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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/121

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2000)

The cross-border credit transfer Directive (1) adopted in January 1997 and in force since 14 August 1999
introduces provisions on the transparency and performance of cross-border credit transfers. Among other
things it defines how transfer charges are to be distributed, thus allowing the possibility of avoiding double
charging. If there is no other arrangement between the customer and sending institution, the transfer is by
default an ‘OUR transfer’: i.e. the sum of all charges of the complete transaction is borne by the sender and
the beneficiary does not have to pay anything. Charges which are levied contrary to the provisions of the
Directive can be reclaimed by the customer directly from the bank.

The Commission has at present no information that Italian banks as a general practice charge commissions
for cross-border credit transfers to Italian non-resident accounts. If the Honourable Member has informa-
tion concerning such practices, the Commission would be prepared to further examine and pursue them.

However, the Commission is aware that despite the provisions of the cross-border credit transfer Directive,
cases of double charging on cross-border transfers do still exist in Italy  regardless of the resident or non-
resident status of the sender or beneficiary. Such practices are contrary to Community legislation and are
pursued when they are made known.

The fact that Italy has not yet complied with its obligation to transpose the cross-border credit transfer
Directive does not mean that the provisions of the Directive do not have to be observed. According to
judgements of the Court of justice, a sufficiently defined directive, which has not been implemented in
national law by the deadline established in the directive, can be relied upon by complainants in national

(1) Directive 97/5/EC of the Parliament and the Council of 27 January 1997, OJ L 43, 14.2.1997.

(2001/C 26 E/150) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0855/00
by Lord Inglewood (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(21 March 2000)

Subject: UK map for Structural Funds Objective 2

When in 2000 did the United Kingdom Government write to the European Commission requesting the
suspension of the process of approval for the Objective 2 map for the European Structural Funds 2000-

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(19 April 2000)

The British authorities wrote on 2 February 2000 requesting suspension of the procedure while they
considered changes to the list. The Commission replied on 4 February 2000, asking for the revisions to be
submitted quickly so that the final list could be decided in order to clear the way for the programming of
actions on the ground.

Following a second letter on 24 February, in which the Commission again emphasised the urgency of a
decision, the United Kingdom replied by formally removing their suspension on 2 March 2000 and
rescinded their request for changes.