen der Batwa durch die Unterstützung ihrer Umsiedlung aus den zu Nationalparks erklärten Gebieten in andere nahegelegene Gebiete, zur Finanzierung des Erwerbs von Parzellen (für die allerdings noch keine Eigentumsurkunden ausgestellt wurden) und des Baus von Häusern mit Nutzgärten sowie zum Erlernen von Fertigkeiten wie Kunsthandwerk, Schmieden und Zimmermannsarbeiten. Die Batwa-Kinder besuchen inzwischen eine örtliche Schule. Die EU gewährte außerdem einer internationalen Nichtregierungsorganisation einen Zuschuss für die Durchführung eines Projekts in der Region der Großen Seen, das die Batwa ermutigen soll, Führungsrollen zu übernehmen.

Die Delegation nennt die Inklusion indigener Bevölkerungsgruppen als Priorität in sämtlichen Aufforderungen zur Einreichung von Vorschlägen, die im Rahmen der Haushaltslinien für das EIDHR, die nichtstaatlichen Akteure und Investitionen in die Menschen durchgeführt werden.

Die Delegation hat die Frage der fehlenden Eigentumsurkunden gegenüber dem Ministerium für Land und dem Rechnungshof angesprochen und sie aufgefordert, Abhilfe zu schaffen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005028/14

to the Commission

Barbara Lochbihler (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Human rights violations against the Batwa in Uganda

The Batwa people in Uganda have been evicted from their original home owing to the creation of various national parks which have received funding from the European Union, among others. The Batwa are traditional hunters and gatherers but are now forced to earn their living by providing displays of dancing and tours for tourists and by selling crafts. They have received training for this purpose.

This new way of life has had some devastating consequences. Reports indicate that life expectancy has fallen sharply among the Batwa people. Experts also point to a fundamental change in the social structure, as a result of which sexual violence has increased. There have even been recent reports of food shortages and famine.

Under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been signed by all the EU countries, the rights of the Batwa must be protected and they must again be given land that will enable them to continue their traditional way of life. If it is not possible for them to return to their original land, a suitable replacement must be found.

What steps has the EU already taken to ensure that the rights of the Batwa in Uganda are respected? Is further action planned?

In view of repeated allegations of corruption in the past, how does the Commission verify that EU funding is in fact used for the intended purpose? What results have checks already carried out brought to light?

Are any follow-up assessments planned to investigate the actual impact of measures that have been supported with EU funding?

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

(13 June 2014)

The EU recognises that the Batwa in Uganda do not enjoy full and equal participation in socioeconomic life. Although the National Planning Framework foresees development programmes to support ethnic minorities, including the Batwa, implementation is poor.

The EU attaches great importance to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The EU Delegation has raised concerns regarding the eviction of the Batwa from their traditional lands with the Ugandan authorities. In 2006-2008, the EU made two EIDHR grants to a local CSO for projects to support the Batwa aiming to improve the livelihood of Batwa by assisting their resettlement from land that had been gazetted as a national park to other habitable areas nearby; finance the purchase of plots of land (though title deeds have not yet been delivered) and construction of houses with gardens for food cultivation; and develop skills such as production of handicrafts, blacksmithing and carpentry. Batwa children began to attend a local school. The EU also made a grant to an international NGO to implement a project in the Great Lakes region to encourage Batwa to take on leadership roles.

In all calls for proposals under the EIDHR, Non-State Actors and Investing in People budget lines, the Delegation includes the issue of inclusiveness for indigenous persons as a priority.

The Delegation has raised the issue of the missing title deeds with the Ministry of Lands and the Auditor General, urging them to rectify the situation.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-005029/14

an die Kommission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16. April 2014)

Betrifft: Weiterbehandlung der Anfragen zu E-009713/2013, E-012597/2013 und E-012598/2013

Am 17. Januar 2014 hat Kommissionsmitglied Šemeta auf die Anfragen E-012597/2013 und E-012598/2013 geantwortet, dass umfangreiche statistische Untersuchungen notwendig seien, für die mehr Zeit erforderlich wäre. Am 19. März 2014 nahm im Zuge der Vorbereitungen für die Delegationsreise des Haushaltskontrollausschusses ein OLAF-Beamter an einem Vorbereitungstreffen des Haushaltskontrollausschusses teil. Dem Beamten war es möglich, Informationen zu erteilen, die darauf schließen lassen, dass die statistischen Untersuchungen abgeschlossen sind.

Ist es der Kommission möglich, nun die Antworten auf die Anfragen E-012597/2013 und E-012598/2013 zu geben?

Antwort von Herrn Šemeta im Namen der Kommission

(22. Mai 2014)

Die in der Anfrage genannten Arbeiten sind mittlerweile abgeschlossen. Die Ergebnisse wurden der Frau Abgeordneten am 22. April 2014 direkt übermittelt.

Was die Frage 7 der schriftlichen Anfrage E-012598/2013 (196) betrifft, so verweist die Kommission die Frau Abgeordnete auf den OLAF-Bericht 2013 (197), Abbildung 18b, S. 23 (Maßnahmen der nationalen Justizbehörden, die infolge der Empfehlungen des OLAF zum Justizwesen zwischen dem 1. Januar 2006 und dem 31. Dezember 2013 eingeleitet wurden).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005029/14

to the Commission

Ingeborg Gräßle (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Follow-up to Questions E-009713/2013, E-012597/2013 and E-012598/2013

On 17 January 2014, Commissioner Šemeta stated in reply to Questions E-012597/2013 and E-012598/2013 that considerable statistical analysis would be necessary, and that this would require more time. On 19 March 2014, an OLAF official attended a meeting of the Committee on Budgetary Control held in preparation for a visit by a delegation from the committee. The official was able to provide information which suggested that the statistical analysis had been completed.

Can the Commission now provide answers to questions E-012597/2013 and E-012598/2013?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

The work referred to in the question has been completed and the results were sent directly to the Honourable Member on 22 April 2014.

Concerning Written Question E-012598/2013, question 7 (198), the Commission would invite the Honourable Member to consult the OLAF Report 2013 (199), figure 18b, p. 23, on ‘Actions taken by national judicial authorities following OLAF judicial recommendations per Member State between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2013’.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005030/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Avvalenament mill-benżen

Ħafna prodotti, inklużi l-elettronika, il-materjal tal-istampar, telefowns ċellulari u prodotti manifatturati oħra, fihom il-prodott karċinoġeniku tal-kategorija 1, il-benżen, sustanza kimika pprojbita fil-parti l-kbira tal-pajjiżi. Il-benżen jagħmel ħsara kbira lis-saħħa tal-bniedem u jista' jikkawża anki l-lewkimja.

Tqajmet kuxjenza dwar l-importazzjonijiet ġejjin miċ-Ċina, fejn dan il-karċinoġenu mhuwiex illegali, li fihom il-benżen, u li għalhekk jistgħu jkunu ta' detriment għas-saħħa taċ-ċittadini?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Mimica f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(13 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Il-prodotti kollha importati minn pajjiżi terzi għandhom jikkonformaw mar-rekwiżiti dwar is-saħħa u s-sikurezza tal-prodotti tal-UE. Huwa l-obbligu tal-operaturi ekonomiċi li jiżguraw li l-prodotti importati u mqiegħda fis-suq huma sikuri. L-infurzar u s-sorveljanza tas-suq huma r-responsabilità tal-Istati Membri, li għandhom ukoll jinnotifikaw lill-Kummissjoni bil-miżuri meħuda kontra prodotti perikolużi. F’dawn l-aħħar snin, ittieħdu u ġew notifikati mill-awtoritajiet tal-Istati Membri aktar minn 40 miżura dwar prodotti li fihom il-benżin, l-aktar il-kitts għat-tiswija tat-tajers tar-roti, il-kolol u l-ġugarelli.

L-awtoritajiet Ċiniżi kull ġimgħa jiġu infurmati mill-Kummissjoni f’każ ta’ sejbiet ta’ prodotti perikolużi li joriġinaw miċ-Ċina, inklużi l-valutazzjoni tar-riskju rilevanti u l-ksur tar-rekwiżiti tas-sikurezza Ewropej. Dawn jirrappurtaw lura b’mod regolari dwar l-azzjonijiet korrettivi meħuda fiċ-Ċina, inkluż dwar il-projbizzjonijiet ta’ esportazzjoni li ġew imposti.

Skont ir-Regolament REACH (200), meta jkun hemm riskju għas-saħħa tal-bniedem jew għall-ambjent li jkun ġej mill-manifattura, mill-użu jew mit-tqegħid fis-suq ta’ sustanza kimika, li mhuwiex ikkontrollat b’mod adegwat u li jeħtieġ li jiġi indirizzat fil-livell tal-UE, Stat Membru jew l-Aġenzija Ewropea għas-Sustanzi Kimiċi, fuq it-talba tal-Kummissjoni, għandha tipprepara dossier għal restrizzjoni ta’ sustanza bħal din. Wara li jitlesta l-proċess ta’ restrizzjoni mill-Kummissjoni, is-sustanza hija inkluża fl-Anness XVII ta’ REACH. Bħalissa, l-annotazzjoni 5 tal-Anness XVII tillimita l-użu tal-benżin fil-ġugarelli ’l fuq mill-valur ta’ limitu ta’ 5 ppm tal-piż tal-ġugarell jew ta’ parti ta’ ġugarell. Barra minn hekk, it-tqegħid fis-suq u l-użu tal-benżin bħala sustanza jew f’taħlitiet huwa wkoll ipprojbit skont id-dispożizzjonijiet tal-annotazzjoni 5 (201).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005030/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Benzene poisoning

Many products, including electronics, printing materials, cell phones and other finished goods, contain the category-1 carcinogenic product benzene, a chemical banned in most countries. Benzene is very harmful to human health and may even cause leukaemia.

Has concern been raised about imports containing benzene from China, where this carcinogen is not illegal, which could be detrimental to citizens’ health?

Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

All products imported from third countries must comply with EU product safety and health requirements. It is the obligation of economic operators to ensure that products imported and placed on the market are safe. Enforcement and market surveillance is the responsibility of the Member States, who also must notify measures taken against unsafe products to the Commission. In recent years, over 40 measures have been taken and notified by Member State authorities on products containing benzene, mainly bicycle tyre repair kits, glues and toys.

Chinese authorities are informed weekly by the Commission in case of findings of dangerous products of Chinese origin, including the relevant risk assessment and European safety requirements breaches. They regularly report back on corrective actions taken in China, including on export bans imposed.

Under the REACH Regulation (202), when there is a risk to human health or the environment arising from the manufacture, use or placing on the market of a chemical substance that is not adequately controlled and needs to be addressed at EU level, a Member State or the European Chemicals Agency, upon a request of the Commission, shall prepare a dossier for a restriction of such a substance. After the finalisation of the restriction process by the Commission, the substance is included in Annex XVII of REACH. Currently, entry 5 of Annex XVII restricts the use of benzene in toys above the limit value of 5 ppm of the weight of the toy or part of toy. Furthermore, the placing on the market and use of benzene as a substance or in mixtures is also banned in accordance with the provisions of entry 5 (203).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005031/14

to the Commission

Robert Sturdy (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Fundamental rights of citizens in Greece

According to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, all EU citizens have the right to human dignity, equality and non-discrimination. There have been reports that police forces in Greece have detained transsexual and transgendered individuals for no reason and kept them imprisoned in poor conditions for extended periods of time. The detainees are also being told that they must ‘normalise’ in order to be released. This appears to be in contradiction to the rights as outlined above.

1.

To what extent is the Commission aware of these incidents in Greece?

2.

Do these actions violate the rights of EU citizens as outlined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights?

3.

If so, what is the Commission doing to ensure the fundamental rights of LGBT citizens in Greece?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission's priority is to ensure that Union legislation fully complies with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including its Article 21 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. In its communication on the strategy for the effective implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights by the European Union, adopted on 19 October 2010(1), the Commission explains how it intends to achieve this priority.

In this respect, the Commission recalls that according to its Article 51(1), the provisions of the Charter are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. The information provided by the Honourable Member, does not appear to suggest that the public authorities of the Member State in the cases referred to acted in the course of implementing Union law.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-005039/14

adresată Comisiei

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(16 aprilie 2014)

Subiect: Arestări din motive politice în Azerbaidjan

La 4 februarie 2013, doi lideri ai opoziției din Azerbaidjan — candidatul la președinție Ilgar Mammadov și activistul Tofig Yagublu — au fost arestați, fiind acuzați de provocarea unor dezordini publice în orașul din nord Ismayili.

Potrivit Amnesty International, cei doi deținuți au fost închiși sub acuzația că au provocat dezordini publice care începuseră în mod spontan chiar înainte ca aceștia să apară în oraș. Mai mult, parchetul nu a prezentat nicio probă pentru a dovedi că acuzații au comis o infracțiune sau au incitat alte persoane la comiterea unei infracțiuni. La 17 martie 2014, procurorii au dat o sentință împotriva lui Ilgar Mammadov și a lui Tofig Yagublu, condamnându-i la șapte și, respectiv, cinci ani de închisoare.

Dat fiind faptul că Azerbaidjanul face parte din politica de vecinătate, Uniunea Europeană oferind asistență financiară vizând democratizarea, statul de drept și libertățile fundamentale, ar putea Comisia să răspundă la următoarele întrebări:

Cum intenționează să abordeze chestiunea de față în care sunt implicați cei doi lideri ai opoziției?

În ce fel va sprijini dezvoltarea unui sistem judiciar transparent și echitabil în Azerbaidjan?

