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C 46 E/30 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 13.2.


However, it appears that those provisions are no longer included in the definitive text of Law No 28 of
22 February 2000, adopted by the Italian Parliament, which governs only communication and political
messages on radio broadcasting channels (see Articles 2 and 4).

In view of the fact that on-line information and political and campaign advertising (for example via the
Internet) are therefore not covered by the Italian law referred to and that radio broadcasting and audio-
visual services are specifically excluded from the scope of Directive 98/34/EC (as amended by the
‘Transparency Directive’ 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 July 1998 laying
down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations) (3),
the adoption of the Italian law on ‘par condicio’ does not constitute infringement of the prior notification
procedure provided for under that Directive.

(1) OJ C 27 E, 29.1.2000.
(2) OJ C 170 E, 20.6.2000.
(3) OJ L 217, 5.8.1998.

(2001/C 46 E/035) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0710/00
by Hiltrud Breyer (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(17 March 2000)

Subject: Implementation of the electricity directive

1. Has sufficient unbundling taken place in the electricity industry  particularly with regard to the
separation of transmission and distribution networks for the production and sale of electricity  to ensure
fair competition, on a footing of equality, in the industry?

2. Has attention been paid to making it possible to keep transaction costs as low as possible, in the
interests of small suppliers?

3. How are levels of transit charges monitored on the basis of unbundling?

4. (a) Have any comparisons yet been made between EU Member States, for example of the cost of
transit of 1 Kilowatt-hour over 150 km?

(b) If not, why not? How else can the fairness of competition be monitored if there are no comparative

5. Is there an explanation for the differences in transit charges?

6. If there is no monitoring in this field, how is the electricity directive implemented?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(3 May 2000)

1. Unbundling in the electricity industry is key to ensuring fair competition, as the Honourable Member
rightly points out. According to Directive 96/92/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 19 December
1996 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity (1), the Member States are obliged to
unbundle the operation of the transmission system operator (TSO) in the accounts and in management
terms. There is no obligation on the Member States to legally unbundle transmission system operation or
to require separate ownership of the natural monopoly activities from generation and supply. The
distribution activities are subject to obligations relating to non dissemination of commercially sensitive
13.2.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 46 E/31

information to other parts of the electricity company. Most Member States have decided to go further than
the obligations of the Directive, in the sense that they have either legally unbundled the TSO, or even
unbundled ownership of the TSO. The Commission has asked Member States that have unbundled only
the management of the TSO to provide information as to the practical implementation of this requirement.
The Commission is assessing the answers and will take the appropriate action if it feels that the
management unbundling has not been sufficiently ensured.

2. It is the task of the regulatory authorities to regulate transmission prices, and it is the objective of all
independent regulators to keep transmission prices as low as possible.

3. The transmission tariffs have recently been set in the Member States due to the implementation of
the Electricity Directive. The transmission tariffs are monitored by regulatory authorities in Member States.
The Commission is of the opinion that a comparison of transmission tariffs in the Member States is
important for transparency of the electricity market. Non-discriminatory and fair access to the network is
fundamental for arriving at a competitive electricity market. For this reason it will launch a comparative
study on the transmission tariffs in the Member Sates this year.

4. As the transmission tariffs have only recently been developed and are still under development in the
Member States that had an additional period to implement the Directive, these data have not yet been
collected for the Community.

5. The Commission through its contacts with the market players is however aware of the fact that quite
substantial differences exist in transmission tariffs throughout the Community. The reasons for these
differences will be one of the elements of the study that the Commission intends to launch this year.
However, it can already be stated that these levels will differ due to differences in size of networks, in
consumer base over which to allocate the costs due to productivity and efficiency levels, and due to
different levels of investments, also for investment in interconnection capacity to facilitate trade in the
internal market.

6. Monitoring of the different levels of transmission tariffs is an important element in ensuring that the
internal electricity market functions on a non-discriminatory basis. The Commission regards it very much
as its task to ensure that transmission tariffs guarantee equal access to the transmission grid.

(1) OJ L 27, 30.1.1997.

(2001/C 46 E/036) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0717/00
by Carlos Carnero González (PSE) to the Commission

(17 March 2000)

Subject: Preparations for the Eighth summit on progress and development in Equatorial Guinea

The press agency Agence France Presse reported on 11 February that a meeting had been held in Malabo
on 10 February between Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea, and Friedrich Nagel, Head of the
Commission Delegation in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

According to this report, Mr Nagel stated on the radio that the object of his visit was to deliver to
Mr Obiang an ‘official letter of notification’ concerning the ‘Eighth summit on progress and development
in Equatorial Guinea’. There was no public announcement of the date and place of this summit.

As many NGOs have pointed out, including the Spanish NGO Asodegue and the international organisation
Médecins sans Frontières, the situation in Equatorial Guinea is deteriorating constantly, to the point where
Médecins sans Frontières has had to abandon the humanitarian work it was engaged in on the ground.