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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/191

The Commission would like to point out that for the European Economic Area (EEA), Directive 96/100/EC
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 February 1997 amending the Annex to Directive
93/7/EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (1) lays
down arrangements and a procedure, to be applied among the States which are party to the EEA
Agreement, for the return of cultural objects which have been unlawfully removed from the territory of
one of these States. This Directive is an accompanying measure to the process of completing the internal
market, as its purpose is to supplement border controls in providing the means of affording suitable
protection to cultural objects.

Community regulations have been taken into account by the Unidroit Convention, Article 13 of which
stipulates that ‘in their relations with each other, Contracting States which are members of organisations of
economic integration or regional bodies may declare that they will apply the internal rules of these
organisations or bodies and will not therefore apply as between these States the provisions of this
Convention the scope of application of which coincides with that of those rules’.

A declaration of this type has been made by two of the five Member States which have signed the
Convention: the Netherlands, which did so upon signing the Convention, and Finland, which has already
ratified the Convention, when its deposited its instrument of ratification. The other Member States which
have signed the Convention to date are France, Portugal and Italy. Italy has already deposited its instrument
of ratification and thus become party to the Convention.

(1) OJ L 60, 1.3.1997.

(2000/C 374 E/224) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0950/00

by Per Stenmarck (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(29 March 2000)

Subject: Trans-European networks

The European Council meeting in Essen in 1994 adopted a number of priority TEN projects. One of those
fourteen projects was the development of the ‘Nordic triangle’, an important project for infrastructure in
the Nordic region. In its progress report on these TEN projects, the Commission notes that Sweden is not
fulfilling its commitments, which is affecting the necessary expansion of capacity on the E6 and E4, not to
mention the Malmö-Trelleborg stretch of the E6, which is so important for the country’s imports and
exports. What does the Commission intend to do in response to Sweden’s failure to act and the delay in
complying with these commitments which are such important infrastructure projects for Sweden and for

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(28 April 2000)

In 1998 and 1999 the Commission published two follow-up reports (1) concerning the progress and status
of the 14 specific projects identified at the Essen European Council in December 1994. In both reports it is
stated that three projects are near completion, six others will be finalised around 2005 and five will be
finalised significantly beyond 2005.

The project called the Nordic Triangle, which contains the sections of the E4 and E6 mentioned by the
Honourable Member, is among the five projects in the last group. The special nature of the Nordic
Triangle, which is a multi-modal corridor with a large number of sub-projects, makes it very difficult to
establish a firm overall timetable and financing plan. Negotiations on this issue are taking place between
the Commission and the Finnish and Swedish authorities.

The implementation of transport infrastructure projects falls primarily under the responsibility of the
Member States and the regional and local bodies following the principle of subsidiarity. The Commission
cannot therefore require the Member States to implement any particular infrastructure project. However,
the Commission can encourage the Member States to implement a project by offering financial support or
C 374 E/192 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.2000

by helping to establish alternative financial solutions like public-private partnerships. The Commission has
previously supported upgrading and construction on several sections of the E6 and E18 within the Nordic

(1) ‘Report on progress and implementation of the 14 Essen projects’ (COM(98) 356 final) and ‘1998 Annual report on
the Trans-European Networks’ (COM(99) 410 final).

(2000/C 374 E/225) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0952/00

by Hiltrud Breyer (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(22 March 2000)

Subject: Schloen shooting range

Reports from the local citizens’ action group and the Bündnis 90/Grünen group in the district (Kreis) of
Mütitz indicate that the Land government has so far failed to take effective action to halt the Schloen
shooting range project (24 stands). According to a study carried out by the University of Greifswald for the
municipality of Schloen and in the opinion of the Vice-President of the Nature Conservation Federation
(NABU), Professor Succow, the area concerned is the habitat of an extremely wide range of species,
including priority species, which means that its designation as an FFH or EU bird conservation area would
be justified. This has also been put to the Land government through the Association for Nature and
Environmental Protection Germany (BUND).

1. Is the Commission aware that the notified FFH protected area designations by Mecklenburg-Western
Pomerania have thus been incomplete?

2. Does the Commission agree that this designation as a protected area within the meaning of the
EC bird protection directive needs to be undertaken and notification as an FFH area given without delay?

3. Is the Commission aware that, although the appropriate ministry knows of the adverse consequences
(including the abandonment of a sea eagle’s nest, a breeding ground for cranes and a colony of corncrakes
and the sustained disturbance of movements of migratory birds between the Mütitz National Park and the
Torgelower/Varchentin Lakes area), it is not giving the municipality of Schloen enough support in
preventing the construction of the shooting range?

4. Is the Commission aware that a number of other, ecologically safe sites for the project have been
proposed to the shooting club, but have always been rejected?

5. Is the Commission aware that the authorising agency has made serious errors in the authorising
procedure and that these have not yet been duly corrected?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(27 April 2000)

The Commission considers that there is a lack of sufficient Natura 2000 sites under Council Directive 92/
43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (1) not only in
Mecklenburg  Vorpommern, but also more generally in Germany. As a result the Commission brought
the matter before the Court of justice already one year ago and it awaits the judgement.

Likewise, there is a legal action against Germany for its failure to classify sufficient areas under Council
Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (2). The Commission has decided to bring this
matter too before the Court of justice.

The Commission does not have the necessary information to establish if the area at Schloen qualifies for
inclusion in Natura 2000. Nor is it able to answer the specific questions concerning this project in or close
to Schloen, when no detailed information is presented.

If there is evidence to show that there is an infringement of European law the Honourable Member is
invited to provide more detailed information pursuant to the provisions of Directive 92/43/EEC or
Directive 79/409/EEC. That would include an evaluation of the importance of the site for different species
and habitats of Community interest in accordance with the requirements of the directives. As regards the