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C 26 E/86 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.


(2001/C 26 E/105) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0670/00
by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 2000)

Subject: Borage honey and the 1976 honey regulations

Honey produced from the borage plant (borage honey) naturally contains a higher level of sucrose than
the 5 % limit stipulated by the 1976 honey regulations. However, the Local Authority on Trading
Standards in the UK has advised Trading Standards (UK) to accept the sucrose level in borage honey,
following detailed analytical work by the European Federation of Honey Importers, Packers and Distribu-
tors (which liases closely with the European Commission).

Will the Commission accept that borage honey naturally contains a high level of sucrose and therefore
ought to be exempt from the current regulations?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(31 March 2000)

In 1996, the Commission presented a proposal to the Council to simplify the Directive relating to
honey (1). In Annex II of this proposal were included certain new criteria concerning apparent sucrose

In February 2000 during its last meeting, the Food and agriculture organisation (FAO) codex committee on
sugars agreed a draft revised standard for honey. The new text of that draft revised standard includes
sucrose content for Borage (Borago officinalis) honey of not more than 15 g/100 g. It seems probable that
the next meetings of experts in the Council on the proposal relating to honey will take into account the
conclusions of the codex committee.

(1) OJ C 231, 9.8.1996.

(2001/C 26 E/106) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0689/00
by Robert Goebbels (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 2000)

Subject: Possible amendment of Article 105(6) of the EC Treaty

Article 105(6) of the EC Treaty stipulates that the Council may confer upon the ECB specific tasks
concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial
institutions ‘with the exception of insurance undertakings’.

However, the large European market in financial services being established calls for global prudential
supervision, particularly following the countless mergers or acquisitions, not to mention the acquisition of
cross holdings, among banks, insurance undertakings, investment funds and other professionals in the
financial sector. Several EU Member States have already introduced single national prudential supervision
for the financial sector as a whole, including insurance undertakings, or are in the process of doing so.

Would it not be wise to take the opportunity offered by the intergovernmental conference to propose that
Article 105(6) be amended so as to provide the legal basis necessary to enable the Council to confer upon
the ECB certain specific tasks, including those relating to prudential supervision of insurance undertakings?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission
(19 April 2000)

The EC Treaty expressly excludes insurance companies from the prudential supervision tasks which could
be conferred on the European Central Bank (ECB) under the procedure provided for in Article 105(6) of
the EC Treaty. There are many grounds for this. The insurance industry does not risk significant contagion
which could lead to a systemic crisis. Insurance companies are not covered as last resort lenders by the