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C 60/18 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.

98

On 21 March 1997, in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation No 4258/88, as amended by Regulation (EEC)
No 2083/93 on the European Regional Development Fund (3), the same Ministry sent the Commission a request
for funding for the dams of the ‘Rii Monti Nieddu e Is Canargius’, for a total cost of ECU 62 million. The
Commission is currently examining the request.

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.


(2) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.
(3) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.

(98/C 60/37) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1320/97


by Gerhard Schmid (PSE) to the Commission
(11 April 1997)

Subject: Limit of liability for nuclear power stations

Under paragraph 13(3) of the German Atomic Energy Law, prudential reserves to cover liability for damages
incurred by nuclear power station operators are limited to DM 500 million. The damage caused by a serious
accident in a nuclear power station would be far higher, and the state would therefore have to provide
compensation for damage exceeding this sum.
1. Does this provision constitute indirect state aid which would require approval?
2. Does this provision constitute a distortion of competition vis-à-vis other electricity producers?

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(4 June 1997)

The provisions on liability for nuclear damage of the German atomic energy law are not at variance with existing
international nuclear third party liability conventions, as far as it provides for partial compensation for damage
by the state. Under the Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage as well as the Paris Convention
on third party liability in the field of nuclear energy, the operator of a nuclear installation is required to provide
financial security covering liability for nuclear damage in such amounts as specified by the installation state.
Such security can be provided by insurance or other financial security, i.e. a state guarantee. The Brussels
Convention, supplementary to the Paris Convention, to which Germany, like most Member States is a party,
specifically requires that, as of a certain amount and up to a fixed ceiling, compensation for nuclear damage be
provided out of public funds to be made available in first instance by the contracting party where the nuclear
installation of the operator is situated and on top of that by contracting parties to that Convention according to an
agreed formula.

Therefore, the provision in question does not seem to constitute state aid within the meaning of Article 92 of the
EC Treaty. It is based on an international agreement aiming at establishing a generally applicable security
framework for risks from nuclear activities. Each energy sector is subject to certain rules regarding safety or
environmental protection which correspond to the distinctive nature of the various energy resources. However,
even if considered as state aid the provisions would probably fall under the derogation of Article 92(2)(b) as they
intend to make good the damage caused by exceptional occurrences.

(98/C 60/38) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1421/97


by Anita Pollack (PSE) to the Commission
(23 April 1997)

Subject: Energy saving in the Ukraine

Given that some sources say that the Ukraine’s energy efficiency is approximately 30% of the OECD average,
what action has the EU taken to undertake/sponsor or jointly initiate energy-saving actions in that country?
25. 2. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/19

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(21 May 1997)

Since 1991, international aid − and especially of the Community − has supported Ukraine in restructuring its
energy sector. This has been reinforced by the group of seven (G7) which required the restructuring of the energy
sector as a pre-condition to its assistance to Ukraine for the closure of Chernobyl.

The Community developed a strategy of support for the restructuring of the Ukrainian energy sector by funding
co-operation programmes (Tacis, Synergy, Thermie) which focused on a holistic approach for progress across all
areas of energy generation and usage.

Saving and energy efficiency has been a priority for Tacis since the programme began. Over the period
1991-1996, 25 MECU went to saving and efficiency projects in the Ukraine. The Tacis project ‘Global energy
saving strategy for Ukraine’ has become the basis for subsequent work in Ukraine. The State committee for
energy conservation has been established, with the help of Tacis and Synergy, specifically to create and
implement the national energy conservation policy. Energy saving issues have been addressed in the
metallurgical, pulp and paper, electric power, engineering, food and other branches of industry. In addition the
Community is supporting, through grant funding and technical assistance, the European bank for reconstruction
and development (EBRD) efforts to set up an energy saving financing scheme in the framework of the G7 action
plan.

In the future, efforts to implement energy efficiency policies and programmes in all sectors of the Ukrainian
economy will be pursued. Specific actions will include the definition of legislative provisions and incentives for
energy saving; the promotion of financing and investment mechanisms; the development of training
programmes; and the implementation of pilot projects to further instil awareness in the industrial sector.

(98/C 60/39) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1433/97

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE) to the Commission

(18 April 1997)

Subject: Greek Government’s draft law on the exercise of the profession of accountant, tax consultant, etc.

The draft law entitled ‘Exercise of the profession of accountant, tax consultant, functioning of Institute of
Chartered Surveyors and other provisions’, recently announced by the Greek Government, provides inter alia
that accountancy graduates from Technical Education Institutes (TEI) are demoted to 2nd class accountants,
which hinders their professional development even though they chose to study in a department of Greek
higher-education that was specifically for accounting. The draft law further provides that graduates of other
educational institutions will be able to practice accountancy as 1st class accountants, even if they have not
studied in fields with such relevant subject-matter and therefore have little or no knowledge of accountancy.

The proposed arrangement is in direct breach of Greek Presidential Decrees 349/89 and 186/92, which safeguard
the professional rights of the graduates concerned. More importantly, however, the measure breaches the spirit of
Community Directive 89/48 (1) establishing the unhindered professional development of higher-education
graduates. The Court of Justice (judgment delivered by the Third Chamber on 23 March 1995 in Case C-365/93)
has, incidentally, already found against Greece for failing to safeguard the professional rights in question. What
view does the Commission take of this issue, and what steps will it take to ensure Greece’s full compliance with
Community law in this particular matter?

(1) OJ L 19, 24.1.1989, p. 16.