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C 261 E/180

Official Journal of the European Communities

EN
EN

18.9.2001

(2001/C 261 E/204)

Subject: Public procurement

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0706/01

by Inger Schörling (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(28 February 2001)

In 2000, the Commission presented two proposals for directives on public procurement: COM(2000) 275 and COM(2000) 276. These two directives, together with an interpretative document drawn up by the Commission, make it virtually impossible to take account of environmental considerations in public procurement procedures. For instance, it is not permitted to impose environmental requirements on the production of goods that are the subject of public procurement. Nor is it permitted, once the tendering procedure has closed, to give preference to a bid on the grounds that it is more environment-friendly. This is completely at odds with the Treaties which expressly require the European Union to promote sustainable development and take account of environmental factors. What is more, Parliament and the Council are expected to consider the directives without having seen the interpretative document (which has not yet been adopted by the Commission and the preliminary version of which is not publicly accessible). What are the Council’s views regarding the virtual exclusion of environmental considerations from public procurement procedures? What is its position as regards the Council and Parliament being expected to consider the directives without having access to the interpretative document?

Reply

(30 May 2001)

As the Honourable Member already indicates in her question, the Council and the Parliament have at present not finished the first reading of the two Commission proposals for public procurement Directives. For this reason, it is not possible for the Council to comment on individual substantive points still under examination. The Honourable Member might wish to address to the Commission the part of her question which relates to environmental requirements on the production of goods as well as preferences given to products on environmental grounds after the tendering has been closed.

It should be pointed out, however, that according to information from the Commission, the Council may expect the interpretative communication on public procurement and the environment to be published soon enough still to be able to provide guidance for the discussions in the Council at first reading. It should nevertheless be recalled that the communication is merely intended to interpret the present legislation and will not constitute a new Commission proposal.

(2001/C 261 E/205)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0707/01

by Emmanouil Bakopoulos (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(28 February 2001)

Subject: Crisis in Montenegro

This week, the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, called a general election for 22 April with the intention of holding a referendum on independence in June, should he win the election.

In the light of the European Union’s endeavours to promote stability in the Balkans, which culminated in the Balkans stabilisation process signed in November 2000, how will the Council respond to this fresh crisis in the Balkans?

18.9.2001

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 261 E/181

Reply

(30 May 2001)

The Council has always followed closely the situation in Montenegro and discussed the issue raised by the Honourable Member on several occasions.

As the Honourable Member rightly underlines, the primary objective of the EU is stability in the region. This was clearly stated at the highest level last November not only by the EU but also by regional Heads of State and Government during the 23 November Zagreb Summit. President Djukanovic was present and committed the government to support this objective. Following President Djukanovic’s announcement of the holding of Parliamentary elections 22 April, followed by a referendum on independence, the EU has immediately clarified its position during the 22 January meeting of the Council (formation General Affairs) in which the Council urged authorities in Belgrade and Podgorica,‘… to agree on an open and democratic process, within an overall Federal framework, to decide on a new constitutional arrangement for the relations between the components of the Federation acceptable to all the parties. The Council welcomes the readiness shown by President Kostunica to play a constructive role to that end. It underlines the importance of avoiding any unilateral action which could jeopardise this negotiating process and to ensure the democratic legitimacy of its outcome. It reaffirms its conviction that any renegotiation of the Federal relationship must be consistent with the internal stability of the FRY and the regional stability of South Eastern Europe.’

The EU position was clearly presented to Belgrade and Podgorican authorities by Troika visits, respectively at Ministerial and Political Directors level, 7 and 8 February 2001.

(2001/C 261 E/206)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0712/01

by Olivier Dupuis (TDI) to the Commission

(1 March 2001)

Subject: Humanitarian and economic disaster in Mongolia

For the second year running, Mongolia has found itself in the grip of an extremely harsh winter which, with temperatures of minus 30°C and very heavy snowfalls preventing animals from grazing, poses a grave threat to a large proportion of the country’s 30 million livestock. Last year’s economic disaster resulted in the deaths of 2,4 million livestock and was followed by an extremely dry summer. The Mongolian Government and experts from the United Nations Development Programme estimate that without a rapid injection of aid on a massive scale, some 12 million livestock are likely to die during the coming weeks, which in humanitarian terms would be nothing short of disastrous. The climatic conditions at the end of January caused the deaths of more than 500 000 livestock and left more than 75 000 Mongolian families struggling to survive.

The European Union, India, Israel and other countries have responded to the appeal launched jointly by the Mongolian Government and the United Nations with offers of several hundred thousand dollars in aid. But the need for aid has been estimated at USD 8,7 million, a figure that does not include approximately USD 4 million in food and other aid animal feed is the top priority needed to contain an economic disaster that is already taking hold and is fast becoming a humanitarian tragedy?

Is the Commission in agreement with the overall assessment of the aid needed?

If so, does it intend to limit its humanitarian intervention and emergency aid to the amounts already committed?