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C 374 E/142 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.

2000

under Italian law? For years, those companies have penalised citizens from southern Italy, charging higher
insurance premiums in the above areas on the grounds that a large number of accidents occur in that part
of Italy. This attitude leads to unequal treatment amongst Italian citizens, violates Community directives
and makes it impossible for people to comply with the legal requirement that they obtain insurance.

Would the Commission not agree that a directive is required in order to put an end of such unequal
treatment amongst Italian citizens and, at the same time, oblige companies operating in Italy to ensure
southern Italian drivers?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf the Commission

(7 April 2000)

The Commission was not aware of the facts mentioned by the Honourable Member. It would point out
that the third non-life insurance directive 92/49/EEC (1) introduced, in the case of motor vehicle insurance,
a single authorisation and prudential and financial control system operated by the Member State in which
the company has its head office. The taking up and pursuit of the business of insurance are subject to the
granting of a single administrative authorisation by the authorities of that Member State. The conditions
and scales of premiums no longer require the prior approval of the supervisory authorities of the home
Member State, whose role is confined to monitoring forecasts of premiums and other financial resources
intended to cover the company’s commitments and solvency margin.

Consequently, in the specific case of Italian companies with their head office in Italy, these companies fall
entirely under the financial supervision of the Italian authorities. In other words, the compatibility of
Italian insurance companies’ policies as regards premiums, which are designed to create technical
provisions sufficient to cover their contractual commitments, should be considered in the light of the
provisions of domestic Italian law and is the sole responsibility of the Italian supervisory authority.

Account must also be taken of the fact that companies fix their rates according to, among other things, the
average frequency of accidents. According to their assessment of the risk, they are free to decide to modify
their offer or even to leave certain areas of the national markets to their competitors.

For the rest, it is for the national authorities to provide for the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that
policyholders can comply with their obligation to take out compulsory third-party insurance.

The Commission is consequently unable to intervene in an area which falls within the responsibility of the
competent Italian authorities as regards monitoring and the commercial policy of companies.

(1) OJ L 228, 11.8.1992.

(2000/C 374 E/168) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0724/00
by Joaquim Miranda (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(14 March 2000)

Subject: Support of the peace process in Djibouti

A framework agreement designed to bring peace to Djibouti was signed in Paris on 7 February 2000 by
the country’s government and by the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD).

The Council Presidency has since welcomed the suspension of hostilities between government and rebel
forces.

In what ways is the Council intending to encourage and support the implementation of the agreement?
28.12.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/143

Reply

(25 May 2000)

The signing on 7 February last of a framework agreement for reform and civil concord by the government
of Djibouti and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) envisages the suspension of
hostilities between government and rebel forces, as well as the liberation of prisoners held by both sides.
This agreement to which the Honourable Member refers to was welcomed in a Presidency declaration
issued on 21 February 200. The European Union expressed the hope that this agreement, in addition to
the one signed in December 1994, would contribute to reinforcing civil peace and consolidating
democracy and the development process in this country.

With respect to the question of the Honourable Member regarding encouragement and support for the
implementation of the framework agreement, the Council recalls that Djibouti is a beneficiary of
Community assistance allocated in the context of the Lomé agreement. A possible additional assistance
which would target objectives of a political nature and be funded through the budget lines of the general
budget of the EU dedicated to support human rights and democracy can always be considered, depending
on a proposal from the Commission.

(2000/C 374 E/169) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0725/00
by Inger Schörling (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(14 March 2000)

Subject: Homeopathic medicines in stock farming

Under a new Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1804/1999 (1) of 19 July 1999 supplementing
Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (2) on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring
thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs to include livestock production), organically reared animals
are, primarily, to be treated with homeopathic and herbal medicines, provided they are effective.

It is very constructive that homeopathic and herbal medicines are now accepted and are to be used but, in
Sweden, veterinary surgeons have protested against the rule as they are not permitted to use homeopathic
medicines as long as there is no scientific evidence that such preparations are effective. In contrast, anyone
who is not a veterinary surgeon is allowed to treat sick animals with homeopathic medicine.

The consequence of this situation is that it is left to farmers first to make a diagnosis and then to try a
homeopathic treatment. There is a great risk in this process that a correct diagnosis and professional
treatment will come too late. There is also a greater risk of spreading disease.

What does the Council intend to do to ensure that animals in all countries receive professional and
appropriate treatment and that veterinary surgeons are also allowed to use homeopathic and herbal
medicines?

(1) OJ L 222, 24.8.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 198, 22.7.1991, p. 1.

Reply

(18 May 2000)

Council regulation 1804/1999 stipulates that the treatment of sick or injured animals reared in organic
farming has to privilege the use of veterinary medicinal products of plant origin and of homeopathic
products, provided they are therapeutically effective and adapted to the illness the animal species
concerned.