Răspuns dat de Înaltul Reprezentant/doamna vicepreședinte Ashton în numele Comisiei

(13 iunie 2014)

La 20 martie 2014, Înaltul Reprezentant al UE și Comisarul pentru extindere și politica de vecinătate și-au exprimat îngrijorarea cu privire la condamnările la perioade lungi de detenție în sarcina lui Ilgar Mammadov și a lui Tofiq Yaqublu (204). Aceștia au fost condamnați în ciuda serioaselor îndoieli exprimate de comunitatea internațională privind corectitudinea proceselor intentate. UE constată cu regret că hotărârile judecătorești par a fi motivate politic, în contradicție cu angajamentele internaționale ale Republicii Azerbaidjan în calitatede membru al Consiliului Europei. UE invită Azerbaidjanul să depună eforturi suplimentare pentru a asigura independența sistemului judiciar, în conformitate cu responsabilitatea care îi revine, de președinte actual al Comitetului de Miniștri al Consiliului Europei.

UE a sprijinit reforma din domeniul justiției din Azerbaidjan în ultimii ani și se angajează să continue în anii următori acest angajament în direcția unui sistem de justiție transparent și echitabil, prin intermediul unui dialog politic puternic și al unei asistențe bilaterale corespunzătoare.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005039/14

to the Commission

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Political arrests in Azerbaijan

On 4 February 201 two opposition leaders in Azerbaijan — presidential candidate Ilgar Mammadov and activist Tofig Yagublu — were arrested, accused of organising a riot in the northern town of Ismayili.

According to Amnesty International, the two prisoners were jailed on charges of starting a riot that had begun spontaneously before they even set foot in town. Moreover, the prosecution has not presented any evidence to prove that the accused have committed a crime or incited others to do so. On 17 March 2014 the prosecutors ruled against Ilgar Mammadov and Tofig Yagublu, sentencing them to seven and five years in prison, respectively.

Taking into account that Azerbaijan is included in the neighbourhood policy and that the European Union offers financial assistance that focuses on democratisation, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, can the Commission answer the following:

How does it plan to address the issue at hand involving the two opposition leaders?

How does it intend to support the development of a transparent and fair justice system in Azerbaijan?

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

(13 June 2014)

On 20 March 2014 the EU High Representative and the Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy expressed their concern regarding the long prison sentences given to Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu (205). They were sentenced despite serious misgivings on the part of the international community over the fairness of their trials. The EU notes with regret that the verdicts appear politically motivated, contrary to Azerbaijan's international commitments as a member of the Council of Europe. The EU calls upon Azerbaijan to do more to ensure the independence of the judiciary, in keeping with their responsibility as present chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers.

The EU has supported justice sector reform in Azerbaijan in the recent past and is committed to continue such engagement towards a transparent and fair justice system in the years to come, through robust policy dialogue and appropriate bilateral assistance.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-005040/14

adresată Comisiei

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(16 aprilie 2014)

Subiect: Violența împotriva femeilor în Somalia

În a doua jumătate a anului 2012, în Somalia, o femeie de 37 de ani a încercat să denunțe la poliție faptul că a fost violată de mai mulți bărbați. Singurul răspuns al poliției la plângerea sa a fost să o trimită acasă. ONU a estimat că au existat cel puțin 800 de cazuri de abuzuri sexuale într-un interval de 6 luni, în 2013, numai în regiunea Mogadishu din Somalia. Multe dintre aceste cazuri nu au fost raportate autorităților întrucât femeile nu au încredere în sistemul de aplicare a legii și în cel judiciar. În plus, în august 2013, UNICEF a atras atenția asupra faptului că peste o treime din victimele abuzurilor sexuale din Somalia sunt copii.

Comisia a oferit Somaliei 53 milioane EUR în 2013 și 37 milioane EUR în 2014 ca asistență umanitară, conform DG Ajutor umanitar și protecție civilă din cadrul Comisiei. Având în vedere cele menționate anterior:

Cum va utiliza Comisia fondurile alocate pe 2014 pentru asistență umanitară în Somalia astfel încât numărul copiilor și femeilor care suferă abuzuri să scadă semnificativ față de anii anteriori?

Care sunt motivele pentru care au fost alocate Somaliei mai puține fonduri pentru asistență umanitară în 2014 față de 2013?

Răspuns dat de dna Georgieva în numele Comisiei

(13 iunie 2014)

Criza strămutărilor și starea permanentă de război au ca efect intensificarea violențelor sexuale și bazate pe gen în Somalia. Femeile și copiii în mod special sunt expuși riscului de a fi exploatați.

Protejarea drepturilor omului reprezintă o parte a mandatului componentei de dezvoltare a UE. Delegația UE în Somalia colaborează îndeaproape cu partenerii locali, regionali și internaționali pentru a îmbunătăți situația și pentru a asigura protecția civililor. UE va continua să își utilizeze întreaga gamă de instrumente, inclusiv pe cele diplomatice, prin intermediul delegațiilor în regiune, precum și al Reprezentantului Special al UE pentru Cornul Africii, pentru a promova drepturile fundamentale ale omului pentru populația somaleză. Aceste eforturi vizează, printre multe altele, îmbunătățirea activităților de prevenire, facilitarea accesului la servicii de sănătate, garantarea securității, reformarea justiției, a sistemului judiciar și a politicilor și promovarea egalității între bărbați și femei.

Integrarea principiilor de bază în materie de protecție a persoanelor în programele umanitare derulate de UE este de o importanță crucială. Includerea celor mai vulnerabile și marginalizate grupuri este un aspect abordat în mod corect și sistematic în toate operațiunile finanțate de UE.

Activitățile de protecție finanțate de UE includ, printre altele:

acordarea de asistență victimelor violențelor, inclusiv ale violențelor sexuale și bazate pe gen;

selectarea, înregistrarea și verificarea refugiaților și crearea de profiluri pentru persoanele strămutate în interiorul țării;

protejarea copiilor;

acordarea de sprijin pentru întoarceri voluntare, sigure, demne și bine informate.

Situația din Somalia rămâne critică în multe regiuni, însă la nivel mondial au izbucnit noi crize umanitare majore. Având în vedere că bugetul umanitar al UE este limitat, trebuie stabilite priorități. Cu toate acestea, Comisia își menține o prezență semnificativă în Somalia și este pregătită să reacționeze, în continuare, la orice deteriorare a situației.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005040/14

to the Commission

Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Violence against women in Somalia

In Somalia in the second half of 2012, a 37-year-old woman tried to declare to the police authorities that she had been raped by several men. The police’s only response to her plea for help was to send her home. The UN has estimated that at least 800 cases of sexual abuse against women occurred over a 6-month period in 2013 in the Mogadishu region of Somalia alone. Many such cases have gone unreported to the authorities because women do not trust the law enforcement and justice systems. Moreover, in August 2013, Unicef drew attention to the fact that more than one third of the victims of sexual abuse in Somalia are children.

The Commission has offered Somalia EUR 53 million in 2013 and EUR 37 million in 2014 in humanitarian assistance, according to its DG for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). In the light of the above:

How will the Commission use the funds allocated for 2014 to humanitarian assistance in Somalia in such a way that numbers of abused children and women begin to fall in comparison to previous years?

What are the reasons for offering Somalia less funding in humanitarian assistance in 2014 comparing with 2013?

Answer given by Ms Georgieva on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

Displacement crisis and on-going warfare create a high incidence of sexual and gender based violence in Somalia. Female and children are at particular risk of exploitation.

Human rights protection is part of the mandate of the development arm of the EU. The EU Delegation to Somalia is working closely with local, regional and international partners to improve the situation and ensure civilian protection. The EU will continue to use the full range of instruments at its disposal, including diplomacy through the Delegations in the region as well as the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa to promote fundamental human rights for Somali people. Among many other aspects, these efforts include improving prevention, increasing access to health services, ensuring security, justice, legal and policy reform and promoting women’s equality.

Mainstreaming of basic protection principles in EU humanitarian programs is of paramount importance. In all EU funded operations the inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups is properly and systematically addressed.

Protection activities financed by the EU include inter alia:

assistance to victims of violence including sexual and gender based violence;

screening, registration and verification for refugees and profiling for Internally Displaced Persons';

child protection;

support to voluntary, safe, dignified and well-informed returns;

While the situation in Somalia remains critical in many areas, new major humanitarian crises have emerged around the world. As the EU's humanitarian budget is limited, priorities have to be sought. The Commission nevertheless keeps a significant presence in Somalia and remains ready to respond to any deterioration of the situation.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005041/14

à la Commission

Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE) et Karima Delli (Verts/ALE)

(16 avril 2014)

Objet: Protection des employés du métro face à la pollution de l'air intérieur

Dès 2006, le Conseil supérieur d'hygiène publique de France (CSGPF) a considéré (206) que dans les transports ferroviaires souterrains, la pollution est dominée par la contamination particulaire. Cette pollution est liée aux émissions des matériaux de roulage et de freinage, à la fréquence de circulation des rames et à l'efficacité relative des dispositifs de ventilation et de climatisation.

Le CSGPF constate que les concentrations de particules mesurées dans les enceintes ferroviaires souterraines sont nettement plus élevées que dans les autres modes de transport. Elles sont deux à dix fois supérieures aux valeurs enregistrées par les stations urbaines de fond. En conséquence, les salariés opérant dans ce type de lieux de travail sont particulièrement exposés aux effets nocifs des particules.

Comment la Commission, dans sa révision générale de la politique sur l'air, prévoit-elle de protéger les milliers de salariés travaillant dans les tunnels de métros? Quel lien fait-elle avec son action dans le domaine de la santé et de la sécurité au travail?

Réponse donnée par M. Andor au nom de la Commission

(12 juin 2014)

La Commission voudrait rappeler à l'Honorable Parlementaire que la législation exhaustive de l'UE en matière de santé et de sécurité au travail fixe des prescriptions minimales en ce qui concerne la protection de la santé et de la sécurité des travailleurs au travail. La directive 89/391/CEE  (207), en particulier, établit les principes essentiels relatifs à la prévention des risques professionnels et à la protection de la sécurité et de la santé. Elle est complétée par des directives particulières au sens de son article 16, notamment la directive 98/24/CE (208) sur les risques liés à des agents chimiques sur le lieu de travail, qui s'avère tout à fait pertinente ici. La directive 98/24/CE exige que l'employeur détermine si des agents chimiques dangereux sont présents sur le lieu de travail, évalue tous les risques liés à la sécurité ou à la santé que ces agents peuvent engendrer et prenne les mesures préventives nécessaires pour supprimer lesdits risques ou les réduire au maximum.

Une fois que les directives sont transposées en droit national, la législation nationale des États membres est applicable et il incombe aux autorités compétentes de ces mêmes États de s'assurer de l'application de leurs dispositions nationales transposant les directives européennes en matière de santé et de sécurité au travail.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005041/14

to the Commission

Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE) and Karima Delli (Verts/ALE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Protection of underground railway workers from air pollution at their workplace

In 2006, the French public health authority (Conseil supérieur d’hygiène publique de France — CSGPF) expressed concern (209) at the degree and nature of pollution in underground railway systems caused by rolling stock and braking emissions, train frequency and the relative inefficiency of ventilation and air conditioning plant.

The CSGPF noted that particle concentrations in underground railway systems are substantially higher than in other forms of transport, between two and ten times greater than those recorded by urban background pollution measuring stations, with the result that underground railway workers are particularly exposed to the harmful effects thereof.

In the context of its general air quality policy review, what measures does the Commission intend to take to protect the thousands of underground railway workers affected and how is this being combined with measures taken by it in the field of safety and health at work?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2014)

The Commission would draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the EU’s comprehensive occupational safety and health legislation, which lays down minimum requirements for the protection of the health and safety of workers at work. In particular, Directive 89/391/EEC (210) sets out the main principles for preventing occupational risks and protecting safety and health. It is supplemented by individual directives within the meaning of Article 16 of that directive, includingDirective 98/24/EC (211) on chemical agents at work, which is of particular relevance here. Directive 98/24/EC imposes an obligationon the employer to determine whether any hazardous chemical agents are present at the workplace, assess any risk to the safety and health that they may pose, and take the necessary preventive measures to eliminate or reduce the risk to a minimum.

Once directives are transposed into national law, the Member States’ national legislation is applicable and it becomes the responsibility of the competent Member State authorities to enforce their national provisions transposing the EU health and safety at work directives.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005042/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Cani dirottati

Aveva pagato un biglietto di 120 euro per portare con sé il suo cane di 32 chili in un viaggio da Linate a Lanzarote, ma la compagnia aerea prima lo ha smarrito poi lo ha spedito a Las Palmas e finalmente lo ha riconsegnato al suo padrone, sanguinante, con tante ferite e un dente rotto.

La Commissione:

È al corrente della vicenda?

Sa di casi simili che hanno coinvolto compagnie aeree all'interno degli Stati membri?

Non crede che, per evitare spiacevoli situazioni che potrebbero provocare persino la morte, sia necessario applicare anche per i contenitori da viaggio con animali un sistema di controllo e tracciabilità analogo a quello per i bagagli «ordinari»?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(11 giugno 2014)

1.-2. La Commissione non è a conoscenza della vicenda a cui fa riferimento l’onorevole deputato o di altri casi analoghi che coinvolgono compagnie aeree negli Stati membri.

3.

Il trasporto di animali in aereo è in generale considerato come trasporto merci, il quale è altresì soggetto, in linea di principio, a un sistema di tracciabilità e di controllo. Come accade per i bagagli ordinari, anche nella movimentazione dei contenitori che trasportano animali possono verificarsi dei problemi.

