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C 82/92 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 17. 3.


In order to increase the level of protection of Community geographical indications, and in particular to put an
end, in the wine and spirits sectors, to the use of ‘semi-generic’ names (geographical names used for a product
which does not originate in that place), the Commission has negotiated or is negotiating bilateral protection
agreements with numerous non-member countries. An good example of such a bilateral agreement is the 1994
agreement on trade in wine between the Community and Australia (1). Under that agreement, Australia
committed itself to giving up, after the transitional periods laid down, all semi-generic names, including the term
‘Port’, and to granting exclusive and absolute protection to Community wines.

South Africa has for a long time been using certain European geographical names (including the term ‘Port’) for
its own wines which appear to fall within the category of semi-generic names as defined in Article 24(4) of the
TRIPS Agreement referred to above. The Commission has begun negotiations with South Africa with the aim of
enforcing, on a reciprocal basis, the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin of wines
and spirits and, in particular, of putting an end to any generic or semi-generic use of Community indications.

(1) OJ L 86, 31.3.1994.

(98/C 82/154) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2493/97

by Marilena Marin (UPE) to the Commission
(9 July 1997)

Subject: Trans-European networks: changes to the Milan-Venice priority project (high-speed link)

Work on one of the 14 trans-European network priority projects, the Milan-Venice high-speed link, is
progressing at a slow pace.

It is probably for this reason that the Bonifica company (FIAT group and IRI) has made arrangements for a
feasibility study on routing high-speed trains from Milan through Bologna in order to make the connection
between the above link and the ‘Adriatic corridor’ (the preliminary feasibility study on which was cofinanced by
the European Union), thus ‘bypassing’ the major rail and intermodal terminal in Verona.

Would the Commission state:

1. whether this feasibility study has been brought to its notice?
2. whether it would agree that it is totally contrary to the guidelines adopted in Essen?
3. whether it was notified of this procedure?
4. what steps it intends to take with a view to ensuring that the priority projects are carried out as originally
planned, without any changes, in accordance with the undertakings entered into by the Member States?
5. whether it would agree that no changes may be made to priority projects without the prior consent of the
European Parliament, in accordance with the codecision procedure?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 1997)

1. - 3. The Commission is not aware of the feasibility study mentioned by the Honourable Member and
therefore cannot comment on it.

4. The Commission is fully committed to the implementation of the projects of common interest as identified
in Decision 1962/96/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the
development of the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network (1). In the period 1991 to 1996 the Community
has co-financed with about 40 MECU feasibility studies for the section Turin-Venice of the project Lyon-Trieste
through the TEN-T budget line. The Commission keeps under review the implementation of the guidelines
contained in Decision 1692/96/EC and will report to the Parliament on their implementation in accordance with
Article 18(3) of the Decision.
17. 3. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/93

5. The 14 projects adopted by the European Council at Essen on 9 and 10 December 1994 are listed in Annex
III to the Decision 1692/96/EC. It is understood that any change to the annex as an integral part of the Decision
has to follow the co-decision procedure.

(1) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996.

(98/C 82/155) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2499/97

by Nana Mouskouri (PPE) to the Commission
(18 July 1997)

Subject: Recognition of professional training − Directive 92/51/EEC

Will the Commission provide information concerning the transposition by Greece of Council Directive
92/51/EEC (1) on a second general system for the recognition of professional education and training, which
supplements Directive 89/48/EEC (2), and the Commission’s amending Directives 94/38 (3) and 95/43 (4), given
that the delay in the transposition of these directives affects the right of freedom of movement of persons and
services within the Union?

(1) OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p. 25.

(2) OJ L 19, 24.1.1989, p. 16.
(3) OJ L 217, 23.8.1994, p. 8.
(4) OJ L 184, 3.8.1995, p. 21.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(22 September 1997)

The Commission is aware of the continuing problems regarding the recognition in Greece of qualifications
obtained in another Member State and very much deplores them. It has consequently spared no effort in its
attempts to rectify the situation. The Commission recognises, with the Honourable Member, that this deplorable
situation affects the right of freedom of movement of persons within the Community. It receives a steady stream
of complaints, mostly via the Committee on Petitions, from Community nationals who have been penalised.
Most of the complainants are in fact Greek nationals who have obtained their qualifications in another Member

A number of steps have been taken, mainly through infringement proceedings, in an attempt to force Greece to
fulfil its obligations under the Treaty, EU Directives and Court of Justice case law.

Greece's failure to adopt national measures implementing Council Directive 89/48/EEC of 21 December 1988
(on a general system for the recognition of higher-education diplomas awarded on completion of professional
education and training of at least three years’ duration) within the time allowed, led to infringement proceedings
culminating in a Court of Justice judgment against Greece (judgment of 23 March 1995, Case C-365/93
Commission v Greece). In the opinion of the Court, Greece should have adopted the national implementing
legislation necessary to comply with this Directive and should therefore have designated a competent
administrative department to process applications for recognition. However, Greece's failure to do this, as noted
by the Court, did not justify the national authorities' failure to comply with its obligations under this Directive,
since this instrument conferred certain rights on individuals which they were entitled to exercise in any Member
State. Generally speaking, failure by a Member State to transpose a Community instrument within the time
allowed may not in any circumstances relieve it of its obligations under the provision in question. The
Commission has just sent a reasoned opinion under Article 171 of the EEC Treaty.

Infringement proceedings for failure to transpose Directive 92/51/EEC, which supplemented Directive
89/48/EEC, are also in progress. Unless Greece regularises the situation quickly the Commission will bring an
action before the Court of Justice. The Commission will also bring an action before the Court concerning
Directive 94/38/EEC. Finally, no implementing measure has been notified to the Commission in respect of