ISSN 1977-1010

Jornal Oficial

da União Europeia

C 320

European flag  

Edição em língua portuguesa

Comunicações e Informações

57.° ano
17 de setembro de 2014


Número de informação

Índice

Página

 

IV   Informações

 

INFORMAÇÕES ORIUNDAS DAS INSTITUIÇÕES, ÓRGÃOS E ORGANISMOS DA UNIÃO EUROPEIA

 

Parlamento Europeu

 

PERGUNTAS ESCRITAS E SUA RESPOSTA

2014/C 320/01

Perguntas escritas apresentadas por deputados ao Parlamento Europeu e respetiva resposta dada por uma instituição da União Europeia

1


Nota ao leitor

A presente publicação contém perguntas escritas apresentadas por deputados ao Parlamento Europeu e a respetiva resposta dada por uma instituição da União Europeia.

Para cada pergunta e resposta é apresentada, antes de uma eventual tradução, a versão na língua original.

Por vezes, a resposta pode ser dada numa língua que não seja a da pergunta. Isto depende da língua de trabalho da comissão a quem é requerida a resposta.

Estas perguntas e respostas são publicadas nos termos dos artigos 117.o e 118.o do Regimento do Parlamento Europeu.

Todas as perguntas e respostas são acessíveis através do website do Parlamento Europeu (Europarl) na rubrica Perguntas parlamentares:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/pt/parliamentary-questions.html

SIGNIFICADO DAS SIGLAS DOS GRUPOS POLÍTICOS

PPE

Grupo do Partido Popular Europeu (Democratas-Cristãos)

S&D

Grupo da Aliança Progressista dos Socialistas e Democratas no Parlamento Europeu

ALDE

Grupo da Aliança dos Democratas e Liberais pela Europa

Verts/ALE

Grupo dos Verdes/Aliança Livre Europeia

ECR

Conservadores e Reformistas Europeus

GUE/NGL

Grupo Confederal da Esquerda Unitária Europeia/Esquerda Nórdica Verde

EFD

Europa da Liberdade e da Democracia

NI

Não Inscritos

PT

 


IV Informações

INFORMAÇÕES ORIUNDAS DAS INSTITUIÇÕES, ÓRGÃOS E ORGANISMOS DA UNIÃO EUROPEIA

Parlamento Europeu

PERGUNTAS ESCRITAS E SUA RESPOSTA

17.9.2014   

PT

Jornal Oficial da União Europeia

C 320/1


http://www.europarl.europa.eu/QP-WEB
PERGUNTAS ESCRITAS E SUA RESPOSTA

Perguntas escritas apresentadas por deputados ao Parlamento Europeu e respetiva resposta dada por uma instituição da União Europeia

(2014/C 320/01)

Índice

E-002273/14 by Josefa Andrés Barea to the Commission

Subject: Situation of the Ciudad de Cremona School in Valencia, Spain

Versión española 15
English version 16

E-002274/14 by Raül Romeva i Rueda and Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Prohibition on the commercial exploitation of the ICTINEU 3 submersible, of the firm ICTINEU Submarins S.L., financed with FEDER and EU Cohesion funds

Versión española 17
English version 18

E-002275/14 by Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo to the Commission

Subject: Spanish fishermen penalised for illegal fishing

Versión española 19
English version 20

E-002276/14 by Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo to the Commission

Subject: EU-Mozambique fisheries agreement

Versión española 21
English version 22

P-002277/14 by Esther Herranz García to the Commission

Subject: Imports of contaminated citrus fruit from South Africa

Versión española 23
English version 24

P-002291/14 by Pilar Ayuso to the Commission

Subject: Citrus black spot

Versión española 23
English version 24

E-002278/14 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Iran's nuclear programme

Versión española 25
English version 26

E-002279/14 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: Situation in Venezuela

Versión española 27
English version 28

E-002280/14 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Position of Catherine Ashton regarding United Nations Resolution 37/123

Versión española 29
English version 30

E-002281/14 by Thomas Ulmer to the Commission

Subject: Commission Recommendation of 24 September 2013 on the audits and assessments performed by notified bodies in the field of medical devices

Deutsche Fassung 31
English version 32

E-002282/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Uganda

Verżjoni Maltija 33
English version 34

E-002283/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Anti-corruption report

Verżjoni Maltija 35
English version 36

E-002284/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Repatriation agreements

Verżjoni Maltija 37
English version 38

E-002285/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Blood donations

Verżjoni Maltija 39
English version 40

E-002286/14 by Marlene Mizzi to the Commission

Subject: Burden of bureaucracy

Verżjoni Maltija 41
English version 42

E-002287/14 by Patrizia Toia to the Commission

Subject: Environmental situation in Villaggio Ambrosiano

Versione italiana 43
English version 44

E-002288/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: New methodology to assess the quality and origin of olive oil

Versione italiana 45
English version 46

E-002290/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: New discoveries in the field of nuclear fusion

Versione italiana 47
English version 48

P-002293/14 by Michael Theurer to the Commission

Subject: Draft Bulgarian law on the National Audit Office

Deutsche Fassung 49
English version 50

E-002294/14 by Angelika Werthmann to the Commission

Subject: Poverty, homelessness and a new property bubble

Deutsche Fassung 51
English version 52

E-002295/14 by Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă to the Commission

Subject: ‘Sponsorship’ for young people at the start of their careers

Versiunea în limba română 53
English version 54

E-002296/14 by Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Summary expulsion of immigrants to Morocco

Versión española 55
English version 56

E-002297/14 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Fresh bombing of Lebanon by Israel

Versión española 57
English version 58

E-002298/14 by Willy Meyer to the Commission

Subject: Inclusion of farm-gate prices as a measure to prevent unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

Versión española 59
English version 60

E-002299/14 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: Current impediments to habitual use in one EU country of cars registered in another EU country

Versión española 61
English version 62

E-002300/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Delays in implementing the integrated cross-border protection scheme for the Prespa Lakes

Ελληνική έκδοση 63
English version 64

E-002302/14 by Derek Vaughan to the Commission

Subject: Caravans

English version 65

E-002303/14 by Cristiana Muscardini to the Commission

Subject: Charter flights and passenger protection

Versione italiana 66
English version 67

E-002304/14 by Peter van Dalen to the Commission

Subject: Norwegian Air International

Nederlandse versie 68
English version 69

E-002305/14 by Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska to the Commission

Subject: Lack of translations from English to other official EU languages of key documents in the Erasmus+ section of the Commission's website

Wersja polska 70
English version 71

E-002306/14 by Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska and Bogusław Sonik to the Commission

Subject: The Commission's intentions relating to perinatal care as part of the Health for Growth programme 2014-2020

Wersja polska 72
English version 73

E-002307/14 by Fiorello Provera to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Iraqi security forces target insurgents' wives

Versione italiana 74
English version 75

E-002308/14 by Eva Ortiz Vilella and Pablo Arias Echeverría to the Commission

Subject: Introduction of the ‘Triman’ logo

Versión española 76
English version 77

E-002309/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells to the Commission

Subject: Renewable energies

Versión española 78
English version 79

E-002310/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells and Gesine Meissner to the Commission

Subject: Eurovignette and possible current distortions in the single market

Versión española 80
Deutsche Fassung 81
English version 82

E-002311/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells and Gesine Meissner to the Commission

Subject: Eurovignette as a means to consolidate public finance

Versión española 83
Deutsche Fassung 84
English version 85

E-002312/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells and Gesine Meissner to the Commission

Subject: Eurovignette transposition

Versión española 86
Deutsche Fassung 87
English version 88

E-002313/14 by Fiorello Provera to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Normalisation of ties between Israel and Turkey

Versione italiana 89
English version 90

E-002314/14 by Fiorello Provera to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Death of Arab-Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani Nejad

Versione italiana 91
English version 92

P-002316/14 by Lorenzo Fontana to the Commission

Subject: Switzerland's exclusion from the Erasmus+ programme

Versione italiana 93
English version 94

P-002317/14 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: Erasmus+ negotiations with Switzerland

Nederlandse versie 95
English version 96

E-002318/14 by Francisco Sosa Wagner to the Commission

Subject: Concern for the defence of human rights in Venezuela

Versión española 97
English version 98

E-002319/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Pollution from the abandoned Medet, Elshitza and Tzar Asen copper mines in the Sredna Gora Mountains, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 99
English version 101

E-002324/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Illegal operation of cyanide-leaching installation Kardjali, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 99
English version 101

E-002320/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Ambient air pollution in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 103
English version 104

E-002321/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Violation of EU legislation by adopting the EIA of the planned gold mine in Breznik, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 105
English version 106

E-002322/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Unregulated state aid from Bulgaria to Dundee Precious Metals, a Canadian-based mining company

Ελληνική έκδοση 107
English version 108

E-002323/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Plans for the Jessica-funded construction of a second rowing channel in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 109
English version 110

E-002325/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Inadequate fines for polluting installations in Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 111
English version 112

E-002326/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Dangerous and ageing waste depot in Pazardjik municipality, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 113
English version 114

E-002327/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Bulgaria's designation of a needed Natura 2000 zone in the Rila Mountains for the protection of the brown bear delayed seven years

Ελληνική έκδοση 115
English version 116

E-002328/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Commission investigation into forest land swap deals at Kom Peak, Perelik Peak and the Kamchia river mouth in Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 117
English version 118

E-002329/14 by Nikos Chrysogelos to the Commission

Subject: Waste depot in the village of Tzalapitza, Bulgaria

Ελληνική έκδοση 119
English version 120

E-002332/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Non-discrimination against women in neighbouring Mediterranean countries in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean

Version française 121
English version 122

E-002333/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Future of fishing in the Mediterranean

Version française 123
English version 124

E-002335/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Trade between the European Union and its neighbourhood

Version française 125
English version 126

E-002336/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Innovative technology, research and development in the context of the Horizon 2020 programme

Version française 127
English version 128

E-002337/14 by Franck Proust to the Council

Subject: Convergence of fiscal policies

Version française 129
English version 130

E-002338/14 by Franck Proust to the Council

Subject: Convergence of Member States' social policies

Version française 131
English version 132

E-002339/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Tax Convergence

Version française 133
English version 134

E-002340/14 by Franck Proust to the Commission

Subject: Social Convergence

Version française 135
English version 136

E-002341/14 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: Fatal cases of meningitis

Version française 137
English version 138

E-002342/14 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Killing of stray cats and dogs in the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi

Versione italiana 139
English version 140

E-002343/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Economic and political crisis in Ukraine: the EU's response

Versione italiana 141
English version 142

E-002344/14 by Ivo Belet to the Commission

Subject: ‘Billionhomes’

Nederlandse versie 143
English version 144

E-002345/14 by Hans-Peter Martin to the Commission

Subject: Highest and lowest flat-rate travel allowance

Deutsche Fassung 145
English version 146

E-002346/14 by Catherine Stihler to the Commission

Subject: Income ranges

English version 147

E-002347/14 by Daciana Octavia Sârbu to the Commission

Subject: Reformulation of foods

Versiunea în limba română 148
English version 149

E-002348/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Malnutrition in Pakistan: the hidden hunger

Versione italiana 150
English version 151

E-002349/14 by Matteo Salvini and Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Issues concerning workers in the road-haulage industry

Versione italiana 152
English version 154

E-002350/14 by Matteo Salvini and Mara Bizzotto to the Commission

Subject: Reduction of the powers of control of the Member States with regard to the posting of workers from one Member State to another

Versione italiana 156
English version 157

E-002351/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: New drug to treat non-valvular atrial fibrillation

Versione italiana 158
English version 159

E-002352/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Energy drinks and advertising material: what protection is there for the consumer? Potential breach of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Versione italiana 160
English version 161

E-002353/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: 2013, a black year for wind energy, with over 10 thousand jobs cut and numerous company failures

Versione italiana 162
English version 163

E-002354/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Financial markets, investments and attracting capital from outside the EU in exchange for residence permits

Versione italiana 164
English version 165

E-002355/14 by Oreste Rossi and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Internet neutrality in the light of new combinations of operators and new infrastructures

Versione italiana 166
English version 167

E-002356/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Applications of 3-D printers

Versione italiana 168
English version 169

E-002357/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Business confidence improving in Italy and Europe

Versione italiana 170
English version 171

E-002358/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Press freedom in Hong Kong

Versione italiana 172
English version 173

E-002359/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: New discovery on the properties of acetic acid in the treatment of tuberculosis (TBC)

Versione italiana 174
English version 175

E-002361/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Exploitation of underage prostitutes

Versione italiana 176
English version 177

E-002362/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Suspected irregularities in a tender procedure in Turkey

Versione italiana 178
English version 179

E-002363/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Global projection strategy of the Russian Federation and risks to European security

Versione italiana 180
English version 181

E-002364/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Instruments for combating forced marriages

Versione italiana 182
English version 183

E-002365/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Development of the tourism industry in Albania, and cooperation with the neighbouring regions

Versione italiana 184
English version 185

E-002366/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Transition in Ukraine and Soviet troop movements

Versione italiana 186
English version 187

P-002367/14 by Werner Langen to the Commission

Subject: Fuel element cladding at the Cattenom nuclear power plant

Deutsche Fassung 188
English version 189

P-002368/14 by Bart Staes to the Commission

Subject: Role of the Commission in the ongoing OECD/DAC discussions on the review of the ODA definition and criteria for ODA concessionality

Nederlandse versie 190
English version 191

P-002369/14 by Catherine Bearder to the Commission

Subject: Contract bonds

English version 192

P-002371/14 by Werner Langen to the Commission

Subject: Recycling and REACH

Deutsche Fassung 193
English version 194

E-002372/14 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Answer to the letter sent to the Commission with regard to the Castor Project

Versión española 195
English version 196

E-002383/14 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: Hydrangeas being used as drugs

Version française 197
English version 198

E-002384/14 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: Use of chabazite to combat green algae

Version française 199
English version 201

E-002385/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Accusations of threats to the freedom of the press and of opinion in Montenegro

Versione italiana 202
English version 203

E-002386/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus

Versione italiana 204
English version 205

E-002387/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Tax evasion by large multinationals

Versione italiana 206
English version 207

E-002388/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Protection of the final stretch of the River Fiora from flooding and environmental impact

Versione italiana 208
English version 209

E-002389/14 by Roberta Angelilli to the Commission

Subject: Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

Versione italiana 210
English version 211

E-002390/14 by Giommaria Uggias to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Request to check the existence of evidence in the case of the Italian seamen

Versione italiana 212
English version 213

E-002392/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: EU-Mercosur trade agreement

Versione italiana 214
English version 215

E-002393/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Cohousing

Versione italiana 216
English version 217

E-002394/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Crisis in Ukraine and its impact on relations between the EU and Moldova

Versione italiana 218
English version 219

E-002395/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Gender inequality in Saudi Arabia's labour market

Versione italiana 220
English version 221

E-002396/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: New methods of measuring blood pressure

Versione italiana 222
English version 223

E-002397/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Review of the Stockholm Programme

Versione italiana 224
English version 225

E-002398/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris and Oreste Rossi to the Commission

Subject: Request for EU research into natural anti-cancer drugs — update

Versione italiana 226
English version 227

E-002399/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used in the municipality of Altino

Versione italiana 228
English version 244

E-002400/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used in the municipality of Ari

Versione italiana 228
English version 244

E-002488/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: FP7 — Funds used by the municipality of Borrello

Versione italiana 228
English version 244

E-002489/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Framework Programme — Funds used by Bomba municipality

Versione italiana 229
English version 245

E-002562/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: FP7: funds used by the Municipality of Bucchianico

Versione italiana 229
English version 245

E-002563/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: FP7: funds used by the Municipality of Canosa Sannita

Versione italiana 230
English version 246

E-002618/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Carpineto Sinello

Versione italiana 230
English version 246

E-002619/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Casalincontrada

Versione italiana 230
English version 246

E-002805/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Castel Frentano

Versione italiana 231
English version 247

E-002806/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Civitaluparella

Versione italiana 231
English version 247

E-002807/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Civitella Messer Raimondo

Versione italiana 232
English version 248

E-002808/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Colledimezzo

Versione italiana 232
English version 248

E-002840/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Crecchio

Versione italiana 232
English version 248

E-002841/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Cupello

Versione italiana 233
English version 249

E-002905/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Filetto

Versione italiana 233
English version 249

E-002906/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Fara Filiorum Petri

Versione italiana 234
English version 250

E-003180/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Fossacesia

Versione italiana 234
English version 250

E-003181/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Fresagrandinaria

Versione italiana 234
English version 250

E-003182/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Gessopalena

Versione italiana 235
English version 251

E-003183/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Gissi

Versione italiana 235
English version 251

E-003329/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Liscia

Versione italiana 236
English version 252

E-003330/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Miglianico

Versione italiana 236
English version 252

E-003415/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Montazzoli

Versione italiana 236
English version 252

E-003416/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Montebello sul Sangro

Versione italiana 237
English version 253

E-003451/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Monteferrante

Versione italiana 237
English version 253

E-003452/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Montenerodomo

Versione italiana 238
English version 254

E-003550/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Monteodorisio

Versione italiana 238
English version 254

E-003551/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Mozzagrogna

Versione italiana 238
English version 254

E-003634/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Orsogna

Versione italiana 239
English version 255

E-003635/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Paglieta

Versione italiana 239
English version 255

E-003696/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Palmoli

Versione italiana 240
English version 256

E-003697/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Palombaro

Versione italiana 240
English version 256

E-003748/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Pennapiedimonte

Versione italiana 240
English version 256

E-003749/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Perano

Versione italiana 241
English version 257

E-003865/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Poggiofiorito

Versione italiana 241
English version 257

E-003866/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: Seventh Framework Programme — Funds used by the Municipality of Pollutri

Versione italiana 242
English version 258

E-003976/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: FP7 — Funds used by the municipality of Pretoro

Versione italiana 242
English version 258

E-003977/14 by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris to the Commission

Subject: FP7 — Funds used by the municipality of Rapino

Versione italiana 242
English version 258

E-002402/14 by Marisa Matias to the Commission

Subject: Contamination of the Ribeira da Pantanha stream (Nelas, Portugal) by industrial effluent discharges

Versão portuguesa 260
English version 261

E-002403/14 by Rareş-Lucian Niculescu to the Commission

Subject: Consequences of the referendum on restricting immigration into Switzerland

Versiunea în limba română 262
English version 263

E-002404/14 by Raül Romeva i Rueda to the Commission

Subject: Adoption of the Ebro Hydrological Plan

Versión española 264
English version 266

E-002572/14 by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Raimon Obiols, Raül Romeva i Rueda and Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández to the Commission

Subject: Water Framework Directive — Hydrological Plan for the Ebro river basin

Versión española 264
English version 266

E-002405/14 by Antonio López-Istúriz White to the Commission

Subject: Current situation with respect to telephone roaming and the possible abolition thereof in the European Union

Versión española 268
English version 269

E-002406/14 by Christel Schaldemose to the Commission

Subject: Gluten-free foodstuffs

Dansk udgave 270
English version 271

E-002407/14 by Ivo Belet, Alojz Peterle and Glenis Willmott to the Commission

Subject: Development and use of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) treatments by university hospitals

Nederlandse versie 272
English version 273

E-002408/14 by Gaston Franco to the Commission

Subject: ‘Bee friendly’ label — when will we have an EU label?

Version française 274
English version 275

E-002409/14 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: ‘Big ships’ in Venetian Lagoon: doubts concerning the Contorta-Sant'Angelo canal dredging project

Versione italiana 276
English version 278

E-002410/14 by Andrea Zanoni to the Commission

Subject: Presence of chromium in the water table under the disused Carnielli industrial estate at Vittorio Veneto (Treviso)

Versione italiana 280
English version 281

P-002411/14 by Paul Rübig to the Commission

Subject: Duplication in assessment of the sustainability of construction products

Deutsche Fassung 282
English version 283

P-002412/14 by Niki Tzavela to the Commission

Subject: Latest developments in Ukraine and their impact on the energy market

Ελληνική έκδοση 284
English version 285

E-002413/14 by Bendt Bendtsen to the Commission

Subject: Negotiations with Norway on its EEA contribution and Norwegian duties on agricultural products

Dansk udgave 286
English version 287

E-002414/14 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: GMOs within the US Free Trade Agreement

Deutsche Fassung 288
English version 289

E-002415/14 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: No right to reversal of incorrect entries resulting from B2B direct debit mandates

Deutsche Fassung 290
English version 291

E-002416/14 by Andreas Mölzer to the Commission

Subject: Right to water

Deutsche Fassung 292
English version 293

E-002419/14 by Sir Graham Watson to the Commission

Subject: Whale products

English version 294

E-002420/14 by Ivana Maletić to the Commission

Subject: Employment of Croatian citizens as contract staff

Hrvatska verzija 295
English version 296

E-002421/14 by Ivana Maletić to the Commission

Subject: VP/HR — Employment of Croatian citizens as contract staff

Hrvatska verzija 295
English version 296

E-002422/14 by Nikola Vuljanić to the Commission

Subject: Ecological disaster in Gorski Kotar

Hrvatska verzija 297
English version 299

E-002510/14 by Andrej Plenković to the Commission

Subject: Croatia and the European Solidarity Fund

Hrvatska verzija 297
English version 299

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002273/14

a la Comisión

Josefa Andrés Barea (S&D)

(26 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Situación del Colegio Ciudad de Cremona de Valencia (España)

La Generalitat Valenciana lleva siete años prometiendo a los padres de los alumnos del Colegio público Ciudad de Cremona un nuevo colegio, para que sus hijos dejen de dar clases en los barracones en los que ahora están metidos. Los sufridos padres de estos alumnos llevan una semana encerrados en el colegio porque resulta que ahora, para el curso próximo, no se aceptarán, además, nuevas inscripciones. El Gobierno valenciano les ha comunicado, a pesar de las alegaciones presentadas por el Consejo Escolar Municipal, la decisión de suprimir el curso de niños y niñas de 3 años, es decir, se cierra la entrada al colegio en el primer año de escolaridad, por lo que es el cierre anunciado de todo el colegio en los próximos años.

El BEI concedió un crédito a la Generalitat Valenciana para el llamado proyecto Crea Scola, de 1 600 millones de euros, precisamente para la construcción del colegio, pero el proyecto no se ha llevado a cabo por el momento y la situación sigue empeorando; a pesar de que la Generalitat sí recibió este dinero del BEI.

El próximo año, muchos padres no podrán llevar a todos sus hijos al Colegio Ciudad de Cremona: tendrán que repartirlos en diferentes centros, produciéndose una disgregación familiar y la consiguiente dificultad para la familia. Situaciones similares a la descrita se están produciendo en muchos centros públicos de la Comunidad Valenciana. También se han eliminado cursos y clases en valenciano, lengua materna de muchos de los niños. Este es el tipo de calidad de enseñanza pública que ofrece la Generalitat.

Aplaudo que la Unión Europea haya financiado la escolarización de casi 14 millones de niños de países en desarrollo durante la última década —según un informe publicado por el Ejecutivo comunitario sobre la contribución europea a los Objetivos del Milenio— pero denuncio las dificultades que tienen niños de la Comunidad Valenciana para ser escolarizados.

Sé que la política educativa es competencia de los Estados miembros, pero quisiera que la Comisión respondiera a la siguiente pregunta:

¿Cómo controla la Comisión cómo se ejecutan los planes financiados por el BEI y, en este caso, por qué no se ejecuta?

Respuesta del Sr. Rehn en nombre de la Comisión

(5 de junio de 2014)

La Comisión Europea no supervisa la ejecución de los préstamos para inversiones financiados por el BEI, y este supervisa la ejecución de los proyectos con arreglo a su propios y estrictos procedimientos. No obstante, a menudo ambas instituciones intercambian información.

Según datos facilitados por el BEI, este ha contribuido a financiar el programa «Crea Escola» con dos préstamos: Valencia Centros Escolares (VCE) II-1 y II-2, por un total de 800 millones de euros. Mientras que la fase relativa al préstamo VCE II-1 fue completada en 2012, la terminación del VCE II-2 está aún en curso y se han producido retrasos significativos en la ejecución por parte de la Generalitat Valenciana.

Un tercer préstamo, VCE III, relativo a la tercera fase del programa, fue aprobado por el Consejo de Administración del BEI en 2010, pero nunca llegó a ser firmado dado el retraso en la ejecución del VCE II-2.

La lista de centros incluidos en el programa «Crea Escola» está disponible en el sitio de la Generalitat Valenciana: http://www.cefe.gva.es/creaescola/es/actuaciones.htm

Por último, el BEI sigue de cerca el programa «Crea Escola» y está analizando un plan de acción elaborado por la Generalitat Valenciana para la ejecución de las restantes inversiones efectuadas en el marco del VCE II-2.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002273/14

to the Commission

Josefa Andrés Barea (S&D)

(26 February 2014)

Subject: Situation of the Ciudad de Cremona School in Valencia, Spain

For the last seven years, the Valencian Regional Government has promised parents of the Ciudad de Cremona state school's pupils a new building, so that their children no longer have to be taught in the temporary classrooms currently being used. These long-suffering parents have locked themselves in the school for the past week, because it now turns out that it is not accepting any enrolments for the next school year, either, and despite complaints from the municipal school council, the Valencian Government has informed them that it is cancelling classes for three-year-olds. In other words, as it is no longer possible to enrol for a child's first year of education, the implication is that the entire school will close over the next few years.

Despite the EIB granting the Valencian Regional Government a loan of EUR 1.6 billion toward the Crea Scola programme, for the specific purpose of building a school, no such project has yet been implemented. In fact, the situation is only getting worse, despite the government receiving the money.

Next year, many parents will not be able to send all their children to the Ciudad de Cremona school. Instead, as is also the case for many other state schools in the autonomous community, families will be split up between different schools, causing them many problems. Moreover, classes and courses in the Valencian language, the mother tongue for many of these children, are disappearing. This is the level of quality of state education provided by the Valencian Government.

While I applaud the European Union's funding of almost 14 million children's education in developing countries over the past decade (stated in a Commission report on the EU's contribution to the Millennium Development Goals) I am much more critical of the difficulties Valencian children face in receiving an education.

I understand that education policy falls under the remit of the Member States, but I would still like the Commission to answer the following question:

How does the Commission monitor the implementation of plans financed by the EIB, and why has this particular plan not been implemented?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2014)

The European Commission does not monitor the implementation of investment loans financed by the EIB. The EIB monitors project implementation according to its own stringent procedures. However, there is a frequent exchange of information between the two institutions.

According to information provided by the EIB, it has contributed to the financing of the ‘Crea Escola’ programme with two loans: Valencia Centros Escolares (VCE) II-1 and II-2 for a total amount of EUR 800 million. While the project phase concerning the loan VCE II-1 has been completed in 2012, the completion of VCE II-2 is still under way with significant delays on the implementation by the Generalitat Valenciana.

A third loan ‘VCE III’, covering the programme’s third phase was approved by the EIB Board of Directors in 2010, but has never been signed given the delayed implementation of VCE II-2.

The list of schools included in the Crea Escola programme is available on the website of the Generalitat Valenciana: http://www.cefe.gva.es/creaescola/es/actuaciones.htm

Finally, the EIB is closely following the implementation of the Crea Escola programme, and is also discussing an Action Plan prepared by the Generalitat Valenciana for the implementation of the remaining investments to be made under VCE II-2.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002274/14

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE) y Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Prohibición de explotación al sumergible Ictineu 3, de la empresa Ictineu Submarins S.L., financiado con fondos FEDER y de cohesión de la UE

Siguiendo las directrices de la Comisión Europea marcadas por «The Deep-Sea Frontier Steering Commitee», el equipo liderado por esta empresa emprendió el reto de diseñar y construir un nuevo sumergible científico tripulado, el Ictineu 3. Este proyecto de 2 500 000 €, se ha financiado con más de 1 100 000 € de ayudas públicas, 525 896 € de las cuales, subvenciones que contienen fondos FEDER y de Cohesión de la UE. Aunque en España se utilizan estos artefactos desde 1966, nunca se ha legislado para darles un marco legal. Por este motivo, esta empresa realizó varias reuniones en la Dirección General de la Marina Mercante (DGMM), entre 2007 y 2009 para clarificar qué marco legal se le aplicaría. La DGMM acordó que se tramitara un expediente solicitando «si este artefacto submarino se considera o no un buque, y en consecuencia si está sujeto a las regulaciones sobre buques de la DGMM». La respuesta de la DGMM, con número de doc. 200911044798 y número de exp. 200911023388, firmada por el Subdirector General Adjunto de Calidad y Normalización de Buques, sentenciaba que: «no le es de aplicación el Reglamento de Inspección y Certificación de Buques Civiles». Esta empresa ha construido este sumergible con un marco legal claro. Una vez terminado, en noviembre de 2013, la DGMM ha prohibido terminantemente poner el sumergible en el mar, alegando que no se ha realizado el proyecto de nueva construcción de buque y que la unidad no ha cumplimentado los artículos relativos al permiso de construcción del RD 1837/2000 Reglamento de Inspección y Certificación de buques civiles.

¿Está de acuerdo la Comisión con que a un proyecto pagado con fondos FEDER y de Cohesión se le prohíba su explotación por un cambio de criterio sin que haya habido un cambio legislativo?

¿Sabe la Comisión que en España se invierten fondos FEDER y que, después, la administración española impide que estos creen riqueza, forzando a las empresas a la quiebra?

¿Es consciente la Comisión de la inseguridad jurídica que hay en España, que puede hacer que un proyecto que ha costado 10 años y 2 500 000 € quiebre por impedimentos burocráticos sin fundamento jurídico?

¿Puede la Comisión emprender alguna acción para que se respeten las reglas del juego que firmó la DGMM en 2009, en un proceso legal y transparente, aunque el Subdirector que lo firmó esté jubilado?

Respuesta del Sr. Mr Hahn en nombre de la Comisión

(24 de abril de 2014)

Efectivamente, el proyecto de sumergible Ictineu3 estuvo inicialmente financiado por el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) en el marco del programa Cataluña, FEDER, con cargo a una subvención global gestionada por el organismo intermedio ACCIÒ. Sin embargo, las autoridades nacionales decidieron retirar del programa mencionado todos los gastos subvencionables relacionados con este proyecto, que, por tanto, no ha sido financiado ni por el FEDER ni por el Fondo de Cohesión.

Por lo que se refiere a una aplicación correcta y eficaz de la legislación nacional, esta es responsabilidad de las autoridades administrativas y legislativas nacionales competentes.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002274/14

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE) and Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(26 February 2014)

Subject: Prohibition on the commercial exploitation of the ICTINEU 3 submersible, of the firm ICTINEU Submarins S.L., financed with FEDER and EU Cohesion funds

Following the European Commission’s guidelines laid down by ‘The Deep-Sea Frontier Steering Committee’, the team led by the above company took on the challenge of designing and building a new manned submersible for scientific research, the ICTINEU 3. This EUR 2 500 000 project has been financed with over EUR 1 100 000 of public funds, of which EUR 525 896 have come from grants involving financing with FEDER and EU cohesion funds. Although these devices have been used in Spain since 1966, no legislation has been promulgated to provide them with a legal framework. This company therefore held several meetings with the Merchant Marine General Directorate (DGMM) between 2007 and 2009 with a view to clarifying what legal framework should be applied. The DGMM decided to initiate an investigation into the question of ‘whether or not this type of submarine is to be considered a ship, and consequently whether it is subject to the DGMM’s regulations covering ships’. The DGMM’s reply, contained in a document entitled ‘doc. 200911044798’ with file No 200911023388 and signed by the Assistant Sub-Director General of Shipping Quality and Normalisation, was to the effect that ‘the regulations on Inspection and Certification of Merchant Ships are not applicable to it’. The company constructed the submersible within a clear legal framework. However, once the vessel was finished in November 2013, the DGMM strictly prohibited it from being put to sea, on the grounds that the corresponding new vessel construction project has not been carried out and that it does not comply with the provisions relating to construction licences of Royal Decree No 1837/2000 regulating the inspection and certification of merchant ships.

Does the Commission approve of the fact that a project financed with FEDER and Cohesion funds has been denied the possibility of commercial exploitation merely because of a change of opinion but with no change in the law?

Is the Commission aware that in Spain FEDER funds are invested in projects that the Spanish Government subsequently prevents from creating wealth, thus causing the companies involved to go bankrupt?

Is the Commission aware of the legal uncertainty that exists in Spain, which may lead to a project that has cost 10 years’ work and EUR 2 500 000 becoming insolvent due to bureaucratic obstacles based on no legal grounds?

Can the Commission take any action to ensure compliance with the rules of fair play that were subscribed by the DGMM in 2009 in the context of a transparent, legal procedure, even though the Sub-Director who signed the document has since retired?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

Indeed, the Ictineu3 submarine project was initially financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Catalonia ERDF programme under a global grant managed by the intermediate body ACCIÒ. However, the national authorities have decided to remove from the abovementioned programme all eligible expenditure related to this project and therefore, the project has not been financed by the ERDF or the Cohesion Fund.

In relation to the correct and effective application of national legislation, this is a responsibility of the competent national administrative and legal authorities.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002275/14

a la Comisión

Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D)

(26 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Sanción a tripulantes españoles por pesca ilegal

Según se desprende de una nota oficial, el Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente español ha impuesto sanciones pecuniarias y de inhabilitación para el ejercicio de actividades pesqueras a tripulantes españoles enrolados en un buque incluido en la lista negra de la Convención sobre la Conservación de los Recursos Vivos Marinos Antárticos (CCRVMA) por sus actividades de pesca ilegal en la Antártida.

Se trata de un buque que ya era perseguido por la Interpol y que ha cambiado en reiteradas ocasiones de nombre y pabellón, lo que ha dificultado la tramitación del expediente sancionador.

1.

¿Sabe la Comisión, por medio de la Agencia Europea de Vigo, desde cuándo se venía vigilando a este buque? ¿Tenía conocimiento la Comisión por medio de la Interpol?

2.

¿Ha colaborado el Gobierno español con la Comisión en este procedimiento?

3.

¿Puede indicar la Comisión el número de controles realizados en 2013, desglosados por Estados miembros, en los puertos comunitarios para luchar contra la pesca ilegal y no reglamentada, incluyendo el porcentaje de desembarcos de productos pesqueros ilegales que se sancionan?

4.

¿Puede detallar asimismo la Comisión las medidas que implementa para conocer el control de las importaciones que puedan suponer una competencia desleal para el sector pesquero de los países de la UE?

5.

Por último, ¿qué valoración hace la Comisión del cumplimiento del Reglamento (CE) n° 1005/2008 del Consejo, de 29 de septiembre de 2008, por el que se establece un sistema comunitario para prevenir, desalentar y eliminar la pesca ilegal, no declarada y no reglamentada?

Respuesta de la Sra. Damanaki en nombre de la Comisión

(28 de abril de 2014)

El Reglamento (CE) n° 1005/2008 (Reglamento sobre la pesca INDNR) prevé que los Estados miembros de la UE deben actuar contra sus nacionales que emprendan o apoyen operaciones de pesca INDNR.

El buque «Thunder» está incluido desde 2006 en la lista de la CCRVMA por sus actividades de pesca INDNR. La Comisión, en su calidad de observadora en la Interpol, recibió una «notificación morada» sobre las actividades de este buque (1). El caso de los tripulantes españoles enrolados en este buque ha sido abordado por las autoridades españolas a raíz de los informes de observación e inspección elaborados por Australia, entre otros países, en cooperación con Singapur en el marco de la CCAMLR. España informó a la Comisión de los procedimientos y los resultados de la investigación.

En cuanto a los controles realizados en los puertos de los Estados miembros, el Reglamento INDNR no establece la obligación de recoger estas estadísticas. La Comisión promueve un control sólido y específico en los puertos de la UE y observa un número creciente de denegaciones de importaciones por los Estados miembros, relacionadas con la pesca INDNR (alrededor de 130 denegaciones desde 2010).

La aplicación efectiva de la normativa contra la pesca INDNR por parte de los Estados miembros es una de las prioridades de la Comisión en la gestión de la pesca. La Comisión distribuye información sobre situaciones de riesgo y fomenta la cooperación entre los Estados miembros. Envía mensajes de alerta a las autoridades de los Estados miembros y solicita una investigación sobre presuntas actividades de pesca INDNR e infracciones graves. Los Estados miembros, por su parte, deben facilitar a la Comisión, cada dos años, informes sobre la aplicación del Reglamento INDNR (el próximo informe está previsto para el 30 de abril de 2014).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002275/14

to the Commission

Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D)

(26 February 2014)

Subject: Spanish fishermen penalised for illegal fishing

According to an official note, the Spanish Ministry for Food, Agriculture and the Environment has imposed pecuniary sanctions and disqualification from carrying out fishing activities on Spanish crew members enrolled on a ship that is black-listed under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) because of its illegal fishing activities in the Antarctic.

This ship was already being pursued by Interpol and has changed its name and flag several times, which has caused problems in carrying out the penalisation process.

1.

Does the Commission know, by way of the European Agency in Vigo, since when this ship has been under surveillance? Had Interpol informed the Commission about it?

2.

Has the Spanish Government collaborated with the Commission in this case?

3.

Can the Commission state how many control checks were carried out, listed by Member States, in EU ports in 2013 to counter illegal and unregulated fishing, including the percentage of illegal fish products unloaded that is penalised?

4.

Can the Commission also specify what measures it is adopting to monitor imports that might constitute unfair competition for the fishing sector in EU countries?

5.

Lastly, what is the Commission’s assessment of compliance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008, of 29 September 2008, establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

EU Regulation 1005/2008 (the IUU Regulation) foresees that EU Member States shall take action against their nationals supporting or engaging in IUU fishing.

The vessel ‘Thunder’ is on the Ccamlr IUU vessels list since 2006. The Commission, as an observer in INTERPOL, received a ‘Purple Notice’ on the activities of this vessel (2). The case of the Spanish crew on board of this vessel has been handled by the Spanish authorities following the sighting and inspection reports produced by, amongst others, Australia in cooperation with Singapore in the framework of Ccamlr. The Commission was informed by Spain of the proceedings and the results of the investigation.

With respect to the control checks carried out in the Member States ports, the IUU Regulation does not create an obligation to collect such statistics. The Commission is promoting robust and targeted control in EU ports. The Commission observes an increasing number of refusals of importations by the Member States linked to IUU activities (around 130 refusals since 2010).

The effective implementation of the IUU Regulation by Member States is one of the Commission's priorities in fisheries management. The Commission circulates information on situations of risk, and encourages cooperation between the Member States. It sends alert messages to the Member State's authorities and requests investigations on presumed IUU fishing activities and serious infringements. Member States should provide the Commission every two years with reports on the application of the IUU Regulation (next report is expected until 30 April 2014).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002276/14

a la Comisión

Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D)

(26 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Acuerdo pesquero UE-Mozambique

La Comisión Europea está negociando actualmente el Protocolo por el que se fijan las posibilidades de pesca y la contrapartida financiera previstas en el Acuerdo de colaboración en el sector pesquero entre la Comunidad Europea y la República de Mozambique, cuya vigencia finaliza el 31 de diciembre de  2014.

Esta diputada quisiera preguntar por el balance que realiza la Comisión Europea hasta ahora de la aplicación del acuerdo, a nivel tanto económico como social.

En concreto,

1.

¿Está siendo rentable para los palangreros y cerqueros desplegados en la zona?

2.

¿Se está cumpliendo el acuerdo de embarque de marineros mozambiqueños?

3.

¿Se está respetando la Declaración de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) sobre los principios y derechos fundamentales en el trabajo de los marineros enrolados en los buques?

Por último, quisiera saber si en la negociación del nuevo Protocolo se está explorando la posibilidad de incluir a los cefalópodos en las posibilidades de pesca del Acuerdo.

Respuesta de la Sra. Damanaki en nombre de la Comisión

(12 de mayo de 2014)

Con arreglo a la evaluación independiente del Protocolo UE-Mozambique, el acuerdo de colaboración en el sector pesquero es mutuamente beneficioso (un valor de 2,08 EUR añadidos por cada euro invertido y mejora de la gobernanza local en materia de pesca) y forma parte de la red de acuerdos de colaboración en el sector pesquero de la región que permiten actuar a la flota de la UE con beneficios económicos. No obstante, el segmento francés de la flota de la UE de redes de cerco con jareta no ha solicitado ninguna licencia en aguas de Mozambique.

La UE ha cumplido la disposición del Protocolo que exige el pago de un importe global diario en concepto de sanción cuando no se embarquen marineros mozambiqueños en los buques de la UE, como ha sido el caso.

Con respecto al Convenio n° 180 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), aplicable a la tripulación que trabaje en buques pesqueros, compete a los Estados miembros garantizar su cumplimiento. La Comisión está plenamente comprometida a apoyar la aplicación de los Convenios de la OIT y anima a los Estados miembros a ratificarlos.

En lo tocante a la renovación del acuerdo de colaboración en el sector pesquero con Mozambique, la Comisión entablará las negociaciones tan pronto como el Consejo le otorgue el mandato pertinente. La Comisión está elaborando actualmente la estrategia que va a emplear en la negociación, en la que tratará de obtener una mejor utilización de las posibilidades de pesca y una mayor rentabilidad. En cuanto a los cefalópodos, los Estados miembros no han mostrado interés, por ahora, en recibir posibilidades de pesca en el nuevo Protocolo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002276/14

to the Commission

Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D)

(26 February 2014)

Subject: EU-Mozambique fisheries agreement

The European Commission is currently negotiating the Protocol to establish the extent of the catches and the corresponding financial compensation provided for in the fisheries partnership agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Mozambique, which concludes on 31 December 2014.

I would like to ask for the Commission’s views on the results of the application of the agreement to date, in both economic and social terms.

Specifically,

1.

Is it profitable for the long-line and purse-seine vessels fishing in the zone?

2.

Is the agreed embarkation of Mozambican mariners being fulfilled?

3.

Is the International Labour Organisation (ILO) DeclarationonFundamentalPrinciples andRightsat Work being complied with as regards the mariners enrolled on these boats?

Lastly, I would like to know whether the negotiations on the new Protocol are exploring the possibility of including cephalopods in the ambit of the catches covered by the Agreement.

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

The independent evaluation of the EU-Mozambique Protocol concludes that the FPA is mutually beneficial (EUR 2.08 value added for each euro invested and improved local fisheries governance). It forms part of the network of FPAs in the region which enable the EU fleet to operate with economic benefits. Nonetheless, the French purse-seine segment of the EU fleet has not applied for licences in Mozambican waters.

The EU has complied with the provision of the Protocol requiring payment of a flat rate daily penalty foreseen for cases of non-embarkation of Mozambican seamen, as Mozambican seamen were not embarked on board EU vessels.

Regarding the ILO Convention n° 188 applicable to the crew working on fishing vessels, Member States are responsible for ensuring compliance with this Convention. The Commission is fully committed to support the implementation of ILO Conventions and is encouraging Member States to ratify them.

Regarding the renewal of the Protocol to the FPA with Mozambique, as soon as the negotiating mandate is given by the Council, the Commission will start the negotiation. The Commission is currently developing the strategy to be followed, and a better utilisation of the fishing opportunities and improved value for money will be sought. Regarding cephalopods there has, so far, been no interest shown by the Member States for receiving fishing opportunities in the new Protocol.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita P-002277/14

a la Comisión

Esther Herranz García (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Importación de cítricos contaminados procedentes de Sudáfrica

El pasado 21 de febrero la EFSA presentó un informe en el que alerta de un elevado riesgo de contagio, para las plantaciones de cítricos europeas, de la enfermedad causada por el hongo Guignardia citricarpa («mancha negra»), presente en las importaciones procedentes de Sudáfrica. La Autoridad Europea afirma que las medidas paliativas introducidas por ese país hasta la fecha son ineficaces. En la pasada campaña han sido interceptadas 35 mercancías contaminadas originarias de Sudáfrica, superando el umbral de cinco interceptaciones que había establecido la Comisión para llevar a cabo medidas de salvaguardia. El Ejecutivo de la Unión, sin embargo, solo intervino al final de la campaña con el cierre de las importaciones procedentes de ese país, lo que se interpreta como una mera acción simbólica sin ningún efecto práctico.

¿Qué medidas va a tomar la Comisión para impedir el contagio de nuestras producciones europeas en la próxima campaña? ¿No cree necesario la Comisión un cierre de fronteras a tiempo para que las producciones europeas no se vean afectadas por esta plaga? ¿No piensa la Comisión que sería conveniente exigir un control más exhaustivo a las autoridades sudafricanas sobre las exportaciones de cítricos a la UE?

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita P-002291/14

a la Comisión

Pilar Ayuso (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Mancha negra de los cítricos

El pasado 21 de febrero, la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria (EFSA) publicó su dictamen científico (3) sobre el hongo hhyllosticta citricarpa (guignardia citricarpa).

La UE considera este hongo como plaga de cuarentena y afirma que no está presente en su territorio. Los cítricos que proceden de países donde está presente deben cumplir una serie de requisitos como, por ejemplo, que procedan de una zona en la que no esté presente o que no se hayan observado síntomas en la parcela ni en sus alrededores desde el último ciclo de vegetación; que se hayan hecho tratamientos contra el hongo; y que ningún fruto presente síntomas después de haber realizado una inspección.

Sudáfrica señala que este hongo es improbable que se instale en la EU y solicita la regionalización de los envíos. Por ello pide que se pueda enviar al norte de Europa y no a la zona sur.

Considerando que el año pasado se interceptaron más de 35 envíos procedentes de Sudáfrica y que se prohibieron sus cítricos para la campaña de 2013; que en el dictamen científico de la EFSA se afirma que los tratamientos con fungicidas que se utilizaron no impiden el establecimiento del hongo y que, además de tener repercusiones sobre el medio ambiente, la mayor parte de los fungicidas que son eficaces para los cítricos no están autorizados en la EU para su uso en los cítricos; así como que la EFSA afirma que, una vez que el hongo se estabiliza, no se consigue erradicar y es muy difícil contener su propagación; ¿podría la Comisión indicar qué medidas tiene intención de adoptar teniendo en cuenta la publicación del dictamen científico de la EFSA?

Respuesta conjunta del Sr. Borg en nombre de la Comisión

(21 de marzo de 2014)

En relación con la mancha negra de los cítricos, la Comisión está estudiando reforzar los requisitos fitosanitarios aplicables a las importaciones, sobre la base de un análisis de riesgo realizado recientemente por la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria y las conversaciones que se están manteniendo con los Estados miembros.

El planteamiento de la Comisión es garantizar un comercio más fiable desde un punto de vista fitosanitario. Antes de revisar los requisitos generales de las importaciones en relación con la mancha negra de los cítricos, la Comisión estudiará adoptar medidas específicas con respecto a Sudáfrica, para que se apliquen ya a los próximos intercambios comerciales.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002277/14

to the Commission

Esther Herranz García (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Imports of contaminated citrus fruit from South Africa

On 21 February 2014, EFSA released a report warning of the high risk that European citrus groves could become infected with a disease caused by the fungus Guignardia citricarpa (Black Spot), which had been found in imports from South Africa. EFSA considers that the palliative measures taken by South Africa to date have been ineffective. A total of 35 contaminated shipments from South Africa were intercepted last season, which is far above the threshold of five interceptions that the Commission had set as the trigger for adopting safeguard measures. Nevertheless, the Commission did not intervene to stop imports from South Africa until the end of the season, which must be interpreted as a merely symbolic step without any practical effect.

What measures will the Commission take to prevent this disease spreading to European citrus trees next season? Does the Commission not believe that the borders need to be shut in time to ensure that the European sector is not affected by this disease? Does the Commission not consider it appropriate to demand that the South African authorities carry out more comprehensive checks on citrus exports to the EU?

Question for written answer P-002291/14

to the Commission

Pilar Ayuso (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Citrus black spot

On 21 February the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its Scientific Opinion on the Phyllosticta citricarpa (guignardia citricarpa) fungus (4).

The EU regards this fungus as a quarantine pest and claims to be pest-free. Citrus fruit from countries where the fungus does exist have to satisfy a number of requirements. It must, for example, come from an area where the fungus is not found or where there have been no symptoms in the field of production or on the surrounding land since the last growing season; it must have been treated for the fungus; and it must have been inspected in order to ascertain that it is wholly symptom-free.

South Africa thinks it unlikely that this fungus could establish itself in the EU and is asking for shipments to be regionalised, allowing it to export to northern Europe, but not to the South.

Last year more than 35 consignments from South Africa were intercepted, and South African citrus fruit was banned for the 2013 marketing year. The EFSA Scientific Opinion states that treatment with the fungicides used does not prevent the fungus from becoming established and that, leaving aside their environmental impact, most of the fungicides which are effective for citrus fruit must not be used to treat citrus fruit in the EU. The EFSA also maintains that, once established, the fungus is impossible to eradicate and its spread is very difficult to contain. Can the Commission therefore say what steps it will take now that the EFSA has published its Scientific Opinion?

Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(21 March 2014)

The Commission is preparing to strengthen the existing phytosanitary import requirements related to citrus black spot, on the basis of a recent risk analysis carried out by the European Food Safety Authority and on-going discussions with Member States.

The Commission’s approach is to ensure that existing trade has become more phytosanitary reliable. In advance of revision of the general import requirements for citrus black spot, the Commission will consider the adoption of specific measures for South Africa in order to cover already the upcoming trade season.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002278/14

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: VP/HR — Programa nuclear de Irán

Tras el acuerdo alcanzado en Ginebra entre Irán y las seis grandes potencias con asiento en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU el pasado noviembre, las negociaciones en torno al programa nuclear iraní se han reanudado los días 18, 19 y 20 de febrero.

La Vicepresidenta de la Comisión y Alta Representante de la Unión Europea para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad, Catherine Ashton, en nombre del Grupo 5+1, ha comunicado que se ha acordado una agenda, un calendario y nuevas conversaciones para el 17 de marzo, para buscar una solución definitiva al litigio por el programa nuclear de la República Islámica.

Sin embargo, dichos compromisos no anulan el conocimiento que los científicos iraníes han adquirido ni los avances que Irán ha hecho en los últimos cinco años y que le han aproximado a la capacidad de fabricar una bomba atómica si así lo decide el ayatolá Ali Jamenei, que como líder supremo tiene esa potestad.

Por todo ello, y en tanto que Irán ha firmado y aceptado el vigente Tratado de No Proliferación Nuclear, ¿puede la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante adoptar una postura más firme en cuanto a la desnuclearización de Irán, de manera que fehacientemente se pueda comprobar que no tiene posibilidades de fabricar una bomba a corto y medio plazo bajo advertencia de que, de no acceder, podría ser expulsada del Tratado o ser expuesta a nuevas sanciones?

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

(21 de mayo de 2014)

El acuerdo provisional (Plan Acción Conjunto), celebrado entre el E3/UE + 3 e Irán en Ginebra el 24 de noviembre, es solo un primer paso hacia la consecución de una solución general dirigida a garantizar el carácter exclusivamente pacífico del programa nuclear de Irán. En virtud del acuerdo provisional, las actividades nucleares de Irán se han detenido y desmantelado parcialmente.

La Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta, junto con el E3 + 3, mantiene su firme compromiso de alcanzar un acuerdo general a largo plazo con Irán sobre su programa nuclear en los próximos meses. Las conversaciones sobre una solución global comenzaron a mediados de febrero en Viena con el claro objetivo de alcanzar un acuerdo sólido que ha de dar respuesta suficiente a todas las preocupaciones en materia de proliferación derivadas del programa nuclear iraní. En otras palabras, un acuerdo general deberá entrañar límites reales del programa nuclear iraní en combinación con las medidas de transparencia adecuadas.

Como consecuencia de numerosos incumplimientos por parte de Irán de sus obligaciones de ajustarse a los requisitos de Salvaguardias del TNP, se han adoptado varias resoluciones de la Junta de Gobernadores del Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica y del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, y se han impuesto sanciones. Además de las sanciones impuestas en virtud de las resoluciones del CSNU, la UE adoptó sus propias sanciones relacionadas con la cuestión nuclear. Sobre la base del enfoque de doble vía (compromiso y presión), solo se levantarán definitivamente las sanciones cuando se alcance una solución global en lo relativo al programa nuclear de Irán.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002278/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Iran's nuclear programme

Following the agreement reached in Geneva last November between Iran and the six major powers with seats on the UN Security Council, the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme were restarted on 18, 19 and 20 February.

The Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, has announced on behalf of the 5+1 Group that an agenda, a timetable and a new round of conversations have been agreed for 17 March with a view to achieving a definitive solution to the dispute in relation to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

However, these undertakings do not eliminate the knowledge that the Iranian scientists have acquired nor the progress made by Iran over the last five years, which has brought it closer to the capacity to construct an atomic bomb, if the ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who as supreme leader holds this power, should so decide.

Accordingly, although Iran has accepted and signed the current Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, could the Vice-President/High Representative adopt a firmer posture on the denuclearisation of Iran, so that it can be irrefutably proved that it cannot build a bomb in the short and medium term, under the warning that, if it does not agree, it may be expelled from the Treaty or subjected to further sanctions?

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

(21 May 2014)

The interim agreement (Joint Plan of Action‐ JPoA) reached between the E3/EU+3 and Iran in Geneva on 24 November is only a first step towards reaching a comprehensive solution aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme. Under the interim agreement Iran's nuclear activities are halted and partially rolled back.

The HR/VP, together with the E3+3, remains strongly committed to reach a comprehensive long-term agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme in the coming months. Talks on a comprehensive solution started mid-February in Vienna with the clear objective to reach a robust agreement which has to sufficiently address all proliferation concerns related to Iran's nuclear programme. In other words, a comprehensive agreement will need to involve real limits on Iran's nuclear programme in combination with appropriate transparency measures.

As a consequence of Iran's many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards obligations several IAEA Board of Governors and UN Security Council resolutions have been adopted and sanctions imposed. In addition to the sanctions under the UNSC Resolutions the EU adopted autonomous nuclear related sanctions. Based on the dual track approach (engagement and pressure) the final lifting of sanctions will only occur once a comprehensive solution on Iran's nuclear programme is reached.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002279/14

a la Comisión

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Situación en Venezuela

Desde el pasado día 12 de febrero se han producido una serie de manifestaciones en Venezuela con enfrentamientos entre la oposición y la Guardia Nacional gubernamental. Como consecuencia de dichas manifestaciones ha habido 13 víctimas mortales, 48 encarcelaciones y se ha detenido a 712 personas, como expuso el propio presidente Nicolás Maduro, si bien luego se les ha dejado en libertad tras tomarles declaración.

En este contexto, la oposición encabezada por Enrique Capriles pide que continúen las manifestaciones, no contemplándose a corto plazo una reunión entre Gobierno y oposición dada la ruptura de diálogo entre ambas partes.

Por parte de la Unión Europea, la Vicepresidenta de la Comisión/Alta Representante de la Unión Europea para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad, Catherine Ashton, ha manifestado su preocupación por la situación en Venezuela, condenado el uso de la violencia por ambas partes e instado a Gobierno y oposición a dialogar, declarándose alarmada por la detención de estudiantes y figuras políticas.

¿Qué medidas piensa adoptar la Comisión para contribuir desde la Unión Europea a que el número de víctimas en Venezuela no aumente y para que la situación de tensión que se vive actualmente finalice lo antes posible?

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

(9 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a la declaración de la Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta, de 21 de febrero de 2014, sobre los disturbios en Venezuela, así como a la declaración en su nombre hecha en la sesión plenaria del Parlamento Europeo sobre Venezuela el 27 de febrero de 2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002279/14

to the Commission

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Situation in Venezuela

Since 12 February last there have been several demonstrations in Venezuela involving clashes between the opposition and the government’s National Guard. As a result of these demonstrations 13 people have been killed, 48 have been imprisoned and 712 have been arrested, as the president himself, Nicolás Maduro, has stated, although they were later freed after questioning.

In this context, the opposition led by Enrique Capriles is asking for the demonstrations to continue and, as a result of the lack of dialogue between the two sides, no meetings are envisaged between the government and the opposition in the short term.

On behalf of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has expressed her concern regarding the situation in Venezuela. She has condemned the use of violence by both sides and has called on the government and the opposition to talk. She also said she has been alarmed by the arrest of students and political figures.

What measures does the Commission intend to adopt to contribute on behalf of the European Union to avoiding any further increase in the number of victims in Venezuela and to bring to an end as soon as possible the tense situation currently reigning there?

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

(9 April 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to the 21 February 2014 Statement by the HR/VP on unrest in Venezuela as well as to the Statement on behalf of the HR/VP during the European Parliament plenary debate on Venezuela on 27 February 2014.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002280/14

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: VP/HR — Posición de Catherine Ashton sobre la Resolución 37/123 de las Naciones Unidas

En su respuesta a mi pregunta E-013037/2013 la Vicepresidenta y Alta Representante de la Unión Europea afirmaba que «el Gobierno de Israel nunca ha cometido actos de esta índole» en referencia al artículo 2 de la Convención para la Prevención y la Sanción del Delito de Genocidio.

Esta afirmación contradice abiertamente la Resolución 37/123 de las Naciones Unidas, en la que la Asamblea General «resuelve que la masacre fue un acto de genocidio» en referencia a la masacre de Sabra y Chatila donde el Ejército de Israel fue un colaborador necesario tal y como determinó la propia Comisión Kahan. A la luz de esta información, la Vicepresidenta y Alta Representante está contradiciendo públicamente lo sostenido por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, así como la propia justicia de Israel a través de la citada comisión. Pese a que el ejército de Israel no fue actor material del citado genocidio, su rol como facilitador necesario de los citados crímenes ha sido reconocido.

Esta negación sin precedentes por parte de la Vicepresidenta y Alta Representante de la UE de lo afirmado en una Resolución oficial de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas supone un desprecio absoluto de la voluntad del mayor foro internacional existente. Con la afirmación de que Israel nunca ha cometido actos de genocidio, la señora Ashton está aprovechando su propio mandato como representante de la Unión Europea ante las Naciones Unidas para desdecir una Resolución de la Asamblea General en defensa de los intereses de Israel. En caso de que la señora Ashton no se retracte, esta defensa de los intereses de Israel se está haciendo a costa de socavar la imagen de la UE frente a la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.

¿Se reafirma la Vicepresidenta y Alta Representante en la citada afirmación?

En caso de retractarse, ¿considera que se ha podido incurrir en algunos actos que violen la Decisión marco 2008/913/JAI?

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

(21 de mayo de 2014)

Si bien la comunidad internacional expresó justamente su indignación por las masacres de Sabra y Chatila, nunca ha procesado a Israel por actos de genocidio relacionados con esos trágicos sucesos.

La resolución de la Asamblea General se refiere a un acto de genocidio, pero no atribuye la responsabilidad a Israel. No tenemos conocimiento de resolución del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas ni de otro instrumento internacional alguno que haya condenado a Israel por un acto de genocidio en relación con esta masacre.

Israel nunca ha sido acusado, y menos aún condenado, por un acto de genocidio en relación con los incidentes de Beirut, ni en el plano internacional ni ante sus tribunales nacionales.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002280/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Position of Catherine Ashton regarding United Nations Resolution 37/123

In response to my Question E-013037/2013 the Vice-President and High Representative of the European Union stated, in relation to Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, that ‘No actions of this sort have ever been undertaken by the government of Israel’.

This assertion openly contradicts the terms of Resolution 37/123 of the United Nations, in which the General Assembly ‘resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide’, in reference to the massacre of Sabra and Shatila, where the Israeli army was a necessary collaborator, according to the Kahan Commission itself. In the light of this information, the Vice-President and High Representative is publicly contradicting the position of the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as Israel’s own justice system by way of the aforementioned Commission. Even though the Israeli army was not directly responsible for that genocide, its role as a necessary facilitator of those crimes has been recognised.

This unprecedented denial by the Vice-President and High Representative of the European Union of the text of an official Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations constitutes total disdain for the will of the greatest international forum in the world. In affirming that Israel has never committed acts of genocide, Mrs. Ashton is taking advantage of her own mandate as the representative of the European Union before the UN to challenge a Resolution of the General Assembly in defence of Israel’s interests. In the event that Mrs. Ashton does not retract, her defence of the interests of Israel is being undertaken at the cost of undermining the image of the EU vis-á-vis the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Does the Vice-President and High Representative reaffirm her assertion referred to above?

In the event of retraction, does she consider that some actions may have been carried out in violation of Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA?

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

(21 May 2014)

While the international community rightly expressed outrage at the massacres in Sabra and Chatila, it has never prosecuted Israel for acts of genocide related to these tragic events.

The UNGA resolution refers to an act of genocide but does not attribute responsibility for it to Israel. We are not aware of any UNSCR or other international instrument that would have condemned Israel for an act of genocide in relation to this massacre.

Israel has never been indicted, let alone condemned for an act of genocide concerning the Beirut incidents, neither internationally, nor before its domestic courts.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002281/14

an die Kommission

Thomas Ulmer (PPE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Empfehlung der Kommission vom 24. September 2013 zu den Audits und Bewertungen, die von benannten Stellen im Bereich der Medizinprodukte durchgeführt werden

Die Landschaft der Medizinproduktehersteller ist geprägt von kleinen und mittelständischen Betrieben, die sich durch die nun gestellten Anforderungen, welche die benannten Stellen nun nach der Empfehlung der Kommission (2013/473/EU) erheben können, in ihrer Existenz bedroht fühlen.

Zudem enthält die Empfehlung der Kommission einige Schwachstellen und unklare Definitionen, die bei der Umsetzung in die Praxis zu massiven Problemen führen. Da die Empfehlungen der Kommission in vielen Mitgliedstaaten als Quasi-Gesetzestext behandelt wird, müssen diese Schwachstellen behoben werden.

Des Weiteren sei in den Raum gestellt, dass durch die Empfehlung der Kommission dem Europäischen Parlament in seiner politischen Entscheidungsfindungen bei der Revision der Medizinprodukterichtlinie zuvorgekommen worden ist.

1.

Wie bewerten Sie den Sachverhalt, dass die Kommission am Parlament „vorbei“ Empfehlungen auf den Weg bringt, die den ursprünglichen Richtlinientext weitaus überschreiten? Inwieweit wird von der Kommission auf eine Umsetzung dieser Empfehlung in den Mitgliedstaaten hingearbeitet?

2.

Wer sind die wichtigen Lieferanten? Und wie weit in der Lieferkette (Empfehlung: „um Lieferanten von Lieferanten oder noch weiter entfernte Glieder der Lieferkette“) können benannte Stellen kontrollieren? Wird es in diesem Bereich weitere Konkretisierungen geben?

3.