In questo caso si applica il regolamento (CE) n. 1/2005 del Consiglio sulla protezione degli animali durante il trasporto (212). L’allegato I, capo II, titolo 4 prevede che gli animali che viaggiano in aereo devono essere trasportati in contenitori, recinti o stalli che siano conformi ai regolamenti per il trasporto di animali vivi della Associazione Internazionale del Trasporto aereo (IATA). Il regolamento prevede inoltre che tali contenitori devono essere contrassegnati in modo chiaro e visibile per indicare la presenza di animali vivi. Tuttavia sarebbe opportuno far riferimento alla convezione di Montreal (213), che è stata recepita nella normativa dell’UE (214). La convenzione interviene in una fase successiva, in quanto contiene norme in materia di responsabilità in caso di danno derivante dalla distruzione, perdita o deterioramento dei bagagli e delle merci durante il trasporto per via aerea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005042/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Animals in planes

A passenger paid EUR 120 for a ticket to take his 32-kg dog with him on a trip from Linate to Lanzarote, but the airline first mislaid the dog and then sent it to Las Palmas before finally handing it back to the owner, bleeding, with multiple injuries and a broken tooth.

Can the Commission say whether it:

is aware of this matter?

knows of similar cases involving airlines in the Member States?

thinks that, to avoid regrettable incidents which could even result in death, a control and traceability system similar to that used for ‘ordinary’ luggage should also be used for animal transport containers?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2014)

1-2. The Commission is not aware of the matter referred to by the Honourable Member or of any similar cases involving airlines in the Member States.

3.

Air transport of animals is in general considered as cargo transport which is also subject in principle to a control and traceability system. As in the case of ordinary baggage, problems may nevertheless occur in the handling of animal transport containers.

In this case Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport applies (215). Annex I, Chapter II, Article 4 requires that animals being transported by air should be in containers, pens or stalls which comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) live animals Regulations. The regulation also states that these containers should be clearly and visibly marked indicating the presence of live animals. Reference should be made however to the Montreal Convention (216), which was transposed into EC law (217). It intervenes at a later stage as it contains liability rules for damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of or damage to baggage and cargo where the event which caused the damage took place during the carriage by air.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005043/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Impianto per la produzione di energia elettrica alimentato a biomasse nel comune di Enego (Vicenza)

La società agricola Alpa S.r.l., in data 24.1.2011, ha presentato istanza, ai sensi del D.Lgs 387/2003, alla Regione Veneto per il rilascio dell'autorizzazione alla costruzione ed esercizio di un impianto a biomasse per la produzione di energia elettrica. L'impianto sarà alimentato da biomassa vegetale vergine e verrà realizzato nel comune di Enego, piccolo comune di montagna in provincia di Vicenza. Viene previsto un funzionamento dell'impianto per circa 8 000 ore/anno con un consumo annuo di biomassa pari a 5 000 tonnellate. Si prega di considerare che: l'impianto sarebbe situato a una distanza di circa 70 m da una zona abitata; si troverebbe all'interno di una zona agricola i cui foraggi sono destinati all'alimentazione di animali da allevamento che forniscono latte per la produzione del formaggio Asiago DOP; tali centrali immetterebbero nell'ambiente inquinanti che hanno la caratteristica di accumularsi nell'ecosistema circostante causando una probabile incompatibilità con la produzione agricola e alimentare di qualità propria della zona. Si sottolinea inoltre che non si tratta di un impianto «a filiera corta», in quanto il legname ad esso destinato proviene da circa 200 km di distanza, e quindi si dovrebbe tenere conto anche delle emissioni inquinanti prodotte dagli automezzi per il trasporto delle biomasse. Tenendo conto di quanto suddetto, può la Commissione riferire:

se ritiene che l'autorizzazione sia stata concessa tenendo in debita considerazione il particolare ambiente dove verrebbe costruito l'impianto;

se reputa che le normative europee siano state rispettate, in particolare la direttiva 2008/50/CE relativa alla qualità dell'aria ambiente e per un'aria più pulita in Europa;

se intende effettuare indagini più approfondite per scongiurare le preoccupazioni dei cittadini di Enego legate alla futura messa in funzione di tale impianto;

se questo impianto situato a Enego (comune di montagna) sia contrario alla direttiva 96/62/CE che, all'articolo 1, individua fra i suoi obiettivi quello di «mantenere la qualità dell'aria ambiente, laddove è buona, e migliorarla negli altri casi»;

se ritiene che la cenere (prodotta durante la lavorazione) possa essere utilizzata come fertilizzante minerale.

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(12 giugno 2014)

Spetta in primo luogo alle autorità nazionali competenti garantire la corretta applicazione del diritto dell’UE. A quanto risulta alla Commissione, il progetto in questione non è ancora stato autorizzato e confida che le autorità competenti della Regione Veneto valutino questa richiesta di autorizzazione garantendo la corretta applicazione del diritto dell’UE, in particolare delle direttive sulla qualità dell’aria (218), sui rifiuti (219) e sulla valutazione dell’impatto ambientale (220). La Commissione non dispone di alcuna informazione che permetta di concludere l’esistenza di una violazione del diritto dell’UE e ritiene che non vi sia alcun motivo di duplicare gli sforzi delle autorità competenti in questa fase.

Le ceneri prodotte da impianti di incenerimento di biomassa vergine possono essere usate come fertilizzanti minerali, previo rilascio dell’autorizzazione da parte delle autorità nazionali competenti, come stabilito dall’articolo 23 della direttiva 2008/98/CE relativa ai rifiuti.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005043/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Biomass-fired power plant at Enego (Vicenza)

On 24 January 2011 Alpa S.r.l., a farming business, applied under Legislative Decree 387/2003 to the Region of Veneto for a licence to build and operate a biomass-fired power plant in Enego, a small mountain municipality in the province of Vicenza. The plan is to operate the plant for around 8 000 hours per year, consuming 5 000 tonnes of virgin biomass. Please consider that the plant would be located about 70 m away from a residential area, on farmland growing fodder for dairy herds which supply milk for the production of Asiago DOP cheese. Power plants of this type would release pollutants which typically accumulate in the surrounding ecosystem and are probably incompatible with the district’s farming and quality food production. Furthermore, this is not a plant with a ‘short supply chain,’ since it is fired with wood from about 200 km away. Account should therefore also be taken of the pollutant emissions from the vehicles carrying the biomass.

1.

In view of the above, does the Commission believe that the licensing took due account of the specific environment where the plant would be built?

2.

Does it consider the European rules to have been observed, especially Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe?

3.

Does it intend to conduct more thorough investigations to allay the concerns of Enego residents about the future start-up of this plant?

4.

Does the location of this plant in Enego (a mountain municipality) violate Directive 96/62/EC, Article 1 of which lists, among its objectives, ‘maintaining air quality where it is good, and improving it in other cases’?

5.

Does it consider that the ash (a by-product of combustion) is usable as mineral fertiliser?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(12 June 2014)

It falls in the first place to national authorities to ensure the correct application of EC law. The Commission understands that this project has not yet been granted a license and trusts that the competent authorities of the Region of Veneto are examining this license request to ensure the correct application of the EC law, and more particularly of the directives on air quality (221), waste (222) and environmental impact assessment (223). The Commission has no information which could lead to the conclusion of a breach of EC law and sees no reason to duplicate the efforts of the competent authorities at this stage.

The ash produced by plants incinerating pure biomass can be used as a mineral fertiliser, provided this is permitted by the Member State competent authorities, as stipulated in Article 23 of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005044/14

alla Commissione

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Collaborazione interforze in Veneto per combattere la criminalità proveniente dall'Europa dell'est

In Italia e in Veneto sono sempre più frequenti i casi di bande organizzate provenienti dalla Romania e dall'Europa dell'est che si dedicano a sistematici furti in esercizi commerciali, oppure a organizzare lo sfruttamento della prostituzione.

L'ambasciatrice della Romania in Italia, San Marino e Malta, Dana Constantinescu e il console generale di Trieste, Cosmin Dumitrescu, hanno lanciato una proposta al sindaco di Padova: affiancare una task force della polizia rumena alle forze dell'ordine italiane per eseguire controlli e arresti sul territorio.

Molti criminali provenienti dall'Europa dell'est si recano a delinquere in Italia e in altri Stati membri dove la legislazione in materia penale e le condizioni di detenzione nelle carceri sono più «leggere» rispetto a quelle dei propri paesi d'origine. Nello svolgimento delle proprie mansioni gli agenti di polizia italiani devono far fronte a difficoltà linguistiche e i criminali spesso fanno in modo di farsi scambiare per cittadini comunitari pur non essendolo. D'altronde, le forze dell'ordine rumene, sebbene preparate, combattono da anni queste bande organizzate nei loro territori e un'azione congiunta interforze massimizzerebbe i risultati della lotta contro tali forme di criminalità.

Alla luce di quanto sopra, la Commissione:

È a conoscenza dei fatti sopra esposti?

Intende intervenire per rendere prassi tali scambi interforze all'interno dell'UE, in modo tale da arginare questi fenomeni di migrazione di criminali da uno Stato membro all'altro?

Intende intervenire all'interno dei poteri conferiti dal trattato di Lisbona nell'ambito della cooperazione giudiziaria in materia modificando la normativa comunitaria per far sì che i cittadini comunitari, che delinquono in un altro Stato membro, siano automaticamente rimpatriati per scontare la pena nel proprio paese d'origine?

Come intende attivarsi per agevolare e attuare quest'accordo proposto dalle autorità rumene?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(1o luglio 2014)

La Commissione europea è a conoscenza dei problemi causati negli Stati membri dell’UE dai gruppi mobili/itineranti della criminalità organizzata. Combattere i reati contro il patrimonio perpetrati dai gruppi mobili della criminalità organizzata è una delle priorità dell’UE nella lotta contro il crimine organizzato per il periodo 2014-2017. Azioni per affrontare questo fenomeno sono elaborate, decise e svolte nell’ambito del ciclo di politiche dell’Unione contro la criminalità organizzata e le forme gravi di criminalità: si tratta di azioni volte a migliorare la cooperazione fra le autorità di contrasto e lo scambio di informazioni, a sviluppare un quadro comune di intelligence e a rafforzare il numero di indagini transfrontaliere. Tale ciclo di politiche è finanziato tramite il Fondo Sicurezza interna dell’UE.

La decisione quadro 2008/909/GAI (224) stabilisce un sistema di riconoscimento ed esecuzione delle pene detentive nello Stato membro di cittadinanza o di soggiorno abituale della persona condannata (o in un altro Stato membro con cui abbia stretti legami) allo scopo di facilitare il reinserimento sociale dell’interessato.

Il consenso della persona condannata al trasferimento nel paese d’origine non è richiesto quando questa: i) è un cittadino dello Stato d’esecuzione e vive in tale Stato; ii) sarà espulso verso lo Stato di esecuzione una volta dispensato dall’esecuzione della pena o iii) è fuggito nello Stato di esecuzione (225).

Il 5 febbraio 2014 la Commissione ha adottato una relazione sull’applicazione della decisione quadro negli Stati membri (226). La Commissione non intende modificare le norme UE esistenti in questa materia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005044/14

to the Commission

Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Inter-force cooperation in Veneto against crime of East European origin

In Italy and Veneto, cases of organised gangs from Romania and Eastern Europe are increasingly common. The gangs steal systematically from shops or live off the proceeds of organised prostitution.

The Romanian ambassador to Italy, San Marino and Malta, Dana Constantinescu and the Consul-General in Trieste, Cosmin Dumitrescu, have proposed to the mayor of Padua that a Romanian police task force should work alongside the Italian forces of law and order, to carry out checks and arrests in the region.

Many criminals from Eastern Europe go to Italy and other Member States to commit crimes, because the criminal legislation and prison conditions there are ‘softer’ than in their countries of origin. In fulfilling their duties, Italian police officers face linguistic difficulties. The criminals often pass themselves off as EU citizens, when they are not. On the other hand, the Romanian forces of law and order, though trained, have been struggling against these organised gangs in their districts for years. Joint action between police forces would maximise the results of efforts to counter these forms of crime.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the above facts?

2.

Does it plan to intervene to put these exchanges between EU police forces into practice, to counter the migration of criminals from one Member State to another?

3.

Does it plan to use its powers under the Lisbon Treaty, in the context of mutual assistance in judicial matters, to amend the Community rules in this field, so that EU citizens who commit criminal offences in one Member State are automatically repatriated to serve their sentences in their countries of origin?

4.

How does it intend to act to facilitate and implement this agreement, proposed by the Romanian authorities?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(1 July 2014)

The European Commission is aware of the problems itinerant/mobile organised criminal groups cause in EU Member States. Combatting organised property crime committed by mobile organised crime groups is one of the EU priorities in the fight against organised crime for the period 2014 — 2017. Actions to address this phenomenon are being developed, decided upon and carried out in the framework of the EU policy cycle against serious and organised crime. This includes actions to strengthen, law enforcement cooperation, information exchange, the development of a common intelligence picture and the number of cross border investigations. The mentioned EU policy cycle is funded by the EU Internal Security Fund.

Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA (227) establishes a system for recognising and enforcing custodial sentences in the Member State of nationality or habitual residence of the sentenced person (or to another Member State with which he has close ties) with a view to facilitating the social rehabilitation of this person.

