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C 60/126 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.

98

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(18 July 1997)

Details of the subsidies for cattle exports are contained in the Commission’s reply to written question E-1701/97
by Mr Holm (1). The main exporters of live animals are Germany, France and Ireland.

(1) See page 37.

(98/C 60/211) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2322/97


by Georges Berthu (I-EDN) to the Commission
(30 June 1997)

Subject: The single currency and reduction in undertakings’ costs

On 27 February 1997, while discussing the preparations for the single currency, Mr Yves-Thibault de Silguy told
the French Senate’s Delegation for European Affairs that the Commission estimated that the abolition of
currency exchange costs alone would result in savings to Europe of something to the order of 200 billion
(French) francs per year.

However, when talking to the French National Assembly’s Delegation for the European Union on 26 October
1995, Mr de Silguy had estimated those costs at 150 billion francs per year.

How does the Commission account for the sharp rise in expected savings over a period of barely eighteen
months, when the possibility that some Member States will not participate, as has been officially accepted since
the Madrid Summit (December 1995), should result rather in such costs being lower? Can the Commission
explain how it arrived at these figures?

Answer given by Mr de Silguy on behalf of the Commission


(24 July 1997)

Commission studies have shown that the costs to businesses of having to conduct transactions in several
European currencies amount to some 0.5% of Community GDP. Since the latter was put at FF 4 391 billion in
1996, expected savings would total FF 220 billion.

Consequently, even if all the Member States did not adopt the common currency, savings would still amount to
some FF 200 billion a year, the figure quoted in February 1997. The October 1995 figure was based on estimates
of GDP at the time that were subsequently revised.

Furthermore, it should be pointed out that the figure of 0.5% of Community GDP could be understated.
According to a recent study by the IFO Institute (‘Dismantling of barriers, intra-EU multicurrency costs’,
Munich, 1997), transaction costs amount to 1% of GDP, in which case the savings expected to accrue from their
elimination would total FF 400 billion.

(98/C 60/212) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2324/97


by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Commission
(30 June 1997)

Subject: European corps of civilian and military units

Given the plethora of crisis situations in the world, ranging from Somalia to Rwanda and from the former
Yugoslavia to Albania, the European Parliament has, on a number of occasions, emphasized the need for the
setting up of a European corps of civilian and military units which could undertake peace-keeping and
peace-restoring missions. It did this, for example, in the FASSA report (A4-0021/97) (1) and in Petersberg the
TINDEMANS report (A4-0162/97), in which it called on the Commission and Council to carry out a feasibility
study into this issue.
25. 2. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/127

What action has the Commission taken on this European Parliament proposal? Has the Commission carried out
the feasibility study requested, either on its own or in cooperation with the Council? If so, when does it think it
will be in a position to forward the findings of that study to the Members of the European Parliament?

(1) OJ C 85, 17.3.1997, p. 181.

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


(25 July 1997)

The Commission has not studied the feasibility of a European corps of civilian and military units to carry out
peacekeeping and peacemaking missions.

Article J.4(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides for the Union to request ‘the Western European
Union (WEU) ... to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defence
implications’.

Two decisions have been taken by the Union on this legal basis: the first, adopted on 27 June 1996, concerns
operations to evacuate nationals of Member States in danger in a third country, while the second, of 22 November
1996 concerns the elaboration and implementation of the Joint Action in the Great Lakes region, adopted by the
Council earlier that day on the basis of Article J.3 of the TEU.

Article J.7(2) of the draft Amsterdam Treaty adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference amplifies and
strengthens the current Article J.4 in a number of ways, stipulating that ‘questions referred to in this Article shall
include humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management,
including peacemaking’. Article J.7(1), for its part, stipulates that ‘the Western European Union (WEU) is an
integral part of the development of the Union providing the Union with access to an operational capability
notably in the context of paragraph 2’.

The Protocol on the future Article J.7 which will be annexed to the Amsterdam Treaty provides that the
‘European Union shall draw up, together with the WEU, arrangements for enhanced cooperation between them,
within a year from this Protocol’s entry into force’ in order to implement fully the provisions of Article J.7(1),
second subparagraph, and (3) of the TEU.

The Commission takes the view that the above decisions and provisions, and in particular Article J.7(1), (2) and
(3) and the Protocol thereon, enable the Union to maintain the consistency of its external action by giving it the
operational capability to carry out humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces
in crisis management, including peacemaking.

(98/C 60/213) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2332/97


by Johanna Maij-Weggen (PPE) to the Commission
(7 July 1997)

Subject: Cuts of meat from protected whales in Japanese shops

Is the Commission aware that a DNA examination carried out by Dr Scott Baker and Dr Gina Lento of the
University of Auckland on behalf of IFAW, Greenpeace, Earthtrust and other organizations has shown that meat
from protected whales is still being sold today in Japanese shops?

Does it know that whaling of protected species has been banned since 1986 by the International Whaling
Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling, and that in the first few months of 1997 more than 20% of the
cuts of meat examined in Japan have been shown to be meat from protected whale species?

The Japanese authorities claim that these are old stocks and whales that were caught by mistake during fishing
operations. What does the Commission think of these arguments?