You are on page 1of 2

C 26 E/26 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.

2001

(2001/C 26 E/030) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0269/00
by Jan-Kees Wiebenga (ELDR) to the Council

(8 February 2000)

Subject: Schengen-area border checks at Schiphol airport

A case has been reported of a Netherlands national who was required by the Netherlands airline KLM to
show a valid passport as proof of identity on an intra-Schengen flight from Amsterdam to Rome.

1. On what provisions of the Schengen Treaty is the requirement to show a valid passport based?

2. Are there not other travel documents or proofs of identity that are recognised by European Union
Member States as sufficient for travel between Schengen countries? If so, what are they?

3. Do other national Schengen-country airlines, such as Sabena, Air France or Lufthansa, also ask for a
valid passport, or do they also accept other proof of identity?

4. If the arrangements applied were in accordance with the rules in force, is the Council prepared to
change those rules so that other proofs of identity can be accepted?

Reply

(8 June 2000)

The Council would draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the fact that, as far as nationals of the
Member States are concerned, the Schengen provisions do not regulate the right of airlines to verify prior
to check-in that the holder of a travel document which is normally personal and non-transferable is indeed
the person named in that document.

In addition, the Council informs the Honourable Member that, pursuant to Directives 68/360/EEC and 73/
148/EEC, and on the basis of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, all
nationals of the Member States must, when travelling within the EU, be in possession of either a valid
identity card, or a valid passport. Since an identity card is not compulsory in the Netherlands, any national
of that country travelling to the territory of another Member State must at least hold a valid passport.

In any case, the Council would emphasise that it is to the Commission and to the Court of Justice and that
the Treaty entrusts the task of ensuring that Community law is applied correctly in the Member States.

(2001/C 26 E/031) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0271/00
by Paulo Casaca (PSE) to the Commission

(7 February 2000)

Subject: Functioning of the internal employment market between the EU and Switzerland

A European citizen, Kosta Parlavanzas, has submitted a substantial set of documents in which it is stated
that Switzerland pursues a deliberate, systematic policy of restricting employment opportunities for foreign
workers to a period of between 20 and 30 years, after which they are sent back to their country of origin
with no transfer of pension rights.

Is the Commission in possession of any research into the legal status of European immigrants in
Switzerland?

Does the Commission consider it possible or desirable for relations between the EU and Switzerland to
continue and to be deepened (particularly in the context of the European Economic Area) if the latter
country fails to implement the basic employment rules of the single market?
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/27

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(15 March 2000)

The Commission agrees that the current legal situation of Community nationals working in Switzerland is
not satisfactory. It has therefore negotiated a wide-ranging agreement on the free movement of people to
align the Swiss provisions with the acquis communautaire in this area, including that on social security
and pension rights.

The Agreement was signed on 21 June 1999 and will come into force after Parliament’s assent and after
ratification by the Contracting Parties.

Once the Agreement has come into force, the Commission will closely monitor its implementation by
Switzerland and raise any difficulties in the joint committee which is to be established under the
Agreement.

The Agreement on free movement of people is linked to six other sector agreements (on air and land
traffic, research, agriculture, public procurement and mutual recognition of conformity assessment), which
can only enter into force together. Switzerland will therefore not obtain advantages in other areas without
granting the agreed improvements for Community citizens in Switzerland.

(2001/C 26 E/032) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0277/00
by Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(7 February 2000)

Subject: Integration of foreigners in Switzerland

In Switzerland there exists an extra-parliamentary committee known as the Federal Committee on Aliens,
the main task of which is to deal with matters relating to the integration of foreigners and which
comprises 28 members, seven of whom are foreigners representing their respective communities (including
representatives of communities originating in EU Member States), the others being representatives of
government, business and industry.

The Swiss Federal Council recently decided to incorporate the Federal Committee on Aliens into the
Federal Aliens Department, a body which comes entirely under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice
and the Police and which is responsible for policing foreigners, allocating work-permit quotas for
foreigners and issuing visas. The decision was strongly opposed by the chairman and members of the
Federal Committee on Aliens (who have since submitted their resignation) and by the 650+ foreigners’
associations in Switzerland, who are proposing that the Committee should remain under the jurisdiction of
the Interior Ministry or an independent delegate.

Does this new guardianship of the Federal Committee on Aliens not run counter to the spirit of the
Agreement on the free movement of persons between, on the one hand, the European Community and its
Member States and, on the other, the Swiss Confederation?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(10 March 2000)

The Agreement on the free movement of persons with Switzerland, signed on 21 June 1999, has not yet
come into force. It needs first to have Parliament’s assent and to be ratified by the Contracting Parties.

The Agreement does not stipulate anything about the internal administrative organisation of the Contract-
ing Parties.

For its part the Commission does not have any reason to believe the new internal administrative
organisation in Switzerland to be contrary to the spirit of the Agreement.