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C 102/58 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4.


(98/C 102/81) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2546/97

by David Hallam (PSE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance

Following receipt of your answer to Written Question P-1070/97 (1), I spoke to the British Wine Standards Board,
who told me your answer was wrong because Article 70 of Council Regulation 822/87 (2) bars imports from third
countries if they have a total alcoholic strength by volume, exceeding 15%.

Can you tell me whether your original answer was correct, and there is some other legislation in force which
permits the sale of Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance in the European Union, and whether this is the reason
why this wine is on sale in Denmark and Germany?

(1) OJ C 319, 18.10.1997, p. 225.

(2) OJ L 84, 27.3.1987, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(8 October 1997)

On the matter of imports into the Community of ‘Klein Constantia' wine, the Commission would first of all like
to point out to the Honourable Member that its answer to his written question P-1070/97 related to the labelling of
wines. The Commission stands by that answer.

The question now raised by the Honourable Member relates to alcoholic strength, which is covered by the rules
on wine production and vinification.

The first indent of Article 70(1)(b) of Regulation (EEC) No 822/87 specifies that an imported wine may not have
a total alcoholic strength of more than 15% vol (except for liqueur wines, which belong to a different category).

However, an exception to this rule is possible for wines of high quality bearing a geographical designation and
fulfilling special production criteria (for example wines produced from botrytis-infected grapes). Just such an
exemption has been granted by the Council under various bilateral agreements for a number of wines from
non-Community countries where there is a guarantee that the wine has not had its alcoholic strength boosted. As
no agreement of this kind has been signed with South Africa, ‘Klein Constantia' cannot be admitted to the
Community for sale under the name of ‘wine' before or after 1 September 1997 unless it has an alcoholic strength
of 15% vol or less.

The Commission is conducting an inquiry into the issues raised by the Honourable Member among the Member
States affected.

(98/C 102/82) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2565/97

by Ursula Schleicher (PPE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Framework water directive − missing annexes

The European Parliament and Council have both criticized the absence of essential annexes to the framework
water directive. The Commission has meanwhile put this down to too short a deadline set by the Council and
Parliament for the submission of the framework water directive.

It is understood that the Council has set up a further working group to draw up and add to the annexes in
collaboration with the Commission.
3. 4. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/59

Before the Environment Committee the Commission representative promised that the European Parliament
would be ‘appropriately’ involved in this work and that it would be ensured Parliament was able to undertake its
second reading ‘in full knowledge of all the texts’.

How does the Commission intend to keep this promise without submitting an officially amended version of its
proposal for the framework water directive?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(15 September 1997)

As the Honourable Member is aware, the environment committee has now appointed its rapporteur for the
proposal for a Council directive establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy and
the committee at its most recent meeting laid down a schedule following which a report on the proposal will be
presented to the committee before its meeting in December 1997.

The Honourable Member will also be aware that the rapporteur at that meeting was asked to prepare proposals
which would amend and improve the proposal, worked out with the necessary advice from non-governmental
organisations (NGOs), the Commission and other sources. The representative of the Commission at that meeting
expressed the Commission’s intention to continue to associate the committee as closely as possible to ensure that
any necessary technical detail may be added to the proposal and welcomed any proposal the committee may have
for improvements of annexes or other parts of the proposal where precision and clarity of the provisions may be

(98/C 102/83) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2567/97

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Kallithea Common

Buildings and commons which make up the natural and cultural heritage are important elements which
contribute to the quality of life of inhabitants in the major conurbations; and it is a fact that the inhabitants of
urban regions are increasingly concerned about the quality of the natural environment in which they live.

Kallithea in Athens is one of the most densely-inhabited and developed towns in Greece. At the centre of this
town is a single free space of 30 000 square metres which is a legacy and has been designated a green area and a
common. This land is now under threat from a building project of doubtful utility funded by the Community: it is
planned to construct university buildings on this site, although there is no obvious need for them and viable
alternative sites exist on the outskirts of town which do not pose any problems. Urban programmes, of course,
fall within the remit of the Member States, but there is scope for Community action, in accordance with the Green
Paper on the urban environment.

Bearing in mind:
− that Article 24 of the Greek Constitution absolutely and expressly forbids construction by any means and for
any purpose on, and the misuse or reduction of, the site in question, and that Community funds are allocated
for use in accordance with environmental law, environmental ethics and an environmental rationale and code
of conduct;
− the Green Paper on the urban environment;
− the Commission report of October 1994 on viable European cities; and
− Commission communication (COM(97) 197);
will the Commission say why a project is being funded which amounts to a further assault on the already
heavily-polluted urban environment of Kallithea and is at odds with the Commission’s sensitivity to matters
relating to the quality of life and the promotion of viable development in the major conurbations?