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C 304/128 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

In Finland the post office levies a special weekly charge for postal deliveries to summer residents which is not
imposed on other residents of the some local authority area. The charge is FIM 25 per week or around ECU 1 per
day. When, as in many cases, the delivery of post to summer residents’ regular addresses is interrupted during the
holiday period, the normal rate is paid for the post to be delivered and the summer resident’s postbox is also on
the post office’s normal delivery route, does the Commission consider that the amount of money demanded by
the Finnish post office (ECU 1 per day) in these cases is in accordance with the principles of the
above-mentioned directive; in other words, is it in proportion to the additional costs incurred?

(1) OJ C 223, 17.7.1998, p. 35.

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission
(20 March 1998)

In his supplementary question on the pricing of postal services, the Honourable Member indicates that the
weekly taxed levied by the Finnish post office on occupants of secondary residences comes to FIM 25.

The Commission has already expressed its general position in its answer to the Honourable Member’s earlier
Question E-3942/97.

Regarding rates, it falls primarily to the national regulator to judge, on the basis of the relevant accounting
figures, whether the tax is in line with national and Community requirements.

(98/C 304/194) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0538/98
by Michl Ebner (PPE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Level of subsidies for the transport of slaughter cattle

Given that the transport of live cattle for slaughter, which is subsidized by the EU, frequently involves
unnecessary suffering for the animals, will the Commission indicate:
1. the amount it makes available each year in subsidies for the transport of cattle for slaughter?
2. Whether payment of these funds is linked to specified minimum standards?
3. Whether the Commission is in favour of abolishing the support measures for the transport of slaughter cattle
and proposes instead to subsidize the transport of animals which have already been slaughtered and of frozen
meat?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(6 April 1998)

1. The Community does not subsidise the transport of live cattle for slaughter but it grants export refunds for
exports of cattle and beef. For the budget year 1995 (16.10.1994-15.10.1995), 302.1 MECU was granted in export
refunds for live animals. For the budget year 1996, the sum amounts to 296.2 MECU and for 1997 to 134.9
MECU.

2. Council Regulation (CE) No 2634/97 of 18 December 1997 (1) stipulates that in the case of exports of live
animals, the payment of the export refund shall be subject to compliance with the provisions established in
Community legislation concerning animal welfare and, in particular, the protection of animals during transport.
The Parliament had given its opinion generally supportive of the Commission proposal. On 17 February 1998 the
trade mechanisms management committee gave a favourable opinion to a Commission regulation (2) laying
down specific detailed rules of application for the export refund arrangements as regards the welfare of live
bovine animals during transport.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/129

Directive 91/628/EEC, as amended by Directive 95/29/EC concerning the protection of animals during
transport (3), contains provisions designed to ensure the respect by transport operators, transporting animals from
Community territory to third countries, of adequate welfare conditions for the animals. In particular, the
authorities of the exporting Member State must ensure that no animal shall be transported unless suitable
provisions have been made for its care during the journey. The animals should be transported in lorries and
vessels which are adequate for the purpose. Under rules introduced by Directive 95/29/EC, a route plan must be
prepared in advance and transmitted to the authority. The staff in charge of the transport must have the route plan
certified at the point where the animals leave the Community, after the animals have been checked and judged by
the official veterinarian to be fit to continue their journey.

3. Export of live animals is an important outlet for the Community beef market and can hardly be substituted
by export of beef meat due to the different slaughtering rites, the lack of coldstores in importing countries or the
specific demand for fresh meat of the required quality in these countries. If the export of live animals from the
Community were to become impossible due to unrealistic requirements or disproportional costs or simply by
phasing out export refunds, others will take over these markets (Australia increasingly exports live animals to the
Arab world with a journey considerably longer than from the Community.

(1) OJ L 356, 31.12.1997.
(2) In written procedure, should be published very soon.
(3) OJ L 148, 30.6.1995.

(98/C 304/195) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0559/98
by John McCartin (PPE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Exclusion from agricultural markets

Can farmers in any Member State benefit from subsidies and incentives provided by the Commission whilst at
the same time exclude the produce of farmers in other Member States from their markets by intimidation?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(31 March 1998)

There is nothing in Community law as it stands at present which could justify excluding farmers from subsidies
within the context of the common agricultural policy even if they indulged in the activities described by the
Honourable Member.

However, the attention of the Honourable Member is drawn to the judgement of the Court of justice of December
1997 in case C-265/95 (Commission v France). The Court found that the events which gave rise to the action,
which were not disputed by the French government, manifestly created obstacles to the free movement of
agricultural products from other Member States, since serious incidents, such as the interception of lorries, the
destruction of their loads, violence against drivers, threats against wholesalers and retailers and the damaging of
goods when on display in shops, took place year after year − and over a period of more than 10 years − and that
the measures adopted by the French government were not sufficient to prevent and effectively dissuade the
perpetrators of the offences from committing and repeating them. Those events were also such as to create a
climate of insecurity which had a deterrent effect on trade flows as a whole.

On that basis, the provisions of the EC Treaty concerning the free movement of goods and the Member States’
duty to cooperate in the fulfilment of obligations arising out of the EC Treaty require them not merely themselves
to abstain from adopting measures liable to constitute an obstacle to intra-Community trade, but also to take all
necessary and appropriate measures to prevent that trade from being obstructed on their territory by actions by
private individuals.