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98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/99

(98/C 102/143) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2709/97

by Viviane Reding (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Impediment to free movement caused by health insurance deductions

Under the French rules on the health insurance deductions made by the Joint Regional Occupational Pension
Fund (CRIREP), persons in receipt of a supplementary pension may not be exempted from social security
deductions if they live outside France.

Community regulations, however, stipulate that persons living outside France are exempt from the 3.6%
deduction when health insurance benefits are not chargeable to the French social security scheme.

Several national Members of Parliament have already raised this problem with the French Ministry of Labour
and Social Affairs, but the inconsistency has so far not been corrected.

Does not the situation in question constitute an obstacle to free movement of workers and pensioners?

What steps will the Commission take to resolve the matter?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(16 October 1997)

The Commission is fully aware of the problem raised by the Honourable Member.

It was for this reason that, pursuant to Article 169 of the EC Treaty, it brought an action against France on the
grounds that, by deducting sickness insurance contributions from both the supplementary pensions and the early
retirement benefits of persons residing in a Member State other than France and whose sickness and maternity
insurance is not covered by a French scheme, France has failed in its obligations under the EC Treaty and, in
particular, infringed the provisions of Articles 13(1) and 33 of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on
the application of social security schemes to employed workers and their families moving within the
Community (1).

This action was dismissed by the Court of Justice on the grounds that supplementary schemes do not constitute
legislation within the meaning of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71; consequently, Article 33 of the Regulation,
which prohibits double contributions, does not apply to them. This ruling shows that a category of workers is
inadequately protected by the Community social protection rules concerning persons moving within the
Community. The Commission will very soon be proposing appropriate provisions to remedy this situation.

(1) OJ L 149, 5.7.1971.

(98/C 102/144) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2710/97

by Ben Fayot (PSE) and Viviane Reding (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Cross-border information centres

An audit report assessing the work of the cross-border information centres, including those dealing with
consumer information, has been submitted to the Commission.

Will the Commission respond to the call made by Parliament in its resolution of 20 February 1997 on priorities
for consumer policy 1996-1998 (A4-0317/96) (1) and draw up a communication setting out its policy as regards
expansion of the cross-border information centres, in particular those which demonstrate their professionalism
and meet the genuine need for information, advice, and out-of-court settlements concerning international
transactions? Furthermore, does the Commission intend to establish the current pilot project on a more
permanent footing?

(1) OJ C 85, 17.3.1997, p. 133.

C 102/100 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(14 October 1997)

The Commission wishes to point out to the honourable Members of Parliament that Resolution A-4-0317/96 does
not invite it to prepare a communication on its policy with regard to the cross-border consumer information

However, the Commission wishes to recall that on 24 July 1997 it transmitted to Parliament a study carried out by
an independent consultant to evaluate the centres' pilot projects.

The Commission intends to prepare a proposal on a legal basis for the subsidies which will also cover the Euro
infocentres. This proposal will be presented before the end of the year.

(98/C 102/145) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2712/97

by Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop (PSE) to the Commission
(28 July 1997)

Subject: Compliance with the fisheries Agreement with Morocco and boarding of vessels

Since the fisheries Agreement between the Community and Morocco was signed in May 1995, there have been
17 cases in which Spanish vessels operating in Moroccan fishing grounds have been boarded. Senior officials
responsible for the Community fleet maintain that such boarding is, more often than not, the result of arbitrary
action and that fishing is taking place in a situation of intolerable uncertainty as to the legal position.

When a vessel has been boarded, do the Moroccan authorities invariably inform the Commission within
48 hours, as they are required to do under the fisheries Agreement?

Does the list of vessels boarded held at the Spanish Consulate in Agadir (1) tally with the information in the
Commission’s possession?

What does the Commission think of the monitoring and detection system used by Moroccan surveillance
vessels? Does it offer technical guarantees? Does it conform to approved international standards?

To what extent does the Commission believe that the fisheries Agreement with Morocco is being observed?

(1) El Paı́s, 23.7.1997, p. 48.

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(22 September 1997)

Since the entry into force of the new fisheries Agreement between Morocco and the Community the Moroccan
authorities generally inform the Commission Delegation in Rabat within 48 hours as required under Chapter VIII
of Annex II to the Agreement.

The information held by the Spanish Consul in Agadir is not fully comprehensive and covers only events taking
place in a part of Morocco's waters and cannot, therefore, be compared with that in the Commission's possession.

The Commission has at all times demanded that the Moroccan authorities comply fully with the requirements
applicable under the Agreement as regards the boarding of Community fishing vessels authorized to operate in
Morocco's fishing zone, the aim being to ensure that owners of Community fishing vessels are able to exercise
their rights.

In the light of the recent boardings, however, the Commission has asked that the Joint Committee provided for in
the Agreement should meet not in December, as was originally planned, but at the end of September, looking into
possible ways of improving procedures where a vessel is boarded and ensuring the utmost transparency and flow
of information.

The Commission regards the implementation of the fisheries Agreement with Morocco as satisfactory. The
utilization of fishing opportunities between December 1995 and June 1997 was very high for most types of
fishing and the Commission remains committed to improving administrative cooperation between both parties to
the Agreement.