Wie kann man die unangekündigten Kontrollen in Klein‐ und Kleinstbetrieben umsetzen? Oft vereint hier eine Person mehrere Funktionen unter sich, die für die benannte Stelle wichtig sind. Was passiert, wenn diese eine Person einmal krank sein sollte? Wer trägt dann die Kosten, die für eben solche Betriebe immens sind?

4.

Warum müssen Blanko-Visa für die Techniker bereitgestellt werden? Was passiert mit einem lebensrettenden Produkt, bei dem ein Lieferant dem Hersteller aus Angst vor Industriespionage den Zutritt zu seinen Herstellungsstätten verweigert?

Antwort von Herrn Mimica im Namen der Kommission

(14. April 2014)

Als direkte Reaktion auf den Skandal im Zusammenhang mit den PIP-Brustimplantaten vereinbarte die Kommission mit den Mitgliedstaaten einen Gemeinsamen Aktionsplan, der darauf abzielt, auf der Grundlage des geltenden Rechts die Kontrollen zu verschärfen und das Vertrauen der Patientinnen wiederherzustellen.

Im Rahmen dieses Gemeinsamen Aktionsplans nahm die Kommission im September 2013 eine Empfehlung an, mit der die Aufgaben der benannten Stellen bei der Durchführung von Audits und Prüfungen im Medizinproduktebereich präzisiert wurden.

1.

Neue zwingende Erfordernisse für benannte Stellen können nur durch die neuen Rechtsvorschriften eingeführt werden. Die Empfehlung soll die bewährten Verfahren nach geltendem Recht veranschaulichen und bietet eine nicht zwingende Anleitung für eine einheitlichere Durchführung der geltenden Rechtsvorschriften. Die Mitgliedstaaten und die Beteiligten wurden zum Inhalt dieser Empfehlung konsultiert, und die Kommission verfolgt aufmerksam deren Umsetzung.

2.

Wichtige Lieferanten sind diejenigen, die Bestandteile liefern, welche die Sicherheit oder die Leistung des Produkts beeinflussen können. Die wichtigen Lieferanten müssen über die ganze Lieferkette hinweg kontrolliert werden.

3.

Die Notwendigkeit unangekündigter Kontrollen wurde durch den oben genannten Skandal im Zusammenhang mit den Brustimplantaten offenkundig. Die Bestimmungen über unangekündigte Audits in den geltenden Rechtsvorschriften unterscheiden die Hersteller nicht nach Größe, und der Vertrag zwischen der benannten Stelle und dem Hersteller sollte normalerweise Bestimmungen über die Kosten dieser Audits enthalten.

4.

Die Empfehlung weist auf die Möglichkeit hin, den Technikern Blanko-Visa zu erteilen; dies ist jedoch keine zwingende Vorschrift. Der benannten Stelle ist Zugang zu den Produktionsstätten zu gewähren, und die benannte Stelle ist zur Vertraulichkeit verpflichtet.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002281/14

to the Commission

Thomas Ulmer (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Commission Recommendation of 24 September 2013 on the audits and assessments performed by notified bodies in the field of medical devices

The medical devices industry is dominated by small and medium-sized manufacturers who feel that the requirements that may now be imposed by notified bodies in accordance with the Commission Recommendation (2013/473/EU) are a threat to their existence.

The Commission Recommendation also contains a number of flaws and unclear definitions which are causing huge problems in terms of practical implementation. As Commission Recommendations are treated in many Member States as quasi-legislation, these flaws need to be corrected.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the political decision-making role of the European Parliament in relation to revision of the Medical Devices Directive has been pre-empted through issuance of the recommendation by the Commission.

1.

How do you view the fact that the Commission has ‘by-passed’ the Parliament by bringing out Recommendations that go substantially beyond the original text of the directive? To what extent is the Commission working towards the implementation of this recommendation in the Member States?

2.

Who are the important suppliers? And how far down the supply chain (in the words of the recommendation: ‘suppliers of suppliers or even suppliers further down the supply chain’) can notified bodies perform checks? Will there be further clarifications in this regard?

3.

How can unannounced checks be performed in practice at small and micro businesses, where several functions that are important to the notified body will often be performed by a single person? What would happen if that single person chanced to be ill? Who in such a case would bear the costs, which would be enormous for a business of this type?

4.

Why must blank visas be provided for the technicians? What would happen in the case of a life-saving product where a supplier refused to grant the manufacturer access to its production facilities for fear of industrial espionage?

Answer given by Mr Mimica on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2014)

As an immediate response to the scandal of PIP breast implants, the Commission agreed with the Member States a Joint Action Plan aimed at tightening controls and at restoring patient confidence on the basis of existing legislation.

As part of this Joint Action Plan, the Commission adopted in September 2013 a recommendation clarifying the tasks notified bodies have to undertake when they perform audits and assessments in the medical devices sector.

1.

New mandatory requirements for notified bodies can only be introduced through the new legislation. The recommendation aims at illustrating best practices under current legislation and provides non-binding guidance on how to implement the existing legislation in a more harmonised manner. Member States and stakeholders were consulted on the content of this recommendation and the Commission follows closely its implementation.

2.

Important suppliers are those who supply components which can impact the safety or the performance of the device. The controls of the important suppliers have to be performed along the supply chain.

3.

The need for unannounced audits was made evident through the abovementioned breast implants scandal. The provisions on unannounced audits of the existing legislation do not distinguish between the sizes of manufacturers and the contract between the notified body and the manufacturer would normally contain provisions with regard to the costs of such audits.

4.

The recommendation points out to the possibility of providing techicians with blank visas, but it is not a mandatory requirement. The access to the production facilities has to be granted to the notified body, who is obliged to keep confidentiality.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002282/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 ta' Frar 2014)

Suġġett: L-Uganda

Dan l-aħħar fl-Uganda għaddiet liġi li tiddikjara l-omosesswalità illegali. Fost l-oħrajn, din il-liġi tistabbilixxi li l-persuni reċidivi jiffaċċjaw sogru li jeħlu għomorhom il-ħabs.

Il-Kummissjoni hija mħassba dwar dawn l-iżviluppi fl-Uganda?

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

(9 ta' April 2014)

Ir-Rappreżentant Għoli/Viċi President tikkonsidra li l-Att Kontra l-Omosesswalità jikkontradixxi l-impenji internazzjonali tal-gvern Ugandiż biex jirrispetta u jipproteġi d-drittijiet fundamentali tal-bniedem taċ-ċittadini kollha tiegħu skont id-Dikjarazzjoni Universali tad-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem, il-Patt Internazzjonali dwar id-Drittijiet Ċivili u Politiċi u l-Karta Afrikana dwar id-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem u tal-Popli. Barra mid-dikjarazzjoni tagħha tal-20 ta' Diċembru 2013, ir-Rappreżentant Għoli ħarġet dikjarazzjoni ulterjuri fit-18 ta' Frar 2014 u dikjarazzjoni f'isem l-UE li tikkundanna l-Att fl-4 ta' Marzu 2014, huwa nnutat li l-Att qed ikun sfidat fil-Qrati Ugandiżi.

L-UE u l-Uganda se jiddiskutu l-Att Kontra l-Omosesswalità u l-impatt potenzjali tiegħu fuq ir-relazzjonijiet skont il-Ftehim ta' Cotonou waqt sessjoni ta' djalogu politiku mtejjeb fit-28 ta' Marzu. Kull pagament ta' appoġġ għall-baġit ulterjuri ġie sospiż sakemm joħrog ir-riżultat ta' din il-laqgħa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002282/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Uganda

Uganda recently passed a law outlawing homosexuality. Among other things, the law states that repeat offenders would potentially face life imprisonment.

Is the Commission concerned about these developments in Uganda?

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

(9 April 2014)

The HR/VP considers that the Anti-Homosexuality Act contradicts the international commitments of the Ugandan government to respect and protect the fundamental human rights of all its citizens under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights. In addition to her statement of 20 December 2013, the High Representative issued a further statement on 18 February 2014 and a declaration on behalf of the EU condemning the Act on 4 March 2014, it is noted that the Act is being challenged in the Ugandan Courts.

The EU and Uganda will discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Act and its potential impact on relations under the Cotonou Agreement at a round of enhanced political dialogue on 28 March. Any further budget support payments have been placed on hold until the outcome of this meeting.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002283/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 ta' Frar 2014)

Suġġett: Rapport kontra l-korruzzjoni

Fl-ewwel rapport tagħha kontra l-korruzzjoni, il-Kummissjoni ppubblikat sensiela ta' rakkomandazzjonijiet lil kull Stat Membru dwar kif jistgħu jiġġieldu l-korruzzjoni b'mod aktar effettiv.

Il-Kummissjoni kif qed tippjana li tissorvelja l-progress ta' kull Stat Membru fir-rigward ta' dawn ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet?

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

(27 ta' Marzu 2014)

Kif spjegat fit-tweġiba għall-mistoqsija E-002098/2014 bil-miktub preċedenti tal-Onorevoli Membru, il-Kummissjoni tippjana li timpenja lill-Istati Membri fi djalogu ta' segwitu dwar il-passi futuri ssuġġeriti fir-Rapport tal-UE dwar il-Ġlieda Kontra l-Korruzzjoni. Il-Kummissjoni din is-sena se tpoġġi fis-seħħ ukoll programm ta' qsim ta' esperjenzi biex jgħin lill-Istati Membri, NGOs lokali u partijiet interessati oħra jaqsmu prattika tajba u jegħlbu nuqqasijiet fil-politika tal-ġlieda kontra l-korruzzjoni, jiffaċilitaw x-xogħol ta' segwitu, jqajjmu l-għarfien, u jipprovdu t-taħriġ. Bħala segwitu għall-ewwel rapport, it-tieni rapport se jkun ippubblikat fl-2016.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002283/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Anti-corruption report

In its first anti-corruption report, the Commission published a series of recommendations to each Member State on combating corruption more effectively.

How does the Commission intend to monitor the progress of each Member State as regards these recommendations?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 2014)

As explained in the answer to the Honourable Member's previous Written Question E-002098/2014, the Commission plans to engage Member States in dialogue on follow-up of future steps suggested in the EU Anti-Corruption Report. The Commission will also put in place this year an experience sharing programme to help Member States, local NGOs and other stakeholders exchange good practice and overcome shortcomings in anti-corruption policy, facilitate follow-up work, raise awareness, and provide training. As a follow up to the first report, the second report will be published in 2016.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002284/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 ta' Frar 2014)

Suġġett: Ftehimiet dwar ripatrijazzjoni

Reċentement il-Parlament Ewropew approva l-pakkett UE-Turkija dwar ir-ripatrijazzjoni ta' nazzjonali ta' pajjiżi terzi illegalment residenti fl-UE.

Il-Kummissjoni tipprevedi li jintlaħqu ftehimiet simili ma' pajjiżi oħra?

Liema kundizzjonijiet għandhom jiġu sodisfatti sabiex tali ftehimiet jintlaħqu?

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

(13 ta' Mejju 2014)

Minbarra l-ftehim ta' riammissjoni bejn l-UE u t-Turkija, l-UE reċentement ikkonkludiet negozjati ta' riammissjoni mal-Kap Verde (iffirmat fit-18 ta' April 2013), mal-Armenja (fid-19 ta' April 2013, bi dħul fis-seħħ fl-1 ta' Jannar 2014) u mal-Ażerbajġan (fit-28 ta' Frar 2014).

Ma hemm l-ebda prekundizzjonijiet biex jinfetħu negozjati ta' riammissjoni mal-UE. Madankollu, hemm bosta fatturi li jitqiesu mill-Kummissjoni qabel ma titħejja rakkomandazzjoni lill-Kunsill għal awtorizzazzjoni biex ikunu nnegozjati ftehimiet ta' riammissjoni. Dawk il-fatturi jinkludu l-pressjoni migratorja u l-pożizzjoni ġeografika tal-pajjiż terz.

Skont l-Approċċ Globali għall-Migrazzjoni u l-Mobilità, kull darba li l-UE tiftaħ negozjati ta' ftehim għall-faċilitazzjoni tal-viża, irid jiġi nnegozjat ftehim ta' riammissjoni b'mod parallel. Il-Kummissjoni temmen li ftehimiet ta' riammissjoni futuri għandhom ikunu konklużi biss ma' pajjiżi terzi li jkun hemm inċentivi xierqa disponibbli għalihom, filwaqt li l-fokus ikun primarjament fuq il-pajjiżi ta' oriġini tal-migrazzjoni.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002284/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Repatriation agreements

The European Parliament has recently approved the EU-Turkey package on the repatriation of third-country nationals residing illegally in the EU.

Does the Commission envisage any similar agreements being reached with other countries?

What conditions must be met in order to reach such agreements?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(13 May 2014)

Apart from the EU-Turkey readmission agreement, the EU has recently concluded readmission negotiations with Cape Verde (signed on 18 April 2013), Armenia (19 April 2013, entry into force followed on 1 January 2014) and Azerbaijan (28 February 2014).

There are no preconditions to engage into readmission negotiations with the EU. Nevertheless there are several factors which are taken into consideration by the Commission before preparing a recommendation to the Council for an authorisation to negotiate readmission agreements. Those factors include migration pressure and the geographical position of a third country.

In accordance with the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, each time the EU engages in negotiations of a visa facilitation agreement, a readmission agreement is to be negotiated in parallel. The Commission believes that possible future readmission agreements should be concluded only with third countries for which appropriate incentives are available, while focusing primarily on countries of origin of migration.

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002285/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 ta' Frar 2014)

Suġġett: L-għoti tad-demm

Skont l-istatistika lokali, sa 5 % tal-popolazzjoni Maltija tagħti d-demm regolarment fuq bażi volontarja.

Il-Kummissjoni żżomm statistika dwar l-għadd ta' persuni li jagħtu d-demm regolarment fl-UE?

Il-Kummissjoni għandha strateġija biex iżżid il-livell tal-għoti tad-demm fl-Ewropa?

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

(2 ta' April 2014)

Filwaqt li l-Kummissjoni ma tiġborx dejta b'mod regolari mill-Istati Membri dwar ir-rati ta' donazzjoni tad-demm, bħala parti mill-istħarriġ tagħha dwar l-implimentazzjoni tad-Direttiva 2002/98/KE (5) hija ġabret informazzjoni dwar l-għadd ta’ donaturi tad-demm. F’dan il-qafas, Malta ddikjarat li fl-2012 kien hemm madwar 11,400 donatur attiv, u dan jammonta għal madwar 2.7% tal-popolazzjoni.

Fir-rigward taż-żieda fir-rati ta' donazzjoni fl-Ewropa, il-Kummissjoni tirreferi lill-Onorevoli Membru għat-tweġiba tagħha għall-mistoqsija P-001468/2013. (6)

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002285/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Blood donations

According to local statistics, up to 5% of the Maltese population voluntarily donates blood on a regular basis.

Does the Commission keep statistics on the number of people who regularly donate blood in the EU?

Does the Commission have a strategy to increase the number of blood donations in Europe?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(2 April 2014)

While the Commission does not regularly collect data from Member States on blood donation rates, it has gathered information on the number of blood donors as part of its survey of the implementation of Directive 2002/98/EC. (7) In this framework, Malta reported approximately 11 400 active donors in 2012, which equates to roughly 2.7% of the population.

Regarding increasing donation rates in Europe, the Commission refers the Honourable Member to its response to Question P-001468/2013. (8)

(Verżjoni Maltija)

Mistoqsija għal tweġiba bil-miktub E-002286/14

lill-Kummissjoni

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 ta' Frar 2014)

Suġġett: Il-piż tal-burokrazija

Rapport ippubblikat dan l-aħħar mill-Kummissjoni dwar l-effiċjenza tal-amministrazzjoni pubblika qiegħed lil Malta fl-aħħar post f'dak li għandu x'jaqsam mal-ammont ta' burokrazija meħtieġa biex tibda impriża kummerċjali.

Fid-dawl ta' dan ir-rapport, x'miżuri qed tipproponi li tieħu l-Kummissjoni ħalli tnaqqas l-ammont ta' burokrazija?

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

(30 ta' April 2014)

Minħabba li fil-mistoqsija mhux qed tiġi pprovduta l-ebda referenza speċifika għar-“rapport reċenti” mill-Kummissjoni, qed jiġi preżunt li qed issir referenza għat-“Tabella ta” Valutazzjoni tal-Prestazzjoni Industrijali' (9) ippubblikata mill-Kummissjoni f’Settembru 2013, fejn Malta kienet tabilħaqq ikklassifikata l-aħħar fir-rigward ta' ambjent tan-negozju fost 28 Stat Membru tal-UE. Id-dejta użata mill-Kummissjoni f’din it-Tabella ta’ Valutazzjoni toriġina mir-rapport tal-Bank Dinji intitolat “Doing Business”.

Il-Kummissjoni b’mod konsistenti tistieden u tinkoraġġixxi lill-Istati Membri biex isaħħu l-kapaċità istituzzjonali u amministrattiva tagħhom, jissemplifikaw u jnaqqsu l-piż amministrattiv fuq in-negozji u jtejbu l-kwalità tal-leġiżlazzjoni sabiex jitrawwem it-tkabbir ekonomiku.

Il-Kummissjoni ilha mill-2007 timmonitorja tliet għanijiet stabbiliti għas-semplifikazzjoni amministrattiva għal impriżi li għadhom jibdew, jiġifieri l-eżistenza ta’ punt uniku ta' servizz għal proċeduri ta' ftuħ ta’ negozju, il-ħin u l-ispejjeż biex titwaqqaf kumpanija.

Fl-2011, il-Kunsill dwar il-kompetittività stieden lill-Istati Membri “biex inaqqsu ż-żmien li intrapriżi ġodda jieħdu biex jibdew in-negozju għal 3 ijiem u l-ispiża għal EUR 100 sal-2012”. L-Istati Membri huma mistiedna jaġġornaw l-informazzjoni dwar dawn iċ-ċifri kull sena.

Skont id-dejta miġbura mill-Kummissjoni, fl-2013, iż-żmien biex kumpanija tibda n-negozju tagħha f’Malta kien bejn 5 sa 8 ijiem u l-ispiża kienet ta’ EUR 210, filwaqt li madwar l-Istati Membri tal-UE, iż-żmien medju biex titwaqqaf kumpanija kien ta’ 4.2 ijiem u l-ispiża kienet ta’ EUR 315.

L-informazzjoni kollha dwar din il-kwistjoni u l-progress minn sena għall-oħra għal kull pajjiż tista’ tinstab fuq: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/business-environment/start-up-procedures/index_en.htm

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002286/14

to the Commission

Marlene Mizzi (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Burden of bureaucracy

A recent report published by the Commission on the efficiency of public administration ranked Malta in last place in terms of the amount of bureaucracy needed to start a business enterprise.

In light of this report, what measures does the Commission propose to reduce the amount of bureaucracy?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 April 2014)

As in the question no specific reference to the ‘recent report’ from the Commission is provided, it is assumed that reference is made to the ‘Industrial Performance Scoreboard’ (10) published by the Commission in September 2013, where Malta was indeed ranked last as regards business environment among 28 EU Member States. Data used by the Commission in this Scoreboard originate from the World Bank Doing Business report.

The Commission consistently invites and encourages the Member States to strengthen their institutional and administrative capacity, simplify and reduce the administrative burden on businesses and improve the quality of legislation in order to foster economic growth.

Since 2007 the Commission has been monitoring 3 objectives established for administrative simplification for start-ups, namely the existence of one-stop-shop for start-up procedures, time and cost to start up a company.

In 2011, the Competitiveness Council invited Member States ‘to reduce the start-up time for new enterprises to 3 days and the cost to EUR 100 by 2012’. Member States are invited to update information on these figures annually.

According to the data collected by the Commission, in 2013 the time to start up a company in Malta was between 5 to 8 days and the cost was EUR 210, while across the EU Member States the average time to start-up a company was 4.2 days and the cost was EUR 315.

All information on this issue and year-on-year progress for each country can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/business-environment/start-up-procedures/index_en.htm

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002287/14

alla Commissione

Patrizia Toia (S&D)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Situazione ambientale al villaggio ambrosiano

In data 19.5.2010 è stata avviata presso la Regione Lombardia una procedura per «Impianto di trattamento per il recupero e il riutilizzo delle scorie prodotte dall'incenerimento di rifiuti solidi urbani, dimensionato per trattare 150 000 t/a di scorie in ingresso» sito presso il Comune di Paderno Dugnano (MI), S.S. dei Giovi n. 80, inserito nel Sistema informativo lombardo per la valutazione di impatto ambientale — SILVIA — con codice di verifica SIA VER02-RT.

In data 16/7/2010 è stata rilasciata l'autorizzazione al non espletamento della procedura di valutazione di impatto ambientale (ai sensi del d.lgs. 152/06 e in conformità al d.d.g. 25 febbraio 1999, n. 1105) chiudendo la procedura di VIA senza possibilità di coinvolgimento del pubblico.

Il 1o.6.2011 la stessa struttura Autorizzazioni e innovazione in materia di rifiuti della Regione Lombardia, preso atto del risultato delle conferenze dei servizi, ha autorizzato l'impianto con atto 256 — d.d.s. n. 5029 dell'1.6.2011 (allegato 19), per la durata di 5 anni.

Può la Commissione precisare:

se ritiene che tutto ciò violi la direttiva 2005/370/CE del Consiglio del 17 febbraio 2005 sull'accesso alle informazioni, la partecipazione del pubblico ai processi decisionali e l'accesso alla giustizia in materia ambientale, la direttiva 85/337/CEE del Consiglio del 27 giugno 1985 concernente la valutazione dell'impatto ambientale di determinati progetti pubblici e privati (articolo 3) la direttiva 97/11/CE del Consiglio del 3 marzo 1997 che modifica la direttiva 85/337/CEE concernente la valutazione dell'impatto ambientale di determinati progetti pubblici e privati (articolo 5.1, allegato IV) e la direttiva 2008/98/CE del Consiglio del 19 novembre 2008 sui rifiuti pericolosi (articolo 13a e 13b) trattandosi di un impianto che esegue dichiaratamente trattamento e recupero di rifiuti pericolosi;

se intende prendere provvedimenti per far rispettare il diritto comunitario?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(16 aprile 2014)

Dalle informazioni fornite dall'onorevole deputato, la Commissione non ha ricavato alcun elemento che indichi una possibile violazione della direttiva 2008/98/CE relativa ai rifiuti (11) e della decisione 2005/370/CE del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione, a nome della Comunità europea, della convenzione sull'accesso alle informazioni, la partecipazione del pubblico ai processi decisionali e l'accesso alla giustizia in materia ambientale (12).

La Commissione ha già avviato un procedimento d'infrazione nei confronti dell'Italia (tuttora in corso) proprio riguardo alla mancata conformità della legislazione italiana alla direttiva VIA (procedimento n. 2009/2086).

La Commissione chiederà alle autorità italiane chiarimenti in merito all'applicazione, al progetto in questione, della direttiva 2011/92/EU concernente la valutazione dell’impatto ambientale di determinati progetti pubblici e privati (13), in particolare per quanto riguarda l'obbligo sancito dall'articolo 2, paragrafo 1, di svolgere, prima del rilascio dell'autorizzazione, una valutazione dell'impatto ambientale dei progetti per i quali si prevede che tale impatto sia significativo e anche per quanto riguarda l'obbligo, stabilito dall'articolo 6, di garantire la partecipazione del pubblico a questa procedura.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002287/14

to the Commission

Patrizia Toia (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Environmental situation in Villaggio Ambrosiano

On 19 May 2010 a procedure was instigated for the construction of a ‘Treatment plant for the recovery and recycling of waste generated by municipal solid waste incineration, with capacity for the treatment of 150 000 tons/annum of incoming waste’ on a site at No 80 S.S. dei Giovi in the Paderno Dugnano Municipality (MI), entered in the Lombardy Environmental Impact Assessment Information System‐ SILVIA — under control code SIA VER02-RT.

On 16 July 2010 authorisation was granted to suspend the environmental impact assessment procedure (in accordance with Legislative Decree 152/06 and DDG [Decree of the Director General] No 1105 of 25 February 1999), thus closing the EIA without the possibility of public involvement.

On 1 June 2011, in consideration of the outcome of a conference of services, the Lombardy Region’s Waste Authorisations and Innovation Department granted authorisation for the plant in Decision No 256 — DDS [Decree of the Departmental Chief Executive] No 5029 of 1 June 2011 (Annex 19) for a period of 5 years.

Can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does it consider that, in overall terms, the situation described above breaches Directive 2005/370/EC of the Council of 17 February 2005 on access to information, public participation in decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters, Directive 85/337/EEC of the Council of 27 June 1985 concerning environmental impact assessments for specific public and private projects (Article 3), Directive 97/11/EC of the Council of 3 March 1997, amending Directive 85/337/EEC concerning environmental impact assessments for specific public and private projects (Article 5.1, Annexe IV) and Directive 2008/98/EC of the Council of 19 November 2008 on hazardous waste (Articles 13a and 13b), with reference to a plant which acknowledges engagement in the treatment and recovery of hazardous waste?

Does it intend to take measures to ensure compliance with Community law?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

From the information provided by the Honourable Member, the Commission could not identify the elements of a potential breach of Directive 2008/98/EC (14) on waste and of Council Decision 2005/370/CE (15) on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

The Commission has already launched an infringement procedure against Italy (still on-going), relating precisely to the non-conformity of the Italian legislation with the EIA directive (2009/2086).

The Commission will ask the Italian Authorities to provide clarifications on the application, to this specific project, of Directive 2011/92/EU (16) on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, with regard to the duty foreseen by Art. 2(1) to carry out an environmental impact assessment procedure for projects likely to have significant impacts on the environment, before development consent is given, and also with regard to the duty to ensure public participation to this procedure, as required by Art. 6 of the directive.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002288/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Nuova metodologia per valutare qualità e origine dell'olio

L'Università della Calabria risponde alle dubbie accuse mosse da un noto quotidiano statunitense contro l'olio extravergine d'oliva Made in Italy, secondo cui olio spacciato per italiano sarebbe invece importato da Spagna, Grecia, Tunisia, Marocco, per essere manipolato, miscelato e imbottigliato come italiano.

Alcuni ricercatori della suddetta università hanno perfezionato la tecnica di controllo della risonanza magnetica, grazie alla quale è possibile stabilire in maniera certa la freschezza dell'olio d'oliva e tracciarne l'origine. Il metodo permette di identificare e dosare i microelementi presenti nell'olio che permettono di ricondurlo alla terra dove è coltivato, eliminando ogni dubbio riguardo alla provenienza del prodotto.

Alla luce di questa nuova metodologia, può la Commissione chiarire se:

è a conoscenza della scoperta dei ricercatori dell'Università della Calabria;

pensa sia possibile effettuare un'operazione di ottimizzazione della nuova metodologia in tutta Europa, non appena ne verrà depositato il brevetto?

Risposta di Dacian Cioloş a nome della Commissione

(9 aprile 2014)

La Commissione non è al corrente di questa ricerca effettuata dall'Università della Calabria mediante la tecnica di controllo della risonanza magnetica.

Gradiremmo ricevere ulteriori informazioni circa il controllo delle caratteristiche chimiche od organolettiche degli oli d'oliva in modo da valutarne l'applicabilità in base al parere degli esperti dell'UE e del Consiglio oleicolo internazionale (COI).

A tal proposito, il piano d'azione per il settore dell'olio d'oliva, presentato nel giugno 2012, intende, fra le altre cose, migliorare i metodi di analisi dell'olio d'oliva.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002288/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: New methodology to assess the quality and origin of olive oil

The University of Calabria has responded to the dubious accusations put forward in a well-known American daily newspaper regarding Made in Italy extra-virgin olive oil, according to which oil passed off as Italian is in fact being imported from Spain, Greece, Tunisia and Morocco and then adulterated, blended and bottled as Italian.

Researchers at the above University have perfected a magnetic resonance control technique which allows the freshness and origin of the oil to be established with certainty. The method makes it possible to identify and measure trace elements in the oil, which in turn makes it possible to pinpoint the area of cultivation, removing any doubt concerning the provenance of the product.

In the light of this new methodology, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of this discovery by researchers at the University of Calabria?

Does it envisage the possibility that this new methodology can be optimised throughout Europe once a patent has been filed?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Commission is not aware of this research carried out by the University of Calabria using the magnetic resonance control technique.

We would welcome receiving further details regarding the control of the chemical or organoleptic characteristics of olive oils in order to evaluate its applicability with EU and IOC (International Olive Council) experts.

In this respect, the olive oil action plan presented in June 2012 aims inter alia to improve methods to analyse olive oil.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002290/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Nuove scoperte nel campo della fusione atomica

Una rivista scientifica ha annunciato che lo scorso autunno alcuni scienziati americani sono riusciti a avviare un processo di fusione atomica, ottenendo più energia dalla fusione rispetto a quella bruciata per innescarla e creando, di fatto, una sorta di piccola stella artificiale.

L'esperimento condotto in laboratorio consisteva nel lanciare 192 raggi laser su una minuscola sfera, generando una reazione di fusione che ha scatenato un'enorme quantità di energia per una piccola frazione di secondo. In questo modo sono riusciti a creare condizioni simili a quelle presenti sulle stelle come il Sole.

A detta degli scienziati, si tratta solo di un primo passo, ma comunque i risultati hanno superato di gran lunga le aspettative. La riuscita dell'esperimento segna comunque un decisivo passo avanti lungo la via verso la creazione di una fonte di energia controllata, a basso costo e potenzialmente illimitata.

In merito a questo esperimento, può la Commissione chiarire se:

è già a conoscenza della ricerca in oggetto;

esistono in Europa studi simili a questo su cui l'UE stia investendo, nel contesto della lotta contro i cambiamenti climatici, della diversificazione del portafoglio energetico e della protezione ambientale?

Risposta di Máire Geoghegan-Quinn a nome della Commissione

(16 aprile 2014)

1.

La Commissione è a conoscenza delle recenti attività di ricerca sull'energia da fusione inerziale condotte dal NIF (National Ignition Facility), installazione finanziata dal Ministero della difesa, in California. Sebbene siano stati fatti progressi, l'energia prodotta corrisponde ancora ad appena l'1 % di quella necessaria per attivare i laser.

2.

Anche l'UE è attiva nella ricerca sull'energia da fusione inerziale. Il Settimo programma quadro Euratom (17) ha finanziato diversi laboratori nazionali. Il programma per le infrastrutture di ricerca del Settimo programma quadro dell'UE (18) ha sostenuto la fase preparatoria del progetto HiPER (High Power laser Energy Research) (19), finalizzato a realizzare un'infrastruttura per la fusione laser, previsto dalla tabella di marcia dell'ESFRI (Forum strategico europeo sulle infrastrutture di ricerca) (20).

La fusione ha le potenzialità per divenire un'importante fonte di energia elettrica senza emissioni di carbonio e in grado di offrire una sostenibilità praticamente illimitata. Esistono due approcci per la produzione di energia in questo settore: la fusione inerziale e la fusione a confinamento magnetico. Il primo di tali approcci presenta ancora importanti questioni irrisolte prima che possa diventare una fonte di energia elettrica continua e competitiva. Nel campo della fusione a confinamento magnetico, già negli anni '90 l'impresa comune JET (Joint European Torus) ha dimostrato la fusione in quanto fonte energetica, producendo una potenza in uscita di poco inferiore a quella assorbita per innescare la reazione. ITER, il reattore per la ricerca internazionale sulla fusione attualmente in costruzione in Francia, permetterà di conseguire un fattore di guadagno netto di potenza pari a 10 per svariati minuti. L'energia da fusione inerziale commerciale è ritenuta una sfida a più lungo termine e la maggior parte dei finanziamenti, compresi quelli dell'Euratom, è destinata alla ricerca sull'energia da fusione a confinamento magnetico. Si prevede il cofinanziamento, nell'ambito del programma Euratom di Orizzonte 2020 (21), di un programma comune di vasta portata, in linea con la tabella di marcia concordata per la produzione di energia elettrica da fusione a confinamento magnetico entro la metà del secolo; saranno inoltre stanziati fondi limitati per la produzione di energia da fusione inerziale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002290/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: New discoveries in the field of nuclear fusion

A scientific journal has announced that last autumn some American scientists were able to instigate a process of nuclear fusion, from which they obtained more energy than the energy consumed to trigger it. They in fact created a tiny man-made star.

The laboratory experiment involved targeting 192 laser beams at a miniscule sphere, generating a fusion reaction which triggered a vast quantity of energy in a fraction of a second. By this means the scientists have created conditions similar to those present on stars such as the sun.

According to the scientists, this is only a first step, although the results have by far exceeded expectations. The success of the experiment at any rate signals a decisive step forward towards the creation of a controlled, low-cost and potentially unlimited energy source.

With regard to this experiment, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of the research described above?

Can it indicate whether there are studies similar to the above in Europe in which the EU is investing in the context of the struggle against climate change, diversification of the energy portfolio and environmental protection?

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

(16 April 2014)

1.

The Commission is aware of the latest research in inertial fusion energy (IFE) at the defence-funded National Ignition Facility (NIF), California. Though representing progress, the energy produced is still only 1% of that required to activate the lasers.

2.

The EU is also involved in IFE research. Euratom FP7 (22) has provided funding to a number of national laboratories. The EU FP7 (23) Research Infrastructures programme supported the preparatory phase of HiPER (High Power laser Energy Research facility) (24), which is on the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) (25) roadmap.

Fusion has the potential to become an important source of carbon-free electricity with practically unlimited sustainability. There are two approaches: IFE and magnetic confinement fusion energy (MFE). There are still many fundamental issues to resolve in IFE before it can be a source of continuous and competitive electricity. In MFE, the Joint European Torus (JET) already demonstrated fusion energy in the 1990s, with a power output only slightly lower than the power injected to trigger the reaction. ITER, the international fusion research reactor under construction in France, will achieve a factor 10 net gain in power for several minutes. Commercial IFE is recognised as a longer-term challenge and most funding, including in Euratom, is on MFE. An extensive Joint Programme, in line with the agreed EU roadmap to electricity generation from MFE by the middle of the Century, is foreseen to be co-funded by the Horizon 2020 (26) Euratom programme, and will also provide limited funding for IFE.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-002293/14

an die Kommission

Michael Theurer (ALDE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Gesetzentwurf über das nationale Amt für Rechnungsprüfung in Bulgarien

Die bulgarische Regierung hat vor Kurzem einen Gesetzentwurf zur Reform der Verwaltungsvorschriften für das nationale Amt für Rechnungsprüfung in Bulgarien vorgelegt. Es wurden bereits mehrfach Bedenken dahin gehend geäußert, ob die geplanten Maßnahmen den internationalen Standards genügen, insbesondere den in den Erklärungen der Internationalen Organisation der Obersten Rechnungskontrollbehörden von Lima und Mexiko niedergelegten Grundsätzen. Vor allem die folgenden Bestimmungen stellen offensichtlich einen schweren Verstoß gegen diese Grundsätze dar:

Von den Mitgliedern des Amts für Rechnungsprüfung, das sich aus einem Kollegium von neun Mitgliedern zusammensetzt, wird keine besondere Erfahrung im Bereich der Rechnungslegung verlangt.

Der Gesetzentwurf sieht Finanzprüfungsabteilungen vor, die von den Mitgliedern des Kollegiums verwaltet werden, an die keine beruflichen Anforderungen gestellt werden.

Mit dem Gesetzentwurf wird die Anforderung aufgehoben, wonach die Rechnungsprüfer eine Bescheinigung über ihre berufliche Eignung und die entsprechenden Qualifikationen vorlegen müssen, wie dies im geltenden Rechtsakt verlangt wird.

Nach dem Gesetzentwurf soll in der Nationalversammlung über den Jahresbericht des Amts für Rechnungsprüfung abgestimmt werden, wodurch es möglicherweise zu einem Misstrauensvotum gegen die Leitung des Amts für Rechnungsprüfung kommen könnte. Dies steht im Widerspruch zum Grundsatz des Mandats, mit dem die Unabhängigkeit der Einrichtung gewährleistet wird.

Aufgrund dieses Gesetzentwurfs könnte eine Mehrheit der Mitglieder des Amts für Rechnungsprüfung das Mandat jedes Kollegen aussetzen, dessen Verhalten sie als „unannehmbar“ erachtet.

Wurde die Kommission von der bulgarischen Regierung zu dem Gesetzentwurf konsultiert oder von ihr in Kenntnis gesetzt, bevor der Entwurf der bulgarischen Nationalversammlung vorgelegt wurde?

Hält die Kommission die im Gesetzentwurf niedergelegten Maßnahmen und Vorschriften für vereinbar mit internationalen Standards, insbesondere mit Artikel 5 und 6 der Erklärung von Lima und mit der Erklärung von Mexiko, in denen die unabhängige Funktionsweise der Rechnungslegungsbehörden und insbesondere die Unabhängigkeit und die Integrität ihrer Mitglieder gewährleistet werden?

Kann die Kommission angesichts des oben erwähnten schwerwiegenden Verstoßes Anmerkungen und Empfehlungen vorlegen, damit gewährleistet ist, dass die geplanten Vorschriften die Effizienz der Rechnungsprüfung und die politische Unabhängigkeit des nationalen bulgarischen Amts für Finanzprüfung von EU-Mitteln und bulgarischen öffentlichen Mitteln nicht gefährden?

Antwort von Herrn Šemeta im Namen der Kommission

(28. März 2014)

In Bezug auf die erste Frage des Herrn Abgeordneten zur Übereinstimmung der Maßnahmen und Bestimmungen, die in dem Gesetzentwurf festgelegt werden, mit den internationalen Standards, aber auch als Antwort auf die zweite Frage, möchte die Kommission darauf hinweisen, dass sie in Bezug auf den vollständigen Entwurf, der nun vom bulgarischen Parlament geprüft wird, nicht konsultiert wurde. Als Mitgliedstaat ist Bulgarien nicht verpflichtet, die Kommission in solchen Fällen zu konsultieren oder zu unterrichten. Die Kommission kann daher zu diesem Sachverhalt nicht Stellung nehmen. Die Kommission ist sich jedoch bewusst, dass einige Mitglieder des bulgarischen Rechnungshofs Bedenken über die Zusammensetzung des vorgeschlagenen Kollegiums und die für seine Mitglieder geltenden Zulassungskriterien haben.

In Bezug auf die Anmerkungen und Empfehlungen, zu denen der Herr Abgeordnete die Kommission in seiner dritten Frage auffordert, möchte die Kommission erneut unterstreichen, dass ihr, wie oben dargelegt, nicht genügend Informationen vorliegen, um eine Stellungnahme abzugeben. Es liegt jedoch auf der Hand, dass das für Bulgarien bei seinem Beitritt im Jahr 2007 geltende Gemeinschaftsrecht einschließlich der organisatorischen, funktionellen und finanziellen Unabhängigkeit der staatlichen Rechnungsprüfungsbehörde gegenüber der Exekutive, gültig bleibt.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002293/14

to the Commission

Michael Theurer (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Draft Bulgarian law on the National Audit Office

The Bulgarian Government has recently presented a draft law reforming the rules of governance of the Bulgarian National Audit Office. Several concerns have already been expressed with regard to the compliance of the planned measures with international standards, in particular with the principles laid down in the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions’ Lima and Mexico Declarations. In particular, it appears that the following provisions would represent serious breaches of these principles:

The members of the Audit Office, composed of a college of nine members, will not be required to have any special experience of auditing activities.

The draft law provides for auditing divisions which will be managed by the members of the college, for whom no professional requirements are stipulated.

The draft law repeals the requirement that auditors must hold a certificate proving their professional capacity and qualifications as required by the current legislative act.

Under the draft law, the annual report of the Audit Office would be subject to a vote in the National Assembly, thus creating the possibility of a vote of no confidence in the Audit Office executive. This is contrary to the mandate principle which assures the institution’s independence.

The draft law would allow a majority of the Audit Office’s members to suspend the mandate of any of their colleagues whose conduct they consider to be ‘unacceptable’.

Has the Commission been consulted or notified of the draft law prepared by the Bulgarian Government ahead of its presentation to the Bulgarian National Assembly?

Does the Commission consider the measures and provisions laid down in the draft law to be in compliance with international standards, in particular with Articles 5 and 6 of the Lima Declaration and Articles 2 and 3 of the Mexico Declaration, which guarantee the independent functioning of the auditing institutions and, in particular, the independence and integrity of their members?

In light of the serious breach highlighted above, could the Commission provide comments and recommendations to ensure that the planned provisions do not put at risk the effectiveness of the audit and political independence of the Bulgarian National Audit Office from EU funds and Bulgarian public assets?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(28 March 2014)

As regards the first question of the Honourable Member on the compliance of the measures and provisions laid down in the draft law with international standards, and also in reply to the second question, the Commission would like to point out that it has not been consulted upon the full draft law which is now under scrutiny by the Bulgarian Parliament. As a Member State, Bulgaria is not under legal obligation to consult or to notify the Commission in such cases. The Commission cannot therefore take a position in this regard. The Commission, however, is aware that some members of the Bulgarian National Audit Office have concerns about the composition of the proposed college and the eligibility criteria set for its members.

Concerning comments and recommendations the Honourable Member calls on the Commission to make in the third question, it again would like to underline that, as explained above, it has insufficient information to provide an opinion. It is clear however that the acquis applicable to Bulgaria upon its accession in 2007, including organisational, functional and financial independence of the State Audit Institution towards the executive, remains valid.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002294/14

an die Kommission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Armut, Obdachlosigkeit und eine neue Immobilienblase

Einer jüngsten Veröffentlichung in den Medien zufolge sind in der EU mehr als elf Millionen Wohnungen ungenutzt. Es steht außer Frage, dass es hier einerseits um Eigentum und andererseits um die Zuständigkeit der Mitgliedstaaten geht — aber angesichts des Gegenparts von über vier Millionen Obdachlosen muss man hier von einer deutlichen Diskrepanz sprechen.

1.

Wie bewertet die Kommission diesen „Trend“, dass Wohnraum mehr und mehr zum Investitionsobjekt umdeklariert wird?

2.

Welche Programme aus den Mitgliedstaaten sind der Kommission bekannt, die konkret dieser Entwicklung entgegenwirken?

3.

Hat die Kommission Empfehlungen an die Mitgliedstaaten herausgegeben, die diese Problematik zum Inhalt haben und wenn ja, welche Strategien erachtet die Kommission als geeignet, diesen Entwicklungen entgegenzuwirken?

4.

Welche Konsequenzen sind auf den europäischen Wohnungsmärkten nach Ansicht der Kommission zu erwarten, wenn diese Tendenz „Wohnraum als Investitionsobjekt“ mittel‐ bis längerfristig anhält?

Antwort von Herrn Andor im Namen der Kommission

(23. Mai 2014)

Der Kommission ist bekannt, dass es in mehreren Mitgliedstaaten viele obdachlose Menschen und gleichzeitig viele ungenutzte Wohnungen gibt. Das ist nicht nur eine ineffiziente Nutzung von Ressourcen, sondern gibt auch Anlass zur Besorgnis.

Zwar sind für die Wohnungsmarktpolitik die Mitgliedstaaten zuständig, doch haben die Wohnungsmärkte durchaus unionsweite Auswirkungen: Die Verhinderung von Immobilienblasen und die Förderung effizienter Mietwohnungsmärkte stehen im Mittelpunkt des Verfahrens bei einem makroökonomischen Ungleichgewicht und liegen mehreren länderspezifischen Empfehlungen zugrunde, die im Jahr 2013 beispielsweise an die Niederlande, Spanien, Schweden und das Vereinigte Königreich gerichtet wurden.

Die Kommission hat die Mitgliedstaaten bereits mehrfach dazu aufgerufen, die Steuerlast von der Arbeit auf andere Bereiche zu verschieben, etwa auf die Besteuerung von Vermögen, was sich ebenfalls in länderspezifischen Empfehlungen niedergeschlagen hat. Durch Erhöhung der mit dem Besitz einer ungenutzten Immobilie verbundenen Opportunitätskosten schaffen derartige Steuern auch einen Anreiz zur vernünftigen Nutzung und Vermietung von Wohnungen. Der Kauf eines Eigenheims kann für Bürgerinnen und Bürger, die es sich leisten können, eine gute Investition fürs Leben sein.

Angemessener Wohnraum ist ein Schlüssel zur sozialen Eingliederung. Eindeutige, transparente Kriterien für die Förderung und Vergabe von Sozialwohnungen sorgen dafür, dass öffentliche Mittel richtig und im Interesse der Begünstigten eingesetzt werden, denn sie verhindern, dass gerade diejenigen, die am dringendsten auf Sozialwohnungen angewiesen sind, davon ausgeschlossen bleiben.

Darüber hinaus können Turbulenzen auf den Wohnungs- und Hypothekenmärkten zu Räumungen führen, so dass Tausende von Obdachlosigkeit bedroht sind. Mit Blick auf dieses Problem hat die Kommission in ihrem Sozialinvestitionspaket die Mitgliedstaaten dazu aufgerufen, Wohnungsbaumaßnahmen zu entwickeln, die das Problem der Obdachlosigkeit effektiver lösen können, wie etwa die Nutzung leerstehender Häuser.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002294/14

to the Commission

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Poverty, homelessness and a new property bubble

According to a recent publication in the media, there are over eleven million unoccupied homes in the EU. Unquestionably, this is firstly a matter of private property and secondly a responsibility of the Member States. Nevertheless, when this figure is set against a total of over four million homeless people, one is compelled to speak of a significant discrepancy.

1.

How does the Commission view the trend whereby homes are increasingly redefined as a form of investment property?

2.

What programmes is the Commission aware of in Member States that specifically counteract this development?

3.

Has the Commission issued recommendations to the Member States in respect of this problem and, if so, what strategies does the Commission regard as suitable for counteracting these developments?

4.

In the Commission's view, what will be the expected consequences for European housing markets if this ‘homes as investment’ tendency continues into the medium or long term?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2014)

The Commission is aware of the large number of homeless people in several Member States, together with a large number of housing remaining unoccupied. This constitutes not only an inefficient use of resources but also a source of concern.

While the competence for housing market policies lies with the Member States, there are nevertheless implications of housing markets with a community relevance: avoiding housing price bubbles and fostering efficient rental markets are at the core of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, and have motivated a number of Country Specific Recommendations addressed for instance to the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK in 2013.

The Commission has called Member States on various occasions to switch taxes from labour to other sources, such as recurring taxation of property, also reflected in Country Specific Recommendations. By raising the opportunity cost of owning an unoccupied property, these taxes also create incentives to use well and to rent out property. The purchase of a home can be a wise life time investment for citizens who can afford it.

Adequate housing is key for social inclusion. Clear-cut, transparent eligibility and allocation criteria for social housing ensure that public funds are used properly and are in the interest of the beneficiaries because they prevent those most in need from being excluded from social housing.

Moreover, turbulences in the housing and mortgage markets may lead to evictions threatening thousands to fall into homelessness. To address this issue in the Social Investment Package the Commission called on Member States to develop housing-led approach which offers a more effective solution to homelessness such as using vacant houses.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-002295/14

adresată Comisiei

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(27 februarie 2014)

Subiect: Parrainage pentru tinerii la început de drum

Tinerii care ies de pe băncile școlilor sau care finalizează cursuri de pregătire profesională, mai ales cei care provin din medii defavorizate, femeile care vor să reia activitatea profesională întreruptă din cauza creșterii copiilor, persoanele în vârstă de peste 50 de ani care doresc să participe la programe de reconversie profesională au de multe ori dificultăți în a se integra pe piața forței de muncă.

Persoane de diferite vârste și cu pregătire profesională diversă se implică, în ultimii ani, în programe de „parrainage” destinate tuturor celor menționați mai sus, pentru a da acestor persoane sfaturi pentru integrarea pe piața forței de muncă sau reluarea unei activități profesionale, pentru elaborarea și lansarea unui proiect profesional, pentru a le reda încrederea în vederea unei inserții profesionale reușite.

Fiecare persoană participantă la programe de acest gen poate să își aducă propria contribuție, care este cu atât mai importantă, cu cât ea vine de la o persoană la final de carieră, care dorește să transmită din experiența acumulată persoanelor mai tinere și nu numai.

Experiența acumulată la nivel micro poate constitui un punct de plecare pentru extinderea sa la nivel regional și în cadrul unor proiecte transfrontaliere.

Ce are în vedere Comisia pentru a sprijini proiecte de acest gen și, mai ales, parteneriatele între autoritățile locale și regionale și ONG-uri sau structuri private, educaționale, din domeniul serviciilor etc., inclusiv în cadrul unor proiecte transfrontaliere?

Răspuns dat de dl Andor în numele Comisiei

(24 aprilie 2014)

Comisia este de acord cu afirmația distinsei membre a Parlamentului referitoare la contribuția valoroasă pe care o pot avea angajații cu experiență la sprijinirea integrării persoanelor aflate la începutul carierei sau a reintegrării lucrătorilor mai în vârstă pe piața muncii.

Recomandarea Consiliului privind un cadru de calitate pentru stagii (27) prevede că stagiarii trebuie să fie supravegheați și îndrumați de un mentor cu experiență. Totodată, Alianța europeană pentru ucenicii promovează uceniciile de calitate care pot ușura în mod eficace tranziția către un loc de muncă a tinerilor.

Dat fiind cazul uceniciilor, este de datoria serviciilor publice de ocupare a forței de muncă (PES) din statele membre să ofere sprijin și îndrumare în mod individual lucrătorilor atunci când consideră că este necesar, după o evaluare amănunțită a opțiunilor de integrare a persoanelor pe piața muncii. Îmbunătățirea îndrumării, inclusiv promovarea unor metode noi, face parte din strategia PES 2020 formulată de rețeaua PES europeană cu sprijinul Comisiei.

Programul-pilot pentru mobilitatea forței de muncă, intitulat „Primul tău loc de muncă EURES”, urmărește să ajute tinerii (cu vârste cuprinse între 18 și 30 de ani) să își găsească un loc de muncă, un stagiu sau o ucenicie într-un alt stat membru. Acesta este implementat de serviciile de ocupare a forței de muncă și de integrare în muncă și oferă informații, sprijin pentru recrutare, pentru căutarea unui loc de muncă și pentru plasare. Tinerii și organizațiile mici și mijlocii pot primi sprijin financiar pentru a contribui la procesul de relocalizare și integrare a candidaților. În perioada 2014-2020, acest tip de program va fi dezvoltat mai mult în cadrul Programului UE pentru ocuparea forței de muncă și inovare socială sub forma unui program de mobilitate specific. De asemenea, programul Erasmus+ oferă o finanțare sporită proiectelor de cooperare, dar și studenților, stagiarilor și ucenicilor care participă la programe de mobilitate, ceea ce le poate mări acestora șansele de angajare.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002295/14

to the Commission

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: ‘Sponsorship’ for young people at the start of their careers

School leavers or young people completing their professional training, in particular those in less favoured circumstances, women wishing to resume their careers after a break for childcare and over-50s seeking professional reconversion frequently encounter difficulties regarding access to the employment market.

Persons of different ages and with different qualifications have in recent years been helping with ‘sponsorship’ programmes providing persons such as those in the above categories with advice on entering or re-entering the employment market or drawing up and launching career plans and giving them confidence in their successful career resumption.

Valuable contributions can be made by every participant, in particular those approaching retirement and wishing to transmit the work experience they have gathered from the outset and throughout their careers.

Accumulated individual experience of this kind could provide a point of departure for extending the scheme on a regional or cross-border basis.

What measures are being envisaged by the Commission to support such projects, particularly those involving cooperation between local and regional authorities with NGOs or private educational infrastructures in the services sector and elsewhere, including cross-border projects?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member’s assessment about the valuable contribution that experienced employees can make in supporting the integration of career starters or reintegration of older workers in the labor market.

The Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships (28), foresees that an experienced mentor should follow and advise trainees. Also, the European Alliance for Apprenticeships promotes quality apprenticeships which can effectively ease young people's transition into jobs.

Further to the case of traineeships, it is the task of the Public Employment Services (PES) in Member States to offer individual support and guidance to workers where they deem it necessary after a thorough assessment of options to integrate the persons' into the labour market. Improved provision of guidance including promoting new methods is a part of PES2020 strategy which was formulated by the European PES Network with the support of the Commission.

The pilot job mobility scheme ‘Your first EURES job’ aims to help young people (18-30) to find a job, traineeship or apprenticeship in another Member State. It is implemented by employment and work integration services and provides information, recruitment, matching and placement support. Young people and small and medium-sized organisations may receive financial support to help the candidates' relocation and integration process. In 2014-2020, this type of scheme will be further developed under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation as a Targeted Mobility Scheme. Also, the Erasmus+ programme provides a boost in funding to cooperation projects and the mobility students, trainees and apprentices, which can strengthen their employment prospects.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002296/14

a la Comisión

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Devolución en caliente de inmigrantes a Marruecos

La Guardia Civil lleva doce años entregando «en caliente» a inmigrantes subsaharianos a las autoridades de Marruecos.

Según los expertos esas devoluciones no están previstas por los Tratados internacionales, ni por la propia ley española de extranjería. Recuerdan también que una de las garantías de las devoluciones es la identificación previa de cada persona, lo que permite asegurarse que ninguna persona pone su vida en peligro si es trasladada a su país. Sin embargo, las devoluciones inmediatas realizadas durante los últimos doce años por el Gobierno español se han llevado a cabo sin identificación previa de los inmigrantes. Como consecuencia de la alarma social generada en torno a los recientes sucesos de Ceuta, el Gobierno español está trabajando en una próxima reforma de la ley de extranjería para legalizar esas prácticas.

Recientemente, la Sra. Malmstrom, Comisaria Europea de Asuntos de Interior, instó al ministro español a «examinar en particular el uso de la fuerza durante esta operación» y la presunta «devolución en caliente de inmigrantes a Marruecos», haciendo especial hincapié en «respetar los derechos fundamentales de las personas y el principio de no devolución».

¿Qué opinión le merece a la Comisión la devolución «en caliente» de inmigrantes realizada por el Gobierno del Reino de España?

¿Qué opinión le merece a la Comisión la propuesta del Gobierno del Reino de España de modificar la ley de extranjería para legalizar la devolución «en caliente» de dichos inmigrantes?

Respuesta de la Sra. Malmström en nombre de la Comisión

(23 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a su respuesta a la pregunta escrita E-013655/2013 (29).

En febrero de 2014, la Comisión pidió explicaciones a las autoridades españolas sobre los acontecimientos ocurridos en Ceuta. En su carta, la Comisión instaba a España a examinar el uso de la fuerza y la supuesta devolución de inmigrantes a Marruecos. España ha informado a la Comisión de que está llevando a cabo una investigación a fondo en relación con el incidente de Ceuta del 6 de febrero de 2014. La Comisión ha acogido con satisfacción esta iniciativa por parte de España y espera el resultado de dicha investigación.

En su papel de garante de los Tratados, la Comisión se reserva el derecho a adoptar las medidas adecuadas en el caso de que haya pruebas de que un Estado miembro ha infringido el Derecho de la UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002296/14

to the Commission

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Summary expulsion of immigrants to Morocco

For twelve years now the Spanish Guardia Civil has been carrying out ‘summary delivery’ of sub-Saharan immigrants to the Moroccan authorities.

The expert opinion on these expulsions is that they are not covered either by international treaties or by the Spanish law on immigration. It should not be forgotten either that one of the guarantees of the expulsion process is that each person is identified beforehand, which helps to ensure that nobody’s life will be placed at risk if he or she is returned to their country of origin. However, the immediate expulsions that have been carried out by the Spanish authorities over the past twelve years do not involve any prior identification of the immigrants concerned. As a result of the public concern arising from the recent incidents in Ceuta, the Spanish Government is working on an upcoming reform of the law on immigration to legalise these practices.

Mrs Malmström, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, recently urged the Spanish Government minister to ‘examine in particular the use of force during this operation’ and the alleged ‘summary expulsion of immigrants to Morocco’, stressing the need to ‘respect the fundamental rights of people and the principle of non-expulsion’.

What is the Commission’s view on the ‘summary’ expulsion of immigrants carried out by the Spanish authorities?

What is the Commission’s view on the Spanish Government’s proposal to amend the law on immigration in order to legalise the ‘summary’ expulsion of these immigrants?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-013655/2013 (30).

In February 2014, the Commission requested explanations from the Spanish authorities on events which took place in Ceuta. In that letter, the Commission invited Spain to look into the use of force and the alleged summary return of migrants to Morocco. Spain has informed the Commission that a full inquiry into the Ceuta incident of 6 February 2014 is currently going on. The Commission has welcomed this initiative by Spain and will wait for the outcome of that inquiry.

As guardian of the Treaties, the Commission reserves the right to take appropriate steps where there is evidence that a Member State has violated EC law.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002297/14

a la Comisión (Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: VP/HR — Nuevo bombardeo de Israel contra el Líbano

El pasado 24 de febrero Israel volvió a atacar diferentes posiciones en la zona este del Líbano, cerca de la frontera con Siria. Según fuentes libanesas, la fuerza aérea de Israel bombardeó con cohetes las inmediaciones del pueblo de Nabi Chit.

Israel vuelve a violar la práctica totalidad del Derecho internacional, continuando en su línea de declaración unilateral de guerra a Hezbolá. Israel lleva bombardeando a placer posiciones en Líbano desde hace años, de forma absolutamente unilateral y sin miedo a persecución judicial alguna. De esta forma, criminales de guerra y genocidas mueren en sus camas sin responder ante la justicia por sus fechorías, como en el caso del genocida recientemente fallecido Ariel Sharon.

Pero la repetición de este tipo de actos criminales no puede conducir a su normalización por parte de la comunidad internacional. Especialmente la Unión Europea debe abandonar la línea que viene manteniendo la Sra. Ashton y dejar de apoyar a Israel a toda costa. La Sra. Ashton, Angela Merkel y otras importantes autoridades políticas europeas continúan mostrando su apoyo a un régimen asesino y genocida que bombardea a placer, considerándose a sí mismo juez, jurado y verdugo de la región. Cada uno de estos dirigentes, cada vez que reafirma su apoyo a Israel, está violando lo dispuesto en la Decisión Marco 2008/913/JAI, que en su artículo 1, letra c), define como delito «la apología pública, la negación o trivialización flagrante de los crímenes de genocidio, crímenes contra la humanidad y crímenes de Guerra […]».

¿Piensa condenar la Vicepresidenta/Alta Representante a Israel por la nueva decisión unilateral de bombardear ilegalmente Líbano? ¿Piensa que el «derecho a proteger a su población de los ataques con cohetes por parte de facciones extremistas» que contemplaba en la respuesta a la pregunta E-004968/2013 supone una carta blanca para permitir todo tipo de bombardeo en la región? De no ser así, ¿cómo comprueba la UE que dichos ataques unilaterales se realizan con dicho fin? ¿Piensa congelar el Acuerdo de Asociación con Israel hasta que este abandone esta política? ¿Ha analizado pormenorizadamente si sus intervenciones y sus visitas a Israel, así como las de otras autoridades políticas europeas, pueden suponer un «delito de carácter racista o xenófobo» según la definición del artículo 1, letra c), de la Decisión Marco 2008/913/JAI?

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

(24 de abril de 2014)

La UE se ha enterado por los medios de comunicación de los últimos ataques aéreos israelíes cerca de la frontera sirio-libanesa.

La respuesta a la pregunta escrita E-004968/13 se basa en la posición consensuada del Consejo. En varias conclusiones del Consejo de Asuntos Exteriores sobre el proceso de paz en Oriente Próximo, como las adoptadas el 14 de mayo y el 10 de diciembre de  2012, los Estados miembros de la UE reiteraron unánimemente su compromiso con la seguridad de Israel, incluso en lo relativo a las amenazas vitales en la región.

No estamos considerando el recurso a sanciones en el contexto de las relaciones bilaterales UE-Israel, ya que las sanciones solo deberían plantearse cuando no exista ningún otro instrumento disponible al alcance, lo que no es el caso de las relaciones bilaterales entre la UE e Israel.

El compromiso con Israel es la manera más eficaz de transmitir a la otra parte las preocupaciones de la Unión Europea en esta materia.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002297/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Fresh bombing of Lebanon by Israel

On 24 February last Israel again attacked various positions in the east of Lebanon near the border with Syria. According to Lebanese sources, the Israeli air force fired rockets near the village of Nabi Chit.

Once again Israel violates practically the whole of international law and continues in line with its unilateral declaration of war against Hezbollah. For years now Israel has been bombing positions in Lebanon as it pleases, completely unilaterally and with no fear of any judicial persecution. In this way, war criminals and perpetrators of genocide die in their beds without being brought to justice for their crimes, as happened in the case of the recently deceased Ariel Sharon, who was guilty of genocide.

However, the repetition of such criminal acts cannot lead to their normalisation so far as the international community is concerned. In particular, the European Union ought to abandon the line maintained up to now by Mrs Ashton and should stop supporting Israel at all costs. Mrs Ashton, Angela Merkel and other important European political figures continue to show support for what is a murdering and genocidal regime that bombs at pleasure and considers itself the region’s judge, jury and executioner. Every time one of these leaders reaffirms their backing for Israel, they are in violation of Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA, which in Article 1 c) defines as crimes ‘publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes […]’.

Does the Vice-President/High Representative intend to condemn Israel for its latest unilateral decision to bomb Lebanon illegally? Does she believe that the ‘right to protect its population from rocket attacks by extremist factions’, which she referred to in her answer to Question E‐004968/2013, means carte blanche for any sort of bombing in the region? If not, how does the EU verify that these unilateral attacks are being carried out with the aforementioned aim? Does she intend to suspend the Association Agreement with Israel until it abandons this policy? Has she analysed in detail whether her declarations and visits to Israel, and those of other important European political figures, might constitute a ‘crime of a racist or xenophobic nature’, according to the definition set out in Article 1 c) of Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA?

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

(24 April 2014)

The EU has been aware through media reports of the last Israel air strikes near the Lebanese-Syrian border.

The reply to Written Question E-004968/13 is based on the consensual position of the Council. In several FAC conclusions on MEPP, such as those adopted on 14.5 and 10.12.2012, EU Member States unanimously reiterated their commitment to the security of Israel, including with regard to vital threats in the region.

We are not contemplating the use of sanctions in the context of bilateral EU-Israel relations, since sanctions should only be considered when there is no other instrument at reach, which is not the case on bilateral EU-Israeli relations.

Engagement with Israel is the most effective way to convey to our counterpart the European Union’s concerns on such matters.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002298/14

a la Comisión

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Inclusión de los precios de origen como medida para evitar prácticas comerciales desleales en la cadena de suministro alimentario

El pasado 12 de noviembre, el Comité Económico y Social Europeo publicó un dictamen sobre el Libro Verde sobre las prácticas comerciales desleales en la cadena de suministro alimentario y no alimentario entre empresas en Europa.

