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C 82/110 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 17. 3.


Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(18 September 1997)

The Honourable Member is referred to the answer given by the Commission to his previous written question
E-1767/97 (1), wherein it was explained that the European environment agency (EEA) is an independent body
with legal personality even though it is funded almost entirely by a subsidy from the Community budget. The
Commission does not supervise the work of the agency. The executive director is the legal representative of the
agency. He is appointed by the agency's management board and his tasks are defined in Article 9 of Regulation
(EEC) No 1210/90 (2) and these include all staff matters. It is to the executive director that questions on
recruitment policy and practice must therefore be posed.

In the preliminary draft budget for 1998, the Commission has made a proposal for an unchanged overall budget
of 16.5 MECU and the agency staff complement rests unaltered at 62.

The tasks of the agency are defined in its Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 and these consist of the provision of
objective, reliable and comparable information at European level which the Community and Member States can
use both in the assessment and formulation of policy measures to protect the environment. Such information
should also contribute to measures to inform the public on the state of the environment.

(1) OJ C 21, 22.1.1998, p. 93.

(2) OJ L 120, 11.5.1990.

(98/C 82/182) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2579/97

by Reino Paasilinna (PSE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: The problem of monitoring British beef on the internal market

It has been announced in the media that 1600 tonnes of possibly contaminated beef from The United Kingdom
has been illegally exported through Belgian intermediaries to The Netherlands, Russia and Egypt. There has also
been speculation on whether British beef has been transported to Bosnia as humanitarian aid. Over the past few
months almost twice as much of this ‘illegal meat’ is reported to have been in circulation as was originally

In the supervision of the internal market it is essential to be able to rely upon the ‘country of origin’ label.
However, this label increasingly appears to be unreliable. A safe way must be created of protecting consumers
from contaminated meat and guaranteeing product quality. For this reason the Commission should set up an
effective system with a view to putting an end to the British scandal. One solution would be to move all control
over the meat industry from the busy and careless DG for agriculture to the DG for consumer policy which has
already been entrusted with quality policy, product labelling and the general safety of products and services.

In view of the above, why does the Commission not move responsibility for supervision of the meat industry and
its products from the DG for agriculture (DG6) to the DG for consumer policy (DG 24), whose main concerns are
the consumer protection of European citizens and the general safety of products and services?

(98/C 82/183) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2642/97

by Jean-Antoine Giansily (UPE) to the Commission
(25 July 1997)

Subject: Infringement of the embargo on British beef

According to statements by the Commission on 2 July 1997, which were subsequently confirmed at a meeting of
the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, more than 1700 tonnes of beef has
been fraudulently exported from the United Kingdom to other Member States of the European Union in violation
of the embargo imposed in March 1996 and then re-exported to certain Eastern European countries.