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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.
C 26 E/28 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001

Nevertheless, the Commission will closely follow the implementation of the Agreement, once it has come
into force, and raise any difficulties with the Swiss authorities in the joint committee which is to be
established under the agreement.

(2001/C 26 E/033) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0293/00
by Hartmut Nassauer (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(11 February 2000)

Subject: Czech Republic’s progress on the way to accession

Is the Commission aware that the German government considers the Benesch decrees, in so far as they
relate to the deportation, revocation of citizenship and expropriation of Germans in former Czechoslova-
kia, as contrary to international law, and how in that connection does it view the possibility of those
decrees continuing to remain in force in the context of possible accession by the Czech Republic to the
European Union, having regard in particular to the Copenhagen political criteria?

(2001/C 26 E/034) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0294/00
by Hartmut Nassauer (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(11 February 2000)

Subject: Czech Republic’s progress on the way to accession

Is the Commission aware that Czech citizens of German nationality continue to this day to have difficulty
in recovering property lost to them on the basis of the 1945 and 1946 laws and decrees, and is the
Commission prepared to make approaches to the government of the Czech Republic in that connection in
the context of accession negotiations?

(2001/C 26 E/035) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0295/00
by Hartmut Nassauer (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(11 February 2000)

Subject: Czech Republic’s progress on the way to accession

Does the Commission share the view that the Czech Republic’s restitution law is contrary to international
law in so far as the non-retention of Czech nationality continues to be treated as grounds for exclusion
from restitution of property even when that nationality was not surrendered voluntarily, and is the
Commission prepared to remind the government of the Czech Republic that compliance with international
law is an indispensable pre-condition for accession?

(2001/C 26 E/036) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0296/00
by Hartmut Nassauer (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(11 February 2000)

Subject: Progress with implementing European Union objectives in the Czech Republic

Human rights violations committed against citizens of various nationalities as a result of their expulsion
from Czechoslovakia in the period after the end of the Second World War have still not been put right
even today. Many of those concerned are still living. Decrees by the Presidents of the Republic and other
laws led in 1945 and 1946 to the complete expropriation of mainly German and Hungarian property-