Dicho dictamen recogía con satisfacción algunos avances actuales sobre la problemática específica de la cadena de suministro alimentario, cadena que viene arrastrando una situación de enorme injusticia para los productores agrícolas desde hace lustros. En su respuesta a mi pregunta E-011335/2012, el Comisario Ciolos afirmaba que «es más fácil dar solución a los problemas expuestos aplicando el mencionado código de buenas prácticas». El CESE, en su dictamen, sostuvo que: «los resultados hasta la fecha del Foro de Alto Nivel sobre la Mejora del Funcionamiento de la Cadena Alimentaria son bastante inciertos, porque el marco de implementación de “buenas prácticas” propuesto no se ha traducido en un acuerdo para frenar las prácticas comerciales desleales».

Consideramos que una solución a las prácticas desleales con un código de buenas prácticas resulta prácticamente un oxímoron que deja poco claro cómo la Comisión va actuar para resolver los problemas de la cadena alimentaria. En la misma respuesta, el Comisario afirmó tomar nota de la propuesta de integrar en el etiquetado el precio en origen de los productos, para informar así a los consumidores de las condiciones de la cadena alimentaria. Consideramos, al igual que organizaciones como la COAG, que ha desarrollado el IPOD, que una medida de estas características puede resultar la vía menos costosa y más trasparente para solucionar las prácticas desleales en la cadena alimentaria.

La Comisión tomó nota de la iniciativa de integrar el precio en origen en el etiquetado. ¿Piensa contemplar esta propuesta en la elaboración de los documentos que publique próximamente sobre este tema?

¿Considera ajustada a la realidad la citada afirmación del CESE sobre los resultados del Foro de Alto Nivel sobre la Mejora del Funcionamiento de la Cadena Alimentaria?

¿Por qué pretende solucionar las «prácticas comerciales desleales en la cadena de suministro alimentario» a través de la financiación del Pilar II de la PAC cuando se trata de un claro problema de organización común de mercados que podría ser solucionado a través de un mejor etiquetado?

Respuesta del Sr. Cioloş en nombre de la Comisión

(11 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión apoya la iniciativa que han lanzado para la cadena alimentaria ciertos sectores de esta procedentes de la oferta y de la venta al por menor con el fin de someter las relaciones contractuales a los principios de las buenas prácticas. La iniciativa, a la que se ha adherido un importante número de agentes del mercado desde su lanzamiento en septiembre de 2013, tiene que mejorarse más para poder cubrir todas las fases de la cadena alimentaria. La Comisión supervisa de cerca la iniciativa y en estos momentos está terminando de evaluar si es preciso o no complementarla con medidas adicionales.

La nueva política agrícola común (PAC) contempla un amplio abanico de medidas con las que es posible atender de forma flexible a las preocupaciones y necesidades de los distintos Estados miembros y de sus regiones. En lo que atañe a la mejora del funcionamiento de la cadena alimentaria, el objetivo de la nueva PAC es facilitar la cooperación entre los productores por dos vías: i) a través de la organización común de mercados, aportando seguridad jurídica y admitiendo ciertas excepciones a las normas de competencia en el caso particularmente de las organizaciones de productores y de sus asociaciones, así como en el de las organizaciones interprofesionales, y ii) con instrumentos complementarios enmarcados en la política de desarrollo rural, como, por ejemplo, las ayudas para el establecimiento de organizaciones o agrupaciones de productores o el apoyo prestado a las cadenas de distribución cortas y a la cooperación.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002298/14

to the Commission

Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Inclusion of farm-gate prices as a measure to prevent unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

On 12 November last year the European Economic and Social Committee published its opinion regarding the Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe.

This opinion welcomed some current advances with respect to the specific problems of the food supply chain, which for a long time now has been causing enormous injustice to agricultural producers. In his answer to my Question E-011335/2012 Commissioner Ciolos affirmed that ‘the problems referred to are best addressed by applying the aforementioned code of good practices’. In its opinion the EESC said that ‘the results to date of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain are somewhat uncertain, since the proposed framework for implementation of “good practices” has brought no agreement on stopping unfair trading practices’.

We are of the view that a solution to unfair practices based on a code of good practices is practically an oxymoron, and that it fails to make clear how the Commission is going to act in order to solve the problems of the food supply chain. In the same answer the Commissioner said he took note of the proposal to include farm-gate prices on the labels of food products, so as to inform consumers about the conditions of the food supply chain. We consider, in line with the views of organisations such as COAG, which compiles the IPOD, that a measure of this nature may be the least expensive and most transparent way of solving the problem of unfair practices in the food supply chain.

The Commission took note of the proposal to display the farm-gate price on labels. Does it intend to include this initiative when drawing up the documents it will shortly be publishing in relation to this matter?

Does it consider that the EESC’s statement regarding the results of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain is accurate?

Why does it propose to solve the problem of ‘unfair trading practices in the food supply chain’ through the funding for the CAP Pillar II, when the problem is clearly one of common market organisation, which could be solved by better labelling?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2014)

The Commission supports the Supply Chain Initiative launched by stakeholders from the supply and retail side of the food chain to establish principles of best practice for contractual relations. Since its launch in September 2013, a significant number of market participants adhered to the initiative, which should be further improved to cover all food chain stages. The Commission closely monitors the initiative and is currently finalising its assessment whether the initiative may need to be complemented by additional measures.

The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides a wide array of measures that have the potential to address concerns in a flexible manner, based on the diverse needs of different Member States and regions. On the issue of improving the functioning of the food chain, the new CAP aims to facilitate producer cooperation through (i) the common market Organisation by providing legal certainty and certain exemptions from competition rules in particular for Producer Organisations and their Associations, as well as through Inter-branch Organisations; and (ii) additional instruments under the Rural Development policy, such as the aid to set up producer groups and organisations or support to short supply chains and cooperation.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002299/14

a la Comisión

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Actuales trabas para usar habitualmente un coche matriculado en un país de la Unión Europea en otro país miembro

Actualmente, el uso de vehículos particulares entre países miembros de la Unión se ve dificultado a la hora de circular. De hecho, los ciudadanos europeos se encuentran con la obligación de tener que rematricular el vehículo a partir del sexto mes de itinerancia o de instalarse en otro país. Además, deben suscribir un nuevo seguro de circulación en ese país, si bien existen excepciones a esta norma: para los estudiantes, para los trabajadores transfronterizos y para los trabajadores transfronterizos autónomos.

Atendiendo al principio de libre circulación de personas —Acuerdo Schengen—, gracias al cual se consigue una Europa sin fronteras, por el que se suprimen los controles en las fronteras comunes entre los Estados miembros de la UE, y al mismo tiempo se consigue la libre circulación de mercancías y servicios, ¿sería posible reducir o suprimir las cuantiosas trabas burocráticas que existen para circular, por un período de más de seis meses, con un vehículo de un Estado miembro en otro Estado miembro? ¿Se plantea la Comisión proponer un sistema de reconocimiento automático de matrículas entre países miembros de la UE de manera que no sea necesaria una nueva matriculación en caso de instalarse durante más de seis meses en otro país miembro?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(30 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión es consciente de los problemas con que se encuentran los ciudadanos cuando se disponen a matricular un vehículo de un Estado miembro en otro. Para abordar esta problemática, la Comisión adoptó el 4 de abril de 2012 una propuesta de Reglamento que simplifica el traslado de vehículos de motor dentro del mercado único (31). La propuesta todavía se encuentra supeditada al procedimiento legislativo ordinario.

La propuesta tiene como fin reducir las barreras burocráticas de diversas formas. En ella se aclara que los Estados miembros únicamente podrán exigir que los vehículos matriculados en otro Estado miembro se matriculen en su territorio cuando el titular del permiso de circulación sea residente habitual en el territorio receptor. La propuesta limita los casos en que puede solicitarse la realización de controles físicos en el vehículo y los motivos de denegación de matriculación. Recoge asimismo una disposición que establece que, cuando el titular del permiso de circulación traslade su residencia habitual a otro Estado miembro, la nueva matriculación deberá solicitarse en un plazo de seis meses. En la actualidad, el plazo depende de cada Estado miembro. Todo ello se ve complementado por disposiciones que simplifican los procedimientos de rematriculación de vehículos mediante un sistema electrónico de intercambio de información entre los Estados miembros que supondría menos papeleo para los ciudadanos y unos procedimientos más ágiles y eficientes.

Por otra parte, tras numerosas quejas sobre las trabas a la nueva matriculación de vehículos, en los últimos años la Comisión ha incoado diversos expedientes en los que se ha concluido que se infringían las disposiciones del Tratado relativas a la libre circulación de mercancías (32) (como en los asuntos recientes C-61/12, C-639/11 y C-150/11).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002299/14

to the Commission

Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Current impediments to habitual use in one EU country of cars registered in another EU country

At present, driving private cars between Member States gives rise to certain problems. In fact, EU citizens are obliged to re-register their vehicles after six months of roaming or residence in another country. In addition, they have to take out a new insurance policy in that country, although there are exceptions to this rule: for students, for cross-border employees and for self-employed cross-border workers.

Bearing in mind the principle of the free movement of persons — the Schengen Agreement -, which gave rise to a borderless Europe, with border controls at the common frontiers of EU Member States being removed and at the same time allowing the free movement of goods and services, would it be possible to reduce or abolish the numerous bureaucratic impediments to being able to drive a vehicle from one Member State in another for more than six months? Does the Commission intend to propose the creation of a system of automatic recognition of registration plates among Member States of the Union, so that it would no longer be necessary for vehicle owners to re-register when they stay for more than six months in another Member State?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 April 2014)

The Commission is aware of the problems faced by citizens when trying to re-register a vehicle from another Member State. In order to tackle this, the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation simplifying the transfer of motor vehicles within the single market on 4 April 2012 (33). The proposal is still subject to the ordinary legislative procedure.

The proposal intends to reduce the bureaucratic barriers by several means. It clarifies that a Member State may only require registration on its territory of a vehicle registered in another Member State if the holder of the registration certificate has their normal residence on its territory. It limits the cases in which physical checks to the vehicle could be requested and the reasons for refusal of registration. It also contains a provision that states, in cases where the holder of the registration certificate moves their normal residence to another Member State, they shall request registration within six months. Currently this period varies within Member States. The above is complemented by provisions simplifying the procedures for the re-registration of vehicles through an electronic system for the exchange of information between Member States which would imply less paperwork for citizens and quicker and more efficient procedures.

In addition, following numerous complaints pointing at obstacles in the re-registration of vehicles, the Commission opened several cases in the past years concluding on infringement of Treaty provisions on the free movement of goods (34) (such as recent cases C-61/12, C-639/11 and C-150/11).

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002300/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Καθυστερήσεις στην ολοκληρωμένη διασυνοριακή προστασία των Πρεσπών

Η διασυνοριακή συνεργασία ανάμεσα στις τρεις χώρες που μοιράζονται τις λίμνες των Πρεσπών ξεκίνησε πριν 14 χρόνια, με την ίδρυση του Πάρκου Πρεσπών — της πρώτης διασυνοριακής προστατευόμενης περιοχής στα Βαλκάνια. Η πρωτοβουλία αυτή, η οποία έχει εγκωμιαστεί από τη διεθνή κοινότητα για το θάρρος και την καινοτομία της, έχει παγώσει εδώ και τέσσερα χρόνια λόγω της άρνησης της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης να κυρώσει τη Διεθνή Συμφωνία που υπέγραψε το 2010 με τις άλλες δύο παραλίμνιες χώρες και την ΕΕ, σύμφωνα και με την Εταιρεία Προστασίας Πρεσπών (35). Η Συμφωνία προβλέπει την ίδρυση διακρατικών μηχανισμών συνεργασίας και τακτικής διαβούλευσης μεταξύ των μερών για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος των Πρεσπών, καθώς και τη σύσταση ειδικότερης Ομάδας Εργασίας για τη διαχείριση των υδάτων, στην οποία θα συμμετέχουν αρμόδιες αρχές για τη διαχείριση του νερού από τα τέσσερα μέρη. Σύμφωνα με πρόσφατες μελέτες η ποιότητα των νερών των λιμνών απειλείται από τη διαδικασία του ευτροφισμού. Επιπλέον, καθώς τα νερά της Πρέσπας στα κατάντη ρέουν στη λίμνη της Οχρίδας, στον Μαύρο Δρίνο και στη λίμνη της Σκόδρας, και καταλήγουν στην Αδριατική, η κατάσταση των νερών της Πρέσπας μπορεί να έχει επίδραση σε όλο το μήκος της λεκάνης, μέχρι τις εκβολές της. Γι' αυτό ο σχεδιασμός της διαχείρισης των υδάτων πρέπει να γίνεται σε ευρύτερη κλίμακα, με την ενεργή συμμετοχή όλων των ενδιαφερομένων φορέων και πολιτών από όλες τις παραλίμνιες/παραποτάμιες χώρες. Παρότι — με την εξαίρεση της Αλβανίας — έχουν μέχρι τώρα εκπονηθεί τα εθνικά διαχειριστικά σχέδια υδάτων για τη λεκάνη της Πρέσπας, ο ευρύτερος διασυνοριακός και περιφερειακός σχεδιασμός και η ολοκληρωμένη διαχείριση λεκανών απορροής — όπως απαιτείται από τα διεθνή και Ευρωπαϊκά πρότυπα — απουσιάζουν.

Ερωτάται η Επιτροπή:

Έχει ενημέρωση για τους λόγους βάσει των οποίων η Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση έχει καθυστερήσει τόσο να κυρώσει τη διεθνή συμφωνία προστασίας των Πρεσπών και για την πρόθεσή της να την επικυρώσει ή μη;

Τι πρωτοβουλίες μπορεί να αναλάβει ώστε να ενισχυθεί και να επιταχυνθεί η διαδικασία ολοκλήρωσης του ευρύτερου διασυνοριακού περιφερειακού σχεδιασμού και να εφαρμοστεί η ολοκληρωμένη διαχείριση της συγκεκριμένης λεκάνης απορροής, μέρος της οποίας είναι ενταγμένο στο ευρωπαϊκό δίκτυο Natura 2000;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(9 Απριλίου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή παραπέμπει στην απάντησή της στην ερώτηση E-2883/13, μετά την οποία δεν παρασχέθηκαν περαιτέρω πληροφορίες από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση.

Το σχέδιο διαχείρισης λεκανών απορροής ποταμών που καλύπτει το ελληνικό τμήμα της περιοχής των Πρεσπών (GR09) εκδόθηκε πρόσφατα από την Ελλάδα και υποβλήθηκε στην Επιτροπή. Αυτή τη στιγμή η Επιτροπή αξιολογεί το σχέδιο και θα εξετάσει κατά πόσον έχουν τηρηθεί οι απαιτήσεις της οδηγίας-πλαισίου για τα ύδατα (36), μεταξύ άλλων όσον αφορά τις διεθνείς λεκάνες απορροής ποταμών.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002300/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Delays in implementing the integrated cross-border protection scheme for the Prespa Lakes

Cross-border cooperation between the three countries that share the Prespa Lakes began 14 years ago with the establishment of the Prespa Park — the first cross-border protected area in the Balkans. This initiative, which has been praised by the international community as courageous and innovative, has been suspended for four years due to the refusal of the Greek Government to ratify the international agreement it signed in 2010 with two other littoral countries and the EU, according to the Society for the Protection of Prespa (37). The agreement provides for the establishment of transnational cooperation mechanisms and regular consultation between the parties to protect the environment of Prespa and the creation of a more specific working group on water management involving the relevant water management authorities of the four parties. According to recent studies, the water quality of the Lakes is threatened by eutrophication. Furthermore, because the water from the Prespa Lakes flows downstream to Lake Ohrid, the Black Drin and Lake Skadar and eventually into the Adriatic, the state of this water can affect the entire length of the river basin until it flows into the sea. The water management plan should therefore be undertaken on a larger scale, with the active participation of all stakeholders and citizens from all the littoral/riparian countries. Although the national water management plans for the Prespa basin have now been drawn up by all the countries concerned, with the exception of Albania, broader cross-border and regional planning and integrated river basin management — as required by international and European rules — are still lacking.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

Does it have any information about why the Greek Government has delayed for so long the ratification of the international agreement to protect the Prespa Lakes and whether it intends to ratify it or not ?

What steps can it take to strengthen and accelerate the integration of broader cross-border regional planning and implement the integrated management of this drainage basin, part of which is included in the European Natura 2000 network?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Commission refers to its reply to E-2883/13, following which no further information has been provided by the Greek Government.

The River Basin Management Plan covering the Greek part of the Prespa Area (GR09) has been recently adopted by Greece and reported to the Commission. The Commission is currently assessing the plan and will analyse whether the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (38) have been respected, including with regard to international river basins.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002302/14

to the Commission

Derek Vaughan (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Caravans

Can the Commission clarify whether there is any existing legislation to protect those living on caravan sites in the EU? Are there any rules at EU level regarding tenure periods for caravan owners and related costs and charges?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

There is no specific EU legislation protecting persons living on caravan sites or regulating tenure periods for caravan owners and related costs and charges. In respect of the conditions to access the services on caravan sites, Article 20 (2) of the Services Directive (39) forbids discriminatory treatment based on the nationality or place of residence of service recipients. General EU consumer legislation, such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive or the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, applies to contracts concluded between caravan owners and the owners of campsites concerning the right to stay at the campsite and supply of water, electricity etc.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002303/14

alla Commissione

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Voli charter e tutela dei passeggeri

Le compagnie aeree ricorrono sempre di più a voli charter o «subappaltano» alcune tratte a compagnie minori, spesso inadeguate a gestire il servizio e che comunque fanno ricadere eventuali errori sulla compagnia affidataria. Spesso, ad esempio, i passeggeri si trovano a dover cambiare improvvisamente velivolo rispetto a quello programmato in precedenza, non sempre il personale è preparato in maniera adeguata a gestire grandi flussi di persone e situazioni di emergenza, i bagagli con il cambio di franchigia rischiano di smarrirsi più facilmente, le date e gli orari dei voli sono soggetti a una certa «flessibilità» spesso giustificata con guasti tecnici o problematiche che non dipendono dalla compagnia aerea. Questo avviene, tra l'altro, nella maggior parte dei casi nei voli che collegano città piccole e aeroporti minori, difficili da raggiungere e senza alcuna alternativa possibile, lasciando i passeggeri in totale balia della volontà delle compagnie aeree. Il problema si complica nel caso di tratte lunghe verso paesi extraeuropei.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

in che modo regolamenta l'affidamento di tratte aeree da una compagnia all'altra;

quali normative per la tutela dei passeggeri si applicano a chi acquista un biglietto per un volo che viene affidato a una compagnia partner;

se non ritiene di dovere approfondire nella legislazione il tema della responsabilità nei casi di affidamento di alcune tratte aeree a compagnie affiliate?

Risposta di Siim Kallas a nome della Commissione

(23 aprile 2014)

Le compagnie aeree collaborano in vari modi: alcune creano proprie controllate per servire le rotte su taluni mercati geografici; alcune prendono in affitto gli aeromobili, equipaggio incluso, da altre compagnie aeree; altre collaborano mediante accordi di codeshare; altre ancora sono organizzate nelle cosiddette alleanze. Tale cooperazione è disciplinata dalle disposizioni del regolamento (CE) n. 1008/2008 recante norme comuni per la prestazione di servizi aerei nella Comunità (in particolare il capo II relativo alle condizioni per la licenza di esercizio, compreso l’articolo 13 sul leasing) e dalle norme del diritto della concorrenza.

Questi accordi di cooperazione non dovrebbero pregiudicare le modalità e il livello di tutela dei passeggeri, stabiliti, ad esempio, dal regolamento n. 261/2004 (40). Per garantire l'effettiva applicazione del regolamento, gli obblighi da esso derivanti incombono al vettore aereo che opera o intenda operare un volo con un aeromobile sia di proprietà, che preso a noleggio o in qualsiasi altra forma. Detto regolamento prevede inoltre il diritto del vettore aereo operativo di chiedere un risarcimento a chiunque, inclusi i terzi, conformemente al diritto applicabile.

A norma dell’articolo 11 del regolamento (CE) n. 2111/2005 (41) (lista nera) i passeggeri devono essere informati riguardo all’identità del vettore aereo effettivo. Tale informazione chiarisce al tempo stesso ai passeggeri qual è il vettore aereo responsabile degli obblighi di cui al regolamento (CE) n. 261/2004.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002303/14

to the Commission

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Charter flights and passenger protection

Airline companies are making increasing use of charter flights or are ‘subcontracting’ some air routes to smaller companies, which are often unable to manage the service and yet blame any mistakes on the original contractor. It often happens, for example, that passengers find they suddenly have to change to a plane other than the one originally scheduled; staff are not always properly trained to deal with large numbers of people and emergency situations; the change of airline means baggage is at more risk of going astray, and the dates and times of flights are subject to a degree of ‘flexibility’ that is often attributed to technical faults or other problems which are beyond the airline company’s control. Furthermore, this happens mostly with flights connecting small towns and minor airports, which are difficult to reach and where there are no possible alternatives, leaving passengers utterly at the mercy of the airline companies. The problem becomes more complicated in the case of long-haul flights to countries outside Europe.

Can the Commission answer the following questions:

How is it regulating the subcontracting of air routes by one company to another?

What passenger protection rules apply when someone buys a ticket for a flight that is then subcontracted to a partner company?

Does it think the legislation should cover in more depth the question of responsibility when certain air routes are subcontracted to associated companies?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

Airlines cooperate in various forms. Some airlines create their own subsidiaries to operate routes on certain geographical markets; some airlines lease aircraft with crew from other airlines; other airlines cooperate through code-share agreements; yet other airlines are organised in so-called alliances. This cooperation is regulated by provisions of Regulation 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (in particular Chapter II on conditions for operating licence, including Article 13 on leasing) and by competition law rules.

None of these cooperation agreements should affect the way and level to which passengers are protected for instance by virtue of Regulation 261/2004 (42). In order to ensure the effective application of this regulation, the obligations that it creates rest with the operating air carrier who performs or intends to perform a flight, whether with owned aircraft, under lease, or on any other basis. This regulation also foresees the rights of the operating air carrier to seek compensation from any person, including third parties, in accordance with the law applicable.

Pursuant to Article 11 of Regulation 2111/2005 (43) (black list), the passenger must be informed about the identity of the operating air carrier. This clarifies at the same time for the passenger which air carrier is responsible for the obligations under Regulation 261/2004.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-002304/14

aan de Commissie

Peter van Dalen (ECR)

(27 februari 2014)

Betreft: Norwegian Air International

Onlangs werd bekend dat Norwegian Air International van plan is met een Ierse licentie vluchten aan te bieden tussen West-Europa en de Verenigde Staten. Piloten en cabinepersoneel worden gevestigd in Thailand en tijdelijk ingehuurd via een Singaporees uitzendbureau.

1.

Vindt de Commissie het wenselijk en acceptabel dat een Noorse vliegtuigmaatschappij, via een Ierse dochteronderneming, vluchten aanbiedt tussen West-Europa en de VS met werknemers die in Thailand gevestigd zijn en tijdelijke arbeidscontracten naar Singaporees recht hebben? Is de Commissie van mening dat er een werkelijke band moet bestaan tussen de hoofdzakelijke werk‐ en vestigingslocatie van de werknemers en het land waarvan het recht op de arbeidsovereenkomsten van toepassing is? Zo nee, ziet de Commissie geen risico’s van sociale dumping van hoge Europese arbeidsstandaarden?

2.

Kan de Commissie verzekeren dat het door NAI gekozen zakenplan niet leidt tot illegale belastingontwijking door NAI of daar haar eventuele dochterondernemingen en/of werknemers?

3.

Kan de Commissie garanderen dat de veiligheid van de vliegtuigen van NAI voldoende wordt gecontroleerd? Welke instantie is in dit specifieke geval verantwoordelijk voor de veiligheid van deze vliegtuigen en is mede-aansprakelijk bij een ongeval door een verwijtbare technische oorzaak?

Antwoord van de heer Kallas namens de Commissie

(29 april 2014)

1.

Op basis van de EU-wetgeving is Norwegian Air International (NAI) een in Ierland geregistreerde onderneming met Noors kapitaal, die op 12 februari 2014 een Air Operator Certificate en exploitatievergunning heeft ontvangen van de Ierse autoriteiten. Volgens de door NAI aan de Commissie verstrekte informatie, zal de onderneming vluchten uitvoeren vanuit Azië naar Europa, met Bangkok als haar belangrijkste basis in Azië. NAI heeft in het kader van de overeenkomsten tussen de EU en de VS ook een verzoek ingediend om vluchten uit te voeren tussen de Unie en de Verenigde Staten. Piloten moeten in het bezit zijn van een passend en geldig EU-vliegbewijs wanneer zij in dienst zijn van een EU-onderneming.

2.

Individuele gevallen van vermeende belastingontwijking en fiscaal misbruik worden behandeld door de nationale autoriteiten en de Commissie heeft geen bevoegdheden op dit gebied. Het is daarom voor de Commissie onmogelijk het bedrijfsplan waarvoor NAI heeft gekozen, te beoordelen vanuit fiscaal perspectief. De EU-wetgeving (44) en bilaterale belastingverdragen voorzien echter in samenwerking tussen de nationale belastingautoriteiten in de strijd tegen belastingontduiking.

3.

Luchtvaartuigen die zijn geregistreerd in een lidstaat, vallen onder de bevoegdheid van die lidstaat. In dit specifieke geval is het aan de Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), die zelf onderworpen is aan de Europese regels inzake luchtvaartveiligheid en wordt gecontroleerd door het EASA, om via passend toezicht te waarborgen dat het luchtvaartuig veilig wordt geëxploiteerd en onderhouden door NAI. De Commissie heeft geen aanwijzingen dat de toezichtsactiviteiten van de IAA op enige manier tekortschieten.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002304/14

to the Commission

Peter van Dalen (ECR)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Norwegian Air International

It was recently announced that Norwegian Air International intended to offer flights between Western Europe and the United States under an Irish licence. Pilots and cabin crew would be based in Thailand and hired temporarily via a temporary employment agency in Singapore.

1.

Does the Commission consider it desirable and acceptable that a Norwegian airline should use an Irish subsidiary to offer flights between Western Europe and the United States with crews based in Thailand employed on temporary contracts governed by Singapore law? Does the Commission consider that a genuine link should exist between the main place of employment and establishment of the employees and the country whose law applies to the employment contracts? If not, does the Commission not consider there to be any risks of social dumping, in disregard of high European employment standards?

2.

Can the Commission give an assurance that the business plan for which NAI has opted will not lead to illegal tax evasion by NAI or its possible subsidiaries and/or employees?

3.

Can the Commission guarantee that the safety of NAI’s aircraft will be sufficiently monitored? In this specific case, which authority is responsible for the safety of these aircraft and will be jointly responsible in the event of an accident due to a technical cause entailing culpability?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

1.

On the basis of Union law, Norwegian Air International (NAI) is an Irish-registered company with Norwegian capital that has received an Air Operating Certificate and operating licence from the Irish authorities on 12 February 2014. According to the information provided to the Commission by the company, NAI will be operating flights from Asia to Europe, its main base in Asia being Bangkok. NAI has also filed an application within the framework of EU-US agreements to operate flights between the EU and the US. Pilots must hold an appropriate and properly maintained EU pilot licence when flying for an EU operator.

2.

Individual cases of alleged tax avoidance and abuse are dealt with by national tax authorities, and the Commission has no powers in this area. Therefore, it is not possible for the Commission to assess the business plan for which NAI has opted from a tax law perspective. However, EU legislation (45) and bilateral tax treaties provide for cooperation between national tax authorities to combat tax evasion.

3.

Aircraft registered in a Member State fall within the responsibility of that Member State. In this particular case the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), governed by the EU aviation safety rules and controlled by EASA, is to ensure through appropriate oversight that the aircraft is safely operated and maintained by NAI. The Commission has no indication that the oversight exercised by IAA is in any way defective.

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-002305/14

do Komisji

Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE)

(27 lutego 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Brak tłumaczeń kluczowych dokumentów z języka angielskiego na pozostałe języki urzędowe UE na stronie Komisji w dziale poświęconym programowi „Erasmus+”

Organizacje młodzieżowe oraz organizacje pracujące z młodzieżą z zadowoleniem przyjęły nowy program UE „Erasmus+ na rzecz kształcenia, szkolenia, młodzieży i sportu”. Poprzedni program „Młodzież w działaniu” był narzędziem zmian w wielu lokalnych wspólnotach. Przez lata realizowano działania wpływające na życie wielu młodych, zwłaszcza tych wykluczonych społecznie.

Szczególną uwagę należy zatem zwrócić na potrzebę zapewnienia równego dostępu do programu „Erasmus+” wszystkim krajom członkowskim oraz obywatelom o różnym stopniu zamożności i stopniu umiejętności językowych.

1.

Dlaczego na stronie Komisji w dziale „Erasmus+” wiele kluczowych dokumentów i linków w poszczególnych poddziałach: „Erasmus+” wprowadzenie, „Erasmus+” możliwości; Przewodnik po programie, jest dostępnych wyłącznie w języku angielskim?

2.

Dlaczego na stronie Komisji w dziale „Erasmus+” wciąż brakuje dokumentów i rubryk przystosowanych do specyfiki organizacji młodzieżowych?

Ta sytuacja w rażący sposób dyskryminuje obywateli i organizacje, które nie znają języka angielskiego. Celem strony jest pomoc obywatelom państw członkowskich UE w jak najbardziej skutecznym korzystaniu z programu „Erasmus+” i dlatego wszystkie dokumenty powinny być dostępne we wszystkich językach urzędowych UE.

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarz Androullę Vassiliou w imieniu Komisji

(1 kwietnia 2014 r.)

Komisja pragnie zwrócić uwagę Szanownej Pani Poseł na odpowiedzi udzielone na pytania pisemne: E-000509/2014; E-000550/2014; P-000721/2014; E-000916/2014 (46).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002305/14

to the Commission

Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Lack of translations from English to other official EU languages of key documents in the Erasmus+ section of the Commission's website

Youth organisations and organisations that work with young people have welcomed the new EU Erasmus+ programme for education, training, youth and sport. The previous programme, Youth in Action, was a tool for change in many local communities. For years, actions were implemented under this programme that changed the lives of many young people, especially those who were socially excluded.

Nonetheless, particular attention should be given to the need to ensure that all Member States and citizens, no matter how wealthy they are or how talented they are with languages, have equal access to the Erasmus+ programme.

1.

Why are so many key documents and links in the sections of the Commission’s website dedicated to Erasmus+ — specifically ‘Erasmus+ overview’, ‘Erasmus+ opportunities’ and ‘Programme guide’ — available only in English?

2.

Why does the Erasmus+ section of the Commission’s website still lack documents and columns adapted to the specific needs of youth organisations?

This state of affairs constitutes a blatant act of discrimination against citizens and organisations that do not know the English language. The objective of the website is to help the citizens of EU Member States to make the best possible use of the Erasmus+ programme. Therefore, all of the documents should be available in all of the official languages of the EU.

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(1 April 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written questions E-000509/2014; E-000550/2014; P-000721/2014; E-000916/2014. (47)

(Wersja polska)

Pytanie wymagające odpowiedzi pisemnej E-002306/14

do Komisji

Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE) oraz Bogusław Sonik (PPE)

(5 marca 2014 r.)

Przedmiot: Jakie działania zamierza podjąć Komisja w zakresie ochrony okołoporodowej, w ramach programu „Zdrowie na rzecz wzrostu gospodarczego” w latach 2014-2020

Ochrona okołoporodowa, tzn. ochrona matek w ostatnim trymestrze ciąży, w trakcie porodu oraz w najbliższych dniach po porodzie, ma bardzo duże znaczenie dla całości ochrony zdrowia w Unii Europejskiej. Matki oraz noworodki należą do grupy podwyższonego ryzyka i dlatego też grupa ta powinna zostać otoczona szczególną opieką.

Parlament Europejski jest na ostatnim etapie przyjęcia trzeciego wieloletniego programu działań UE w dziedzinie zdrowia na lata 2014-2020 „Zdrowie na rzecz wzrostu gospodarczego”. Program ten posiada ogólny charakter i jego głównymi celami są: stymulowanie innowacji w ochronie zdrowia, poprawa jakości opieki zdrowotnej, lepsza ochrona przed chorobami oraz ochrona obywateli Unii przed transgranicznymi zagrożeniami dla zdrowia.

Jakie działania zamierza podjąć Komisja, w szczególności Dyrekcja Generalna ds. Zdrowia i Ochrony Konsumentów (DG SANCO), w ramach programu „Zdrowie na rzecz wzrostu gospodarczego”, których celem będzie zwiększenie standardów opieki okołoporodowej w Unii Europejskie?

Jaki odsetek środków Dyrekcja Generalna ds. Zdrowia i Ochrony Konsumentów zamierza przeznaczyć na działania związane ze zwiększeniem standardów opieki okołoporodowej w Unii Europejskiej w ramach programu „Zdrowie na rzecz wzrostu gospodarczego”?

Odpowiedź udzielona przez komisarza Tonia Borga w imieniu Komisji

(8 kwietnia 2014 r.)

Rozporządzenie ustanawiające trzeci program działań w dziedzinie zdrowia zostało przyjęte przez Parlament Europejski i Radę odpowiednio w dniach 26 lutego i 11 marca.

Program ma cztery cele ogólne: promowanie zdrowia i zapobieganie chorobom, ochrona obywateli UE przed transgranicznymi zagrożeniami dla zdrowia, stymulowanie innowacji w dziedzinie zdrowia publicznego i poprawa jakości opieki zdrowotnej. W programie określono 23 priorytety tematyczne. Komisja będzie realizować te priorytety w ramach rocznych programów prac oraz zaproszeń do składania wniosków o dotacje, a także w ramach zamówień publicznych. Komisja pracuje obecnie nad rocznym programem prac na 2014 r.

Monitorowanie i sprawozdawczość w zakresie zdrowia w okresie okołoporodowym i zdrowia dzieci były objęte finansowaniem w ramach poprzedniego programu w dziedzinie zdrowia (48). Działania te są także powiązane z priorytetem tematycznym dotyczącym utworzenia stabilnego systemu monitorowania i sprawozdawczości w opiece zdrowotnej (pkt 3.7 załącznika I do rozporządzenia ustanawiającego program w dziedzinie zdrowia).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002306/14

to the Commission

Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE) and Bogusław Sonik (PPE)

(5 March 2014)

Subject: The Commission's intentions relating to perinatal care as part of the Health for Growth programme 2014-2020

Perinatal care — i.e. care for women in the last trimester of pregnancy, and during and in the days immediately after childbirth — is vitally important in terms of healthcare as a whole in the European Union. Mothers and newborns are a high-risk group and therefore require special care.

Parliament is in the final stage of adopting the third multiannual programme of EU action in the field of health for 2014-2020: ‘Health for growth’. The main objectives of this general programme are: to encourage innovation in healthcare; to improve the quality of healthcare; to improve protection against disease; and to protect EU citizens against cross-border health threats.

What steps is the Commission — specifically the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers — intending to take, as part of the Health for Growth programme, with a view to raising perinatal care standards in the European Union?

What proportion of funding is the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers intending to set aside for activities connected with raising perinatal care standards in the European Union as part of the Health for Growth programme?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 2014)

The regulation establishing the third Health Programme was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 26 February and 11 March respectively.

The Programme pursues four general objectives: to promote health and prevent diseases, to protect EU citizens against cross-border health threats, to encourage innovation in public health; and to improve the quality of healthcare. The programme further puts forward a set of 23 thematic priorities. The Commission will implement these priorities through Annual Work Programmes and the subsequent calls for grants and procurement. The Commission is currently preparing the Annual Work Programme 2014.

The monitoring and reporting on perinatal and child health is an activity that has been supported under the previous health programme (49) and is linked to the thematic priority to create a sustainable health monitoring and reporting system (point 3.7 in Annex I of the Health Programme Regulation).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002307/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Le forze di sicurezza irachene prendono di mira le mogli degli insorti

All'inizio di febbraio 2014, Human Rights Watch (HRW) ha riferito di torture perpetrate dalle forze di sicurezza irachene ai danni delle mogli di sospetti insorti iracheni. L'organizzazione ha interrogato 27 detenute in prigione, unitamente a dipendenti dell'amministrazione penitenziaria irachena, del ministero degli Interni e del ministero per i diritti umani, al fine di raccogliere informazioni per la propria relazione. L'HRW è del parere che le prove raccolte dimostrino che i servizi di sicurezza del paese hanno coltivato una cultura di impunità. Un giudice intervistato ha parlato di quattro colleghi giudici — tutti con stretti legami con il primo ministro iracheno Nouri al-Maliki — i quali hanno fornito una copertura giuridica agli abusi contro i diritti umani.

Le donne detenute hanno dichiarato che per settimane sono state picchiate, violentate e sottoposte a elettrocuzione da parte degli interroganti, i quali le hanno anche minacciate con l'arresto delle loro figlie. Questa cultura di violenza sessuale è estremamente comune, ma l'ispettore generale del ministero degli Interni iracheno ha affermato che gli abusi erano l'opera di pochi «mostri» del regime del defunto Saddam Hussein.

Nel novembre 2012, la polizia federale irachena ha fatto irruzione in 11 abitazioni della città di Taji nel triangolo sunnita, sottoponendo a detenzione 11 donne e 29 bambini. Durante la loro detenzione sono stati incappucciati dalla polizia e hanno accusato sintomi di soffocamento, alcuni sono stati sottoposti a elettrocuzione e altri persino percossi. In un altro caso una giornalista, accusata di essere sposata con un presunto membro di al-Qaeda, riferisce di essere stata legata e stuprata ripetutamente da un interrogante.

1.

È il Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante a conoscenza dei racconti di abusi e violenze sessuali contro donne e bambini iracheni legati a membri sospettati di appartenere a gruppi di insorti?

2.

È disposto il VP/AR ad affrontare tali preoccupazioni direttamente con il primo ministro al-Maliki?

3.

Come valuta il VP/AR le conclusioni dell'HRW, secondo cui esisterebbe una cultura di impunità nei ranghi dei servizi di sicurezza iracheni?

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

(14 maggio 2014)

L’AR/VP è a conoscenza di notizie attendibili in merito ad abusi perpetrati sui detenuti in Iraq. Si tratta di atti intollerabili. L’AR/VP ha più volte sollevato la questione delle deficienze del sistema penale iracheno in colloqui con interlocutori iracheni al più alto livello. Parimenti, il Consiglio «Affari esteri» ha affermato l’estrema importanza dell’indipendenza dei settori giudiziario e penitenziario per evitarne l’uso politico, di un’adeguata formazione della polizia, del buon governo e della lotta alla corruzione a sostegno dello stato di diritto in Iraq (cfr. le conclusioni del 22 aprile 2013). Inoltre, il SEAE ha sollevato le questioni specifiche delle donne detenute, delle detenzioni a motivazione confessionale e delle detenzioni «sostitutive» nella riunione di novembre della sottocommissione per la democrazia e i diritti umani istituita in seguito all’accordo di partenariato e cooperazione UE-Iraq.

La certezza del diritto e i diritti umani sono al cuore dell’assistenza e del sostegno che l’UE fornisce all’Iraq sin dal 2003. Oltre alla missione civile PSDC in Iraq (UE JUST LEX), che ha impartito formazione e dato assistenza alle forze di polizia e alle amministrazioni giudiziaria e penitenziaria, la promozione di una cultura di legalità e di rispetto dei diritti umani è un settore prioritario dell’assistenza finanziaria dell’UE anche per il prossimo periodo (2014-2017), nell’ambito dello strumento di cooperazione allo sviluppo dell’UE. Ciò dimostra chiaramente che l’UE continua ad impegnarsi per sostenere la transizione dell’Iraq verso un sistema democratico sostenibile.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002307/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Iraqi security forces target insurgents' wives

In early February 2014, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Iraqi security forces were torturing the wives of suspected Iraqi insurgents. The organisation had interviewed 27 female detainees in prison, along with employees from the Iraqi prison service and from the Ministry for the Interior and the Ministry for Human Rights, in order to gather information for its report. HRW believes the evidence gathered shows that the country’s security services have cultivated a culture of impunity. One judge interviewed spoke of four fellow judges — all with close links to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — who had provided legal cover for human rights abuses.

Women who have been detained claim to have suffered weeks of beatings, rape and electrocution by interrogators, who sometimes threaten to arrest their daughters. This culture of sexual violence is extremely common, but the inspector-general of Iraq’s Interior Ministry said that the abuse was the work of a few ‘monsters’ from the regime of the late Saddam Hussein.

In November 2012, Iraq’s federal police raided 11 homes in the town of Taji in the Sunni Triangle, north of Baghdad, detaining 11 women and 29 children. During their detention, police put bags over their heads until they began to suffocate, and some were electrocuted and even beaten. In another case, a female journalist accused of being married to an al-Qaeda member alleged that she had been tied up and repeatedly raped by an interrogator.

1.

Is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of accounts of sexual abuse and violence against Iraqi women and children related to suspected members of insurgent groups?

2.

Is the VP/HR prepared to address these concerns directly with Prime Minister al-Maliki?

3.

What is the VP/HR’s assessment of the findings of HRW, which believes there is a culture of impunity within the ranks of Iraq’s security services?

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

(14 May 2014)

The HR/VP is aware of credible reports of abuses perpetrated on people in detention in Iraq. Such acts should not be tolerated. She has raised on several occasions the shortcomings of Iraq's criminal justice system with Iraqi interlocutors at the highest level. Likewise the Foreign Affairs Council affirmed the utmost importance of the independence of justice and penitentiary sectors to avoid any political use of them, of adequate police training, good governance and tackling corruption in support for the rule of law in Iraq (see conclusions of 22 April 2013). In addition, the particular questions of abuses on women in detention, confession-based detentions and the detention of ‘proxies’ were raised by the EEAS in the November meeting of the Sub Committee on Democracy and Human Right under the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Rule of law and human rights are at the core of the EU assistance and support provided to Iraq since 2003. Besides the EU's civilian CSDP mission in Iraq (EU JUST LEX) that provided training and mentoring of the police, judiciary and prison services, the promotion of a culture of rule of law and respect for human rights are one of the areas that EU financial assistance will focus also in the following years (2014-2017), under the EU Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). This is a clear demonstration of the EU continued commitment to support Iraq's transition towards a sustainable democratic system.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002308/14

a la Comisión

Eva Ortiz Vilella (PPE) y Pablo Arias Echeverría (PPE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Aplicación del etiquetado «Triman»

El Gobierno francés adoptará muy pronto la normativa «Triman», que obligará a los fabricantes a introducir un etiquetado específico para indicar que un producto se puede reciclar. Debido a las diferentes prácticas en la gestión de residuos de cada Estado miembro y a que ya se están usando otras etiquetas, este logotipo podría causar confusión entre los consumidores europeos. Además acarreará nuevos costes adicionales para numerosos sectores industriales y supondrá un importante obstáculo a la libre circulación de mercancías para el mercado interior de la UE.

Entre las quejas presentadas por algunos Estados miembros en 2012 y 2013, se encuentran, precisamente, aquellas relacionadas con la fragmentación del mercado interior que causaría la obligación del etiquetado «Triman».

1.

¿Ha considerado la Comisión la ruptura del mercado interior que esta norma podría causar a los operadores que venden sus productos en Francia y los problemas que, de introducirse este etiquetado para todos los productos, podría causar al resto de consumidores de otros Estados miembros, acostumbrados a otro tipo de etiquetado?

2.

¿Ha valorado la Comisión las consecuencias que acarrearía, en términos económicos y medioambientales, si todos los 28 Estados miembros decidieran imponer sus propios logotipos de reciclaje?

3.

¿Piensa emprender la Comisión alguna acción al respecto?

Respuesta del Sr. Barnier en nombre de la Comisión

(15 de mayo de 2014)

En el marco establecido por la Directiva 98/34/CE, el 2 de abril de 2012 las autoridades francesas notificaron a la Comisión el proyecto de decreto al que se refiere la presente. A la luz de la información de que dispone la Comisión, esta medida, que exigirá que la mayoría de los productos se etiqueten de una forma concreta para el mercado francés, aún no se ha adoptado.

1.

La Comisión considera que la medida prevista podría constituir un obstáculo a la libre circulación de mercancías en el mercado interior.

Las normas nacionales que impongan obstáculos jurídicos a la libre circulación de mercancías que no se encuentren supeditadas a homogeneización a escala de la UE no contravienen necesariamente las leyes de la Unión, siempre que se fundamenten en uno de los motivos de interés público previstos en el artículo 36 del TFUE o en una de las razones imperiosas establecidas por la jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea. Sin embargo, tales normas han de ser necesarias para conseguir objetivos legítimos y respetar el principio de proporcionalidad, en virtud del cual habrá de aplicarse la medida que resulte menos restrictiva.

2.

La Comisión no ha evaluado esas consecuencias. En el ámbito no armonizado, el Estado miembro de destino de un producto debe permitir la comercialización en su mercado de aquellos productos fabricados o comercializados legítimamente en otro Estado miembro o en Turquía, o fabricados legítimamente en un Estado de la AELC signatario del Acuerdo sobre el Espacio Económico Europeo, si bien el producto en cuestión habrá de procurar un nivel equivalente de protección de los diversos intereses legítimos implicados.

3.

La Comisión analizará este asunto en el marco de una investigación cuando la medida se adopte formalmente, en su caso.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002308/14

to the Commission

Eva Ortiz Vilella (PPE) and Pablo Arias Echeverría (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Introduction of the ‘Triman’ logo

The French Government is about to adopt the ‘Triman’ legislation, which will force manufacturers to introduce specific labelling to indicate whether products can be recycled. As each Member State has different practices when it comes to waste management and other labels are already in use, this new logo could confuse European consumers. It will also mean new additional costs for many industrial sectors and will pose a major obstacle to the free movement of goods in the EU’s internal market.

Among complaints made by Member States in 2012 and 2013 are several referring precisely to the internal market fragmentation likely to be caused by obligatory use of the ‘Triman’ logo.

1.

Has the Commission considered the disruption to the internal market which the use of this label on all products could cause for operators whose products are sold in France and the problems which could be caused for consumers in other Member States, who are used to other forms of labelling?

2.

Has the Commission assessed what the impact would be in economic and environmental terms if all 28 Member States decided to impose their own recycling logos?

3.

Does the Commission intend to take any action on this matter?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

Within the framework laid down by Directive 98/34/EC, the French authorities notified this draft Decree to the Commission on 2 April 2012. In light of the information available to the Commission this measure, which will require most products to be labelled in a specific way for the French market, has not been adopted yet.

1.

In the Commission's view, the envisaged measure might constitute a barrier to the free movement of goods within the internal market.

A national rule imposing legal barriers to the free movement of goods which are not subject to Union harmonisation is not necessarily contrary to EC law if justified on one of the public interest grounds set out in Article 36 TFEU or by one of the overriding requirements laid down by the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Such rules, however, must be necessary in order to attain legitimate objectives, and in conformity with the principle of proportionality, whereby the least restrictive measure is to be used.

2.

The Commission has not assessed such an impact. Within the non-harmonised area, the Member State of destination of a product must allow the placing on its market of a product lawfully manufactured and/or marketed in another Member State or in Turkey, or lawfully manufactured in an EFTA State that is a contracting party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, provided that this product provides an equivalent level of protection of the various legitimate interests involved.

3.

The Commission will examine this case in the framework of an investigation when, and if, the measure is formally adopted.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002309/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Energías renovables

La industria ha decidido comenzar a paralizar sus plantas de cogeneración (50). Apenas una semana después de hacerse pública la propuesta de estándares de retribución —que supone un recorte de más de 1 000 millones de euros— las empresas han decidido paralizar parte de sus plantas de generación eléctrica con esta tecnología para evitar incurrir en pérdidas. En la última semana se han paralizado instalaciones con una potencia instalada cercana a los 650 MW. A esta cantidad habría que añadirle las más de 200 plantas (712 MW) que ya están paradas desde el segundo semestre de 2013, después de la introducción de los impuestos a la generación, lo que supone que, en total, más del 25 % de la potencia instalada de cogeneración y entre un 20 y un 30 % de las instalaciones existentes. Parece ser que los recortes que prepara el Ministerio de Industria para el sector acabarán por llevar al cierre a todas estas instalaciones, clave en la competitividad de la industria española. La cogeneración tiene en estos momentos un total de 1 000 instalaciones industriales que suponen el 12 % de la electricidad producida en el Estado español. Está previsto que este mes de febrero cierren las seis plantas de purines para cogeneración en Cataluña (51). Las medidas que han precipitado estos cierres son que el Ministerio de Industria español quiere rebajar un 40 % el precio de la electricidad que generan estas instalaciones con efectos retroactivos y, además, les reclama la devolución de tres millones y medio de euros. Mantener las plantas abiertas les supone una pérdida diaria de 20 000 euros. El sector porcino está preocupado porque habían encontrado una salida a los purines de sus instalaciones, ya que son unos excrementos que contaminan gravemente el subsuelo. Además están en juego miles de puestos de trabajo.

¿Cree la Comisión que el Estado español está en la buena línea para cumplir los objetivos para 2030 (52), en los que se incluyen una reducción del 40 % de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero respecto a los niveles de 1990 y que las renovables supongan como mínimo el 27 % de la energía?

Respuesta del Sr. Oettinger en nombre de la Comisión

(9 de abril de 2014)

Se señala a Su Señoría que la Comunicación de la Comisión relativa al marco sobre clima y energía para 2030 propone un objetivo de energía renovable a nivel de la UE de al menos el 27 % del consumo energético, dando a los Estados miembros flexibilidad para que fijen objetivos nacionales. El Consejo Europeo ha considerado la propuesta de la Comisión de un marco para 2030 en su reunión de primavera de los días 20 y 21 de marzo de 2014, con vistas a la adopción de una decisión final sobre el nuevo marco político lo antes posible y, a más tardar, en octubre de 2014.

La Comisión se remite a su respuesta a la pregunta escrita P-001629/2014 en lo que respecta a la consecución del objetivo español de alcanzar el 20 % de energía renovable de aquí a 2020.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002309/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Renewable energies

Energy producers in Spain have begun to shut down combined heat and power (CHP) plants (53). Barely a week after the publication of proposals for new payment standards — which impose a cut of over EUR 1 billion — companies have decided to close some of their CHP plants in order to avoid financial losses. Last week saw the closure of power stations with a total installed capacity of around 650 MW. In addition, more than 200 plants (712 MW) have been out of operation since the second half of 2013, following the introduction of power generation taxes. This means that 20 to 30% of installations have been shut down in total, resulting in a 25% reduction in CHP installed capacity. It looks as if the cutbacks being prepared by Spain’s Ministry of Industry will lead to the closure of all these plants, which are crucial to the competitiveness of Spanish industry. Spain currently has a total of 1 000 industrial CHP installations, accounting for 12% of electricity produced in the country. Catalonia’s six slurry-based cogeneration plants closed in February 2014 (54). These closures are considered necessary because the Ministry of Industry plans to impose a 40% retroactive reduction on the price of electricity generated in the installations and is demanding back payments of EUR 3.5 million. Keeping the plants open would result in daily losses of EUR 20 000. The issue is also causing concern in the pig sector, since these plants provided a use for untreated pig slurry, which seriously contaminates the subsoil. Thousands of jobs are also at stake.

Does the Commission consider that Spain is on the right track to meet the 2030 (55) objectives, which include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with respect to 1999 levels and a minimum of 27% of energy produced from renewable sources?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Honourable Member should note that the Commission's Communication on the 2030 climate and energy framework is proposing a EU-level renewable energy target of at least 27% percent of energy consumption, with flexibility for Member States to set national objectives. The European Council has considered the Commission's proposal for a 2030 framework at its spring meeting on 20-21 March 2014, with a view to taking a final decision on the new policy framework as quickly as possible and no later than October 2014.

The Commission would refer to the its reply to Written Question P-001629/2014 regarding the achievement of the Spanish renewable energy target of 20% by 2020.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002310/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) y Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: La euroviñeta y las posibles distorsiones en el mercado único

Los ciudadanos deben ser conscientes del costo de contar con una red adecuada de carreteras de alta capacidad: esto implica no sólo el costo de la construcción, que en sí mismo es muy elevado, sino también el costo de mantenimiento y los costes externos asociados, tales como la congestión y la contaminación. Estos costos están inevitablemente a cargo del contribuyente, a través de los impuestos, o de los usuarios de la carretera. La Unión Europea tiene como objetivo de su política de transportes la armonización de las condiciones de competencia de los distintos modos de transporte, de manera que cada uno soporte los costos asociados.

Como expresó la Comisión el 5 de diciembre de  2013, las finanzas públicas no pueden cubrir la brecha de financiación relativa a las infraestructuras, que asciende a 1,5 billones de euros. Un sistema de financiación de las infraestructuras equitativo y sostenible debe basarse en el pago de los usuarios y no de los contribuyentes.

Con el fin de mantener la competencia en el transporte de mercancías, el sistema de carga debe ser común a toda la Unión, y los sistemas de pago (telepeaje) deben ser interoperables (véase la Directiva 2004/52/CE, que se refiere al servicio europeo de telepeaje).

El diferente grado de aplicación del acervo comunitario en este sector, con algunos Estados miembros que financian las infraestructuras mientras que en otros prevalece el principio del usuario pagador, plantea la cuestión de si algunos usuarios tienen que pagar dos veces para utilizar la red.

¿Considera la Comisión que sin la euroviñeta se puede hablar de igualdad de condiciones para todos los consumidores en el mercado único?

¿No cree la Comisión que sin la euroviñeta puede haber un riesgo de doble imposición?

Respuesta del Sr. Kallas en nombre de la Comisión

(29 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión defiende firmemente el principio del usuario pagador, así como un servicio europeo de telepeaje (SET) interoperable, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en la Directiva 2004/52/CE relativa a la interoperabilidad de los sistemas de telepeaje de las carreteras de la Comunidad (56).

Los sistemas de aplicación de gravámenes sobre los usuarios de carreteras, regulados por la normativa de la UE en lo que respecta a los vehículos pesados de transporte de mercancías (la denomina Directiva «Euroviñeta» (57)), están instaurados en la mayoría de los Estados miembros de la UE con excepción de Finlandia, Estonia, Letonia, Malta y Chipre, e incluso en muchos de estos últimos tambien existen planes para poner en práctica dichos sistemas. Reino Unido establecerá una tasa de uso a partir del 1 de abril de 2014.

Los sistemas de tarificación existentes, basados bien en sistemas de viñeta o de distancia recorrida, constituyen un mosaico de distintos sistemas, con la excepción de la euroviñeta (Benelux, Suecia y Dinamarca). La plena implantación del SET garantizará la interoperabilidad entre los sistemas de tarificación basados en la distancia recorrida.

La Comisión está de acuerdo en que un sistema de tarificación vial generalizado y justo es un elemento importante, aunque no el único, para establecer condiciones equitativas en toda la UE.

No obstante, es importante distinguir entre impuestos y tasas, que son dos instrumentos distintos. La Directiva «Euroviñeta» contiene disposiciones tanto sobre los impuestos de circulación (artículo 3 y anexo I) como sobre las tasas (artículo 7). Uno de los objetivos de la Directiva sobre la euroviñeta es precisamente evitar la doble imposición (artículo 5).

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002310/14

an die Kommission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) und Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Eurovignette und mögliche gegenwärtige Verzerrungen im Binnenmarkt

Die Bürger müssen sich der Kosten bewusst sein, die ein gut ausgebautes und leistungsfähiges Straßennetz mit sich bringt; dazu gehören nicht nur die Baukosten, die an und für sich schon sehr hoch sind, sondern auch die Instandhaltungskosten und die mit dem Straßenverkehrsnetz in Zusammenhang stehenden Kosten wie Staus und Umweltverschmutzung. Diese Kosten trägt zwangsläufig der Steuerzahler durch die Besteuerung, oder die Straßenbenutzer. Bei ihrer Verkehrspolitik ist die Europäische Union bestrebt, die Wettbewerbsbedingungen für die einzelnen Verkehrsträger anzugleichen, damit jeder Bereich die dort entstehenden Kosten trägt.

Wie die Kommission am 5. Dezember 2013 erklärte, kann die Finanzierungslücke in Höhe von 1,5 Billionen EUR für Infrastrukturen nicht durch die öffentlichen Finanzen geschlossen werden. Ein faires System zur Finanzierung einer nachhaltigen Infrastruktur sollte auf die Zahlung durch die Benutzer und nicht durch die Steuerzahler setzen.

Zum Schutz des Wettbewerbs beim Güterverkehr muss das Gebührensystem in der gesamten Union gleich sein, und die Zahlungssysteme (elektronisches Mautsystem) sollten interoperabel sein (siehe Richtlinie 2004/52/EG, das den europäischen elektronischen Mautdienst betrifft).

Der unterschiedliche Grad der Umsetzung des gemeinschaftlichen Besitzstands in diesem Bereich — in einigen Mitgliedstaaten wird die Infrastruktur aus öffentlichen Mitteln finanziert, während in anderen Mitgliedstaaten das Benutzerprinzip gilt — wirft die Frage auf, ob einige Benutzer für die Inanspruchnahme des Netzes zweimal bezahlen müssen.

Ist die Kommission der Auffassung, dass man ohne die Eurovignette von gleichen Bedingungen für alle Verbraucher im Binnenmarkt reden kann?

Teilt die Kommission die Auffassung, dass ohne Eurovignette das Risiko einer Doppelbesteuerung besteht?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(29. April 2014)

Die Kommission setzt sich in der Tat nachdrücklich für das Verursacherprinzip ein sowie für ein interoperables europäisches elektronisches Mautsystem (EETS) im Sinne der Richtlinie 2004/52/EG (58).

Mautsysteme für schwere Nutzfahrzeuge fallen unter das EU-Recht (unter die sogenannte „Eurovignetten-Richtlinie“ (59)) und wurden mit Ausnahme von Finnland, Estland, Lettland, Malta und Zypern in allen anderen EU-Mitgliedstaaten umgesetzt. Die meisten dieser Mitgliedstaaten haben Pläne ausgearbeitet, auch für den Personenkraftverkehr ein Mautsystem einzuführen. Im Vereinigten Königreich wurde zum 1. April 2014 eine Straßennutzungsgebühr eingeführt.

Die bestehenden zeit- oder streckenabhängigen Mautsysteme bilden einen Flickenteppich unterschiedlichster Systeme — ausgenommen die Eurovignette (Benelux, Schweden und Dänemark). Die vollständige Umsetzung des EETS wird die Interoperabilität zwischen streckenabhängigen Mautsystemen gewährleisten.

Die Kommission stimmt zwar zu, dass allgemeine und faire Straßennutzungsgebühren wichtig sind, ist aber der Auffassung, dass diese Kriterien allein keine einheitlichen Bedingungen in der EU schaffen.

Es gilt auch zwischen Steuern und Nutzungsgebühren zu differenzieren, die zwei unterschiedliche Instrumente darstellen. Die Eurovignetten-Richtlinie enthält Bestimmungen sowohl zu den Verkehrssteuern (Artikel 3 und Anhang I) als auch zu den Nutzungsgebühren (Artikel 7). Eines der Ziele der Eurovignetten-Richtlinie ist es gerade, eine Doppelbelastung zu vermeiden (Artikel 5).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002310/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) and Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Eurovignette and possible current distortions in the single market

Citizens must be made aware of the cost of having an adequate network of high-capacity roads: this involves not only the cost of construction, which in itself is very significant, but also the cost of maintenance and associated external costs such as congestion and pollution. These costs are inevitably borne by the taxpayer, via taxation, or by road users. The European Union aims, in its transport policy, to harmonise the conditions of competition for the different modes, so that each bears the costs associated with it.

As the Commission stated on 5 December 2013, public finances cannot cover the financing ‘gap’ for infrastructure worth EUR 1.5 trillion. A system for financing equitable and sustainable infrastructure should be based on payment by users, not by taxpayers.

In order to uphold competition in the transport of goods, the charging system must be common to the whole Union, and payment systems (electronic toll collection) should be interoperable (see Directive 2004/52/EC, which relates to the European electronic toll service).

The varying degree of implementation of the acquis communataire in this area — with public‐financed infrastructure in some Member States, while in others the user-pays principle prevails — raises the issue of whether some users have to pay twice to use the network.

Does the Commission think that without the Eurovignette it is possible to speak of a level playing field for all consumers in the single market?

Does the Commission agree that without the Eurovignette there could be a risk of double taxation?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The Commission is indeed strongly advocating the user pays principle as well as an interoperable European electronic toll service (EETS) as provided for by Directive 2004/52/EC on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community (60).

Road user charging systems, being governed by EC law as far as heavy goods vehicles are concerned (the so-called ‘Eurovignette Directive’ (61)), are implemented in most EU Member States with the exception of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Cyprus. In most of these Member States plans are in place to implement road user charging systems as well. United Kingdom will implement a user charge as of 1 April 2014.

The existing charging systems, which consist of either time-based vignette or distance based schemes, represent a patchwork of different systems with the exception of the Eurovignette (Benelux, Sweden and Denmark). The full implementation of EETS will ensure interoperability between distance-based charging systems.

The Commission agrees that generalised and fair road user charging is an important — but not the only — element in establishing a level playing field across the EU.

It is however important to distinguish between taxes and user charges, which are two different instruments. The Eurovignette Directive contains provisions on both circulation taxes (Article 3 and Annex I) and on user charges (Article 7). One of the objectives of the Eurovignette Directive is specifically to avoid double taxation (Article 5).

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002311/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) y Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: La euroviñeta como un medio para consolidar las finanzas públicas

Los ciudadanos deben ser conscientes del costo de contar con una red adecuada de carreteras de alta capacidad: esto implica no sólo el costo de la construcción, que en sí mismo es muy elevado, sino también el costo de mantenimiento y los costes externos asociados, tales como la congestión y la contaminación. Estos costos están inevitablemente a cargo del contribuyente, a través de los impuestos, o de los usuarios de la carretera. La Unión Europea tiene como objetivo de su política de transportes la armonización de las condiciones de competencia de los distintos modos de transporte, de manera que cada uno soporte los costos asociados.

Como expresó la Comisión el 5 de diciembre de  2013, las finanzas públicas no pueden cubrir la brecha de financiación relativa a las infraestructuras, que asciende a 1,5 billones de euros. Un sistema de financiación de las infraestructuras equitativo y sostenible debe basarse en el pago de los usuarios y no de los contribuyentes.

