You are on page 1of 2

C 26 E/92 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.


visit Moscow, where the EU Presidency will use the opportunity to express its views forcefully to the
Russian side. And on 10 April the subject will be on the agenda of the Cooperation Council with Russia to
be held in Luxembourg.

The Council has repeatedly demanded that all human rights violations be investigated in a credible and
transparent way, and that those implicated in atrocities be brought to justice. The President of the Council
expressed deep concern about the situation in Chechnya in his statement on 29 March to the Commission
for Human Rights in Geneva.

In the Commission for Human Rights the Presidency, acting on behalf of the European Union, played an
active part in the debate on human rights in Chechnya. It submitted a Resolution voicing deep concern at
reports of gross, widespread and flagrant violations of human rights in Chechnya and calling for a
national, broad-based and independent commission of inquiry to be set up. The Commission voted to
adopt the Resolution. The Council is monitoring closely the work of Mr Kalamanov, the Russian
Presidential Special Representative for Human Rights. It expects him to contribute to bringing about
justice in Chechnya, and restoring some faith in the law. The Council strongly calls on the Russian
authorities to make this possible.

(2001/C 26 E/112) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0708/00
by Hiltrud Breyer (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(17 March 2000)

Subject: Designation of the Danube water-meadows as a special conservation area under the flora and
fauna habitats directive

According to press reports, the Bavarian Government will only decide whether to designate the Danube
water-meadows between Straubing and Vilshofen as a special conservation area for flora and fauna habitats
once the question is settled of whether and how the Danube is to be developed. According to Court of
Justice case-law, however, decisions on whether and within what boundaries special conservation areas are
to be set up must be taken exclusively on nature protection (and not economic) grounds.

1. Is the Commission aware of the Bavarian Government’s reprehensible attitude in this matter?

2. Does the Commission agree that the Danube water-meadows between Straubing and Vilshofen
should be classified immediately as a protected area (under the EC directive on the conservation of birds)
and designated as a special flora and fauna habitats conservation area?

3. Is the Commission aware that the decision on the Danube development is to be taken this year,
when the current in-depth studies have been concluded?

4. Is the Commission aware that three of the four alternative Danube development plans that have so
far been studied (Alternatives B, C and D) will destroy or seriously affect the ‘de facto protected area of the
Danube meadows’?

5. Is the Commission aware that, according to two new studies, Alternative A, which is environmentally
acceptable and reasonably priced, will achieve comparable navigable depths to those in the central Rhine
and the Wachau (with an almost constant channel width of 70 metres)?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission
(17 April 2000)

1. and 2. Considerable delays have been experienced in the designation by Germany, including Bavaria,
of special protected areas according to Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation
of wild birds (1) and the proposal of sites of Community importance according to Council Directive 92/43/
EEC (2) of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. The
Commission has therefore launched infringement proceedings against Germany with regard to the correct
application of both directives. In the first case an application to the Court of justice is currently under
preparation, in the second the matter is already before the Court and a ruling is awaited.
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/93

Furthermore the Commission is aware of the high value of the area concerned for nature conservation
including the protection of wild birds as part of the important bird area (IBA) ‘Donautal: Regensburg 
Vilshofen’. This IBA has therefore been highlighted in the reasoned opinion sent by the Commission to the
German authorities with regard to their failure to apply correctly Directive 79/409/EEC. The Commission
is also aware of the outstanding Natura 2000 value under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC of the ‘Alluvial
plains of the Danube between Geisling and Vilshofen’ site. The information that the site is of particular
importance for the priority habitat type of the alluvial forests and some non-priority fish species of the
Danube is backed up by scientific studies.

3. to 5. The Commission does not have the information to which the Honourable Member refers and is
therefore not in a position to comment further on the issue. The Commission takes the view that, once the
Court has rendered its judgement, Germany is obliged to take the necessary measures to comply with the
ruling. This includes ensuring respect of the procedures with regard to projects, which may have a
significant effect on the area concerned.

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979.
(2) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(2001/C 26 E/113) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0715/00
by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(17 March 2000)

Subject: Third-country resident ethnic entrepreneurs

What steps is the Commission preparing to make it easier for third-country resident ethnic entrepreneurs
to operate across the EU?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(26 May 2000)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that, as part of the Employment-Integra
initiative, the Member States have implemented various projects aimed at nationals of third countries or
persons belonging to ethnic minorities, who are resident in the Community and account for a dispropor-
tionately high number of the unemployed and those in insecure and low-skilled jobs. Very few of these
projects were, however, aimed specifically at entrepreneurial activity. Similarly, under the Employment-
Now initiative, a number of projects have focussed on business start-ups by women, including those
belonging to ethnic minorities.

Furthermore, the purpose of the new Community EQUAL initiative (the guidelines for which were adopted
on 14 April 2000 (1)) is to attack all forms of discrimination and inequality relating to the labour market.
One of the major themes of the initiative is to open up business start-up procedures to all parties.

On a more general level regarding the activities of an entrepreneur, the distinction should be made
between an enterprise acting as a legal person and an entrepreneur acting as a natural person.

When an entrepreneur who is a third country national has legally set up a company which has its
registered office, central administration or principal place of business in a Member State, the company as
such forms an integral part of the Member State under the terms of Article 48 (ex Article 58) of the EC
Treaty, and benefits from the right of establishment (Article 43 (ex Article 52) of the EC Treaty) and the
freedom to provide services (Article 49 (ex Article 59) of the EC Treaty) within the internal market.
However, the residence requirements for a third country national who is a manager or partner in such a
company are not covered by Community law and are still governed by national legislation. On the basis of
the new Title IV of the EC Treaty, it will be possible to adopt Community rules on the conditions of entry
and residence for nationals of third countries for the purposes of paid employment or working in a self-
employed capacity (Article 63(3)(a)), and on the rights under which nationals of third countries who are