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C 60/72 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.


(98/C 60/106) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1964/97

by Undine-Uta Bloch von Blottnitz (V) to the Commission
(9 June 1997)

Subject: Import of frozen sparrows from China into the European Union

On 28 January 1997 a customs officer at the port of Antwerp confiscated a container which was to be brought into
the Netherlands by lorry. The container held a total of 1 236 000 plucked and frozen sparrows with a value of
BFR 3 300 700. Neither trade nor imports or exports of tree sparrows (Passer montanus) are permitted.
Nonetheless about 6 000 000 birds of this species are brought into the country each year. Belgium mostly acts as
a transit country and the main purchasers of the frozen birds are Italy, Spain and Portugal where these birds are
traded at high prices as a delicacy and placed on the menus of restaurants.

1. Is the Commission aware of the incident described above and the whole problem of imports of sparrows
from China into the EU and in particular Belgium?
If so, what action has the Commission taken to date and what does it intend to do to halt this trade?
If not, what steps will it take to find out about the problem described above?

2. Does the Commission consider that the problem of the import of species which are protected in the EU has
been adequately clarified by the case law of the European Court of Justice?

If so, what action does it consider incumbent on itself and the governments of the Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(1 August 1997)

1. The Commission was unaware of this matter, nor had it been approached on the problem raised by the
Honourable Member. In similar cases, however, when all is said and done frontier policing falls solely within the
powers of the national authorities as Community law now stands.

2. and 3. In a judgment handed down on 8 February 1996 (1) the European Court of Justice stated that Council
Directive 99/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the protection of wild birds (2) applies to subspecies of birds that do not
naturally live in the wild state other than outside Community territory if the species to which they belong, or
other subspecies of that species, naturally live in the wild state on Member-State territory.

This being the case this judgment does not concern direct imports from non-member countries and, to the
Commission's knowledge, the Court of Justice has still not been caused to hand down judgments in cases
involving this type of import.

Against this background it would also be appropriate to examine this body of problems in the light of the relevant
rules of international law that apply to trade.

(1) Case C-202/94, Godefridus van der Feesten, 1996 Court Reports, p. I-355.
(2) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, Directive as last amended by Directive 94/24/EC of 8 June 1994 (OJ L 164, 30.6.1994).

(98/C 60/107) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1968/97

by Edith Müller (V) to the Commission
(9 June 1997)

Subject: Cooperation between EU and UN

The European Union, and its Member States, spend a lot of money every year to cooperate with the UN. It is in
the citizens’ interest to know what we get for this money.
25. 2. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/73

1. With which UN body does which DG at the Commission cooperate?

2. What is the contribution from the EU budget to each UN body?

Answer given by Mr Marı́n on behalf of the Commission

(22 July 1997)

1. DG IA, DG IB: responsible for general coordination with all United Nations (UN) bodies and operational
contacts, in particular with regard to their geographical directorates.

DG II: UN conference on trade and development (UNCTAD), Food and agriculture organisation (FAO), UN
conference on environment and development (UNCED).

DG III: World health organization (WHO), International atomic energy agency (IAEA), UN industrial
development organization (UNIDO), UNCTAD, UNCED, Economic commission for Europe (ECE).

DG V: general coordination with all UN bodies on relevant aspects (International labour organisation (ILO),

DG VI: FAO, World food programme (WFP), WHO, ECE, UNCED, International union for the protection of
new varieties of plants.

DG VII: International maritime organization (IMO), International civil aviation organization, ILO, ECE,

DG VIII: FAO, International fund for agricultural development, UNCTAD, UN international drug control
programme (PNUCID), UN environment programme(UNEP), UN educational, scientific and cultural organiza-
tion (UNESCO), UN fund for population activities, Office of the UN High commissioner for refugees (UNHCR),
UN children’s fund (UNICEF), UNIDO, UN relief and works agencies for Palestine refugees in the Near East


DG XI: UN bodies dealing with environment aspects (WTO, UN commission on sustainable development,


DG XIII: International telecommunication union, Universal post union, WHO, World tourism organization,


DG XV: World intellectual property organisation, UN commission on international trade law, UNCTAD.

DG XVII: IAEA, Intergovernmental panel on climate change.

DG XIX: all UN bodies on financial aspects.




ECHO: UNHCR, UNICEF, UN development programme, UNRWA, UN department of humanitarian affairs,

Office of the UN disaster relief co-ordinator, Pan American health organisation, WFP, FAO, WHO.

2. There is no regular contribution from the Community to UN bodies. Nevertheless the Community
co-finances UN administered projets. On the other hand, in 1997 the Member States of the Community contribute
35,41% to the regular budget of the UN and with 37,93% to its peace keeping budget.