Con el fin de mantener la competencia en el transporte de mercancías, el sistema de carga debe ser común a toda la Unión, y los sistemas de pago (telepeaje) deben ser interoperables (véase la Directiva 2004/52/CE, que se refiere al servicio europeo de telepeaje).

Por otra parte, la aplicación de la euroviñeta significaría un buen ahorro para los presupuestos nacionales, ya que crearía un flujo constante de ingresos.

¿Presentará la Comisión una recomendación específica para cada país sobre la correcta aplicación de la euroviñeta como un medio para aumentar la estabilidad de las finanzas públicas?

Respuesta del Sr. Rehn en nombre de la Comisión

(9 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión Europea tiene la intención de presentar su análisis de las principales dificultades para el crecimiento económico y empleo en la EU en el «Paquete de primavera» anual, previsto para el 2 de junio de 2014. Las recomendaciones específicas para cada país que se propondrán al Consejo para su adopción se referirán a los principales asuntos de cada uno de los Estados miembros implicados y de la zona del euro en su conjunto, y se basarán en un minucioso análisis de los documentos de trabajo adjuntos, que forman parte del «Paquete de primavera». Sin embargo, es muy pronto para especular sobre la naturaleza exacta de las recomendaciones específicas para cada país.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002311/14

an die Kommission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) und Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Die Eurovignette als Mittel zur Konsolidierung der öffentlichen Finanzen

Die Bürger müssen sich der Kosten bewusst sein, die ein gut ausgebautes und leistungsfähiges Straßennetz mit sich bringt; dazu gehören nicht nur die Baukosten, die an und für sich schon sehr hoch sind, sondern auch die Instandhaltungskosten und die mit dem Straßenverkehrsnetz in Zusammenhang stehenden Kosten wie Staus und Umweltverschmutzung. Diese Kosten trägt zwangsläufig der Steuerzahler durch die Besteuerung, oder die Straßenbenutzer. Bei ihrer Verkehrspolitik ist die Europäische Union bestrebt, die Wettbewerbsbedingungen für die einzelnen Verkehrsträger anzugleichen, damit jeder Bereich die dort entstehenden Kosten trägt.

Wie die Kommission am 5. Dezember 2013 erklärte, kann die Finanzierungslücke in Höhe von 1,5 Billionen EUR für Infrastrukturen nicht durch die öffentlichen Finanzen geschlossen werden. Ein faires System zur Finanzierung einer nachhaltigen Infrastruktur sollte auf die Zahlung durch die Benutzer und nicht durch die Steuerzahler setzen.

Zum Schutz des Wettbewerbs beim Güterverkehr muss das Gebührensystem in der gesamten Union gleich sein, und die Zahlungssysteme (elektronisches Mautsystem) sollten interoperabel sein (siehe Richtlinie 2004/52/EG, das den europäischen elektronischen Mautdienst betrifft).

Andererseits könnten durch die Anwendung der Eurovignette Einsparungen bei den nationalen Haushalten erzielt werden, da dadurch eine ständige Einnahmequelle erschlossen würde.

Wird die Kommission als Mittel zur Erhöhung der Stabilität der öffentlichen Finanzen für jeden Mitgliedstaat eine Empfehlung zur korrekten Umsetzung der Eurovignette vorlegen?

Antwort von Herrn Rehn im Namen der Kommission

(9. April 2014)

Die Europäische Kommission beabsichtigt, ihre Analyse der wichtigsten Herausforderungen für das Wirtschaftswachstum und die Beschäftigung in der EU im jährlichen „Frühjahrspaket“ vorzustellen, das am 2. Juni 2014 vorgelegt werden soll. Mit den länderspezifischen Empfehlungen, die dem Rat zur Annahme vorgeschlagen werden, wird auf zentrale Probleme eingegangen, die in den Mitgliedstaaten und im Euro-Währungsgebiet als Ganzes bestehen. Die länderspezifischen Empfehlungen stützen sich auf eine sorgfältige Analyse in den begleitenden Arbeitsunterlagen, die Teil des Frühjahrspakets sind. Es wäre zu diesem Zeitpunkt jedoch verfrüht, über die genaue Art der länderspezifischen Empfehlungen zu spekulieren.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002311/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) and Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Eurovignette as a means to consolidate public finance

Citizens must be made aware of the cost of having an adequate network of high-capacity roads: this involves not only the cost of construction, which in itself is very significant, but also the cost of maintenance and associated external costs such as congestion and pollution. These costs are inevitably borne by the taxpayer, via taxation, or by road users. The European Union aims, in its transport policy, to harmonise the conditions of competition for the different modes, so that each bears the costs associated with it.

As the Commission stated on 5 December 2013, public finances cannot cover the financing ‘gap’ for infrastructure worth EUR 1.5 trillion. A system for financing equitable and sustainable infrastructure should be based on payment by users, not by taxpayers.

In order to uphold competition in the transport of goods, the charging system must be common to the whole Union, and payment systems (electronic toll collection) should be interoperable (see Directive 2004/52/EC, which relates to the European electronic toll service).

On the other hand, the application of the Eurovignette would be a good means of making savings for national budgets, as it would create a constant flow of revenue.

Is the Commission going to make a country-specific recommendation on the correct implementation of the Eurovignette as a means of increasing the stability of public finances?

Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The European Commission intends to present its analysis of the main challenges to economic growth and employment in the EU in the annual ‘Spring Package’, expected on 2 June 2014. The country-specific recommendations that will be proposed to the Council for adoption will address key issues in each of the concerned Member States and of the euro area as a whole. The country-specific recommendations will be underpinned by thorough analysis in the accompanying staff working documents, which are part of the Spring Package. However, it would be premature to speculate on the exact nature of the country-specific recommendations at this point in time.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002312/14

a la Comisión

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) y Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Transposición de la Directiva «euroviñeta»

Los ciudadanos deben ser conscientes del costo de contar con una red adecuada de carreteras de alta capacidad: esto implica no sólo el costo de la construcción, que en sí mismo es muy elevado, sino también el costo de mantenimiento y los costes externos asociados, tales como la congestión y la contaminación. Estos costos están inevitablemente a cargo del contribuyente, a través de los impuestos, o de los usuarios de la carretera. La Unión Europea tiene como objetivo de su política de transportes la armonización de las condiciones de competencia de los distintos modos de transporte, de manera que cada uno soporte los costos asociados.

Como expresó la Comisión el 5 de diciembre de  2013, las finanzas públicas no pueden cubrir la brecha de financiación relativa a las infraestructuras, que asciende a 1,5 billones de euros. Un sistema de financiación de las infraestructuras equitativo y sostenible debe basarse en el pago de los usuarios y no de los contribuyentes.

Con el fin de mantener la competencia en el transporte de mercancías, el sistema de carga debe ser común a toda la Unión, y los sistemas de pago (telepeaje) deben ser interoperables (véase la Directiva 2004/52/CE, que se refiere al servicio europeo de telepeaje).

Los ingresos procedentes de los gravámenes por utilización de las infraestructuras deben reinvertirse en el propio sector, con el fin de garantizar el mantenimiento y la mejora de las infraestructuras.

Con relación a la Directiva 2006/38/EC relativa a la aplicación de gravámenes a los vehículos pesados de transporte de mercancías por la utilización de determinadas infraestructuras:

¿Han transpuesto correctamente esta Directiva todos los Estados miembros?

¿Qué Estados miembros tienen un menor nivel de cumplimiento?

¿Qué piensa hacer la Comisión para garantizar el cumplimiento?

Respuesta del Sr. Kallas en nombre de la Comisión

(9 de abril de 2014)

La reinversión de los ingresos generados por los sistemas de tarificación por el uso de las carreteras en el sector del transporte es, de hecho, un objetivo previsto en la Directiva «Euroviñeta» (62). Sin embargo, constituye un objetivo no vinculante. Los Estados miembros son libres de decidir cómo disponer de los ingresos generados por tales sistemas de tarificación.

1.

Todos los Estados miembros han transpuesto la Directiva 2006/38/CE por la que se modifica la Directiva «Euroviñeta» (63).

2.

Habida cuenta de la respuesta dada a la primera pregunta, no procede responder a la segunda.

3.

La Comisión supervisa continuamente la conformidad de las legislaciones nacionales con la legislación de la UE y dispone de las competencias necesarias para investigar las posibles infracciones que le hayan sido señaladas.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002312/14

an die Kommission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) und Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Umsetzung der Eurovignette

Die Bürger müssen sich der Kosten bewusst sein, die ein gut ausgebautes und leistungsfähiges Straßennetz mit sich bringt; dazu gehören nicht nur die Baukosten, die an und für sich schon sehr hoch sind, sondern auch die Instandhaltungskosten und die mit dem Straßenverkehrsnetz in Zusammenhang stehenden Kosten wie Staus und Umweltverschmutzung. Diese Kosten trägt zwangsläufig der Steuerzahler durch die Besteuerung, oder die Straßenbenutzer. Bei ihrer Verkehrspolitik ist die Europäische Union bestrebt, die Wettbewerbsbedingungen für die einzelnen Verkehrsträger anzugleichen, damit jeder Bereich die dort entstehenden Kosten trägt.

Wie die Kommission am 5. Dezember 2013 erklärte, kann die Finanzierungslücke in Höhe von 1,5 Billionen EUR für Infrastrukturen nicht durch die öffentlichen Finanzen geschlossen werden. Ein faires System zur Finanzierung einer nachhaltigen Infrastruktur sollte auf die Zahlung durch die Benutzer und nicht durch die Steuerzahler setzen.

Zum Schutz des Wettbewerbs beim Güterverkehr muss das Gebührensystem in der gesamten Union gleich sein, und die Zahlungssysteme (elektronisches Mautsystem) sollten interoperabel sein (siehe Richtlinie 2004/52/EG, das den europäischen elektronischen Mautdienst betrifft).

Einnahmen aus Infrastrukturgebühren sollten zwecks Instandhaltung und Verbesserung der Infrastruktur in den Sektor reinvestiert werden.

Kann die Kommission in Bezug auf die Richtlinie 2006/38/EG folgende Fragen beantworten:

Haben alle Mitgliedstaaten diese Richtlinie korrekt umgesetzt?

Welche Mitgliedstaaten halten sich weniger an die Vorschriften dieser Richtlinie?

Was unternimmt die Kommission, damit die Vorschriften eingehalten werden?

Antwort von Herrn Kallas im Namen der Kommission

(9. April 2014)

Das Reinvestieren von Einnahmen aus Entgeltregelungen für die Straßenbenutzung im Verkehrssektor ist in der Tat ein Ziel der Eurovignettenrichtlinie (64). Allerdings handelt es sich dabei nicht um ein verbindliches Ziel. Die Entscheidung darüber, wie die Einnahmen aus den Entgeltregelungen für die Straßenbenutzung verwendet werden, liegt bei den Mitgliedstaaten.

1.

Alle Mitgliedstaaten haben die Richtlinie 2006/38/EG zur Änderung der Eurovignettenrichtlinie umgesetzt (65).

2.

In Anbetracht der Antwort auf die erste Frage erübrigt sich die Beantwortung der zweiten Frage.

3.

Die Kommission überwacht fortlaufend die Übereinstimmung der nationalen Rechtsvorschriften mit dem EU-Recht und verfügt über die notwendigen Befugnisse, um etwaigen Verstößen nachzugehen, die ihr zur Kenntnis gebracht werden.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002312/14

to the Commission

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE) and Gesine Meissner (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Eurovignette transposition

Citizens must be made aware of the cost of having an adequate network of high-capacity roads: this involves not only the cost of construction, which in itself is very significant, but also the cost of maintenance and associated external costs such as congestion and pollution. These costs are inevitably borne by the taxpayer, via taxation, or by road users. The European Union aims, in its transport policy, to harmonise the conditions of competition for the different modes, so that each bears the costs associated with it.

As the Commission stated on 5 December 2013, public finances cannot cover the financing ‘gap’ for infrastructure worth EUR 1.5 trillion. A system for financing equitable and sustainable infrastructure should be based on payment by users, not by taxpayers.

In order to uphold competition in the transport of goods, the charging system must be common to the whole Union, and payment systems (electronic toll collection) should be interoperable (see Directive 2004/52/EC, which relates to the European electronic toll service).

Revenue from infrastructure charges should be reinvested in the sector itself, so as to ensure the maintenance and improvement of infrastructure.

With reference to Directive 2006/38/EC:

Have all the Member States transposed this directive correctly?

Which Member States have a lower level of compliance?

What is the Commission going to do to ensure compliance?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

Reinvesting revenues generated by road user charging schemes in the transport sector is indeed an objective provided for in the Eurovignette Directive (66). It is however a non-binding objective. Member States are free to decide how to dispose of revenues generated by road user charging schemes.

1.

All Member States have transposed Directive 2006/38/EC amending the Eurovignette Directive (67).

2.

Given the answer to the first question, there is no need to reply to the second question.

3.

The Commission is continuously monitoring the compliance of national legislations with EU legislation and disposes of necessary powers to investigate the possible infringements brought to its attention.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002313/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Normalizzazione dei legami tra Israele e Turchia

Il 22 marzo 2013, il primo ministro israeliano Benjamin Netanyahu e il primo ministro turco Recep Tayyip Erdoğan si sono parlati telefonicamente per la prima volto dopo l'incidente della Mavi Marmara nel 2010, inoltre sembra che i legami tra i due paesi siano migliorati. Il premier Netanyahu ha espresso le sue scuse nei confronti della popolazione turca per il raid navale, soddisfacendo in questo modo la prima condizione imposta dalla Turchia per la normalizzazione delle relazioni. Tuttavia, tra le altre richieste avanzate dal premier Erdoğan vi è il risarcimento per le vittime e il sollevamento dell'embargo nei confronti della striscia di Gaza. Israele ha deciso di pagare un risarcimento alle famiglie delle vittime, ma il controllo esercitato da Hamas sulla striscia di Gaza rende difficile al governo israeliano soddisfare la terza condizione imposta dalla Turchia.

La Turchia è considerata uno degli alleati musulmani più importanti di Israele; l'incidente della Mavi Marmara, tuttavia, ha condotto all'annullamento delle esercitazioni militari congiunte, all'espulsione dell'ambasciatore israeliano e a tre anni di relazioni tese. La riconciliazione tra i due paesi sarebbe pertanto vantaggiosa sotto il profilo della condivisione di intelligence sulla Siria e l'Iran, del rafforzamento dei legami economici e, per Israele, ai fini della possibilità di una maggiore cooperazione con la NATO. La Turchia potrebbe anche fungere da cliente chiave per il gas naturale israeliano scoperto recentemente. Nelle ultime settimane i due paesi sono stati vicini al raggiungimento di un accordo, ma il primo ministro Erdoğan si rifiuta di ristabilire i legami senza un impegno scritto da parte di Israele sulla futura rimozione delle restrizioni su Gaza.

Gli Stati Uniti esprimono soddisfazione per l'avvicinamento, in quanto vorrebbero che i due paesi collaborassero sulla questione iraniana e siriana. Il 19 febbraio 2014, durante una conversazione telefonica, il presidente Barack Obama il premier Erdoğan hanno convenuto sull'importanza di normalizzare i legami tra Turchia e Israele. Il ministro degli esteri turco Ahmet Davotoğlu ha inoltre dichiarato che nelle ultime riunioni sono stati compiuti molti progressi e che si sta assistendo a un periodo di normalizzazione delle relazioni.

1.

Qual è la posizione del Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante riguardo agli sforzi che si stanno compiendo per ricucire i rapporti tra Turchia e Israele?

2.

Il VP/AR prevede che l'UE svolgerà un ruolo nel conseguimento di tale obiettivo?

3.

Come valutano i funzionari dell'UE le possibili ripercussioni del miglioramento delle relazioni turco-israeliane per la regione del Medio Oriente?

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

(10 aprile 2014)

La Commissione condivide la valutazione dell'onorevole deputato. La Turchia e Israele sono partner di fondamentale importanza per l'Unione europea. Pertanto, il dialogo e le buone relazioni funzionali tra i due paesi sono nell'interesse dell'UE se si considerano il suo impegno per promuovere la pace e la stabilità nel nostro vicinato comune e soprattutto per affrontare i numerosi problemi della regione, quali il processo di pace in Medio Oriente o la crisi siriana.

L'AR/VP accoglie con estremo favore e apprezzamento i passi volti al ravvicinamento tra i due paesi e incoraggia entrambe le parti a intensificare gli sforzi per rinsaldare i legami tra di esse. L'Unione europea è pronta a contribuire a questo processo se invitata a farlo da entrambe le parti.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002313/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Normalisation of ties between Israel and Turkey

On 22 March 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had their first telephone conversation since the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, and ties between the two countries seemed to improve. PM Netanyahu expressed his apologies to the Turkish people for the naval raid, thereby meeting Turkey’s first condition for normalising relations. However, the other requests put forward by PM Erdoğan included compensation for the victims, and the lifting of the embargo on the Gaza Strip. Israel agreed to pay compensation to the families of those killed, but Hamas’s control of the Gaza Strip makes it difficult for the Israeli Government to meet Turkey’s third condition.

Turkey is considered to be one of Israel’s most important Muslim allies; however, the Mavi Marmara incident led to the cancellation of joint military exercises, the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and three years of tense relations. Reconciliation between the two countries would therefore be beneficial with regard to intelligence-sharing on Syria and Iran, improved economic ties and, for Israel, the possibility of greater cooperation with NATO. Turkey could also serve as a key customer for recently discovered Israeli natural gas. In the past few weeks, the two countries have come close to reaching an agreement, but PM Erdoğan is still refusing to restore ties without a written commitment by Israel that it will lift restrictions on Gaza.

The United States is keen for a rapprochement, since it would like both countries to cooperate on the issue of Iran and Syria. On 19 February 2014, during a phone conversation, President Barack Obama and PM Erdoğan agreed on the importance of normalising ties between Turkey and Israel. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davotoğlu also stated that a great deal of progress had been made in recent meetings, and that relations were undergoing a period of normalisation.

1.

What is the position of the Vice-President/High Representative regarding the efforts currently being made to mend ties between Turkey and Israel?

2.

Does the VP/HR envision a role for the EU in achieving this goal?

3.

What is the assessment of EU officials regarding the possible repercussions of improved Turkish-Israeli relations for the wider Middle East?

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

(10 April 2014)

The Commission agrees with the assessment of the Honourable Member. Turkey and Israel are crucial partners of the EU. Therefore, dialogue and good, functional relations between them are in the interest of the EU in the quest for peace and stability in our shared neighbourhood, especially in tackling the wide range of challenges which the region currently faces, such as the Middle East Peace Process or the Syrian crisis.

The HRVP strongly welcomes and commends the steps towards rapprochement between the two countries and encourages both sides to move forward and step up their efforts to improve ties. The EU stands ready to assist in this process if invited by both parties.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002314/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Morte del poeta arabo-iraniano Hashem Shaabani Nejad

Il poeta arabo-iraniano Hashem Shaabani Nejad è stato condannato a morte nel luglio 2012 dopo essere stato giudicato colpevole del reato di «guerra contro Dio». Shabaani Nejad, appartenente alla minoranza degli arabi iraniani Ahwazi, era un insegnante, poeta e attivista per i diritti umani. Era membro di al-Hiwar, un'organizzazione culturale dedita alla promozione e alla comprensione della cultura e della letteratura arabe in Iran. È stato giustiziato insieme a Hadi Rashedi, un altro membro di al-Hiwar, il 27 gennaio 2014 in una prigione non identificata. Né i loro avvocati né le loro famiglie sono stati informati sui particolari.

Dopo le elezioni dell'anno scorso, il presidente iraniano Hassan Rouhani ha promesso di seguire «un percorso di moderazione» negli affari internazionali e di allentare le restrizioni sulle libertà civili. A livello mondiale, tuttavia, il paese ha il più alto tasso di esecuzioni pro capite. Da quando il presidente Rouhani è entrato in carica, si calcola che ne siano state eseguite 451, rispetto alle 195 annunciate ufficialmente dal governo. I reati punibili con la morte includono l'assassinio, lo stupro e il possesso di stupefacenti, rapina a mano armata, spionaggio, sodomia, adulterio e apostasia, ma anche violazioni quali «ostilità contro Dio» o «diffusione di corruzione sulla terra». I minori possono subire la condanna a morte per determinati crimini, anche se le autorità li sottopongono a detenzione fino al compimento dei 18 anni per poterli giustiziare legalmente. Recentemente le autorità hanno rilasciato alcuni attivisti per i diritti civili e prigionieri politici di alto livello, anche se gli agenti continuano a detenere numerosi attivisti della società civile e figure di primo piano dell'opposizione, giornalisti e blogger; alla fine del dicembre 2013 i detenuti erano almeno 40. Stando a Human Rights Watch, inoltre, le autorità iraniane continuano a sottoporre i prigionieri ad abusi.

Tuttavia, dal novembre 2013, in conseguenza del piano congiunto di azione elaborato a Ginevra, l'UE ha dimostrato la volontà di impegnarsi con il governo iraniano, e in numerosi ambiti vi è l'auspicio di accelerare il processo volto ad alleviare le sanzioni.

1.

Qual è la posizione del Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante riguardo la recente esecuzione di Shaabani Nejad? Quali misure sta adottando l'UE per indurre il governo iraniano ad attuare una moratoria sulla pena di morte?

2.

Secondo il VP/AR, quali passi positivi, se presenti, hanno intrapreso le autorità iraniane nei confronti del miglioramento della situazione dei diritti umani?

3.

Come valutano i funzionari dell'UE in servizio in Iran l'impegno del presidente Rouhani volto a migliorare le condizioni di vita della società civile nel paese?

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

(21 maggio 2014)

Come rileva l'onorevole deputato, la situazione dei diritti umani in Iran continua a essere fonte di grande preoccupazione per l'Unione. In occasione della recente visita dell'AR/VP in Iran, è stata discussa l'eventualità di un impegno dell'Unione in Iran sotto questo aspetto. L'Unione europea si augura che gli impegni assunti dal nuovo governo iraniano volti a migliorare il rispetto dei diritti umani nel paese si concretizzino quanto prima.

In più occasioni l'Unione ha richiamato l'Iran al rispetto degli obblighi internazionali derivanti dagli impegni presi in materia di diritti umani ma gli appelli dell'UE sono rimasti lettera morta. L'UE ha chiesto inoltre ripetutamente al paese di abolire la pena di morte e sospendere le esecuzioni capitali. Questa è e rimane la posizione dell'Unione.

Quanto ai due esponenti della minoranza araba iraniana ahwazi, Hashem Shaabani Nejad e Hadi Rashedi, la pena di morte loro comminata e inflitta, per aver promosso la comprensione della propria cultura, è un atto ingiustificabile. L'Iran deve tener fede agli obblighi assunti in materia di diritti umani, soprattutto per quanto riguarda il rispetto e la tutela delle minoranze etniche e religiose.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002314/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Fiorello Provera (EFD)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Death of Arab-Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani Nejad

The Arab-Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani Nejad was sentenced to death in July 2012, having been convicted of ‘waging war on God’. Shabaani Nejad, who belonged to the Iranian Arab Ahwazi minority, was a teacher, poet and human rights activist. He was a member of al-Hiwar, a cultural organisation which promoted an understanding of Arabic culture and literature in Iran. He was executed along with Hadi Rashedi, another member of al-Hiwar, on 27 January 2014in an unidentified prison. Neither their attorneys nor their families were informed of the details.

After the elections last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to follow a ‘path of moderation’ in international affairs and to ease restrictions on civil liberties. However, the country is still the global leader in executions per capita. Since President Rouhani took office, an estimated 451 are believed to have taken place, as opposed to the 195 officially announced by the government. Crimes punishable by death include murder, rape, trafficking and possessing drugs, armed robbery, espionage, sodomy, adultery and apostasy, but also violations as ‘enmity against God’ or ‘sowing corruption on earth’. Minors may be sentenced to death for certain crimes, but the authorities detain them until they reach the age 18 in order to execute them legally. The authorities recently released some high-profile rights activists and political prisoners, but officials continue to detain many civil society activists and leading opposition figures, journalists and bloggers; at least 40 were in detention at the end of December 2013. Also, according to Human Rights Watch, Iranian authorities continue to subject prisoners to abuse.

Nevertheless, since November 2013, as a result of the joint plan of action reached in Geneva, the EU has demonstrated a willingness to engage with the Iranian Government, and in many quarters there is a desire to expedite a process of alleviating sanctions.

1.

What is the position of the Vice-President/High Representative regarding the recent execution of Mr Shaabani Nejad? What steps is the EU adopting to push for the Iranian Government to implement a moratorium on the death penalty?

2.

In the VP/HR’s opinion, what positive steps, if any, have the Iranian authorities taken towards improving their human rights record?

3.

What is the assessment of EU officials working on Iran regarding President Rouhani’s commitment to improving life for civil society in the country?

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

(21 May 2014)

As the Honourable Parliamentarian points out, the human rights situation in Iran remains a serious concern to the EU. During the HR/VP's recent visit to Iran, the issue of how the EU might engage with Iran on this question was discussed. The EU hopes that the commitments made by the new Iranian Government to improve the human rights situation in Iran will soon materialise.

The EU has, on several occasions, called on Iran to live up to the international human rights obligations that Iran has itself signed up to. This call still stands. The EU has also repeatedly called on Iran to abolish the death penalty and introduce a moratorium on the death penalty. This remains the EU's position on the matter.

As to the specific case regarding the execution of Hashem Shaabani Nejad and Hadi Rashedi, both members of the Arab Ahwazi minority in Iran, there can be no justification for their activities to promote the understanding of their culture having resulted in a death penalty, and their execution. Iran must live up to its human rights obligations, also when it comes to the respect and protection of ethnic and religious minorities.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta P-002316/14

alla Commissione

Lorenzo Fontana (EFD)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Esclusione della Svizzera dal Programma Erasmus+

Il Commissario europeo per gli affari sociali Laszlo Andor ha comunicato la decisione di escludere i cittadini svizzeri dal Programma Erasmus +.

Questa decisione, nonostante le smentite di circostanza, sembra a tutti gli effetti legata, in senso presumibilmente sanzionatorio, alla volontà, espressa dai cittadini svizzeri tramite referendum su un tema sensibile come quello dell'immigrazione.

Esprimere la propria opinione tramite la forma più diretta di democrazia che il sistema democratico conosca non può essere oggetto di ritorsione da parte dell'Unione europea.

La volontà espressa dai cittadini svizzeri sul tema della gestione dell'immigrazione non può avere effetti sul partenariato che la Repubblica elvetica ha con gli altri Stati partecipanti al Programma Erasmus+.

Lo spirito che ha animato uno dei programmi di maggior successo dell'UE è messo così a serio rischio dalla decisione della Commissione.

Tutto ciò premesso, può la Commissione far sapere se conferma quanto sopra esposto e se ha già fatto una prima valutazione d’impatto in merito alle conseguenze che tale decisione potrebbe arrecare in tema di mobilità studentesca?

Risposta di Androulla Vassiliou a nome della Commissione

(3 aprile 2014)

Il Consiglio ha costantemente chiarito che la conclusione dei negoziati con la Svizzera in merito alla sua partecipazione ad Erasmus+ dipendeva dalla firma, da parte di questo paese, del protocollo che estende la libera circolazione delle persone alla Croazia, dal momento che il programma è strettamente collegato al principio della libera circolazione (scambio di studenti, di ricercatori e di docenti). Di conseguenza, la Commissione ha sospeso i negoziati sino a quando la Svizzera non si impegnerà a firmare il protocollo.

La Commissione rispetta pienamente la tradizione svizzera di democrazia diretta, ma non può ignorare la discriminazione contro uno dei suoi Stati membri.

La Svizzera ha partecipato sin dal 2011 ai precedenti programmi «Istruzione e formazione durante l'intero arco della vita» e «Youth in Action». Durante l'anno accademico 2013/14, le attività di mobilità che coinvolgono cittadini svizzeri sono ancora coperte da questi programmi.

La sospensione dei negoziati non significa che la Svizzera non potrà in assoluto partecipare a Erasmus+; avrà lo stesso status di altri paesi terzi che non hanno firmato un accordo con l'UE e non contribuiscono finanziariamente al programma. Nel 2014, le organizzazioni svizzere potranno partecipare come partner ai diplomi di laurea magistrale comuni, alle alleanze della conoscenza e delle abilità settoriali, ai partenariati strategici e ai partenariati di collaborazione nel settore dello sport, a condizione che il loro coinvolgimento apporti un chiaro valore aggiunto ai programmi dell'Unione. Anche le attività Jean Monnet rimangono aperte alla partecipazione della Svizzera, sia come organizzazione candidata che come organizzazione partner. Tutte le parti interessate sono state informate di questo cambio di status, dando ai potenziali beneficiari il tempo sufficiente per individuare altre possibilità di partecipazione nell'ambito del programma Erasmus+ o di altri programmi di finanziamento per la mobilità da e verso la Svizzera.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002316/14

to the Commission

Lorenzo Fontana (EFD)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Switzerland's exclusion from the Erasmus+ programme

The Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, László Andor, has announced that Swiss students will no longer be able to participate in the Erasmus+ programme.

This decision seems to be a way of punishing Switzerland for the outcome of its referendum on the sensitive issue of immigration, even if the Commission maintains that it is not.

The Swiss people have expressed their opinion using the most direct form of democracy that there is, and this should not result in retaliatory measures from the EU.

Swiss sentiment on immigration policy should not affect the partnership between Switzerland and other Erasmus+ countries.

The Commission’s decision is completely at odds with the spirit of the Erasmus+ programme, which has been one of the EU’s biggest success stories.

In light of the above, can the Commission say if it has carried out an assessment of the impact its decision is likely to have on student exchanges?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2014)

The Council has always made clear that the conclusion of negotiations with Switzerland on its participation in Erasmus+ depended on the Swiss signature of the Protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia, as the programme is closely linked to the principle of free movement (exchange of students, researchers and teachers). Consequently, the Commission has put the negotiations on hold until Switzerland commits to the signing of the Protocol.

While the Commission fully respects the Swiss tradition of direct democracy, it cannot ignore discrimination against one of its Member States.

Switzerland has participated in the previous lifelong learning and Youth in Action programmes since 2011. In the academic year 2013/14, mobility activities involving Swiss citizens are still covered by the previous programmes.

The suspension of negotiations does not mean that Switzerland will not be able to participate in Erasmus+ at all; it will still enjoy the same status as other third countries not having signed an agreement with the EU and not contributing financially to the programme. In 2014, Swiss organisations will be able to participate as partners in Joint Master Degrees, Knowledge Alliances and Sector Skills Alliances, Strategic Partnerships and Sport Collaborative Partnerships, under the condition that their involvement demonstrates a clear added value for the Union. Jean Monnet activities also remain open to Swiss participation, both as applicant and partner organisation. All relevant parties have been informed of this change of status, giving potential beneficiaries sufficient time to seek other participation possibilities under the Erasmus+ programme or other funding schemes for mobility to and from Switzerland.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-002317/14

aan de Commissie

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(27 februari 2014)

Betreft: Onderhandelingen over Erasmus+ met Zwitserland

Na het Zwitserse referendum op 9 februari 2014 waarin de Zwitserse bevolking aangaf voorstander te zijn van scherpere voorwaarden voor immigratie vanuit de EU, heeft de Europese Commissie laten weten dat zij de onderhandelingen over deelname van Zwitserland aan Erasmus+ en Horizon 2020 uitstelt totdat Zwitserland het akkoord dat opgesteld werd over de vrije toegang van werknemers uit Kroatië kan ondertekenen.

In het debat dat hierover op 26 februari 2014 gevoerd werd in het Parlement, gaf de Commissie aan dat de  termijn voor deelname van Zwitserland aan Erasmus+ voor het jaar 2014 ondertussen verstreken is en dat Zwitserland momenteel als „derde land” beschouwd wordt.

1.

Kan de Commissie aangeven of er gevolgen zijn voor de uitbetaling van de beurzen aan Erasmusstudenten die in het tweede semester van het academiejaar 2013‐2014 in Zwitserland verblijven?

2.

Kan de Commissie aangeven welke gevolgen deze opschorting teweegbrengt voor studenten die in het academiejaar 2014‐2015 naar Zwitserland wensen te gaan, meer bepaald zij die in het eerste semester willen vertrekken?

Antwoord van mevrouw Vassiliou namens de Commissie

(21 maart 2014)

De opschorting van de onderhandelingen heeft geen gevolgen voor de betaling van beurzen aan studenten die in het academiejaar 2013-2014 deelnemen aan een Erasmus-uitwisseling, aangezien de lopende mobiliteitsperioden en ‐projecten worden gefinancierd in het kader van de vorige programma's Een leven lang leren en Jeugd in Europa.

De opschorting van de onderhandelingen met Zwitserland houdt in dat Zwitserland geen overeenkomst kan ondertekenen om deel te nemen aan Erasmus+ als „programmaland” (d.w.z. op gelijke voet met de lidstaten van de EU). Daarom heeft Zwitserland vanaf het academiejaar 2014-2015 dezelfde status als andere derde landen die geen overeenkomst hebben ondertekend en geen financiële bijdrage leveren aan het programma (de zogenaamde „partnerlanden”).

Zwitserland blijft een partnerland totdat het een deelnameovereenkomst ondertekent. Dit betekent dat de deelname van Zwitserse organisaties beperkt zal zijn tot samenwerkingsactiviteiten, op voorwaarde dat de betrokkenheid van Zwitserse organisaties een duidelijke toegevoegde waarde oplevert voor de Unie. De EU zal geen studentenmobiliteit van en naar Zwitserland financieren. De Zwitserse Bondsraad heeft het Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation opdracht gegeven een tijdelijke oplossing uit te werken naar het voorbeeld van de eerdere indirecte deelname van Zwitserland, zodat studenten kunnen blijven deelnemen aan mobiliteit.

Een lijst van activiteiten waaraan Zwitserland kan deelnemen, is beschikbaar op de website van Erasmus+: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_nl.htm

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002317/14

to the Commission

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Erasmus+ negotiations with Switzerland

Following the Swiss referendum on 9 February 2014 in which the people of Switzerland voted in favour of more stringent conditions for immigration from the EU, the Commission has indicated that is postponing negotiations on Switzerland’s participation in Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 until Switzerland can sign the agreement which has been concluded on free access for workers from Croatia.

During the debate on this subject in Parliament on 26 February 2014, the Commission indicated that the deadline for participation by Switzerland in Erasmus+ for 2014 had now passed and that Switzerland was currently being regarded as a ‘third country’.

1.

Can the Commission indicate whether this will affect the payment of scholarships to Erasmus exchange students residing in Switzerland during the second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year?

2.

Can the Commission indicate what consequences this postponement will have for students who wish to go to Switzerland in the 2014-2015 academic year, particularly those wishing to go there in the first semester?

Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

(21 March 2014)

The payment of scholarships to Erasmus exchange students for the 2013/14 academic year will not be affected by the suspension of negotiations, as current mobility periods and projects are funded under the previous Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes.

Suspension of negotiations with Switzerland means that it cannot sign an agreement to participate in Erasmus+ as a ‘Programme Country’ (i.e. on equal footing with EU Member States). Therefore, as of the academic year 2014/2015, Switzerland enjoys the same status as other third countries not having signed an agreement and not contributing financially to the programme (the so-called ‘Partner Countries’).

Switzerland will remain a Partner Country until it signs a participation agreement. This means that participation of Swiss organisations will be limited to cooperation activities, under the condition that the involvement of Swiss organisations demonstrates a clear added value for the Union. Mobility of students from and to Switzerland will not be funded by the EU. The Swiss Federal Council has commissioned the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation to set up an interim solution along the lines of Switzerland's earlier indirect participation so that students will still be able to take part in mobility.

A list of activities open to Swiss participation can be found on the Erasmus+ website: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002318/14

a la Comisión

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(27 de febrero de 2014)

Asunto: Preocupación por la protección de los derechos humanos en Venezuela

El artículo 2 del TUE dice que la «Unión se fundamenta en los valores de respeto de la dignidad humana, libertad, democracia, igualdad, Estado de Derecho y respeto de los derechos humanos […]». Esta preocupación por la protección de los derechos humanos se proyecta en la acción exterior de la UE. Como se recoge en el artículo 21, la consolidación y respaldo de la democracia, el Estado de Derecho y los derechos humanos es uno de los fines con los que la UE definirá y ejecutará políticas comunes y acciones en todos los ámbitos de las relaciones internacionales. Asimismo, la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas de 1948 define un catálogo universalmente aceptado de cuáles son los derechos humanos básicos, entre los que se incluyen el derecho a la libertad de opinión y expresión, el de no ser molestado a causa de las opiniones, el de recibir, investigar y difundir opiniones e informaciones sin limitación de fronteras, y el de libertad de reunión y asociación pacíficas.

En los últimos días se acumulan noticias muy preocupantes procedentes de Venezuela sobre líderes opositores acosados y con órdenes de detención emitidas en su contra, medios de comunicación críticos abocados al cierre por las restricciones gubernamentales, y protestas estudiantiles tiroteadas por civiles progubernamentales armados (conocidos como tupamaros), con el resultado de varios fallecidos. Esto se produce en un contexto de hiperinflación y desabastecimiento de algunos productos básicos y con un gobierno que no cesa de lanzar ardientes soflamas contra la ciudadanía opositora, a lo hay que sumar las llamadas «ocupaciones temporales» de empresas como medida desesperada, todo lo cual resulta preocupante de cara a la salvaguarda de los intereses europeos en Venezuela.

En relación con lo anterior, pregunto a la Comisión:

¿Tiene conocimiento de la grave situación que se está viviendo en Venezuela?

En el marco de la acción exterior ¿qué acciones piensa desarrollar, tanto a través del Servicio Europeo de Acción Exterior como mediante la coordinación de la política exterior de los Estados miembros, para la adecuada protección de los derechos humanos en Venezuela en el contexto actual?

¿Qué medidas van a impulsarse desde las instituciones europeas para que, al garantizarse el cumplimiento del Estado de Derecho, se salvaguarden los intereses europeos en Venezuela?

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

(4 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión sigue muy de cerca y con preocupación los últimos acontecimientos en Venezuela, tanto desde su Delegación en Caracas como desde su sede en Bruselas. La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a la Declaración de la Alta Represente y Vicepresidenta de la UE, de 21 de febrero de 2014, sobre los disturbios que están teniendo lugar en el país, así como a la Declaración en nombre de la Alta Representante durante el debate sobre Venezuela en el Pleno del Parlamento Europeo de 27 de febrero de 2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002318/14

to the Commission

Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Concern for the defence of human rights in Venezuela

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union states that ‘the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights’. This concern for the defence of human rights is reflected in the EU’s external policy. Consolidation and support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights are, as laid out in Article 21 TEU, among the goals pursued by the EU when drafting and implementing its common policies and actions in all spheres of international relations. The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights also defines a universally accepted catalogue of basic human rights, which includes the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers and the right to peaceful assembly and association.

In recent days there have been a series of alarming reports from Venezuela about opposition leaders been harassed and issued with detention orders, critical media being forced to close down by government restrictions and pro-government civilian armed groups (known as Tupamaros) opening fire on student protests, causing numerous deaths. This is taking place within a context of hyperinflation and shortages of various basic products and with a government which maintains a constant incendiary discourse against the opposition, as well as so-called ‘temporary occupation’ of businesses as a desperate measure, all of which raises concerns in relation to safeguarding European interests in Venezuela.

I therefore ask the Commission:

Is it aware of the current serious situation in Venezuela?

What action does the Commission intend to take, within the framework of its external action, both through the European External Action Service and by coordinating the Member States’ external policy, to adequately protect human rights in Venezuela under present circumstances?

What initiatives does it intend to encourage on the part of the European institutions in order to guarantee the rule of law and, in so doing, safeguard European interests in Venezuela?

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

(4 April 2014)

The Commission is following closely and with preoccupation recent developments in Venezuela, both from our Delegation in Caracas and from headquarters in Brussels. The Commission refers the honourable member to the 21 February 2014 Statement by the EU HR/VP on unrest in Venezuela as well as to the Statement on behalf of the EU High Representative during the European Parliament plenary debate on Venezuela on 27 February 2014.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002319/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Ρύπανση από τα εγκαταλελειμμένα ορυχεία χαλκού Medet, Elshitza και Tzar Asen στα βουνά Sredna Gora της Βουλγαρίας

Στα βουνά Sredna Gora στη Βουλγαρία υπάρχουν τρία εγκαταλελειμμένα ορυχεία χαλκού — τα ορυχεία Medet, Elshitza και Tzar Asen. Οι κάτοικοι της περιοχής αναφέρουν ότι οι περιπτώσεις ασθένειας που προκλήθηκαν από την ρύπανση λόγω των εγκαταλελειμμένων αυτών ορυχείων αυξάνονται.

Σύμφωνα με την Οδηγία 2006/21/ΕΚ σχετικά με τη διαχείριση των αποβλήτων της εξορυκτικής βιομηχανίας, τα κράτη μέλη απαιτείται να προβούν σε απογραφή των πιθανών βλαβερών κλειστών και εγκαταλελειμμένων εγκαταστάσεων μέχρι τον Μάιο του 2012 το αργότερο (68).

Η εν λόγω Οδηγία περιλαμβάνει απαιτήσεις για την κατασκευή, ασφάλεια και διαχείριση των εγκαταστάσεων απορριμμάτων από ορυχεία καθώς και την πρόληψη της ρύπανσης.

1.

Έχει λάβει η Επιτροπή αυτού του είδους την απογραφή από τη Βουλγαρική Κυβέρνηση;

2.

Τί μέτρα έχουν ληφθεί από το κράτος μέλος για να προστατευθεί η υγεία των ανθρώπων που διαβιούν πλησίον των εγκαταλελειμμένων αυτών ορυχείων;

3.

Σε περίπτωση που τα εν λόγω μέτρα αποδειχθούν ανεπαρκή, τί δράση προτίθεται να αναλάβει η Επιτροπή;

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002324/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Εγκατάσταση έκπλυσης με κυανιούχες ενώσεις στην πόλη Kardjali της Βουλγαρίας

Σύμφωνα με την οικολογική οργάνωση GEO, η εταιρεία Gorubso Kardjali AD προβαίνει σε εξόρυξη χρυσού με τη χρήση τεχνολογίας έκπλυσης με κυανιούχες ενώσεις. Η εγκατάσταση, βρίσκεται σε απόσταση μικρότερη του ενός χιλιομέτρου από κτίρια κατοικιών και την πόλη Kardjali. Υπάρχει κίνδυνος οι κυανιούχες ενώσεις να ρυπάνουν τον ποταμό Arda, προκαλώντας διασυνοριακή ρύπανση στην Τουρκία και στην Ελλάδα, και εγκυμονώντας σοβαρούς κινδύνους για τη δημόσια υγεία.

Οι κάτοικοι της πόλης Kardjali αντιτίθενται σθεναρά σε αυτή την επικίνδυνη εγκατάσταση, η οποία εγκρίθηκε από το Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Υδάτων, αλλά η οποία είχε κηρυχθεί παράνομη από Ύπατο Διοικητικό Δικαστήριο της Βουλγαρίας μετά από καταγγελία του δημάρχου της πόλης και του οργανισμού GEO. Επιπλέον, η πλειοψηφία των δημοτικών συμβούλων υποστήριξαν δήλωση εναντίον του έργου. Η εταιρεία συνεχίζει τις δραστηριότητές της παρά την αντίθεση της τοπικής κοινότητας και την απόφαση του δικαστηρίου.

Είναι ενήμερη η Επιτροπή για αυτήν την παράνομη και επικίνδυνη εγκατάσταση;

Ποια μέτρα η Επιτροπή σκοπεύει να λάβει προκειμένου να επιβάλει τη συμμόρφωση της βουλγαρικής κυβέρνησης με το κράτος δικαίου και την κοινοτική νομοθεσία (ιδίως την οδηγία 2006/21/ΕΚ σχετικά με τη διαχείριση των αποβλήτων της εξορυκτικής βιομηχανίας και την οδηγία 2000/60/ΕΚ για τη θέσπιση πλαισίου κοινοτικής δράσης στον τομέα της πολιτικής των υδάτων (69));

Κοινή απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(5 Μαΐου 2014)

Η Βουλγαρία έχει μεταφέρει την οδηγία 2006/21/ΕΚ σχετικά με τη διαχείριση των αποβλήτων της εξορυκτικής βιομηχανίας (70) (η «οδηγία») και κοινοποίησε τα εθνικά μέτρα για την εφαρμογή της στην Επιτροπή.

Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 20 της οδηγίας, η Επιτροπή έλαβε μια απογραφή των κλειστών εγκαταστάσεων αποβλήτων στη Βουλγαρία και έχει ζητήσει περαιτέρω πληροφορίες από τις βουλγαρικές αρχές. Βάσει της απάντησης από τις βουλγαρικές αρχές, η Επιτροπή θα αποφασίσει εάν απαιτούνται πρόσθετες δράσεις.

Το σχέδιο εξόρυξης κοντά στην περιοχή Κάρντζαλι είναι γνωστό στις υπηρεσίες της Επιτροπής. Ωστόσο, η διασφάλιση της πλήρους εφαρμογής της οδηγίας για τα απόβλητα της εξορυκτικής βιομηχανίας (2006/21/ΕΚ), συμπεριλαμβανομένης της χορήγησης ή όχι των απαιτούμενων αδειών, αποτελεί ευθύνη των αρμόδιων αρχών των κρατών μελών. Η Επιτροπή δεν είναι ενήμερη σχετικά με μια ενδεχόμενη παράνομη κατάσταση σε σχέση με την άδεια της εν λόγω εγκατάστασης. Θα ζητηθούν επιπλέον πληροφορίες από τις βουλγαρικές αρχές προκειμένου να διασφαλιστεί η πλήρης συμμόρφωση με τις οδηγίες 2006/21/ΕΚ και 2000/60/ΕΚ (71).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002319/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Pollution from the abandoned Medet, Elshitza and Tzar Asen copper mines in the Sredna Gora Mountains, Bulgaria

There are three abandoned copper mines in the Sredna Gora Mountains in Bulgaria — Medet, Elshitza and Tzar Asen. Local people are reporting that cases of illness caused by the pollution from these abandoned mines are increasing.

According to Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries (EWD), Member States were required to prepare an inventory of potentially harmful closed and abandoned facilities by May 2012 at the latest (72).

The EWD includes requirements on the construction, safety and management of mining waste facilities and on pollution prevention.

1.

Has the Commission received such an inventory from the Bulgarian Government?

2.

What measures are being taken by the Member State to protect the health of the people living near these abandoned mines?

3.

Should these measures prove inadequate, what action will be taken by the Commission?

Question for written answer E-002324/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Illegal operation of cyanide-leaching installation Kardjali, Bulgaria

According to the Ecological Association GEO, the company Gorubso Kardjali AD is currently operating a gold extraction installation in Kardjali, Bulgaria, using cyanide-leaching technology. The installation is located less than one kilometre from residential buildings in the town. There is a risk that cyanide may pollute the Arda river, leading to cross-border pollution in Turkey and Greece and posing dangerous threats to public health.

People in Kardjali are strongly opposed to this dangerous installation, which was approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Waters but which was declared illegal by the Bulgaria’s High Administrative Court following a complaint by the town mayor and the GEO association. Furthermore, a majority of town councillors have supported a declaration opposing the project. The company is continuing with operations in spite of the opposition by the local community and the court’s decision.

Is the Commission aware of this illegal and dangerous installation?

What measures is the Commission considering taking in order to enforce compliance by the Bulgarian Government with the rule of law and Community legislation (in particular Directive 2006/21/EC (73) on the management of waste from the extractive industries and Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (74))?

Joint answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 2014)

Bulgaria has transposed and notified the national measures implementing Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries (75) (the ‘Directive’) to the Commission.

In line with Article 20 of the directive, the Commission has received an inventory of closed waste facilities in Bulgaria and it has requested further information from the Bulgarian authorities. On the basis of the answer from the Bulgarian authorities the Commission will then decide whether additional actions would be needed.

The mining project in the vicinity of Kardjali is known to the Commission services. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of Member States' competent authorities to ensure full application of the Mining waste Directive (2006/21/EC), including to deliver or not the required permits. The Commission is not aware of a possible illegal situation in relation to the permit of this facility. Additional information will be requested from the Bulgarian authorities in order to ensure full compliance with Directives 2006/21/EC and 2000/60/EC (76).

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002320/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Ατμοσφαιρική ρύπανση στο Plovdiv της Βουλγαρίας

Το 2008, η βουλγαρική πόλη του Plovdiv κατετάγη πρώτη στην κατάταξη με τις 30 πόλεις της Ευρώπης που αντιμετώπιζαν την χειρότερη κατάσταση από άποψη ποιότητας του αέρα. Μια άλλη πρωτιά του Plovdiv αφορούσε τον αριθμό ημερών κατά τις οποίες οι συγκεντρώσεις των αιωρούμενων σωματιδίων ΑΣ10 (μικροσκοπικά στερεά σωματίδια με διάμετρο μικρότερη των 10 μικρομέτρων, τα οποία είναι εισπνεύσιμα και μπορούν να διεισδύσουν στο ανώτερο αναπνευστικό σύστημα) υπερέβησαν το όριο των 50 μικρογραμμαρίων ανά κυβικό μέτρο περιβάλλοντα αέρα (μg/m3), με 208 ημέρες το 2008. Από τον δείκτη προκύπτει ότι, κατά μέσο όρο, οι συγκεντρώσεις των εν λόγω ρύπων κατά τη διάρκεια του 2008 ήταν 2,6 φορές υψηλότερες από τα προβλεπόμενα από το νόμο όρια. Από τότε, δεν έχουν σημειωθεί σημαντικές αλλαγές ως προς την ποιότητα του περιβάλλοντα αέρα στο Plovdiv και η κατάσταση εξακολουθεί να είναι πολύ κακή, σύμφωνα με την έκθεση του Ευρωπαϊκού Οργανισμού Περιβάλλοντος για την ποιότητα του ατμοσφαιρικού αέρα στην Ευρώπη το 2013 (σ. 30) (77).

1.

Έχει ενημερώσει την Επιτροπή η κυβέρνηση της Βουλγαρίας σχετικά με το πότε θα λάβει τα κατάλληλα μέτρα προκειμένου να μην βλάψει η ατμοσφαιρική ρύπανση του Plovdiv την υγεία των κατοίκων του;

2.

Σχεδιάζει η Επιτροπή να επιβάλει κυρώσεις σε περίπτωση που δεν μεταβληθεί η κατάσταση;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(16 Απριλίου 2014)

1.

Η Επιτροπή έχει κινήσει διαδικασία επί παραβάσει, για τη συστηματική παραβίαση των οριακών τιμών των σωματιδίων ΑΣ10 που καθορίζονται στην οδηγία 2008/50 (78) σε αρκετές ζώνες ποιότητας του αέρα, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του Plovdiv (βλ. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-47_en.htm).

2.

Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 260 της Συνθήκης της Λισαβόνας, το Δικαστήριο μπορεί να επιβάλλει κυρώσεις για την πλημμελή εφαρμογή του δικαίου της ΕΕ, σε περίπτωση που ένα κράτος μέλος έχει παραβεί υποχρέωσή του και δεν έλαβε τα μέτρα που συνεπάγεται η εκτέλεση της πρώτης απόφασης του Δικαστηρίου.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002320/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Ambient air pollution in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

In 2008, the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv was ranked first in the classification of the 30 worst cities in Europe in terms of air quality. It also ranked first for the number of days on which the PM10 — tiny solid particles with a diameter of less than 10 microns, which can be inhaled and enter the upper respiratory tract — limit value of 50 μg/m3 was exceeded, with 208 days in 2008. The indicator revealed that, on average, the concentrations of these pollutants during 2008 were 2.6 times higher than the legal limits. There has not been any significant change in ambient air quality in Plovdiv since then, and the situation remains very bad, according to the European Environment Agency’s 2013 report on air quality in Europe (79).

1.

Has the Bulgarian Government informed the Commission as to when it will take proper measures to prevent the ambient air pollution in Plovdiv from damaging the health of the people living there?

2.

Is the Commission planning to impose sanctions if the situation does not change?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

1.

The Commission has already opened an infringement for the systemic breach of the PM10 limit values laid down in Directive 2008/50 (80) in several air quality zones including Plovdiv (see http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-47_en.htm).

2.

Under Article 260 of the Lisbon Treaty, penalties for bad application of EC law can be determined by the Court of Justice in case a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations, and has not taken the necessary measures to comply with the first judgment of the Court.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002321/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Παραβίαση της ευρωπαϊκής νομοθεσίας εξ αιτίας της έγκρισης της ΕΠΕ του σχεδιαζόμενου χρυσωρυχείου στο Breznik της Βουλγαρίας

Στη Βουλγαρία, η Περιφερειακή Επιθεώρηση Περιβάλλοντος και Υδάτων του Pernik (RIEW) ενέκρινε την επενδυτική πρόταση της εταιρίας «Trace Resources EOOD» για την εξόρυξη και επεξεργασία των κοιτασμάτων χρυσού στην κοινότητα του Breznik.

Το έργο προβλέπει εξόρυξη του μεταλλεύματος υπογείως. Το όλο συγκρότημα θα εκτείνεται σε 2 200 εκτάρια (acres) και θα περιλαμβάνει δεξαμενή καθιζήσεως αποβλήτων έκτασης 220 acres. Η προβλεπόμενη ετήσια παραγωγή θα είναι 300 000 τόνοι μεταλλεύματος και 45-50 τόνοι εμπλουτισμένου μεταλλεύματος. Η εξόρυξη θα συνεχιστεί για 11 έτη.

Η απόφαση της RIEW ελήφθη χωρίς αξιολόγηση της παρούσας κατάστασης υγείας του πληθυσμού των κοινοτήτων που είναι κοντά στο σχεδιαζόμενο ορυχείο (Breznik, Slakovtzi, Babitza, Viskyar, Arzan, Vidritza, Noevtzi, Konskja και Rezantzi). Η Περιφερειακή Υγειονομική Επιθεώρηση είχε συστήσει να γίνει μια τέτοια αξιολόγηση. Η σύστασή της θεμελιωνόταν στις απαιτήσεις της ισχύουσας νομοθεσίας περί δημόσιας υγείας και στις οδηγίες 2011/92/ΕΕ (οδηγία ΕΙΑ /EΠΕ) και 2001/42/ΕΚ (οδηγία SEA /ΕΕΠ).

Αντ' αυτού, η RIEW ενέκρινε την Εκτίμηση Περιβαλλοντικών Επιπτώσεων (ΕΠΕ=ΕIA), που περιέχει μια αξιολόγηση της παρούσας κατάστασης υγείας του πληθυσμού της πόλης του Pernik (που απέχει 20 χιλιόμετρα από το σχεδιαζόμενο ορυχείο). Το «συμπέρασμα» είναι ότι η κατάσταση υγείας του πληθυσμού της συγκεκριμένης πόλης είναι «κακή», αλλά χωρίς άλλα στοιχεία. Μια τόσο φτωχή και ακατάλληλη ΕΠΕ δεν αφήνει χώρο για μελλοντικές ουσιαστικές κριτικές και για συγκριτικές μελέτες.

Ποιά μέτρα θα λάβει η Επιτροπή για να επιτύχει την εφαρμογή της οικείας ευρωπαϊκής νομοθεσίας από τις Βουλγαρικές Αρχές και για να ζητήσει την εκπόνηση στο μέλλον μιας ΕΠΕ σε πλήρη κλίμακα και καλά τεκμηριωμένης;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(14 Απριλίου 2014)

Το έργο υποβλήθηκε σε εκτίμηση περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων (ΕΠΕ) σύμφωνα με τις απαιτήσεις της οδηγίας 2011/92/ΕΕ (81). Η οδηγία θεσπίζει κυρίως διαδικαστικές απαιτήσεις και δεν περιλαμβάνει απαιτήσεις σχετικά με τον ποιοτικό έλεγχο της μελέτης περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων. Συνεπώς, η επαλήθευση των ουσιωδών διατυπώσεων της μελέτης περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων εμπίπτει στην ευθύνη των αρμόδιων εθνικών αρχών.

Η διαδικασία ΕΠΕ ολοκληρώθηκε με την απόφαση αριθ. 01-01/2013 (82) που εξέδωσε η Περιφερειακή Επιθεώρηση Περιβάλλοντος και Υδάτων του Pernik. Σύμφωνα με την εν λόγω απόφαση, η αντίστοιχη υγειονομική αρχή (η Περιφερειακή Υγειονομική Επιθεώρηση — Pernik) ενέκρινε την έκθεση ΕΠΕ του έργου, διότι δεν αναμένονται σημαντικές επιπτώσεις και δεν υπάρχει κίνδυνος για την ανθρώπινη υγεία, ως αποτέλεσμα των προβλεπόμενων μέτρων για την αποφυγή, την πρόληψη και τον περιορισμό τέτοιων επιπτώσεων. Το σχέδιο για την εφαρμογή των εν λόγω μέτρων αποτελεί επίσης μέρος της προαναφερόμενης απόφασης.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002321/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Violation of EU legislation by adopting the EIA of the planned gold mine in Breznik, Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the Pernik Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) approved the investment proposal of the company ‘Trace Resources EOOD’ for the extraction and processing of gold ore deposits in the municipality of Breznik.

The project provides for the ore to be extracted from underground. The entire complex will extend over 2 200 acres and will include a 220-acre tailing pond. The forecast annual production is 300 000 tons of ore and 45 to 50 tons of concentrate. Mining will continue for 11 years.

RIEW’s decision was taken without assessment of the present health status of the populations of the settlements situated near to the prospective mine (Breznik, Slakovtzi, Babitza, Viskyar, Arzan, Vidritza, Noevtzi, Konskja and Rezantzi). Such assessment was recommended by the Regional Health Inspectorate. The recommendation was based on the requirements of the public health legislation in force and on Directives 2011/92/EU (EIA Directive) and 2001/42/EC (SEA Directive).

Instead, the RIEW approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA), which contained an assessment of the present health status of the population of the city of Pernik (situated 20 km from the planned mine). The ‘conclusion’ was that the health status of this city’s population is ‘bad’, but no specific data were presented. Such a poor and inadequate EIA leaves no room for future substantiated criticism and comparative studies.

What measures will the Commission take to ensure the implementation of the relevant EU legislation by the Bulgarian authorities and to demand the preparation of full-scale and well-documented EIAs in the future?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2014)

The project was made subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2011/92/EU (83). The directive lays down essentially procedural requirements and does not include any requirements on quality control of the environmental impact study; hence, the verification of the substance of the environmental impact study falls within the responsibility of the competent national authorities.

The EIA process was concluded by decision No 01-01/2013 (84) issued by the Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water — Pernik. According to this decision, the respective health authority (the Regional Health Inspection — Pernik) gave its agreement on the EIA report for the project because no significant adverse effects and no risk to human health were to be expected, as a result of the envisaged measures to avoid, prevent and reduce such effects. The plan for implementation of these measures is also part of the abovementioned decision.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002322/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Μη ελεγχόμενη κρατική ενίσχυση από την Βουλγαρία στην Dundee Precious Metals, μεταλλευτική εταιρεία καναδικών συμφερόντων

Σύμφωνα με την βουλγαρική εθνική ραδιοφωνία, οι Θράκες που ζούσαν στα εδάφη της σημερινής Βουλγαρίας είχαν την φήμη ικανότατων μεταλλωρύχων και μεταλλουργών. Μία από τις τοποθεσίες στις οποίες διασώζονται ίχνη της δραστηριότητάς τους είναι το ύψωμα Ada Tepe στην ανατολική Ροδόπη, κοντά στην πόλη Krumovgrad. Πρόκειται, σύμφωνα με τους αρχαιολόγους, για το αρχαιότερο χρυσωρυχείο στην Ευρώπη. Το ορυχείο χρονολογείται από τη δεύτερη χιλιετηρίδα π.Χ. και οι επιστήμονες έχουν αποφανθεί ότι ακόμη και σήμερα είναι δυνατή η εξόρυξη χρυσού.

Κατά τη διάρκεια του κομμουνιστικού καθεστώτος στη Βουλγαρίας, το χρυσοφόρο κοίτασμα μελετήθηκε διεξοδικά από το βουλγαρικό κράτος που χρηματοδότησε την γεωλογική έρευνα. Τα αρχεία σχετικά με την έρευνα που διεξήγαγαν οι κρατικές υπηρεσίες υπάρχουν. Στις 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2011, η βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση παραχώρησε για περίοδο 30 ετών στην Dundee Precious Metals, καναδικών συμφερόντων, και στην βουλγαρική θυγατρική της, Balkan Minerals and Mining, δικαιώματα εξόρυξης χρυσού στο Ada Tepe χωρίς να έχει προηγηθεί διαδικασία υποβολής προσφορών. Η «αιτιολόγηση» της παραχώρησης των δικαιωμάτων χωρίς διαγωνισμό ήταν ότι η εταιρεία ανακάλυψε τα κοιτάσματα χρυσού!

Η Επιτροπή καλείται να απαντήσει στα ακόλουθα ερωτήματα:

Δέχεται το επιχείρημα που επικαλείται η βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση για την παραχώρηση των δικαιωμάτων εκμετάλλευσης χωρίς διαγωνισμό;

Συνιστά τούτη η ενέργεια μη ελεγχόμενη κρατική ενίσχυση;

Όταν ένα κράτος πωλεί ή παρέχει το συμβατικό δικαίωμα χρήσης ενός περιουσιακού στοιχείου σε τιμή χαμηλότερη της αγοραίας αξίας, ενέχει η πράξη αυτή πλεονέκτημα υπέρ του αγοραστή, γεγονός το οποίο συνιστά κρατική ενίσχυση;

Ποια μέτρα πρόκειται να λάβει η Επιτροπή προκειμένου να παρακινήσει την βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση να παραχωρήσει τα δικαιώματα εκμετάλλευσης του χρυσωρυχείου του Ada Tepe κατόπιν ανοικτού, διαφανούς και άνευ διακρίσεων διαγωνισμού;

Απάντηση του κ. Barnier εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(30 Απριλίου 2014)

Με βάση τις πληροφορίες που παρέχει ο κ. βουλευτής, η Επιτροπή δεν είναι σε θέση να εκτιμήσει τη φύση του καθεστώτος που εφάρμοσαν οι βουλγαρικές αρχές και να καταλήξει σε συμπέρασμα σχετικά με το κατά πόσον πρόκειται για σύμβαση παραχώρησης ή για διοικητικό καθεστώς. Με αυτούς τους όρους, δεν είναι δυνατόν να παρασχεθεί επίσημη νομική ανάλυση όσον αφορά τη συμβατότητα της εν λόγω διαδικασίας ανάθεσης με τους κανόνες της ΕΕ περί δημοσίων συμβάσεων.

