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C 310/110 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.

98

The above-mentioned groups’ concerns centre around the company’s apparent intention to turn Puerto de la Luz
into a base for twenty-one midwater freezer trawlers with a gross registered tonnage exceeding two thousand
tonnes. Were the fleet indeed to set up base there and enter Western Saharan fishing grounds, the sustainability of
those fishing grounds would be seriously jeopardized, since its presence would serve to deplete stocks of
mid-water fish in those areas in which it operated and, moreover, have an irreversible effect upon the local
tuna-fish stocks, upon which much of the non-industrial fishing community in the Canary Islands depends.

Furthermore, doubts have been expressed as to whether the company’s refrigeration plant is necessary at all − it
would appear that the company has benefited from considerable aid from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries
Guidance (FIFG), provided by the office of the junior minister for fisheries in the Canary Islands’ regional
government − given that existing refrigeration facilities in Puerto de la Luz are running at only 40 per cent
capacity.

Is the Commission aware of the proposed setting up of a ’European midwater fish consortium’ in Puerto de la
Luz y de Las Palmas?

Does the Commission take the view that the presence of this trawler fleet in Western Saharan fishing grounds
might pose a threat to the non-industrial fishing fleet based in ports in the Canary Islands and to the sustainability
of fishing grounds in that area?

Does the Commission consider that the possible granting of FIFG aid in setting up this refrigeration plant is
compatible with the aims of the Instrument and of the operational programme for Community structural
intervention in fisheries, aquaculture and the processing and marketing of fishery products in Objective 1 regions
in Spain?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission


(20 April 1998)

The Commission has noted the planned investment at the port of Las Palmas in the installation of cold-storage
and handling facilities for fishery products which will enable vessels from the Netherlands pelagic fleet operating
in the waters of the coastal states of West Africa to use Las Palmas as their home port and the cold stores as the
hub of their operations to market pelagic species in Africa.

Vessels from the Netherlands pelagic fleet fishing under the Agreement between the Community and Mauritania
are obliged to comply with the rules laid down in that Agreement for this type of fishing. The Commission
monitors these fishing operations through the application of the Fisheries Agreement and has no evidence to
suggest that they could be prejudicial to the small-scale fishing fleet based in the ports of the Canary Islands.

The project may be eligible for aid from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). Nevertheless, it
is up to the authorities of the Member State to select projects for part-financing from the FIFG and therefore to
evaluate the technical viability and the economic and social consequences of this project.

(98/C 310/147) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0647/98


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

Subject: Promotion of beef and veal

The proposal implementing the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on measures to
promote and market quality beef and veal and on publicity measures on the labelling of beef and veal (COM (97)
70 and 518) restricts aid to beef and veal from meat-type breeds and to calves of less than 140 kg from all breeds,
which generally speaking are all battery calves. This restriction is justified by the Commission’s wish to
encourage a switch from dairy/meat-type breeds to pure meat-type breeds.
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/111

1. Does the Commission believe that Danish calves from dairy/meat-type breeds which are shipped to the
Netherlands as suckling calves and fattened as battery calves − a form of production that is prohibited after a
transitional period − are of a higher quality than the same calves fattened as organic bull calves on the farm
where they are born?

2. Does it believe that meat from old suckler cows is of a higher quality than bullocks from dairy/meat-type
breeds fattened on grass all their lives?

3. Does it really believe in the need to promote a switch to meat-type breeds? Is not the main reason for the
surplus of beef and veal the sharp rise in such production together with the fact that milk output has been subject
to quota?

4. Does it not agree that it is discriminatory and contrary to the proposal’s title that subsidies cannot be
provided to promote beef and veal from dairy/meat-type breeds? Is there not the same need to restore consumer
confidence in all kinds of beef and veal?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(26 March 1998)

The proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) (1) on measures to promote and market
quality beef and veal and on publicity measures on the labelling of beef and veal and repealing Regulation (EEC)
No 2067/97 of 30 June 1992 on measures to promote and market quality beef and veal (2) aims to extend the
scope of promotional measures for quality beef and veal (possibilities in third countries).

The Commission is aware that promotional measures intended to win consumer confidence must first of all cover
quality beef and veal from beef or mixed breeds raised on specialised farms.

However, in adopting its implementing measures, the Commission wants to reserve the right to extend or restrict
the list of products which may be supported by the promotional campaigns part-financed by the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), depending on the markets targeted and the funds
available.

Currently, Annex I to Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1318/93 of 28 May 1993 on detailed rules for the
application of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2067/92 on measures to promote and market quality beef and veal
provides for the possibility of carrying out promotional measures not only for meat from veal calves (animals
slaughtered at around six months old) and bovine animals of beef breeds and crosses thereof but also for meat
from female animals of beef breeds or first crosses with animals of dairy breeds up to a maximum of 72 months
old (point 3.5.1. of that Annex).

As regards the particular questions put by the Honourable Member:


1. The Commission has no opinion.
2. The Commission takes the view that only the market and consumers, through the interplay of supply and
demand, can direct beef and veal production.
3. The Commission has no intention of influencing the choices of stockfarmers or producers. However, the
recent measures applied on the Community beef and veal market, mainly as a consequence of the bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, will no longer be necessary if Parliament and the Council adopt the
Agenda 2000 proposals (3) (to improve the balance between supply and demand).
4. Since implementation of these programmes began, in order to restore consumer confidence, the
Commission’s approach has been to encourage the production of quality beef and veal. Only products which
undergo additional checks and are covered by the stricter rules provided for in Annex I of the
abovementioned Regulation can effectively fulfil this objective.

(1) OJ C 364, 2.12.1997.


(2) OJ L 215, 30.7.1992.
(3) COM(97) (2000) final.

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