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C 137 E/82 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


What action does the Council intend to take in order to make the truth known and to protect Ostia’s
image, given that the Italian public health authorities have categorically denied any risks and given
assurances that it is safe to bathe anywhere on the coast?

How does it intend to prevent the major efforts and investments being made by the public authorities and
the private sector with a view to enhancing the Rome coastline’s appeal to Italian and foreign tourists from
being undermined by false accusations?


(6 February 2003)

As a general rule, it is not for the Council to express a view on medias statements nor has it discussed this
particular subject. The Honourable Member should rather address his question to the Italian authorities
who can react in their own right through the proper channels.

(2003/C 137 E/092) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2403/02

by Wolfgang Ilgenfritz (NI) to the Commission

(31 July 2002)

Subject: Money laundering directive

There is currently a debate going on in Austria concerning Directive 2001/97/EC (1) of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2001 amending Council Directive 91/308/EEC (2) on
prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering, published in the
Official Journal of the European Communities on 28 December 2001.

In this connection the question arises as to whether the recitals of the Money Laundering Directive,
particularly Nos 16, 17 and 18, have the force of law, or whether they are merely explanatory in nature.

In our opinion the recitals of the Money Laundering Directive have the force of law and are binding on the
Austrian legislature.

Could the Commission inform me whether this is the case?

(1) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 76.

(2) OJ L 166, 28.6.1991, p. 77.

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 2002)

Article 253 of the EC Treaty lays down that directives ‘shall state the reasons on which they are based’.

The purpose of the recitals to a directive is thus to explain the reasoning followed by the legislative
authority or authorities which adopted the measure in question.

The obligations imposed by a directive are set out in the articles, whereas the recitals to a directive do not
have, strictly speaking, the force of law.