No consent of the sentenced person to the transfer to his home country is required when the sentenced person: (i) is a national of the executing State who lives in the executing State; (ii) will be deported to the executing State once he is released and (iii) has fled to the executing State (228).

The Commission has adopted a Report on the application of this framework Decision in the Member States on 5 February 2014 (229). The Commission does not envisage to amend the existing EU rules in this field.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005045/14

alla Commissione

Lorenzo Fontana (EFD)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Eutanasia sui minori

Recentemente, in Belgio, sarebbe divenuta legge una proposta volta a introdurre un'estensione dell'eutanasia sui minori.

Considerando che l'eutanasia potrebbe essere praticata su minori in fase terminale, in condizioni fisiche e psicologiche insostenibili croniche;

considerando inoltre che la «dolce morte» potrebbe essere effettuata qualora vi fosse una richiesta da parte del minore, seguita dall'accordo dei genitori e da un accertamento da parte dello psicologo circa la sua capacità di giudizio;

quale posizione intende prendere la Commissione riguardo a tale tema?

Ritiene essa che questa pratica sia compatibile con l'articolo 2 della CEDU?

Può la Commissione considerare accettabile e legalmente fondata la possibilità di un minore di porre in essere una scelta di tal genere, quando si può ragionevolmente dubitare che un minore abbia il raziocinio per decidere in merito alla propria morte?

Risposta di Viviane Reding a nome della Commissione

(13 giugno 2014)

Le norme giuridiche che disciplinano l'eutanasia — nei confronti sia di adulti che di minori — non rientrano nelle competenze dell'Unione europea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005045/14

to the Commission

Lorenzo Fontana (EFD)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Euthanasia in children

A bill aimed at extending euthanasia to children has recently become law in Belgium.

Euthanasia can be performed on children in the terminal stage of illness if they are in a chronic, unbearable physical and psychological condition. It can also be carried out if the child requests it and the parents agree, subject to a psychologist’s assessment of the child’s power of judgment.

What position does the Commission propose to take on this subject?

Does it believe that this practice is compatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights?

Can the Commission consider it acceptable and legally sound for a child to make such a decision, when there is reasonable doubt that a child has the wisdom required to decide his or her own death?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

Legal rules governing euthanasia — whether applied to children or not — do not fall within the boundaries of Union competences.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005046/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: Contraffazione e prodotti non sigillati

Il continuo aumento della contraffazione e della frode in commercio può portare a particolari danni per la salute quando si tratta di alimenti o di sostanze — solide, liquide o semiliquide — che vengono in contatto con le mucose, con la pelle o con altri organi o punti sensibili del corpo.

La Commissione:

È a conoscenza dei rischi che comporta l'utilizzo di prodotti non sigillati?

Può dirci quanto sia ancora diffuso il commercio di prodotti senza sigillo di garanzia?

Intende rendere obbligatoria l'applicazione del sigillo per la commercializzazione di prodotti destinati a venire in contatto con il corpo umano?

Risposta di Neven Mimica a nome della Commissione

(13 giugno 2014)

La Commissione è pienamente consapevole dell'aumento della contraffazione di prodotti di consumo che riguarda anche prodotti non sigillati,

ma non è in possesso di dati specifici in merito al commercio di prodotti cosmetici privi di sigillo.

I prodotti destinati a entrare in contatto con il corpo umano possono essere cosmetici che coprono qualsiasi sostanza o miscela destinata a uso esterno sul corpo umano. Il pertinente regolamento (CE) n. 1223/2009 (230) non prevede un obbligo generale di sigillare i prodotti cosmetici,

ma stabilisce tuttavia che i prodotti cosmetici immessi sul mercato dell'Unione siano sicuri. È responsabilità del fabbricante, dell'importatore o, in determinate circostanze, del distributore (231) garantire la sicurezza dei prodotti immessi sul mercato. La normativa contiene disposizioni sull'etichettatura e sull'imballaggio dei prodotti cosmetici (232). In particolare, l'etichetta dovrebbe recare lla data fino alla quale il prodotto cosmetico, stoccato in condizioni adeguate, continuerà a svolgere la sua funzione e rimarrà sicuro. Per i prodotti cosmetici con durata superiore ai 30 mesi il termine minimo di conservazione non è obbligatorio ma deve essere riportata un'indicazione relativa al periodo di tempo in cui il prodotto in questione è sicuro.

Il fabbricante che ritenga necessario sigillare alcuni prodotti per evitarne la contaminazione dovrebbe provvedere in tal senso. In particolare, quando il termine minimo di conservazione è sostituito dal periodo successivo all'apertura, è importante che il consumatore sia in grado di determinare la data di apertura. Un modo di garantire il rispetto di tale norma è l'adeguata sigillatura del prodotto.

Al di là di tali norme, la Commissione non è in possesso di elementi di prova tali da richiedere l'introduzione obbligatoria di sigillatura dei prodotti cosmetici in generale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005046/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Counterfeiting and unsealed goods

The continuous increase in counterfeiting and commercial fraud may cause significant harm to health where it involves foodstuffs or substances, whether solid, liquid or semi-liquid, which come into contact with the mucous membranes, the skin or other organs or sensitive parts of the body.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the risks associated with the use of unsealed goods?

2.

Can it say how widespread the trade in goods without a seal of warranty already is?

3.

Does the Commission intend to make the use of the seal compulsory for the distribution of goods intended to come into contact with the human body?

Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 2014)

The Commission is fully aware of the increase in counterfeiting of consumer products which also concerns unsealed products.

It does not possess specific data regarding the trade of cosmetic products without a seal.

Goods intended to come into contact with the human body can be cosmetics products which cover any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body. The relevant Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 (233) does not include a general obligation to seal cosmetic products.

It establishes however that cosmetic products placed on the EU market must be safe. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer or, under certain circumstances, the distributor (234), to ensure the safety of the products they place on the market. The legislation contains provisions on the labelling and packaging of cosmetic products (235). In particular, the label should bear the date until which the cosmetic product, suitably stored, will continue to fulfil its function and will remain safe. For cosmetic products with a durability of more than 30 months, the date of minimum durability is not mandatory but there shall be an indication of the period of time after opening for which the product is safe.

If the manufacturer considers that some products need to be sealed in order to protect them from contamination, they should do so. In particular, when the date of minimum durability is replaced by the period after opening, it is important that the consumer is able to determine the opening date. Appropriately sealing the product is one way to guarantee compliance with this rule.

Beyond these rules, the Commission does not possess evidence for introducing mandatory sealing of cosmetic products in general.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-005047/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) e Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE)

(16 aprile 2014)

Oggetto: «Transparency» ed educazione anticorruzione

«Transparency International» è l'organizzazione non governativa leader al mondo nella lotta alla corruzione. Fondata nel 1993, è presente in oltre 90 paesi nel mondo. È interessante la sua definizione di corruzione, che non si limita soltanto alla pubblica amministrazione, ma comprende anche le varie situazioni in cui, nel corso dell'attività amministrativa, si riscontri l'abuso da parte di un soggetto del potere a lui conferito, al fine di ottenere vantaggi privati. La corruzione — secondo questi analisti — si manifesta attraverso casi di tangenti, peculato, nepotismo, clientelismo, conflitto di interessi, pressioni indebite e «porte girevoli». È questo il caso di ex manager che diventano influenti consulenti nel settore privato dopo anni nella pubblica amministrazione, indipendentemente dalle effettive capacità. Le graduatorie per misurare la corruzione riservano interessanti sorprese, dati gli standard che vengono utilizzati per queste misurazioni. Transparency Italia, parte attiva di Transparency International, ha concluso l'analisi della trasparenza, dell'etica pubblica e dell'anticorruzione affermando che una delle soluzioni più efficaci al problema della corruzione è l'educazione, per riuscire a promuovere sistemi più trasparenti, responsabili e virtuosi. Dal rapporto sulla corruzione globale emerge che il problema della corruzione ha risvolti mondiali e si manifesta inoltre attraverso le gare d'appalto truccate (Banca mondiale), l'appropriazione indebita di fondi (Kenya), scuole ombra e insegnanti fantasma (Pakistan), l'assenteismo (Kenya), il lavoro nero (Corea del Sud), le violenze sessuali (Botswana), la compravendita dei diplomi (Germania e Niger), degli esami di ammissione (Regno Unito, Georgia, Vietnam), dei sussidi (Romania), la manipolazione delle informazioni ai fini di marketing (USA), la manipolazione dell'istruzione (Regno Unito) e comportamenti non etici nella ricerca (USA).

La Commissione:

Conosce queste graduatorie?

È in grado di redigerne una sulla corruzione esistente negli Stati membri?

Sarebbe disposta a definire programmi educativi per la lotta alla corruzione, così come si manifesta in Europa?

Non ritiene che sarebbe interessante aprire questi programmi a tutti i partecipanti al programma Erasmus, per educare alla trasparenza, all'etica pubblica e all'anticorruzione?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(16 giugno 2014)

1.

La Commissione è a conoscenza del lavoro svolto da Transparency International, incluso l’indice di percezione della corruzione.

2.

La Commissione ha pubblicato, nel febbraio 2014, la prima relazione dell’Unione sulla lotta alla corruzione corredata di capitoli dedicati a ciascuno dei 28 Stati membri (236). Tale relazione offre una valutazione obiettiva delle modalità con cui gli Stati membri affrontano la corruzione e di come le leggi e le politiche attuali funzionano nella pratica e suggerisce soluzioni sul modo in cui ogni paese può intensificare l’azione di lotta alla corruzione. Essa riconosce inoltre l’importanza di una formazione appropriata per prevenire e combattere la corruzione. Ulteriori relazioni saranno pubblicate ogni due anni.

3.

La Commissione avvierà un programma di condivisione delle esperienze al fine di sostenere gli Stati membri, le amministrazioni locali, le organizzazioni non governative e altri portatori di interesse nel dare seguito alle raccomandazioni della relazione dell’Unione sulla lotta alla corruzione. Il programma promuoverà seminari di professionisti del settore dedicati alle questioni evidenziate nella relazione.

4.

. Il nuovo programma Erasmus+ (2014-2020) sostiene i partenariati strategici nei campi dell’istruzione, della formazione e della gioventù, per migliorare la qualità dell’insegnamento e dell’apprendimento e attuare nuovi approcci pedagogici innovativi. Tali partenariati strategici possono riguardare qualsiasi settore o disciplina accademica e potrebbero, ad esempio, sviluppare nuovi corsi, programmi intensivi, materiali on-line o piani di studio in materia di trasparenza, etica pubblica e corruzione.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005047/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) and Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Transparency and education about corruption

Transparency International is the world’s leading non-governmental organisation in the fight against corruption. Founded in 1993, it has a presence in over 90 countries around the world. Its definition of corruption is interesting: it is not restricted to public administration alone, but also includes the various situations in which a person may commit abuses of the power granted to them, in the course of administrative activities, with a view to obtaining private benefits. According to this analysis, corruption is apparent in cases of bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, cronyism, conflict of interests, undue pressure and ‘revolving doors’. Such is the case of former managers who become influential consultants in the private sector after years in public administration, irrespective of their actual capabilities. The league tables which measure corruption contain some interesting surprises, in view of the standards used to make such measurements. Transparency Italia, an active part of Transparency International, has completed its analysis of transparency, public ethics and corruption by stating that one of the most effective solutions to the problem of corruption is education, in order to promote more transparent, responsible and ethical systems. The report on global corruption reveals that the problem of corruption has worldwide implications and is also apparent in rigged public tenders (World Bank), misappropriation of funds (Kenya), phantom schools and ghost teachers (Pakistan), absenteeism (Kenya), unofficial employment (South Korea), sexual violence (Botswana), buying and selling of qualifications (Germany and Niger), of entrance exams (United Kingdom, Georgia, Vietnam), grants (Romania), manipulation of information for marketing purposes (USA), manipulation of teaching (United Kingdom) and non-ethical conduct in research (USA).

1.

Is the Commission aware of these league tables?

2.

Would it be able to draw up such a table showing the corruption existing in Member States?

3.

Would the Commission be prepared to set up training programmes on the fight against corruption as evidenced in Europe?

4.

Does it consider that it would be interesting to make these programmes available to all participants in the Erasmus programme, to educate them about transparency, public ethics and corruption?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(16 June 2014)

1.

The Commission is aware of the work carried out by Transparency International, including the Corruption Perceptions Index.

2.

The Commission published in February 2014 the first EU Anti-Corruption Report with chapters on all 28 Member States. (237) The report gives a frank assessment of how each Member State tackles corruption, how existing laws and policies work in practice, and it suggests how each country can step up the work against corruption. The report also recognises the role of appropriate training in preventing and fighting corruption. Further reports will follow every two years.

3.

The Commission will launch an experience sharing programme to support Member States, local governments, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders follow-up to the suggestions of the EU Anti-Corruption Report. The programme will sponsor workshops to bring together practitioners, focusing on topics highlighted in the report.

4.

. The new programme Erasmus+ (2014-2020) supports Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth to increase the quality of teaching and learning and implement new and innovative pedagogical approaches. These strategic partnerships can cover any field or academic discipline and could for example develop new courses, intensive programmes, online materials or curriculum about transparency, public ethics and corruption.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-005048/14

aan de Commissie

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: Europese automobielmarkt in vervangingsonderdelen/Eurodesign

De kosten gerelateerd van reparatie en onderhoud maken tot op vandaag een groot deel uit van het budget van de automobilisten, terwijl mobiliteit nog steeds een belangrijke pijler is van een efficiënte Europese Interne Markt.

