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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/67

(2001/C 26 E/083) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0586/00
by Mark Watts (PSE) to the Commission
(29 February 2000)

Subject: European sustainable transport policy

Will the Commission indicate how, and to what extent, national transport policy-makers in EU Member
States have been influenced by the development of a common European transport policy  particularly as
regards the creation of environmentally sustainable transport systems?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission
(19 April 2000)

Most Member States have begun introducing national policies designed to incorporate environmental
considerations. The European Council meeting in Cardiff and subsequent European Councils boosted the
integration process which must now be sustained and must result in real decisions and the introduction of
new instruments to promote, evaluate and oversee the process.

Many new measures have been implemented, although in some areas certain Member States are more
active than others. A particular example is the link between the reduction in lead emissions and the
introduction of tax differentiation for leaded and unleaded petrol.

At Community level, the Environment Agency has developed the transport environment reporting
mechanism which enables progress in incorporating environmental considerations into the transport
sector in Member States to be monitored. Its first report is expected in April 2000.

In the context of trans-European network policy, Article 8 of Parliament and Council Decision 1692/96/EC
of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (1)
reinforces the Member States’ commitment to make environmental impact assessments when they develop
and carry out projects of common interest, in line with Council Directive 85/337/EC of 27 June 1985 on
the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (2) and Council
Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and
flora (3). Moreover, in accordance with Article 18 of the above-mentioned Decision, Member States are
obliged to regularly notify the Commission of the national plans and programmes which they have drawn
up for the development of the trans-European transport network, in particular for projects of common

As regards environmentally sustainable transport systems in cities, and mindful of the principle of
subsidiarity, the Commission has focused its efforts on exchanging good practices. In particular, it has
contributed by financing ELTIS (European Local Transport Information Service), which is a database of
information about local and regional passenger transport, available to elected representatives, politicians,
transport operators and managers and, of course, transport users. This database features many case studies
and a forum open to the public. Lastly, the database of good practices in the field of urban planning and
sustainable development contains good examples of sustainable development.

(1) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996.
(2) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.
(3) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(2001/C 26 E/084) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0590/00
by Giles Chichester (PPE-DE) to the Council
(2 March 2000)

Subject: EBRD loans to Russian energy companies

Can the Council say whether it has any plans to review the operation of the EBRD’s Agreement and
Guidelines for lending to Russian energy companies?
C 26 E/68 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001


(26 June 2000)

The Council has, as such, no competence to review the operation of the Agreement and Guidelines for
lending of the EBRD, which institution was created by an international agreement concluded between, at
the time, 39 European and non European countries, such as the USA and Japan on the one hand and the
EU and the EIB on the other hand.

(2001/C 26 E/085) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0602/00
by Giovanni Pittella (PSE) to the Commission

(3 March 2000)

Subject: Outbreak of avian influenza in some parts of Italy

In connection with the avian flu epidemic currently affecting some parts of Italy, which has led to the
death or slaughter of seven million birds.

Can the Commission state:

 what methods were used for the slaughter of the birds that did not die as a direct cause of the
epidemic, who they were slaughtered by, on whose authorisation and at which sites and how many
birds have been slaughtered;

 whether and in what way the provisions of Directive 93/119/EC (1) (transposed by means of Legislative
Decree No 333 of 1 September 1998) have been complied with;

 what method has been chosen for the disposal of the birds slaughtered as a result of the epidemic?

(1) OJ L 340, 31.12.1993, p. 21.

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2000)

By mid March 2000 the Italian authorities had reported 368 outbreaks of avian influenza. The outbreaks
have occurred in different kinds of species and production types. About 12,2 million birds have been killed
at infected poultry farms and 3 million at farms considered as contact farms or as being high risk farms.

Exact data for birds that died because of the disease and those which have definitively been killed in the
affected farms are not yet available. One reason for the missing figures is that the disease can cause
mortality that can reach up to 100 % in a very short period of time. Animals often die while arrangements
for their destruction are being made.

The method of killing birds was discussed at the meeting of the standing veterinary committee in January
and again in March 2000. At the later meeting the Italian delegation announced that the provisions of
Council Directive 93/119/EEC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing (1) were
being applied. This Directive (Annex C) lists the permitted methods of killing poultry as electrocution,
exposure to carbon dioxide, decapitation, dislocation of the neck and the use of a vacuum chamber.
During execution specific requirements must be fulfilled within the framework of the overall objective
(Article 3) of this Directive; thus to spare animals ‘any avoidable excitement, pain or suffering during
movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning, slaughter or killing’. In addition to the killing methods referred to
above the competent authority may apply other killing methods for disease control during epidemics
(Annex E). In such situations the methods applied must be in compliance with the general provisions of