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C 235 E/246

Official Journal of the European Communities

EN
EN

21.8.2001

Referring to case C-281/98 (… the fact that it is impossible to submit proof of the required linguistic knowledge by any other means … must be considered disproportionate in relation to the aim in view) fails to address the fundamental question raised in E-4100/00.

It is not clear from the Commission’s reply whether the native speaker criterion is an infringement of the non-discrimination clause. Furthermore, case C-281/98 was not concerned with this criterion but with the requirements for possession of a language certificate.

In the Commission’s view:

1. Is the native speaker criterion for staff recruitment in the Member States of the European Union

a violation of the principle of non-discrimination? If not, how does the Commission reconcile this condition with the principle of non-discrimination?

2. Is the native speaker criterion for staff recruitment in the Member States of the European Union

a violation of the freedom of movement of workers in the Community? If not, how does the

Commission reconcile this condition with the freedom of movement of workers in the Community?

( 1 )

OJ C 174 E, 19.6.2001.

Answer given by Ms Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(18 April 2001)

As was pointed out in the Commission’s answer to Written Question E-4100/00 from the Honourable Member ( 1 ), in certain situations, depending on the nature of the post to be filled, it may be justified to require applicants for a job to have a very high standard of knowledge of languages.

However, the fact that it is impossible to submit proof of this knowledge of languages by any other means than that the applicant is a native speaker of the language concerned could be considered disproportionate in relation to the aim in view.

It follows that the native speaker criterion could be considered to be discriminatory and thus incompatible with the Community rules on the freedom of movement of workers in the Community.

( 1 )

OJ C 174 E, 19.6.2001.

(2001/C 235 E/290)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0783/01

by Brian Crowley (UEN) to the Commission

(7 March 2001)

Subject: Moving to international exhaustion for trade marks

As the Commission is aware, the European Parliament has expressed its support for continuing work on exhaustion of trade marks. Many Member States have also called on the Commission to carry out further work on this issue in the belief that the existing regime of ‘Community’ exhaustion allows companies to charge higher prices to Europeans than they do elsewhere. Does the Commission share the view that the introduction of ‘international’ exhaustion could be to the benefit of the consumer by leading to lower prices, for example, in such key consumer sectors as clothing, footwear and sports goods, that it would be consistent with the increasing globalisation of trade and the growing use of e-commerce and will the Commission therefore reconsider its decision not to make proposals for changing the trade mark regime?

21.8.2001

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 235 E/247

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(23 April 2001)

First of all the Commission would like to draw the attention of the Honourable Member to the fact that this issue is currently subject to an exchange of views with the Parliament. The Commission would also like to inform the Honourable Member that the Commission decided on 24 May 2000 ( 1 ), that it should not, at least for the time being, propose a change in the exhaustion regime. The Commission considered in particular that the current Community exhaustion regime strikes a proper balance between the interests of consumers and trade mark holders. Moreover, it was considered unlikely that prices for consumers would significantly decrease with the introduction of international exhaustion of trade mark rights.

Before reaching this conclusion the Commission commissioned a study of the economic effects of a possible change of exhaustion regime by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) institute in London. According to this study prices under international exhaustion would probably not be very different from those that currently apply.

The Commission approach was supported by the Economic and Social Committee which, on 24 January 2001, adopted unanimously an opinion in favour of the Commission’s decision.

( 1 )

PR BIO/00/110.

(2001/C 235 E/291)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0805/01

by Ioannis Souladakis (PSE) to the Commission

(19 March 2001)

Subject: Economic crisis in Turkey

Despite the recent attempt by the IMF to save the Turkish economy by lending USD 11,4 billion, the Turkish lira has collapsed, making severe inroads into Turkey’s foreign currency reserves, the stock market has plummeted and inflation and interest rates have risen sharply. This has revealed the underlying causes of the crisis facing Turkey with which the European Parliament is familiar: excessive state interventionism, the over-indebtedness of banks, money laundering, interventions by the political and military circles in the Turkish economy, the absence of democratic institutions, etc.

Will the Commission accept further delays in the modernisation of Turkey on the grounds of the currency crisis?

Will it restrict itself to the solutions imposed by the IMF or will it intervene, following moves in the USA?

How will it react if Turkey turns into a ‘a new bankrupt Russia’ which imposed severe strains on the economy of the EU in 1998?

What proposals does the Commission have for addressing the crisis, given that the recent partnership agreement between the EU and Turkey makes no provision for specific policies in this area?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(4 May 2001)

Although Turkey is in the throes of economic and financial crisis, the modernisation programme under way should not be adversely affected. On the contrary, it should be an incentive for speeding up economic reform, as set out in the framework agreement between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)