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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/139

(98/C 304/206) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0606/98
by José Valverde López (PPE) to the Council
(16 March 1998)

Subject: Ratification of the Amsterdam Treaty

On 2 October 1997 the Amsterdam Treaty was signed at the Spanish Royal Palace. What does the Council
envisage by way of a timetable for the ratification of the Treaty by the various national parliaments? In view of
the political importance of the Treaty, what institutional activities has the Council undertaken in order to win
over public opinion? What is the situation as regards each individual Member State?

(28 May 1998)

The Amsterdam Treaty – which emerged from the Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the
Member States held from March 1996 to June 1997 – is to be ratified by the signatory States in accordance with
their respective constitutional rules. It is not for the Council to set a timetable for ratification or to take action to
influence public opinion in the Member States in that context.

(98/C 304/207) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0611/98
by Bartho Pronk (PPE) to the Commission
(9 March 1998)

Subject: Net payments by the Netherlands in 1997

Further to my question of 10 December 1997 (P-4054/97) (1) and the Commission’s reply of 19 January 1998,
I have the following supplementary questions to put.
1. If the Commission cannot answer my question, why did it take so long to send me any reply at all? Please
note that mine was a priority question.
2. Is not the reply unnecessarily denigratory, as the Commission seems to assume that Members of the
European Parliament do not know that Commission publications are available on the Internet?
3. In its reply the Commission says that it does not have any data for the budgetary position of the Netherlands
in 1997. Afterwards, however, it mentions the Commission’s position on this matter. The Commission’s
position is that it does not wish to provide any information on the subject. Under Article 140 of the Treaty on
European Union, the Commission must reply orally or in writing to questions put to it by the European
Parliament or by its Members. The Commission must supply information in response to questions from
Members of the European Parliament.

Is not the Commission violating Article 140 of the Treaty by refusing to share information which it possesses?

(1) OJ C 196, 22.6.1998, p. 69.

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission
(16 March 1998)

1. The Commission considers it gave a full reply to the Honourable Member’s previous question. The reply
was given inside the time limit communicated by the Parliament to the Commission.

2. The Commission does not in fact make available on the Internet all the documents it presents to the
Council. The previous reply did not contain any comment about members of the Parliament.

3. The Commission attaches great importance to full and rapid replies to parliamentary questions, and devotes
considerable care and resources to fulfilling its duty under Article 140 EC Treaty.