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98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/29

As a number of European Union countries, including Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, and Switzerland and
Japan outside the EU, as well as France, use the La Hague plant to treat their nuclear fuel, what steps is the
Council taking to ensure that continued operation of this plant does not breach EU radiation protection
standards?

Answer
(17 November 1997)

The Council considers that the provisions of Chapter 3 of the Euratom Treaty on health and safety the
Honourable Member’s concerns.

In this context, the Council has recently adopted, on the basis of Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty, Directive
96/29/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general
public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation (1), notably to take account of ICRP recommendations.

It is for the Member States to transpose this Directive into their national legislation. The Commission checks the
conformity of such transposition.

The Council would also point out that in accordance with Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, the Commission
receives information on plans for the disposal of radioactive waste and determines whether the implementation
of such plans is liable to result in contamination in other Member States.

Lastly, pursuant to Articles 35 and 36 of the Euratom Treaty, the Member States regularly send reports to the
Commission to keep it informed of the level of radioactivity to which the public is exposed and the Commission
can check the operation of monitoring facilities established by the Member States for this purpose.

(1) OJ L 159, 29.6.1996. p. 1.

(98/C 102/42) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2339/97


by Mary Banotti (PPE) to the Commission
(10 July 1997)

Subject: Travel insurance for EU citizens

Could the Commission comment on apparent discrimination against EU citizens when booking a holiday in the
following instance?

Could the Commission give any information on possible plans to harmonize travel insurance?

A holiday was booked and paid for in the United Kingdom in advance, with the understanding that holiday
insurance was included in the overall cost. When the papers arrived, non-UK nationals’ names had been left off
the names of those insured. Non-UK nationals were told they would have to take out separate insurance cover.
Thus, having paid for insurance in the first instance, they had to pay for insurance again.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(19 September 1997)

The Commission informs the Honourable Member that Council Directive 84/641/EEC (1) of 10 December 1984
amending, particularly as regards tourist assistance, the First Directive (72/239/EEC) on the coordination of
laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the taking-up and pursuit of the business of direct
insurance other than life assurance has already established provisions concerning the insurance of assistance for
persons who get into difficulties while travelling, while away from home or while away from their permanent
residence.
C 102/30 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours (2) is also
relevant in this connection. Article 4(b)(iv) of that Directive specifies that the organiser and/or retailer must
provide the consumer, in good time before the start of the journey, in writing or any other appropriate form, with
information on the optional conclusion of an insurance policy to cover the cost of cancellation by the consumer
or the cost of assistance, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness.

As regards the situation described by the Honourable Member, which concerns the exclusion of non-UK
nationals from holiday insurance cover, the Commission takes the view that this conduct probably reflects the
commercial policy of the insurance company or travel agency through which the holiday was booked rather than
discrimination on the grounds of nationality, for which a Member State would be responsible.

The Commission is not competent to rule on proceedings for breach of contract which may be instituted by
consumers against the travel agency or insurance company. The domestic courts are competent to settle such
matters and to determine whether amounts paid for holiday insurance cover which is included in the overall cost
of a package but from which certain consumers are apparently excluded should be reimbursed. In that context,
the requirement set out in the package tours Directive to provide consumers with appropriate information could
be taken into consideration.

(1) OJ L 339, 27.12.1984. This Directive was last amended by the Third Council Directive 92/49/EEC (OJ L 228, 11.8.1992) and European
Parliament and Council Directive 95/26/EEC (OJ L 168, 18.7.1995).
(2) OJ L 158, 23.6.1990.

(98/C 102/43) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2341/97


by Stephen Hughes (PSE) to the Council
(18 July 1997)

Subject: Variations in rules for car drivers

Could the Council list which Member States:


1. Require a warning triangle to be carried in a car;
2. Require a fire extinguisher to be carried in a car;
3. Allow a sealed gallon of petrol to be carried in the boot of the car?

Answer
(10 November 1997)

The Council does not have the information requested by the Honourable Member at its disposal.

(98/C 102/44) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2348/97


by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Council
(18 July 1997)

Subject: Bringing Khmer Rouge leaders to trial

A recent report by Amnesty International called on the international community to help bring Khmer Rouge
leaders who are believed to have been responsible for gross human rights abuses in Cambodia to justice and to
ensure that they receive fair trials.