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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/157

(98/C 304/239) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0776/98
by Elly Plooij-van Gorsel (ELDR) to the Commission
(5 March 1998)

Subject: French legislation on liberalization of the electricity market

A number of Member States are amending their laws on the production and distribution of electricity in
connection with the liberalization of the electricity market.

1. Is the Commission aware that France is preparing, or has already adopted, changes to the law in which the
‘réseau d’alimentation générale en énergie électrique’ is assumed to be the property of Electricité de France
(EDF) since it owns the concession for this supply system?

2. Can the Commission look into whether the concession which EDF has had from the French state hitherto
provides for ownership of the electricity grid passing to EDF on termination of the concession?

3. If this is not the case, does the Commission feel that the purpose of this amendment to the law is to increase
the EDF’s own assets by transferring ownership of the electricity grid free of charge, thereby placing EDF in a
favourable competitive position on a liberalized electricity market?

4. If so, is this a form of state aid compatible with the EEC Treaty?

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

The Commission is not aware of a draft law by which the French authorities would transfer the ownership of the
electricity distribution network to Electricité de France (EDF) at the expiry of the concession.

The transfer of this network from the state to EDF without any appropriate transfer price might unduly increase
the total assets of EDF, thus granting an economic advantage to the undertaking.

The Commission will investigate the circumstances reported in order to assess whether they are compatible with
the provisions of the EC Treaty.

(98/C 304/240) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0789/98
by Wilmya Zimmermann (PSE) to the Council
(16 March 1998)

Subject: European public holiday on 9 May

The Commission has made clear inter alia through its Citizens First Initiative, the need for greater efforts to
encourage European citizens to identify themselves with the European Union. The introduction of the single
currency will of course be an important step in this direction. However, identification with the European Union
could also be achieved very well by means of a common public holiday. This would create a further unifying
symbol for all European citizens in addition to the European flag and the European anthem.

The date 9 May suggests itself (one day after the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, and
the day on which Robert Schuman made his declaration in 1950 which led to the foundation of the European Coal
and Steel Community).

1. Has the Council yet drafted any proposals to this effect?

2. What is its position on the proposal to introduce the European public holiday by holding joint events in the
Member States on 9 May 2000?