Tegen deze achtergrond heeft de Europese Commissie in 2004 een wetsvoorstel ingediend om een reparatieclausule te introduceren in de Richtlijn 98/71/EG met het oog op een liberalisering van de Europese automobielmarkt in vervangingsonderdelen. Het Europees Parlement heeft op 12 december 2007 de reparatieclausule aanvaard met een grote meerderheid. Elf lidstaten, zoals België, hebben hun markt in dit verband al geliberaliseerd. In de rest van de EU is er ook al enige vooruitgang geboekt. In Frankrijk heeft de Franse Mededingingsautoriteit (Autorité de la Concurrence) een paar maanden geleden de noodzaak van de liberalisering van de markt van de vervangingsonderdelen benadrukt via de goedkeuring van een oplossing geïnspireerd op de principes van de reparatieclausule.

Ondanks deze belangrijke stappen vooruit werd het voorstel reparatieclausule van de Europese Commissie opgenomen in een lijst van wetsvoorstellen die naar wij vernemen in april zullen worden ingetrokken (cfr. Werkprogramma van de Europese Commissie voor 2014 — Annex IV — pagina 23) wegens een gebrek aan vooruitgang op het niveau van de Raad.

De intrekking van het wetsvoorstel kan worden beschouwd als een stap achteruit van de Europese Commissie en als een signaal dat de Europese Commissie niet meer bereid is om deze problematiek op te lossen middels liberalisering.

1.

Zal de commissie dit voorstel inderdaad intrekken?

2.

Zal in dat geval een hernieuwde introductie van het voorstel volgen in de nabije toekomst?

3.

Zo niet, overweegt de Commissie dan om een alternatief voor de reperatieclausule te presenteren?

4.

Zijn er wat dat betreft al dergelijke alternatieve pistes onderzocht en/of op komst? Zo ja, welke?

Antwoord van de heer Barnier namens de Commissie

(17 juni 2014)

Op 30 april 2014 heeft de Commissie besloten het voorstel in kwestie in te trekken (238).

De Commissie is begonnen met een herziening en beoordeling van alle voorstellen die in behandeling zijn. Het voorstel in kwestie dateert van 2004 en kreeg in de Raad tot nog toe onvoldoende steun van lidstaten.

De Commissie zet zich sterk in om de Europese Unie de nodige instrumenten te geven voor meer groei en een sterker concurrentievermogen. Hiertoe behoort ook een passend regelgevend kader inzake industrieel-eigendomsrecht.

In dit verband heeft de Commissie besloten om op grondige wijze te analyseren of het huidige kader inzake ontwerpbescherming in Europa, met inbegrip van reserveonderdelen, nog steeds voldoet aan de behoeften en verwachtingen van de Europese industrie. De eerste fase van deze analyse is een onlangs begonnen economische studie van industriële ontwerpen. Ook de kwestie van reserveonderdelen zal in de studie aan bod komen. Het is de bedoeling van de Commissie om deze economische analyse in 2015 af te sluiten met een studie van de juridische aspecten van ontwerpbescherming in Europa. De resultaten van beide studies zullen openbaar worden gemaakt. Op basis van de hierboven genoemde studies en openbare raadplegingen zal de Commissie zich beraden over mogelijke vervolgmaatregelen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005048/14

to the Commission

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: European aftermarket in spare parts/Eurodesign

Repair and maintenance costs continue to take up much of motorists' budgets, and mobility remains an important pillar of an efficient European internal market.

In 2004, in the light of that, the Commission submitted a legislative proposal to insert a repair clause in Directive 98/71/EC, with a view to liberalising the European spare-parts aftermarket. On 12 December 2007, Parliament approved the repair clause by a large majority. Eleven Member States, including Belgium, have already liberalised their spare-parts markets. A degree of progress has been reached in the rest of the EU too. A few months ago, the French Competition Authority underscored the need to liberalise the spare-parts aftermarket by approving arrangements based on the principles set out in the repair clause.

Despite these important steps, the Commission's repair clause proposal has been included in a list of legislative proposals which are to be withdrawn — cf. the Commission Work Programme for 2014, Annex IV, p. 23 — because of a lack of progress in the Council.

Withdrawing the proposal may be regarded as a retrograde step for the Commission to take and as signalling that it is no longer willing to address the issue through liberalisation.

1.

Will the Commission actually withdraw the proposal?

2.

If so, will the proposal be resubmitted in the near future?

3 If not, is the Commission giving thought to an alternative to the repair clause?

4.

Are alternative approaches already being looked into and/or in the offing? If so, what do those approaches involve?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

On 30 April 2014 the Commission decided to withdraw the proposal at issue (239).

The Commission has engaged a review and assessment of all pending proposals. The proposal at issue dated back to 2004 and so far had not received sufficient support from Member States in the Council.

The Commission is strongly committed to giving the European Union the tools necessary for its further growth and stronger competitiveness, including a fit for purpose legal framework in the area of Industrial Property.

In this context, the Commission has decided to thoroughly analyse whether the current framework for design protection in Europe, including spare parts, continues to meet the needs and expectations of European industries. The first step of this analysis is an economic study on industrial designs that has just been launched. The study will also address the issue of spare parts. It is the Commission’s intention to complete this economic analysis in 2015 with a study concerning the legal aspects of design protection in Europe. The results of both studies will be made public. On the basis of the abovementioned studies and public consultations, the Commission will reflect on the follow-up action to be taken.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-005049/14

aan de Commissie

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 april 2014)

Betreft: Voedselfraude bij diepvriesvis

Naar aanleiding van mijn vorige vraag (zie ref. 126051) over het voorkomen van voedselfraude bij diepvriesvis, wil ik enkele bijkomende vragen stellen. De commissie liet weten op de hoogte te zijn van de problematiek en actief op zoek te zijn naar een oplossing. Hierbij werd er echter niet in detail getreden, waardoor het antwoord verdere vragen oproept.

De Commissie liet weten gesprekken te voeren over de goedkeuring van een gestandaardiseerde methode voor de opsporing van toegevoegd water in diepvriesvis. Wat houdt deze gestandaardiseerde methode in?

Wat is de timing omtrent het uitwerken van deze methode voor het opsporen van toegevoegd water in visserijproducten?

Wordt er gewerkt aan regelgeving om deze voedselfraude tegen te gaan? Wordt deze regelgeving analoog uitgewerkt aan de regelgeving die reeds bestaat voor kipfilets?

Antwoord van de heer Borg namens de Commissie

(17 juni 2014)

Een gestandaardiseerde methode voor het bepalen van toegevoegd water in visserijproducten is momenteel niet beschikbaar op EU-niveau of internationaal niveau. Daarom is de Commissie bezig met het ontwikkelen van een geschikte methode, overeenkomstig artikel 11 van Verordening (EG) nr. 882/2004 (240). Analysemethoden die in het kader van officiële controles worden gebruikt, moeten zo veel mogelijk worden gevalideerd.

De Commissie is voornemens het Gemeenschappelijk Centrum voor onderzoek de opdracht te geven om de validiteit van de methode die in de in vraag E-001373/2014 genoemde studie werd gebruikt te beoordelen met het oog op een geharmoniseerde aanpak van het bepalen van het wategerhalte van visserijproducten.

Deze methode is gebaseerd op het vaststellen van de verhouding water/eiwit, vergelijkbaar met de methode voor slachtafvallen die is vastgesteld in Verordening (EG) nr. 542/2008 van de Commissie (241). Sommige parameters, zoals de gemiddelde theoretische verhouding W/RP of de technisch onvermijdelijke waterabsorptie bij de bewerking van de karkassen, zijn ontworpen voor specifieke kenmerken van slachtafvallen, en kunnen niet worden gebruikt voor andere methodes.

Indien een gevalideerde methode beschikbaar is, kan de Commissie mogelijke opties voor verdere actie op EU-niveau overwegen. De genoemde regels voor slachtafvallen (verplichte controles van het watergehalte op regelmatige basis voor alle uitsnijderijen die dergelijke slachtafvallen produceren) zijn één van de mogelijke opties voor een regelgevend kader.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005049/14

to the Commission

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Food fraud involving deep-frozen fish

Further to my previous question (E-001373/2014) on food fraud involving deep-frozen fish, I have a number of supplementary questions. The Commission stated that it was aware of the problem and was actively seeking to solve it. Its answer did not go into details, however, prompting further questions.

The Commission stated that it was holding discussions on the validation of a standardised method for the detection of added water in deep-frozen fish. What does that standardised method entail?

What is the timeframe for developing the method for detecting added water in fishery products?

Are rules being developed to combat such food fraud? Are they being developed along similar lines to the existing rules for chicken fillets?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(17 June 2014)

A standard method for determining added water in fishery products is currently not available at EU or international level. The Commission is therefore working to develop a method fit for the purpose in accordance with Article 11 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 (242). Analytical methods used in the context of official controls should as far as possible be validated.

The Commission intends to mandate the Joint Research Centre to assess the validity of the method exposed in the study mentioned in Question E-001373/2014 for a harmonised approach in determining water content of fishery products.

This method is based on the determination of a Water/Protein ratio, similar to the method for poultry cuts established by Commission Regulation (EC) No 543/2008 (243). However certain parameters, such as the mean physiological W/RP ratio or the minimum technically unavoidable water content absorbed during preparation, are commodity-specific and cannot be extrapolated.

Should a validated method be available, the Commission could consider possible options for further action at EU level. The mentioned rules applicable for poultry cuts (compulsory checks on the water content on a regular basis for each cutting plant producing such cuts) represent one of the possible options for a regulatory framework.

(Suomenkielinen versio)

Kirjallisesti vastattava kysymys E-005050/14

komissiolle

Mitro Repo (S&D)

(16. huhtikuuta 2014)

Aihe: Kolmansissa maissa toimivien eurooppalaisten yritysten yhteiskuntavastuu

Huhtikuussa 2013 Dhakassa, Bangladeshin pääkaupungissa sortui Rana Plaza ‐niminen kahdeksankerroksinen tehdasrakennus. Yli tuhannen työntekijän kuoleman vaatinut onnettomuus nosti vaatetehtaiden kurjuuden jälleen maailman tietoisuuteen. Paikallisten mielenosoitusten jälkeen vaatetehtaiden työntekijöiden kuukausipalkka on nostettu 28 eurosta 48 euroon. Silti uusien selvitysten mukaan olot ja työtahti tehtaissa ovat jopa rankempia kuin aikaisemmin. Bangladesh on Kiinan jälkeen maailman toiseksi suurin vaatevalmistaja.

Euroopan unioni on sitoutunut edistämään kaikissa toimintalinjoissaan Kansainvälisen työjärjestön (ILO) yleissopimusten ja erityisesti työelämän perusnormien ratifiointia ja tehokasta täytäntöönpanoa. Euroopan unioni on lisäksi sisällyttänyt sosiaaliset oikeudet vuonna 2012 hyväksyttyyn ihmisoikeuksia ja demokratiaa koskevaan EU:n strategiakehykseen, joka on tarkoitettu käytettäväksi EU:n ulkosuhteissa.

Komissio on kertonut vastauksessaan kirjalliseen kysymykseen (E-000618/2013) edistävänsä yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta ja kansainvälisesti tunnustettuja periaatteita ja suuntaviivoja kannustamalla eurooppalaisia yrityksiä tekemään riskilähtöisiä asianmukaista huolellisuutta koskevia arviointeja (due diligence) myös toimitusketjuissa.

Komissio on myös todennut, että kestävän kehityksen standardeihin liittyvät vapaaehtoiset järjestelyt edellyttävät toimitusketjujen jokaisen osan seurantaa.

Ottaen huomioon tämän ja parlamentin jäsenten asiasta aiemmin esittämät kysymykset:

Millä käytännön keinoin komissio on edistänyt ja valvonut eurooppalaisten yritysten yhteiskuntavastuun ja kansainvälisesti tunnustettujen periaatteiden ja suuntaviivojen toteutumista?

Millä käytännön keinoin komissio aikoo puuttua kolmansissa maissa toimivien eurooppalaisten yritysten toimitusketjujen jokaisen osan seurantaan?

Onko komissio valmis ehdottamaan entistä sitovampia yhteiskuntavastuun vaatimuksia sisämarkkinoilla ja kolmansissa maissa toimiville eurooppalaisille yrityksille?

Karel de Guchtin komission puolesta antama vastaus

(5. kesäkuuta 2014)

Komissio viittaa kysymykseen E-004553/2013 EU:n yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta koskevasta ohjelmasta. Komissio on parhaillaan selvittämässä julkisen kuulemisen avulla sidosryhmien näkemyksiä EU:n yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta koskevan vuosien 2011–2014 ohjelman (244) vaikutuksista ja sen asemasta tulevaisuudessa. Komissio julkistaa teknisen raportin kuulemisen tuloksista ja hyödyntää näitä tuloksia valmistellessaan yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta käsittelevän sidosryhmäfoorumin vuotuista kokousta, jossa keskitytään yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta koskevan politiikan suuntaamiseen vuodesta 2014 eteenpäin.

Komissio on yritysten yhteiskuntavastuuta koskevien kansainvälisten suuntaviivojen ja periaatteiden noudattamisen edistämiseksi julkaissut ohjeita YK:n liike-elämän ja ihmisoikeuksien perusperiaatteiden noudattamisesta pk-yrityksille ja yrityksille kolmella alalla. Lisäksi yritysten yhteiskuntavastuu on yhä useammin esillä poliittisessa vuoropuhelussa kolmansien maiden kanssa, ja äskettäin tehdyissä EU:n kauppasopimuksissa viitataan yritysten yhteiskuntavastuun lisäämisen. Komissio osallistuu myös aktiivisesti OECD:n (245) monikansallisista yrityksistä antamissa ohjeissa käynnistettyihin sidosryhmäprosesseihin, muun muassa tekstiilien ja valmisvaatteiden toimitusketjuihin keskittyvään työhön.

