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21.8.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/41

The Community is also considering the establishment of an Community Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Advisory
Group assisting the Community to make RTD in Europe more efficient in the context of a European
Research Area. In addition, the Community started discussions with key stakeholders on new fuels
including hydrogen. As a result of the green paper on security of energy supply (1), this debate will also
be extended to the use of new fuels including hydrogen.

(1) COM(2000) 769 final.

(2001/C 235 E/045) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3993/00


by Helmuth Markov (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(21 December 2000)

Subject: Complaints and individual exemptions forwarded by the Verband innovativer Kfz-Unternehmer
und Handelsvertreter e.V. (Association of Innovative Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Trade
Representatives) to the Commission

On 13 January 2000, the ‘Verband innovativer Kfz-Unternehmer und Handelsvertreter e.V.’ (Association of
Innovative Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Trade Representatives) (abbr. VIKH) called for several
individual exemptions, or negative clearances, for a series of contracts, including authorisation documenta-
tion for (a) a system of establishment by various car manufacturers; (b) Aral AG contracts with petrol
station leaseholders; (c) refusal of membership of the Federal Employment Office; and (d) an insurance
contract with the DBV-Versicherung insurance company.

On 16 October 2000 the VIKH forwarded several complaints to the Commission:

1. VIKH v. Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the Platte/Mazda Case  breach of Decision 75/73/EEC
and Article 81(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community;

2. VIKH v. FRG in the Blei/Ulrich Case  prohibited double payment;

3. VIKH v. FRG in the Blei/Sparkasse Hückeswagen Case  breach of regulation to prevent abuse;

4. VIKH v. FRG in the Blei/GEMA Case  breach of regulation to prevent abuse;

5. VIKH v. FRG in the Blei/GEZ Case  prohibited double payment.

In a fax sent on 26 October 2000 (4.08 p.m.), without providing clarification as to which matters it was
referring to, the Commission stated that it was not in a position to follow up any of the above-mentioned
complaints. All the cases mentioned are connected in so far as the Commission has been accused of failing
to take action regarding the call for documentation and concerning the suspected breaches of European
law.

1. What are the reasons for the Commission’s failure to deal with the above individual exemptions and
negative clearances which according to Article 81(3) come under its exclusive jurisdiction? Why does the
Commission refuse to follow up the VIKH’s complaints?

2. What position does the Commission take concerning the accusations made in the VIKH’s complaints
with regard to the violation of EU competition regulations by firms and institutions in Germany?

3. If it is the Commission’s view that these matters come under the sole jurisdiction of the Member
State, what criteria do the proposals or complaints have to meet in order for the Commission to take them
into account and consider applying further measures?
C 235 E/42 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.2001

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(19 February 2001)

1. Concerning the individual exemptions and negative clearances mentioned by the Honourable
Member the Commission is not in possession of any application. Insofar as it was presented to the
Commission in the cases mentioned by the Honourable Member, that there would be infringements of
Community law present, Directorate General Competition has acted as follows.

2. In the Platte/Mazda case the Commission has rejected the complaint due to lack of Community
interest. In the Blei/Ulrich and Blei/Sparkasse Hückeswagen cases, answering the informal request of the
party concerned, Directorate General Competition has informed it that the cases, since containing no clue
for an infringement of the competition rules of the Treaty, do not enjoy priority. With regard to the
complaints in Blei/GEMA and Blei/GEZ cases, Directorate General Competition has informed the complai-
nant that for the time being it does not see any reason to further investigate the cases, either because they
do not contain a clue for an infringement of the competition rules of the EC Treaty or due to lack of
Community interest, respectively.

3. If a matter falls under the exclusive competence of a Member State, the Commission cannot handle
the case.

(2001/C 235 E/046) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3995/00


by Helmuth Markov (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(21 December 2000)

Subject: VIKH application for the issuing of a GEMA individual exemption certificate

On 26 March 1999, a grievance procedure was submitted to the Commission against the ‘Gesellschaft für
musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte’ (Society for Musical Performing
Rights and Mechanical Reproduction Rights) (GEMA) and it appears that the matter has still not been
taken into hand.

On 13 January 2000 the ‘Verband innovativer Kfz-Unternehmer und Handelsvertreter e.V.’ (Association of
Innovative Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Trade Representatives) (abbr. VIKH) called for the issuing of
a copy of the individual exemption documentation or the granting of an individual exemption concerning
the GEMA, which the complainant has still not received.

1. On what grounds have the above-mentioned complaints and the request for individual exemption
documentation not been dealt with and the documentation not been forwarded?

2. Does the Commission share the complainant’s view that unlike music which is played for financial
gain (as is the case with radio stations, discotheques, opera-houses, theatres, live bands, etc.), music which
is played in restaurants, car dealers, or hairdressing establishments is not subject to the payment of royalty
fees to GEMA? (According to Commission Decision 71/224, the playing of music is only subject to
copyright royalties if it is played with a view to earning money.)

3. Furthermore, does the Commission share the complainant’s view that the GEMA requires
a compulsory individual exemption for its contracts with the above undertakings?

4. Would GEMA contracts with these undertakings (hairdressers, restaurants  though not for use in
a discotheque or similar  and car dealers, to create atmosphere in the salesroom) be eligible for
authorisation?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(7 March 2001)

1. By letter dated 26 March 1999 the VIKH has alleged that the collection of royalties by Gema for the
playing of background music, either in the form of recorded music or broadcasting in a restaurant
infringes competition law. By letter dated 27 April 1999, the Competition Directorate-General informed