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C 340 E/208 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 4.12.


(2001/C 340 E/238) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1268/01

by Richard Corbett (PSE), Baroness Sarah Ludford (ELDR),
Roy Perry (PPE-DE) and William Newton Dunn (ELDR) to the Council

(27 April 2001)

Subject: Respect of the Vienna Convention in Saudi Arabia

Does the Council consider that Saudi Arabia is fulfilling its obligations under the Vienna Convention,
regarding consular access to remand prisoners?


(20 July 2001)

The Council is not aware of any problems in Saudi Arabia concerning access by consular authorities of
Member States of the European Union to remand prisoners who are citizens of the EU.

(2001/C 340 E/239) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1269/01

by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(26 April 2001)

Subject: Biological treatment of biodegradable waste

1. Has the Commission yet had the opportunity to assess the findings of L.M.Chu and A.D. Bradshaw
regarding the value of pulverised refuse fines as a substitute in land reclamation (Journal of Applied
Ecology 1996, 33, pp. 851-865)?

2. What conclusions has the Commission drawn from this work with regard to the value of such
material in the restoration of old and dismissed quarries and mines and similar derelict sites not intended
for food or fodder crop production, and which can be expected to require applications well in excess of
200 tonnes per hectare?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2001)

The general legislative framework for waste management at Community level is in Directive 75/442/EEC
of 15 July 1975 on waste (1) as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991 (2).

Article 4 of that Directive states that:

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that waste is disposed of without
endangering human health and without harming the environment, and in particular:

 without risk to water, air, soil and plants and animals,

 without causing a nuisance through noise or odours,

 without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.

The scientific publication mentioned by the Honourable Member does not address at all the problem of
long term effects of pulverised refuse fines (PRF) on the environment, in particular groundwater pollution.
There are no data in the publication about heavy metal or organic compound concentrations in PRF and
what their fate would be in the long term once PRF is spread on derelict land.
4.12.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 340 E/209

The authors themselves recognise that ‘The only problem [of PRF] is the degree to which it may in some
cases not meet national or state requirements for toxic elements’.

The Commission is of the opinion that the use of PRF on land (whatever the land use or characteristics
may be) should be subject to close scrutiny in order to avoid long-term environmental pollution. A
restriction on the quantity of PRF (or other wastes with similar characteristics, for that matter) to be spread
on land per year and per hectare may be a proportionate measure to achieve this objective.

(1) OJ L 194, 25.7.1975.

(2) OJ L 78, 26.3.1991.

(2001/C 340 E/240) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1270/01

by Salvador Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(2 May 2001)

Subject: Sale of films in packages (block booking)

The vast majority of those working in the European cinema industry are opposed to the sale of films in
packages as practised by some distributors despite this being both illegal and condemned by professionals
in the industry.

A number of European competition courts have already condemned the practice of block booking since
attempting to sell something you possess and forcing the purchase of set packages are not one and the
same thing.

Can the Commission say in what way the EU can protect itself at Community level against the illegal
practices of some cinematographic distributors whereby they force the sale of films in packages, what
Community provisions there are to protect professionals working in the cinema industry against such
abusive practices and what it would propose to do against this tendency to engage in abusive practises
displayed by some Community cinematographic distributors?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2001)

The Honourable Member asks the Commission how the Community may prevent alleged abusive block
booking practices by cinematographic distributors. The Honourable Member also asks what mechanisms
do professionals from the cinema industry have at their disposal in order to challenge such practices.

The Commission understands the question as referring to the tying of the acquisition of the right to
publicly exhibit a certain film for a certain period to the obligation of acquiring the right to exhibit an
additional set of films. The Commission can inform the Honourable Member that it has been confronted in
the past with allegations concerning this type of practices but no evidence has ever been produced so as to
justify the Commission pursuing a case in this domain.

From a Community competition law perspective, the practice consisting in tying the sale of one product to
another may be considered in certain circumstances as an infringement of the competition rules enshrined
in Articles 81 and 82 (ex Articles 85 and 86) of the EC Treaty.

Article 81, paragraph 1(e), of the EC Treaty prohibits all agreements and concerted practices between
undertakings which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the
restriction of competition, and in particular those which make the conclusion of contracts subject to
acceptance by other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to
commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of such contracts.