Επιπλέον, η παραχώρηση που χορηγείται χωρίς πρόσκληση υποβολής προσφορών δεν αποτελεί αναγκαστικά παροχή παράνομων κρατικών ενισχύσεων. Οι πληροφορίες που παρέχει ο κ. βουλευτής δεν επιτρέπουν να συναχθεί το συμπέρασμα ότι η παραχώρηση εκμετάλλευσης χορηγήθηκε δωρεάν ή με αδικαιολόγητη έκπτωση από τα ισχύοντα τέλη, πράγμα που θα υποδήλωνε τη χορήγηση κρατικών ενισχύσεων. Ως εκ τούτου, η Επιτροπή δεν είναι σε θέση να λάβει θέση σχετικά με την εν λόγω πτυχή της υπό εξέταση υπόθεσης.

Ενώ οι διαδικασίες για την ανάθεση συμβάσεων παραχώρησης δημοσίων έργων διέπονται από τις διατάξεις της οδηγίας 2004/18/ΕΚ (85), η ανάθεση των συμβάσεων παραχώρησης υπηρεσιών υπόκειται μέχρι τώρα στις γενικές αρχές της Συνθήκης της ΕΕ σχετικά με τη σύναψη δημοσίων συμβάσεων, ήτοι της μη εφαρμογής διακρίσεων, της ίσης μεταχείρισης και της διαφάνειας. Η οδηγία 2014/23/ΕΕ του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου και του Συμβουλίου σχετικά με την ανάθεση συμβάσεων παραχώρησης (86) καθορίζει ένα πιο λεπτομερές κανονιστικό καθεστώς με βάση τις αρχές αυτές, το οποίο εφαρμόζεται για την ανάθεση συμβάσεων παραχώρησης έργων και υπηρεσιών. Από την πλευρά τους, τα διοικητικά καθεστώτα διέπονται από τις γενικές αρχές της Συνθήκης της ΕΕ σχετικά με την ελευθερία εγκατάστασης ή παροχής υπηρεσιών.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002322/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Unregulated state aid from Bulgaria to Dundee Precious Metals, a Canadian-based mining company

According to Bulgarian National Radio, the Thracians who lived in the lands of today’s Bulgaria were known to be skilful miners and metallurgists. One of the places where traces of their activity are found is the Ada Tepe Hill in the Eastern Rhodopes, near the town of Krumovgrad. This is the oldest gold mine in Europe known to archaeologists. The mine dates back to the second millennium B.C. Scientists have discovered that gold could still be extracted from the mine nowadays.

During the Communist rule in Bulgaria, the gold deposit at Ada Tepe was investigated by the Bulgarian state in detail, financed by state geological research. There are archives on this research carried out by the state. On 9 February 2011, the Bulgarian Government granted, without a call for tender procedure, a 30-year concession to Dundee Precious Metals, a Canadian-based company, and to its Bulgarian branch, Balkan Minerals and Mining, for extraction of gold at Ada Tepe. The ‘argument’ for granting the concession without a call for tender was that ‘the company discovered the gold’!

The Commission is asked to reply to the following:

Does it accept the argument used by the Bulgarian Government for granting the concession without a call for tender?

Does this practice constitute unregulated state aid?

Where the state sells or grants the contractual right of use of an asset at a price below market value, does this entail an advantage to the buyer which constitutes state aid?

What measures will be taken by the Commission to urge the Bulgarian Government to grant the concession of the Ada Tepe gold mine following an open, transparent and non-discriminatory call for tender procedure?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 April 2014)

On the basis of the information provided by the Honourable Member, the Commission is not in a position to assess the nature of the scheme put in place by the Bulgarian authorities and to conclude whether it is a concession contract or rather an administrative scheme. In those conditions a formal legal analysis concerning the compatibility of the award procedure at stake with EU public procurement rules cannot be provided.

Furthermore, a concession granted without a call for tender does not inevitably constitute provision of unlawful state aid. The information provided by the Honourable Member does not allow to conclude that the concession was granted free of charge or with an unjustified discount from applicable fees, which would indicate the provision of state aid. Therefore, the Commission is not able to take a view on this aspect of the case at hand.

While the procedures for the award of public works concessions are regulated by the provisions of Directive 2004/18/EC (87), the award of services concessions has been until now subject to the general EU Treaty principles related to public procurement, i.e. non-discrimination, equal treatment and transparency. The directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts (88) defines a more detailed regulatory regime based on those principles, applicable to the award of works and services concessions. For their part, the administrative schemes are subject to the general EU Treaty principles related to the freedom of establishment or provision of services.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002323/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Σχέδια για την κατασκευή δεύτερου κωπηλατικού καναλιού στη Φιλιππούπολη της Βουλγαρίας με χρηματοδότηση από το χρηματοδοτικό μέσο Jessica

Η Επιτροπή και η Ευρωπαϊκή Τράπεζα Επενδύσεων έχουν αναλάβει πρωτοβουλία για τη στήριξη της αστικής ανάπτυξης. Χάρη στο μέσο χρηματοοικονομικής τεχνικής της κοινής ευρωπαϊκής στήριξης για βιώσιμες επενδύσεις σε αστικές περιοχές (Jessica), η Βουλγαρία μπορεί να χορηγήσει τμήμα των διαρθρωτικών κονδυλίων που λαμβάνει από την ΕΕ, σε επενδύσεις για έργα που αποτελούν μέρος των οικείων ολοκληρωμένων σχεδίων για βιώσιμη αστική ανάπτυξη και ανάπλαση.

Ο δήμος Φιλιππούπολης σχεδιάζει να χρησιμοποιήσει κονδύλια του μέσου Jessica για την κατασκευή δεύτερου κωπηλατικού καναλιού, το οποίο θα είναι παράλληλο με το ήδη υπάρχον. Η απόφαση αυτή ελήφθη χωρίς δημόσια διαβούλευση, παρά τις έντονες αντιρρήσεις των κατοίκων, οι οποίοι υποστηρίζουν ότι η κατασκευή θα καταστρέψει δάσος που ανήκει στο δίκτυο Natura 2000. Επιπλέον, σύμφωνα με τοπικές ομάδες πολιτών, η Φιλιππούπολη έχει μεγαλύτερες αστικές και κοινωνικές ανάγκες από την κατασκευή δεύτερου κωπηλατικού καναλιού, παράλληλου προς το υπάρχον. Κατά την άποψή τους, μια τέτοια ανάγκη είναι η επισκευή του οδοστρώματος σε αρκετούς δρόμους της πόλης, δράση που θα βελτιώσει την ποιότητα του ατμοσφαιρικού αέρα. Η Φιλιππούπολη είναι μία από τις ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις στις οποίες παρατηρήθηκε, σε πολύ μεγάλο αριθμό ημερών, υπέρβαση του ορίου των 50 μg/m3 για την τιμή των ΑΣ10. Ωστόσο, ο δήμος Φιλιππούπολης δεν ανοίγει διάλογο για εναλλακτικές χρήσεις των κονδυλίων του μέσου Jessica με τους πολίτες του.

1.

Συμφωνεί η Επιτροπή ότι η χρήση των κονδυλίων Jessica θα πρέπει να αποφασίζεται κατόπιν της δέουσας δημόσιας διαβούλευσης με τους πολίτες, προκειμένου να εντοπίζονται βιώσιμες λύσεις και να ικανοποιούνται οι αστικές και κοινωνικές ανάγκες;

2.

Ποια μέτρα θα λάβει η Επιτροπή για να παροτρύνει τις βουλγαρικές αρχές να χρησιμοποιήσουν τα κονδύλια Jessica σύμφωνα με τις αρχές του εν λόγω προγράμματος;

Απάντηση του κ. Hahn εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(25 Απριλίου 2014)

1.

Η Επιτροπή ενθαρρύνει σθεναρά τις δημόσιες διαβουλεύσεις. Το έργο στο οποίο αναφέρεται το αξιότιμο μέλος του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου βρίσκεται σήμερα στο στάδιο μελέτης σκοπιμότητας και δεν έχει ακόμη εγκριθεί η χρηματοδότησή του μέσω του Jessica. Η Επιτροπή ενημερώθηκε για τη διοργάνωση μιας συζήτησης στρογγυλής τραπέζης από το Περιφερειακό Ταμείο Αστικής Ανάπτυξης (ΠΤΑΑ) σχετικά με το έργο τον Μάιο του 2013 με περισσότερους από 50 συμμετέχοντες. Οι δημόσιες διαβουλεύσεις αναμένεται να ακολουθήσουν τη δημοσίευση της εκτίμησης των περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων του έργου, μόλις αυτή ολοκληρωθεί. Θα ακολουθήσει και μία άλλη δημόσια συζήτηση που θα διοργανωθεί από τον δήμο της Φιλιππούπολης στο πλαίσιο της νομικής διαδικασίας για την έγκριση της χρηματοδότησης από το Jessica (μια απαίτηση που απορρέει από τον βουλγαρικό νόμο περί δημοτικού χρέους).

2.

Η Επιτροπή δεν συμμετέχει άμεσα στη διαχείριση των χρηματοδοτικών μέσων και στην επιλογή των μεμονωμένων έργων. Λόγω της αρχής της επιμερισμένης διαχείρισης, η Επιτροπή ασκεί εποπτικό ρόλο επιβεβαιώνοντας ότι οι ρυθμίσεις διαχείρισης και ελέγχου που θεσπίζονται από τα κράτη μέλη για τα προγράμματα του Ευρωπαϊκού Ταμείου Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης/Ταμείου Συνοχής συμμορφώνονται με τις κανονιστικές απαιτήσεις. Οι υπηρεσίες ελέγχου και λογιστικού ελέγχου που διαθέτει το πράττουν αυτό ελέγχοντας τακτικά την αποτελεσματική λειτουργία αυτού του συστήματος. Το ΠΤΑΑ και η διαχειριστική αρχή του προγράμματος οφείλουν να επιβεβαιώσουν ότι η πρόταση έργου ανταποκρίνεται σε όλα τα κριτήρια που έχουν θεσπιστεί στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος στήριξης του Jessica και συμμορφώνεται με το εφαρμοστέο εθνικό δίκαιο και το δίκαιο της ΕΕ.

Τα κριτήρια επιλεξιμότητας των έργων που χρηματοδοτούνται μέσω του Jessica είναι σχεδιασμένα κατά τέτοιον τρόπο ώστε να διασφαλίζεται η τήρηση των προτεραιοτήτων των συναφών πολεοδομικών σχεδίων, όπως ο ορατός κοινωνικός αντίκτυπος, η γενική δημόσια στήριξη, η συνολική οικονομική βιωσιμότητα και αειφορία της λειτουργίας.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002323/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Plans for the Jessica-funded construction of a second rowing channel in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Commission and the European Investment Bank have developed an initiative to support urban development. Thanks to the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (Jessica) financial engineering instrument, Bulgaria can allocate part of its EU structural funding to investments in projects forming part of the relevant integrated plans for sustainable urban development and regeneration.

The municipality of Plovdiv plans to use Jessica funds to construct a second rowing channel parallel to the existing one. This decision was taken without any public consultation, despite strong opposition from local people, who argue that the construction will destroy an existing forest that is part of the Natura 2000 network. Furthermore, local citizens’ groups argue that the city of Plovdiv has greater urban and social needs than the construction of a second rowing channel parallel to the existing one. In their view, one such need is to repair the pavements on several of the city’s streets, which will improve ambient air quality. Plovdiv is one of the European cities in which the PM10 limit of 50 μg/m3 was exceeded on a very high number of days. However, the municipality of Plovdiv is not discussing alternative uses of the Jessica funds with its citizens.

1.

Does the Commission agree that the use of Jessica funds should be decided after proper public consultation with citizens so as to identify sustainable solutions and satisfy urban and social needs?

2.

What measures will the Commission take to urge the Bulgarian authorities to use the Jessica funds in accordance with the principles of this programme?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

1.

The Commission strongly encourages public consultations. The project mentioned by the Honourable Member is currently at the feasibility study stage and has not yet been approved for funding through ‘Jessica’. The Commission was informed that the Regional Urban Development Fund (RUDF) organised a round table dedicated to the project in May 2013 with over 50 participants. Public consultations are expected to follow the publication of the project's environmental assessment, once ready. Another public discussion will follow organised by the municipality of Plovdiv, as part of the legal procedure for approval of ‘Jessica’ financing (a requirement following from the Bulgarian Municipal Debt Act).

2.

The Commission is not directly involved in the management of financial instruments and selection of individual projects. Due to the shared management principle, the Commission plays a supervisory role by satisfying itself that the arrangements for management and control set up by Member States for the European Regional Development Fund/Cohesion Fund programmes are compliant with regulatory requirements. Its audit and control services do so by regularly verifying the effective functioning of this system. It is up to the RUDF and the managing authority of the programme to confirm that the project proposal meets all criteria established under the programme supporting ‘Jessica’ and complies with applicable national and EC law.

The eligibility criteria for projects financed through ‘Jessica’ are designed in a way to ensure compliance with the priorities of the relevant urban plans, such as tangible social impact, general public support, overall financial viability and sustainability of the operation.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002325/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Ανεπαρκή πρόστιμα για ρυπογόνες εγκαταστάσεις στη Βουλγαρία

Ο ποταμός Μαρίτσα/Έβρος ρυπαίνεται σε τακτική βάση από τοξικές ουσίες που προέρχονται από εργοστάσιο παραγωγής χαρτιού στο Μπέλοβο της Βουλγαρίας.

Ο Μαρίτσα/Έβρος είναι ένας διεθνής ποταμός: μετά τη Βουλγαρία, σχηματίζει το σύνορο μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Τουρκίας.

Η συνεχιζόμενη ρύπανση του ποταμού λόγω εκπομπών από το εργοστάσιο παραγωγής χαρτιού του Μπέλοβο είναι δυνατό να προκαλεί διασυνοριακή ρύπανση.

Η ρύπανση του ποταμού Μαρίτσα από το εργοστάσιο εξακολουθεί να υφίσταται παρά τις χρηματικές ποινές που επιβάλλονται τακτικά από την περιφερειακή επιθεώρηση περιβάλλοντος και υδάτων. Το γεγονός αυτό φανερώνει το πρόβλημα της ανεπάρκειας των προστίμων που επιβάλλονται σε ρυπογόνες εγκαταστάσεις στη χώρα.

Στη Βουλγαρία, τα πρόστιμα αυτά είναι κατά κανόνα πολύ μικρά και, κατά συνέπεια, δεν αποτελούν ανασταλτικό παράγοντα για τους ρυπαίνοντες. Σύμφωνα με το Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Υδάτων, το 2012 υπήρξαν 1 383 περιπτώσεις επιβολής χρηματικών ποινών σε υπαίτιους ρύπανσης του περιβάλλοντος από την περιφερειακή επιθεώρηση περιβάλλοντος και υδάτων. Με συνολικό ποσό χρηματικών ποινών τα 3 062 745 βουλγαρικά λέβα, ο μέσος όρος προστίμου ήταν 2 215 βουλγαρικά λέβα (1 139 ευρώ) (89).

Σε σύγκριση με τα κέρδη που αποκομίζουν εταιρείες στη Βουλγαρία εξαιτίας της λειτουργίας ρυπογόνων εγκαταστάσεων, τέτοια μικρά πρόστιμα είναι εντελώς αναποτελεσματικά όσον αφορά τη συνεισφορά τους στη βελτίωση της κατάστασης που επικρατεί σε σχέση με το περιβάλλον και τη δημόσια υγεία στη χώρα.

Προτίθεται η Επιτροπή να συνεργαστεί με τη βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση για τη διασφάλιση της αποτελεσματικής εφαρμογής της αρχής «ο ρυπαίνων πληρώνει», ούτως ώστε να αποτραπεί περαιτέρω ζημία στο περιβάλλον και τη δημόσια υγεία;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(10 Απριλίου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή διοργάνωσε διμερή συνεδρίαση με τις βουλγαρικές αρχές σχετικά με την εφαρμογή της οδηγίας-πλαισίου για τα ύδατα (WFD) (90) τον Νοέμβριο του 2013, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της εφαρμογής της αρχής «ο ρυπαίνων πληρώνει» για τις χρήσεις των υδάτων.

Το άρθρο 23 της οδηγίας-πλαισίου για τα ύδατα απαιτεί από τα κράτη μέλη να καθορίζουν αποτελεσματικές, αναλογικές και αποτρεπτικές κυρώσεις για την παράβαση των εθνικών διατάξεων που θεσπίζονται κατ' εφαρμογή της εν λόγω οδηγίας. Το πραγματικό επίπεδο των κυρώσεων καθορίζεται από τα κράτη μέλη. Οι βουλγαρικές αρχές ενημέρωσαν την Επιτροπή ότι, μετά την τροποποίηση του νόμου περί υδάτων, προγραμματίζεται να θεσπιστεί ένα νέο νομοθετικό μέσο που θα καθορίζει νέα πρόστιμα για τη ρύπανση από επεξεργασμένα και μη επεξεργασμένα λύματα.

Οι εγκαταστάσεις παραγωγής χαρτοπολτού ή χαρτιού καλύπτονται επίσης από την οδηγία περί βιομηχανικών εκπομπών (ΒΕ· 2010/75/ΕΕ), η οποία απαιτεί τον έλεγχο των εκπομπών, ώστε να επιτευχθεί υψηλό επίπεδο προστασίας του περιβάλλοντος στο σύνολό του. Η οδηγία ΒΕ περιλαμβάνει διατάξεις σχετικά με τις διασυνοριακές επιπτώσεις.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002325/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Inadequate fines for polluting installations in Bulgaria

The Maritsa/Evros river is regularly contaminated with toxic substances from a paper plant in Belovo, Bulgaria.

The Maritsa/Evros is an international river: after leaving Bulgaria, it forms the border between Greece and Turkey.

The on-going contamination of the river by emissions from the Belovo paper plant may be causing cross-border pollution.

The contamination of the Maritsa river by the plant continues notwithstanding regular financial sanctions imposed by the regional inspectorate of environment and waters. This illustrates the problem of the inadequate fines levied on polluting installations in the country.

In Bulgaria such fines are typically very small, and do not therefore stop polluters. According to the Ministry of Environment and Waters, 2012 saw 1 383 instances in which the regional inspectorate of environment and waters imposed financial sanctions on polluters of the environment. With a total sum levied of BGN 3 062 745, this amounts to an average fine of BGN 2 215 (EUR 1 139) (91).

Compared with the profits that companies in Bulgaria earn from the operation of polluting installations, such low fines are wholly ineffective in contributing to the improvement of the environmental and public health situation in the country.

Is the Commission willing to cooperate with the Bulgarian Government in ensuring that the ‘polluter pays’ principle is efficiently implemented as a means of preventing further damage to the environment and public health?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

The Commission held a bilateral meeting with the Bulgarian authorities on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (92) in November 2013, including on the implementation of the polluter pays principle for water uses.

Article 23 of the WFD requires Member States to determine effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for the breach of national provisions adopted pursuant to that directive. The actual level of the penalties is to be determined by Member States. The Bulgarian authorities informed the Commission that, following the amendment of the Water Act, a new legislative instrument is planned which will determine new fines for pollution of treated and untreated wastewater.

Installations that produce pulp or paper are also covered by the directive on industrial emissions (IED; 2010/75/EU) which requires emissions to be controlled to achieve a high level of protection of the environment as a whole. The IED includes provisions on transboundary effects.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002326/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Επικίνδυνος και πεπαλαιωμένος χώρος διάθεσης απορριμμάτων στον δήμο Παζαρτζίκ στη Βουλγαρία

Ο χώρος διάθεσης απορριμμάτων στον δήμο Παζαρτζίκ στη Βουλγαρία, ο οποίος ξεκίνησε να λειτουργεί το 1964, είχε σχεδιαστεί για να λειτουργήσει 20 έτη. Ωστόσο, μισό αιώνα αργότερα εξακολουθεί να χρησιμοποιείται. Στις μέρες μας έχει μετατραπεί σε βουνό απορριμμάτων που εκλύει διαρκώς τοξικά αέρια σε μια περιοχή που περιλαμβάνει την πόλη Μπρατζίγκοβο και τα χωριά Καπιτάν Ντιμίτριεβο, Αλέκο Κονσταντίνοβο, Γκλαβίνιτσα και Μπιάγκα. Οι κάτοικοι της περιοχής προσβάλλονται από καρκίνο εξαιτίας του νέφους τοξικών αερίων. Μετά το τελευταίο περιστατικό — τον θάνατο μιας γυναίκας από το Καπιτάν Ντιμίτριεβο τον Νοέμβριο του 2013 — ο τοπικός πληθυσμός άρχισε να διαμαρτύρεται κατά της ρύπανσης και να απαιτεί το κλείσιμο του τοξικού χώρου διάθεσης.

Κατά την περίοδο 2007-2013, η ΕΕ διέθεσε τους απαραίτητους πόρους για την κατασκευή σύγχρονων χώρων διάθεσης στη Βουλγαρία. Ο δήμος Παζαρτζίκ δεν υπέβαλε αίτημα για αυτή την επιχορήγηση. Σύμφωνα με ακτιβιστές για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος στο Παζαρτζίκ, οι δημοτικές αρχές δεν ενδιαφέρονται για τη δημιουργία σύγχρονου χώρου διάθεσης απορριμμάτων με πόρους της ΕΕ αλλά αποβλέπουν στην κατασκευή ιδιωτικής μονάδας επεξεργασίας αποβλήτων. Οι ακτιβιστές υποπτεύονται ότι η έλλειψη ενδιαφέροντος των τοπικών αρχών να ζητήσουν ενωσιακή επιχορήγηση για την κατασκευή νέου χώρου διάθεσης οφείλεται σε διαφθορά.

Τι είδους μέτρα θα λάβει η Επιτροπή για να παροτρύνει τη βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση να διακόψει τελικά τη λειτουργία του πεπαλαιωμένου χώρου διάθεσης στον δήμο Παζαρτζίκ, να αποκαταστήσει την περιοχή και να προστατεύσει τον τοπικό πληθυσμό από περαιτέρω κινδύνους για την υγεία;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(10 Απριλίου 2014)

Στις 23 Ιανουαρίου 2014 η Επιτροπή αποφάσισε να παραπέμψει τη Βουλγαρία στο Δικαστήριο, επειδή δεν έχει κλείσει όλους τους μη συμμορφούμενους χώρους υγειονομικής ταφής (93). Η παράβαση αφορά, μεταξύ άλλων, έναν μη συμμορφούμενο χώρο υγειονομικής ταφής στο Παζαρτζίκ και άλλους δύο στο Μπρατζίγκοβο.

Όσον αφορά τον χώρο υγειονομικής ταφής στην Τζαλαπίτσα, η Επιτροπή επικοινώνησε με τις βουλγαρικές αρχές και, σύμφωνα με τις εξηγήσεις που έλαβε, ο εν λόγω χώρος υγειονομικής ταφής συμμορφώνεται με τις απαιτήσεις της οδηγίας περί υγειονομικής ταφής των αποβλήτων (94). Σύμφωνα με το βουλγαρικό εθνικό πρόγραμμα δραστηριοτήτων διαχείρισης αποβλήτων 2009-2013  (95) , η περίοδος λειτουργίας του χώρου υγειονομικής ταφής της Τζαλαπίτσα παρατάθηκε, ώστε να παρέχει ικανότητα διαχείρισης αποβλήτων έως ότου τεθούν σε λειτουργία νέες εγκαταστάσεις.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002326/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Dangerous and ageing waste depot in Pazardjik municipality, Bulgaria

The waste depot in Pazardjik municipality in Bulgaria, opened in 1964, was planned to be in operation for 20 years. Half a century later, however, it is still in use. Today, it is a mountain of waste that is continuously releasing toxic gases into an area that includes the town of Bratzigovo and the villages of Kapitan Dimitrievo, Aleko Konstantinovo, Glavinitza and Byaga. Local residents are suffering from cancer caused by the clouds of toxic gases. After the latest incident — the death in November 2013 of a woman from Kapitan Dimitrievo — local people started a protest against the pollution, demanding that the toxic depot be closed.

In the 2007-2013 period the EU provided the funds needed for the construction of modern waste depots in Bulgaria. Pazardjik municipality did not apply for such a grant. According to environmental protection activists in Pazardjik, the municipal authorities are not interested in constructing a modern waste depot with EU money, but rather in building a private waste treatment plant. The activists suspect that corruption lies behind the municipal authorities’ lack of interest in applying for an EU grant for a new waste depot.

What steps will the Commission take to urge the Bulgarian Government finally to halt the operation of the ageing waste depot in Pazardjik municipality, rehabilitate the area and protect local people from further health hazards?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

On 23 January 2014 the Commission decided to take Bulgaria to court for failing to close all non-compliant landfills (96). The infringement covers inter alia one non-compliant landfill in Pazardjik and two non-compliant landfills in Bratzigovo.

Concerning the landfill in Tzalapitza, the Commission has contacted the Bulgarian authorities and according to the received explanations this landfill is in line with the requirements of the Landfill Directive (97). According to the Bulgarian National programme for waste management activities 2009 — 2013 (98) the operation period of the Tzalapitza landfill has been extended to provide waste management capacity until new installations will be operational.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002327/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Η ανάγκη να χαρακτηρίσει η Βουλγαρία, μετά από καθυστέρηση επτά ετών, περιοχή στην οροσειρά Ρίλα ως ζώνη Natura 2000 για την προστασία της καφέ αρκούδας

Η Βουλγαρία είχε συμφωνήσει να χαρακτηρίσει περιοχές ως τόπους κοινοτικής σημασίας (ΤΚΣ) για τη διατήρηση οικοτόπων προστατευόμενων ειδών, συμμορφούμενη με την οδηγία για τους οικοτόπους (92/43/ΕΟΚ), όχι αργότερα από την ημερομηνία ένταξής της, την 1η Ιανουαρίου 2007. Ωστόσο πάνω από επτά χρόνια μετά η Βουλγαρία δεν έχει χαρακτηρίσει ακόμη επαρκή αριθμό περιοχών στην οροσειρά της Ρίλα ως τόπους κοινοτικής σημασίας για την προστασία της καφέ αρκούδας.

Στην απάντησή του στη γραπτή ερώτηση E-003709/2010, που υπέβαλαν οι Sandrine Bélier και Μιχαήλ Τρεμόπουλος, η Επιτροπή δήλωσε ότι «η Βουλγαρία προβαίνει σε περαιτέρω εκτιμήσεις προκειμένου να συμπεράνει τη σκοπιμότητα της ένταξης πρόσθετων τμημάτων της οροσειράς της Ρίλα στην εθνική πρόταση για την καφέ αρκούδα». Τα αποτελέσματα της αξιολόγησης επρόκειτο να κατατεθούν μέχρι το φθινόπωρο του 2010.

Πέραν τούτου στην απάντησή της στη γραπτή ερώτηση E-007439/2012, που κατέθεσε ο Νίκος Χρυσόγελος, η Επιτροπή δήλωσε ότι θα διοργάνωνε διμερές βιογεωγραφικό σεμινάριο τον Οκτώβριο του 2012 στο πλαίσιο του οποίου θα συζητιόταν το δίκτυο Natura 2000 με τις βουλγαρικές αρχές και με ΜΚΟ που ασχολούνται με τη διαφύλαξη της φύσης, μεταξύ άλλων και σε σχέση με την καφέ αρκούδα.

Σύμφωνα με τα συμπεράσματα του βιογεωγραφικού σεμιναρίου, η βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση επρόκειτο να χαρακτηρίσει την οροσειρά Ρίλα ως ΤΚΣ, για να θέσει υπό προστασία τον οικότοπο της καφέ αρκούδας. Μέχρι τώρα, πάνω από ένα χρόνο μετά το βιογεωγραφικό σεμινάριο, δεν έχει γίνει καμία ενέργεια προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση.

Σε ποιες ενέργειες προτίθεται να προβεί η Επιτροπή για να προτρέψει τη βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση να χαρακτηρίσει ΤΚΣ τους επιστημονικά τεκμηριωμένους οικοτόπους της καφέ αρκούδας στην οροσειρά της Ρίλα;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(9 Απριλίου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή παραπέμπει το αξιότιμο μέλος στην απάντησή της στην γραπτή ερώτηση E-013908/2013 για το ίδιο θέμα.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002327/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Bulgaria's designation of a needed Natura 2000 zone in the Rila Mountains for the protection of the brown bear delayed seven years

Bulgaria had agreed to designate Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) for the conservation of habitats of protected species, in compliance with the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), no later than its accession date of 1 January 2007. More than seven years later, however, the Bulgarian Government has still not designated a sufficient number of areas in the Rila Mountains for the protection of the brown bear.

In its answer to Written Question E-003709/2010, tabled by Sandrine Bélier and Michail Tremopoulos, the Commission stated that ‘Bulgaria is carrying out further evaluation in order to find out if additional parts of the Rila Mountains are to be included in the national proposal for the brown bear’. Evaluation results were due to be submitted by autumn 2010.

Furthermore, in its answer to Written Question E-007439/2012, tabled by Nikos Chrysogelos, the Commission stated that it was to organise a bilateral biogeographical seminar in October 2012 in which the Natura 2000 network would be discussed with Bulgarian authorities and with nature conservation NGOs, also with regard to the brown bear.

According to the conclusions of the biogeographical seminar, the Bulgarian Government was to designate the lower Rila Mountains as an SCI in order to protect the habitat of the brown bear. Until now, more than one year after the biogeographical seminar, no step in this direction has been taken.

What steps will the Commission take to urge the Bulgarian Government finally to designate the scientifically determined brown bear habitats in the Rila Mountains as an SCI?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to its reply to Written Question E-013908/2013 on the same subject.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002328/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Η έρευνα της Επιτροπής σχετικά με τις συμφωνίες ανταλλαγής εκτάσεων στην κορυφή Κομ, στην κορυφή Περελίκ και στις εκβολές του ποταμού Κάμτσια στη Βουλγαρία

Στις αρχές του 2009 η βουλγαρική κυβέρνηση αναγκάστηκε να βάλει τέλος στη διαβόητη πρακτική ανταλλαγής κυριότητας κρατικών δασικών εκτάσεων με ιδιωτικές λόγω καταγγελιών για παραβιάσεις των ενωσιακών διατάξεων περί ανταγωνισμού. Σύμφωνα με εκτίμηση του συνασπισμού ΜΚΟ «For Nature» (Για τη Φύση), υπήρχε μεγάλο χάσμα μεταξύ των τιμών που προέβλεπαν οι όροι των συμφωνιών ανταλλαγής και της πραγματικής αξίας αγοράς προκειμένου για τα κρατικά δάση. Ο εν λόγω συνασπισμός εκτιμά ότι το συνολικό ποσό της εικαζόμενης παράτυπης κρατικής ενίσχυσης ανέρχεται σε τουλάχιστον 500 εκατομμύρια ευρώ.

Στην απάντησή της στη γραπτή ερώτηση E-009334/2011, που υπέβαλε ο Μιχαήλ Τρεμόπουλος, η Επιτροπή δήλωσε στις 29 Νοεμβρίου 2011 ότι «ξεκίνησε την επίσημη διαδικασία έρευνας, προκειμένου να αξιολογήσει εάν οι ανταλλαγές δασικών εκτάσεως είναι συμβατές με τους κανόνες της ΕΕ για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις». Ο κ. Τρεμόπουλος υπέβαλε και άλλες γραπτές ερωτήσεις σχετικά με συμφωνίες ανταλλαγής εκτάσεων, και συγκεκριμένα στην κορυφή Κομ, στην κορυφή Περελίκ και στις εκβολές του ποταμού Κάμτσια (E-004538/2010, E-004540/2010 και E-004539/2010).

Η Επιτροπή δήλωσε ότι «η έρευνα θα ολοκληρωθεί με τελική απόφαση όπου θα δηλώνεται εάν το υπό εξέταση μέτρο συνιστά ενίσχυση, και σε περίπτωση θετικής απάντησης, εάν είναι συμβατό με την εσωτερική αγορά. Αν η Επιτροπή καταλήξει ότι η νομοθεσία είναι ασύμβατη με την εσωτερική αγορά, θα αποστείλει εντολή στη Βουλγαρία, σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 14 του κανονισμού 659/99, να ανακτήσει από τους δικαιούχους των ανταλλαγών την ασυμβίβαστη ενίσχυση καθώς και τον τόκο με δέον επιτόκιο που ορίζει η Επιτροπή».

1.

Ποια είναι η απόφαση της Επιτροπής σχετικά με τις συμφωνίες ανταλλαγής κυριότητας στην κορυφή Κομ, στην κορυφή Περελίκ και στις εκβολές του ποταμού Κάμτσια, όπως περιγράφονται στις γραπτές ερωτήσεις του Μιχαήλ Τρεμόπουλου;

2.

Συνιστούν ή όχι τα υπό εξέταση μέτρα ενίσχυση;

3.

Συμβιβάζονται ή όχι τα εν λόγω μέτρα με την εσωτερική αγορά;

4.

Έχει ή όχι η Βουλγαρία την υποχρέωση να ανακτήσει τις ασυμβίβαστες ενισχύσεις από αυτούς που επωφελήθηκαν από τις ανταλλαγές;

5.

Ποια προθεσμία ισχύει για την τελική απόφαση της Επιτροπής;

Απάντηση του κ. Almunia εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(12 Μαΐου 2014)

Δεν έχει ακόμη εκδοθεί τελική απόφαση στην επίσημη διαδικασία έρευνας σχετικά με πιθανή κρατική ενίσχυση σε ανταλλαγές δασικών εκτάσεων στη Βουλγαρία. Ως εκ τούτου, δεν είναι δυνατόν κατά το παρόν στάδιο να αναφερθεί εάν έχει χορηγηθεί μη συμβιβάσιμη ενίσχυση.

Μετά την ολοκλήρωση της επίσημης διαδικασίας έρευνας, εάν η Επιτροπή διαπιστώσει ότι μέσω των ανταλλαγών χορηγήθηκε όντως μη συμβιβάσιμη κρατική ενίσχυση, θα διατάξει τότε τη Βουλγαρία, σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 14 του κανονισμού 659/99, να ανακτήσει τη μη συμβιβάσιμη ενίσχυση από τους δικαιούχους, περιλαμβανομένων και των σχετικών τόκων, υπολογιζόμενων με το δέον επιτόκιο που ορίζει η Επιτροπή.

Δεν προβλέπονται υποχρεωτικές προθεσμίες για την έκδοση αποφάσεων επί υποθέσεων για τις οποίες κινείται η επίσημη διαδικασία έρευνας. Εντούτοις, η Επιτροπή προτίθεται να λάβει τελική απόφαση για τις υποθέσεις αυτές πριν από το καλοκαίρι του 2014.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002328/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Commission investigation into forest land swap deals at Kom Peak, Perelik Peak and the Kamchia river mouth in Bulgaria

In early 2009 the Bulgarian Government was forced to end the notorious practice of swapping state-owned forest lands for private ones, owing to alleged violations of EU competition rules. According to an assessment by the For Nature NGO coalition, there was a big gap between the prices charged under the terms of the swap deals and the actual market value of the state‐owned forests. For Nature estimates that the total amount of the alleged unregulated state aid involved is no less than EUR 500 million.

In its answer, more than two years ago, to Written Question E-009334/2011 tabled by Michail Tremopoulos, the Commission stated on 29 November 2011 that it had ‘initiated a formal investigation procedure in order to assess whether the forest land swaps are consistent with EU state aid rules’. Mr Tremopoulos tabled further written questions on the swap deals at Kom Peak, Perelik Peak and Kamchia river mouth (E-4538/2010, E‐4540/2010 and E‐4539/2010).

Furthermore, the Commission stated that ‘the investigation will be closed by a final decision stating whether the measure under examination constitutes aid or not, and if yes, whether it is compatible or not with the internal market. If the Commission should find that the legislation is incompatible with the internal market, it will order Bulgaria, pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation 659/99, to recover the incompatible aid from the beneficiaries of the swaps, including interest at an appropriate rate fixed by the Commission.’

1.

What is the Commission’s decision on the swap deals at Kom Peak, Perelik Peak and the Kamchia river mouth, as outlined in the written questions tabled by Mr Tremopoulos?

2.

Did the measures under investigation constitute aid, or not?

3.

Are the measures compatible with the internal market, or not?

4.

Is Bulgaria required to recover incompatible aid from the beneficiaries of these swaps, or not?

5.

What is the deadline for the Commission’s final decision?

Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2014)

No final decision has yet been adopted in the formal investigation into potential state aid in swaps of forest land in Bulgaria. As such, it is not possible at this stage to indicate whether incompatible aid has been granted.

After the completion of the formal investigation, if the Commission finds that through the swaps incompatible state aid was indeed granted, then it will order Bulgaria, pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation 659/99, to recover the incompatible aid from the beneficiaries, including interest at an appropriate rate fixed by the Commission.

There are no obligatory deadlines for adopting decisions on cases subject to a formal investigation procedure. Nevertheless, it is the Commission's intention to take a final decision on the cases before summer 2014.

(Ελληνική έκδοση)

Ερώτηση με αίτημα γραπτής απάντησης E-002329/14

προς την Επιτροπή

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 Φεβρουαρίου 2014)

Θέμα: Χώρος διάθεσης απορριμμάτων στο χωριό Tzalapitza της Βουλγαρίας

Ο χώρος διάθεσης απορριμμάτων στο χωριό Tzalapitza κοντά στο Plovdiv στη Βουλγαρία, ο οποίος άνοιξε το 1991, έπρεπε να κλείσει το 2010. Όμως εξακολουθεί να βρίσκεται σε λειτουργία. Ο χώρος βρίσκεται πολύ κοντά στον ποταμό Maritza, έναν διεθνή ποταμό τα ύδατα του οποίου ρέουν στη Βουλγαρία, την Ελλάδα και την Τουρκία. Η λειτουργία του χώρου διάθεσης απορριμμάτων υπεράνω των δυνατοτήτων του μπορεί να δημιουργήσει διασυνοριακή μόλυνση του ποταμού.

Στην απάντησή της στη Γραπτή Ερώτηση E-003345/2010, του Βουλευτή του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου Μιχαήλ Τρεμόπουλου, το 2010, η Επιτροπή ανέφερε ότι απέστειλε επιστολή στις αρμόδιες βουλγαρικές αρχές για να λάβει τις απαραίτητες πληροφορίες ώστε να ερευνήσει το θέμα και, εάν παραστεί ανάγκη να λάβει τα κατάλληλα μέτρα.

Ποια ήταν τα αποτελέσματα της εν λόγω έρευνας;

Γνωρίζει η Επιτροπή την ημερομηνία κατά την οποία οι βουλγαρικές αρχές θα κλείσουν οριστικά τον χώρο διάθεσης απορριμμάτων και θα αρχίσουν την εργασία αποκατάστασής του;

Απάντηση του κ. Potočnik εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής

(21 Μαΐου 2014)

Η Επιτροπή θα ήθελε να παραπέμψει στον κ. βουλευτή στην απάντησή της στη γραπτή ερώτηση E-2326/2014 (99).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002329/14

to the Commission

Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Waste depot in the village of Tzalapitza, Bulgaria

The waste depot in the village of Tzalapitza near Plovdiv in Bulgaria, which opened in 1991, was due to be closed in 2010. However, it is still in operation. It is situated very close to the Maritza River, an international river shared by Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. The operation of the depot beyond its capacity can cause cross-border contamination of the river.

In it answer to Written Question E-003345/2010, tabled by MEP Michail Tremopoulos in 2010, the Commission stated that it had written to the competent Bulgarian authorities to obtain the information necessary to investigate the matter and, if need be, take appropriate measures.

What were the results of this investigation?

Is the Commission aware of the date on which the Bulgarian authorities will finally close the depot and commence rehabilitation work?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(21 May 2014)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-2326/2014 (100).

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002332/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Non-discrimination des femmes dans les pays voisins méridionaux dans le cadre de l'Union pour la Méditerranée

L'Union pour la Méditerranée (UpM) a été mise en place en 2009 sous l'initiative du gouvernement français. Ce programme est destiné à aller plus loin que la politique européenne de voisinage (PEV) en se focalisant sur les divers problèmes spécifiques aux pays voisins du sud de l'Union européenne.

La promotion de la place des femmes dans ces pays est un point déterminant de l'UpM. Cependant il reste encore énormément de travail à faire dans ce domaine. L'objectif est de voir disparaitre les discriminations et les violences que subissent les femmes dans leur quotidien, que ce soit dans leur milieu de travail ou encore dans la sphère privée.

1.

La Commission peut-elle rendre compte des efforts fournis par les pays membres de l'UpM dans ce domaine?

2.

Le principe de non-discrimination faisant partie intégrante de l'article 2 du traité sur le fonctionnement l'Union européenne, celui-ci constitue-t-il une condition quant à l'approfondissement des relations avec les pays du sud de l'Union européenne?

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

(10 avril 2014)

La Vice-Présidente/Haute Représentante partage l'avis de l'Honorable Parlementaire sur la nécessité de mettre fin aux discriminations fondées sur le sexe et à la violence faite aux femmes.

Dans ce contexte, avec les gouvernements jordanien et français, la Vice-Présidente/Haute Représentante a convoqué une conférence ministérielle sur le thème du «renforcement du rôle des femmes dans la société» au sein de l'Union pour la Méditerranée; cette conférence a eu lieu les 11 et 12 septembre 2013 à Paris. Dans leur déclaration, les ministres ont réaffirmé les engagements et obligations qu'ils ont contractés lors des deux précédentes conférences ministérielles régionales sur le même sujet, tenues à Istanbul en 2006 et à Marrakech en 2009, ainsi qu'au niveau international. En outre, les ministres se sont engagés à prendre des mesures concrètes pour atteindre des objectifs spécifiques, notamment la réalisation d'avancées dans le domaine de l'égalité hommes-femmes et la lutte contre la violence faite aux femmes. Ils ont aussi convenu d'un mécanisme de suivi ad hoc, assorti de bilans réguliers des progrès réalisés dans la mise en œuvre des mesures concrètes ainsi que de projets concrets pour appuyer la mise en œuvre des mesures convenues.

Les discriminations fondées sur le sexe et les droits de la femme sont aussi des questions importantes dans le dialogue politique bilatéral que l'Union mène avec les gouvernements des pays partenaires dans le cadre du Voisinage européen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002332/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Non-discrimination against women in neighbouring Mediterranean countries in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) was established in 2009 at the initiative of the French Government. It aims to go beyond the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) by focusing on specific problems of the neighbouring countries to the south of the EU.

One of the UfM’s key issues is promoting the situation of women, an area where, however, a great deal of work remains to be done. The aim is to bring to an end the discrimination and violence suffered by women in their daily lives, whether it be in connection with their work or their domestic lives.

1.

Can the Commission give an account of the efforts made in this area by the member states of the UfM?

2.

Given that the principle of non-discrimination is an integral part of Article 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, is the application of this principle a condition for strengthening relations with countries to the south of the EU?

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

(10 April 2014)

The HR/VP agrees with the honourable MEP on the need to bring to an end gender discrimination and violence against women.

Against this background the HR/VP has together with the Governments of Jordan and France convened a Ministerial Conference on ‘Strengthening the Role of Women in Society’ within the Union for the Mediterranean, held on 11-12 September 2013 in Paris. In their adopted Declaration the Ministers reaffirmed the commitments and obligations — both those made at the two previous regional Ministerial Conferences on the same subject, held in Istanbul 2006 and Marrakech 2009, and those made at the international level. In addition, the ministers have committed themselves to concrete measures in order to achieve specific objectives, including inter-alia to advance gender equality and to combat violence against women. Moreover, the ministers have agreed on a dedicated follow-up mechanism which involves regular stock-taking on progress in implementing the concrete measures as well as concrete projects in order to underpin implementation of the agreed measures.

The issues of gender discrimination and rights of women are also important issues in the bilateral policy dialogue of the European Union with partner country governments in the European Neighbourhood.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002333/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Avenir de la pêche en Méditerranée

La pêche est un élément à la fois essentiel et particulier de la politique européenne. En Méditerranée, les pêcheurs sont des artisans qui font vivre de nombreuses communautés locales dans lesquelles leur place est déterminante. Il est important de prendre en compte le caractère spécifique de cette pêche tant au niveau des problèmes qu'elle rencontre qu'au niveau du potentiel qu'elle engendre.

La Commission peut-elle nous éclairer sur les outils d'aide en matière de petite pêche côtière et pêche artisanale pour la période 2014-2020?

Réponse donnée par Mme Damanaki au nom de la Commission

(22 mai 2014)

La petite pêche côtière (PPC) figure au cœur du soutien apporté par le Fonds européen pour les affaires maritimes et la pêche (FEAMP) à la réforme de la politique commune de la pêche (PCP).

Le nouveau FEAMP soutient la PPC en imposant aux États membres qui disposent de plus de 1 000 navires de PPC de prévoir un plan d'action pour le développement, la compétitivité et la durabilité de ce segment dans leur programme opérationnel.

Des mesures spécifiquement ciblées sur la PPC incluent en priorité le remplacement des moteurs, un programme de formation des jeunes et d'emploi, des incitations à la diversification des activités des pêcheurs et la création de nouvelles sources de revenus provenant d'activités complémentaires (par exemple, le tourisme de la pêche, les restaurants, les services environnementaux et les activités pédagogiques) ainsi que le soutien aux investissements innovants à bord des navires qui améliorent la qualité et valorisent les produits de la pêche, notamment en autorisant les pêcheurs à procéder à la transformation, à la commercialisation et à la vente directe de leurs propres captures. Pour les projets de la PPC, le taux de cofinancement maximal peut être porté à 80 % au lieu de 50 %.

Également en vertu de la réforme de la PCP, les États membres peuvent, lors de la répartition des possibilités de pêche, prendre en considération des critères de nature sociale et économique, et mettre en place des mesures d'incitation à la pratique de la PPC.

La Commission veut faire en sorte que les pêcheurs qui pratiquent la PPC aient un réel impact dans le processus de prise de décision grâce à leur participation effective aux conseils consultatifs.

Enfin, la nouvelle organisation commune des marchés (OCM) prévoit également des informations obligatoires sur les engins de pêche utilisés et envisage d'établir un cadre pour des informations complémentaires facultatives qui pourrait contenir une référence à la pêche artisanale ou à la date de capture. Cela permettrait d'augmenter la visibilité de la PPC auprès de tous les consommateurs de l'Union européenne».

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002333/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Future of fishing in the Mediterranean

Fishing is a vital European policy area with its own very specific characteristics. In the Mediterranean fishermen run small‐scale operations which play a decisive role in sustaining many local communities. It is important to take account of the problems this type of fishing faces, and the opportunities it creates.

Can the Commission say what support measures are in place for small‐scale and small‐scale coastal fishing for the period 2014‐2020?

Answer given by Ms Damanaki on behalf of the Commission

(22 May 2014)

Small-scale coastal fisheries (SSCF) has been placed at the heart of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund's (EMFF) support of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The new EMFF supports SSCF through requiring Member States with more than 1 000 SSCF vessels to include an action plan for the development, competitiveness and sustainability of this segment in their Operational Programme.

Measures specifically targeting SSCF include priority treatment for engine replacement, youth training and employment scheme, incentives to diversify fishermen activities and creating new forms of income from complementary activities (e.g. fishing tourism, restaurants, environmental services and educational activities) as well as support to innovative on-board investments improving quality and adding value to fisheries products, in particular by allowing fishermen to carry out processing, marketing and direct sale of their own catches. For SSCF projects the co-financing rate can be increased up to 80% instead of 50%.

Also under the reformed CFP, Member States may, when allocating fishing opportunities, take into account criteria of a social and economic nature and provide incentives for SSCF.

The Commission wants to ensure that SSCF fishermen have a real impact in the decision-making process through their effective participation in the Advisory Councils.

Finally the new Common Organisation of the Markets (CMO) also introduces compulsory information on fishing gears used and it envisages a framework for additional voluntary information where a reference to small scale fishing or date of catch could be developed. This could provide for increased visibility of SSCF vis-à-vis EU consumers.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002335/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Échanges commerciaux entre l'Union européenne et son voisinage

L'Union européenne entreprend de plus en plus d'échanges commerciaux avec les pays de son voisinage à travers les différents partenariats qu'elle a mis en place avec eux. Cependant, force est de constater qu'il reste encore beaucoup de progrès à réaliser, tant au niveau législatif que technico-administratif, pour répondre aux demandes de l'Union en matière de réforme et instaurer ainsi un climat de confiance dans les échanges commerciaux. Nous devons protéger nos entreprises et garantir un climat commercial favorable à leur épanouissement.

1.

Dans cette perspective, dans quelle proportion certaines réformes indispensables (systèmes judiciaires, réformes relatives aux marchés publics, lutte anti-corruption) à l'équilibre des échanges commerciaux entre l'Union et les pays de son voisinage ont-elles été mises en place dans ces pays?

2.

La Commission estime-t-elle que le contexte dans lequel ces échanges commerciaux sont effectués garantit la protection des entreprises européennes?

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

(15 avril 2014)

Les échanges commerciaux et les investissements sont la clef de voûte des relations avec nos voisins de l'Est et du Sud.

Des accords de libre-échange approfondi et complet (ALEAC) ont été paraphés par la Géorgie, la Moldavie et l'Ukraine dans le cadre d'accords d'association.

Par ailleurs, l'Union européenne a conclu des accords d'association — prévoyant, notamment, l'aménagement de zones de libre-échange — avec tous les pays de la Méditerranée méridionale, à l'exception de la Libye et de la Syrie. La Commission prévoit de transformer ces accords en ALEAC pour l'Égypte, la Jordanie, le Maroc et la Tunisie. Des négociations ont été ouvertes avec le Maroc; d'autres sont en préparation pour la Tunisie et la Jordanie.

Les ALEAC visent à améliorer les possibilités d'accès au marché et à favoriser les investissements, d'une part, et à soutenir les réformes économiques engagées par nos voisins de l'Est et du Sud, d'autre part. Il convient de noter que les négociations d'ALEAC dépendaient de l'aboutissement de plusieurs réformes préparatoires dans des domaines réglementaires clés liés au commerce. Parallèlement aux négociations ou préparatifs mentionnés plus haut, les réformes se poursuivent dans nos pays partenaires du Sud et de l'Est. Des avancées majeures ont déjà été faites (mesures sanitaires et phytosanitaires, droits de propriété intellectuelle, barrières techniques au commerce); elles visent principalement pour accélérer les procédures administratives pour les entreprises. Des réformes pratiques doivent encore être menées à leur terme dans le contexte de l'application des ALEAC.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002335/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Trade between the European Union and its neighbourhood

European Union trade with countries in the European neighbourhood is constantly growing as a result of the various partnerships established with these countries. However, a great deal of progress still needs to be made, both at a legislative and a technical-administrative level, before the EU's requirements on reform are met and a climate of trust in trade relations established as a result. We have to protect our businesses and guarantee them a business climate favourable to their expansion.

1.

In light of this, what proportion of certain specific reforms essential to balanced trade between the EU and the countries in its neighbourhood (judicial system, public procurement reforms, fight against corruption) have been implemented in these countries?

2.

Does the Commission consider that EU companies are afforded protection by the context in which trade takes place?

Answer given by Mr Karel De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

(15 April 2014)

Trade and investment has been a cornerstone of our relations with our neighbours, both to the East and to the South.

As regards Eastern Partners, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) as part of Association Agreements have been initialled with Georgia, Moldova and with Ukraine.

Concerning Southern Mediterranean neighbours, the EU has concluded Association Agreements, including free trade areas, with all Southern Mediterranean countries, except Libya and Syria. The Commission intends to upgrade them to DCFTAs with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Negotiations have been launched with Morocco and are in preparation with Tunisia and Jordan.

The DCFTAs aim at improving market access opportunities and the investment climate and at supporting economic reforms undertaken by Eastern and Southern neighbours. It must be noted that DCFTA negotiations were conditional on fulfilling a number of preparatory reforms in key trade-related regulatory areas. In parallel to DCFTA negotiations or preparations for negotiations, reforms in Eastern and Southern partners have continued. Major improvements were made so far (sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, technical barriers to trade), aimed mostly at acceleration of administrative procedures for businesses. Policy reforms remain to be completed, as part of the implementation of the DCFTAs.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002336/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Technologie innovante, recherche et développement dans le cadre du programme Horizon 2020

L'économie européenne a maintenant plus que jamais besoin de technologies innovantes afin de garantir aux entreprises européennes d'être compétitives sur la scène internationale. Seulement, même s'il est vrai que l'innovation peut être créée par les entreprises elles-mêmes, force est de constater que la science et la recherche sont des éléments déterminants quant à la conception de technologies innovantes. C'est pour cette raison qu'il est indispensable d'agir selon une stratégie commune à tous les États membres dans cette matière. Le programme Horizon 2020 préconise que tous les pays membres de l'Union investissent 3 % de leur PIB dans la recherche et le développement. L'innovation est le moteur de l'économie européenne et c'est elle qui nous rendra plus compétitifs face aux pays tiers qui utilisent parfois des procédés déloyaux pour assurer leur compétitivité.

Dans cette optique, la Commission peut-elle nous éclairer quant aux progrès des États membres dans la poursuite de cet objectif?

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

(3 avril 2014)

Après être resté stable à environ 1,85 % entre 2000 et 2007, le niveau global d'intensité de R&D dans l'UE (dépenses intérieures brutes de R&D en pourcentage du PIB) est passé à 2,01 % en 2009 et n'a augmenté que modérément par la suite pour atteindre un niveau de 2,06 % en 2012. Depuis 2000, l'intensité de R&D a augmenté dans tous les États membres, à l'exception de la Croatie, du Luxembourg, du Royaume-Uni et de la Suède. En 2012, la Finlande, la Suède, l'Allemagne, le Danemark et l'Autriche ont affiché les plus hauts niveaux d'intensité de R&D, tandis que l'Estonie, Malte, Chypre et la Hongrie sont les États membres qui ont connu la plus forte progression de ces niveaux au cours de la période 2000-2012.

Bien que lents, les progrès accomplis ces dernières années sur la voie de la réalisation de l'objectif de 3 % résultent principalement de politiques menées au niveau de l'UE et des États membres afin, d'une part, de stimuler les investissements privés en R&D (notamment grâce à un renforcement de l'effet de levier induit par le financement public, à des conditions-cadres plus favorables à l'innovation et à des incitations fiscales) et, d'autre part, de protéger et de promouvoir le financement public de la R&D en dépit de la crise, conformément au principe de l'assainissement budgétaire propice à la croissance.

Si les États membres réalisent leurs objectifs nationaux, le niveau global d'intensité de R&D dans l'UE pourrait atteindre 2,6 % en 2020. Par rapport à ses concurrents internationaux, l'Europe doit son déficit principalement au faible niveau des investissements privés. Pour se rapprocher à un rythme plus soutenu de l'objectif de 3 %, il faut accélérer les changements structurels visant à favoriser les activités économiques davantage fondées sur les connaissances.

La communication de la Commission intitulée «État des lieux de la stratégie Europe 2020: pour une croissance intelligente, durable et inclusive» (101) présente, en son annexe 2, les derniers chiffres disponibles pour chaque État membre en ce qui concerne l'objectif de 3 % fixé pour chaque pays en matière d'intensité de R&D.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002336/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Innovative technology, research and development in the context of the Horizon 2020 programme

The EU economy needs innovative technologies more than ever now to ensure that EU businesses are competitive on the international scene. But even if it is true that businesses can generate innovation themselves, science and research are nevertheless determining factors in designing innovative technologies. This is why a strategy common to all Member States is needed for action in this field. The Horizon 2020 programme recommends that all countries in the EU should invest 3% of their GDP in research and development. Innovation is the engine driving the EU economy and innovation will make us more competitive in the face of non-EU countries, which sometimes resort to unfair practices to ensure they are competitive.

Could the Commission give details of progress made by Member States in pursuit of this aim?

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

(3 April 2014)

After remaining stable at around 1.85% between 2000 and 2007, the EU’s overall R&D intensity (gross domestic expenditure on R&D as a share of GDP) increased to 2.01% in 2009, and increased only moderately afterwards, reaching a level of 2.06% in 2012. Since 2000, the R&D intensity increased in all Member States except Croatia, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Sweden. In 2012, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Austria showed the highest R&D intensities, while Estonia, Malta, Cyprus and Hungary are the Member States that increased their R&D intensity most over the period 2000-2012.

The progress towards the 3% target in recent years, although slow, results mainly from policies at EU and Member State level to foster private investment in R&D (improved leveraging through public funding, more innovation-friendly framework conditions and fiscal incentives, among others), and to protect and promote public funding of R&D despite the crisis, in line with the principle of growth-friendly fiscal consolidation.

If Member States meet their national targets, the EU’s overall R&D intensity could reach 2.6% in 2020. Compared to international competitors, Europe's shortfall mainly derives from low levels of private investment. Progressing more rapidly towards the 3% target requires faster structural change towards more knowledge-intensive economic activities.

The communication ‘Taking stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (102) presents in its Annex 2 the latest figures for each Member State regarding their own 3% R&D intensity targets.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002337/14

au Conseil

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Convergence des politiques fiscales

Les États membres ont créé il y a 20 ans un marché européen entièrement ouvert où ne subsistent aucune frontière, ni obstacles aux échanges commerciaux. Cette décision a été prise dans le but de favoriser la compétition des entreprises à l'intérieur du territoire de l'Union. Une des conditions pour que la concurrence entre les entreprises soit équitable est l'harmonisation de certaines politiques des États membres, notamment la politique fiscale. Pourtant c'est loin d'être le cas actuellement en Europe. En effet, l'on peut constater d'importantes divergences entre les États membres à ce niveau-là. À titre d'exemple l'impôt sur les sociétés est de 33 % des bénéfices en France contre 15 % en Irlande. Cela signifie qu'une entreprise aurait plus intérêt à installer son siège en Irlande qu'en France. Ceci, de toute évidence, engendre une concurrence déloyale entre les entreprises européennes et les États membres.

1.

Le Conseil est-il sensible à cette constatation?

2.

Si une législation portant sur la convergence des politiques fiscales venait à voir le jour, le Conseil serait-il prêt à aller dans ce sens?

Réponse

(23 juin 2014)

La question posée par l'Honorable Parlementaire porte sur la fiscalité directe, domaine qui continue largement à relever de la compétence nationale des États membres. L'harmonisation de la fiscalité des entreprises dans l'ensemble de l'UE est limitée et, en l'absence de mesures d'harmonisation, les États membres sont libres d'adopter leur législation en fonction de leurs objectifs et besoins nationaux, à condition qu'ils exercent cette compétence de manière conforme au droit de l'UE.

Le Conseil a néanmoins été actif dans son domaine de compétence et a adopté plusieurs instruments portant sur certaines questions relatives à la fiscalité des entreprises. Actuellement, des propositions sont toujours en cours d'examen par le Conseil, notamment la proposition concernant une assiette commune consolidée pour l'impôt sur les sociétés (ACCIS), qui vise à créer des règles communes pour la détermination de l'assiette imposable des sociétés et à prévoir la consolidation des profits et pertes des sociétés ou des groupes de sociétés pour l'ensemble des activités qu'ils exercent dans l'UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002337/14

to the Council

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Convergence of fiscal policies

Twenty years ago, Member States created a completely open European market by removing all borders and barriers to trade. This decision was taken in order to promote competition between companies within the territory of the Union. One of the conditions for ensuring fair competition between companies is the harmonisation of some policies of Member States, in particular fiscal policy. But this harmonisation is still a remote prospect in Europe at present. Indeed, we find significant divergences between Member States in this respect. For example, corporation tax is 33% on profits in France against 15% in Ireland. This means that a company would be better advised to set up its headquarters in Ireland than in France. This obviously leads to unfair competition between EU companies and Member States.

1.

Does the Council understand the implications of this?

2.

If legislation on the convergence of fiscal policies were to be introduced, would the Council be prepared to move in this direction?

Reply

(23 June 2014)

The question submitted by the Honourable Member concerns direct taxation, an issue which remains largely within the national competence of the Member States. Harmonisation of company taxation across the EU is limited and in the absence of harmonisation measures, Member States are free to adopt their own laws in order to meet their domestic policy objectives and requirements, provided that they exercise that competence in accordance with EC law.

The Council has nevertheless been active in its area of competence and has adopted a number of instruments addressing specific company taxation issues. At present, some proposals are still being examined by the Council, in particular the proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) which aims at creating common rules for determination of the corporate tax base and providing for consolidation of profits and losses of companies or groups of companies for the whole of their activity in the EU.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002338/14

au Conseil

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Convergence des politiques sociales

L'intérêt d'un marché européen sans frontières est de faciliter les échanges commerciaux entre les États membres et de laisser libre cours à la concurrence entre les entreprises européennes de manière à rendre le marché européen plus compétitif sur la scène internationale. Ce concept est intéressant mais ne peut fonctionner que si certaines politiques des États membres sont harmonisées. Actuellement, les politiques sociales ne sont pas les mêmes dans tous les États membres, ce qui engendre une distorsion de la concurrence entre les entreprises européennes ainsi qu'un inévitable dumping social.

Le Conseil a-t-il une stratégie concernant l'harmonisation des politiques sociales nationales?

Réponse

(28 mai 2014)

Comme l'Honorable Parlementaire le sait certainement, le traité de Lisbonne a renforcé la dimension sociale de l'UE, mais l'élaboration et la mise en œuvre des politiques sociales continuent de relever principalement de la responsabilité des États membres.

Par conséquent, conformément au traité, le rôle de l'Union dans ce domaine se limite à soutenir et à compléter l'action des États membres.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002338/14

to the Council

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Convergence of Member States' social policies

The whole point of a European market without borders is to facilitate trade between Member States and give free rein to competition between European enterprises in order to make the European market more competitive internationally. This is a valid idea, but can only work if some of the policies of Member States are harmonised. Currently, social policies differ from one Member State to another, which results in a distortion of competition between European enterprises and, inevitably, social dumping.

Does the Council have a strategy for the harmonisation of Member States’ social policies?

Reply

(28 May 2014)

As the Honourable Member is certainly aware, while the Treaty of Lisbon strengthened the social dimension of the EU, the development and implementation of social policies remains principally within the responsibility of the Member States.

