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11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/33

Does the Commission not consider the conduct of the Rome City Council to be a blatant infringement of the
European legislation on environmental impact assessment?

Can the Commission say whether it intends to take any particular action against the Rome City Council with a
view to restoring respect for Community law?

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.

Supplementary answer
given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(4 September 1997)

Further to the answer given on 24 April 1997 (1), the Commission can now inform the Honourable Member as
follows:

The Italian authorities have replied to the Commission that, under the Decree issued by the President of the
Republic on 12 April 1996, the scheme in question could be made subject to the environmental impact
assessment procedure if it, or any part of it, affects protected natural sites or if the Lazio regional authority sees
fit, after examining the characteristics of the scheme, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 10
and Annex D of the Decree.

The Commission considers that the Decree of 12 April 1996 properly implements Directive 85/337/EEC on the
assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (2).

(1) OJ C 319, 18.10.1997, p. 207.


(2) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.

(98/C 76/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1068/97


by Giulio Fantuzzi (PSE), Fiorella Ghilardotti (PSE)
and Rinaldo Bontempi (PSE) to the Council
(24 March 1997)

Subject: Dutch opposition to alteration of the arrangements for rice imports from Overseas Countries and
Territories

A proposal to amend the arrangements for rice imports from Overseas Countries and Territories was submitted
by the Commission, with the support of the Irish Presidency. At present it is proving impossible to approve this
proposal because, despite the agreement of the 14 other Member States, the Dutch Government is firmly
opposed.
1. Does the Council consider this situation to be acceptable?
2. What action does it intend to take to resolve the problem?

Answer
(25 September 1997)

On 16 February 1996, the Commission submitted a proposal for a Council Decision amending at mid-term
Council Decision 91/482/EEC of 25 July 1991 on the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with
the European Community. In this communication the Commission proposed substantial modifications to the
trade arrangements laid down by the Decision but the proposal also covers other areas, such as, in particular, the
distribution of the financial resources for the OCT.

The Irish Presidency proposed a compromise on the trade arrangements. The proposal was discussed by the
Council (including the General Affairs Council), but failed to obtain the required unanimous consent.
C 76/34 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3. 98

Apart from the mid-term review proposal, the Commission, having noted the need for safeguard measures, which
had also been requested by certain Member States, adopted Regulations 21/97 and 764/97, which were replaced
by Council Regulations Nos 304/97 and 1036/97 respectively, introducing safeguard measures in respect of rice
imports originating in the OCT.

The Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and a rice mill have decided to lodge a request for annulment of the
Council Regulations with the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance respectively, and to introduce
applications for the adoption of interim measures.

(98/C 76/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1312/97


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission
(11 April 1997)

Subject: Identification of bovine animals and beef products

The Commission has submitted a proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing a system for the
identification and registration of bovine animals and a proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) regarding the
labelling of beef and beef products (COM(96) 460 final − 96/0228/0229 CNS) (1) (CES 1404/96 − 96/0228/0229
CNS).

Given the need for appropriate measures to re-establish normal beef consumption rates, the Commission is to be
commended for submitting the above proposals, which are intended to introduce without delay at Community
level a system designed to identify bovine animals more clearly and improve the labelling of beef and beef
products.

It goes without saying that, for a wide-ranging identification system to be successful, the identification of live
animals must be sufficiently reliable. Due account must, however, be taken of how easy the system is to apply in
the individual Member States and of any identification systems already in existence.

With a view to ensuring that the system is accepted from the outset, the Commission is asked in particular to
avoid imposing an excessive burden on cattle breeders and merchants.

(1) OJ C 349, 20.11.1996, p. 14.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(3 July 1997)

The Council has on 21 April 1997 adopted Council Regulation (EC) No 820/97 establishing a system for the
identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products (1).

The market in beef and beef products has been destabilised by the spongiform encephalopathy crisis. The
re-establishment of stability can most effectively be achieved by improving the transparency of the conditions
for the production and marketing of the products concerned particularly as regards traceability. To this end it is
essential to establish a more efficient system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and a
specific Community labelling system in the beef sector. As a result, confidence in the quality of beef and beef
products will be encouraged.

In order to permit movements of bovine animals to be traced, animals must be identified by an eartag applied in
each ear and in principle accompanied by a passport throughout any movement. Keepers of animals, with the
exception of transporters, must maintain an up-to-date register of the animals on their holdings. In addition, for
the purpose of rapid and accurate tracing of animals, each Member State must create a computerised data base
which will record the identity of the animals, all holdings on its territory and the movements of the animals.