Komissio ei voi valvoa jokaista linkkiä ulkomailla toimivien eurooppalaisten yritysten toimitusketjuissa. Komissio kehottaa kuitenkin konflikti‐ tai riskialueilta peräisin olevien mineraalien vastuulliseen hankintaan. Asiaa koskevassa yhteisessä tiedonannossa (246) komissio ehdottaa, että perustetaan omaehtoiseen vakuutukseen perustuva EU:n järjestelmä, jossa ne tinan, tantaalin, volframin ja kullan sekä niiden malmien tuojat, jotka haluavat liittyä järjestelmään, sitoutuvat noudattamaan asianmukaista huolellisuutta valvomalla ja hallitsemalla osto‐ ja myyntitapahtumiaan OECD:n Due Diligence ‐ohjeiden mukaisesti.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005050/14

to the Commission

Mitro Repo (S&D)

(16 April 2014)

Subject: Corporate social responsibility of European businesses operating in third countries

In April 2013, the eight-storey factory building Rana Plaza in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, collapsed. The disaster killed more than a thousand employees, and again drew the world’s attention to the miserable conditions prevailing in garment factories. After local demonstrations, the monthly pay of garment workers was increased from EUR 28 to EUR 48. However, according to recent reports, conditions and the work rate in the factories are even worse than before. Bangladesh is the second largest garment manufacturing country in the world after China.

The European Union has committed itself to promote ratification and effective implementation of ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions, and particularly basic labour standards, in all its fields of activity. In addition, the European Union included social rights in the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy which it adopted in 2012 for use in the EU’s external relations.

In answer to Written Question E-000618/2013, the Commission stated that it was promoting corporate social responsibility and internationally recognised principles and guidelines by encouraging European businesses to carry out risk-based due diligence, including through their supply chains.

The Commission also indicated that some voluntary sustainability standards schemes entailed the monitoring of every link of supply chains.

In view of this and with reference to previous questions tabled by Members of the European Parliament on the subject:

By what practical means has the Commission promoted and monitored the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of European enterprises and their respect for internationally recognised principles and guidelines?

By what practical means will the Commission participate in the monitoring of every link of the supply chains of European businesses operating in third countries?

Will the Commission recommend more binding CSR requirements for European businesses operating on the internal market and in third countries?

Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2014)

The Commission refers to Question E-004553/2013 on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda. The Commission is currently seeking by means of public consultation stakeholders’ views about the impact of the 2011-2014 EU's CSR Strategy (247) and on the role it should play in the future. The Commission will publish a technical report on the results of the consultation and will draw on these results when preparing this year’s meeting of the CSR Multistakeholder Forum which will prepare the future direction of the Commission’s CSR policy post-2014.

In terms of promoting international guidelines and principles on CSR, the Commission has published guides on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for SMEs and for enterprises in three sectors. Further, CSR features more frequently on the agenda of political dialogues with third countries and recently concluded EU trade agreements refer to the promotion of CSR. The Commission also participates actively in the multistakeholder processes set up under the OECD (248) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including in the on-going work on textile and readymade garment supply chains.

The Commission is not in a position to monitor every link of the supply chains of European businesses operating abroad. However, the Commission is promotingresponsible sourcing of minerals originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. In the relevant Joint Communication (249) the Commission proposes to set up an EU system of self-certification that would require EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold and their ores who choose to join the system to exercise due diligence by monitoring and administering their purchases and sales in line with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

(Tekstas lietuvių kalba)

Klausimas, į kurį atsakoma raštu, Nr. P-005051/14

Komisijai

Juozas Imbrasas (EFD)

(2014 m. balandžio 17 d.)

Tema: ES ir (arba) EEE piliečiams taikomi žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų Lietuvoje įsigijimo apribojimai

Pagal Stojimo aktą Lietuvai buvo suteiktas septynerių metų pereinamasis laikotarpis, todėl iki 2011 m. gegužės 1 d. ES ir (arba) EEE piliečiams buvo galima taikyti žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų Lietuvoje įsigijimo apribojimus. Stojimo akte taip pat buvo numatyta galimybė pratęsti pereinamąjį laikotarpį ne ilgiau kaip trejiems metams. Pereinamasis laikotarpis Lietuvai buvo pratęstas. Pagal susitarimą Lietuvos žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų rinka turėtų būti liberalizuota 2014 m. gegužės 1 d. Dar kartą pratęsti pereinamojo laikotarpio pagal Stojimo aktą ir Sutartį dėl Europos Sąjungos veikimo (SESV) negalima. Taigi nuo nurodytos datos taikomos visos SESV nuostatos, o Lietuvos teisės aktai, susiję su žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų įsigijimu, turi būti suderinti su ES teise, visų pirma su laisvo kapitalo judėjimo ir atitinkamomis ES Teisingumo Teismo jurisprudencijos nuostatomis. Taigi nuo gegužės 1 d. Lietuva nebegalės taikyti draudimo užsieniečiams įsigyti žemės, nes baigiasi dešimties metų pereinamasis laikotarpis. Tokius įsipareigojimus Lietuva prisiėmė 2004 metais, tapdama Europos Sąjungos nare. Bet kokie žemės įsigijimo ribojimai neturi būti diskriminaciniai kitų ES piliečių atžvilgiu. Laisvas kapitalo judėjimas yra vienas iš kertinių ES principų. Tačiau paanalizavę vadinamuosius saugiklių įstatymus Čekijoje, Slovakijoje, Latvijoje, Estijoje ir Vengrijoje, matome sprendimus, dėl kurių, statistiniais duomenimis, šiose valstybėse užsieniečiams parduotos žemės kiekis siekia vos 0,5–1 proc.

Ar valstybė narė, šiuo atveju Lietuva, gali taikyti tam tikrus saugiklius savo nacionalinėje teisėje, kuriais būtų nustatyti apribojimai ES ir (arba) EEE piliečiams įsigyti žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų Lietuvoje?

M. Barnier atsakymas Komisijos vardu

(2014 m. gegužės 23 d.)

Pasibaigus Stojimo sutartimi suteiktam pereinamajam laikotarpiui, Lietuva iš esmės nebegali riboti galimybės įsigyti žemės ūkio paskirties žemės ir miškų dėl pilietybės, nes tai visų pirma prieštarautų pagrindiniam laisvo kapitalo judėjimo principui, išdėstytam Sutarties dėl Europos Sąjungos veikimo (SESV) 63 straipsnyje. Tačiau darant išimtį iš šio principo valstybės narės gali riboti žemės rinką priemonėmis, kurios pateisinamos arba SESV 65 straipsnio 1 dalyje nurodytomis priežastimis, tokiomis kaip viešoji tvarka ar visuomenės saugumas, arba privalomaisiais bendrojo intereso pagrindais, kaip pripažino Europos Sąjungos Teisingumo Teismas. Teismas pripažino, kad žemės ūkio paskirties žemės pobūdis yra specifinis, ir pritarė keliems viešosios tvarkos tikslams, kuriais galėtų būti pateisinami tarpvalstybinių investicijų į žemės ūkio paskirties žemę apribojimai. Tai yra žemės valdų dydžio didinimas, kad jos galėtų būti išnaudojamos ekonominiu pagrindu, kelio užkirtimas spekuliavimui žeme, žemės ūkio bendruomenių išsaugojimas, žemės nuosavybės paskirstymo išlaikymas, sudarantis galimybes plėtoti perspektyvius ūkius, skatinimas protingai naudoti žemę kovojant su spaudimu žemės rinkoje, perspektyvaus žemės ūkio išlaikymas ir plėtojimas remiantis socialiniais ir žemės planavimo sumetimais. (250)

Atitinkamos nacionalinės priemonės turi būti tinkamos užtikrinti jomis siekiamo tikslo įgyvendinimą ir jomis neturi būti viršijama to, kas būtina jam pasiekti, t. y. jos turi atitikti proporcingumo principą.

Atitinkami nacionaliniai teisės aktai turi būti nagrinėjami kiekvienu konkrečiu atveju siekiant nustatyti, ar jie atitinka pirmiau minimus kriterijus.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-005051/14

to the Commission

Juozas Imbrasas (EFD)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land and forests in Lithuania by EU or EEA citizens

In the Act of Accession, Lithuania was granted a seven-year transitional period enabling it to restrict the acquisition of agricultural land and forests in Lithuania by EU or EEA citizens until 1 May 2011. The Act of Accession also provided for the possibility of extending that transitional period by three years at most. The transitional period for Lithuania was extended. In accordance with the agreement, the Lithuanian market for agricultural land and forests ought to be liberalised by 1 May 2014. Under the Act of Accession and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the transitional period cannot be extended further. As from 1 May 2014, accordingly, all TFEU provisions apply and Lithuanian legislation on the acquisition of agricultural land and forests must be brought into line with EC law, in particular the provisions on the free movement of capital and the relevant European Court of Justice case law. From 1 May onwards, as the 10-year transitional period will have expired, Lithuania can no longer prohibit non-nationals from acquiring land. That is an obligation which Lithuania entered into in 2004 when it became a member of the EU. Restrictions of any kind on the acquisition of land may not be discriminatory vis-à-vis citizens of other EU Member States. The free movement of capital is one of the EU's fundamental principles. An analysis of what are termed ‘protective laws’ in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia and Hungary makes it clear, however, that decisions have been taken as a result of which, according to statistics, barely 0.5-1.0% of land in those countries has been sold to non-nationals.

Can a Member State — Lithuania in this instance — provide for safeguards in its national law in order to restrict the acquisition of agricultural land and forests in Lithuania by EU or EEA citizens?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2014)

After the expiry of the transitional period granted by the Accession Treaty Lithuania can as a rule no longer restrict the acquisition of agricultural land and forests on grounds of nationality, as this would in particular be contrary to the fundamental principle of free movement of capital set out in Article 63 of the Treaty on functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, as an exception to that principle, Member States may restrict the land market by measures which are justified either by reasons referred to in Article 65(1) TFEU, such as public policy or public security, or by overriding reasons in the general interest, as recognised by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Court has recognised the specific nature of agricultural land and has accepted a number of public policy objectives that could justify restrictions on cross-border investment in agricultural land. They include: increasing the size of land holdings, so that they can be exploited on an economic basis; preventing land speculation; preserving agricultural communities; maintaining a distribution of land ownership which allows the development of viable farms; encouraging a reasonable use of the available land by resisting pressure on land; sustaining and developing viable agriculture on the basis of social and land planning considerations. (251)

In particular, the relevant national measures must be suitable for securing the objective which they pursue and not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain it, so as to accord with the principle of proportionality.

The relevant national legislation has to be examined on a case by case basis to determine whether it fulfils the abovementioned criteria.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005052/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Traffikar tal-bnedmin

Sena ilu — fil-15 ta' April 2013, għall-preċiżjoni — il-Kummissjoni ppubblikat l-ewwel rapport fuq livell tal-UE dwar l-istatistiki dwar it-traffikar tal-bnedmin, bid-data fornuta għas-snin 2008, 2009 u 2010 mill-pajjiżi li kienu jiffurmaw is-27 Stat Membru, il-Kroazja u kandidati oħra tal-UE u l-Assoċjazzjoni Ewropea tal-Kummerċ Ħieles/il-pajjiżi taż-Żona Ekonomika Ewropea.

Mir-rapport irriżulta li fil-pajjiżi li pprovdew id-data għas-snin li jkopri r-rapport, in-numru ta' kundanni għat-traffikar tal-bnedmin naqas bi 13 % bejn l-2008 u l-2010.

B'dan f'moħħna, il-Kummissjoni tista' tispjega x'inizjattivi ttieħdu fl-aħħar sena sabiex jippromwovu rata ogħla ta' kundanna għat-traffikanti? Barra minn hekk, inġabret aktar data fir-rigward tat-traffikar tal-bnedmin fir-reġjun tal-Ewropa?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Malmström f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(18 ta' Ġunju 2014)

L-indirizzar tat-traffikar tal-bnedmin hija prijorità għall-Unjoni Ewropea u ż-żieda fil-kooperazzjoni fl-infurzar tal-liġi kienet essenzjali għar-rispons għal dan il-fenomenu. Fid-dawl tal-Valutazzjoni tat-Theddida mill-Kriminalità Serja u Organizzata tal-Europol 2013 (252), it-traffikar fil-bnedmin ġie approvat bħala wieħed mid-disa' prijoritajiet taċ-Ċiklu ta' Politika ġdid biex tiġi miġġielda l-kriminalità serja u organizzata.

F'dan il-qafas, l-Istati Membri qablu fuq miri strateġiċi li jiffurmaw il-bażi għall-ħidma operattiva tal-awtoritajiet ta' infurzar tal-liġi li se jsir fl-2014-2017 bl-għajnuna ta' Europol. Sabiex jiżdiedu n-numru ta' prosekuzzjonijiet u titjieb il-kooperazzjoni ġudizzjarja bejn l-Istati Membri, Eurojust ippreżenta Pjan ta' Azzjoni li jkopri l-perjodu 2012-2016 bħala parti mir-rapport finali dwar “Strategic Project on Eurojust Action against Trafficking in Human Beings” (253). Ġew iffinanzjati diversi proġetti kontra t-traffikar taħt numru ta' strumenti finanzjarji tal-UE b'miri li jinkludu t-tisħiħ tal-kapaċitajiet tal-protagonisti ewlenin fil-ġustizzja kriminali u l-kooperazzjoni fl-infurzar tal-liġi ma' pajjiżi terzi jew pajjiżi ta' tranżitu.

