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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

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.