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C 82/8 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 17. 3.

98

(98/C 82/09) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1487/97


by Tony Cunningham (PSE) to the Council
(30 April 1997)

Subject: Assessment of the joint action to combat trafficking in human beings

What action does the Council propose to take in the short term to pursue the aims proposed in the joint action to
combat trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of children, which came into force on 24 February
1997?

In the period prior to the official assessment of the results of the joint action at the end of 1999, how does the
Council propose to monitor its effectiveness?

Answer
(16 October 1997)

The Council attaches great importance to the questions raised by the Honourable Member of the European
Parliament, and is actively pursuing the matter in relevant working groups of the Council, such as the Europol
Working Group, the Mutual Assistance Working Group and the Drugs and Organized Crime Working Group.

These discussions aim at a better coordination of the efforts of the Member States and the international
organisations working in this area, such as ICPO/Interpol, the Council of Europe, and to an increasing extent
EDU/Europol. The discussions so far have emphasized the need to promote and facilitate the exchange of
information between Member States, to give analytical support to international investigations, to develop the
centres of excellence concept currently being created within EDU/Europol, and to include the subject in the
annual situation report on organized crime in the EU.

The Dutch Presidency of the Council organized from 24 to 26 April 1997 a Ministerial Conference on trafficking
in women in the Hague. The declaration adopted at the Conference has been made public.

The Council intends to commence the assessment of the implementation of the Joint Action in 1998.

(98/C 82/10) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1490/97


by Angela Sierra González (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(30 April 1997)

Subject: Protecting Cetacea in Tenerife and La Gomera (Canary Islands)

The sea channel separating the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera contains a site of outstanding natural and
scientific interest frequently visited by many species of Cetacea such as the pilot whale (Globicephala
macrorhynchus) and the bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Both species are covered by Council
Directive 92/43/EEC (1) on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, specifically Annexes
IV and II, and the stable population of more than 250 animals makes the area an important observation site for
these species.

More than 500 000 people now visit the habitat of these mammals and tourists are taken to the site by dozens of
authorized and unauthorized boats, generating an annual income of around PTA 2 billion.

This activity is placing excessive pressure on the cetacean population, and the environmental departments of the
Canary Islands Government have acknowledged that the animals are suffering from being constantly chased and
cornered throughout the year, which is leading to stress, nervousness, the dispersal of individual animals and
families and even accidents with visiting boats. The regulations issued by the Canary Islands Government in
response to this situation are not preventing incidents such as those described above.

Is the Commission aware of this situation?


17. 3. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/9

Does the Commission consider that it amounts to a breach of the conservationist spirit of Directive 92/43/EEC?
Has the Commission considered analysing whether the activities carried out in the south of the island are
compatible with conserving pilot whales, which are listed in Annex IV among the ‘Animal and plant species of
Community interest in need of strict protection’?
Can the above incidents be considered as contravening the provisions of Article 12 of the Habitat Directive,
which prohibits the deliberate disturbance of species listed in Annex IV(a) (as is the case with the species in
question) and deterioration of their resting places?
What measures will the Commission take to ensure that the Directive is complied with in the case of these
species?

(1) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(30 June 1997)
A single species of Cetacea, the bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is included in Annex II to Directive
92/43/EEC. All species of this family, including Globicephala macrorhyncha, are included in Annex IV to the
Directive.
The Commission is aware of the difficulties in conserving these species, and particularly in achieving
compatibility between protection measures and the tourist industry which has grown around the provision of
observation trips in certain parts of the Canary Islands Archipelago. It was for this reason that the Commission,
during the first meeting held with the Spanish authorities to select locations for inclusion in the Natura 2000
network, expressed its concern at the absence of marine areas suitable for the conservation of these species in the
proposed Spanish list.
In response to the Commission’s questions, and in order to fulfil the requirements of the Directive and preserve
the habitat of the bottle-nosed dolphin, the Canary Islands Government has recently proposed two special
conservation zones for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network. These include some of the biggest populations of
Globicephala macrorhyncha in the islands. According to the Directive, in particular Article 6, it is the Member
States who must determine what measures are necessary in order to guarantee the conservation of the species in
these areas.
As well as conserving the habitat, the Canary Islands Government has published Decree 320/95 on the regulation
of tourist activities involving observation of cetaceans in the area. The responsibility for monitoring these
measures also lies with the Canary Islands Government.
As regards Commission activities to help protect cetaceans, the Commission is currently evaluating the project
for conservation of the species Caretta caretta and Tursiops truncatus in the Canary Islands, proposed by the
Consejerı́a de Polı́tica Territorial of the Canary Islands Government as part of the Life-Nature 97 programme.
The Commission is also currently supporting a project that aims to demonstrate the potential of voluntary
financial schemes within the European tourism industry, as an approach to generating monetary contributions
from visitors towards the conservation and tourism managament of tourist destinations. One of the schemes
consists of an extensive research exercise amongst visitors in Tenerife based on the conservation of dolphins and
whales.
Another scheme is the promotion of conservation holidays concerned with pilot whale watching in Tenerife,
through attracting tourists to pay for the cost of research on the effects of tourism on the cetaceans of the area by
offering their own time and money. The project, selected in 1995 under the Community action plan to assist
tourism, will be completed by July 1997.

(98/C 82/11) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1500/97


by Pervenche Berès (PSE) to the Commission
(30 April 1997)
Subject: Aid programmes
Will the Commission state what proportion of the principal aid programmes goes on paying fees for the drawing
up of application dossiers, management dossiers during implementation and validation dossiers?
What is the general profile of the physical or moral persons who receive such fees?

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