Therefore, in accordance with the Treaty, the role of the Union in this area is limited to supporting and complementing the activities of the Member States.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002339/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Convergence fiscale

Le marché européen est entièrement ouvert au sein de l'Union européenne. En effet, plus aucune frontière n'existe entre les États membres de l'Union afin de faciliter au maximum les échanges commerciaux. Nous avons donc besoin d'harmoniser le plus possible les politiques économiques des États membres, pour que chaque entreprise ait le même potentiel de compétitivité que son homologue d'un autre pays de l'Union. Dans l'état actuel des choses, les politiques fiscales des États membres ne convergeant pas ou peu, la compétition entre les entreprises européennes ne repose pas uniquement sur leurs secteurs d'activités. Des éléments divergents, comme l'impôt sur les sociétés, entraînent un dumping fiscal évident et n'engendrent pas une concurrence loyale au sein de l'UE. À titre d'exemple, la taxe d'imposition sur les sociétés est de 33 % des bénéfices en France et ne s'élève qu'à 15 % en Irlande, ce qui a un impact considérablement néfaste sur le potentiel de compétitivité des entreprises implantées en France face aux entreprises implantées en Irlande.

Comment la Commission compte-t-elle résorber ces différences, afin de lutter contre toute possibilité de concurrence fiscale déloyale au sein du marché européen?

Réponse donnée par M. Šemeta au nom de la Commission

(10 avril 2014)

La fiscalité directe relève essentiellement de la compétence des États membres. La Commission ne peut faire de propositions de législation de l'UE que lorsque des compétences lui ont été assignées par le traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne. Par conséquent, les États membres restent libres de concevoir leurs systèmes de fiscalité directe, sous réserve de respecter le droit de l'Union.

À ce jour, les différences dans le niveau général des taux d'imposition des sociétés n'ont pas été considérées comme un obstacle au fonctionnement du marché intérieur.

Cela dit, la Commission encourage la lutte contre la concurrence fiscale dommageable, notamment en soutenant les travaux du groupe «Code de conduite (fiscalité des entreprises)». Si l'application de taux d'imposition particulièrement faibles entraîne une concurrence dommageable, l'UE agit par l'intermédiaire de ce groupe.

En outre, la Commission promeut activement la nécessité d'agir au niveau mondial en faveur de systèmes fiscaux plus équitables. Elle soutient l'initiative du G20 et de l'OCDE concernant l'érosion de la base d'imposition et le transfert de bénéfices. Plusieurs questions ont également été abordées dans le plan d'action de la Commission de 2012 visant à lutter contre la fraude et l'évasion fiscales. Ce plan comprend des mesures concrètes visant à contribuer à la protection des recettes fiscales des États membres contre la planification fiscale agressive et les paradis fiscaux.

L'assiette commune consolidée pour l'impôt des sociétés pourrait aussi contribuer à une concurrence fiscale plus équitable sur le marché intérieur. Elle définit un ensemble de règles communes pour le calcul de l'assiette imposable des sociétés dans l'UE et laisse les États membres fixer individuellement les taux d'imposition. Ainsi, en rapprochant les règles relatives à l'assiette, la différence entre les taux d'imposition légaux et effectifs est réduite et la concurrence fiscale entre les États membres porte essentiellement sur le taux d'imposition, ce qui la rend plus transparente.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002339/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Tax Convergence

The European market is completely open within the European Union: all borders have been removed between EU Member States so as to facilitate trade as much as possible. We therefore need maximum harmonisation of the economic policies of Member States, so that each enterprise has the same potential for competitiveness as its counterpart in any other EU country. At present there is little or no convergence between the fiscal policies of Member States, and competition between European enterprises is not based solely on their sectors of activity. Divergences in some areas, such as corporation tax, lead to blatant fiscal dumping, and militate against fair competition within the EU. For example, corporation tax is 33% of profits in France, compared to only 15% in Ireland, which significantly undermines the competitive potential of enterprises located in France vis-à-vis those in Ireland.

How will the Commission reduce these divergences in order to remove any possibility of unfair tax competition within the European market?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

Direct taxation mainly falls under the competence of Member States. The Commission can only make proposals for EU legislation where powers have been attributed to it by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Thus, Member States are free to design their direct tax systems as long as their rules abide by EC law.

So far, differences in general levels of corporate tax rates have not been identified as an obstacle impeding the functioning of the internal market.

This said, the Commission supports the fight against harmful tax competition, notably by supporting the work of the Code of Conduct Group on business taxation. If special low rates of tax cause harmful competition, the EU acts through this Group.

In addition, the Commission actively promotes the need for action at a global level towards fairer tax systems. It supports the G20/OECD initiative on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). Several issues have also been addressed in the 2012 Commission's Action Plan to combat tax fraud and tax evasion. This plan includes concrete steps to help protect Member States' tax revenues against aggressive tax planning and tax havens.

The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base could also contribute to fairer tax competition in the internal market. It sets out a system of common rules for computing the tax base of companies in the EU and leaves the rates to be determined individually by Member States. Thus, by approximating the rules on the base, the difference between statutory and effective tax rates is minimised and tax competition between Member States focuses on the tax rate, which makes it more transparent.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002340/14

à la Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Convergence sociale

Nous avons décidé, il y a de cela vingt ans, de libéraliser complètement le marché européen et, de ce fait, d'ôter les frontières entre les États membres, qui constituaient des obstacles aux échanges commerciaux. Nous devons à présent parachever ce projet en harmonisant les politiques sociales des États membres qui sont susceptibles d'entraver la concurrence loyale entre entreprises européennes. La compétitivité d'une entreprise sur le sol de l'Union ne devrait se définir que par son potentiel de compétitivité, celui‐ci dépendant uniquement du secteur d'activité de l'entreprise. Actuellement, certaines politiques sociales nationales favorisent l'établissement d'entreprises dans l'un ou l'autre État membre, ce qui crée les conditions d'une concurrence déloyale.

1.

Quelle est la stratégie de la Commission concernant la convergence des politiques sociales?

2.

Y a-t-il une réelle volonté, de la part de la Commission, de proposer une législation harmonisant les politiques sociales des États membres afin de créer les conditions d'une concurrence loyale au sein de l'Union?

Réponse donnée par M. Andor au nom de la Commission

(24 avril 2014)

Les politiques sociales relèvent de la compétence des États membres. Il a été accordé à l'UE la possibilité de prendre des initiatives pour coordonner les politiques sociales des États membres. Dans sa communication sur le renforcement de la dimension sociale de l'Union économique et monétaire (103), la Commission a proposé un tableau de bord des indicateurs en matière sociale et d'emploi, dans l'objectif de suivre les divergences en ce domaine. La Commission a invité les instances préparatoires du Conseil (le comité de l'emploi et le comité de la protection sociale) à poursuivre la réflexion sur la mise en œuvre de ce tableau de bord dans le cadre du semestre européen.

La Commission voudrait souligner que le traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne ne permet pas l'harmonisation des dispositions législatives et réglementaires des États membres [voir article 153, paragraphe 2, point a) du TFUE].

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002340/14

to the Commission

Franck Proust (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Social Convergence

Twenty years ago, we decided to completely deregulate the European market by removing borders between Member States, which were barriers to trade. We now need to complete this project by harmonising Member States’ social policies which can hinder fair competition between European companies. The competitiveness of a company on EU soil should be determined solely by its competitive potential, which should depend solely on the sector in which it operates. As things stand, the social policies of some Member States are more favourable to the establishment of companies than those of other Member States. This creates the conditions for unfair competition.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

What is its strategy on the convergence of social policies?

Does it have the genuine desire to propose legislation harmonising the social policies of Member States so as to create the conditions for fair competition within the EU?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2014)

Social policies are under the competence of Member States. The EU has been granted the possibility to take initiatives to coordinate Member States' social policies. In its communication on strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (104), the Commission proposed a scoreboard of employment and social indicators with the objective to follow on the divergences of social and employment outcomes. The Commission invited the Council preparatory bodies (the Employment Committee and the Social Protection Committee) to further reflect on the operationalization of this scoreboard in the context of the European semester.

The Commission would like to stress that the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union does not allow harmonisation of the social laws and regulations of Member States (see Article 153§2(a) of the TFEU).

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002341/14

à la Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(27 février 2014)

Objet: Méningite mortelle

Trois jeunes hommes présentant tous des symptômes de méningite (méningocoques B et C) sont morts les 21, 22 et 23 février 2014 à Nice, a indiqué l'Agence régionale de santé de Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Chaque année dans le monde, près de 1,2 million de personnes sont victimes de la méningite, avec un taux de mortalité de 8 %. En Europe, c'est le sérogroupe B qui est le plus fréquemment en cause, puisqu'on le retrouve chez au moins un malade sur deux (entre 3 406 et 4 819 sur les 7 000 cas répertoriés annuellement entre 2003 et 2007). Certains pays sont en outre plus touchés que d'autres, comme la Belgique, l'Irlande, l'Espagne et le Royaume-Uni.

Depuis 2010 en France, un vaccin contre les méningites C, efficace en une seule dose, est recommandé aux enfants et adultes de 1 à 24 ans. Malheureusement, la couverture vaccinale est encore insuffisante: seulement 50 % des 1-4 ans sont vaccinés, et moins de 5 % des 20-24 ans. Plus récemment, le 14 janvier 2013, le vaccin Bexsero a obtenu une autorisation de mise sur le marché européenne pour «l'immunisation active des sujets à partir de l'âge de 2 mois contre l'infection invasive méningococcique causée par Neisseria meningitidis de groupe B».

1.

Que compte entreprendre la Commission pour améliorer la couverture vaccinale contre les méningites C dans l'Union européenne?

2.

Suite aux recommandations de l'Agence européenne du médicament du 14 janvier 2013, la Commission pourrait-elle faire état de l'utilisation du vaccin contre la méningite B dans les programmes nationaux de vaccination des États membres?

3.

La déclaration des infections à méningocoques est-elle obligatoire dans tous les États membres de l'UE?

4.

Afin de réduire des décès «évitables», comment la Commission envisage-t-elle d'améliorer la prévention et l'amélioration des diagnostics précoces de la méningite dans l'Union européenne?

Réponse donnée par M. Borg au nom de la Commission

(8 avril 2014)

La définition et l'application des programmes de vaccination relèvent de la compétence nationale, aussi varient-ils à travers l'Union.

Actuellement, quatorze États membres ont intégré les vaccins méningococciques à leur programme d'immunisation systématique. Quelques pays seulement ont engagé des campagnes de rattrapage au moment de l'introduction de ces vaccins de sorte que l'immunité induite par le vaccin chez l'adulte risque d'être très faible dans la plupart des pays.

Le 6 novembre 2013, la décision 1082/2013/UE (105) relative aux menaces transfrontalières graves sur la santé est entrée en vigueur. Sur cette base, la Commission a le pouvoir de renforcer la coopération et les activités avec les États membres en vue d'améliorer les méthodes et processus de diffusion des informations concernant la couverture des maladies évitables par la vaccination.

Dans ce contexte, la Commission assistera les États membres par le biais du comité de sécurité sanitaire en favorisant l'échange de bonnes pratiques, en particulier pour la planification de la préparation, et en s'attelant, notamment, à l'échange d'informations sur les programmes d'immunisation nationaux. La décision 1082/2013/UE couvre également les activités des États membres relatives à l'utilisation du vaccin Bexsero pour une immunisation active contre l'infection méningococcique causée par Neisseria meningitidis du groupe B, vaccin ayant obtenu une autorisation européenne de mise sur le marché le 14 janvier 2013.

Cette décision dispose que les infections méningococciques doivent être signalées à l'échelon européen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002341/14

to the Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Fatal cases of meningitis

The regional health body in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur reported the deaths on 21, 22 and 23 February 2014 in Nice of three young men all presenting symptoms associated with meningitis (meningococci B and C). Every year nearly 1.2 million people fall ill with meningitis worldwide. The mortality rate is 8%. In Europe serogroup B is the most frequent cause of the illness, being responsible for at least half the total number of cases (between 3 406 and 4 819 of the 7 000 cases recorded each year between 2003 and 2007). Moreover, some countries are more affected than others, for instance Belgium, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

A vaccine against meningitis C which only needs to be administered once to be effective has been recommended since 2010 in France for children and adults between the ages of 1 and 24. Unfortunately, immunisation coverage is still not high enough: only 50% of children between the ages of 1 and 4 are vaccinated and less than 5% of people in the 20-24 age range. In a more recent development, on 14 January 2013 the vaccine Bexsero was licensed for use on the European market for ‘active immunisation of individuals from 2 months of age and older against invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B’.

1.

How is the Commission planning to improve coverage of immunisation against meningitis C in the European Union?

2.

Following the recommendations made by the European Medicines Agency on 14 January 2013, could the Commission give details of use of the vaccine against meningitis B in Member States' national vaccination programmes?

3.

Is notification of meningococcal disease compulsory in all EU Member States?

4.

How does the Commission plan to improve prevention and early diagnosis of meningitis in the European Union, so as to reduce the number of ‘avoidable’ deaths?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 2014)

The definition and implementation of vaccination programmes are a matter of national competence, and, as such, vary across the EU.

At present, 14 EU Member States have introduced meningococcal vaccines in their routine immunisation programmes. Only few countries conducted catch-up campaigns at the time of the introduction of such vaccines, and vaccine-induced immunity in the adult population is likely to be low in most countries.

On 6 November 2013, Decision 1082/2013/EU (106) on serious cross-border threats to health entered into force. On this basis, the Commission is able to strengthen cooperation and activities with the Member States to improve the methods and processes through which information related to the coverage of vaccine-preventable diseases is provided.

In this context, through the Health Security Committee, the Commission will assist Member States by fostering the exchange of best practices, in particular on preparedness planning, addressing inter alia the exchange of information on national immunisation programmes. This will also cover Member States' activities regarding the use of ‘Bexsero’, a vaccine for active immunisation against meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B, which was granted EU marketing authorisation by the Commission on 14 January 2013.

Under Decision 1082/2013/EU meningococcal diseases must be reported at EU level.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002342/14

alla Commissione

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Strage di cani e gatti randagi a opera delle autorità a Sochi in Russia in occasione delle Olimpiadi invernali 2014

A seguito all'interrogazione n. E-001678/2012 presentata in data 10.2.2012 in merito al fenomeno delle uccisioni in massa di cani e gatti randagi perpetrate dalle autorità ucraine prima dei Campionati europei di calcio del 2012 lo scrivente sottopone nuovamente all'attenzione della Commissione l'identica riprovevole politica di sterminio appena condotta a Sochi in Russia prima dell'inizio delle Olimpiadi invernali appena conclusesi.

Secondo la stampa, infatti, nei mesi che hanno preceduto l'inizio delle Olimpiadi e con maggiore intensità e frequenza a ridosso dell'inizio della manifestazione, le autorità russe avrebbero fatto uccidere in modo sistematico migliaia di animali randagi, soprattutto cani e, in misura minore, gatti. A denunciarlo sono i volontari delle associazioni animaliste e delle ONG, ma anche semplici cittadini. La volontà è stata analoga a quella che animava le autorità ucraine: «ripulire» rapidamente le strade dagli animali randagi, definiti addirittura «spazzatura biologica», rei di rovinare l'immagine della città agli occhi del mondo intero in occasione dell’arrivo e della permanenza in loco di atleti, stampa, autorità e turisti (107).

Secondo l'associazione animalista «World Society for the Protection of Animals», tuttavia, simili massacri oltreché crudeli rischiano di rivelarsi inutili, perché l'unico modo per controllare in maniera efficace le popolazioni di randagi consiste nell'adozione di programmi a lungo termine di vaccinazioni e sterilizzazioni (108). È opportuno ricordare, infine, che simili fatti si erano verificati in epoca anteriore anche a Pechino in Cina prima delle Olimpiadi estive del 2008.

Nella sua risposta alla succitata interrogazione sui fatti ucraini, la Commissione precisava che il capo della delegazione UE in Ucraina aveva provveduto a inviare una lettera alle autorità ucraine in cui raccomandava sollecitudine nel trattamento dei cani randagi e chiedeva informazioni sulle misure adottate dal governo per affrontare tale questione.

Tutto ciò premesso, può la Commissione riferire:

se sia stata inviata alle autorità russe una lettera analoga a quella inviata alle autorità ucraine per manifestare anche in tal caso la ferma opposizione dell'Unione europea a simili crudeli pratiche;

quali ulteriori iniziative intende intraprendere per contribuire a far sì che simili abomini non si verifichino mai più in futuro in occasione di manifestazioni importanti quali gli eventi sportivi internazionali, dato che sembrano invece essere divenute una vergognosa prassi?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(28 marzo 2014)

Si rinvia l'Onorevole deputato alle risposte date alle interrogazioni scritte n. E‐006543/2011, E-007161/2011, E-002062/2012 ed E-005276/2013 (109), che affrontano la tematica dei cani randagi e della gestione della popolazione canina.

Tali questioni non sono disciplinate dalla normativa dell'UE.

L'organizzazione mondiale per la salute animale (OIE) ha adottato una serie di linee guida internazionali per il controllo delle popolazioni di cani randagi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002342/14

to the Commission

Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Killing of stray cats and dogs in the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi

Further to my Written Question E-001678/2012 of 10 February 2012 on the mass killing of stray cats and dogs by the Ukrainian authorities ahead of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, I should like to draw the Commission’s attention to the equally abhorrent extermination campaign carried out by the Russian authorities in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to press reports, in the months leading up to the Olympic Games, the Russian authorities systematically exterminated thousands of stray animals — in particular dogs, but also cats –, speeding up operations in the days immediately prior to the start of the games. Members of the public have joined animal welfare groups and NGOs in condemning this campaign. The Russian authorities used the same justification for their actions as the Ukrainians, namely the need to rid the city’s streets of stray animals — or ‘biological trash’ as they have been called — as quickly as possible, in order to protect Sochi’s reputation in the eyes of athletes, the media, officials and tourists from around the world travelling to the city for the games (110).

However, according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, in addition to being cruel, mass extermination is ineffective. The only way of properly controlling stray animal populations is to implement long-term vaccination and sterilisation programmes (111).

It should be noted that Beijing carried out a similar campaign in the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

In its answer to my written question on the extermination campaign in Ukraine, the Commission said that the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine had written to the Ukrainian authorities to raise concerns about the treatment of stray dogs in the country and to request information on measures taken by the Ukrainian Government to address these concerns.

1.

Has the Commission written a similar letter to the Russian authorities strongly condemning this cruel practice?

2.

What other steps will it take to put an end to barbaric campaigns of this kind, which are becoming standard practice in the lead-up to major international events, such as sporting competitions?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(28 March 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 (112) which address the issues of stray dogs and of dog population management.

This issue is not governed by EU rules.

International guidelines for the control of stray dog populations have been adopted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002343/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(27 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Crisi politica e economica in Ucraina: intervento UE

La crisi in Ucraina è iniziata lo scorso 24 novembre con la decisione del presidente Janukovič di non firmare l'accordo di associazione con l'Unione europea al summit di Vilnius del 28 e 29 novembre. Tale gesto ha provocato la reazione di migliaia di manifestanti e secondo le notizie riportate dalla stampa vi sono stati oltre 100 morti e 500 feriti.

Alla luce della riunione del Consiglio Affari Esteri del 20 febbraio, è bene sottolineare in particolare la ferma condanna della violenza e il fatto che la firma dell'AA/DCFTA da parte del nuovo governo ucraino dovrà essere preceduta da una verifica delle condizioni poste nel dicembre 2012 da parte di Kiev e dal genuino interesse a siglare l'accordo e darvi attuazione.

Considerato quanto premesso, può la Commissione:

chiarire come intende intervenire per assistere l'Ucraina nel processo di riforme istituzionali e nella creazione delle condizioni ottimali per lo svolgimento di elezioni democratiche;

chiarire la sua posizione in merito a un'auspicabile verifica delle condizioni di stipulazione poste nel 2012 da parte di Kiev in vista della possibile firma dell'AA/DCFTA da parte del nuovo governo ucraino;

chiarire la sua posizione riguardo ai rapporti con la Russia in merito alla questione ucraina;

indicare gli effetti del mancato accordo di associazione UE-Ucraina sull'Unione europea?

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

(25 aprile 2014)

L'UE si compiace che il governo ucraino si sia impegnato a garantire la natura rappresentativa e inclusiva delle strutture governative, in modo da riflettere la diversità regionale, a garantire la piena tutela dei diritti degli appartenenti a minoranze nazionali, ad intraprendere una riforma costituzionale, a lottare contro l'estremismo e a organizzare elezioni presidenziali libere, eque e trasparenti. L'UE intende dare un contributo significativo per sostenere queste priorità in collaborazione con e attraverso l'OSCE e il Consiglio d'Europa. Come concordato il 6 marzo dai capi di Stato e di governo, il 21 marzo l'UE ha firmato le disposizioni politiche dell'accordo di associazione con l'Ucraina e sta prendendo provvedimenti per consentire a questo paese di beneficiare in misura sostanziale della zona di libero scambio globale e approfondito.

L'UE condanna l'annessione illegale della Crimea e di Sebastopoli da parte della Russia e applica misure restrittive contro le persone che minacciano la sovranità e l'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina. Qualsiasi ulteriore iniziativa russa volta a destabilizzare la situazione avrà ulteriori e profonde conseguenze in un gran numero di settori economici. L'UE si adopera con impegno per favorire una soluzione pacifica della crisi in Ucraina e garantire il pieno rispetto dei principi e degli obblighi sanciti dal diritto internazionale. L'UE e l'Ucraina ritengono che un'associazione politica e un'integrazione economica più strette siano nell'interesse di entrambe e, come sottolineato dal Consiglio Affari esteri del 3 marzo scorso, convengono che l'accordo non costituisce l'obiettivo finale nel quadro della cooperazione UE-Ucraina (113).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002343/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Economic and political crisis in Ukraine: the EU's response

A crisis broke out in Ukraine on 24 November 2013 after President Yanukovych decided against signing an association agreement with the EU at the Vilnius summit of 28 to 29 November. This sparked protests from thousands of Ukrainians, and, according to press reports, more than 100 people were killed and 500 injured.

It is important to stress that, at its meeting of 20 February 2014, the Foreign Affairs Council condemned the violence in Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and that, if an association agreement (AA) or a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) is to be signed, the new Ukrainian Government must show that it has satisfied the conditions laid down in December 2012 and demonstrate a real commitment to signing and implementing the agreement.

Accordingly, can the Commission say:

How it intends to help Ukraine to make institutional reforms and ensure that free and fair elections may be held?

Whether it intends to check that the conditions laid down in 2012 have been met before an AA/DCFTA is put up for signing by the new Ukrainian Government?

What approach it will take towards relations with Russia in the light of the events in Ukraine?

What effect failure on the part of Ukraine to sign an association agreement will have on the EU?

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

(25 April 2014)

The EU welcomes the Ukrainian government's commitment to ensure the representative nature and inclusiveness of governmental structures, reflecting regional diversity, to ensure the full protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, to undertake constitutional reform, to fight extremism, and to hold free, fair and transparent Presidential elections. Working with and through the OSCE and Council of Europe, the EU plans meaningful contributions in support of these priorities. As agreed by EU Heads of State and Government on 6 March, the EU signed the political provisions of the Association Agreement (AA) with Ukraine on 21 March, and is undertaking measures to allow Ukraine to benefit substantially from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

The EU condemns Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, and is pursuing restrictive measures against persons responsible for undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any further steps by Russia to destabilise the situation will lead to additional, far-reaching consequences in a broad range of economic areas. The EU is focused on achieving a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, and ensuring full respect for the principles of and obligations under international law. The EU and Ukraine consider closer political association and economic integration to be of mutual interest and, as noted in the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 March, agree that the Agreement does not constitute the final goal in EU-Ukraine cooperation. (114)

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord E-002344/14

aan de Commissie

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(27 februari 2014)

Betreft: Billionhomes

De website „Billionhomes” is een vasgoedsite waarop advertenties voor huur‐ en koopwoningen geplaatst worden.

De website is wereldwijd in verschillende landen actief en opereert ook op de Europese markt (o.a. in België, Nederland, Duitsland, Griekenland en Italië).

De website zou ongevraagd advertenties met foto's van huur-en koopwoningen gebruiken zonder medeweten van de eigenaars en deze er niet afhalen zodra het pand verkocht of verhuurd is.

Procedures om foto's van de site te halen kunnen enkel tegen betaling worden opgestart en het vinden van de juiste contactpersonen is vrijwel onmogelijk. Het is duidelijk dat deze praktijken de privacy van de (toekomstige) eigenaars in het gedrang brengen.

In België werden dan ook al verschillende klachten ingediend tegen de website bij de FOD economie en de Belgische Privacy commissie.

Omdat de hoofdzetel van het bedrijf gelegen is in Belize, hebben beide Belgische instanties aangegeven dat zij geen bevoegdheden hebben om op te treden.

Recent heeft het bedrijf ook aangekondigd te willen starten met het fotograferen en filmen van eigendommen door middel van drones, dit ook zonder toelating van de eigenaars.

1.

Hoe beoordeelt de Commissie deze situatie?

2.

Heeft de Commissie reeds uit andere landen berichten ontvangen waarin de praktijken van deze website worden aangeklaagd?

3.

Wat kan in deze zaak ondernomen worden opdat de Europese privacyregels niet omzeild worden door vastgoedwebsites die hun hoofdzetel buiten de EU hebben, maar wel op de Europese markt actief zijn?

Antwoord van mevrouw Reding namens de Commissie

(2 juni 2014)

De Commissie heeft geen klachten ontvangen over de praktijken met betrekking tot de genoemde website. Om te bepalen of en in hoeverre de EU-richtlijn inzake gegevensbescherming (Richtlijn 95/46/EG, hierna „de richtlijn” genoemd)  (115) op de betreffende activiteiten van toepassing is, zou het noodzakelijk zijn een aantal factoren te onderzoeken. Hieronder valt bijvoorbeeld de vraag of afbeeldingen van woningen die te huur of te koop staan, onder het begrip persoonsgegevens vallen zoals omschreven in artikel 2, onder a, van de richtlijn, en wanneer dat zo is, hoe de verwerking van deze persoonsgegevens plaatsvindt. Artikel 4 van de richtlijn bevat de regels met betrekking tot het  territoriale toepassingsgebied van de nationale wetgeving van de lidstaten.

De Europese Commissie heeft als hoedster van de Verdragen weliswaar bepaalde bevoegdheden, maar het toezicht op en de handhaving van de wetgeving inzake gegevensbescherming vallen onder de bevoegdheid van de nationale autoriteiten, met name de toezichthoudende autoriteiten voor gegevensbescherming en de rechtbanken.

Het voorstel van de Commissie voor een algemene verordening inzake gegevensbescherming (116) zal eerbiediging van de rechten van het individu ook dan waarborgen wanneer persoonlijke gegevens van de EU naar derde landen worden verzonden.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002344/14

to the Commission

Ivo Belet (PPE)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: ‘Billionhomes’

The website ‘Billionhomes’ is a real estate site where homes to let or for sale are advertised.

The website operates in various countries, including on the European market (inter alia in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and Italy).

It is said to publish advertisements containing photographs of homes for rent or sale without requesting permission and even without the knowledge of the owners, and apparently it also fails to remove them as soon as the property has been sold or let.

Procedures to remove photographs from the site can be initiated only in return for payment, and it is virtually impossible to find the right people to contact. Clearly, these practices infringe the privacy of the owners/future owners.

In Belgium, therefore, various complaints about the website have been submitted to the Federal Public Service for the Economy and the Belgian Privacy Commission.

As the business’s headquarters are in Belize, both of these Belgian authorities have indicated that they have no power to take any action.

Recently the business has made it known that it wishes to start photographing and filming properties using drones, likewise without owners consent.

1.

What view does the Commission take of this situation?

2.

Has the Commission received reports from other countries complaining about the practices of this website?

3.

What can be done in this case to prevent evasion of European privacy rules by real estate websites based outside the EU but operating on the European market?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(2 June 2014)

The Commission has no knowledge of complaints about the practices of the website in question. In order to determine whether and to what extent the EU data protection Directive 95/46/EC (117) (the directive) applies to the activities in question, it would be necessary to assess a number of factors including whether images of homes for rent or sale qualify as personal data within the meaning of Article 2(a) of the directive and, if so, what kind of processing activities of personal data take place. As regards the territorial application of the national laws of the Member States transposing the directive, the relevant rules are contained in Article 4 of the directive

Without prejudice to the competence of the European Commission as guardian of the Treaties, the supervision and enforcement of data protection legislation falls within the competence of national authorities, in particular the data protection supervisory authorities and courts.

The Commission's proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation (118) will ensure the continued application of individuals' rights even when personal data is transferred from the EU to third countries.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung E-002345/14

an die Kommission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(27. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Niedrigster und höchster Betrag bei der Pauschalvergütung der Reisekosten

In Bezug auf die Antwort der Kommission auf die parlamentarische Anfrage E-000290/2014 bittet der Fragesteller die Kommission den folgenden, in der ursprünglichen Antwort nicht beantworteten Teil zu beantworten:

Wie hoch war der niedrigste gezahlte Pauschalbetrag und wie hoch war der höchste gezahlte Pauschalbetrag bei der Pauschalvergütung der Reisekosten vom Ort der dienstlichen Verwendung zum Herkunftsort für Beamte nach Anhang VII Abschnitt 3 C Artikel 8 des Statuts der Beamten der Europäischen Gemeinschaften vom 1.5.2004?

Antwort von Herrn Šefčovič im Namen der Kommission

(2. Juni 2014)

Im Jahr 2013 betrug die niedrigste gezahlte Pauschale 0,38 EUR und die höchste mehr als 10 000 EUR für eine Familie mit mehreren Kindern und einem Herkunftsort außerhalb der EU.

Die Kommission hatte im Juni 2011 im Rahmen ihrer Vorschläge für die Reform des Statuts, über die das Parlament und der Rat im Jahr 2013 zu einem Kompromiss gelangt sind, angeregt, die Zahlungen für Herkunftsorte außerhalb der EU einzustellen. Die neuen Bestimmungen sind seit 1. Januar 2014 in Kraft. Bedienstete mit einem Herkunftsort außerhalb der EU erhalten ab 2014 nur eine Erstattung für die Entfernung zwischen ihrem Ort der dienstlichen Verwendung und der Hauptstadt des Mitgliedstaats, dessen Staatsangehörigkeit sie besitzen.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002345/14

to the Commission

Hans-Peter Martin (NI)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Highest and lowest flat-rate travel allowance

In connection with the Commission’s reply to question for written answer E-000290/2014, will the Commission answer the following question, which was not answered in the original reply:

How much was the smallest fixed-rate payment and how much was the largest fixed-rate payment that was made to cover officials’ travel costs from the place of employment to the place of origin, in accordance with Annex VII, Section 3 C, Article 8 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities of 1 May 2004?

Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission

(2 June 2014)

In 2013, the smallest payment was EUR 0.38 and the highest was higher than EUR 10 000 for a family with several children and a place of origin outside the EU.

The Commission proposed in June 2011 to abolish the system for places of origin outside the EU as part of its proposals to reform the Staff Regulations on which Parliament and Council reached a compromise in 2013. The new rules are in force since 1 January 2014. Staff with a place of origin outside the EU is, as of 2014, reimbursed only for the distance between their place of employment and the capital of the Member State whose nationality they hold.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002346/14

to the Commission

Catherine Stihler (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Income ranges

Can the Commission provide details of the number of workers, per Member State, who earn the following amounts:

Up to EUR 20 000 per annum.

EUR 20 001 to EUR 30 000 per annum.

EUR 30 001 to EUR 40 000 per annum.

EUR 40 001 to EUR 50 000 per annum.

More than EUR 50 000 per annum.

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(7 April 2014)

Comparable data on the earnings per employee are collected every four years by Eurostat through the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES). The latest data available refer to year 2010 and concern all enterprises with 10 or more employees and all economic activities except sections A (Agriculture) and O (Public administration and defence, compulsory social security) of the NACE (119) Rev. 2 nomenclature.

Tables 1 and 2 in annex provide respectively the number of employees and the corresponding proportions, per Member State, for each category of annual earnings requested including an additional breakdown of the lowest and highest ranges.

(Versiunea în limba română)

Întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns scris E-002347/14

adresată Comisiei

Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D)

(27 februarie 2014)

Subiect: Reformularea alimentelor

Cartea albă din 2007 referitoare la o Strategie pentru Europa privind problemele de sănătate legate de alimentație, excesul de greutate și obezitate a subliniat importanța reformulării alimentelor pentru a reduce aportul de grăsimi și sare (120).

Cu toate acestea, raportul intermediar privind strategia din 2010 a indicat caracterul limitat al angajamentelor privind reformularea și nu a reușit să realizeze o evaluare corectă a impactului acestora. Raportul intermediar a cerut reexaminarea problemei în evaluarea finală a strategiei (121).

Evaluarea finală a strategiei, publicată în 2013, prezintă dovezi modeste ale unor rezultate concrete ale angajamentelor privind reformularea (122). Concluzia comisarului era că este necesară intensificarea eforturilor.

Prin urmare, evaluările strategiei sugerează o performanță dezamăgitoare în ceea ce privește reformularea eforturilor în comparație cu așteptările inițiale din Cartea albă din 2007.

Industria alimentară a pus în evidență provocările semnificative cu care se confruntă în reformularea produselor alimentare.

Ar fi Comisia de acord cu ideea că este necesar să se ia în considerare noi căi de atingere a obiectivelor strategiei?

Răspuns dat de dl Borg în numele Comisiei

(7 aprilie 2014)

Strategia UE privind problemele de sănătate legate de alimentație, excesul de greutate și obezitate (123) a fost esențială în procesul de coordonare a acțiunilor în domeniul reformulării produselor alimentare.

După cum remarcă distinsa membră, strategia a făcut obiectul unei evaluări independente, publicată în 2013. Valoarea adăugată a activităților comune la nivelul UE, eficacitatea strategiei și decizia de continuare a acesteia, au fost clarificate de evaluatori și a fost propusă sporirea accentului pus pe promovarea activității fizice și pe combaterea inegalităților în materie de sănătate.

Grupul la nivel înalt în materie de alimentație și activitate fizică (124) a convenit, în februarie 2011, un cadru comun la nivelul UE privind reducerea nutrienților, care a fost pus în aplicare în statele membre prin intermediul mai multor inițiative de reformulare a produselor alimentare.

Reformularea produselor alimentare este, de asemenea, o prioritate de bază pentru Platforma UE privind regimul alimentar, activitatea fizică și sănătatea (125). Baza de date online conține, în prezent, 8 angajamente încheiate și 21 de angajamente în curs de desfășurare privind reformularea produselor alimentare. Deși angajamentele în ceea ce privește reformularea au un anumit impact, Comisia este de acord că eforturile depuse și rezultatele obținute în acest domeniu pot și ar trebui să fie intensificate.

Atât grupul la nivel înalt în materie de alimentație și activitate fizică, precum și Platforma UE privind regimul alimentar, activitatea fizică și sănătatea, continuă să constituie forumuri pentru schimbul de soluții și pentru dezbateri privind noi modalități de realizare a obiectivelor strategiei, inclusiv în ceea ce privește reformularea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002347/14

to the Commission

Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D)

(27 February 2014)

Subject: Reformulation of foods

The 2007 White Paper on the EU strategy on nutrition, overweight and obesity-related health issues emphasised the importance reformulating foods to reduce fat and salt intake (126).

However, the 2010 progress report on the strategy indicated the limited nature of reformulation commitments and was unable to make a proper assessment of their impact. The progress report called for the issue to be revisited in the final evaluation of the strategy (127).

The final evaluation of the strategy, published in 2013, shows little evidence of any tangible results of reformulation commitments (128). The Commissioner concluded that efforts needed to be reinforced.

The evaluations of the strategy therefore suggest a disappointing performance in terms of reformulation efforts when compared to the initial expectations in the 2007 White Paper.

The food industry itself has outlined the significant challenges it faces when reformulating food products.

Would the Commission agree that new ways of achieving the strategy’s objectives need to be considered?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(7 April 2014)

The EU Strategy for Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues (129) has been pivotal in the coordination of action in the area of food reformulation.

As the Honourable Member notes, it underwent an independent evaluation, published in 2013. The added value of joint work at EU level, the efficacy of the strategy and the case for its continuation were made clear by the evaluators, whilst a strengthened focus on promotion of physical activity and on fighting against health inequalities was suggested.

The High Level Group for Nutrition and Physical Activity (130) agreed in February 2011 a common EU framework on the reduction of nutrients that translates in several food reformulation initiatives in the Member States.

Food reformulation is also a core priority for the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (131). The online database of the currently has 8 completed and 21 active commitments on food reformulation. Although the commitments in the areas of reformulation are having an impact, the Commission agrees that the efforts and results in this area can and should be increased.

Both the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health continue to provide fora to exchange solutions and discuss novel ways to achieve the strategy's objectives, reformulation included.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002348/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Malnutrizione in Pakistan: la fame nascosta

Il Pakistan presenta un allarmante livello di malnutrizione, con un tasso di denutrizione pari al 24 % tra la sua popolazione. Da un'indagine svolta dall'Organizzazione mondiale della sanità emerge che, in Pakistan, il 40 % dei bambini in età prescolare (da 0 a 5 anni) è sottopeso. Spesso questi bambini continuano a essere deboli e denutriti per tutta la loro vita. Secondo le stime più recenti dell'Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'alimentazione e l'agricoltura, 37,5 milioni di persone in Pakistan non ricevono un'alimentazione adeguata. Il vicerettore dell'Università Islamia di Bahawalpur, Muhammad Mukhtar, ha affermato lunedì 24 febbraio 2014 che il Pakistan è uno dei tre paesi in cui si concentra la metà di tutte le donne e di tutti i bambini malnutriti del mondo.

Può la Commissione far sapere se l'Unione europea sta monitorando il numero in rapido aumento di donne e bambini malnutriti in Pakistan?

Quali misure intende adottare l'Unione per assistere il governo pakistano nel garantire il rispetto dei diritti dei suoi cittadini, in particolare il diritto di accesso al cibo?

Intende l'Unione richiedere informazioni al governo pakistano per quanto riguarda la destinazione dei fondi che essa fornisce al paese e per sapere se tali fondi sono resi disponibili per fornire nutrimento adeguato ai Pakistani che ne hanno maggiormente bisogno?

Risposta di Andris Piebalgs a nome della Commissione

(30 aprile 2014)

1.

L'UE sta monitorando il numero in rapido aumento di donne e bambini malnutriti in Pakistan. Il governo pakistano ha dimostrato il proprio impegno a migliorare la nutrizione in termini sia finanziari che di strategia politica, in particolare aderendo al Movimento Scaling-up Nutrition (SUN) a metà del 2013.

2.

L'UE ha affrontato già la questione dei diritti dei cittadini e dell'accesso al cibo e del deteriorarsi della situazione nutrizionale i) all'indomani delle inondazioni nel 2010 e continuerà a farlo ii) per il periodo di programmazione 2014-2020, come previsto nel programma indicativo pluriennale.

A seguito delle inondazioni l'UE ha avviato, tra l'altro, un programma di sicurezza alimentare finanziato dal bilancio tematico, nonché i programmi ECHO. Tali programmi verificano la situazione in alcune delle zone più colpite e forniscono le necessarie misure preventive e di sostegno. Vengono utilizzati diversi strumenti: SQUEAC (Semi Quantitative Evaluation of Access and Coverage), SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions), IPC (Integrated Phase Classification), LRA (Livelihood Recovery Appraisals), Household Economy Assessment e Cost of Diet assessments.

Inoltre, si propone di integrare un sostegno sostanziale a favore della nutrizione nell'ambito dello sviluppo rurale a partire dal periodo 2014-2020.

3.Quale membro importante della comunità internazionale dei donatori, l'UE sta promuovendo un dialogo strategico proattivo con il governo del Pakistan, che integra il tema della nutrizione nel dialogo sull'assistenza sanitaria di base e sulle reti di sicurezza sociale. Ne è conseguita una maggiore consapevolezza da parte del governo. Tra le altre misure, il governo ha pubblicato il sondaggio sulla nutrizione del 2011 e ha avviato una serie di programmi in campo nutrizionale.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002348/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Malnutrition in Pakistan: the hidden hunger

Pakistan has an alarmingly high level of malnutrition, with 24% of the population being undernourished. A survey by the World Health Organisation shows that the share of underweight pre-school children (0-5 years of age) in Pakistan is 40%. Such children often remain weak and undernourished throughout life. The most recent estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation state that 37.5 million people in Pakistan are not receiving proper nourishment. Vice-Chancellor of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Muhammad Mukhtar, said on Monday, 24 February 2014 that Pakistan was among the three countries that accounted for half of all malnourished women and children in the world.

Is the EU monitoring the rapidly rising number of malnourished children and women in Pakistan?

What steps is the EU taking to assist the Pakistani Government in respecting the rights of its citizens and especially the right of access to food?

Is the EU requesting information from the Government of Pakistan regarding the allocation of the funds it is providing to Pakistan and whether such funds are being made available to provide proper nutrition to the people of Pakistan who most need it?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(30 April 2014)

1.

The EU is monitoring the rapidly rising number of malnourished children and women in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan demonstrated its commitment to improving nutrition both from a policy and a financial perspective inter alia by joining the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in mid-2013.

2.

The EU was already addressing the citizens’ rights and access to food and the deteriorating nutrition situation (i) in the wake of the floods in 2010 and will continue to do so (ii) for the programming period from 2014-2020, as laid down in the draft MIP.

Following the floods, the EU initiated, amongst other responses, a Food Security programme from the thematic budget and ECHO-programmes. These are monitoring the situation in several of the worst affected districts and providing the necessary preventive and relief measures. Different means and tools are used — Semi Quantitative Evaluation of Access and Coverage (SQUEAC) and Standardised Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) surveys, Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), Livelihood Recovery Appraisals (LRAs) and Household Economy Assessment and Cost of Diet assessments.

In addition, it is proposed that from 2014-2020 substantial support for nutrition will be integrated in rural development.

3.

As an important member of the international donor community, the EU is promoting a pro-active policy dialogue and approach with the Government of Pakistan. It includes nutrition in the dialogue on primary healthcare and social safety nets. This has resulted in greater awareness on the government side. Amongst other measures, the government has released the 2011 nutrition survey and initiated a number of nutrition programmes.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002349/14

alla Commissione

Matteo Salvini (EFD) e Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Problematiche relative ai lavoratori del settore dell'autotrasporto

Sempre più spesso i Parlamentari europei sono avvicinati da lavoratori, organizzazioni sindacali e piccole imprese che denunciano una situazione insostenibile circa la libera prestazione nel settore dell'autotrasporto.

Al momento, le istituzioni europee sono coinvolte nel processo di riforma della direttiva 71 del 1996 relativa al distacco dei lavoratori nell'ambito di una prestazione di servizi.

È sotto gli occhi di tutti il fatto che l'attuale normativa si presta a numerosi abusi e che i media e i lavoratori si riferiscono ormai a una «guerra tra poveri»: da una parte i lavoratori dell'Europa occidentale, dall'altra quelli dell'Est.

Purtroppo sono numerosi i casi di speculazioni da parte di alcuni imprenditori senza scrupoli che ricattano i camionisti italiani proponendo loro di adeguarsi agli stipendi medi di paesi dell'Est, pena il licenziamento.

Indubbiamente, a gravare su questa situazione, vi è anche un ordinamento italiano che incide molto sul costo del lavoro per le aziende e non opera un sufficiente numero di controlli sul rispetto delle norme relative alla circolazione stradale e alla libera prestazione lavorativa nell'Unione.

Alla fine, a rimetterci sono sempre più il salario e la dignità dei lavoratori. Inoltre, la speculazione al ribasso in un settore legato al trasporto su strada, con l'espulsione dal lavoro di camionisti dalla provata esperienza, sta provocando conseguenze anche per la stessa sicurezza degli altri utenti della strada.

La Commissione è consapevole del fatto che, vista la situazione di grande squilibrio economico e la differenza di costo della vita tra paesi dell'Est e dell'Ovest, le norme della direttiva 71/1996 hanno, nei fatti, creato una situazione di dumping sociale molto forte all'interno della stessa Unione europea?

Quali studi o dati concreti inducono la Commissione a ritenere che, con la proposta legislativa del 2012, gli abusi che sono stati finora tollerati, specialmente da parte di alcuni Stati membri e aziende, verranno meno?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(28 aprile 2014)

La direttiva 96/71/CE (132) è fondamentale per prevenire la corsa al ribasso delle condizioni di lavoro nell'UE. Essa impone agli Stati membri (SM) di applicare un insieme di diritti fondamentali del lavoro, comprese le tariffe minime salariali, anche ai lavoratori distaccati nel loro territorio qualora tali condizioni siano stabilite da disposizioni legislative, regolamentari o amministrative. Gli Stati membri hanno anche la possibilità (o, nel settore dell'edilizia, l'obbligo) di applicare le tariffe minime salariali stabilite dai contratti collettivi dichiarati universalmente applicabili. Tuttavia, il controllo e l'applicazione di tali condizioni di lavoro sono di competenza degli Stati membri.

Prima di adottare la proposta di direttiva di applicazione (133) la Commissione ha condotto una valutazione d'impatto dettagliata (134), sostenuta da diversi studi (135). Essa indica chiaramente che l'intervento normativo sarebbe l'opzione più efficace per tutelare i diritti dei lavoratori distaccati, in particolare se riduce le possibilità dei datori di lavoro senza scrupoli di abusare o di eludere la legislazione applicabile.

L'UE ha inoltre elaborato una legislazione sociale specifica al settore del trasporto di merci su strada. Queste disposizioni (in materia di tempi di guida e di riposo dei conducenti, di orario di lavoro e di applicazione delle regole) sono volte a garantire una concorrenza senza distorsioni, a migliorare le condizioni di lavoro dei conducenti e ad aumentare la sicurezza stradale. Sebbene l'applicazione della normativa rimanga di competenza degli Stati membri, la Commissione collabora strettamente con le autorità nazionali per garantire un'interpretazione comune delle regole esistenti (136). Anche la qualificazione dei conducenti di veicoli adibiti al trasporto su strada è soggetta a norme europee specifiche miranti a garantire livelli elevati di competenza professionale (137). Infine, tendenzialmente si stanno riducendo le differenze tra Stati membri nei costi per il trasporto di merci su strada (138).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002349/14

to the Commission

Matteo Salvini (EFD) and Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Issues concerning workers in the road-haulage industry

MEPs are being approached more and more often by workers, trade unions and small businesses complaining about the untenable situation concerning the freedom to provide services in the road-haulage industry.

The European institutions are currently involved in the reform of Directive 71/1996/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.

It is abundantly clear that the current regulation is open to all sorts of abuse, and the media and workers are now talking about a ‘war between the poor’, pitting the workers of western and eastern Europe against each other.

Unfortunately, there are many cases of speculation on the part of some unscrupulous businessmen, who are blackmailing Italian lorry drivers, telling them either to accept average eastern-European pay or risk losing their job.

There is little doubt that this situation is also being aggravated by the Italian system, which has a major impact on the cost of labour for businesses and fails to implement sufficient controls concerning respect of the rules governing road traffic and the free provision of labour in the EU.

In the end, it is the workers who are losing out, in terms of both their pay and their dignity. Furthermore, bearish speculation in an industry linked to road transport, which is leading to the removal from the workforce of lorry drivers with proven experience, is having consequences, including putting the safety of other road users at risk.

Is the Commission aware of the fact that the major economic imbalance and difference in the cost of living between the countries of eastern and western Europe mean that the rules laid down by Directive 71/1996/EC have, in fact, created a very serious situation of social dumping within the European Union?

Which concrete data or studies are leading the Commission to believe that the legislative proposal of 2012 will lead to a reduction in the abuses that have until now been tolerated, particularly on the part of certain Member States and businesses?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

Directive 96/71/EC (139) is key for preventing a race to the bottom as regards working conditions in the EU. It obliges Member States (MS) to apply a core of employment rights, including minimum rates of pay, to workers posted to their territory where those conditions are laid down by law, regulation or administrative provision. The MS also have the option (or obligation in the construction sector) to apply the minimum rates of pay laid down in collective agreements that have been declared universally applicable. However, the monitoring and enforcement of such working conditions fall within the competence of the MS.

The Commission conducted a detailed impact assessment (140), supported by several studies (141), before adopting its proposal (142) for an enforcement directive. It clearly indicates that regulatory intervention would be the most effective option for protecting the rights of posted workers better, in particular by narrowing the scope for unscrupulous employers to misuse or circumvent the legislation applicable.

The EU has also developed social legislation specific to the road haulage sector. These rules (in the fields of driving time and rest periods, working time and enforcement) are designed to ensure undistorted competition, improve the working conditions of drivers and increase road safety. While the enforcement of this legislation remains the competence of MS, the Commission works closely with national authorities to ensure a common understanding of the existing rules (143). The qualification of road transport drivers is also subject to specific EU rules aimed at ensuring high levels of professional competence (144). Finally, the differences in cost levels between MS in the road haulage appear to be reducing (145).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002350/14

alla Commissione

Matteo Salvini (EFD) e Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Riduzione dei poteri di controllo degli Stati membri nell'ambito del distacco dei lavoratori da uno Stato all'altro

Nella proposta di revisione della direttiva 96/71/CE sul distacco dei lavoratori nell'ambito della libera prestazione di servizi, la Commissione ha disposto la riduzione dei poteri di controllo imponibili da uno Stato ospite, in particolare nell'articolo 9 che riduce in maniera stringente le possibili misure imponibili (l'articolo stabilisce infatti che «solo» le misure incluse nella lista successiva potranno essere imposte). La Commissione ha giustificato tale riduzione ritenendo che eventuali abusi saranno evitati grazie alla cooperazione tra le autorità dello Stato di origine dei lavoratori distaccati e le autorità dello Stato ospite.

Tuttavia, nella comunicazione del 2007 intitolata: «Distacco di lavoratori nell'ambito della prestazione di servizi — Massimizzarne i vantaggi e le potenzialità garantendo la tutela dei lavoratori» (COM(2007) 0304), la Commissione affermava che:

Per quanto riguarda la cooperazione tra Stati membri l'esiguo numero di contatti stabiliti mediante gli uffici di collegamento istituiti dall'articolo 4 della direttiva indica che gli Stati membri ignorano questa forma di cooperazione.

Analogamente, nella raccomandazione 2008/C 85/01, la Commissione affermava che:

Nonostante i miglioramenti realizzati in termini di accesso alle informazioni, vi sono ancora giustificate preoccupazioni per quanto riguarda il modo in cui gli Stati membri hanno attuato e/o applicato in pratica le regole della cooperazione amministrativa secondo quanto stabilito dalla direttiva 96/71/CE.

Alla luce delle precedenti considerazioni, può la Commissione spiegare perché ha chiesto una riduzione delle misure di controllo imponibili dagli Stati ospiti, quando le sue stesse stime dimostrano che la cooperazione tra i governi nazionali non è affidabile, e non può quindi giustificare la limitazione dei poteri di controllo degli Stati ospiti?

Risposta di László Andor a nome della Commissione

(29 aprile 2014)

La proposta della Commissione (146) relativa a una direttiva di applicazione per migliorare l'attuazione e l'applicazione della direttiva 96/71/CE (147) sottolinea il legame fra un sistema organizzato di cooperazione e di scambio delle informazioni e la possibilità per gli Stati membri di applicare talune misure di controllo. Sia lo Stato membro di stabilimento che lo Stato membro ospitante devono collaborare per far funzionare efficacemente il sistema di cooperazione e di scambio delle informazioni. La proposta comprende numerose disposizioni volte a correggere i problemi noti in materia di cooperazione tra gli Stati membri.

La proposta della Commissione non riduce le competenze degli Stati membri in materia di misure di controllo nazionali, ma tiene conto della giurisprudenza della Corte di giustizia europea in quest'ambito. L'accordo provvisorio raggiunto tra il Parlamento europeo e il Consiglio nei negoziati a tre con la Commissione riconosce che, qualora situazioni o sviluppi nuovi indichino l'insufficienza o l'inefficacia delle misure esistenti, gli Stati membri hanno la facoltà di stabilire altri obblighi purché siano giustificati e proporzionati.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002350/14

to the Commission

Matteo Salvini (EFD) and Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Reduction of the powers of control of the Member States with regard to the posting of workers from one Member State to another

In its proposed revision of Directive 96/71/EC on the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services, the Commission stipulated that the powers of control of a host Member State are to be reduced — in particular in Article 9, which dramatically reduces possible control measures (the article states, in fact, that ‘only’ the measures included in the subsequent list may be imposed). The Commission justified this reduction by expressing the view that any abuses would be prevented by cooperation between the authorities of the country of origin of the posted workers and the authorities of the host country.

However, in its 2007 Communication entitled ‘Posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services — maximising its benefits and potential while guaranteeing the protection of workers’ (COM(2007) 0304), the Commission stated the following:

‘As to the cooperation among Member States, the very small number of contacts made through liaison offices, established in Article 4 of the directive, indicates that Member States ignore this form of cooperation. ’

Likewise, in Recommendation 2008/C 85/01, the Commission stated:

‘Notwithstanding improvements in terms of access to information, there are still justified concerns as to the way the Member States have implemented and/or apply in practice the rules on administrative cooperation as provided for by Directive 96/71/EC.’

Can the Commission therefore explain why it has called for a reduction of control measures on the part of host countries when, by its own admission, cooperation between national governments is not reliable and cannot therefore justify the limitation of the powers of control of host countries?

Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

The Commission proposal (148) for an enforcement directive to improve the implementation, application and enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC (149) underlines the link between the existence of an organised system for cooperation and exchange of information and the possibility for Member States to apply certain control measures. Both the Member State of establishment and the host Member State need to work together for a system for cooperation and exchange of information to function effectively. The proposal contains extensive provisions to rectify recognised shortcomings in cooperation among the Member States.

The Commission proposal does not diminish the Member States’ competence for national control measures, but takes account of the European Court of Justice’s case-law on these issues. The provisional agreement reached between Parliament and the Council in three-way negotiations with the Commission acknowledges that, where situations or new developments appear to show that existing measures are insufficient or ineffective, the Member States may impose other administrative requirements and control measures, provided that they are justified and proportionate.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002351/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Nuovo farmaco per la cura della fibrillazione atriale non valvolare

Recentemente un nuovo farmaco anticoagulante, inibitore diretto del fattore Xa, da ingerire per via orale, è stato riconosciuto dalle competenti autorità in Italia come utile per la prevenzione dell'ictus e dell'embolia sistemica nei pazienti adulti affetti da fibrillazione atriale non valvolare (FANV), qualora presentino uno o più dei seguenti fattori di rischio: un precedente ictus o un attacco ischemico transitorio (TIA), età pari o superiore ai 75 anni, ipertensione, diabete mellito, scompenso cardiaco sintomatico. Il farmaco si è dimostrato in grado di ridurre in modo significativo il rischio di ictus, embolia e emorragie e di ridurre il tasso di mortalità da tutte le cause. Recenti studi hanno valutato l'efficacia e la sicurezza del farmaco non solo rispetto alle terapie standard a base di antagonisti della vitamina K come warfarin, ma anche, per la prima volta, rispetto all'aspirina.

Secondo alcuni esperti il farmaco ha dimostrato di essere superiore ai farmaci attualmente in uso in termini di efficacia e sicurezza riducendo del 21 % gli eventi annuali di ictus e di embolia sistemica, del 31 % il rischio di sanguinamenti maggiori e dell'11 % la mortalità. È risultato efficace anche nella riduzione delle emorragie intracraniche. La somministrazione del farmaco ha ridotto anche i casi di ospedalizzazione per eventi cardiovascolari, mentre la percentuale di abbandono della terapia è stata sensibilmente minore rispetto a quella riscontrata con il trattamento a base di aspirina.

La fibrillazione atriale è la forma più diffusa di aritmia cardiaca e è caratterizzata da un'attivazione caotica e continuamente variabile degli atri. Ha una prevalenza che raggiunge il 5 % della popolazione nell'età avanzata, sfiorando il 20 % negli individui di età superiore agli 85 anni. È una delle patologie cardiache a maggior rischio di tromboembolie sistemiche e di ictus, che rappresenta la più frequente e drammatica manifestazione embolica correlata a questa aritmia: i pazienti con FANV presentano, infatti, un rischio sino a cinque volte superiore di sviluppare un ictus.

Può la Commissione riferire se intende acquisire e valutare i risultati di tale studio e fornire raccomandazioni su possibili revisioni relative le linee guida?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(9 aprile 2014)

La Commissione ha di recente concesso autorizzazioni per tutto il territorio dell'UE a tre anticoagulanti orali per la prevenzione di ictus ed embolia sistemica in pazienti adulti con fibrillazione atriale non valvolare: Pradaxa (dabigatran) e Xarelto (rivaroxaban) nel 2011 ed Eliquis (apixaban) nel 2012.

La domanda del detentore dell'autorizzazione alla commercializzazione per una estensione della indicazione dell'Eliquis nella prevenzione della fibrillazione atriale conteneva inoltre dati di supporto derivanti da uno studio AVERROES. In questo studio, i risultati relativi a pazienti trattati con apixaban erano messi a confronto con quelli di pazienti che assumevano aspirina. Ulteriori informazioni sulla valutazione scientifica dello studio AVERROES sono disponibili nella relazione pubblica europea di valutazione (EPAR) (150). I risultati dello studio AVERROES sono stati inseriti nel sommario delle caratteristiche di prodotto di Eliquis (151), che costituisce parte della sua autorizzazione alla commercializzazione.

Gli orientamenti normativi dell'Agenzia europea per i medicinali relativi alla ricerca clinica sui prodotti medicinali destinati alla prevenzione dell'ictus e dell'embolia sistemica in pazienti con fibrillazione atriale non valvolare (152) sono attualmente in corso di revisione allo scopo di riflettere l'evoluzione delle conoscenze scientifiche e delle esperienze ottenute in rapporto alla recente approvazione dei tre anticoagulanti orali. Il progetto di proposta è stato oggetto di consultazione pubblica sino al 15 gennaio 2014. Dopo un esame dei commenti pervenuti, si prevede che la versione definitiva sarà pubblicata nel corso di quest'anno.

L'elaborazione e l'attuazione di orientamenti terapeutici rientrano tuttavia nella sfera di competenza degli Stati membri.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002351/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: New drug to treat non-valvular atrial fibrillation

A new anticoagulant drug, a direct factor Xa inhibitor, to be taken orally, has recently been recognised by the competent authorities in Italy as helpful in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients suffering from non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) who have one or more of the following risk factors: a previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), age of 75 years or over, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, symptomatic heart failure. The drug has proved effective in significantly reducing the risk of stroke, embolism and haemorrhage and in reducing deaths from all causes. Recent studies have assessed the drug’s effectiveness and safety, not only in comparison with standard treatments based on vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin, but also, for the first time, in comparison with aspirin.

According to some experts, the drug has proved to be both safer and more effective than the drugs currently being used, cutting annual incidents of stroke and systemic embolism by 21%, the risk of major bleeds by 31% and mortality by 11%. It has also proved effective in reducing intracranial haemorrhages. Administration of the drug has also cut the number of hospitalisations for cardiovascular incidents, whilst the rate of abandonment of treatment has been significantly lower than in the case of aspirin-based treatment.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia and involves chaotic and constantly variable activation of the atria. It affects 5% of elderly people, rising to 20% of people over the age of 85. It is one of the heart diseases with the greatest risk of systemic thromboembolism and stroke, which is the most common and dramatic embolic manifestation associated with this form of arrhythmia: patients with NVAF are up to five times more likely to have a stroke.

Can the Commission clarify whether it is intending to obtain and assess the results of this study and make recommendations regarding possible changes to the guidelines?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

The Commission has recently granted EU-wide authorisations for three oral anticoagulants for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation: Pradaxa (dabigatran) and Xarelto (rivaroxaban) in 2011 and Eliquis (apixaban) in 2012.

The marketing authorisation holder’s application for extension of indication of Eliquis in the prevention of atrial fibrillation contained also supportive data from a study Averroes. In this study, outcomes in patients treated by apixaban were compared with those of patients taking aspirin. Further information on the scientific evaluation of the Averroes study is available in the European public assessment report (153). The results of the Averroes study have been included in the Summary of product characteristics of Eliquis (154), which is part of its marketing authorisation

The European Medicines Agency’s regulatory guidelineon clinical investigation of medicinal products for prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (155) is currently being revised to reflect the evolution of the scientific knowledge and the experience gained on the recent approval of the three oral anticoagulants. The draft proposal was subject to public consultation up to 15 January 2014. After review of the comments a final version is expected to be published later this year.

However, development and implementation of therapeutic guidelines is the competence of Member States.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002352/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Energy drink e marketing pubblicitario: quale tutela per il consumatore? Rischio di violazione del regolamento (CE) n. 1924/2006

Di recente è apparso su numerose riviste, ed è stato diffuso grazie a Twitter, un avviso pubblicitario per la promozione di una nota bevanda energizzante. La foto ritrae un astuccio semiaperto e, al suo interno, la bibita in lattina e una frase: «Quello che non deve mai mancare nel tuo astuccio per superare la sessione d’esami.#ti mette le ali».

Si tratta di uno dei tipici messaggi pubblicitari per una bibita che si presenta al pubblico come un prodotto eccitante e trasgressivo.

Questa volta il messaggio pubblicitario è destinato ai consumatori più giovani, poiché sembrerebbe mettere in relazione una tazzina di caffè diluita con acqua e zucchero, come fanno milioni di studenti universitari, con la sessione di esami.

È nota la relazione tra le bibite energizzanti e il rischio di alcune gravi patologie. Il regolamento (CE) n. 1924/2006 prevede, fra l'altro, che non si possa «incoraggiare il consumo eccessivo di un alimento» né «fare riferimento a cambiamenti delle funzioni corporee che potrebbero sfruttare timori nel consumatore», né «affermare, suggerire o sottintendere che una dieta equilibrata e varia non possa in generale fornire quantità adeguate di tutte le sostanze nutritive».

Ciò premesso, non ritiene la Commissione che il messaggio contenuto nell'avviso pubblicitario menzionato induca i consumatori, e soprattutto i più giovani, a pensare che il consumo della bevanda sia indispensabile per ottenere un buon risultato agli esami, sfruttando il timore di non aver fatto tutto il possibile?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(3 aprile 2014)

La Commissione desidera ribadire che le disposizioni della direttiva 2000/13/CE (156) stabiliscono che l'etichettatura e le relative modalità di realizzazione non devono essere tali da indurre in errore l'acquirente, specialmente per quanto riguarda le caratteristiche del prodotto alimentare e, in particolare, la natura, l'identità, le qualità, la composizione o attribuendo al prodotto alimentare effetti o proprietà che non possiede.

