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C 72 E/42 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 6.3.

2001

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behaf of the Commission

(19 June 2000)

As the Honourable Member rightly points out, third-country road transport relations are still subject to
bilateral authorizations when a haulier established in a Member State transports goods between two other
states, with at least one of these two other states being a third country.

In fact the relevant Community law, Council Regulation (EEC) No 881/92 of 26 March 1992 on access to
the market in the carriage of goods by road within the Community to or from the territory of a Member
State or passing across the territory of one or more Member States (1), expressly states that pending the
conclusion of agreements between the Community and third countries the Regulation shall not affect
bilateral agreements governing third country transport relations. These bilateral agreements, however,
distinguish by definition between hauliers established in a state party to such an agreement and those that
are established in another state.

At present, there are no negotiations taking place between the Community and third countries with a view
to the conclusion of road transport agreements replacing completely the bilateral agreements concluded
between Member States and third countries.

(1) OJ L 95, 9.4.1992.

(2001/C 72 E/046) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1317/00


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(27 April 2000)

Subject: Excessive use of water resources (municipalities of S. Giovanni in Persiceto and Crevalcore)

In the municipalities of S. Giovanni in Persiceto and Crevalcore (province of Bologna, region of Emilia-
Romagna, Italy), instances of subsidence have occurred (causing the ground level to sink by about two
metres) because of the excessive use of water resources in the area by the Seabo water supply company. As
a result, this part of the Bologna plain is becoming one of the most vulnerable areas of the Po Valley as
regards flooding, and damage is hence being done both to the economy and to the environment.

Can the Commission therefore state:

 whether in this specific case Community laws on environmental protection and citizens’ safety have
been breached?

 whether there any Community measures designed to prevent subsidence from occurring?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(22 June 2000)

Existing legislation addresses various aspects of water quality, such as drinking water quality, bathing water
quality or performance criteria for waste water treatment plants. There is however no Community water
legislation addressing water quantity including abstraction or over-abstraction. The Commission therefore
sees at present no legal basis to intervene.

The Parliament and the Council are currently negotiating a water framework directive1. The Parliament
finalised its second reading at the February 2000 plenary (1) (2) session. The Parliament/Council conciliation
procedure is in progress (the time limit for concluding the procedure is 19 July 2000).
6.3.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 72 E/43

One of the main elements of this directive is the obligation for Member States to maintain or achieve good
quality of groundwater. Such good quality will be defined as good chemical status and good quantitative
status, good quantitative status being defined as a balance between available groundwater resources and the
long-term annual average rate of abstraction. To ensure achieving this objective every abstraction of
groundwater (and surface water) will as a rule be subject to a permit. Failure to achieve or maintain such
balance between natural recharge and abstraction will, after adoption of this proposal, be an infringement
of Community legislation.

(1) Commission Proposals for a Parliament and Council Directive establishing a framework for Community action in
the field of water policy Framework Directive (OJ C 184, 17.6.1997, OJ C 16, 20.1.1998 and OJ C 108, 7.4.1998)
 Council Common Position of 22.10.1999 (OJ C 343, 30.11.1999).
(2) Opinion of Parliament of 16.2.2000, not yet published in the Official Journal.

(2001/C 72 E/047) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1319/00


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(3 May 2000)

Subject: European school milk scheme

The Commission is proposing to radically change the school milk scheme. At the moment, the disposal of
milk in schools is fully subsidised by the European Union. In future this financing would be halved. The
other half of the financing would then have to come from the Member States, but they would be allowed
to pass on the costs to milk producers and/or the dairy industry. These sweeping proposals are
encountering a great deal of opposition, due in part to the negative consequences for milk consumption.

1. Does the Council endorse the Commission’s arguments for halving aid for the school milk scheme?
If not, what is the position of the Council with regard to the financing of the European school milk
scheme, and what alternative proposal for financing is being put forward by the Council?

2. Has the Council carried out a detailed study of the impact of the Commission’s proposal on milk
consumption in schools? If not, why is that the case, and does the Council intend to carry out a study in
view of the  probable  negative impact on milk consumption? Or if so, what are the anticipated effects,
and what conclusions does the Council draw from the results of this research?

3. Does the Council not consider it more advisable to continue to fully subsidise the school milk
scheme in view of the health benefits of milk? If not, why does the Council support the Commission’s
proposal to halve aid in spite of the health benefits of milk? Or if so, will the Council be proposing that
the school milk scheme should be financed on a long-term basis by the European Union?

Reply

(18/19 September 2000)

1. In February 1999 the Commission submitted a detailed evaluation report on the impact and
operation of the school milk measure at European Union level (subsidised at 95 % by the European
Union). On the basis of that report, the Commission initially envisaged discontinuing the measure.

In the context of the price package in June 1999, the Council discussed the report submitted by the
Commission in detail, after which it adopted the following statement:

The Ministers for Agriculture take the view that the consumption of milk is of great importance in
view of its high nutrition value, particularly for children and young people. They therefore consider
appropriate to reflect further on how such consumption can be encouraged in a cost-efficient way
taking account of the overall availability of budgetary resources.