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28.12.

2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/213

(2000/C 374 E/251) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1235/00
by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(10 April 2000)

Subject: Bristol Austria  Dipl. Ing K. J. Madden v Pfeifer Ges.m.b.H.

‘Bristol Austria  Dipl Ing K. J. Madden’ is a small company registered under the owner’s name:
Mr Ken J Madden. This company is a consultancy for British companies wishing to export to Central
Europe, and deals particularly with ‘Bristol Uniforms Ltd’, which supplies firebrigade uniforms to the
Austrian firebrigade. Mr Madden’s company has a website address: ‘bristol-austria.com’.

An Austrian producer known as Pfeifer Ges.m.b.H. has insisted that Mr Madden’s company change its
website address from ‘bristol-austria.com’ to something not including the word Austria. Mr Madden’s
company has until 6 April to comply with this request or to defend the action. Yet the website address
does not indicate that the company is anything other than a proprietorship.

Pfeifer is virtually a monopoly in Austria, being one of two Austrian producers of protective fire clothing.
In 1997 they were sued by the Austrian Feuerwehrverband (Fire Brigade Association) for falsely using the
registered logo of the Verband together with a subsidiary company name, and more recently have
launched a new fire-coat onto the European market which BTTG (the UK’s premier test house) and two
separate German test houses have found after extensive testing to be 32 % under the required standard.

Will the Commission look into this matter and determine whether or not Pfeifer Ges.m.b.H. has been
acting illegally in trying to force Mr Madden’s company to change its website address?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(12 May 2000)

The Honourable Member’s question appears on the basis of the information submitted to relate to a
domain name dispute under the.COM top level domain.

The registration of domain names within.COM is the responsibility of the company Network Solutions Inc.
(NSI). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has put in place a uniform
dispute resolution procedure that may be applied to all trademark-related disputes arising from registration
made in.COM.

Under the policy set by ICANN, most types of trademark-based domain-name disputes must be resolved by
agreement, arbitration or court action, before a registrar will cancel, suspend, or transfer a domain name
(see http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm). Disputes which arise from abusive registrations of domain
names (for example, cybersquatting) may be addressed by expedited administrative proceedings that the
holder of the trademark rights initiates by filing a complaint with an approved dispute-resolution service
provider.

The Commission is not competent to decide on such cases. It might be necessary for the Honourable
Member’s constituent to seek legal advice from a specialist in this area.

(2000/C 374 E/252) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1255/00
by Armando Cossutta (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(14 April 2000)

Subject: Italian girl held in Kuwait City

Erica is thirteen years old and has an Italian mother and an Egyptian father. Since mid-January she has
been sheltering in the Italian Embassy in Kuwait City, where she went of her own accord for help. The girl,
C 374 E/214 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.2000

whose father was awarded custody after her parents’ divorce, finds it intolerable to live with him in an
Islamic environment in a country which blatantly violates many of the rights that European women
consider inalienable. Erica is an Italian citizen and wants to return to Italy to live with her mother and
younger sister. She is under the protection of the Italian authorities who are providing her with every
assistance under Italian law. However, it is difficult to bring her out of the country and to re-unite her with
her mother as she wishes, and as has been reiterated in a letter from the President of the Republic of Italy,
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

What measures does the Commission intend to take so that its representative can help the Italian Embassy
in its efforts to comply with Erica’s wishes and enable her to return to Europe to live with her mother?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(16 May 2000)

The Commission does not have a representation in Kuwait.

It was not informed of the case referred to by the Honourable Member, which is not covered by its
mandate but falls within the competence of the Member States, specifically Italy in its bilateral relations
with Kuwait.

The Commission relies on the authorities in Kuwait and Italy to solve the problem according to their laws
and in the girl’s best interests.

(2000/C 374 E/253) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1268/00
by Jorge Hernández Mollar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(19 April 2000)

Subject: Euro-Arab Management School

The European Parliament’s resolution of 30 March 1984 (1) created a Euro-Arab University in Spain, as
part of the Euro-Arab dialogue set up between the then European Economic Community and the Arab
League.

Plans to create a Euro-Arab Management School in Granada were approved by the European Commission’s
Mediterranean Committee on 21 September 1994.

The Euro-Mediterranean Conference held in Barcelona in November 1995 referred to the School and the
important role it would play in the field of vocational training and education, making it of undoubted
value as a regional cooperation project for the Mediterranean area.

In the 1999 budget Parliament adopted an appropriation of EUR 100 000 for the School (Item A-3119),
which the Commission has still not disbursed, and a commitment of EUR 380 000. At the same time the
Commission endowed the School with a redemption fund of EUR 6 million, of which only the interest
payments may theoretically be used, but bureaucratic difficulties are preventing their use.

1. What are the reasons preventing the use of these funds?

2. Is the Commission aware that the economic difficulties described above may prevent the operation of
this important project for Euro-Arab cooperation in a region vital to European interests, as pointed out in
a number of Parliament’s resolutions and Commission and Council statements?

3. Does the Commission have the political will to provide the Euro-Arab Management School with the
greatest possible cooperation and financial aid, since this is a project that will make a very positive impact
on the exchange of experience and the training of business managers from the Arab world and Europe?

(1) OJ C 117, 30.4.1984, p. 165.