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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 136 E/229

(2001/C 136 E/269) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3391/00

by Joan Colom i Naval (PSE) to the Commission
(25 October 2000)

Subject: Current and forecast ECSC reserves

In view of the fact that the ECSC Treaty is soon to expire, would the Commission say what quantity of
reserves the ECSC currently holds and what the forecasts are for the date on which the Treaty actually runs

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(16 November 2000)

The Commission is actively preparing for the expiry of the ECSC Treaty in line with resolutions which
have been adopted by the Council and Parliament.

On 6 September 2000 it approved a communication entitled ‘Expiry of the ECSC Treaty: financial activities
after 2002’ (1).

The statistical tables attached to the communication provide all the information requested by the
Honourable Member on the current level and trends in ECSC reserves up to and after 23 July 2002.

At 31 December 1999, reserves and provisions totalled € 1 943 million (see tables 1 and 2) of the
communication. At 31 July 2002, they should be € 1 601 million, taking into account the working
hypotheses adopted by the Commission.

(1) COM(2000) 518 final.

(2001/C 136 E/270) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3394/00

by Sebastiano Musumeci (UEN) to the Commission
(25 October 2000)

Subject: Expulsion of a Sicilian family from Germany

It is reported in the Sicilian newspaper Il Giornale di Sicilia that a family of Sicilians comprising husband,
wife and four children aged between 9 months and 14 years has been expelled by the German authorities
after the head of the family lost his job following an accident. At 5 o’clock in the morning the German
police came for the family and took them to Stuttgart airport, where they were stripped naked and
searched, and then unceremoniously bundled on to an aircraft bound for Milan.

As has already occurred in other, similar cases, the action taken by the German authorities was apparently
prompted by the fear that the man, who suddenly found himself without any means of support, might
submit an application for Sozialhilfe (social benefits), to which not only Germans but also all non-
Community persons arriving in Germany are entitled.

This constitutes a clear infringement of the right of establishment, which is one of the cornerstones of the
EC Treaty.

What action can the Commission take in order to ensure that there is no recurrence of the kind of
regrettable incident described above?

Is the Commission aware of the case involving another Italian citizen  Francesco Vidimar  who was
expelled from Germany following action taken by the Stuttgart Office for Public Order, in the words of
which Mr Vidimar ‘had for a long time been receiving continuous benefit payments, for which reason he is
no longer covered by the rules on freedom of movement but is subject to the general laws applicable to
C 136 E/230 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 8.5.2001

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(23 November 2000)

The Commission is not aware of the specific situation reported in the Sicilian press and outlined by the
Honourable Member. However, the Commission has previously been made aware, through individual
complaints and petitions to the Parliament, of threats in certain German Länder (in particular Baden-
Württemburg) to expel Community nationals who had been migrant workers and who claimed social
assistance when they became involuntarily unemployed.

Where involuntary unemployment is confirmed by the competent employment office in accordance with
Article 7(1) of Council Directive 68/360/EEC of 15 October 1968 on the abolition of restrictions on
movement and residence within the Community for workers of Member States and their families (1), a
current and valid residence card may not be withdrawn as the person effectively retains his status of
worker during the period of involuntary unemployment.

When the residence card is first renewed, the national authorities may restrict its validity to 12 months if
the person is involuntarily unemployed. The Commission’s view is that no such restriction is possible at
the second and subsequent renewals of the residence card, regardless of the fact that the person may still
be involuntarily unemployed.

There was an exchange of letters between the Commission and the German authorities in 1998 at which
time the German federal authorities said they shared the Commission’s view and would write accordingly
to the Länder. Further complaints indicated that the authorities at Länder level were still acting contrary to
Community law, so the Commission has recently written again to the German federal authorities asking
that they ensure that Community law is complied with in respect of this problem. The German authorities
have not yet replied to this letter.

The Commission is aware of the case of Francesco Vidimar, whose petition (No 646/99) to the Parliament
was discussed by the petitions committee on 6 November 2000.

(1) OJ L 257, 19.10.1968.

(2001/C 136 E/271) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3441/00

by Heinz Kindermann (PSE) to the Commission

(7 November 2000)

Subject: Union structural policy measures in the period from 2000 to 2006

On 24/25 March 1999 the Berlin European Council decided to earmark € 260 billion for the Union’s
structural policy measures in the period from 2000-2006.

The Council issued the regulations on the various Funds on 21 June 1999.

The Structural Funds are used to finance programmes to promote economic and social development in the
fifteen Member States. The activities financed under them are intended to make for relatively high
concentration of resources in financial and geographical terms, decentralised management, more effective
supervision, and greater efficiency.

Especially in the light of the last point, can the Commission say:

 what assistance operations are already under way; and

 which areas have yet to receive payments?

To clarify the previous question, can it supply tables indicating:

 when the Member States submitted their draft operational programmes; and

 the time taken for the Commission to reach the necessary decisions?