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C 235 E/164

Official Journal of the European Communities



In this context, it monitors the transposal of the afore-mentioned Directive by the competent authorities. Accordingly the Commission addressed a letter of formal notice to the Belgian authorities in September 2000 plus a reasoned opinion adopted by Commission Decision of 21 December 2000.

The Belgian Government is responsible for ensuring the effective transposal of the Directive on its territory.

As regards separate accounts for each activity (production, transport and distribution), this is essential to the smooth running of the internal market. The Commission is therefore waiting for complete transposal, notably the appointment of a transmission network operator and the introduction of, as under current Community law, the unbundling of accounts and management.

( 1 )

OJ L 27, 30.1.1997.

(2001/C 235 E/190)


by Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(8 February 2001)

Subject: Funds allocated to wine growers

Thousands of Portuguese wine growers could be seriously disadvantaged by the fact that funds to support wine distillation have practically run out because Spain and Italy submitted their applications more quickly than Portugal.

While there is no denying that the Portuguese Ministry for Agriculture should have published the guidelines for submission of applications for Community wine distillation aid more promptly, it seems unfair that the Commission should distribute aid on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis and thereby discrimi- nate against farmers in countries facing administrative difficulties.

The Commission:

1. Will it confirm that the available resources have been practically used up by Italy and Spain?

2. What measures will be taken to solve this problem, given the need to alleviate the resulting difficulties faced by thousands of Portuguese wine growers?

(2001/C 235 E/191)


by Arlindo Cunha (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(8 February 2001)

Subject: Wine distillation in Portugal

The entry into force of the new Common Organisation of the Market (COM) in wine on 1 August brought about a substantial change in the rules and procedures relating to distillation operations. The previous arrangements provided for preventive distillation, evenly distributed between all the Member States on the basis of an overall balance of wine surpluses. Traditionally, this distillation was carried out in December. The new regulation has abolished the overall wine balance and replaced preventive distillation with voluntary distillation of wines to produce potable alcohol. This operation applies automatically to anyone who registers, and begins on 1 September.

The Portuguese authorities and distillers did not realise in time the far-reaching changes involved and, as the Commission is aware, Portugal was not included in the overall 12 million hectolitre wine distillation quota.