Oltre a queste disposizioni generali, il regolamento (CE) n. 1924/2006 (157) prevede che sul mercato unionale possano figurare soltanto le indicazioni debitamente autorizzate, a condizione che vengano rispettate le condizioni specifiche di applicazione e le eventuali limitazioni di applicazione nonché le condizioni generali di applicazione delle indicazioni stabilite in detto regolamento. Il registro unionale delle indicazioni nutrizionali e sulla salute (158) elenca tutte le indicazioni sulla salute autorizzate, non autorizzate e «in sospeso» nonché tutte le indicazioni nutrizionali consentite.

Pertanto, tutte le informazioni fornite ai consumatori in merito alle caratteristiche di un prodotto alimentare, tra cui quello citato nell'interrogazione, devono essere fornite rispettando le disposizioni del regolamento (CE) n. 1924/2006 nonché quelle della direttiva 2000/13/CE.

La Commissione desidera inoltre rammentare agli Onorevoli deputati che spetta agli Stati membri far rispettare la normativa alimentare, nonché monitorare e verificare che i pertinenti requisiti della normativa alimentare siano rispettati dagli operatori del settore alimentare.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002352/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Energy drinks and advertising material: what protection is there for the consumer? Potential breach of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

An advertisement for a well-known energy drink has recently appeared in a number of Italian newspapers, and has also been doing the rounds on Twitter. It consists of a photograph of a semi-open pencil case concealing a can of the energy drink in question, above the slogan Quello che non-deve mai mancare nel tuo astuccio per superare la sessione d’esami. #ti mette le ali (If you want to pass your exams, make sure you always have this in your pencil case. #it gives you wings).

This is one of the typical promotional slogans that is used to make the public see the energy drink as an exciting and rule-breaking product.

This particular promotional slogan is aimed at younger consumers, since it appears to equate to a cup of espresso coffee that has been watered down and sweetened with sugar, which millions of university students drink during their exam periods.

Energy drinks are known to be associated with a number of serious health risks. Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 stipulates, among other things, that it is forbidden to ‘encourage excess consumption of a food’, or ‘refer to changes in bodily functions which could exploit fear in the consumer’ or ‘state, suggest or imply that a balanced and varied diet cannot provide appropriate quantities of nutrients in general’.

In light of the above, does the Commission not feel that the slogan used in the above-cited advertisement would make consumers — and especially younger consumers — believe that they simply have to consume this drink in order to get good results in their exams, thereby exploiting the fear of not doing everything possible to achieve such results?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2014)

The Commission would like to underline that the provisions of Directive 2000/13/EC (159) stipulate that the labelling and methods used must not be such as could mislead the purchaser to a material degree, particularly as to the characteristics of the foodstuff and, in particular, as to its nature, identity, properties, composition or by attributing to the foodstuff effects or properties which it does not possess.

In addition to these general provisions, Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (160) foresees that only authorised claims may appear on the EU market, provided that the specific conditions of use and any restrictions of use are respected, as well as the general conditions for use of claims set out in that regulation. The EU Register of nutrition and health claims (161) lists all authorised, non-authorised and on ‘hold’ health claims as well as all permitted nutrition claims.

Therefore, any information provided to consumers about the characteristics of a food, including this in question, should be given in compliance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 and should also respect the provisions of Directive 2000/13/EC.

Finally, the Commission would like to remind the Honourable Members that Member States are responsible for enforcing food law, monitoring and verifying that the relevant requirements of food law are fulfilled by food business operators.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002353/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: 2013, anno nero per l'eolico: oltre 10mila posti di lavoro in meno e numerose aziende in fallimento

Il 2013 ha rappresentato per l'energia eolica un anno nero. La performance mette in evidenza, secondo quanto denunciato dalle associazioni di settore, un calo della nuova potenza di oltre il 65 % rispetto al 2012. Il 2013 si chiude, infatti, con un totale installato di 8 551 MegaWatt, con un incremento complessivo inferiore ai 450 MW, contro i 1 272,8 MW installati nel 2012. Il minieolico, con un trend positivo ma non ancora sufficiente, ha raggiunto invece i 20 MW complessivi di potenza installata.

Il risultato deludente è connesso ai nuovi meccanismi di incentivazione posti in essere con il sistema delle aste e dei registri; l'attuale normativa rischia di compromettere un settore con enormi potenzialità che, diversamente, incrementerebbe la crescita economica (nell'ambito dell'export), occupazionale (creando un'industria solida) e apporterebbe significativi benefici ambientali.

È per questo motivo che le associazioni di settore richiedono un tempestivo intervento del governo italiano per evitare che il settore eolico possa subire un'ulteriore contrazione, prendendo atto che le norme approvate negli scorsi anni stanno comportando un blocco del settore e che hanno già avuto come effetto la riduzione della forza lavoro di oltre 10 000 occupati.

Considerato che:

l'esecutivo deve intervenire, quanto prima, con politiche mirate che spostino gli incentivi dalla bolletta a meccanismi fiscali, definendo il quadro regolatore post 2015 per consentire la sopravvivenza di un settore strategico per la Green Economy;

l'Italia ha l'obiettivo vincolante di coprire con energia prodotta da fonti rinnovabili il 17 % dei consumi lordi nazionali, secondo quanto disposto dal Piano di Azione Nazionale, previsto dalla direttiva 2009/28/CE del Parlamento europeo.

Può la Commissione far sapere se intende prendere provvedimenti per la definizione di un quadro normativo che attragga gli investimenti necessari a sfruttare il know how che l'Italia ha nel sopraindicato settore e che deve valorizzare in chiave europea?

Risposta di Günther Oettinger a nome della Commissione

(9 aprile 2014)

A norma della direttiva 2009/28/CE sull'energia da fonti rinnovabili, spetta agli Stati membri introdurre misure efficacemente predisposte per conseguire i propri obiettivi nazionali in materia energia rinnovabile.

Secondo gli ultimi dati Eurostat, l'Italia è sulla buona strada per raggiungere il proprio obiettivo del 17 % entro il 2020. Nel 2012 la quota di energia da fonti rinnovabili sul consumo finale di energia ha raggiunto il 13,5 %, ben al di sopra del livello indicativo pari al 7,6 % nel biennio 2011-2012 previsto dalla direttiva 2009/28/CE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002353/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: 2013, a black year for wind energy, with over 10 thousand jobs cut and numerous company failures

2013 was a black year for wind energy. According to the relevant trade associations, its performance reveals a fall in new power of over 65% compared with 2012. In fact, 2013 ended with a total installed power of 8 551 megawatts, representing an overall rise of under 450 MW, compared to the figure of 272.8 MW installed in 2012. The trend in mini wind energy has been positive (although not yet sufficient), with a total installed power of 20 MW.

This disappointing result is associated with the new incentive mechanisms introduced under the auctions and registers system. The current regulations risk compromising a sector with huge potential, which would otherwise boost economic growth (in the context of export) and employment (by creating a solid industry) and bring significant environmental benefits.

It is for this reason that the relevant trade associations are calling for prompt intervention by the Italian Government to save the wind energy sector from further decline in view of the fact that regulations approved in recent years are creating a block in the sector and have already resulted in a workforce reduction of over 10 000 units.

Considering that:

the Executive is required to implement targeted policies as soon as possible to change the basis of the incentives system from the green certificate programme to fiscal mechanisms and define the post-2015 regulatory framework to allow a sector strategic to the green economy to survive;

according to its National Action Plan, Italy has the binding objective of sourcing 17% of gross national consumption from renewable energy sources, as provided for under Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament.

Can the Commission tell us whether it intends to take measures to define a regulative framework to attract the investment necessary to exploit Italy's know-how in the above sector with a view to its optimisation in the European context?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(9 April 2014)

According to Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy, Member States are competent for introducing effective measures designed to achieve their national renewable energy targets.

According to the latest Eurostat data, Italy is currently on track to achieve its 17% target by 2020. In 2012, the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption reached 13.5%, well above the 2011-2012 indicative milestone of 7.6% set out in Directive 2009/28/EC.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002354/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Mercati finanziari, investimenti e attrattive per i capitali extraeuropei legati al rilascio della residenza

Da inizio anno a oggi in Europa sono arrivati 77 358 miliardi di dollari, per via dei tumulti intorno alle economie emergenti, che hanno spinto gli investitori internazionali a cercare un'alternativa. L'Europa è risultata essere il giusto compromesso tra affidabilità e rendita. Se parte di tali investimenti sono stati diretti per questi motivi sul mercato azionario — che con eguale rapidità possono lasciare in caso di nuove tensioni — una fetta consistente è stata attratta grazie a politiche tese a creare rapporti più stabili con gli investitori messe in atto da Spagna e Portogallo in particolare.

La cosiddetta Golden Visa riguarda la concessione della residenza se si acquista una proprietà immobiliare del valore pari a almeno mezzo milione di euro, si trasferisce almeno un milione di euro in un conto corrente lusitano oppure si apre un'attività che crei almeno dieci posti di lavoro, con il vantaggio di poter viaggiare e fare affari in Europa e in Angola, ex colonia e partner commerciale storico di Lisbona.

Per ora i dati sembrano incoraggianti: le residenze acquisite nell'ultimo anno si sono assestate a quota 330 per 225 milioni di euro investiti. Nelle prime tre settimane del 2014 sono stati emessi 49 visti a fronte di impegni per 27 milioni di euro. I Paesi di provenienza dei nuovi portoghesi sono soprattutto Cina, Angola, Sud Africa, India, Russia, Brasile. Analoga la mossa di Madrid: da fine settembre scorso, chi investe nel mattone almeno 500mila euro ottiene la residenza, in questo caso permanente. L'ultima fetta di investimenti sembra arrivare dalle privatizzazioni degli asset statali di Portogallo, Spagna e Italia, apparentemente molto appetibili per gli investitori esteri.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se intende esprimere un parere riguardo a queste politiche di attrazione di capitali esteri e sulle eventuali ripercussioni negative dettate da ingerenze extracomunitarie su asset strategici degli Stati membri che potrebbero turbare la trasparenza e la concorrenza del mercato unico;

se intende esprimere un parere riguardo alla liceità di iniziative come il rilascio arbitrario di residenze comunitarie a soggetti extracomunitari, con relative libertà di movimento di persone e capitali all’interno dell'Unione europea?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(16 aprile 2014)

Per quanto riguarda il rilascio della residenza a cittadini di paesi terzi, la Commissione rinvia gli onorevoli parlamentari alle risposte fornite alle interrogazioni scritte E-000462/2013 e E-011252/2012.

La libertà fondamentale della libera circolazione dei capitali sancita dal trattato si applica all'interno dell'UE, ma anche nei confronti di investitori di paesi terzi. L'UE è pertanto, in linea di principio, aperta agli investimenti esteri, che possono contribuire alla crescita economica. Tuttavia, gli Stati membri possono limitare gli investimenti esteri per motivi di pubblica sicurezza e di ordine pubblico, ad esempio per timori relativi alla tutela dei loro asset strategici, a condizione che ciò risulti necessario e proporzionato per conseguire l'obiettivo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002354/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Financial markets, investments and attracting capital from outside the EU in exchange for residence permits

Since the beginning of the year, USD 77 358 billion have reached Europe because of the turmoil around the emerging economies, which has prompted international investors to look for an alternative. Europe has proven to be a good compromise between reliability and yield. While some of these investments have, for these reasons, been directed at the stock market — which can be abandoned equally promptly should fresh tensions arise — a large chunk of investment has been attracted to Europe thanks to policies, implemented by Spain and Portugal in particular, which seek to establish more stable relationships with investors.

So-called Golden Visas offer residence permits to those who buy a property worth at least half a million euro, who transfer at least one million euro to a Portuguese bank account, or who set up a business that creates at least ten jobs. This offers the advantage of being able to travel and do business in Europe and in Angola, a former colony and traditional business partner of Lisbon.

For now, the statistics seem encouraging: over the past year, 330 residence permits have been acquired against investments of EUR 225 million. In the first three weeks of 2014, 49 visas were issued against investment commitments to the tune of EUR 27 million. The new Portuguese residents come above all from China, Angola, South Africa, India, Russia and Brazil. A similar move has been made by Madrid: since the end of September 2013, anyone who invests at least EUR 500 000 in bricks and mortar will receive a residence permit — in this case a permanent one. The latest investments appear to be coming from the privatisation of state assets in Portugal, Spain and Italy, which are apparently very attractive to foreign investors.

1.

Will the Commission express an opinion on these policies to attract foreign capital and on the possible negative repercussions of non-EU interference in strategic assets of the Member States, which could be detrimental to transparency and competition in the single market;

2.

Will it express an opinion on the legality of measures such as the arbitrary issuing of EU residence permits to non-EU citizens, together with the relevant freedom of movement of people and capital within the European Union?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

With regard to the issuing of residence permits to non-EU citizens, the Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to written questions E-000462/2013 and E-011252/2012.

The fundamental freedom of free movement of capital enshrined in the Treaty applies within the EU but also in respect of third country investors. The EU is thus in principle open to foreign investment — which can contribute to economic growth. Yet Member States may limit foreign investments on grounds of public security and public policy, e.g. to address legitimate concerns relating to the protection of their strategic assets, provided that this is necessary and proportionate to achieve the aim.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002355/14

alla Commissione

Oreste Rossi (PPE) e Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Neutralità della reta alla luce di nuove concentrazioni di operatori e nuove formazioni di infrastrutture

L'acquisizione di Time Warner da parte di Comcast negli Stati Uniti sta sollevando alcuni interrogativi la cui importanza è stata finora sottovalutata. Quando si assiste a evoluzioni del libero mercato che generano forti concentrazioni i consumatori, o chi per loro, diventano sospettosi per i possibili effetti che si possono determinare su prezzi e qualità nei mercati a valle. Il fenomeno in oggetto, però, è quello del monopsonio ossia il potere duale del classico e ben noto monopolio. Un monopsonista perfetto è colui che gode del privilegio di essere l'unico compratore, per cui rappresenta una strozzatura per il mercato a monte. Alla fine del 2013 negli Usa i due terzi del traffico in Internet era già di natura video e veniva quasi tutto spartito fra Netflix (32 %) e Youtube (19 %). In Europa si osservano comportamenti simili, sia pure con un limitato ritardo.

Nel settembre 2013 la Commissione europea, dopo una lunga elaborazione e ampie consultazioni fra le imprese di settore, ha avviato una nuova normativa volta a promuovere la crescita dell'economia e la protezione del consumatore attraverso lo sviluppo dei servizi di telecomunicazione. Questa normativa prevede al contempo la salvaguardia della neutralità della rete e l'introduzione di un'importante innovazione: consentire agli operatori europei di introdurre, a fianco dei servizi cosiddetti «best effort», ossia aperti a tutti in condizioni di parità di trattamento, una nuova categoria di servizi a qualità garantita.

Secondo recenti dichiarazioni di capi di governo degli Stati membri sembra essere allo studio la formazione di un'infrastruttura «indipendente e affidabile» in campo delle telecomunicazioni internet per perseguire una maggiore protezione dei dati in Europa.

Può la Commissione far sapere:

se intende esprimere un parere riguardo ai possibili attacchi al concetto di neutralità della rete che è fondamentale per le tecnologie IT e il relativo mercato, messo sotto attacco stando ai fatti succitati;

se intende esprimere un parere riguardo alla fattibilità e desiderabilità di una rete Internet europea come auspicato recentemente?

Risposta di Neelie Kroes a nome della Commissione

(10 aprile 2014)

La Commissione europea ha sempre sottolineato il suo impegno a favore di una rete internet aperta e neutrale. Le intenzioni della Commissione a questo riguardo — contenute nella proposta di regolamento per realizzare un continente connesso (162) — garantiscono una rete internet veramente aperta e libera in quanto ai fornitori di accesso è proibito bloccare, rallentare, deteriorare o discriminare contenuti, applicazioni o servizi specifici o classi specifiche di contenuti, applicazioni e servizi, tranne che per un numero limitato di misure ragionevoli di gestione del traffico. In questi casi, la gestione del traffico deve essere trasparente, non discriminatoria e proporzionata.

Al fine di promuovere l’innovazione, la proposta consente ai fornitori di contenuti e applicazioni di concludere accordi sul rafforzamento della qualità necessari per la fornitura di servizi specializzati agli utenti finali. Tuttavia, i fornitori di accesso a internet non sono autorizzati a deteriorare la qualità dell’accesso alla rete con l'intento di spingere i cittadini o i fornitori di contenuti ad acquistare servizi specializzati. Le autorità nazionali di regolamentazione avranno la facoltà e l’obbligo di far rispettare questa prerogativa e di fissare standard di qualità minimi per i servizi di accesso ad internet, se necessario.

La Commissione è a conoscenza delle recenti proposte per la creazione di una rete internet europea e concorda sulla pressante necessità di orientarsi verso modelli di business digitali connotati da un elevato livello di sicurezza e con sede in Europa. Pertanto, all'interno di una più ampia politica industriale digitale, essa sostiene iniziative volte a migliorare le reti e a rafforzare la protezione dei dati e la sicurezza. Tuttavia, tali misure non dovrebbero limitare indebitamente il carattere aperto, unico e globale di internet, come indicato nella recente comunicazione COM(2014) 72, sulla governance e sulla politica di internet.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002355/14

to the Commission

Oreste Rossi (PPE) and Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Internet neutrality in the light of new combinations of operators and new infrastructures

The takeover of Time Warner by Comcast in the United States is causing questions to be asked, questions whose importance has so far been underestimated. When we witness changes in the free market which generate powerful combinations, consumers (or consumer representatives) become suspicious with regard to the potential effects on price and quality in downstream markets. However, the phenomenon we are witnessing is monopsony, that is the dual power of the well-known conventional monopoly. The perfect monopsonist is a person who enjoys the privilege of being the single buyer and therefore creates a bottleneck on the upstream market. By the end of 2013, two thirds of Internet traffic in the US consisted of video and was almost entirely split between Netflix (32%) and You Tube (19%). Similar behaviour has been observed in Europe, although it lags behind to some extent.

In September 2013, after lengthy preparation and exhaustive consultation with companies in the sector, the European Commission passed a new regulation, the aim of which was to promote growth in the economy and protect the consumer through the development of telecommunications services. The regulation also provides safeguards for Internet neutrality and introduces a major innovation which enables European operators to introduce a new category of guaranteed quality services alongside their ‘best efforts’ services (i.e. services open to all under conditions of parity of treatment).

The Heads of Government of Member States have recently announced that consideration is being given to the creation of an ‘independent and reliable’ infrastructure in the Internet telecommunications field in the interests of increased data protection in Europe.

Can the Commission answer the following questions:

Does it intend to express an opinion on possible attacks on the concept of Internet neutrality, fundamental to IT technologies and the market in question, and under threat as described above?

Does it intend to express an opinion on the feasibility and desirability of a European Internet, as recently envisaged?

Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

The European Commission has constantly emphasised its commitment to the open and neutral Internet. The Commission's proposals in this regard in the Connected Continent Regulation (163) guarantee a truly free and open Internet as Internet access providers are prohibited to block, slow down, degrade or discriminate against specific content, applications and services, or specific classes thereof, except in a very limited number of cases when reasonable traffic management can be applied. Traffic management in these cases has to be transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate.

In order to foster innovation, the proposal allows content and application providers to conclude agreements on enhanced quality which are necessary for the provision of specialised services to end-users. However, providers of Internet access are not allowed to degrade quality of Internet access to push citizens or content providers to buy specialised services. National regulatory authorities will have the power and obligation to enforce this, and to set minimum quality standards for Internet access services, if necessary.

The Commission is aware of recent proposals for the creation of a European Internet and agrees on the strong need for high-security and European-based digital business models. It therefore supports initiatives aimed at better networks, and better data protection and security on those networks, as part of a broader digital industrial policy. However, such measures should not unduly limit the open unique and global nature of the Internet, as described in the recent Communication on Internet policy and governance COM(2014) 72.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002356/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Applicazioni delle stampanti 3D

Le stampanti 3D stanno avendo una discreta diffusione e vengono utilizzate in diversi settori e per molteplici scopi. Negli Stati Uniti, hanno permesso di salvare la vita di un bimbo di 14 mesi, nato con una probabile tetralogia di Fallot ovvero una rara combinazione di quattro malformazioni congenite che comprendevano una trasposizione dei grossi vasi e un buco tra i ventricoli, per i quali rischiava addirittura la vita. Il chirurgo incaricato di operare il piccolo ha allora effettuato una Tac del cuore, per poi rivolgersi al Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Università di Louisville per trasferire le immagini della tac in un modello tridimensionale. La stampante del dipartimento ha così ricreato il cuore del bambino in laboratorio in scala 2:1, in modo da permettere al chirurgo di individuare il miglior metodo di intervento.

L'intervento si è concluso con successo e il metodo «3D» ha permesso di evitare incisioni inutili e di intervenire in maniera mirata.

Alla luce di questo intervento, può la Commissione chiarire se:

è a conoscenza del fatto descritto;

ritiene che le stampanti 3D possano avere un importante impatto anche in campo medico;

ha già preso in considerazioni le potenzialità di questi nuovi strumenti nei diversi settori produttivi e sociali?

Risposta di Máire Geoghegan-Quinn a nome della Commissione

(10 aprile 2014)

1.

La Commissione è consapevole del potenziale connesso all'uso delle stampanti 3D e si compiace del caso specifico riferito dall'onorevole deputato, ossia la creazione a fini chirurgici del modello tridimensionale del cuore di un bambino di 14 mesi affetto dalla tetralogia di Fallot.

2.

Allo stato attuale delle conoscenze, la tecnologia per la stampa 3D è uno strumento promettente per la fabbricazione di componenti complessi, in particolare tessuti biologici, ma è troppo presto per prevederne le ripercussioni future in campo medico. Nell'ambito del 7programma quadro per le attività di ricerca, sviluppo tecnologico e dimostrazione (7PQ 2007-2013), la Commissione sostiene tre progetti di ricerca che utilizzano la stampa 3D a fini medici. Due progetti, BIO-SCAFFOLDS (164) e RAPIDOS (165), utilizzano la stampa tridimensionale per lo sviluppo di costrutti tessutali ingegnerizzati per la rigenerazione ossea, mentre il progetto CASSAMOBILE (166) utilizza un modulo di stampa 3D per le guide di trapani ossei impiegati nella chirurgia ortopedica e nell'ortottica.

3.

Le stampanti 3D sono una delle «tecnologie di fabbricazione avanzate» individuate come priorità trasversale per gli investimenti nell'innovazione nel contesto della politica industriale dell'UE (167). Orizzonte 2020, il programma quadro di ricerca e innovazione (2014-2020) (168), offre opportunità di finanziamento ai consorzi di ricerca che si occupano della stampa tridimensionale, segnatamente nei settori «Tecnologie emergenti e future» (TEF) e «Leadership nelle tecnologie abilitanti e industriali», nonché nell'ambito della sfida sociale «Salute, evoluzione demografica e benessere» (169). È possibile ottenere informazioni sulle attuali possibilità di finanziamento attraverso il portale della Commissione europea dedicato alla ricerca e all'innovazione (170).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002356/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Applications of 3-D printers

3-D printers are enjoying moderate success and are used in a number of different sectors and for multiple purposes. In the United States they have made it possible to save the life of a 14-month old baby, born with a probable tetralogy of Fallot, that is a rare combination of four congenital heart defects including transposition of the great vessels and ventricular septal defect, which could prove fatal. The surgeon whose task was to operate on the baby then carried out CAT (computerised axial tomography) on the heart and approached the Department of Engineering at the University of Louisville to transfer the CAT images to a three-dimensional model. The department's 3-D printer thus recreated the heart of the baby in the laboratory on a scale of 2:1, enabling the surgeon to identify the best method of intervention.

The operation was completed successfully and the ‘3-D’ method made it possible to avoid unnecessary incisions and perform a targeted operation.

In the light of this operation, can the Commission tell us whether:

It is aware of the event described above?

It considers that 3-D printers could have a major impact in the medical field?

It has given consideration to the potential of these new tools in the various manufacturing and social sectors?

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

(10 April 2014)

1.

The Commission is aware of the potential related to the use of 3D-printing and is pleased to learn about the particular case mentioned by the Honourable Member, the creation of a 3D heart model of a 14 month old baby with tetralogy of Fallot for the purpose of surgery.

2.

At this state of knowledge the 3D-printing technology is a promising tool for manufacturing complex components including biological tissues, but it is too early to predict its future impact in the medical field. The Commission supports, under the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP7, 2007-2013), three research projects that use 3D-printing for medical purposes. Two projects, Bio-Scaffolds (171) and Rapidos (172), employ 3D-printing for the development of bone-forming tissue engineering constructs, the Cassamobile project (173) uses a 3D-printing module for bone drill guides for orthopaedic surgery as well as medical orthotics.

3.

3D-printers are one of the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Technologies’ which have been identified as a cross-cutting priority for investment in innovation in the context of the EUs industrial policy. (174) Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) (175), provides funding opportunities for research consortia dealing with 3D-printing notably within the areas ‘Future and Emerging Technologies’ (FET), ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’ and within the Societal Challenge ‘Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’ (176). Information on current funding opportunities can be obtained through the EC Research and Innovation Participant Portal (177).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002357/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Aumento della fiducia delle imprese in Italia e Europa

L'Istituto italiano di statistica (Istat) ha calcolato che la fiducia delle imprese questo mese ha toccato il picco massimo degli ultimi due anni. Si tratta del quarto aumento consecutivo a partire dall'ottobre 2011. Il miglioramento, che raggiunge 87,9 punti, è stato registrato in diversi settori, come i servizi di mercato, il commercio al dettaglio, le imprese manifatturiere e il settore edile. L'istituto ha anche registrato un miglioramento delle attese sull'occupazione da —23 a —21.

Alla luce di questi dati, può la Commissione chiarire se rispecchiano l'andamento medio europeo e se è possibile reperire dati analoghi per gli altri Stati membri dell'UE?

Risposta di Antonio Tajani a nome della Commissione

(14 aprile 2014)

I dati più recenti disponibili per l'indice del clima economico (Economic Sentiment Indicator — ESI) (178) per l'UE nel suo insieme indicano un aumento marginale di 0,2 punti (da 104,8 a 105,0) nel febbraio 2014. Questa tendenza generale rispecchia diversi sviluppi a livello di paese: l'ESI è migliorata in Italia (+2,4), nel Regno Unito (+1,0), nei Paesi Bassi (+0,6), in Germania (+0,4) e in Polonia (+0,3) mentre è rimasto stabile in Spagna e si è deteriorato in Francia (-1,4).

Su base settoriale i servizi e il commercio al dettaglio hanno manifestato sviluppi positivi mentre la fiducia dei consumatori è calata leggermente. Di converso, la fiducia dell'industria e dell'edilizia ha registrato soltanto cambiamenti marginali: queste differenze possono essere attribuite ad un livello quasi invariato di fiducia dell'industria sia in Polonia che nel Regno Unito ed a un deciso calo nella fiducia del settore della costruzione nel Regno Unito.

Secondo i risultati dell'indagine, nel febbraio 2014 le aspettative occupazionali su scala unionale sono state rivedute al rialzo per i servizi, ma sono rimaste virtualmente immutate nel commercio al dettaglio e sono peggiorate nell'industria e nella costruzione.

Dati più dettagliati possono essere scaricati dal seguente sito:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/time_series/index_en.htm (esi_nace2.xls)

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002357/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Business confidence improving in Italy and Europe

The Italian National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) has calculated that business confidence has this month reached its highest level in two years, with a fourth consecutive increase since October 2011. The improvement, to a reading of 87.9, has been observed in various industries, including market services, the retail trade, manufacturing and construction. The Institute has also observed an improvement in employment expectations, from ‐23 to ‐21.

Can the Commission clarify whether these figures reflect the general trend in Europe and whether it is possible to find similar data for the other EU Member States?

Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2014)

The latest available data for the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) (179) for the EU as a whole points to a marginal increase of 0.2 points (from 104.8 to 105.0) in February 2014. This general trend reflects different developments at country level: the ESI improved in Italy (+2.4), the UK (+1.0), the Netherlands (+0.6), Germany (+0.4) and Poland (+0.3) while it remained stable in Spain and deteriorated in France (-1.4).

On a sector basis, services and retail trade showed positive developments whilst confidence among consumers decreased slightly. In contrast, confidence in industry and construction showed only marginal changes: these differences can be attributed to an almost unchanged level of industrial confidence in both Poland and the UK and a marked decrease in construction confidence in the UK.

According to the survey results, EU-wide employment expectations in February 2014 were revised upwards in services, but they remained virtually unchanged in retail trade and worsened in industry and construction.

More detailed data can be downloaded from the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/time_series/index_en.htm (esi_nace2.xls)

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002358/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Libertà di stampa a Hong Kong

L'ex direttore di un quotidiano di Hong Kong, licenziato circa un mese fa tra le proteste di chi difende la libertà di stampa, è stato brutalmente assalito da due uomini dal volto coperto e armati di coltello che, dopo avergli sferrato sei coltellate, sono fuggiti in sella a una moto. Operato d'urgenza in ospedale, è stato dichiarato fuori pericolo, ma versa comunque in gravi condizioni e è in prognosi riservata. Prima di essere licenziato, il direttore Lau aveva partecipato all'inchiesta che ha rivelato enormi fondi di proprietà di diversi ricchi uomini d'affari e politici cinesi disponibili presso conti segreti in paradisi fiscali.

La libertà di stampa a Hong Kong è osteggiata più o meno apertamente da alcune élite locali e dalle autorità cinesi e questo non è il primo caso di un giornalista apertamente minacciato o vittima di intimidazioni fisiche. Questo caso rappresenta una escalation preoccupante, che ha portato la vittima in punto di morte.

In merito a quanto esposto, può la Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante riferire se Hong Kong gode di un regime particolare in materia di libertà di stampa e di espressione? Se questo è il caso, ha essa intrapreso un dialogo con le autorità locali di Hong Kong per discutere questo tema e favorire il rispetto dei diritti fondamentali in materia di libertà di stampa nella regione amministrativa speciale in questione?

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

(13 maggio 2014)

Secondo il principio «un paese, due sistemi», i residenti di Hong Kong godono della libertà di espressione e di associazione. I media, compresi quelli digitali, hanno preservato la propria libertà e continuano ad esprimere un'ampia gamma di opinioni. Tuttavia, cresce l'impressione, riportata anche nella relazione annuale dell'Associazione dei giornalisti di Hong Kong, che i media sia cartacei sia digitali si autocensurino, soprattutto nella copertura di argomenti che riguardano la Cina continentale.

L'UE segue da vicino le questioni relative alla libertà di stampa e ne discute periodicamente con il governo di Hong Kong e con interlocutori non governativi.

In seguito all'attentato alla vita del signor Kevin Lau, i capi missione UE accreditati a Hong Kong hanno rilasciato una dichiarazione per condannare l'accaduto. In questo contesto sono risultate particolarmente gradite le dichiarazioni del Capo dell'esecutivo a sostegno della libertà di stampa. L'UE continuerà a sollevare il tema della libertà di stampa ogni volta che lo riterrà necessario, in linea con la sua politica di sostegno e promozione dei diritti fondamentali a Hong Kong.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002358/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Press freedom in Hong Kong

The former chief editor of a Hong Kong daily newspaper, who was demoted about a month ago amidst protests from defenders of freedom of the press, has been brutally assaulted by two masked men carrying knives, who stabbed him six times before fleeing on a motorbike. Following an emergency operation, he was said to be out of danger but is still in a critical condition with an uncertain prognosis. Before being demoted, chief editor Lau had been involved in an investigation which revealed the enormous sums being held by various rich businessmen and Chinese politicians in secret offshore bank accounts.

Press freedom in Hong Kong is more or less openly opposed by several local elites and by the Chinese authorities, and this is not the first time a journalist has been openly threatened or subjected to physical intimidation. This near-fatal attack is a worrying escalation.

In view of this, can the Vice-President/High Commissioner clarify whether Hong Kong enjoys special status as regards freedom of the press and freedom of expression? If so, has the Vice-President/High Commissioner engaged in dialogue with the local authorities in Hong Kong to discuss the matter and promote respect of fundamental rights as regards press freedom in the special administrative region concerned?

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

(13 May 2014)

Under the the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Hong Kong residents enjoy the right of freedom of speech and association. The media, including the digital media, continues to be free and to give voice to a range of views. There is, however, a growing impression, recorded for instance in the annual report of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, that both the print and the electronic media exercise self-censorship, especially when covering affairs concerning Mainland China.

The EU closely monitors issues related to press freedom and engages with Hong Kong's Government as well as non-governmental interlocutors on a regular basis.

Following the attack against the life of Mr Kevin Lau, EU Heads of Mission accredited to Hong Kong issued a statement condemning the attack. Statements by the Chief Executive in support of media freedom were therefore very welcome in this context. The EU will continue to raise the issue of press freedom as necessary in line with its policy of supporting and promoting respect for fundamental rights in Hong Kong.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002359/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Nuova scoperta sulle proprietà dell'acido acetico in merito alla tubercolosi (tbc)

Una rivista biomedica statunitense ha pubblicato un articolo in cui si descrivono le proprietà dell'ingrediente attivo dell'aceto, l'acido acetico, in grado di uccidere diverse tipologie di micobatteri, inclusi alcuni altamente farmaco-resistenti della tbc, a concentrazioni anche di poco superiori a quelle del comune aceto da cucina.

La scoperta sarebbe avvenuta per caso durante alcuni test di sperimentazione di farmaci contro il microrganismo della tubercolosi. Le soluzioni di acido acetico potrebbero quindi essere usate come disinfettanti low-cost e non tossici in ambiente clinico, per la pulizia delle superfici su cui possono annidarsi questi germi.

La scoperta non potrà avere risvolti da un punto di vista epidemiologico, dato che la tbc è trasmissibile per via respiratoria, ma potrà comunque portare a soluzioni efficaci e low-cost nella disinfezione degli ambienti, soprattutto nei paesi in via di sviluppo, dove la tbc è maggiormente diffusa e i disinfettanti non sono facilmente abbordabili da un punto di vista economico.

In merito a quanto descritto, può la Commissione chiarire:

Se è a conoscenza della scoperta?

Se pensa che la scoperta possa avere risvolti interessanti anche sul mercato europeo?

In che misura la tbc è diffusa tra la popolazione dell'Unione?

Risposta di Tonio Borg a nome della Commissione

(22 aprile 2014)

L'aceto bianco distillato è noto come sostanza detergente nonché battericida e germicida.

L'acido acetico da utilizzare in ambienti clinici come disinfettante low cost non tossico è un biocida e pertanto rientra nel campo di applicazione del regolamento n. 528/2102 relativo alla messa a disposizione sul mercato e all'uso dei biocidi. I biocidi contenenti acido acetico sono ammissibili ad una procedura di autorizzazione semplificata.

È tuttavia necessario sottolineare che la disinfezione degli ambienti non è un fattore essenziale per ridurre la trasmissione della tubercolosi, essendo la trasmissione interumana la principale modalità di infezione. Le misure più efficaci per combattere la tubercolosi sono la diagnosi precoce e la cura corretta e rapida.

Nel 2012 sono stati segnalati 68 423 casi di tubercolosi in 29 paesi UE/SEE; una diminuzione del 6 % rispetto al 2011, che riflette un calo in 19 paesi. Il tasso di notifica dell'UE/SEE è stato di 13,5 casi ogni 100 000 abitanti. Ulteriori informazioni sono disponibili nel rapporto di sorveglianza «Controllo e monitoraggio della tubercolosi in Europa 2014 (180)».

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002359/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: New discovery on the properties of acetic acid in the treatment of tuberculosis (TBC)

An American biomedical journal has published an article describing the properties of the active ingredient of vinegar, acetic acid, which is capable of killing a number of different types of mycobacteria (including some which are highly drug-resistant) in TBC, at concentrations only slightly higher than those in common vinegar used in the kitchen.

The discovery was made by chance during trials on drugs against the tuberculosis microorganism. Acetic acid solutions could therefore be used as low-cost non-toxic disinfectants in the clinical environment to clean the surfaces on which such germs are liable to lurk.

The discovery can have no repercussions from an epidemiological viewpoint because TBC is transmissible through the respiratory system, but could however lead to effective low-cost solutions in terms of disinfection of the environment, in particular in the developing countries where TBC is rife and disinfectants not readily affordable in economic terms.

With regard to the situation described above, the Commission is asked the following questions:

Is it aware of this discovery?

Does it believe this discovery could also have advantageous repercussions on the European market?

To what extent is TBC present in the EU population?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 2014)

White distilled vinegar is a well-known substance to clean and to kill bacteria and germs.

Acetic acid for use in clinical environments as a low-cost non-toxic disinfectant is a biocidal product and falls therefore under the scope of Regulation 528/2102 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products. Biocidal products containing acetic acid are eligible for a simplified authorisation procedure.

However, it needs to be stressed that the cleaning environment is not a crucial factor to reduce the transmission of tuberculosis, where the human to human transmission is the most important way of infection. Early identification of patients and correct and rapid treatment are the most effective measures to fight tuberculosis.

In 2012, 68 423 cases of tuberculosis were reported in 29 EU/EEA countries, which was 6% less than in 2011, reflecting a decrease in 19 countries. The EU/EEA notification rate was 13.5 per 100 000 population. Further details are available in the Surveillance Report ‘Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2014’ (181).

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002361/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Sfruttamento della prostituzione minorile

A Ventimiglia, in provincia di Imperia (Liguria), le forze dell'ordine hanno scoperto una realtà agghiacciante: tre studentesse di età compresa tra i 14 e 15 anni si prostituivano da un mese perché non soddisfatte della loro paghetta. Sono state scoperte e denunciate da un cliente trentenne, che ha rifiutato il rapporto con una di loro ed è andato dalla polizia. Le tre ragazzine si prostituivano attraverso annunci su siti dedicati agli incontri, con tariffe che variavano da 30 a 50 euro. Le giovani incontravano i clienti nelle loro auto, in luoghi pubblici o in zone isolate dell'entroterra. Le indagini della polizia hanno portato a mettere sotto inchiesta 5 persone indagate per sfruttamento della prostituzione minorile.

Alla luce di questa indagine, può la Commissione fornire dati sullo sfruttamento illegale della prostituzione minorile negli Stati membri dell'Unione? Quali sono le misure più efficaci poste in atto dai governi nazionali? Quali raccomandazioni l'UE ha finora espresso per migliorare la lotta contro questo crimine?

Risposta di Cecilia Malmström a nome della Commissione

(10 aprile 2014)

La Commissione non ammette alcuna forma di sfruttamento sessuale di donne e ragazze ed è molto preoccupata per il fenomeno in crescita della tratta di esseri umani, di cui si stima che il 62 % sia a scopo di sfruttamento sessuale (182).

L’approccio della Commissione riflette le competenze ad essa conferite dai trattati dell’UE. L’articolo 83 del TFUE conferisce competenze in materia di sfruttamento sessuale di donne e bambini nonché sulla tratta di esseri umani. Pertanto, l’Unione europea ha il compito di contrastare la prostituzione nella misura in cui essa riguarda lo sfruttamento sessuale e la tratta di esseri umani.

La direttiva 2011/93/UE (183) impone agli Stati membri di configurare come reato le diverse forme di sfruttamento sessuale dei minori, comprese le attività sessuali con minori che si prostituiscono, e stabilisce livelli minimi di pene. La direttiva contiene disposizioni volte ad assicurare che i minori che si prostituiscono siano trattati come vittime e non come criminali e che ricevano sostegno e protezione nei procedimenti penali. Gli Stati membri adottano altresì le misure necessarie per scoraggiare e ridurre la domanda che incentiva lo sfruttamento sessuale di minori.

L’articolo 18 della direttiva 2011/36/UE (184) invita gli Stati membri a considerare misure volte a rendere perseguibili penalmente gli utenti di servizi sessuali consapevoli che la persona che li offre sia vittima della tratta di esseri umani. Come richiesto dall’articolo 23 della direttiva, la Commissione presenterà entro il 2016 una relazione sulla valutazione d’impatto della legislazione nazionale vigente corredata, se del caso, di proposte opportune in merito alla possibilità di rendere perseguibili penalmente gli utenti di tali servizi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002361/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Exploitation of underage prostitutes

The police in the Italian city of Ventimiglia (in the Liguria region) have recently made a shocking discovery: three schoolgirls aged between 14 and 15 had been selling their bodies for a month as they were unhappy with the amount of pocket money they received from their parents. The girls were reported by a 30-year old client, who had refused to have sex with one of them and had then gone to the police. The three girls advertised themselves on various dating websites, and charged between EUR 30 and EUR 50 for their services. They met their clients in their cars, in public spaces or else in isolated spots in the surrounding countryside. Following the subsequent police investigation, five people have been imprisoned for exploiting underage prostitutes.

In light of the above investigation, can the Commission provide any information concerning the illegal exploitation of underage prostitutes in Member States of the European Union? What are the most effective measures to have been put in place by national governments? To date, what recommendations has the EU made in order to combat this crime more effectively?

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

The Commission does not tolerate any form of sexual exploitation of women and girls and is very concerned about the increasing trafficking of human beings, of which 62% is estimated to be for the purpose of sexual exploitation (185).

The Commission's approach reflects the competences conferred by the EU treaties. Article 83 (TFEU) confers competence on sexual exploitation of women and children, and on trafficking in human beings. The EU thus has a mandate to address prostitution in so far as this relates to sexual exploitation and trafficking in human beings.

Directive 2011/93/EU (186) obliges Member States to criminalise different forms of exploitation of children in prostitution, including engaging in sexual activities with child prostitutes, and sets minimum levels of penalties. The directive contains provisions aimed at ensuring that child prostitutes are treated as victims and not as offenders, and that they received support and protection in criminal proceedings. Member States are also to take measures to discourage and reduce the demand that fosters sexual exploitation of children.

Article 18 of the directive 2011/36/EU (187) urges Member States to consider measures for criminalising the use of services with the knowledge that the person is a victim of human trafficking. As required by Article 23 of the directive, the Commission will submit a report by 2016 assessing the impact of existing national laws accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals on the criminalisation of users of services.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002362/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Sospette irregolarità in una gara d'appalto in Turchia

Una gara d'appalto per l'acquisto di sistemi di difesa aerea e missilistica in Turchia è stata vinta da un'impresa cinese. Alcune imprese europee e statunitensi hanno lamentato scarsa trasparenza. L'agenzia turca per gli appalti pubblici ha però risposto che la gara si è svolta in maniera regolare e trasparente e che tutti i partecipanti potranno avere accesso alle informazioni del caso. Secondo l'agenzia, l'impresa cinese ha vinto perché la sua proposta è stata giudicata la più competitiva. Alcune imprese concorrenti hanno anche fatto notare come l'impresa vincitrice sia stata inserita dal governo statunitense nella propria lista nera, in seguito alla reiterata vendita di armamenti a Iran e Pakistan.

1.

È stata informata la Commissione dei dubbi delle imprese europee partecipanti?

2.

Ritiene che la Turchia, in quanto Stato candidato all'adesione all'Unione, abbia compiuto nel settore degli appalti pubblici i progressi necessari all'allineamento con la legislazione europea, anche in vista delle recenti votazioni in materia di appalti pubblici in seno al Parlamento europeo?

Risposta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(8 maggio 2014)

Le imprese europee e statunitensi a cui si riferiscono gli onorevoli deputati non si sono messe in contatto con la Commissione, che quindi non è al corrente dei loro reclami.

Le nuove direttive sugli appalti pubblici, che di recente sono state oggetto delle votazioni al Parlamento europeo a cui si riferiscono gli onorevoli deputati, non si applicano agli appalti di materiale militare. Nell’acquis dell’UE, che la Turchia sarà tenuta a rispettare solo a partire dall’adesione, rientra in particolare la direttiva 2009/81/CE, contenente norme sugli appalti pubblici nei settori sensibili della sicurezza e della difesa che comprendono, in linea di massima, il tipo di attrezzature menzionato nella presente interrogazione scritta. La direttiva lascia tuttavia impregiudicato l’articolo 346 del TFUE, che autorizza gli Stati membri ad adottare, in deroga al diritto dell’UE e in casi eccezionali e chiaramente definiti, le misure che ritengano necessarie alla tutela degli interessi essenziali della loro sicurezza.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002362/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Suspected irregularities in a tender procedure in Turkey

A contract for the purchase of air and missile defence systems in Turkey has been awarded to a Chinese company. A number of European and US companies have complained of a lack of transparency in the procedure. In response, the Turkish public procurement agency has said that the tender procedure was conducted in a fair and transparent manner and that all participants may have any information they require thereon. According to the agency, the Chinese company was successful because its bid was deemed to be the most competitive. Rival companies have also pointed out that the successful tenderer has been included on a US Government blacklist as a result of having repeatedly sold arms to Iran and Pakistan.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the concerns voiced by the European companies which took part in the tender?

2.

Does it think that, as a candidate country for EU membership, Turkey has made therequisite progress in bringing its public procurement sector into line with EC law, notleast in the light of the recent votes in Parliament on public procurement rules?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2014)

The Commission has not been approached by the European and US companies the Honourable Members refer to and therefore is not aware of their complaints.

The new public procurement directives, which were the object of the recent vote of the European Parliament mentioned by the Honourable Members, do not apply to procurement of military equipment. However, the EU acquis, to which Turkey will be bound only by the time of its accession, and in particular Directive 2009/81/EC, lays down rules on public procurement in the defence and sensitive security sectors including, in principle, the type of equipment mentioned in the present written question. This directive is, however, without prejudice to Article 346 TFEU, which allows Member States, in exceptional and clearly defined cases, to take measures derogating from EC law where this is necessary for the protection of essential security interests.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002363/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Strategia di proiezione globale della Federazione russa e rischi per la sicurezza europea

Il ministro della Difesa russo ha recentemente affermato che la Federazione russa starebbe cercando di espandere la propria presenza militare all'estero, in particolare allestendo delle basi in diversi paesi, tra cui figurano Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Seychelles, Singapore, Vietnam e altri.

A detta del ministro, il governo russo starebbe firmando una serie di accordi che riguardano basi militari e siti di rifornimento per bombardieri strategici.

Allo stato attuale, la Russia conta una sola base al di fuori dei vecchi confini sovietici, in Siria, ma, dall'inizio del millennio, il governo ha deciso di rilanciare le proprie forze di proiezione aerea e navale, necessitando quindi di infrastrutture adeguate a una proiezione globale.

Questa strategia russa è fonte di preoccupazione per la Commissione? Ritiene la Commissione che possa essere considerata una minaccia alla sicurezza degli Stati membri e dell'UE nel suo complesso?

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

(9 aprile 2014)

La direzione dell'UE responsabile dell'intelligence militare monitora l'evoluzione operativa delle organizzazioni militari al di fuori dell'UE e della NATO per valutare gli sviluppi politici sul piano militare e le capacità militari effettive di diversi paesi, ma anche per individuare potenziali minacce. Il SEAE è pertanto al corrente dell'annuncio della Federazione russa riguardante l'allestimento di basi all'estero. A questo stadio, tuttavia, le attività militari russe, in particolare in Ucraina e nel territorio circostante, costituiscono una preoccupazione più immediata dell'Unione, come indicato nelle recenti conclusioni del Consiglio e del Consiglio europeo.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002363/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Global projection strategy of the Russian Federation and risks to European security

The Russian Defence Minister has recently announced that the Russian Federation is seeking to expand its military presence abroad, in particular by establishing bases in different countries, including Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and Vietnam.

According to the Minister, the Russian Government is signing a series of agreements regarding the establishment of military bases and refuelling stations for its strategic bombers.

At the present time, Russia has only one base outside the former Soviet borders. However, at the beginning of the millennium the government decided to reactivate its aerial and naval projection forces, hence necessitating adequate global projection infrastructures.

Is this Russian strategy a source of concern to the Commission? Does the Commission consider it a threat to the security of Member States and the EU as a whole?

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

(9 April 2014)

The EU Military Staff Intelligence Directorate observes the operational development of military organisations outside EU and NATO, primarily with the goal to assess military political developments and actual military capabilities of different countries but also from a point of view of potential threats. The EEAS is thus aware of the announcement of the Russian Federation to establish bases abroad. At this stage, a more immediate concern of the European Union, expressed in recent Council and European Council conclusions, however relates to Russian military activities in particular in and around Ukraine.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002364/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Strumenti di contrasto ai matrimoni forzati

Anche se spesso non sono tenuti in considerazione a fini statistici, i matrimoni forzati fanno parte della realtà italiana. Le giovani che cercano di sottrarsi a questi matrimoni sono spesso punite con violenze fisiche, talvolta fino alla morte, o addirittura cercano il suicidio. Di questo tema si occupa un'associazione, aprendo la prima casa rifugio destinata alle donne che desiderino e riescano a fuggire da questa sorta di «prigione domestica». Finora l'associazione in questione ha accolto dieci ragazze, di cui quattro pakistane, due indiane, una bengalese, un'albanese, una tunisina e una proveniente dallo Sri Lanka, tutte di età compresa tra 17 ai 24 anni. Si tratta di una dimensione ancora piuttosto piccola, ma l'associazione presenterà questa settimana una serie di linee guida in materia di contrasto ai matrimoni forzati, a conclusione di un progetto condotto nella provincia di Bologna.

Le linee guida sono mirate a fornire a operatori e operatrici degli strumenti utili a garantire l'effettiva protezione di donne e bambine, oltre che ad attirare l'attenzione della politica italiana, dato che non esistono disposizioni legislative espressamente dedicate alla disciplina dei matrimoni forzati.

In merito ai matrimoni forzati, può la Commissione chiarire:

se negli Stati membri dell'UE esistono dispositivi legislativi volti a contrastare la pratica del matrimonio forzato e a tutelarne le vittime;

se il progetto descritto può considerarsi un valido strumento di sostegno alle vittime dei matrimoni forzati e se esistono progetti simili nel resto dell'UE;

se ritiene che sia necessario disporre di misure legislative in materia a livello europeo?

Risposta di Johannes Hahn a nome della Commissione

(23 aprile 2014)

1.

Tutti gli Stati membri dell’UE hanno leggi in materia di matrimonio che comprendono disposizioni relative al consenso, nonché alle circostanze in cui i matrimoni possono essere annullati o dichiarati nulli per legge. Nel 2010, 6 Stati membri avevano specifiche disposizioni penali relative ai matrimoni forzati (188).

2.

Un gran numero di Stati membri hanno affrontato il matrimonio forzato attraverso misure politiche, fornendo servizi specializzati di sostegno e protezione per le vittime di matrimonio forzato. La Commissione non ha la competenza per giudicare la qualità del progetto specifico cui fa riferimento l’onorevole parlamentare o se esso è appropriato.

3.

L’UE ha adottato provvedimenti legali nel settore della giustizia civile e penale che garantiscono effettivamente i diritti delle donne vittime di violenza di genere, comprese le vittime di matrimonio forzato: la direttiva sull’ordine di protezione europeo applicabile ai reati, completata dal regolamento (UE) n. 606/2013 applicabile in materia civile e la direttiva 2012/29/UE sui diritti delle vittime di reato. In tale contesto, la Commissione non ritiene necessaria un’eventuale nuova legislazione dell’UE.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002364/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Instruments for combating forced marriages

Although forced marriages are often not taken into consideration for statistical purposes, they still represent a real cause for concern in Italy today. Young women seeking to get out of these marriages are often punished by being beaten (sometimes to death), or are even driven to suicide. An Italian organisation is focusing all its efforts on the issue, and has recently opened the country’s first safe-house for women who have managed to escape from this type of ‘domestic prison’. To date, the organisation has welcomed ten women — four from Pakistan, two from India, and one each from Bangladesh, Albania, Tunisia and Sri Lanka — who are all aged from 17 to 24. However, these women only represent the tip of the iceberg, and this week the organisation will be publishing a set of guidelines on how to fight against forced marriages, following a project that it carried out in the province of Bologna.

The guidelines are intended to serve, for all the men and women working for the organisation, as a useful tool for ensuring that the women and girls under their care are properly protected. They are also aimed at highlighting the issue to Italy’s politicians, given that the country currently has no legislation in place that focuses specifically on the practice of forced marriage.

1.

Can the Commission indicate whether there are any laws in place in EU Member States to combat the practice of forced marriage and protect the victims thereof?

2.

Could the project described above be considered as a valid instrument for supporting the victims of forced marriages, and do similar projects exist anywhere else in the EU?

3.

Does the Commission believe that laws on this practice need to be introduced on a European level?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2014)

1.

All EU Member States have laws regulating marriage which include provisions pertaining to consent, as well as the circumstances in which marriages can be annuled or otherwise terminated by law. In 2010, 6 Member States had specific criminal provisions in relation to forced marriage (189).

2.

A large number of Member States address forced marriage through policy measures, provision of specialist support services and protection for victims of forced marriage. The Commission does not have the competence to judge on the quality or appropriatness of the specific project referred to by the Honourable Member.

3.

The EU has adopted legal measures in the field of criminal and civil justice which effectively ensure the rights of women victims of gender-based violence including victims of forced marriage: the directive on the European Protection Order applicable in criminal matters complemented by Regulation 606/2013 applicable in civil matters, and the directive 2012/29/EU on the rights of crime victims. In this context, the Commission does not consider that any further EU legislation is necessary.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002365/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Sviluppo del settore turistico in Albania e cooperazione con le regioni prospicienti

Il governo albanese ha avviato la preparazione di una strategia per potenziare il settore turistico del paese e rendere l'Albania una meta turistica competitiva. Il ministro per il turismo e lo sviluppo urbano ha affermato che il governo ha preparato un pacchetto legislativo e una strategia di medio termine per il periodo 2014-2020. Il settore turistico dovrebbe basarsi fondamentalmente sul settore naturalistico e archeologico del paese, con ricadute economiche positive su welfare e occupazione.

In merito a quanto detto, può la Commissione far sapere se:

Ritiene che sia possibile integrare questa riforma nel quadro della strategia per la macroregione adriatico-ionica?

Esistono degli strumenti per facilitare lo sviluppo congiunto e il collegamento dei servizi nel settore turistico tra l'Albania e le regioni europee prospicienti?

Risposta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(25 aprile 2014)

Il settore turistico può dare un notevole contributo alla crescita e alla prosperità economica in Albania e nei paesi limitrofi, promuovendo tra l'altro l'occupazione e la conservazione del patrimonio naturale e culturale. La strategia dell'UE per la regione adriatico-ionica, che riguarda anche l'Albania, rivolge particolare attenzione al turismo sostenibile. L'obiettivo della strategia è intensificare la cooperazione fra i paesi partecipanti nei settori con un chiaro impatto transfrontaliero e regionale. Per quanto riguarda il turismo, sono previste azioni comuni volte a sviluppare prodotti e servizi innovativi e alternativi e a garantire la gestione sostenibile delle risorse naturali e culturali di importanza strategica (190); si ritiene inoltre prioritario intervenire sugli aspetti normativi in base alle migliori pratiche regionali e agli standard dell'UE.

La Commissione sta definendo una strategia pluriennale sull'uso dei fondi a disposizione dell'Albania nell'ambito dello strumento di assistenza preadesione (IPA) per il periodo 2014-2020. I programmi di cooperazione transfrontaliera finanziati dall'IPA comprenderanno, ad esempio, progetti turistici in Albania (191) e i programmi transazionali per le regioni adriatico‐ionica e mediterranea.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002365/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Development of the tourism industry in Albania, and cooperation with the neighbouring regions

The Albanian Government has started outlining a strategy to strengthen the country’s tourism industry and make Albania a viable tourist destination. The Minister for Tourism and Urban Development has revealed that the government has drafted a set of laws and devised a medium-term strategy for the 2014‐20 period. The tourism industry is expected to be built around the country’s natural beauty and archaeology, and will boost the Albanian economy in terms of welfare and employment.

1.

In light of the above, can the Commission indicate whether it would be possible to incorporate these reforms within the framework of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region?

2.

Are there any instruments in place that could help the tourism industries in Albania and its neighbouring European regions to develop together and interlink the services that they offer?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

The tourism industry has a lot of potential to increase economic growth and prosperity in Albania, as well as in neighbouring countries. Its benefits include creating jobs and promoting the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, which also covers Albania, has a special focus on sustainable tourism. The strategy's objective is to enhance cooperation among the participating countries in areas with a clear trans-border and regional impact. As regards tourism, joint actions are foreseen to develop innovative and alternative tourism products and services and ensure sustainable management of strategic natural and cultural assets (192); addressing regulatory aspects based on regional best practices and EU standards is also a priority.

The Commission is in the process of defining a multi-annual strategy concerning the use of funds available for Albania under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) for the period 2014-20. Cross border cooperation programmes funded under IPA will for example finance tourism projects in Albania (193), as well as both the transnational Adriatic-Ionian and Med programmes.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002366/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 febbraio 2014)

Oggetto: Transizione ucraina e movimenti di truppe sovietiche

Sono preoccupanti le notizie che giungono dalla Federazione russa in merito all'evolvere della situazione politica in Ucraina. A preoccupare è in particolare la situazione della Crimea, al confine con la Russia, dove pare che un gruppo di uomini armati abbia occupato la sede del Parlamento e del governo della Repubblica autonoma e che numerose barricate siano state innalzate da ucraini russofoni intorno agli edifici, davanti a un forte dispiegamento di forze di polizia. Il timore è che la Russia possa tentare operazioni belliche, timore risvegliato soprattutto dalla decisione del governo moscovita di avviare una movimentazione di truppe nei distretti della Russia centrale e occidentale, a scopo di esercitazione.

In merito a questi eventi, può la Commissione far sapere come interpreta le mosse della Federazione russa e in che modo intende rapportarsi a essa per cercare una soluzione pacifica verso la transizione di governo in Ucraina?

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

(19 giugno 2014)

Nelle ultime settimane la situazione in Ucraina si è profondamente trasformata.

Gli interventi illegali della Russia nella penisola di Crimea e nell'Ucraina orientale violano la Carta delle Nazioni Unite e l'Atto finale di Helsinki. La Russia deve ritirare le sue truppe dalla frontiera con l'Ucraina e revocare immediatamente il mandato del Consiglio federale a utilizzare la forza nel territorio ucraino.

Nelle sue conclusioni del 12 maggio 2014, il Consiglio Affari esteri ha ribadito la sua piena adesione alla dichiarazione comune di Ginevra del 17 aprile sulle prime iniziative concrete per allentare la tensione e ripristinare la sicurezza in Ucraina, e ha invitato tutte le parti presenti ad attuarla.

L'UE ha adottato misure restrittive nei confronti dei responsabili delle minacce alla sovranità

e all'integrità territoriale dell'Ucraina, e ha deciso di ampliare i criteri per l'assoggettamento di persone ed entità al divieto di rilascio del visto e al congelamento dei beni. Prendendo atto della tabella di marcia del presidente dell'OSCE, l'Unione sostiene totalmente gli sforzi compiuti dall'OSCE per contribuire ad allentare le tensioni e stabilizzare la situazione attraverso iniziative concrete, tra cui l'organizzazione di tavole rotonde, assicurando al tempo stesso la titolarità ucraina. L'UE incoraggia le autorità ucraine a proseguire gli sforzi in atto per raggiungere tutte le regioni dell'Ucraina nel quadro del previsto dialogo nazionale, ivi compresi i passi compiuti dal governo verso un dialogo inclusivo di tutti gli ucraini sul processo di riforma costituzionale.

I diritti delle persone appartenenti a minoranze nazionali devono essere pienamente assicurati in linea con gli standard applicabili del Consiglio d'Europa.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002366/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) and Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Transition in Ukraine and Soviet troop movements

The news reaching us from the Russian Federation regarding the evolving political situation in Ukraine is a cause of concern. Of particular concern is the situation in the Crimea, on the border with Russia, where it appears that a group of armed men have occupied the buildings of the parliament and government of the autonomous republic and numerous barriers have been erected around these buildings by Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the face of a strong police deployment. The fear is that Russia could attempt military operations, a fear triggered in particular by the decision of the Moscow Government to embark on troop movements in districts in central and western Russia for training purposes.

With regard to these events, can the Commission indicate how it interprets the actions of the Russian Federation and how it intends to approach the latter to seek a peaceful solution to achieve the transition of government in the Ukraine?

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

(19 June 2014)

The situation in Ukraine has evolved considerably in the past few weeks.

Russia's illegal actions on the Crimea peninsula and in Eastern Ukraine violate the UN Charter and Helsinki Final Act. Russia must withdraw its troops from its border with Ukraine and should immediately revoke the mandate of the Federation Council to use force on Ukrainian soil.

In its conclusions of 12 May 2014, the EU's Foreign Affairs Council reaffirmed its full commitment to the Geneva Joint Statement of 17 April on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security in Ukraine, and called upon all parties involved to fully implement it.

The EU has pursued restrictive measures against those responsible for undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and has agreed to expand the criteria allowing individuals and entities to be subject to visa ban and asset freeze. Taking note of the OSCE Chairman's roadmap, the EU fully supports efforts undertaken by the OSCE to contribute to de-escalating and stabilising the situation through concrete steps including the establishment of round tables while ensuring Ukrainian ownership. The EU encourages efforts by the Ukrainian authorities to reach out to all regions of Ukraine within the framework of envisaged national dialogue, including steps towards dialogue on the constitutional process.

The rights of persons belonging to national minorities need to be fully ensured in line with the relevant standards of the Council of Europe.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-002367/14

an die Kommission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(28. Februar 2014)

Betrifft: Brennelementhüllen Kernkraftwerk Cattenom

Der Trierische Volksfreund hat in seiner Ausgabe vom 14.2.2014 berichtet, dass nach Untersuchungen im französischen Kernkraftwerk Cattenom Brennelementhüllen beschädigt sind, oder beschädigt sein könnten. So könnte eine starke Korrosion der Hüllen ein vorzeitiges Wechseln der Brennelemente notwendig machen und möglicherweise zu Problemen führen.

Kann die Kommission dazu folgende Fragen beantworten:

Ist der Kommission bekannt, dass nach Berichten französischer Medien in 25 der 58 französischen Kernkraftwerke Brennstoffhüllen von Korrosion betroffen sind?

Sind Korrosionsfälle von Brennelementhüllen in Kernkraftwerken bekannt und gegebenenfalls auch für Cattenom bestätigt?

Liegen Risikoanalysen zu einem der größten und leistungsfähigsten, aber auch zugleich ältesten Kernkraftwerks in Frankreich vor?

Wie beurteilt die Kommission nach Vorlage der Stresstests für Nuklearanlagen in Europa die sicherheitspolitische Problematik solcher Korrosionsfälle?

. Unterliegen solche Korrosionsschäden der Meldepflicht an die internationale Energieagentur bzw. an die Nachbarstaaten?

Antwort von Herrn Oettinger im Namen der Kommission

(27. März 2014)

1.

