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C 207/86 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.7.


Does the Commission not believe, therefore, that it should make specific provision for aid to reafforest fire-
damaged areas?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(8 January 1999)

The Honourable Member’s attention is drawn to the Commission’s answer to Written Question E-3579/98 by
Mrs Sierra Gonzále (1) on measures taken by it in regions affected by forest fires. The Commission takes the
view that the instruments referred to in that answer are the appropriate framework for such measures.

(1) See page 90.

(1999/C 207/114) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3543/98

by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission

(1 December 1998)

Subject: Sale of the Maccarese farm

The large Maccarese farm just outside Rome, hitherto owned by a public company, Iritecna, is about to be put
up for sale. Offers are being considered from a number of potential buyers, including the Benetton Group,
which, it is thought, may be intending to use the property for public relations purposes or at any rate not for
farming. Some local agricultural cooperatives and the farm’s present work-force have also expressed an
interest in buying the land, and the local authorities have therefore been asked to take steps to enable them,
should they so decide, to exercise their right of pre-emption.

In the light of the foregoing:

1. Does the Commission not believe that local agricultural production, already in difficulty, could be severely
hit by the change of ownership of the farm?

2. Are there any Directives or acts which allow farm workers to exercise a right of pre-emption in such cases,
bearing in mind that they may be in danger of losing their jobs?

3. What is the Commission’s general view of the matter?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(13 January 1999)

Under Article 222, the EC Treaty does not in any way prejudice the rules in Member States governing the
system of property ownership. There are no Directives or other acts in Community law containing provisions
allowing agricultural cooperatives or workers to exercise a right of pre-emption when the holding on which
they work is sold. Any provisions establishing such a right for the above entities, to which the Honourable
Member refers, would thus be governed exclusively by national law.

The Commission may not therefore demand the application of a provision establishing a right of pre-emption
on the sale of the Maccarese farm.

From a more general point of view, the Commission may not give an opinion on this matter in the absence of
specific elements on which it would be called to give an opinion under the terms of the applicable legal