You are on page 1of 2

C 151 E/184 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 22.5.

2001

Did the assessment drawn up during the IBA research project disregard the directive on birds when
assessing the adequacy of the Natura network?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(14 December 2000)

Article 4(1) of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (1) requires
Member States to classify in particular the most suitable territories in number and size as special protection
areas (SPAs) for the conservation of bird species mentioned in Annex I to the Directive, taking into
account their protection requirements in the geographical sea and land area where this Directive applies.

The Court of justice has confirmed that while the Member States have a certain margin of discretion in the
choice of SPAs, the classification of those areas is nevertheless subject to certain ornithological criteria
determined by the Directive (see Case C-355/90 Commission v Spain). It follows that the Member States’
margin of discretion in choosing the most suitable territories for classification as SPAs does not concern
the appropriateness of classifying as SPAs the territories which appear the most suitable according to
ornithological criteria, but only the application of those criteria for identifying the most suitable territories
for conservation of the species listed in Annex I to the Directive. Consequently, Member States are obliged
to classify as SPAs all the sites which, applying ornithological criteria, appear to be the most suitable for
conservation of the species in question (case C-3/96 Commission v. Netherlands).

The Commission considers that the inventories on important bird areas, the latest of which was published
by BirdLife International in March 2000, serve as an important scientific reference in determining the
obligations of Member States in classifying SPAs under Article 4 of Council Directive 79/409/EEC.

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979.

(2001/C 151 E/212) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3508/00


by Stefano Zappalà (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(10 November 2000)

Subject: Circeo national park

Given that:

 the Circeo national park was established by royal decree in the 1930s;

 since that time no park authority has been set up and no regional development plan drawn up and
adopted;

 the zone includes an area of outstanding environmental importance, including Roman archaeological
remains and lakes;

 one of these lakes, lake Paola, is treated as private property, even though it is extensively subsidised by
the local authorities and is not given the necessary protection from private activities; nevertheless it
forms an integral part of the park and there should be public access to its waters;

 the national legislation on the matter is confused and controversial and does nothing to clarify the
situation, even though the area is one of national and European interest;
22.5.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 151 E/185

Will the Commission say:

 whether it is aware of this problem?

 whether it intends to investigate the matter further?

 whether it intends to ensure that the national authorities comply with European law, with reference
also to the broader area including the Pontine islands and the nature reserves there, in order to protect
the environment in what is a highly man-made area and to defend the interest of inhabitants who are
living in a state of uncertainty from all points of view?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(12 December 2000)

In the specific case, since certain portions of the territory covered by Parco Nazionale del Circeo have been
proposed as sites of Community importance under Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992, on the
conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (1) and classified as special protection areas
(SPA) under Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (2), these
directives could constitute the possibly relevant Community law.

However, on the basis of the information given by the Honourable Member, due to a lack of grounds of
complaint on the application of Community law, no breach can be identified at present.

As for the fact that the Ente Parco has never been set up, the Honourable Member’s attention is drawn to
the fact that situations of non-conformity with internal national law are relevant only in the internal
national legal system.

(1) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.


(2) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979.

(2001/C 151 E/213) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3510/00


by Jan Andersson (PSE) to the Commission

(10 November 2000)

Subject: Receiving unemployment benefit in a Member State other than one’s home country

The free movement of persons within the European Union must be promoted and apply to all sections of
the population. EU rules exist which allow people looking for work to receive unemployment benefit in a
Member State other than their home country. The costs continue to be borne by the home country, but
the scheme has to be administered by the authorities of the country in which the person concerned is
looking for work. Every year in Sweden alone, some 1 600 people apply for permission to receive
unemployment benefit in another EU Member State.

A survey carried out in Sweden last year showed that about one in two people looking for work and
entitled to unemployment benefit in another Member State under EU rules had problems obtaining their
money in the country where they were seeking employment.

Is the Commission aware of this problem, and does it intend to take steps to ensure that people looking
for work can in future draw unemployment benefit in a Member State other than their home country
without problems?