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C 304/18 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

How often are conferences held at the representation with 100 people in attendance?

The Commission itself says that the figures on numbers of visitors to the Commission representation in Vienna
are estimates. If the visitors are therefore not counted exactly, how did the Commission arrive at the impressive
figure of more than 10 000 people in a period of 12 months?

What was the degree of utilization of the storage space at the Commission representation in Hoyosgasse?

What is the degree of utilization of the storage space at the Commission representation in Kärntnerringhof?

(1) OJ C 134, 30.4.1998, p. 77.

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission
(11 March 1998)

The staff in the Commission representation in Vienna has increased by four people.

In principle there will be no further increases in staff, but during the second half of 1998, during Austria’s
European Union Presidency, two additional people will be employed on a limited basis only for the second half
of 1998.

Considering the particularity of the room in which the head of representation works, a comparison with the
offices at headquarters is not possible. Indeed, the diverse configurations of buildings occupied by the
Commission in Brussels also prevent any meaningful comparison being made between them. The Community
runs approximately 120 delegations in third countries and 23 representations and antennae in Member States, all
with different architectural layouts.

Four events with 100 people and more were held at the representation in Vienna.

In a three week period this year which was chosen at random, precise records were kept of all callers to the
Representation. The number of visitors, both individuals and groups came to 680. A simple extrapolation would
indicate an annual total of well in excess of 10,000 visitors to the Representation.

The storage space in Hoyogasse was not only completely used, but in addition, several meters of bookshelves
had to be installed in the corridors to store brochures, printed information material and so on.

Approximately 95% of the space dedicated to storage at the representation in Kärntnerringhof is being used.

(98/C 304/26) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0022/98
by Christian Rovsing (PPE) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Exclusive rights in the gas market

The state owned natural gas company ‘Dansk Naturgas A/S’ has legal exclusive rights to export, transmit and
store natural gas in Denmark.

Are these exclusive rights, in the Commission’s opinion, in accordance with the competition rules of the Treaty?

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission
(9 March 1998)

The Commission cannot comment on the legality of exclusive rights in the abstract. Certain exclusive rights may
be justified if their removal makes it impossible for undertakings charged with the operation of services of a
general economic interest to fulfil particular tasks imposed upon them by legal measures.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/19

If there are any such exclusive rights as mentioned by the Honourable Member they should be evaluated in the
context of the implementation of the forthcoming directive on common rules for the internal market in gas, on the
basis of the common political position reached by the Council on 8 December 1997.

(98/C 304/27) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0028/98
by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Strange arrangements for staffing the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Exercising my right as a full member of Parliament’s Committee on Budgets to raise the question of funding for
and the use of Community resources by the EEA, I return once more to the question of the staffing of the Agency
and would ask for a clear answer in the hope that I shall not be compelled to bring the matter before plenary and
ask the Commissioner herself to make a statement.

1. How many candidates of Greek nationality were invited to interview in competitions EEA/A/97/1,
EEA/A/97/2 and EEA/A/97/3 for the recruitment of staff and who were they?
2. How many candidates of Greek nationality passed the interview and were ultimately recruited by the EEA
and who were they?
3. What is the exact number of Greek officials recruited by the EEA since its inception − a criterion to establish
whether all scientists in the EEA Member States are afforded equal opportunities?

I would also point out that the Commission’s answers hitherto have not been particularly enlightening, in contrast
to the marked clarity of its documents applying to Parliament’s Committee on Budgets for EU funds on behalf of
the EEA.

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(2 March 1998)

The Honourable Member will be aware that Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 (1), which governs the European
environment agency (EEA), gives the Agency independent status. The Commission is represented on the
management board of the Agency, but is not involved in the administration, functioning or operations of the
Agency. The Commission, therefore, has no competence in the area of staff recruitment to the Agency but has
instead asked the Agency to provide the information requested.

The European environment agency has passed on the following information on the number of candidates of
Greek nationality who have applied to enter competitions for recruitment to the agency.
Competition EEA/A/97/1 − 11 candidates
Competition EEA/A/97/2 − 12 candidates
Competition EEA/A/97/3 − 7 candidates.

The Agency takes the view that the names of these candidates should rest confidential and should not be
published in answer to this question.

No candidates of Greek nationality were subsequently recruited by the Agency. Since the inception of the EEA,
one official of Greek nationality has been recruited by the Agency.

(1) OJ L 120, 11.5.1990.