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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 280 E/15

to in Article 10(3). In that event the designated inspection authorities and/or approved private bodies are
to continue to be responsible vis-à-vis the Member State for all inspections.

4. The only conditions to be met for the lawful use of a name registered as a protected designation of
origin (PDO) or protected geographical indication (PGI) are those set out in the specifications. If the
specifications stipulate that the marking of a particular product is to be carried out by a given body, those
provisions are clearly lawful, whether or not the applicant is a member of the body responsible for

5. The Commission is not aware of any anomalies in the inspection arrangements. It wishes to remind
the Honourable Member, as it stated in its reply to his Written Question E-2066/99 (2), that Article 10 of
Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 gives the national authorities a certain flexibility when designating
inspection authorities for each protected name. Member States must withdraw approval from inspection
bodies where the conditions referred to in Article 10(2) and (3) of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 are no
longer fulfilled.

In passing, the Commission wishes to point out to the Honourable Member that in the past it has
considered at length the concerns and objections expressed, following a complaint from operators involved
in the making of ‘Grana padano’ cheese. That complaint was shelved by a formal decision of 13 October

(1) OJ C 225 E, 8.8.2000, p. 27.

(2) OJ C 225 E, 8.8.2000, p. 46.

(2000/C 280 E/014) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2176/99

by Monica Frassoni (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(29 November 1999)

Subject: Construction of an underground railway in Brescia, Italy

The Commune of Brescia intends to build an underground railway. By Municipal Decision No 137 of
26 July 1999 it approved a preliminary plan for the construction of the underground railway although it is
not yet clear what funds are available for the work. In fact, although the cost of the underground, which
can be estimated on the basis of similar European projects/constructions, is about 1215 billion lire, only
the first instalment of 165 billion lire is available (1). The choice of an underground railway is incompatible
with the Master Development and Town Planning Scheme and the Urban Traffic Scheme recently adopted
by the Commune which provide for a light tramcar network which would be much more suitable and
justifiable in the case of a medium-sized town (200 000 inhabitants) such as Brescia. The adoption of an
above-ground public transport system running on right of way has been, inter alia, confirmed by further
studies commissioned by the Commune from an English company following the approval of the Master
Development and Town Planning scheme. These further studies led to plans for two bus services/routes
running on right of way (Linee di Alta Mobilità  high-mobility routes) and the contract/specifications for
implementing these plans has recently been allocated/drawn up. That network, which should come into
operation in two years’ time, will serve the same customers as would the underground railway. The Brescia
Greens lodged an appeal on 15.10.1999 against the municipal decision of the Commune approving the
plan for an underground railway and a similar appeal was sent to the Interministerial Economic Planning
Committee on 27.9.1999.

Annex II to the directives on environmental impact assessment, 85/337/EEC (2) and 97/11/EC (3), lists
underground railways among the projects where a State must examine whether the assessment procedure
should be applied. The Court of Justice recently ruled that in the case of the works listed in Annex II of
those directives, a Member State is not entitled to exempt or withdraw a project from the environmental
impact assessment procedure where its environmental impact is substantial, in particular because of its
nature, size or location (4). Given its size and location, this plan for an underground railway must have a
substantial impact. The purpose of the assessment must be, inter alia, also to take into consideration
alternative solutions and to indicate the main reasons for making that choice rather than any other (5).
C 280 E/16 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 3.10.2000

Does the Commission believe, especially in the light of the above-mentioned judgment of the Court of
Justice, that a plan for an underground railway such as that proposed by the Commune of Brescia should
be subject to an environmental impact assessment to show why other planning solutions were not

(1) See the decision of the Interministerial Economic Planning Committee of 20.11.1995.
(2) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.
(3) OJ L 73, 14.3.1997, p. 5.
(4) Judgment of 16.9.1999 in Case C-435/97.
(5) See Article 5 of Directive 97/11/EC.

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(20 January 2000)

In the opinion of the Commission, based on the information given by the Honourable Member, the work
to which the question makes reference, an underground railway project in Brescia, is within the scope of
Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 amending Directive 85/337/EC on the assessment of the
effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, and, in particular, it appears to be a
project of the classes listed in Annex II of the two Directives (class 10 g of Directive 85/337/EEC and class
10 h of Directive 97/11/EC). Under Directive 85/337/EEC such projects should be made subject to an
environmental impact assessment (EIA) where Member States consider that their characteristics so require
(Article 4, paragraph 2): however, Member States are considered obliged to make at least a pre-assessment
in order to establish whether these projects need to be made subject to an EIA procedure. Under Directive
97/11/EC, for projects listed in Annex II, Member States are obliged to determine through a case-by-case
examination, or thresholds or criteria set by the Member State, whether the project shall be made subject
to an assessment in accordance with Articles 5 to 10, and may decide to apply both procedures (Article 4,
paragraph 2).

Therefore, depending on the Directive applicable to the project for an underground railway in Brescia, Italy
is obliged to comply with the respective above mentioned obligations.

In the light of the above, a letter requesting information has been sent to the Italian authorities. The
Commission will take the appropriate steps in order to ensure the observance of Community law.

(2000/C 280 E/015) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2189/99

by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(29 November 1999)

Subject: Infringement of Community insurance legislation and distortion of competition in Greece

As I did not receive a satisfactory answer to my previous question (P-1686/99) (1) concerning infringe-
ments in Greece in the implementation of Community insurance legislation, which have resulted in
distortion of competition and a possible risk of collapse of the insurance market under enormous deficits,
will the Commission say:

1. whether it is aware that the Greek supervisory authorities are in breach of their obligation under
Community rules to verify compliance with the requirement that the necessary reserves are covered by
matching and equivalent assets up to the end of each business year, and that the same supervisory
authorities are illegally allowing the required reserves for the previous year to be covered by assets
acquired the following year, using for that purpose insurance premiums collected in that year and
thereby creating a further reserve deficit at the end of the next accounting period,

2. what measures it will take to enforce Community directives concerning financial supervision and
ensure that the Greek supervisory authorities comply with their obligations under Community