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C 261 E/74 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.9.


Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(6 April 2001)

The Commission has proposed to Parliament and Council to adopt common requirements on commercial
operations by aeroplanes within the framework of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 of 16 December
1991 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil
aviation (1). The proposal (2) concerned has been discussed by the Parliament, which adopted its position at
first reading on 18 January 2001.

The requirements specify that air operators are responsible for the safety of the aeroplane and its
occupants. With regard to the drunkenness of passengers, air operators are required to ensure no
passenger is on board who is under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the safety of the aeroplane
or its occupants is likely to be endangered. (Paragraph OPS 1115 of Annex III of the Regulation).

The Commission considers that, within the constraints of these safety requirements, operators are free to
serve alcoholic drinks to their passengers if they so wish, whether against payment or whether by courtesy.
The health considerations linked to the consumption of alcohol are of course a matter for the individual.
The Commission has no intention to propose legal measures in respect of the consumption of alcoholic
drinks on board.

(1) OJ L 373, 31.12.1991.

(2) OJ C 311 E, 31.10.2000.

(2001/C 261 E/077) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0280/01

by Reimer Böge (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(9 February 2001)

Subject: Member States’ plans to carry out food and veterinary checks

Under Article 16 of Directive 89/662/EEC (1), the Member States are required to inform the Commission
about their plans to carry out food and veterinary checks.

In its special report to the European Parliament of January 1998, the Commission notes that Member
States have refused to inform the Commission of the number of inspectors and the type of checks.

 At what intervals does the Commission now receive such information?

 When (month and year) did the individual Member States supply the Commission with this

 Has the Commission, on this basis, indicated to Member States that tighter or new checks are
required, and if so, what was the substance of these indications?

 Has the Commission, in the light of these reports or their absence, had its own checks carried out by
the food and veterinary agency?

(1) OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, p. 13.

18.9.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 261 E/75

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2001)

The Commission adopted Commission Decision 98/470/EC (1) in response to difficulties to receive
information from the Member States on programmes setting out the national measures to be taken to
achieve the objectives of Directive 89/662/EEC (2) concerning veterinary checks in intra-Community trade.
This Decision requires Member States to send information to the Commission on checks in the fresh meat
sector on an annual basis by 1 May. The Member States had thus to report for the first time before May
1st 2000 for the year 1999, and they will have to report before 1 May 2001 for the year 2000.

Although the adoption of Decision 98/470/EEC has improved the situation, the Commission received for
1999 the results of seven Member States only as follows:

 Netherlands: 20 April 2000,

 Austria: 28 April 2000,

 Denmark: 23 May 2000,

 Finland: 9 June 2000,

 Portugal: 16 May 2000 (with an update in December),

 Germany: 8 May 2000,

 Italy: 16 June 2000.

No response from other Member States was received as yet, in spite of reminders addressed to them.

The Commission appreciates that the reporting of results of national checks in the veterinary sector is not
satisfactory. One of the reasons may be that in other sectors (residues in animal products under Directive
96/23/EC (3), official controls on foodstuffs under Directive 89/397/EEC (4), official controls on animal feed
under Directive 95/53/EEC (5)) similar requests for reporting of control results exist, but since a longer
time. This heterogeneous situation does not contribute to the creation of transparency. It is the intention
of the Commission to better harmonise the different requirements on the communication of inspection
and control results. This will be done in the framework of a proposal for a European Parliament and
Council Regulation on official feed and food controls. This action is announced in the Annex to the
Commission’s White Paper on Food Safety (6). Such harmonisation will allow for a more accurate definition
of what information is essential for evaluating the situation in the Member States, and it will guarantee a
better follow-up of the situation by the Commission.

The Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) is responsible for carrying out inspections in Member
States and third countries to monitor the implementation of Community legislation on food safety, animal
health, animal welfare and plant health. In recent years, the FVO has conducted a range of inspections in
all Member States in relation to most products covered by veterinary legislation. Reports of these
inspections have been provided to the Parliament and have been made publicly available through the

In determining the priorities for the FVO’s inspection activities, the Commission takes into account a wide
range of factors including information provided by the Member States on the operation of veterinary
checks on intra-Community trade.

(1) OJ L 208, 24.7.1998.

(2) OJ L 395, 30.12.1989.
(3) OJ L 125, 23.5.1996.
(4) OJ L 186, 30.6.1989.
(5) OJ L 265, 8.11.1995.
(6) COM(2000) 716 final.