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C 26 E/116 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.

2001

(2001/C 26 E/144) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0919/00
by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(25 March 2000)

Subject: Greyhounds in Spain and Ireland

Greyhounds raised for racing in Ireland are frequently killed or exported to Spain once they have come to
the end of their racing career. Once in Spain these animals are often poorly treated and the Spanish
authorities do not intervene to ensure standards are maintained.

In the past, Ireland has received EU subsidies to assist greyhound breeders. Will the Commission provide
assurance that this is no longer the case? Will the Commission also indicate what measures it is taking, or
intends to take, to bring about an end to the mistreatment of greyhounds in Ireland and Spain, particularly
with regards to old and/or sick dogs?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0826/00 and E-0919/00
given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(19 April 2000)

The Commission is very concerned about the welfare of animals and gives it a high priority. Community
rules exist in respect of animals, including dogs, for their protection during transport and in relation to
their use for research purposes.

Under the protocol on the protection and welfare of animals annexed to the EC Treaty, the Community
and Member States shall pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals in formulating and
implementing the Community’s agriculture, transport, internal market and research policies, while respect-
ing the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to
religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.

On the other hand, the conditions under which dogs like greyhounds are kept and raced within Member
States are not regulated by Community law and in consequence this aspect is a matter within the sole
jurisdiction of the Member States concerned. As it is the duty of the individual Member States to find a
solution to this problem, the Commission can only call upon responsible authorities to eliminate the ill-
treatment to which the Honourable Member refers.

The Commission can confirm that no Community aid is now available for investment in greyhound
rearing or racing. It is possible that Community aid is awarded for other purposes to companies, people or
organisations, who rear greyhounds or are involved in greyhound racing in the Community. In such cases
it is not a condition of Community funding that beneficiaries are not involved in greyhound rearing or
racing and the Commission has no information on such beneficiaries.

(2001/C 26 E/145) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0832/00
by Maurizio Turco (TDI) to the Commission

(10 March 2000)

Subject: Clarification further to the answer to Oral Question H-0125/00 on internal competitions COM/
TA/99, COM/TB/99, and COM/TC/99

According to the answer to Oral Question H-0125/00 (1):

 the Commission Director-General for Personnel and Administration, Mr Reichenbach, and Vice-
President Neil Kinnock decided in agreement on 2 December 1999 that the closing date for
applications for competitions COM/TA/99, COM/TB/99, and COM/TC/99 should be put back from
30 July 1999 to 22 December 1999.
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/117

 the decision was officially taken by Mr Reichenbach in his capacity as appointing authority because he
was ‘concerned that several potential candidates for the competition had been denied admission purely
on the technical grounds that they had not submitted all required identity documents in the precisely
prescribed manner’.

Since that is the case, how many times and on what dates were candidates admitted to the above
competitions invited to take part in competition procedures before 2 December 1999? Is this the first time
that candidates have protested against their exclusion on ‘purely technical grounds’? If not, what has been
the policy on previous occasions? How many candidates have been admitted to each competition
following extension of the deadline? What are their nationalities, and where were they working at the
time when they became entitled to enter the above-mentioned internal competitions? How many
candidates were admitted to the competitions as at 30 July 1999, and how many are eligible at present?
If the number of candidates eligible for the competitions has been raised, was the decision taken on
account of the Commission’s increased requirements or in order to protect the interests of the candidates
already admitted? Under what article of the Staff Regulations is an appointing authority empowered to put
back the closing date for applications for a competition because it is concerned that many candidates
might be excluded on purely technical grounds?

(1) Debates of the European Parliament (February 2000).

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(12 April 2000)

Candidates for the different competitions were invited to the tests of 6 December and 7 December 1999
once, by letters of 12 November (COM/TA and COM/TB) and 15 November 1999 (COM/TC) respectively.

It is the first time that, due to case law, the notice of an internal competition has been completely changed.

Notices of competition always provide a procedure for candidates who are not accepted to request re-
examination of their application by the Selection Board. The admission criteria for this competition were
significantly different from those in previous competitions of that nature. As a result, many candidates
who were deemed ineligible, sent complaints to the appointing authority for these particular competitions.

Following the correct submission of the formal documents, the numbers of candidates admitted to the
written tests of March 2000 are:

 COM/TA/99: 341 (increase of 100)

 COM/TB/99: 182 (increase of 57)

 COM/TC/99: 255 (increase of 78)

The Commission does not gather statistical information about where candidates were working when they
became entitled to enter the competitions as this is not relevant information in the context of the
competition. The nationalities of the admitted candidates are confidential until the competition is
concluded, but the names of successful candidates will be published on the Commission’s internal website.

As mentioned in the answer to the Honourable Member’s oral question H-125/00 during question time at
Parliament’s part session of February 2000, the number of successful candidates for each competition has
been re-examined in the light of the number of additional candidates, specifically to ensure that those
candidates who had been accepted initially are not disadvantaged.

The numbers of available posts for the different competitions were therefore raised as follows:

 COM/TA/99: from 80 to 110

 COM/TB/99: from 40 to 60

 COM/TC/99: from 30 to 40
C 26 E/118 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001

The drawing up of notices of competition is governed by Article 1 of Annex III ‘Competitions’ to the Staff
Regulations. Point 1 specifies that ‘notices of competitions shall be drawn up by the Appointing Authority
after consulting the Joint Committee’ and that the notice must specify the closing date for applications.

(2001/C 26 E/146) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0834/00
by Maria Berger (PSE) to the Council

(20 March 2000)

Subject: Surveillance of international telecommunications

At the hearing ‘The European Union and Data Protection’, held at the EP on 22-23 February 2000, STOA
delegate Duncan Campbell reported on the current situation with regard to Echelon, the global intercep-
tion system. It emerged that Echelon had intercepted economically significant data in Europe to the
detriment of the European economy.

Contrariwise John Mogg, Director-General of the Commission, and Commissioner Martin Bangemann said
that Echelon was nothing more than ‘press rumours’. This was clearly rebutted in statements from senior
officials such as Martin Brady, Director of the Australian Secret Service, Defence Signal Directorate.

There are many indications that the Council and the Commission have been well aware of this interception
system, but have taken no action and deliberately kept Parliament uninformed.

All of this notwithstanding, the Council and the Commission have even amended the European legislation
in a ‘US-friendly’ sense by following the main thrust of an American law of 1994 (CALEA) and the Council
took account of their wishes in its resolution of 17 January 1995 (1) on the lawful interception of
telecommunications.

1. Which Council services at what time were aware of telecommunications interception in Europe and
what action was taken against it?

2. What measures will the Council take in future to safeguard electronic communications in Europe
against bugging operations and to guarantee the protection of personal and economic data?

3. Was the Council aware that Enfopol documents emanate from the International Law Enforcement
Telecommunications Seminar) under US chairmanship and why was Enfopol 90 never discussed, but only
dealt with through a written procedure?

(1) OJ C 329, 4.11.1996, p. 1.

Reply

(8 June 2000)

1. The deliberations of the Council on the technical aspects of the lawful interception by the competent
authorities of the Member States of telecommunications are prepared by the Police Cooperation Working
Party. This was the case for the abovementioned Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 and for the
Council conclusions of 28 May 1998 on encryption and law enforcement.

As concerns Echelon, the Council has already given several replies to parliamentary questions (H-0330/97,
P-0501/98, 0-0057/98, H-0546/98, H-0872/98, H-0889/98).

2. As concerns the protection of privacy in the telecommunications sector, the Council recalls the
European Parliament and Council Directive of 15 December 1997 concerning the processing of personal
data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications sector (1).