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C 309 E/60 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 12.12.

2002

without a zinc-lined coffin whilst such a coffin is required for a transfer from Salzburg to Freilassing
(10 km). There are no compelling arguments here on the grounds, for example, of hygiene or safety. There
is certainly no intention here of interfering with national rules governing burial arrangements but only of
arriving at uniform rules for the repatriation of deceased persons within Europe.

What measures does the Commission intend to take to ensure that cross-border movements of deceased
persons are not more difficult than movements within a Member State?

(2002/C 309 E/069) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1122/02


by Herbert Bösch (PSE) to the Commission

(18 April 2002)

Subject: Transport of mortal remains

In an era of increasing integration, instances of Member States’ citizens dying in a country other than their
country of origin are becoming more and more frequent.

The repatriation of mortal remains inside the EU constitutes an enormous administrative and financial
burden for the next-of-kin.

No uniform rules governing repatriation formalities exist to regulate the repatriation of the mortal remains
of persons dying in a country other than their country of origin. What is more, strict conditions are
imposed which require the use of certain products (special coffins), although such measures are not
justified, especially in instances where the remains have to be transported over a short distance.

For example, next-of-kin find it hard to understand that it is possible to transport mortal remains over a
distance of more than 500 km inside a Member State without a special coffin being used but that a special
coffin is required for a journey of 10 km if that journey involves the crossing of a national border.

What measures could be taken to ensure that the repatriation of mortal remains involves no more
difficulties than similar transport inside a Member State?

Are any EU rules and/or measures in prospect which are designed to standardise the formalities relating to
the repatriation of mortal remains?

(2002/C 309 E/070) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1133/02


by Ioannis Marínos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 April 2002)

Subject: Repatriation of corpses within the Community

As a result of the single market, freedom of movement and freedom of establishment within the Union, an
increasing number of European citizens are living in countries other than their country of origin for
professional and other reasons.

This trend has highlighted the difficulties involved in repatriating the remains of Europeans who die in a
country other than their country of birth. The conventions governing this matter  the 1937 Berlin
Arrangement and the 1973 Strasbourg Agreement  do not take account of the abolition of border
controls within the Union, thereby creating serious bureaucratic and other problems as well as additional
financial burden for the families concerned.

Can the Commission say to what extent the Treaty requires the Union to guarantee the free transport of
deceased persons within the Community in the context of the single market? What measures will the
Commission take to ensure that the rules governing the cross-border transport of corpses are not more
stringent and exacting than those applying to transport within a Member State?