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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 235 E/209

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of Commission

(15 March 2001)

On 21 October 1997 the Commission adopted a decision finding that various clauses in Italian port

legislation concerning labour were incompatible with the competition rules of the EC Treaty ( 1 ). One of the clauses concerned the granting of exclusive rights for providing temporary labour in ports to firms which were also authorised to carry out port operations. On 12 February 1998 the Court of Justice confirmed the principle of this incompatibility, declaring that the articles [82] and [86] of the Treaty (…) preclude

a national provision which reserves to a dock-work company the right to supply temporary labour to

other undertakings operating in the port in which it is established, when that company is itself authorised to carry out dock work ( 2 ).

In order to put an end to the infringement established by the decision of 21 October 1997, the Italian Government brought in a bill in July 1998 which amends port legislation, in particular as regards temporary work. The Commission stated that when this bill was adopted the infringement would be terminated.

The Italian Parliament amended the bill and on 30 June 2000 passed Law No 186. The new version differs from the initial bill, notably with respect to organisation and free access to various activities (including port operations and services).

This being a matter of bringing national law into line with Community law, it should be remembered that

it is for the Member State to identify the appropriate measure or measures and to implement them. The

Commission’s role is to check whether the measure adopted puts an end to the infringement. In this case, the information available to the Commission suggests that Law No 186 together with the adoption of the implementing regulation will effectively put an end to the infringement established in the decision of 21 October 1997 because it is explicitly provided that the role of exclusive supplier of temporary labour cannot be combined with that of port operations and services provider.

( 1 ) ( 2 )

Decision 97/744/CE of 21.10.1997 (OJ L 301, 5.11.1997). Case C-163/96 Silvano Raso and others [1998] ECR I-0533.

(2001/C 235 E/245)


by Rosemarie Müller (PSE) to the Commission

(13 February 2001)

Subject: Ban on the biocide tributyltin (TBT)

There is a consensus amongst scientists that tributyltin (TBT) acts as a strong environmental hormone which disrupts human and animal hormone systems. However, the chemical is still used as a biocide in paints used to combat algae growth on ships’ hulls and as a preserving agent for heavy textiles. A world- wide ban on the use of TBT, to enter into force as early as 1 January 2003, is being sought by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). At least one Member State of the EU has announced a national ban on the use of TBT for 2001 and has notified the Commission accordingly.

Does the Commission support the objective of a world-wide ban on the use of TBT entering into force on 1 January 2003? Because of the length of the legislative procedure and of a transitional period within the EU, should not a legislative proposal for a ban on the use of TBT be submitted forthwith?

C 235 E/210

Official Journal of the European Communities



Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(5 April 2001)

The risks posed by organotin compounds, in particular tributyltin (TBT), to the aquatic environment are widely recognised. The Commission is therefore fully supportive of a global ban on the application of organotin compounds which act as biocides in antifouling systems on ships by 1 January 2003 as proposed by the Maríne Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In the Community the marketing and use of TBT for use in antifouling paints on ships is restricted by Commission Directive 1999/51/EC of 26 May 1999 ( 1 ), adapting to technical progress for the fifth time Annex I to Council Directive 76/769/EEC of 27 July 1996 ( 2 ) on restrictions on the marketing and use of dangerous substances and preparations (tin, PCP and cadmium). According to these restrictions TBT may only be used in antifouling paints on ships longer than 25 metres if the antifouling system provides for controlled release of TBT. The use on boats shorter than 25 metres is banned as well as its use on boats in inland waters of the Community. However, at the time of adoption of Directive 1999/51/EC, a majority of Member States agreed to await the decision of IMO to ban TBT globally before introducing a ban at Community level. It was judged that a unilateral ban would not be effective on ocean going ships. In the light of this the Directive provides for a review of the provisions before 1 January 2003.

The Commission is closely following the developments in IMO, in particular the preparations for the Diplomatic Conference in October 2001 where a decision to introduce a global ban on TBT is expected. Following that decision the Commission will immediately prepare a Commission Directive adapting Directive 76/769/EEC to technical progress. Such a Directive would follow the committee procedure and could be completed in three to six months. This would leave sufficient time before 1 January 2003 for the Member States to transpose the provisions into national legislation.

With regard to the use of tin organic substances for the treatment of textiles the Commission will invite Member States to submit all available information about possible risks of this use. The issue may then be raised with other Member States in the Working Group on restrictions on marketing and use established under Directive 76/769/EEC. Once the necessary discussions and evaluations have been completed, the Commission will, if appropriate, propose to introduce restrictions also for such uses.

( 1 ) ( 2 )

OJ L 142, 5.6.1999. OJ L 262, 27.9.1976.

(2001/C 235 E/246)


by Anna Karamanou (PSE) to the Commission

(20 February 2001)

Subject: Threat to peace in the Balkans and the rise in Albanian nationalism

In my capacity as European Parliament rapporteur on the implementation of the action plan for Albania and the neighbouring region, I am fully aware of the difficulties facing the Albanian Government in its attempts to strengthen democratic institutions. I should therefore like to express my profound alarm at the events that have unfolded over the last few days in southern Serbia, Kosovo and the FYROM where groups of armed Albanians have been attacking KFOR troops and the police and have been involved in violent confrontations with the remaining members of the Serb population.