Il-leġiżlazzjoni tal-UE (254) għandha approċċ komprensiv u, fost aspetti ta' prevenzjoni oħra, titlob illi l-Istati Membri jikkunsidraw miżuri għall-kriminalizzazzjoni tal-użu ta' servizzi meta jkun magħruf li l-persuna hija vittma tat-traffikar. Il-Kummissjoni Ewropea se tagħti rapport lill-Parlament Ewropew u lill-Kunsill sal-2016, fejn tevalwa l-impatt ta' liġi nazzjonali eżistenti fuq il-kriminalizzazzjoni tal-utenti tal-vittmi tat-traffikar, akkumpanjat, fejn meħtieġ, bi proposti xierqa.

Il-Eurostat huwa attwalment fil-proċess ta' ġbir ta' dejta/statistiċi għas-snin 2010-2012. It-tieni rapport għandu jiġi ppubblikat fil-ħarifa tal-2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005052/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Trafficking in human beings

A year ago — on 15 April 2013, to be precise — the Commission published the first EU-level report on statistics on trafficking in human beings, with data being provided for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 from the then 27 Member States, Croatia and other EU candidate and European Free Trade Association/European Economic Area countries.

The report found that in the countries providing data for the years under review, the number of convictions for trafficking in human beings decreased by 13% between 2008 and 2010.

With this in mind, can the Commission explain what initiatives have been undertaken in the past year to push for an increased rate of conviction for traffickers? Furthermore, has any other data been collected with regard to trafficking in human beings in the European region?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(18 June 2014)

Addressing trafficking in human beings is a priority for the European Union and increased cooperation on law enforcement has proved essential for responding to this phenomenon. In the light of Europol’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2013 (255), trafficking in human beings has been endorsed as one of the nine priorities of the new Policy Cycle to fight serious and organised crime.

In this framework, Member States agreed on strategic goals forming the basis for the operational work of law enforcement authorities to be carried in 2014-2017 with support of Europol. With a view to increasing the number of prosecutions and enhancing judicial cooperation between the Member States, Eurojust presented an Action Plan covering 2012-2016 as part of the final report on the ‘Strategic Project on Eurojust Action against Trafficking in Human Beings’ (256). Several anti-trafficking projects are funded under a number of EU financial instruments with goals including building capacity of criminal justice actors and law enforcement cooperation with third countries or countries of transit.

EU legislation (257) takes a comprehensive approach and, among other preventive aspects, requires Member States to consider measures for criminalising the use of services with the knowledge that the person is a victim of trafficking. The European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council by 2016, assessing the impact of existing national law on criminalisation of users of victims of trafficking, accompanied, if necessary, but appropriate proposals.

Eurostat is currently in the process of gathering data/statistics for the years 2010-2012. The second report should be published in autumn 2014.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005053/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Traffikar ta' organiżmi salvaġġi

Fl-10 ta' April 2014, esperti minn madwar id-dinja ltaqgħu fi Brussell biex jiddiskutu kif l-UE tista' tiġġieled aħjar it-traffikar tal-organżmi salvaġġi. Il-konferenza mmarkat tmiem il-konsultazzjoni pubblika li kienet tnediet fis-7 ta' Frar 2014 b'komunikazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni dwar “l-Approċċ tal-UE kontra t-traffikar ta' Organiżmi Salvaġġi” (COM(2014)0064).

Tista' l-Kummissjoni tipprovdi informazzjoni dwar ir-riżultati tal-konsultazzjoni pubblika? Xi rwol li kellhom l-organizzazzjonijiet mhux governattivi u membri oħra tas-soċjetà ċivili fil-fażi ta' konsultazzjoni?

X'inhuma l-miri futuri tal-Kummissjoni bħala riżultat tal-konsultazzjoni u x'inhi t-triq 'l quddiem? Il-Kummissjoni għandha l-ħsieb li tiżviluppa pjan ta' azzjoni tal-UE kontra t-traffikar tal-organiżmi salvaġġi, kif talab il-Parlament? Jekk iva, x'se jkunu l-pilastri ewlenin ta' dan il-pjan ta' azzjoni?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Potočnik f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(3 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Taqsira tal-Kummissjoni tar-riżultat tal-konferenza kif ukoll il-kontribuzzjonijiet kollha jinsabu onlajn fuq http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/trafficking_en.htm.

L-organizzazzjonijiet mhux governattivi u l-assoċjazzjonijiet tan-negozju, kif ukoll iċ-ċittadini individwali, ipprovdew għadd sinifikanti ta’ kontribuzzjonijiet għall-konsultazzjoni b'bosta suġġerimenti siewja.

Il-Kummissjoni hija impenjata li ssegwi l-proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni u bħalissa qiegħda tanalizza t-tweġibiet fid-dettall. Abbażi tar-riżultat ta’ din l-analiżi, se jitressqu ideat għal azzjoni futura kif xieraq.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005053/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Wildlife trafficking

On 10 April 2014, experts from around the world met in Brussels to discuss how the EU can better fight wildlife trafficking. The conference marked the end of a public consultation which had been launched on 7 February 2014 with a Commission communication on ‘the EU Approach against Wildlife Trafficking’ (COM(2014)0064).

Can the Commission provide information as to the outcomes of the public consultation? What role did non-governmental organisations and other members of civil society play in the consultation phase?

What are the Commission’s future targets as a result of the consultation and what is the way forward? Does the Commission intend to develop an EU action plan against wildlife trafficking, as called for by Parliament? If so, what would be the main pillars of such an action plan?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2014)

A Commission summary of the outcome of the conference as well as all contributions can be found online at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/trafficking_en.htm

Non-governmental organisations and business associations as well as individual citizens provided a significant number of contributions to the consultation with many valuable suggestions.

The Commission is committed to follow up on the consultation process and is currently in the process of analysing the replies in detail. Based on the outcome of this analysis, ideas for future action will be put forward as appropriate.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005054/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Xogħol mhux iddikjarat

Skont l-aħħar stħarriġ tal-Ewrobarometru, 4 % ta' dawk li wieġbu ammettew li għamlu xogħol mhux iddikjarat, b'varjazzjonijiet jeżistu bejn Stati Membri differenti. L-ogħla rati ġew irrappurtati fil-Latvja, il-Pajjiżi l-Baxxi u l-Estonja (11 % f'kull pajjiż), u l-anqas f'Malta (1 %), l-Irlanda, l-Italja, Ċipru, il-Portugall u l-Ġermanja (2 % f'kull pajjiż).

Filwaqt li huwa rikonoxxut li l-Istati Membri jiddefinixxu xogħol mhux iddikjarat b'mod differenti, ma hemm l-ebda dubju li l-UE tista' tgħin biex tappoġġjahom fil-ġlieda tagħhom kontra dan il-fenomenu. Tista' l-Kummissjoni tindika jekk ħaditx xi inizjattivi, bħal kampanji ta' sensibilizzazzjoni, fil-passat biex tgħin lill-Istati Membri jiġġieldu x-xogħol mhux iddikjarat u tindika l-konsegwenzi tagħhom għaċ-ċittadini tal-UE? Barra minn hekk, il-Kummissjoni toffri xi għoddod li jistgħu jibbenefikaw minnhom f'kollaborazjoni l-Istati Membri biex jiġġieldu x-xogħol mhux iddikjarat?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Andor f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(4 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Fid-9 ta' April 2014, il-Kummissjoni ressqet proposta (258) biex twaqqaf Pjattaforma Ewropea sabiex ittejjeb il-kooperazzjoni bejn l-Istati Membri fuq il-livell tal-UE fil-ġlieda kontra x-xogħol mhux iddikjarat. Din il-Pjattaforma se tlaqqa' flimkien il-korpi ta' infurzar tal-Istati Membri, bħall-ispettorati tax-xogħol u l-awtoritajiet dwar is-sigurtà soċjali, it-taxxa u l-migrazzjoni. Il-Pjattaforma se tikkontribwixxi għall-infurzar aħjar tal-liġijiet tal-UE u tal-liġijiet nazzjonali, kif ukoll għall-ħolqien ta' impjiegi formali. Din se tippromwovi kundizzjonijiet tax-xogħol ta' kwalità, l-integrazzjoni fis-suq tax-xogħol, u l-inklużjoni soċjali.

Il-Pjattaforma għandha l-għan li ttejjeb il-kooperazzjoni bejn id-diversi awtoritajiet ta' infurzar tal-Istati Membri, li żżid il-kapaċità tagħhom biex jindirizzaw aspetti transfruntiera tax-xogħol mhux iddikjarat, u li tkattar l-kuxjenza pubblika dwar il-ħtieġa urġenti li tittieħed azzjoni biex dan il-fenomenu jiġi indirizzat. Biex tikseb dawn l-għanijiet, il-Pjattaforma se tiskambja l-aqwa prassi u informazzjoni, tiżviluppa għarfien espert u analiżi, u tikkoordina azzjonijiet operattivi transfruntiera.

Fost il-kompiti elenkati fil-Proposta hemm attivitajiet bħal Kampanji Ewropej għat-tqajjim tal-kuxjenza dwar il-problema, u l-ħolqien ta' għodda li jgħinu lill-Istati Membri jindirizzaw il-fenomenu b'mod iktar effiċjenti, kif ġie indikat b'mod speċifiku mill-Membru Onorevoli.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005054/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Undeclared work

According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, 4% of respondents admitted that they had performed undeclared work, with variations existing between different Member States. The highest rates were reported in Latvia, The Netherlands and Estonia (11% in each), and the lowest in Malta (1%), Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal and Germany (2% in each).

While it is recognised that Member States define undeclared work differently, there is no doubt that the EU can help support them in their fight against this phenomenon. Can the Commission indicate whether it has undertaken any initiatives, such as awareness campaigns, in the past to help Member States fight undeclared work and point out its consequences to EU citizens? Furthermore, does the Commission offer any tools from which Member States can benefit in collaborating to fight undeclared work?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

On 9 April 2014 the Commission put forward a proposal (259) to establish a European Platform to improve cooperation at EU level between the Member States in tackling undeclared work more effectively. It will bring together Member State enforcement bodies such as the labour inspectorates and the social security, tax and migration authorities. The Platform will contribute to better enforcement of EU and national law and to the creation of formal jobs. It will promote quality working conditions and integration in the labour market and social inclusion.

The Platform aims at improving cooperation between Member States' different enforcement authorities, increasing their technical capacity to tackle cross-border aspects of undeclared work and increasing public awareness of the urgency on the action to tackle the phenomenon. To achieve these objectives, the Platform would exchange best practices and information, develop expertise and analysis and coordinate cross-border operational actions.

Activities, such as carrying out European Campaigns to increase awareness of the problem and establishment of tools to help Member States to tackle the phenomenon more efficiently, as especially pointed out by the Honourable Member, are amongst the tasks listed in the proposal.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005055/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Sigurtà fl-ivvjaġġar bl-ajru

Fl-10 ta' April 2014, il-Kummissjoni nediet għodda onlajn biex wieħed ifittex il-“lista ta' linji tal-ajru pprojbiti mill-UE”, li hija lista ta' linji tal-ajru li huma soġġetti għal projbizzjoni fuq l-operat jew restrizzjonijiet operattivi fi ħdan l-UE.

Il-Kummissjoni għandha l-intenzjoni li tagħmel rieżami u/jew tirrevedi r-regolamenti tal-UE u l-politiki fir-rigward tas-sigurtà fl-ivjaġġar bl-ajru u standards tas-sikurezza tal-avjazzjoni fid-dawl tal-inċidenti tal-ajru u l-investigazzjonijiet reċenti? Il-Kummissjoni kif qed tissorvelja din is-sitwazzjoni?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Kallas f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(4 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni tista' tikkonferma l-informazzjoni dwar l-għodda onlajn marbuta mar-Regolament (UE) 2111/2005 (260).

Il-Kummissjoni timmonitorja b'mod regolari l-iżviluppi fl-Ewropa kif ukoll fid-dinja kollha fir-rigward tas-sikurezza u s-sigurtà tal-avjazzjoni, u tipproponi modifiki fir-regoli Ewropej fejn meħtieġ, jiġifieri meta analiżi komprensiva turi li tali modifiki huma meħtieġa għat-tisħiħ tas-sikurezza u s-sigurtà tal-avjazzjoni fl-Ewropa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005055/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Air travel security

On 10 April 2014, the Commission launched an online tool to search ‘the EU air safety list’, which is a list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the EU.

Does the Commission intend to review and/or revise EU regulations and policies regarding air travel security and aviation safety standards in view of recent aviation accidents and investigations? How is the Commission monitoring this situation?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(4 June 2014)

The Commission can confirm the information on the online tool which is linked to Regulation (EU) 2111/2005 (261).

