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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/19

These provisions cover the establishment of health, hygiene and operating measures to apply to the building and
operation of those staging points.

In adopting this Regulation, however, the Council decided to leave it to the Member States to choose the financial
and technical means for attaining this objective.

As the nature and amount of the investment needed to put these new infrastructures in place is a matter for the
individual Member States, the Council is not in a position to estimate the impact of introducing these measures
on the cost of meat products.

The Council would point out that this Regulation, like other decisions taken over the last few years, comes within
the context of a policy of animal welfare protection more and more demanded by European citizens and
enshrined in a Protocol to the Treaty of Amsterdam.

(1) See OJ L 174, 2.7.1997, p. 1.

(98/C 102/29) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2249/97


by Luigi Caligaris (ELDR) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: Direct negotiations on exclusive purchase between oil companies and service station managers in Italy

Oil companies have drawn up unilateral economic agreements (direct negotiations), which are all virtually
identical, applicable to the annual negotiations with individual service station managers for the exclusive
purchase of fuels and non-oil products.

The legitimacy of this system has already been called into question by the authority responsible for competition
and markets at Community and national level on the basis of Community Regulation No 1984/83 (1) of 22 June
1983 and national law No 287/90 of 10 October 1990.

1. Will the Commission say whether the behaviour of the oil companies and the individual clauses in the
direct agreements between oil companies and managers comply with the rules of competition?

2. Will it say whether the clauses concerning non-oil products are compatible with Community law?

(1) OJ L 173, 30.6.1983, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

The Commission has received a complaint concerning the contracts concluded in Italy between oil companies
and fuel retailers.

Normally the Commission carries out a preliminary examination of a complaint before stating what action it
intends to take.

In its preliminary examinations, the Commission takes account of the Community interest of the cases submitted
to it and the existence of alternative remedies for the complainants.

In this particular instance, the Commission has carried out a careful examination of the complaint and invited the
complainants to come and argue their case at a meeting held in Brussels. Following its examination, the
Commission notes that the main effects of the agreements are confined to Italy and that the conformity of the
agreements with Community law must be examined in the light of the relevant Regulation (1).
C 102/20 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

The Commission wrote to the complainants on 23 December 1996 asking them to submit their comments on its
preliminary position, summarised below:

The Commission pointed out to the complainants that the national courts had jurisdiction to examine agreements
under Article 85(1) of the EC Treaty and the block exemption Regulation No 1984/83. The national court may
declare agreements void pursuant to Article 85(2) of the EC Treaty.

The Commission informed the complainants that it takes the view that the complaint does not involve sufficient
Community interest for it to take action.

Furthermore, the Commission notes that only the national court can award the complainants any damages to
offset the losses incurred as a result of the contracts.

Lastly, the Commission notes that the existence of a block exemption regulation covering the agreements in
question can be taken into account in deciding not to examine a complaint since the very purpose of a block
exemption regulation is to limit notifications and the individual examination of agreements in the relevant sector.
In addition, any such block exemption regulation makes it easier for national courts to implement Community
law.

In accordance with its policy in such cases, the Commission has not carried out an in-depth examination of the
agreements so as not to prejudice the position which the national courts might adopt if the matter were referred to
them.

(1) Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1984/83 of 22 June 1983 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to categories of exclusive
purchasing agreements − OJ L 173, 30.6.1983; Corrigendum OJ L 281, 13.10.1983.

(98/C 102/30) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2251/97


by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Council
(18 July 1997)

Subject: Request by two Dutch citizens to the Netherlands Ministry of Justice to institute proceedings in respect
of human rights violations

1. On 13 May 1997 the public prosecutor of Amsterdam, C.J.M. Goes, wrote to Rob Wijngaarde and Romeo
Hoost, brother and nephew respectively of two of the fifteen victims, as follows: ‘On 4 April 1997 the Ministry of
Justice wrote to me, referring to the replies to questions in the chamber on 30 May 1996 (of which I assumed you
are aware), to say that it must be assumed that Mr Bouterse lost Dutch nationality prior to 1982. It is now clear to
me that the Ministry of Justice will not be taking any further action because it has no grounds for assuming that
any further information would lead to a different conclusion’. Does the Dutch Presidency realise that this case
involves a very serious violation of human rights, and that inquiries should be pursued as far as they can to
establish what nationality Bouterse had at the time of the murders of the fifteen people carried out by him, or on
his instructions?

2. The Minister’s reply to the questions in the chamber on 30 May 1996 was simply that it must be assumed
that Bouterse had Surinamese nationality at the time of the murders carried out by him, or on his instructions.
Does the Dutch Minister now have a clearer picture of Bouterse’s nationality at the time of his crimes against
humanity and violations of human rights? Does the Presidency realise that if no further information can be
obtained, and if it relies solely on supposition, this careless behaviour will seriously undermine public
confidence in the rule of law and the constitutional state?

3. In reply to the questions in the chamber on 30 April 1996 the current President of the Council of Ministers
of Justice stated that the consul-general of Surinam had been requested to shed light on Bouterse’s nationality at
the time of his human rights violations and crimes against humanity on 8 and 9 December 1982. Has the
President of the Council of Ministers of Justice now received a reply from Surinam’s consul-general and, if so,
what, in the opinion of the consul-general, was Bouterse’s nationality, and what evidence is there in support of
this? If the consul-general of Surinam has still not replied, why has this obstructive behaviour been tolerated by
the Dutch Presidency of the Council, and why have there not been any further enquiries?