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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/81

(98/C 310/107) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0542/98


by James Nicholson (I-EDN) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: State earnings related pension scheme

The United Kingdom government has recently changed the law with regard to the State Earnings Related Pension
Scheme (SERPS) so that any woman widowed on or after 6 April 2000 will only received half of her husband’s
SERPS.

Does the Commission believe that this change in the law contravenes Article 119 of the Treaty (equal
opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment)?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(3 April 1998)

As regards the problem raised by the Honourable Member, the Commission wishes to point out that in the field of
social protection Member States are free to adopt their own policies as regards the organisation and operation of
social security schemes, provided they comply with Community law governing equal treatment of men and
women (Article 119 of the EC Treaty, Directives 79/7/EEC (1) and 86/378/EEC (2) as amended by Directive
96/97/EC (3)) and the social security of migrant workers (Article 51 of the EC Treaty and Regulations (EEC)
Nos 1408/71 and 574/72, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 118/97 (4)).

Hence Member States may, as in this particular case, adopt rules laying down the level of the different benefits,
provided the above-mentioned Community legislation is respected.

The new rules in the United Kingdom governing the award of survivors’ benefits which will take effect on
6 April 2000 do not infringe existing Community law and, more specifically, they do not fall foul of Directive
79/7/EEC (equal treatment for men and women in matters of statutory and legal social security schemes) −
particularly since this Directive excludes survivors’ benefits from its scope.

Article 119 of the EC Treaty does not apply to statutory schemes. It concerns only equal pay for male and female
workers and covers only occupational social security schemes.

(1) OJ L 6, 10.1.1979.
(2) OJ L 225, 12.8.1986.
(3) OJ L 46, 27.2.1997.
(4) OJ L 28, 30.1.1997.

(98/C 310/108) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0543/98


by Gianfranco Dell’Alba (ARE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: European financing for the archaeological park of Populonia (Livorno)

In the Etruscan necropolis of Populonia on the bay of Baratti (Livorno) an archaeological park and nature reserve
is being created by the company Val di Cornia, financed by the European Regional Fund.
The plans for the park are causing grave concern as regards respect for and preservation of both the
environmental characteristics of the archaeological site, which is almost intact, and the archaeological remains
themselves, in that:
a) a conspicuous structure which raises up, enlarges and encases in concrete the ruins of a modest
farmhouse, is clearly incompatible with the adjoining archaeological remains;
b) the project provides for the construction of a car park for at least 2000 cars, also in the archaeological
area.