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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/29

(98/C 310/32) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0149/98

by Graham Mather (PPE) to the Commission
(2 February 1998)

Subject: Telecoms liberalization (infringement proceedings)

On 6 November 1997, the Commission announced that it had initiated infringement proceedings against certain
Member States, having identified over 20 cases where Member States had failed to implement elements of
European directives which are essential for a truly liberalized market in telecoms. It was the Commission’s stated
intention at the time to speed up the transposition of relevant directives into national law before the deadline of
1 January 1998 for the establishment of a fully-liberalized telecoms market in the EU.

Is the Commission confident that these measures will lead to early remedial action, and what evidence is there to
support this?

As of 1 January 1998, in how many cases has the necessary legislation not been adopted by Member States;
which Member States and which pieces of legislation are involved?

What timescale does the Commission currently envisage for the completion of transposition into national law of
all the requisite measures?

What measures does the Commission have in place for the provision of public information on these matters?

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission

(12 March 1998)

On 21 November 1997 and 2 December 1997, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to seven Member
States regarding twenty cases of non-transposition or incorrect transposition of the Community telecommuni-
cations directives. This initiative has had significant results in that, in the meantime, fourteen out of these cases
appear to have been dealt with satisfactorily by the Member States concerned.

As for the situation on 1 January 1998, the Commission adopted on 18 February 1998 a report on the state of
implementation of the Community telecommunications directives which will soon be transmitted to the

The Commission’s assessment is that, except in a small number of cases, transposition has been completed.
Where there are delays, drafts awaiting adoption will in general ensure transposition. As regards the application
of the rules put in place in the Member States, the Commission’s initial conclusion is that, despite a number of
complaints, there is widespread evidence both that the necessary steps are being taken to ensure market entry,
and that regulators are taking action to ensure compliance with the regulatory framework. However, if delays or
incomplete transposition persist in certain Member States, the Commission will have to open new infringement

The Commission intends to issue further communications on the state of implementation, in which the focus will
shift away from transposition towards effective application and fuller reporting of the opening of national
markets, on the basis of a wider range of indicators and more extensive data from the national regulatory
authorities. These reports will continue to be made available on the Internet for the broader public.

(98/C 310/33) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0154/98

by John Iversen (PSE) to the Commission
(2 February 1998)

Subject: Tobacco production in Andorra

How much does the EU pay out in aid for unprofitable and unhealthy tobacco production in Andorra?
C 310/30 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(5 March 1998)

Since Andorra is not a Member State, its tobacco production is not covered by the common organisation of the
market in raw tobacco and therefore receives no Community aid.

(98/C 310/34) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0157/98

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(2 February 1998)

Subject: Repairs to the Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal is one of the greatest technical feats in the world and extremely important for the Greek
economy. Being 100 years old, it naturally requires a great deal of maintenance work.

Following a collapse in the walls on 18 December 1997, the canal was closed for a lengthy period. The cost of
repairs is put at Drs 30 billion. Is there any possibility of Union funding for these repairs and have the Greek
authorities submitted a request to that effect?

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(4 March 1998)

The Commission has not received any application for financing of the work to which the Honourable Member

However, the Greek authorities can submit such an application following the procedures provided for in the
Community support framework (CSF). The Commission is prepared to examine all financing possibilities in
partnership with the Greek authorities, subject to the availability of funds under the CSF.

(98/C 310/35) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0158/98

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(2 February 1998)

Subject: Olive oil production

As the information given by the Greek authorities is not clear, would the Commission provide me with
information concerning the production of olive oil in Greece and the other Member States?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(4 March 1998)

The olive oil production estimates provided by the Member States are disputed and the Commission has asked
the Court of Auditors to examine the matter. The production entitled to aid according to the Member States’
figures is given in the table below.