The Commission regularly monitors developments in Europe as well as worldwide in relation to both aviation safety and aviation security, and proposes modifications of European rules, where necessary, i.e. when a thorough analysis shows that such modifications are necessary to enhance aviation safety and aviation security in Europe.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005056/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Korruzzjoni u frodi

Fl-ittra tagħha tal-10 ta' April 2014 lill-Kummissjoni, il-Qorti Ewropea tal-Awdituri kkritikat ir-rapport tal-Kummissjoni kontra l-korruzzjoni bħala rapport li huwa “overly descriptive, offering little analysis and no substantive findings, relying instead on the results of corruption perception polls, whose usefulness is limited.” (deskrittiv iżżejjed, joffri ftit analiżi u l-ebda riżultati sostantivi, filwaqt li joqgħod fuq ir-riżultati ta' stħarriġ dwar il-perċezzjoni tal-korruzzjoni, li l-utilizzazzjoni tiegħu hija limitata.)

X'inhi r-reazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni għal dawn il-kummenti? Il-Kummissjoni ltaqgħet ma' xi ostakoli fil-preparazzjoni tar-rapport, b'hekk fixklu l-analiżi tagħha? Il-Kummissjoni kif fi ħsiebha timxi 'l quddiem f'dan ir-rigward?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Malmström f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(6 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Il-Kummissjoni tilqa' rispons mill-Qorti Ewropea tal-Awdituri dwar l-ewwel Rapport tal-UE Kontra l-Korruzzjoni (Anti-Corruption Report, ACR), inkluż ir-rikonoxximent tar-rapport bħala “kontribut sostantiv”. Ir-rispons huwa ta' valur għax-xogħol ta' segwitu u l-edizzjonijiet futuri tal-ACR.

Rigward id-dipendenza fuq l-istħarriġ dwar il-perċezzjoni, l-ACR jislet minn varjetà wiesgħa ta' sorsi inkluż stħarriġ tal-Ewrobarometru taċ-ċittadini u n-negozjanti, b'mistoqsijiet dwar esperjenza u perċezzjoni tal-korruzzjoni. Aħna nieħdu l-korruzzjoni perċepita b'mod serju, peress li ddgħajjef il-fiduċja f'istituzzjonijiet u swieq.

Sa fejn hi kkonċernata l-profondità tal-analiżi, ir-rapport jibni fuq rieżaminazzjonijiet eżistenti mill-Grupp ta' Stati kontra l-Korruzzjoni tal-Kunsill tal-Ewropa (GRECO), l-OECD, in-Nazzjonijiet Uniti u oħrajn. Il-Kummissjoni se tkompli tevita d-duplikazzjoni tax-xogħol ta' tiftix tal-fatti, filwaqt li ttenni l-messaġġi tal-politika neċessarji lill-Istati Membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005056/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Corruption and fraud

In its letter of 10 April 2014 to the Commission, the European Court of Auditors criticised the Commission’s anti-corruption report as being ‘overly descriptive, offering little analysis and no substantive findings, relying instead on the results of corruption perception polls, whose usefulness is limited.’

What is the Commission’s reaction to these comments? Did the Commission encounter any obstacles in its preparation of the report, thereby hindering its analysis? How does the Commission intend to move forward in the matter?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(6 June 2014)

The Commission welcomes feedback from the European Court of Auditors on the first EU Anti-Corruption Report (ACR), including recognition of the report as a ‘substantive contribution’. Feedback is valuable for follow-up work and future editions of the ACR.

Regarding reliance on perception polls, the ACR draws on a wide variety of sources including Eurobarometer surveys of citizens and businesspeople, with questions about experience and perception of corruption. We take perceived corruption seriously, as it undermines trust in institutions and markets.

As far as the depth of analysis is concerned, the report builds on existing reviews by the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the OECD, the United Nations and others. The Commission will continue to avoid duplication of fact-finding work, while reiterating the necessary policy messages to Member States.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005057/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Drittijiet tat-tfal

Fl-10 ta' April 2014, il-Kummissjoni tat bidu għal konsultazzjoni pubblika dwar sistemi ta' protezzjoni tat-tfal biex tiġbor tagħrif sabiex l-UE tkun tista', sa tmiem din is-sena, tagħti linji gwida lill-Istati Membri f'dan il-qasam.

Sadattant, liema miżuri ġew stabbiliti biex il-protezzjoni mill-vjolenza kontra dawk l-iktar vulnerabbli tissaħħaħ? Se jkun hemm djalogu mat-tfal matul il-fażi ta' konsultazzjoni? Il-Kummissjoni kif taħseb li se tagħti segwitu għal-linji gwida lill-Istati Membri ladarba l-fażi ta' konsultazzjoni tkun ġiet konkluża?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sinjura Reding f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(10 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Fil-kompetenzi tagħha, il-Kummissjoni hija impenjata bis-sħiħ għall-protezzjoni tat-tfal u ż-żgħażagħ kontra kull forma ta' vjolenza. Il-komunikazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni “Aġenda tal-UE dwar id-Drittijiet tat-Tfal” (262) adottata fl-2011 tiffoka fuq numru ta' azzjonijiet konkreti f'oqsma fejn l-UE tista' twassal valur miżjud reali, bħall-ġustizzja li tiffavorixxi t-tfal, il-protezzjoni tat-tfal f'sitwazzjonijiet vulnerabbli u l-ġlieda kontra l-vjolenza kontra t-tfal kemm ġewwa l-Unjoni Ewropea kif ukoll esternament.

Apparti mil-leġiżlazzjoni tal-UE li timmira biex tipproteġi t-tfal u tippromwovi l-bżonn ta' kollaborazzjoni fost atturi differenti u madwar is-setturi, il-Kummissjoni timmira li tappoġġa l-awtoritajiet nazzjonali fit-twassil ta' servizzi effettivi u effiċjenti kif definit fir-Rakkomandazzjoni tagħha “Investiment fit-tfal: Inkissru ċ-ċiklu tal-iżvantaġġ” (263).

Il-konsultazzjoni pubblika msemmija mill-Onorevoli Membru hija mmirata primarjament għall-adulti u entitajiet li għandhom rwol fil-protezzjoni tat-tfal. L-Istati Membri se jiġu infurmati bir-riżultat ta' dan il-proċess permezz ta' kanali varji, wieħed minnhom ikun il-laqgħat tal-grupp espert tal-Istat Membru dwar id-drittijiet tat-tfal.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005057/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Rights of the child

On 10 April 2014, the Commission launched a public consultation on child protection systems to gather input so that the EU can, by the end of this year, issue guidance to Member States in this field.

In the meantime, what measures are in place to advocate the protection of the most vulnerable from violence? Will there be a dialogue with children during the consultation phase? How does the Commission intend to follow up on its guidance to Member States once the consultation phase has been concluded?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(10 June 2014)

Within its competences, the Commission is strongly committed to the protection of children and young people against all forms of violence. The Commission communication ‘EU Agenda on the Rights of the Child’ (264) adopted in 2011 focuses on a number of concrete actions in areas where the EU can bring real added value, such as child-friendly justice, protecting children in vulnerable situations and fighting violence against children both inside the European Union and externally.

Aside from EU legislation that aims to protect children and to promote the need for stronger collaboration among different actors and across sectors, the Commission aims to support national authorities in delivering effective and efficient services as outlined in its Recommendation ‘Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage’ (265).

The public consultation referred to by the Honourable Member is targeted primarily at adults and entities that have a role in the protection of children. Member States will be informed of the outcome of this process through various channels, one of them being the meetings of the Member State expert group on the rights of the child.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-005058/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 ta' April 2014)

Suġġett: Il-Fondi Strutturali u l-Fond ta' Koeżjoni għall-perjodu 2014-2020

Il-Fondi Strutturali u l-Fond ta' Koeżjoni huma għodda ewlenija biex jitnaqqsu d-distakki fl-iżvilupp li jeżistu bejn ir-reġjuni u l-Istati Membri. Għalhekk, il-fondi għandhom rwol importanti fl-insegwiment tal-objettiv tal-koeżjoni ekonomika, soċjali u territorjali. Malta ssottomettiet il-Ftehim ta' Sħubija tagħha lill-Kummissjoni u tinsab fil-proċess li tiffinalizzah sabiex tkun tista' tibbenefika mill-fondi.

Il-Kummissjoni hija f'pożizzjoni li tiddikjara, f'dan ir-rigward, meta l-Ftehim ta' Sħubija u l-programmi operattivi ta' Malta huma mistennija jiġu approvati?

Tweġiba mogħtija mis-Sur Hahn f'isem il-Kummissjoni

(16 ta' Ġunju 2014)

Id-dokumenti ta’ programmar 2014-2020 għall-finanzjament mill-Fondi Ewropej Strutturali u ta' Investiment (ESI) bħalissa qed jiġu ppreparati mill-awtoritajiet Maltin. Il-Ftehim ta’ Sħubija ta’ Malta ġie trażmess fl-1 ta’ April 2014 u bħalissa qed jiġi evalwat mill-Kummissjoni. Skont ir-Regolament tal-UE tal-Parlament Ewropew u tal-Kunsill Nru 1303/2013, il-Kummissjoni għandha tliet xhur sabiex tivvaluta l-koerenza tal-ftehim ta’ sħubija mar-Regolament, u sabiex tikkummenta fejn ikun hemm bżonn. Il-Kummissjoni għandha mbagħad tadotta l-ftehim ta’ sħubija mhux aktar tard minn erba’ xhur wara d-data ta’ sottomissjoni, dejjem jekk il-kummenti tagħha jkunu ġew ikkunsidrati b'mod adegwat. Skont ir-Regolament, Malta se jkollha wkoll tissottometti l-programmi operattivi tagħha lill-Kummissjoni fi żmien tliet xhur mis-sottomissjoni tal-Ftehim ta’ Sħubija.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005058/14

to the Commission

Roberta Metsola (PPE)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund for the 2014-2020 period

The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are a key tool in narrowing the development disparities that exist between regions and Member States. Therefore, the funds play an important role in pursuing the goal of economic, social and territorial cohesion. Malta has submitted its Partnership Agreement to the Commission and is in the process of finalising it in order to be able to benefit from the funds.

Is the Commission in a position to state, in this connection, when Malta’s Partnership Agreement and operational programmes are expected to be approved?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(16 June 2014)

The 2014-2020 programming documents for financing from the European Structural and Investments (ESI) Funds are currently being prepared by the Maltese authorities. The partnership agreement of Malta was transmitted on 1 of April 2014 and is currently being assessed by the Commission. According to EU Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council n°1303/2013, the Commission has three months to assess the consistency of the partnership agreement with the regulation and make observations, if necessary. The Commission should then adopt the partnership agreement no later than four months after the date of submission provided that its observations have been adequately taken into account. According to the regulation, Malta will also have to submit its operational programmes to the Commission within three months of the submission of the partnership agreement.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-005060/14

à la Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(17 avril 2014)

Objet: OGM et Commission

Alors que 75 % des Européens restent fermement opposés à l'utilisation d'OGM dans l'agriculture, les grandes entreprises semencières utilisent tous les arguments pour tordre le bras des pays européens et du Parlement européen et parvenir à leurs fins: vendre des semences transgéniques.

Le 11 février 2014, un nombre record de 19 États de l'Union européenne sur 28 se sont prononcés contre l'autorisation du maïs OGM TC1507 de Pioneer, sans parvenir toutefois à atteindre une majorité qualifiée qui aurait débouché sur une interdiction pure et simple. Malgré ce signal fort, la balle retourne dans le camp de la Commission, qui doit trancher et qui ne cache pas ses intentions d'ouvrir les champs européens aux OGM.

Parallèlement à cette tentative de passage en force pour l'acceptation d'une variété de maïs OGM, la Commission tente de sortir en catimini de l'impasse dans laquelle elle se trouve depuis décembre 2008. C'est en effet à cette date que les États membres ont demandé que les évaluations des OGM prennent mieux en compte les aspects environnementaux et intègrent les impacts socio-économiques. La Commission n'a pas donné mission à l'AESA pour intégrer ces nouveaux aspects fondamentaux dans une véritable évaluation. Toute nouvelle législation européenne doit impérativement respecter cette demande unanime des pays. Tonio Borg, commissaire à la santé, tente, en plein dans la période des élections européennes, d'imposer un accord au Conseil qui permettra aux multinationales des OGM d'assouplir les procédures d'homologations au niveau européen, tout en leur proposant de négocier avec chaque pays le droit de cultiver des OGM.

La Commission peut-elle s'expliquer sur ce tour de passe-passe?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(6 juin 2014)

La Commission vous renvoie aux réponses qu'elle a données aux questions écrites E‐3096/2014 (266) et E-1589/2014 (267).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-005060/14

to the Commission

Marc Tarabella (S&D)

(17 April 2014)

Subject: GMO and the Commission

Although 75% of Europeans remain firmly opposed to the use of GMO in agriculture, the major seed companies deploy all kinds of arguments to twist the arm of European countries and the European Parliament and achieve their aim of selling transgenic seeds.

On 11 February 2014, a record number of 19 out of the 28 countries of the European Union came out against approving Pioneer’s GMO maize TC1507, but fell short of the qualified majority which would have led to an outright ban. Despite this strong signal, the ball is back in the court of the Commission to take a decision and it makes no secret of its intention to open the fields of Europe to GMO.

As well as trying to force acceptance of a variety of GMO maize, the Commission is trying to extricate itself from the impasse in which it has been since December 2008. That was when the Member States demanded that GMO evaluations take greater account of the environmental aspects and include the socioeconomic impacts. The Commission did not set AESA the task of integrating these fundamental new aspects into a proper evaluation. All new European legislation is obliged to respect this unanimous demand from the countries. Tonio Borg, the Commissioner for Health, is attempting, right in the middle of the European election period, to impose an agreement on the Council which will allow GMO multinationals to relax the approval procedures at a European level, while offering them the chance to negotiate with each country the right to grow GMO.

Can th