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Official Journal of the European Communities
The Proposal lays down principles on the recognition and content of refugee status. It lays down the same rules for subsidiary protection status, to be granted to those who do not qualify for refugee status, but for whom it has been determined that they are in need of international protection otherwise. The Proposal also contains principles on the possible ‘sources’ of persecution, within the meaning of the Refugee Convention, including persecution by so-called non-state agents, where the State is unwilling or unable to provide effective protection. Furthermore, the Proposal provides principles in considering five grounds for persecution as listed in the Refugee Convention, including the persecution ground ‘membership of a particular social group’, which in the Proposal is defined as to potentially cover gender-related persecution.
(1) COM(2001) 510 final.
(2002/C 115 E/142)
WRITTEN QUESTION E-2646/01 by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission (28 September 2001)
Subject: Restrictions on trade in pig fat At present, Germany does not allow any animal fat, including pig fat, to be included in animal feedingstuffs. On 12 January 2001, the Standing Scientific Committee stated that it was wrong to take this stance. 1. Does the Commission agree with the Standing Scientific Committee that Germany’s ban on the inclusion of any animal fat in animal feedingstuffs as a precaution against BSE goes too far, and that this measure contravenes European law? 2. Does the Commission also agree that the Netherlands’ decision (21 December 2001/No TRCJZ/2000/ 15455, Netherlands Government Gazette (Staatscourant) of 22 December 2000, No 249, p. 44, Article III, C) to ban the marketing, processing, inclusion in other products or transport of animal fat originating in France or Germany intended for feeding to livestock violates European legislation on the internal market? The same raw material may be used if it comes either from Dutch animals or from fat from German animals rendered in the Netherlands. 3. Will the Commission declare these regulations invalid, so that normal trade in pig fat, for example, can resume?
Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission (12 November 2001) Certain Member States, such as Germany and the Netherlands, have taken measures to ban fats of animal origin in animal feedingstuffs. As the Honourable Member points out, a general ban has been enacted in the case of Germany. The Dutch measures concern only fats from France and Germany, which are Member States that have themselves adopted measures providing for a total or partial ban. Given the heterogeneous nature of the measures taken in the various Member States, the Commission believes that the problem requires an overall solution. That is why the Commission began a process of general reflection on the evaluation of animal fats with regard to the risks of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Accordingly, at the beginning of 2001 it asked the Scientific Steering Committee about the whole issue of the evaluation of these animal fats.
Official Journal of the European Communities
C 115 E/139
The Committee issued an opinion on 28 and 29 June 2001, which was updated on 6 and 7 September 2001, and which, while pertaining only to the fats from products derived from ruminants, contributes to the general knowledge on the processing of fats of animal origin into animal feedingstufffs. In view of the above, the Commission needs to examine the implications of this opinion for Community law before defining its position on the national measures mentioned by the Honourable Member.
(2002/C 115 E/143)
WRITTEN QUESTION E-2648/01 by Charles Tannock (PPE-DE) to the Commission (28 September 2001)
Subject: The legality of the Commission’s discrimination directives Leaving aside the libertarian issue of whether it is appropriate in a free society for the Commission or national governments to tell employers who they should and should not employ, and also the legal and efficiency costs of compliance, which led employers’ organisations across Europe to oppose the implementation of the directives in their current form, could the Commission confirm whether or not a company which has been brought before a tribunal set up under the terms of the directives introduced by Commissioner Diamantopoulou will be presumed innocent and legally entitled to expect that it will not be found guilty of infringing the terms of either directive unless the company is clearly shown to have breached the directive, even if the company chooses not to offer any defence, and, if not, how are the directives compatible with Article 6.2 of the Convention For The Protection Of Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms (1950), with the Consolidated Treaties or, indeed, with Article 48(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms? Can the Commission also clarify who will have responsibility for setting up the relevant tribunals and that such persons will not have an institutional interest in initiating prosecutions?
Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission (31 October 2001) The Commission would firstly recall that Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000, implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (1), and Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (2) were agreed unanimously by all Member States, on 29 June and 27 November 2000 respectively, following strong endorsement of the Commission’s proposals by the Parliament. It should be noted that, as in Council Directive 97/80/EC of 15 December 1997 on the burden of proof in cases of discrimination based on sex (3), the provisions of the Directives concerning the sharing of the burden of proof do not apply when Member States choose to provide redress for cases of alleged discrimination through a criminal procedure or through proceedings in which it is for the Court or competent body to investigate the facts of the case. As Article 6(2) of the European Convention of Human Rights concerns only those ‘charged with a criminal offence’, there is no incompatibility with the Directives. With regard to the Honourable Member’s last question on the establishment of relevant tribunals, the framework Directives set general principles for minimum standards. The Member States therefore remain free to use existing administrative or judicial procedures to provide redress for the victims of discrimination, or to introduce a new procedure, provided that the procedure adopted meets the requirements of the Directives. The Member States have until 19 July 2003 to transpose Directive