Die Kommission ist aufgrund der Angaben der für den Nuklearbereich zuständigen französischen Regulierungsbehörde ASN über Korrosionserscheinungen an der Zirkaloy-Hülle von Brennelementen in einigen französischen Kernkraftwerken (KKW) informiert (194).

2.

Es ist bekannt, dass in wassergekühlten Reaktoren im Normalbetrieb Korrosionseffekte an Brennelementen mit einer Zirkaloy-Hülle auftreten können. Nach den Vorschriften der ASN müssen solche Korrosionserscheinungen ordnungsgemäß überwacht und begrenzt werden, um Hüllendefekte und den Eintritt von Spaltprodukten in die Kühlwasserkreisläufe zu verhindern.

3.

Die nationalen Nuklearaufsichtsbehörden sind dafür zuständig, die Angemessenheit der Risikoanalysen für die einzelnen KKW zu bewerten. Nach Angaben der ASN wird das angesprochene Problem behandelt. In diesem Zusammenhang hat sie Anweisungen für die Kraftwerksbetreiber zur Überwachung und Begrenzung dieser Korrosionseffekte herausgegeben.

4.

Ziel der Stresstests war es, die Sicherheit und Robustheit von KKW sowie einen möglichen Ausfall von Sicherheitsfunktionen aufgrund auslösender Ereignisse wie Naturkatastrophen und das Vorgehen bei schweren Unfällen neu zu bewerten. Die Frage der Hüllenkorrosion wurde dabei nicht im Einzelnen behandelt.

5.

Korrosionsschäden dieser Art müssen nicht gemeldet werden. Auf internationaler Ebene bestehen mehrere Systeme für die freiwillige Berichterstattung über radiologische Vorfälle, darunter die Systeme INES (195) und IRS (196) der Internationalen Atomenergie-Organisation. Zudem sind die Staaten nach dem Übereinkommen über die frühzeitige Benachrichtigung bei nuklearen Unfällen (197) verpflichtet, die für eine Beurteilung der Situation erforderlichen Unfalldaten zu melden.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002367/14

to the Commission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Fuel element cladding at the Cattenom nuclear power plant

In its issue of 14 February 2014 the Trierischer Volksfreund newspaper reported that the fuel element cladding at the Cattenom nuclear power plant had been examined and found to be actually or possibly damaged. If the cladding material were, say, severely corroded, fuel elements might need to be replaced ahead of time, and other problems could arise.

1.

Is the Commission aware that, according to French media reports, 25 out of the 58 French nuclear power plants have corroded fuel element cladding?

2.

Has corrosion of fuel element cladding been known to occur at nuclear power plants, and have there been any proven cases at Cattenom?

3.

Has risk analysis ever been brought to bear on what is one of the largest and most efficient, but also one of the oldest, nuclear power plants in France?

4.

In the light of the stress testing of nuclear installations in Europe, how does the Commission view the safety implications of this type of corrosion?

5.

Does corrosion damage of the kind described have to be reported to the International Energy Agency or neighbouring countries?

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 2014)

1.

Based on information made available by the French nuclear safety regulator ASN, the Commission is aware of corrosion of Zircaloy cladding of fuel elements at some French nuclear power plants (NPPs) (198).

2.

Corrosion effects of fuel elements with Zircaloy cladding are known to occur in water cooled reactors in normal operations. The proper monitoring and limitation of such corrosion effects, required by ASN, are necessary to avoid cladding failure and the migration of fission products into the cooling water circuits.

3.

The adequacy of risk analysis at specific NPPs is a matter within the competence of national nuclear safety authorities. ASN indicates that this problem is being followed. It has issued instructions to plant operators requiring the monitoring and control of these corrosion effects.

4.

The aim of the stress tests was to reassess the safety and robustness of NPPs and the consequence of loss of safety function from any initiating event including extreme natural events, and severe accident management issues. Stress tests did not address specifically the issue of fuel cladding corrosion.

5.

Corrosion damage of this type does not have to be reported. There are several reporting systems at international level including the International Atomic Energy Agency’s INES (199) and IRS (200) systems which provide a voluntary system of reporting radiological incidents. Moreover, the ‘Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident’ (201) requires States to report an accident's data essential for assessing the situation.

(Nederlandse versie)

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord P-002368/14

aan de Commissie

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(28 februari 2014)

Betreft: De rol van de Commissie in de lopende OESO/DAC-discussies over de herziening van de definitie van ODA en de criteria voor de concessionaliteit van ODA

De Commissie voor Ontwikkelingsbijstand (DAC) van de Organisatie voor Economische Samenwerking en Ontwikkeling (OESO) beraadt zich momenteel over de definitie van officiële ontwikkelingshulp (ODA) en de criteria voor de concessionaliteit van ODA. Zo buigt de OESO/DAC zich momenteel over een herziening van de voorwaarden waaronder donoren ontwikkelingshulpschenkingen en ‐leningen als ODA moeten aangeven. De herziene criteria zouden uiterlijk in december 2014 kunnen worden vastgesteld. Herziene ODA-criteria zullen aanzienlijke gevolgen hebben voor de rapportering van ODA, de doeltreffendheid van de hulp en de vergelijkbaarheid van de desbetreffende gegevens, en derhalve ook voor het EU‐ontwikkelingsbeleid, de EU-verbintenissen inzake ontwikkelingshulp en de Europese coördinatie op dit gebied. De EU is lid van de OESO/DAC.

1.

Welk standpunt neemt de Commissie binnen de OESO/DAC in ten aanzien van de herziening van de definitie van ODA en de criteria voor de concessionaliteit van ODA?

2.

De Commissie pleit meer en meer voor een mix van beschikbare middelen en het mobiliseren van particuliere middelen voor ontwikkeling, zoals vastgelegd in de Agenda voor verandering, de agenda voor de financiering van ontwikkelingshulp na 2015 en het meerjarig financieel kader 2014-2020. Is de Commissie in die context ook voorstander van ruimere ODA-criteria, met meer ruimte voor leningen en innoverende financieringsmechanismen?

3.

Hoe stelt de Commissie haar standpunt voor OESO/DAC-bijeenkomsten vast? In hoeverre houdt zij daarbij rekening met het standpunt van de lidstaten?

4.

Gezien het belang van een mogelijke herziening van de definitie van ODA voor het EU‐ontwikkelingsbeleid dient de Commissie ontwikkelingssamenwerking van het Parlement nauw bij de voorbereiding van het EU-standpunt in de OESO/DAC-onderhandelingen over de definitie van ODA te worden betrokken. Zal de Commissie erop toezien dat dit gebeurt?

Antwoord van de heer Piebalgs namens de Commissie

(3 april 2014)

Op de in december 2012 gehouden bijeenkomst op hoog niveau van de Commissie voor Ontwikkelingsbijstand van de OESO (DAC), werd er aan deze Commissie het mandaat gegeven om onder meer een voorstel uit te werken voor een nieuwe maatregel inzake de totale overheidssteun voor ontwikkelingshulp, het verkennen van manieren om rekening te houden met zowel de „inspanning van de donoren” als de „belangen van de afnemer”, en om een onderzoek in te stellen naar de noodzaak om het concept officiële ontwikkelingshulp (ODA) te moderniseren. (202) De EU draagt bij aan deze besprekingen samen met de andere DAC-leden, waaronder 19 EU-lidstaten (LS).

In de besprekingen heeft de EU tot nu toe gewezen op de noodzaak om bij de besprekingen rekening te houden met de periode na 2015. Daarom heeft de EU ook opgeroepen om voorzichtig te plannen en moedigt ze de DAC aan zich in de eerste fase van de werkzaamheden te concentreren op belangrijke statistische bouwstenen. Zij heeft ervoor gepleit om alle overheidsactiviteiten die ontwikkelingsamenwerking ondersteunen, in een gemoderniseerde ODA-maatregel op te nemen. Dit omvat ook innovatieve financiële instrumenten die momenteel nog niet als ODA worden beschouwd (bv. garanties).

De Commissie vertegenwoordigt de EU in de DAC. Bij het uitoefenen van haar uitvoerende bevoegdheid bereidt de Commissie de EU-standpunten voor DAC-bijeenkomsten voor, op basis van breed overleg tussen de diensten van de Commissie.

Om de prioriteiten van de EU te coördineren met die van de lidstaten, tracht de Commissie ook consensusvorming tussen de lidstaten te vergemakkelijken op basis van artikel 210 VWEU (203), onder meer door het organiseren van technische seminaries voor nationale deskundigen en in het kader van de besprekingen over de financiering van de ontwikkelingshulp in de Raad.

De Commissie is verheugd over het belang dat het Parlement hecht aan de lopende DAC-discussie en is bereid deze kwestie verder te bespreken met de Commissie ontwikkelingssamenwerking (DEVE) wanneer het de laatstgenoemde schikt.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002368/14

to the Commission

Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

(28 February 2014)

Subject: Role of the Commission in the ongoing OECD/DAC discussions on the review of the ODA definition and criteria for ODA concessionality

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is currently holding discussions on the definition of official development assistance (ODA) and the criteria for ODA concessionality. A review of the conditions required for donors to report development assistance grants and loans as ODA is underway within the OECD/DAC and could lead to revised criteria by December 2014 at the latest. Revised ODA criteria would have significant consequences for ODA reporting, aid effectiveness and comparability of development aid data, thus affecting EU development policy, EU development commitments and European coordination on development cooperation. The EU has member status in the OECD/DAC.

1.

What position does the Commission defend within the OECD/DAC on the review of the ODA definition and criteria for ODA concessionality?

2.

In view of the increased emphasis by the Commission on blending and leveraging private resources for development — as put forward in the Agenda for Change, the post-2015 financing for development agenda and the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 — does the Commission support broader ODA criteria in order to incorporate loans and innovative financial mechanisms in a broader way?

3.

How does the Commission prepare its position for OECD/DAC meetings? To what extent does it take account of Member States’ positions?

4.

Given the significance of a potential ODA definition revision for EU development policy, Parliament’s Committee on Development should be actively involved in preparing the EU position in OECD/DAC negotiations on the definition of ODA. Will the Commission ensure that this occurs?

Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2014)

The December 2012 High-Level Meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) mandated the committee to, inter alia, elaborate a proposal for a new measure of total official support for development, explore ways of representing both ‘donor effort’ and ‘recipient benefit’, and investigate the need to modernise the Official Development Assistance (ODA) concept. (204) The EU contributes to these discussions alongside other DAC members, which include 19 EU Member States (MS).

In discussions to-date, the EU has underlined the need to connect the exercise to the wider post-2015 process. It has therefore called for caution when it comes to sequencing, encouraging the DAC to focus its early work on key statistical building blocks. It has argued that all public efforts in favour of development should be accounted for in a modernised ODA measure. This includes innovative financial instruments currently left out (e.g. guarantees).

The Commission represents the EU in the DAC. In the use of its executive competency it prepares EU positions for DAC meetings on the basis of broad inter-service consultations.

So as to coordinate EU priorities with MS priorities, it also tries to facilitate consensus-building among MS on the basis of Article 210 TFEU (205), including by convening technical seminars for MS experts and in the context of discussions on Financing for Development in Council.

The Commission welcomes the Parliament’s interest in the on-going DAC discussion and stands ready to discuss the issue further with the DEVE Committee at the latter’s convenience.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002369/14

to the Commission

Catherine Bearder (ALDE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Contract bonds

I have been informed by a business in my constituency that contract bonds offered to UK companies require 100% of the value of the bond to be set aside in a bank account which can charge up to 5% interest. Such bonds are only available through commercial banks.

The business has also said that non-UK companies can purchase a bond for UK contracts from an insurance company at 1% interest, which leaves my constituents and other UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises at a disadvantage to their European competitors on UK projects.

The business has informed me that it has been prevented from acquiring contract bonds from other EU banks or insurers.

Can the Commission confirm whether the different levels of interest paid on these bonds constitute a non-level playing field for UK businesses?

Can the Commission confirm whether UK businesses are free to seek out contract bonds in other Member States?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2014)

Applicable EU rules impose certain requirements on banks to protect clients who are sold financial instruments, for example to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of clients when providing investment services (see for example Directive 2004/39/EC). Within these rules, banks are free to conduct their business and accept clients as they see fit. This means that a company can lawfully restrict its activities to one Member State, if it so wishes. It is the primary responsibility of national supervisory and regulatory authorities to ensure proper application of the relevant EU rules.

The Commission confirms that as a general rule under the EU Treaty, public authorities may not prevent businesses from taking advantage of the single market by purchasing financial, banking or insurance services in other Member States. Whether exceptions apply would need to be assessed in the individual case.

(Deutsche Fassung)

Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung P-002371/14

an die Kommission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(3. März 2014)

Betrifft: Recycling-REACH

Das Recycling von Rohstoffen ist eine der großen Herausforderungen und ein Ziel der europäischen Industrie- und Umweltpolitik. Im Rahmen der Verhandlungen über REACH gibt es vonseiten eines Mitgliedstaates das Bestreben, Blei in metallischer Form als reproduktionstoxisch einzustufen (mit einem SCL-Wert von 0,03 %). Das Recycling von Blei wird in Deutschland in Sekundärbleihütten vorgenommen, die sowohl Fahrzeug- und Industriebatterien als auch bleihaltige Sekundärrohstoffe anderer Art verarbeiten — mit einer angeschlossenen Sonderabfallverbrennungsanlage und einer bundesweiten Sammellogistik für Fahrzeug- und Industriebatterien. Im Portfolio sind sowohl Blei und Bleilegierungen als auch Kunststoff- und Natriumsulfate und Schwefelsäure enthalten. Die dem Fragesteller bekannte Firmengruppe bildet damit europaweit einen einzigartigen Recyclingkreislauf ab, der durch die Primärbleiproduktion abgesichert ist und entsprechend dem Stand der Technik arbeitet. Nunmehr hat die schwedische Umweltbehörde KEMI vorgeschlagen, Blei als fortpflanzungsgefährdend einzustufen und der EU-Kommission ein SCL-Limit von 0,03 % vorzuschlagen, nachdem der Ausschuss für Risikobewertung diesen Vorschlag Ende 2013 bestätigt hat. Diese Einstufung würde dazu führen, dass das gesamte Recycling von Metall, nicht nur von Bleibatterien, und Kunststoffen ab absurdum geführt würde.

Kann die Kommission dazu folgende Fragen beantworten:

Wie beurteilt die Kommission die von der schwedischen Behörde beantragte Änderung der Grenzwerte, und welche Argumente sprechen gegen eine Beibehaltung des bisherigen Grenzwertes von 0,03 % für reproduktionstoxische Stoffe?

Wie beurteilt die Kommission die Folge einer derart gravierenden Gesetzesänderung, wenn dadurch eine kosten- und energieintensive Aufreinigung oder eine flächendeckende Beseitigung dringend benötigter Sekundärrohstoffe die Folge ist?

Welche Bedeutung hat für die Kommission die bisherige Praxis einer risikobasierten Regulierung, die sich an der Freisetzung des Stoffes orientiert und nicht an theoretischen Grenzwerten, die eine einzelne europäische Umweltbehörde vorgeschlagen hat?

Wann ist mit einer endgültigen Entscheidung der Kommission in dieser Angelegenheit zu rechnen?

Antwort von Herrn Potočnik im Namen der Kommission

(29. April 2014)

2./3. Die Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1272/2008 über die Einstufung, Kennzeichnung und Verpackung von Stoffen und Gemischen (CLP-Verordnung) (206) ist ein wissenschaftliches Instrument zur Bestimmung der Gefahren, die von Stoffen und Gemischen ausgehen. Mit ihr wird nicht das Ziel verfolgt, dass Exposition und Risiken berücksichtigt werden; diese sind vom jeweiligen Verwendungszweck abhängig und werden in nachgelagerten Rechtsvorschriften geregelt. In den nachgelagerten Rechtsvorschriften muss also ein angemessener Ausgleich zwischen den Risiken und den Vorteilen der spezifischen Anwendungszwecke von Stoffen und Gemischen gefunden werden.

Die neue Einstufung wird sich nicht automatisch auf das Recycling auswirken, weil die Regeln für die Einstufung von Abfällen als gefährlich häufig unterschiedliche Schwellenwerte und Toleranzen bei der Bestimmung der Gefährlichkeit zulassen. Zwar ist das Recycling in der Tat ein wichtiges Ziel für unsere Gesellschaft, es sollte aber dort, wo dies angesichts der Gefährlichkeit der Abfälle geboten ist, nicht zulasten eines angemessenen Risikomanagements in den Recyclinganlagen erfolgen.

1./4. Die Kommission hat zu der beantragten Änderung der Grenzwerte noch nicht endgültig Stellung bezogen. Es ist geplant, auf der Grundlage der Stellungnahme des Ausschusses für Risikobewertung dem REACH-Ausschuss einen Verordnungsentwurf zur Änderung des Anhangs VI der CLP-Verordnung vorzulegen und den Entwurf dann zur Prüfung an das Europäische Parlament und den Rat weiterzuleiten, bevor er endgültig von der Kommission angenommen wird.

(English version)

Question for written answer P-002371/14

to the Commission

Werner Langen (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Recycling and REACH

Recycling of raw materials is a major challenge and an objective of European industrial and environmental policy. In the context of the negotiations on REACH, one Member State is seeking to classify lead in metallic form as toxic to reproduction (with an SCL limit value of 0.03%). In Germany, recycling of lead is performed by secondary lead smelters which process motor vehicle batteries, industrial batteries and other types of secondary raw materials containing lead — with an associated special waste incineration plant and a nationwide logistics system for collecting the two types of batteries. The portfolio includes lead and lead alloys, sulphates in plastics, sodium sulphate and sulphuric acid. A group of firms known to the tabler of this question is consequently establishing a unique recycling system operating throughout Europe, which is guaranteed a supply of materials by primary lead production and is operating in accordance with the state of the art. Now the Swedish environmental authority KEMI has proposed that lead should be classified as toxic to reproduction, and that it should be proposed that the Commission impose an SCL limit of 0.03%, after the risk assessment committee confirmed this proposal at the end of 2013. This classification would mean that all recycling of metal (not only of lead batteries) and of plastics would be taken to absurd lengths.

1.

What view does the Commission take of the change to limit values requested by the Swedish authority, and what arguments are there against retaining the limit value of 0.03% for substances toxic to reproduction which has applied to date?

2.

What view does the Commission take of the impact of an amendment to legislation which would have such far-reaching implications, if it has the effect that urgently needed secondary raw materials are either recycled by expensive and energy-intensive means or comprehensively disposed of?

3.

What significance does the Commission attach to the practice of risk-based regulation which has been adhered to hitherto, which is guided by the release of a substance rather than theoretical limit values proposed by a single European environmental authority?

4.

When can a final decision by the Commission on this matter be expected?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(29 April 2014)

2 and 3. Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (207) on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) is a science-based instrument to determine the hazards of substances and mixtures. It is not designed to take into account exposure and risks, which depend on applications and which are regulated in downstream legislation. It is therefore downstream legislation which needs to strike an appropriate balance between risks and benefits of specific applications of substances and mixtures.

The impacts of the new classification on recycling will not be automatic because the rules on classification of waste as hazardous waste often allow different thresholds and flexibility to determine the hazardousness of the waste. While recycling is indeed a major societal objective, it should not be done at the expense of appropriate risk management in recycling plants, where this is justified by the hazard properties of the waste.

1 and 4. The Commission has not yet taken a final position on the requested change to the limit values. Based on the above RAC opinion, a draft Regulation to amend Annex VI to CLP is planned to be presented to the REACH Committee, and subsequently for scrutiny to the European Parliament and the Council, before its final adoption by the Commission.

(Versión española)

Pregunta con solicitud de respuesta escrita E-002372/14

a la Comisión

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(3 de marzo de 2014)

Asunto: Respuesta a la carta remitida a la Comisión sobre el Proyecto Castor

Los siguientes firmantes remitieron una carta (208) a la Comisión el pasado 29 de octubre de 2013: Plataforma en Defensa de les Terres del Sénia, Plataforma Auditoria Ciutadana del Deute (PACD), Plataforma Delta Viu per la recuperaciò dels espais naturals i agraris del Delta del Llobregat, Plataforma del Priorat, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Mundubat, Entrepobles, Enginyeria Sense Fronteres, Ecologistas en Acción, Carbon Trade Watch, Campaña de Afectado/as por Repsol, Associació Salut i Agroecologia, Associació de Naturalistes de Girona, AlterNativa Intercanvi amb Pobles Indígenes en relación a los bonos de Proyectos Europa 2020 invertidos en el Proyecto Castor.

Dicha carta iba dirigida al Sr. Werner Hoyer, Presidente del Banco Europeo de Inversiones, al Sr. Alfonso Querejeta, Secretario General del Banco Europeo de Inversiones y también al Sr. Olli Rehn, Vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea.

1.

¿Recibió correctamente la Comisión la citada carta?

2.

¿Tiene previsto la Comisión responder a la citada carta durante las próximas semanas?

Respuesta del Sr. Kallas en nombre de la Comisión

(22 de abril de 2014)

La Comisión ha recibido la carta mencionada en el preámbulo de la pregunta. El BEI se ocupa de la financiación del proyecto Castor y, en cumplimiento de esa función, ya ha respondido a esa carta, cuya copia había recibido la Comisión (carta BEI SG/DIR 2013-0577, de 27 de noviembre de 2013). La Comisión no puede añadir ningún otro dato a la respuesta del BEI y, en consecuencia, no tiene la intención de contestar por su parte.

Asimismo, la Comisión recuerda a Su Señoría las respuestas de la Comisión a las preguntas parlamentarias E-12052/13, E-12144/13 y E-829/14 (209), que se refieren al mismo asunto.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002372/14

to the Commission

Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Answer to the letter sent to the Commission with regard to the Castor Project

The following groups signed and sent a letter (210) to the Commission on 29 October 2013: Plataforma en Defensa de les Terres del Sénia, Plataforma Auditoria Ciutadana del Deute (PACD), Plataforma Delta Viu per la recuperació dels espais naturals i agraris del Delta del Llobregat, Plataforma del Priorat, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Mundubat, Entrepobles, Enginyeria Sense Fronteres, Ecologistas en Acción, Carbon Trade Watch, Campaña de Afectados/as por Repsol, Associació Salut i Agroecologia, Associació de Naturalistes de Girona, AlterNativa Intercanvi amb Pobles Indígenes in relation to bonds for Europa 2020 Projects which were invested in the Castor Project.

This letter was sent to Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), to Mr Alfonso Querejeta, Secretary General of the EIB and also to Mr Olli Rehn, Vice‐President of the European Commission.

1.

Did the Commission actually receive the aforementioned letter?

2.

Does the Commission intend to respond to this letter in the next few weeks?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 2014)

The Commission has received the letter mentioned in the preamble of the question. The EIB is responsible for the financing of the Castor project and as such it has already replied to the aforementioned letter to which the Commission was copied (EIB letter SG/DIR 2013-0577 dated 27th of November 2013). The Commission cannot add any further element to the EIB reply and therefore does not intend to provide an additional response.

The Commission would also like to draw the attention of the honourable MEP to the Commission replies to Parliamentary Questions E-12052/13, E-12144/13 and E-829/14 (211) referring to the same subject.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002383/14

à la Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(3 mars 2014)

Objet: Utilisation de l'hortensia comme drogue

Depuis quelques années, l'utilisation de l'hortensia comme drogue de substitution au cannabis a été détectée en Bavière puis plus largement en Allemagne. Depuis la fin de l'année 2013, le phénomène s'est importé également dans le nord de la France. Pour le moment, l'office français de veille sanitaire n'a pas encore réagi mais le nombre de plaintes pour vol d'hortensias a augmenté dans les régions en question et sert aujourd'hui d'unique baromètre pour révéler l'ampleur de cette nouvelle mode.

Le danger de l'utilisation de l'hortensia est encore plus élevé que celle du cannabis, puisqu'une fois consommé on retrouve dans sa composition chimique de l'acide cyanhydrique (cyanure). Les conséquences de cette consommation entrainent des troubles gastro-intestinaux, l'accélération du rythme cardiaque et, à forte dose, une mort par étouffement.

Dans ce contexte,

Considérant la propagation du phénomène, la Commission européenne a-t-elle connaissance de cette pratique et dispose-t-elle de chiffres en Europe?

La Commission a-t-elle prévu de faire de la sensibilisation auprès des États membres et des citoyens face aux dangers de cette pratique?

Réponse donnée par M. Hahn au nom de la Commission

(2 mai 2014)

La Commission a connaissance d'articles de presse selon lesquels des personnes fument des feuilles et fleurs d'hortensia séchées, mélangées à du tabac, comme substitut au cannabis. Cette pratique a été constatée jusqu'à présent en France et en Allemagne, mais aucun élément d'information ne permet d'affirmer qu'elle se propage au reste de l'Union européenne.

Les effets psychotropes de Hydrangea paniculata, une variété d'hortensia originaire de la Chine et du Japon, ne sont pas bien connus, faute d'avoir été étudiés. Certains forums d'utilisateurs parlent d'effets hallucinogènes et euphorisants et font état d'effets nocifs graves, tels que des problèmes gastriques et respiratoires, des étourdissements et, dans le cas d'une consommation importante, une intoxication causée par la production d'acide cyanhydrique.

La réduction de la demande de drogue relève principalement de la compétence des États membres, qui élaborent des politiques en matière de prévention, de traitement et de réduction des méfaits de la toxicomanie, afin de sensibiliser le public aux dangers de la drogue.

La Commission complète l'action des États membres dans ce domaine en soutenant, par exemple, par l'intermédiaire de programmes financiers de l'UE, l'élaboration de stratégies innovantes ou le partage des meilleures pratiques. Le programme «Prévenir la consommation de drogue et informer le public» a permis de financer plusieurs campagnes d'information et projets concernant les nouvelles méthodes de prévention à l'adresse des jeunes. (212)

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002383/14

to the Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Hydrangeas being used as drugs

Several years ago, it was discovered that hydrangeas were being used as a substitute for cannabis in the German region of Bavaria. The phenomenon soon spread across the country, and since late 2013 has also been prevalent in parts of northern France. For the time being, the French Health Monitoring Agency has opted not to take any action, but the increasing number of hydrangea thefts being reported in the regions in question is today revealing, in a rather unique way, just how widespread this new trend is becoming.

When used as a drug, hydrangeas are even more dangerous than cannabis, as hydrocyanic acid (cyanide) can be found in their chemical composition once they are ingested. Anyone smoking them could well suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, an accelerated heart rate and, if ingested in great quantities, death by suffocation.

1.

Is the Commission aware of the practice described above, and does it have any figures to hand that demonstrate how widespread it is becoming in Europe?

2.

Has the Commission taken any steps to make Member States and citizens more aware of the dangers associated with this practice?

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2014)

The Commission is aware of press reports of people smoking dried Hydrangea flower heads and leaves, mixed with tobacco, as an alternative to cannabis. France and Germany reported such incidents so far, but there is no information on the spread of this practice in the EU.

The psycho-activity of Hydrangea paniculata, a variety coming from China and Japan, is not clearly established because there is no research on its effects. User forums describe its hallucinogenic and euphoria-inducing effects and report severe adverse effects, namely stomach and respiratory problems, dizzy spells and, if consumed in large quantities, intoxication caused by the production of hydrogen cyanide.

Drug-demand reduction is primarily a competence of the Member States, which develop policies on drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction, to raise awareness about the risks of drug use.

The Commission complements Member States' action on drug-demand reduction by supporting the development of innovative approaches, for instance, or the sharing of best practices, through EU financial programmes. The Drug Prevention and Information Programme (213) has funded several projects on awareness raising and on innovative prevention methods aimed at young people.

(Version française)

Question avec demande de réponse écrite E-002384/14

à la Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(3 mars 2014)

Objet: Utilisation de la chabasite contre les algues vertes

Les algues vertes, qui envahissent depuis quelques années les côtes bretonnes en France, ont pour origine une concentration excessive de nitrate. Le nitrate provient aujourd'hui essentiellement des activités agricoles, notamment de l'épandage d'engrais azoté d'origine minérale ou organique. L'eau chargée en nitrates ruisselle depuis les champs, rejoint les rivières, puis la mer.

Pendant l'été 1998, la Toscane a connu un problème ayant la même origine mais des conséquences différentes. L'utilisation de la poudre de chabasite dans l'alimentation des porcs a permis de réduire l'azote ammoniacal et ainsi de diminuer considérablement les nuisances.

Cette solution est d'autant plus intéressante que des gisements importants de chabasite se trouvent sur le territoire de l'Union, en Toscane.

La chabasite peut s'utiliser dans l'alimentation des porcs, mais également être dispersée sous forme de granules directement sur le terrain. Une expérimentation financée par des fonds communautaires est actuellement en cours en Italie.

Dans ce contexte:

Pourquoi n'existe-t-il pas de mécanisme d'information visant à récolter les informations face aux problèmes écologiques et à faire part des solutions aux territoires concernés?

La Bretagne peut-elle également prétendre à une aide financière de l'Union pour l'expérimentation de l'utilisation de la chabasite?

La Commission a-t-elle connaissance d'autres solutions à ce problème permettant de concilier l'activité d'élevage et l'environnement?

Réponse donnée par M. Potočnik au nom de la Commission

(15 mai 2014)

La directive 2003/4/CE (214) prévoit la diffusion active par les États membres (EM) de l'information en matière d'environnement, notamment des rapports sur l'état de l'environnement et des données de contrôle (215). D'autres textes de la législation de l'UE contiennent des obligations plus spécifiques pour informer activement la population, par exemple sur l'état des eaux de baignade, y compris celles touchées par la prolifération d'algues (216). La Commission promeut régulièrement des études et ateliers techniques visant à l'échange de bonnes pratiques, notamment en matière de pratiques agricoles plus respectueuses de l'environnement. (217)

Une aide financière pour ce type d'expérimentation serait possible au titre de LIFE, Horizon 2020, ou d'autres instruments de financement de l'UE. La principale solution aux problèmes d'eutrophisation est de prévenir et réduire la pollution à la source par la mise en œuvre de la législation de l'UE, en particulier la directive sur les nitrates (218). Cette directive exige des États membres de surveiller la qualité de l'eau, de désigner des zones vulnérables aux nitrates, et d'établir des programmes d'action obligatoires fondés sur des pratiques agricoles respectueuses de l'environnement (219). Les États membres peuvent également inclure des mesures supplémentaires comme, par exemple, les stratégies d'alimentation du bétail visant à réduire la teneur en nutriments des effluents d'élevage. En outre, la directive 2000/60/CE (220) exige l'obtention d'un bon état écologique des eaux et prévoit des obligations supplémentaires pour les États membres concernant la pollution causée par les nutriments.

De surcroît, les fonds de développement rural peuvent servir à indemniser les agriculteurs pour les coûts supplémentaires ou les pertes de revenus dus à l'application de pratiques préservant les ressources en eau allant au-delà des obligations juridiques prévues. En outre, la législation de l'UE relative aux additifs destinés à l'alimentation des animaux (221) permet l'autorisation par les États membres de certaines substances pour des expériences à des fins scientifiques et dans certaines conditions.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002384/14

to the Commission

Gaston Franco (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Use of chabazite to combat green algae

For several years now, the coastlines of the French region of Brittany have been overrun by green algae, which originate from excessive concentrations of nitrates. Today, most nitrates are by-products of farming practices, especially when organic or inorganic nitrogen fertilisers are spread over fields, with water loaded with nitrates then flowing from these fields into streams and rivers, and ultimately into the sea.

During the summer of 1998, the same problem befell the Italian region of Tuscany, but with different consequences. By mixing ground chabazite into the feed of their pigs, farmers were able to reduce the amount of ammoniacal nitrogen present in the fertilisers, and thereby considerably cut back on the quantities of harmful substances emitted into the water cycle.

This solution appears even more advantageous given that vast deposits of chabazite can be found in the European Union, specifically in Tuscany.

Not only can chabazite be used in pig feed, it can also be dispersed as granules directly onto the soil. Tests financed by Community funding are currently being performed in Italy.

1.

In light of the above, why is there not an information mechanism in place for gathering information when environmental problems strike and for providing solutions to the regions affected?

2.

Can Brittany also claim financial assistance from the European Union so that it can conduct its own tests relating to the use of chabazite?

3.

Does the Commission know of any other solutions to this problem that involve more environmentally friendly farming practices?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2014)

Directive 2003/4/EC (222) provides for active dissemination by Member States (MS) of environmental information, including reports on the state of the environment and monitoring data (223). Other pieces of EU legislation contain more specific duties to actively inform the public, e.g. on the status of bathing waters, including those affected by algal blooms (224). The Commission is regularly promoting studies and technical workshops aimed at exchanges of best practices, including on more environmentally friendly farming practices (225).

Financial assistance for such tests might be possible under LIFE, Horizon 2020, or other EU funding instruments. The main solution to eutrophication problems is to prevent and reduce pollution at source by implementing EU legislation, in particular the Nitrates Directive (226). This directive requires MS to monitor water quality, to designate Nitrates Vulnerable Zones and to establish mandatory action programmes based on environmentally friendly farming practices (227). MS can also include additional measures as, for example, feeding strategies to reduce the nutrients content in manure. Moreover, Directive 2000/60/EC (228) requires the achievement of good ecological status of waters provides for additional obligations to Member States in relation to pollution caused by nutrients.

In addition, the rural development funds can be used to compensate farmers for extra costs or income lost for applying water-friendly practices going beyond legal obligations. Moreover,

EU legislation on additives for use in animal nutrition (229) allows the authorisation by MS of some substances for experiments for scientific purposes and under specific conditions.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002385/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Accuse di minacce alla libertà di stampa e di opinione in Montenegro

A partire da inizio febbraio alcuni media hanno posto all'attenzione del pubblico una sorta di attacco da parte dei media di stato montenegrini contro i mezzi d'informazione indipendenti. Spesso la tv di Stato lancia servizi in cui si accusano i media indipendenti di essere gestiti e diretti da «criminali». Alcuni giornalisti sono addirittura rimasti vittime di violenza o atti intimidatori, come ad esempio il caporedattore di un giornale, di fronte al cui ufficio è stata fatta esplodere una bomba, o una giornalista di un altro quotidiano, che è stata aggredita e gravemente ferita alla testa con una mazza da baseball.

Si pensa che questi attacchi siano legati ad accuse di corruzione mosse da alcuni media contro parte dell'élite politica montenegrina, ma non esistono prove per risalire ad esecutori e mandanti di queste operazioni.

Nell'ultimo rapporto di Giornalisti senza frontiere, il Montenegro si è classificato 113esimo su 179 paesi, parecchio indietro rispetto ai suoi vicini in fase di adesione o già membri dell'UE.

Alla luce di queste informazioni, può la Commissione chiarire se:

è a conoscenza di questa situazione?

ritiene che la libertà dei media indipendenti montenegrini sia davvero a rischio?

ha già avviato un dialogo in materia di libertà di stampa ed espressione con le autorità montenegrine, nel contesto del percorso di adesione all'UE del piccolo paese balcanico?

Risposta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(8 maggio 2014)

La Commissione è pienamente a conoscenza della situazione riguardante la libertà dei mezzi di informazione in Montenegro e ne segue attentamente gli sviluppi. Nella relazione 2013 sui progressi compiuti dal Montenegro (230) ha chiaramente dichiarato che l'aumento dei casi di violenza contro i giornalisti è fonte di grave preoccupazione.

La Commissione ritiene questi avvenimenti inaccettabili per un paese che intende entrare nell'Unione europea, e ha ripetutamente chiesto alle autorità di impegnarsi maggiormente per indagare a fondo e perseguire i casi — vecchi e recenti — di violenza contro i giornalisti e i media. In occasione della conferenza Speak Up 2 tenutasi nel giugno 2013, il Commissario responsabile per l'allargamento ha ribadito che gli autori di tali violenze devono rendere conto degli atti perpetrati e ha ripetutamente sottolineato che non vi deve essere alcuna impunità.

La Commissione continuerà a seguire la situazione della libertà dei mezzi di comunicazione in Montenegro nell'ambito dei negoziati d'adesione riguardanti il capitolo 23 sul sistema giudiziario e i diritti fondamentali. Le autorità si sono impegnate a intraprendere varie attività per prevenire aggressioni in futuro, ad esempio analisi dei rischi per i giornalisti che possono essere un potenziale bersaglio e per le loro famiglie, e controlli sul campo delle organizzazioni criminali. L'istituzione, da parte delle autorità montenegrine, di una commissione ad hoc che indaghi sui reati in questione, è accolta favorevolmente. Ciò non deve, tuttavia, distogliere l'attenzione dal lavoro e dalle responsabilità delle autorità di contrasto e delle autorità giudiziarie, che deve continuare e dare risultati.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002385/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Accusations of threats to the freedom of the press and of opinion in Montenegro

Since the beginning of February certain media have brought to public attention a kind of attack by the Montenegrin state media against the independent media. State television often broadcasts programmes accusing the independent media of being run and influenced by ‘criminals’. Some reporters have even been the victims of violence or acts of intimidation, such as, for example, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper who had a bomb explode outside his office, or a reporter of another daily newspaper who was attacked and received serious injuries to her head from a baseball bat.

These attacks are believed to be associated with accusations of corruption made by certain media against part of the Montenegrin political elite, but there is no evidence pointing to the perpetrators of these operations and those behind them.

In the latest report by Giornalisti senza frontiere, Montenegro is classified in 113th place out of 179 countries, some way behind its neighbouring countries which are in the process of accession or are already members of the EU.

In view of this information, can the Commission clarify whether:

it is aware of this situation;

it considers that the freedom of the independent media in Montenegro is really under threat;

it has begun a dialogue on the freedom of the press with the Montenegrin authorities, within the context of the path to accession to the EU of this small Balkan country?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2014)

The Commission is well aware of the situation of media freedom in Montenegro and closely follows its developments. In the 2013 progress report on Montenegro (231), the Commission clearly stated that the rise in cases of violence against journalists is a source of serious concern.

The Commission considers these cases unacceptable for a country who wishes to join the European Union and has repeatedly asked the authorities to step up their efforts to thoroughly investigate and prosecute earlier and recent cases of violence against journalists and media. The Commissioner for Enlargement, at the Speak Up 2 conference held in June 2013, recalled that perpetrators of such violence must be held accountable. He has repeatedly stressed that there should be no impunity.

The Commission will continue to monitor media freedom in Montenegro in the framework of accession negotiations on Chapter 23, dealing with Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. The authorities committed to implement various activities to prevent future attacks, such as risk analysis on possible targeted journalists and their families; as well as ground checks in relation to criminal organisations. The establishment, by the Montenegrin authorities, of an ad-hoc commission to investigate such crimes is welcome. This should not, however, divert the attention from the work and the responsibilities of the law enforcement and judicial authorities, which should continue and lead to results.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002386/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Negoziati per la riunificazione di Cipro

Lo scorso 11 febbraio i leader greco-ciprioti e turco-ciprioti si sono incontrati per avviare negoziati per una «federazione cipriota unita». L'incontro ha avuto come esito la redazione di un testo in cui si parla di una federazione di due comunità e due zone con parità politica, governata da un governo federale, disciplinata da una costituzione federale, approvata da una corte suprema federale.

Si suppone che la popolazione godrà di piena cittadinanza sull'intero territorio dell'isola, mentre la federazione dovrebbe continuare a far parte sia delle Nazioni Unite che dell'Unione europea. L'intero processo dovrebbe poi essere approvato tramite referendum popolari da entrambe le parti.

1.

Qual è l'opinione della Commissione in merito a quanto descritto?

2.

Ritiene che la riunificazione possa portare vantaggi all'Unione e alle popolazioni dell'isola cipriota?

3.

Ritiene che la riunificazione possa dare maggiore impulso al processo di adesione della Turchia all'Unione?

4.

Ritiene che la riunificazione possa apportare vantaggi anche in termini di risorse energetiche, alla luce dei depositi di gas naturali ancora intatti presenti nei mari attorno all'isola?

5.

Ritiene che la riunificazione possa anche portare a una normalizzazione dei rapporti tra UE e NATO?

Risposta di Štefan Füle a nome della Commissione

(25 aprile 2014)

La Commissione rinvia l'onorevole deputato al comunicato dell'Unione europea dell'11 febbraio sull'accordo raggiunto tra i leader greco-ciprioti e turco-ciprioti in merito a una dichiarazione congiunta e alla ripresa dei negoziati (232), nonché alle conclusioni del Consiglio europeo del 21 marzo (233) e al comunicato stampa pubblicato il 27 marzo dal gruppo direttivo su Cipro (234).

Nelle conclusioni dello scorso dicembre, il Consiglio europeo ha ribadito che la Turchia potrebbe imprimere un notevole impulso ai negoziati di adesione compiendo passi avanti verso la necessaria normalizzazione delle relazioni con la Repubblica di Cipro, anche attraverso il rispetto dell'obbligo di applicare integralmente e in maniera non discriminatoria il protocollo aggiuntivo dell'accordo di associazione nei confronti di tutti gli Stati membri.

La Commissione invita inoltre l'onorevole deputato a consultare la sua risposta alla precedente interrogazione scritta E-010975/2013 relativa alla posizione dell'UE in merito alle prospettive di estrazione del gas naturale nella zona economica esclusiva della Repubblica di Cipro.

Una soluzione globale della questione cipriota potrebbe contribuire positivamente alle relazioni UE-NATO.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002386/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus

On 11 February 2014 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met to begin negotiations on a ‘United Federation of Cyprus’. The meeting led to the drafting of a text which referred to a federation of two communities and two areas with political equality, governed by a federal government in accordance with a federal constitution approved by a federal supreme court.

The assumption is that every Cypriot would have full citizenship in both parts of the island, whilst the federation would go on to become a member of both the United Nations and the European Union. The entire process would have to be approved by means of a referendum held in both parts of the island.

1.

What view does the Commission take of these developments?

2.

Does it consider that reunification may bring benefits for both the Union and the population of the island of Cyprus?

3.

Does it consider that reunification may bring Turkey’s accession to the Union nearer?

4.

Does it consider that reunification may also bring benefits in the energy sphere, given the presence of untapped natural gas deposits under the sea around the island?

5.

Does it consider that reunification may also lead to the normalisation of relations between the EU and NATO?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2014)

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to the 11 February statement from the European Union on the agreement reached by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on a joint declaration and on the resumption of the negotiations (235), as well as the European Council Conclusion of 21 March (236) and the Cyprus Steering Group press release of 27 March (237).

The European Council in its conclusions of last December reiterated that Turkey could benefit from a significant boost to its accession negotiation process by making progress towards the necessary normalisation of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus, including by fulfilling its obligations of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement towards all Member States.

The Commission also refers the Honourable Member to its answer to previous Written Question E-010975/2013 regarding the EU position concerning the prospects of natural gas extraction in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

A comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue has the potential to positively contribute to EU-NATO relations.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002387/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Evasione fiscale delle grandi multinazionali

In una recente interrogazione l'interrogante ha chiesto un chiarimento in merito ai danni economici e sociali provocati dalla corruzione nei paesi in via di sviluppo. A completamento di tale interrogazione, si deve però anche considerare che l'evasione fiscale di alcune multinazionali del nord del mondo provoca perdite per svariati miliardi di dollari in questi stessi paesi. Una nota ONG con sede a Bruxelles ha calcolato che i paesi in via di sviluppo perdono una quota che si aggira tra i 660 e gli 870 miliardi di EUR all'anno. È un danno enorme se si considera che si tratta di risorse prodotte in quei paesi che poi vengono fatte migrare all'estero e che, in alcuni casi, superano addirittura gli aiuti internazionali che tali paesi ricevono.

In merito a questa situazione, può la Commissione:

fornire dati che smentiscano o confermino quanto esposto nel rapporto della ONG in questione?

chiarire se ritiene che queste operazioni possano pesare negativamente sul raggiungimento degli obiettivi di sviluppo del millennio 2015 delle Nazioni Unite?

indicare se dispone di dati relativi all'evasione fiscale di imprese multinazionali con sede sul territorio dell'Unione europea?

Risposta di Algirdas Šemeta a nome della Commissione

(16 aprile 2014)

1.

Esistono diverse stime dell’ammontare del gettito fiscale perduto nei paesi in via di sviluppo, che indicano importi significativi, come giustamente osserva l’onorevole parlamentare (con riferimento al rapporto di Eurodad «Giving with one hand and taking with the other — Europe's role in tax-related capital flight from developing countries»). A causa della loro natura, tali perdite sono però difficili da calcolare in modo preciso. La Commissione, tuttavia, condivide il parere che esse sono molto elevate ed ha rilasciato dichiarazioni in questo senso nella sua comunicazione su fiscalità e sviluppo.

2.

Gli elevati livelli dei flussi finanziari illeciti in uscita dai paesi in via di sviluppo possono pesare negativamente sul conseguimento degli obiettivi di sviluppo del millennio delle Nazioni Unite. Pertanto, l'impegno per contrastare tali flussi finanziari illeciti rappresenta una delle priorità della Commissione, che ha effettuato vari interventi politici e intrapreso iniziative concrete in tal senso.

3.

La Commissione non dispone di questo tipo di informazioni.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002387/14

to the Commission

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Tax evasion by large multinationals

In an earlier written question, I requested information on the economic and social harm corruption is causing to developing countries. Further to that question, it needs to be pointed out that tax evasion by some rich-world multinationals is losing developing countries billions of dollars. A well-known Brussels-based NGO has calculated that developing countries are losing between EUR 660 and EUR 870 billion every year. This means that wealth generated in developing countries is being taken abroad and, in some cases, the amounts involved are greater than the international aid received by those countries. This is causing developing countries enormous harm.

1.

Can the Commission confirm or contradict the information contained in the NGO’s report?

2.

Does it believe that such tax evasion is making it more difficult to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for 2015?

3.

Does it have any data on tax evasion by multinationals based in the EU?

Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2014)

1.

Various estimates of the amount of tax revenue lost in developing countries exist showing substantial losses as the Honourable Member rightly points out (referring to Eurodad's report ‘Giving with one hand and taking with the other — Europe's role in tax-related capital flight from developing countries’). These losses are difficult to estimate in a precise manner due to their nature. However the Commission shares the view that they are very high and issued similar statements in its communication ‘Tax and Development’.

2.

The high estimated levels of illicit financial flows from developing countries might hamper the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Therefore, efforts to tackle illicit financial flows are high on the Commission’s agenda and several policy interventions have been adopted and actions taken.

3.

The Commission does not have this type of information.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002388/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Messa in sicurezza del tratto terminale del fiume Fiora dalle esondazioni e impatto ambientale

Il Fiora è un fiume che nasce dal versante grossetano del monte Amiata, attraversando Toscana e Lazio. Particolare attenzione richiede la messa in sicurezza del tratto terminale del fiume che, per già due volte negli ultimi 4 anni, è esondato in prossimità della foce.

Nel 2003, l'ARDIS (Agenzia regionale per la difesa del suolo) ha redatto il progetto preliminare generale di variante attinente ai lavori di sistemazione idraulica del fiume Fiora tra la strada statale Aurelia e il mare, al fine di adeguare le opere di difesa, già progettate e appaltate, integrandole con nuove opere di sistemazione e regimazione del tratto focivo.

Le preoccupazioni sono sorte, una volta approvato il progetto definitivo, per la realizzazione, nel tratto all'interno dell'abitato di Montalto Marina, di un muro di cemento armato della lunghezza di 800 metri circa, nel quale non si evince un’adeguata sommità mobile o, in subordine, un’opportuna schermatura del muro stesso con essenze arboree tipiche del luogo. La soluzione progettistica così individuata non sembra prendere in considerazione il rispetto della tutela del paesaggio e del delicato ecosistema fluviale. Una soluzione tale non sembrerebbe essere in linea con gli obiettivi del progetto, ovvero evitare nuove esondazioni del Fiora e garantire la tutela del paesaggio.

In particolare, si ricorda che le aree interessate dal progetto sono caratterizzate dalla presenza di diversi beni paesaggistici vincolati ai sensi del decreto legislativo 42/2004. Si sottolinea, inoltre, la possibilità di utilizzare tecniche alternative di messa in sicurezza del fiume, compatibili con l'ambiente.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

è a conoscenza della questione?

Il progetto definitivo di realizzazione di un muro di cemento armato della lunghezza di 800 metri, in assenza di una parte sommitale mobile in prossimità della foce o, in subordine, di un’opportuna schermatura del muro stesso con essenze arboree tipiche del luogo, rispetta la Convenzione europea del paesaggio?

Il progetto così configurato rispetta le disposizioni europee in materia di tutela e protezione dell'ambiente e delle aree circostanti?

Vi sono esempi di buone pratiche o progetti analoghi utilizzati in altre realtà europee con un minor impatto ambientale e con una maggiore valorizzazione della tutela e della varietà ambientale?

Risposta di Janez Potočnik a nome della Commissione

(10 aprile 2014)

1.

La Commissione non è a conoscenza della questione sollevata nell'interrogazione.

2.

L'Unione europea non è competente per valutare la conformità del progetto alla Convenzione europea del paesaggio. Si tratta infatti di una convenzione del Consiglio d'Europa di cui l'Unione europea — diversamente dall'Italia — non è Parte.

3.

La Commissione non dispone di informazioni sufficienti per valutare la conformità del progetto alla normativa ambientale unionale.

4.

Spetta agli Stati membri determinare gli obiettivi e i provvedimenti necessari per gestire i rischi di inondazioni (compresi gli aspetti di prevenzione, protezione e preparazione). Ove possibile, in alternativa alle infrastrutture grigie la Commissione promuove il ricorso alle infrastrutture verdi (238) quale soluzione efficace ed economica per contribuire alla riduzione delle conseguenze dannose delle inondazioni, con il vantaggio accessorio di fornire benefici aggiuntivi in termini di qualità dell'acqua, stoccaggio della CO2 e biodiversità. Prima di avallare progetti che modificano i corpi d'acqua, occorre considerare soluzioni più idonee sotto il profilo ambientale, fra cui i meccanismi naturali di gestione del rischio di esondazione (239).

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002388/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Protection of the final stretch of the River Fiora from flooding and environmental impact

The River Fiora arises on the Grossetto side of Mount Amiata, passing though Tuscany and Lazio. Particular attention needs to be paid to the protection of the final stretch of the river which, twice in the last four years, has overflowed close to its mouth.

In 2003, ARDIS (the Regional Land Protection Agency) drew up the first general preliminary upgrade project involving water management works of the River Fiora between the Aurelia trunk road and the sea, in order to improve defence works, already designed and contracted out, by integrating them with new works for the management and regulation of the river mouth stretch.

Concerns have arisen, on approval of the final project, in relation to the construction within the village of Montalto Marina of a reinforced concrete wall of approximately 800 metres in length, with no provision for a suitable removable upper section, or, alternatively, for appropriate shielding of the wall with tree species typical of the locality. This design solution does not appear to take into consideration compliance with protection of the landscape and of the delicate river ecosystem. Such a solution would not appear to meet the project objectives, that is, to avoid renewed flooding of the River Fiora and ensure the protection of the landscape.

In particular, it is recalled that the areas affected by the project are noted for the presence of various scenic assets within the meaning of Legislative Decree No 42/2004. Furthermore, the possibility is emphasised of using alternative techniques for protecting the river, compatible with the environment.

In view of the above, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of this matter?

Does the final project for the construction of an 800-metre, reinforced concrete wall, in the absence of a removable upper section close to the river mouth, or, alternatively, of appropriate shielding of the wall with tree species typical of the locality, comply with the European Landscape Convention?

As designed, does the project comply with European provisions on the care and protection of the environment and the surrounding areas?

Are there any examples of good practice or similar projects used in other European situations with a lesser environmental impact and a greater appreciation of the protection and the variety of the environment?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

(10 April 2014)

1.

The Commission is not aware of the matter raised in the question.

2.

The EU has no competence to assess the compliance of this project with the European Landscape Convention. This is a Convention of the Council of Europe to which Italy is a Party but not the EU.

3.

The Commission does not have sufficient information to assess the compliance of the project with.EU environmental law.

4.

It is for Member States to determine the objectives and measures needed for the management of flood risks (incl. prevention, protection and preparedness). Wherever possible, as an alternative to grey infrastructure, the Commission promotes the use of Green Infrastructure (240)as an effective and cost-efficient solution to contribute to the reduction of the adverse consequences of flooding, which at the same time provides additional benefits in terms of water quality, carbon storage and biodiversity. Better environmental options including natural flood risk management approaches (241) should be considered prior to projects that would cause modifications to water bodies.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002389/14

alla Commissione

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Emergenza umanitaria in Sud Sudan

Le atroci violenze nel Sudan meridionale sono scoppiate a Juba il 15 dicembre 2013. Il conflitto si è trasformato presto in una guerra tra esercito e ribelli.

Il 9 gennaio, l'International Crisis Group ha dichiarato che circa diecimila persone, tra cui migliaia di bambini, sono state uccise nelle violenze. L'accordo di cessate il fuoco tra il governo del Sud Sudan e i ribelli, firmato ad Addis Abeba il 23 gennaio, non è stato rispettato dalle parti. La situazione umanitaria è di emergenza assoluta, il numero di profughi, sfollati interni e rifugiati nei paesi vicini è in costante aumento.

Ciò premesso, può la Commissione rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

è a conoscenza della situazione?

Quali iniziative intende adottare al fine di favorire il processo di mediazione?

In che modo intende affrontare la grave carenza di aiuti alimentari, rifugi di emergenza e protezione in Sud Sudan?

Qual è il suo parere riguardo alla situazione venutasi a creare in Sud Sudan?

Risposta di Kristalina Georgieva a nome della Commissione

(5 maggio 2014)

La Commissione è a conoscenza della grave crisi nel Sud Sudan, dove assicura una presenza umanitaria costante, partecipa attivamente alla valutazione del fabbisogno e collabora con i partner umanitari per soccorrere rapidamente, e nel modo più efficiente possibile, la popolazione vittima del conflitto.

Da gennaio 2014 la Commissione fornisce un sostegno finanziario all'Autorità intergovernativa per lo sviluppo (IGAD), per agevolarne il ruolo di mediazione tra le parti in conflitto, e al meccanismo di monitoraggio del cessate il fuoco concordato nello stesso mese.

La Commissione europea ha stanziato 50 milioni di EUR sotto forma di aiuti umanitari per rispondere alle necessità più urgenti. Questo importo, proveniente dal Fondo europeo di sviluppo, sarà integrato da altri 30 milioni di EUR da utilizzare all'interno del Sud Sudan e da 15 milioni di EUR destinati ai profughi sud-sudanesi nei paesi limitrofi. La Commissione collega soccorsi, risanamento e sviluppo per ottimizzare l'impatto dei fondi umanitari e di sviluppo (questo ultimo ha erogato complessivamente, dal 2011 ad oggi, 285 milioni di EUR per sostenere la sanità, l'istruzione, la sicurezza alimentare e la governance). Si sta inoltre preparando, attraverso lo strumento inteso a contribuire alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), un pacchetto di 10 milioni di EUR a sostegno della stabilizzazione e della promozione della fiducia nelle zone colpite dal conflitto.

Secondo la valutazione della Commissione, questa crisi umanitaria sarà lunga e di vasta portata. La situazione continuerà ad aggravarsi fintanto che le parti non rispetteranno il cessate il fuoco e non si troverà una soluzione politica alla crisi.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002389/14

to the Commission

Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

The atrocious violence in South Sudan broke out in Juba on 15 December 2013. The conflict soon became a war between the army and the rebels.

On 9 January, the International Crisis Group stated that around ten thousand persons, including thousands of children, had perished in the violence. The ceasefire agreement between the government of South Sudan and the rebels, signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January, was not respected by the parties. The humanitarian situation is one of absolute emergency, the number of refugees, internally displaced persons and those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries is constantly increasing.

In view of this, can the Commission answer the following questions:

Is it aware of the situation?

What initiatives does it intend to adopt in order to encourage the mediation process?

How does it intend to deal with the serious shortages of food aid, emergency shelter and protection in South Sudan?

What is its opinion of the situation which has arisen in South Sudan?

Answer given by Ms Georgieva on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 2014)

The Commission is indeed aware of the deep crisis in South Sudan. The Commission has ensured a humanitarian presence on the ground throughout the crisis and is actively involved in needs assessments and is liaising with humanitarian partners to provide the most efficient emergency response to the conflict-affected population.

Since January 2014 the Commission has been providing financial support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in its efforts to mediate between the warring parties, as well as to the mechanism mandated to monitor the ceasefire agreed in January 2014.

The European Commission has allocated EUR 50 million of humanitarian aid to respond to the most urgent needs. Drawing on the European Development Fund, this humanitarian support will be increased by an additional EUR 30 million for inside South Sudan and EUR 15 million for South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. The Commission is linking relief, rehabilitation and development to maximise the impact of both humanitarian and development funds (the latter totalling EUR 285 million in health, education, food security and governance since 2011 to date). In addition, a EUR 10 million package funded through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) is also being prepared to contribute to stabilisation and confidence-building in areas affected by the conflict.

According to the Commission's assessment, this humanitarian crisis will be long-lasting and large scale. The situation will aggravate further for as long as a ceasefire is not effectively honoured by the parties and a political solution to the crisis is not found.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002390/14

alla Commissione (Vicepresidente/Alto Rappresentante)

Giommaria Uggias (ALDE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: VP/HR — Richiesta di verifica dell'esistenza di materiale probatorio sulla vicenda dei Marò italiani

Fonti giornalistiche riportano che, nell'ambito della vicenda relativa ai due Marò, i fucilieri della Marina militare italiana detenuti nelle carceri indiane, sarebbero state occultate delle prove consistenti nei tracciati radar della nave Enrica Lexie e alcune fotografie dell'incidente in cui la petroliera italiana fu coinvolta.

A marzo 2013, era stata la stessa Procura, sia civile che militare, ad aver dichiarato in una conferenza stampa di essere in possesso del computer di bordo della Lexie, all'interno del quale il radar salva le sue registrazioni. Registrazioni radar in possesso anche degli inquirenti indiani, che risulta abbiano fatto una copia dell'hard disk il 6 marzo 2012.

Se le indiscrezioni fossero confermate, questi elementi probatori permetterebbero di colmare una gigantesca e inspiegabile lacuna nella ricostruzione dei fatti; avendo a disposizione immagini di quanto accaduto, incluse posizioni, rotte e velocità dell'imbarcazione, sarebbe possibile ricostruire la vicenda con una precisione infinitamente maggiore di quanto riportato da qualunque testimone.

Ciò premesso, può l'Alto Rappresentante per la politica estera e di sicurezza comune rispondere ai seguenti quesiti:

è a conoscenza dell'esistenza delle prove documentali in questione?

Qualora l'esistenza di tali prove fosse confermata, ritiene di dover intervenire presso il Ministero della Difesa della Repubblica Italiana per mettere a disposizione delle autorità giudiziarie competenti il materiale probatorio occultato?

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

(28 aprile 2014)

L'AR/VP segue con estrema attenzione sin dall'inizio il caso dei due marò italiani, tenendosi in contatto sia con le autorità italiane che con quelle indiane. La questione riguarda altresì la lotta mondiale contro la pirateria, oggetto di un fermo impegno dell'UE.

Secondo le ultime informazioni disponibili, benché dall'incidente siano trascorsi quasi due anni, non sono ancora stati depositati i capi d'imputazione contro i marò italiani, che restano in carcere a New Delhi.

Negli ultimi tempi l'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente e il Servizio europeo per l'azione esterna hanno sollevato la questione con il governo indiano a vari livelli e continueranno ad esercitare pressioni sul paese al riguardo.

In particolare, l'Alta Rappresentante/Vicepresidente ha esortato l'India a trovare rapidamente una soluzione soddisfacente a questa situazione che si protrae da tempo, nel pieno rispetto della convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sul diritto del mare e del diritto internazionale.

Le decisioni dell'India su questo caso saranno oggetto di un attento esame.

(English version)

Question for written answer E-002390/14

to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)

Giommaria Uggias (ALDE)

(3 March 2014)

Subject: VP/HR — Request to check the existence of evidence in the case of the Italian seamen

In the case of the two able seamen serving as Marines in the Italian Navy, who are being held in Indian prisons, press sources report that evidence consisting of the radar plots from the ship Enrica Lexie and some photographs of the incident involving the Italian oil tanker has been suppressed.

In March 2013 the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Office, both civilian and military, itself announced at a press conference that it held the Lexie’s on-board computer, on which the radar saved its recordings. The radar recordings are also in the possession of the Indian investigators who, reportedly, made a copy of the hard disk on 6 March 2012.

If the leaks are confirmed, this evidence would fill a huge and inexplicable gap in the reconstruction of the facts. With pictures of what happened available, including the vessel’s positions, routes and speeds, it would be possible to reconstruct the incident with infinitely greater accuracy than any witness report.

In view of this, can the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy answer the following questions:

Is she aware of the existence of the documentary evidence in question?

If the existence of such evidence is confirmed, does she consider it her duty to intervene with the Defence Ministry of the Republic of Italy to place the suppressed evidence at the disposal of the competent judicial authorities?

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

(28 April 2014)

The HR/VP has been following the case of the two Italian marines very closely, since its beginning, in contact with both the Italian and Indian authorities. This issue has also a bearing on the global fight against piracy, to which the EU is strongly committed.

According to the latest available information, the Italian marines are still being held in New Delhi, with no charge sheet having been issued despite almost two years have passed since the incident.

The HR/VP and the European External Action Service have raised this issue with the Indian government, at various levels, in the recent past, and will continue to do so with increasing emphasys.

In particular, the HR/VP has encouraged India to find, as a matter of urgency a satisfactory outcome to this long-standing case case as soon as possible, based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and international law.

Any decision by India on this case will be carefully assessed.

(Versione italiana)

Interrogazione con richiesta di risposta scritta E-002392/14

alla Commissione

Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE) e Oreste Rossi (PPE)

(3 marzo 2014)

Oggetto: Accordo commerciale UE-Mercosur

Recentemente, la premier brasiliana ha affermato di aver visto progressi positivi nel negoziato per l'accordo commerciale tra Unione europea e Mercosur. In realtà, pare che diversi paesi dell'America latina siano ancora in contrasto tra loro sull'accordo, a causa di divergenti visioni politico/economiche. Si tratta in particolare di Brasile e Argentina, le due economie più ricche della regione.

Secondo alcune voci, le discrepanze tra le posizioni dei due paesi potrebbero avere ripercussioni negative e apportare ritardi alla conclusione dell'accordo. Può la Commissione far sapere se condivide questi timori? Ha la Commissione motivo di credere che l'accordo con il Mercosur possa davvero naufragare a causa dell'assenza di consenso tra i diversi paesi latino-americani?

Risposta di Karel De Gucht a nome della Co