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C 310/138 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.

98

(98/C 310/187) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0849/98


by Marco Cellai (NI) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: Appeal to the Court of Justice by the Commission

According to press reports in December last year the Commission has decided to appeal to the Court of Justice
with a view to bringing infringement proceedings against the Italian Government for the alleged absence in Law
236/95 of transitional arrangements to safeguard the acquired rights of language assistants (‘collaboratori
linguistici’, formerly known as ‘lettori’) already working in Italian universities in accordance with Presidential
Decree 382/80. This move essentially ignored the meaning of the judgment passed by that Court (Section V) of
20 November 1997. The present request to bring proceedings is clearly based on confusion between the terms
‘lecturer’ and ‘lettore’. The Commission in no way indicated how the Italian Government has failed to respect the
‘acquired rights’, since the rules introduced in Law 236/95 guarantee the safeguarding of the rights acquired by
the parties concerned under the previous legal framework and improve their treatment overall.

In view of the above, can the Commission say:

1. whether and to what extent the Commission’s decision was influenced by articles in the press or views
expressed by European members of parliament;

2. what the legal bases for the appeal are?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(5 June 1998)

The Commission is conducting a detailed investigation of the problem raised by the Honourable Member and
will inform him of the outcome as soon as possible.

(98/C 310/188) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0853/98


by Graham Mather (PPE) to the Commission
(11 March 1998)

Subject: World Cup ticket allocation (France 98)

Repeated allegations have been made in the media and by Members of the European Parliament that the method
used to allocate tickets for matches at the World Cup in France this summer is in breach of EU competition rules.

The Commission has stated (PE 264.470) that it has contacted five tour operators and the French organizing
committee on this matter and will decide whether EU competition rules have been breached as soon as it receives
their replies.

Given the considerable public interest in this matter, and given that any possible action by the Commission will
have to be taken in the near future in order to be of any benefit to EU citizens, what timescale does the
Commission envisage for these procedures, and will a formal public statement be made?

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(23 April 1998)

Following the response from the French organising committee (CFO) to the Commission’s request for further
information in February 1998, the Commission has taken the preliminary view that certain aspects of the CFO’s
ticket distribution arrangements discriminated against supporters living outside France, and that as such the CFO
had abused its dominant position under Article 86 of the EC Treaty.
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/139

In order to redress, as far as was possible, the effects of this discriminatory behaviour the Commission’s services
asked the CFO to make available all remaining 160,000 unsold tickets exclusively to residents outside France.
The CFO indicated on 23 March 1998 that it could not agree to such a request, but would instead offer these
tickets to French and non-French residents alike on a non-discriminatory basis.

In view of the CFO’s refusal to allocate the remaining tickets exclusively to residents outside France,
Commissioner Van Miert recently announced that his services were preparing formal legal proceedings against
the CFO in relation to tickets already sold under the above-mentioned discriminatory arrangements. While
having regard to the necessary procedural requirements, the Commission intends to conduct these proceedings
speedily.

While recognising the importance of taking into account issues of safety in the implementation of any system of
ticket distribution for the World Cup, the Commission, at the present stage of its proceedings, does not consider
that the ticket distribution system of the CFO can be justified for reasons of security.

(98/C 310/189) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0855/98


by Michl Ebner (PPE) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: Restriction of imports of apples into the Czech Republic from the EU

Seeing that the Czech Republic decided on 29 January 1998 to impose restrictions on the import of apples from
the EU,

this measure is incompatible with the provisions of the Europe Agreement between the EU and the Czech
Republic, since it is inconsistent with the ’standstill’ clause relating to customs treatment and appears
discriminatory because it concerns only imports of apples from the EU,

1. the Commission is asked to state what action is being taken against this discriminatory decision,

2. whether negotiations have already been launched by the appropriate services and,

3. if so, what stage they have currently reached.

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(20 April 1998)

The Commission is fully informed about the issue and has already been in close contact with the Czech
authorities since the first reports about the measure. On 2 February 1998 the Commission explained to the Czech
government that its measure was not in conformity with the Europe Agreement. It therefore asked for its
immediate withdrawal and for urgent bilateral consultations.

These consultations, which took place on 17 February 1998, made clear that the Czech authorities did not intend
to withdraw the measure in the short term. The Commission therefore proposed counter measures which were
adopted by the Council on 17 March 1998. The Community will suspend certain agricultural trade concessions
(apple juice, meat products, dairy products) which are currently granted to the Czech Republic on an autonomous
basis. It aims at reducing Czech preferential exports by an amount which corresponds to the losses which the
Community suffers in its apple exports.

The Commission will continue its efforts to resolve the matter in a manner which also safeguards the interests of
Community exporters.