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17. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/27

natural) persons, or one candidate has a competitive advantage in a tender procedure as a result of the fact that it
has executed a previous contract for the same contracting authority, which had as its object the preparation or
advising of this contracting authority for the tender procedure in question. The answer to question E-631/97
related therefore to these two situations.

On the basis of the Honourable Member’s current question the Commission now understands that the issue at
stake covers situations which might distort competition in cases where one of the candidates in the tender
procedure is (partly) owned by an employee of the contracting authority. The Commission agrees that such a
situation might create conflict of interests. Indeed, it might even result in a breach of the principle of equal
treatment of candidates, according to the Court of justice one of the basic principles of the Community's public
procurement law.

The directives on public procurement do not themselves provide for a mechanism for checking the existence of
these situations, nor can the Commission possibly check the validity of every single award procedure as to this
point. However, if the Commission has indications that a conflict of interests has occurred, it intervenes. As an
example the Commission refers to a recent case where formal infringement proceedings on the basis of Article
169 of the EC Treaty were started against a Member State because one of the shareholders of the bidder was a
member of the group commissioned by the contracting authority to carry out the evaluation of the tenders.

(98/C 82/37) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2074/97

by Jaak Vandemeulebroucke (ARE) to the Commission
(19 June 1997)

Subject: Community environmental grant

Under budget heading B4-306, subsidies are granted for environmental protection. A list of organizations which
have received such subsidies was published in OJ C 148 of 16 May 1997.

What project was submitted by the ‘Conféderation européenne des syndicats’?

To what extent has the Commission verified that the funds have been spent correctly?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(18 September 1997)

The project involves a working seminar for senior trade union officials from about 26 countries (all Member
States and East and Central European countries). This will allow exchange of views and experience and
identification of common goals based on achievable technology. All findings will be published to act as a guide
to unions and companies both East and West.

Except for the publication of the proceedings, which is expected soon, the work has been successfully completed.

The project operator will shortly be submitting a final report on the work done, and final accounts showing all
appropriate expenditure, and a final financial balance. This information will be checked by the Commission, to
ensure that the work has been done properly, and that the total expenditure involved has been correctly reflected.

(98/C 82/38) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2080/97

by Raphaël Chanterie (PPE) to the Council
(18 June 1997)

Subject: Delay in publishing European Union conventions and protocols in the Official Journal

Why is there often a long delay between the signing of third-pillar Conventions and Protocols, and their
publication in the Official Journal?