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25. 2.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/89

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(24 July 1997)

Community law (1) provides that a citizen of the Union may enter and remain in another Member State on the
basis of a valid identity document (an identity card or a valid passport). Member States shall, acting in
accordance with their laws, issue to such nationals, or renew, an identity card or passport. The passport must be
valid at least for all Member States and for countries through which the holder must pass when travelling
between Member States. Where a passport is the only document on which the holder may lawfully leave the
country, its period of validity shall be not less than five years.

In the past, some Member States have signed bilateral agreements recognising the British visitor’s passport as a
valid travel document for a short period. As these agreements were negotiated and signed solely by the Member
States concerned, they remain sovereign to renounce them.

(1) Articles 2 and 3, Directive 68/360/EEC on the abolition of restrictions on mouvement and residence within the Community for workers of
Member States and their families − OJ L 257, 19.10.1968.

(98/C 60/127) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2063/97


by Mark Watts (PSE) to the Commission
(16 June 1997)

Subject: Restrictions on size and weight of vehicles

Like many other towns and villages, the medieval town and Cinque Port of Sandwich in Kent, is suffering from a
proliferation much larger and heavier lorries, causing immense physical and environmental damage to both the
fabric of the town and the quality of life for residents.

The Town Council is advocating a reduction in the size and weight of vehicles whilst recognizing the need to
maintain the vitality and viability of towns.

It therefore suggests encouragement should be given to the establishment of distribution centres at strategic
points for goods to be transferred to smaller vehicles for deliveries and collections in towns and villages.

Could the Commission comment on the suggestion, outline experience elsewhere and set out what measures are
being taken to mitigate the environmental impact of heavy goods vehicles whilst maintaining commercial
viability?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(29 July 1997)

Council Directive 96/53/EEC lays down general rules on the maximum weights of road vehicles, that will ensure
free circulation for international journeys throughout the Community. This Directive also lays down maximum
dimensions for all vehicles in the Community (1). However, the issue of local restrictions on the maximum
weight or dimensions of vehicles for reasons of traffic safety or environmental protection is an issue of national
or local competence, subject to the principle of non-discrimination against the nationality of the vehicle.

The Commission recognises that large and heavy lorry traffic causes specific problems in urban areas, especially
in historic city centres. It is in favour of reducing the impact of trucks on urban environment and on the quality of
life. Therefore the Commission has made proposals for fair and efficient road pricing based on the ‘polluter pays’
principle, it promotes combined transport rail operations to encourage the modal shift of freight traffic from
roads and it favours innovative experiences including urban logistics (e.g. distribution centres for goods) which
diminish the need for truck movements in cities. In this context, the Commission has promoted under its
programme of co-operation in the field of scientific and technical research (COST 321) research on urban goods
transport, with findings presented at a seminar on ‘Goods transport in the sustainable city’ (Vitoria, 6-7 April
1995). Furthermore the Commission supports the activities of a network of 60 municipalities across Europe (car
free cities network) which has addressed the problems related to commercial traffic in urban areas through the
C 60/90 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2. 98

development of integrated freight management strategies, in order to organise commercial traffic more
efficiently, to limit access to the outskirts of towns with the help of intermodal transport, and to reduce the use of
polluting fuels and the size and mileage of vehicles within cities. In addition, reference can be made to existing
Community legislation concerning emissions of carbon monoxide, hydro-carbons and nitrogen oxides and
particulate matter from diesel engines in heavy-duty vehicles (Directive 88/77/EEC, last amended by Directive
96/1/EC) (2) and concerning noise emissions from motor vehicles (70/157/EEC last amended by 96/20/EC) (3) In
its communication (4) on the Auto-oil programme, the Commission undertook to come forward with proposals
for a further tightening of heavy-duty vehicle emission standards. It emphasised the shared responsibility of the
Community and local, regional and national authorities in dealing cost-effectively with local environmental
problems. On future noise policy, a green paper (5) was recently published by the Commission. It outlines options
for future actions on tyre noise, integrating noise costs into fiscal instruments, amending Community legislation
on road-worthiness tests to include noise and promoting low noise surfaces through Community funding.

(1) OJ L 235, 17.9.1996.


(2) OJ L 40, 17.2.1996.
(3) OJ L 92, 13.4.1996.
(4) COM(96) 248.
(5) COM(96) 540 final.

(98/C 60/128) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2075/97


by Maartje van Putten (PSE) to the Commission
(19 June 1997)

Subject: National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) in the Phillippines

Further to its reply to Question E-3115/96 (1), can the Commission supply the following more detailed
information:
1. To what extent has the process of ascertaining the presence of indigenous communities in the selected areas
been completed? How was this done, and by whom? Does the Commission have information on which
peoples live in these areas, what economic activities they engage in, and how many people are involved?
2. How will indigenous peoples be represented on the administration of NIPAS? Will they for example sit on
the Project Area Management Boards? Is there any provision for a percentage of the posts needing to be
filled to be held by members of indigenous communities? If so, which posts would go to them?
3. What form will communication between indigenous communities and, for example, the staff of NIPAS take?
4. To what extent are the indigenous communities and indigenous people’s organizations aware of the content
of the bilateral agreement? Has it been distributed to the people affected?

(1) OJ C 105, 3.4.1997, p. 51.

Answer given by Mr Marin on behalf of the Commission


(28 July 1997)

1. The presence of indigenous communities is ascertained by staff of the National integrated protected areas
programme (NIPAP) through the review of secondary literature, rapid rural appraisals, baseline surveys and
direct contacts with key informants in the areas such as local government agencies, non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) and church groups, and the indigenous communities and their leaders. For six of the
NIPAP protected areas, practically all indigenous communities have been ascertained. In this process, NIPAP
has identified more detailed information on the indigenous communities, such as the various economic activities,
the location, population estimates, and the farming and fishing practices.