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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 52 E/181

(2003/C 52 E/199) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2508/02

by Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(3 September 2002)

Subject: Intervention in a trade union blockade in Finland

In its answer of 19 June 2002 to question P-1480/02 (1) the Commission said that it was currently
analysing the reply by the Finnish authorities in an infringement procedure against Finland because of its
failure (the Commission claims) to take any measure to prevent/reduce the effects of several boycott
actions undertaken by the Finnish Unions against the ships of an Estonian shipowner.

Is it the case that, since the Commission monitors the application of Community law (Article 211 of the
EC Treaty), it considers that this gives it the right to intervene in the Member States’ laws and thus to
review lawful trade union disputes?

Has the Commission thought about the practical consequences of such a right of review for the two sides
of the labour market?

Has the Commission made any progress as regards the further treatment of the current infringement
proceedings against Finland?

(1) OJ C 277 E, 14.11.2002, p. 213.

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(1 October 2002)

As already indicated in the Commission reply to the written question P-1480/02 of the Honourable
Member, the infringement procedure addresses a Member State and not the relations between individuals
or organisations. The object of the procedure, in other words, is not the boycott as such but the
appropriate nature of the measures taken by the Finnish Government in order to reduce the harmful
effects of the former.

Regarding the ‘right’ of the Commission to take action, it was also recalled in the above mentioned reply to
written question P-1480/02, that the Europe Agreement with Estonia is part of the acquis communautaire.
Since under this agreement Estonian shipowners are guaranteed the right to provide maritime services in
the Community, the monitoring by the Commission on the implementation of such a right falls within its
competence under Article 211 of the EC Treaty.

The reply from the Finnish Government has been assessed by the Commission. A decision on the follow-
up of the infringement procedure will be taken in some weeks time, according to the usual collegiate
procedures for decision-making by the Commission.

(2003/C 52 E/200) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2512/02

by Christos Folias (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(9 September 2002)

Subject: Measures jointly financed by the ESF

Recently, the Commission has jointly funded measures under Article 6 of the ESF to promote local
development by means of pilot initiatives.

An evaluation of these proposals and the selection of a number of them were carried out by external
C 52 E/182 Official Journal of the European Union EN 6.3.2003

Can the Commission answer the following:

1. What procedure did the Commission use to select the assessors?

2. What measures did the Commission take to ensure that the assessors were selected on merit and that
they evaluated in due manner the proposals submitted?

3. Were there any complaints in the last tendering procedure that the proposals were not evaluated and
selected in due manner and, if so, what action did the Commission take in response to those

What measures is the Commission taking to ensure that the resources concerned are properly managed?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(10 October 2002)

As part of the procedures for selection of innovative measures cofinanced under Article 6 of Regulation
(EC) No 1784/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on the European
Social Fund (ESF) (1), the Commission, in accordance with established practice in a number of Community
programmes, makes use of the expertise of external evaluators for an initial evaluation of the content of
proposals received.

These evaluators are chosen from responses to a call for expressions of interest and on the basis of their
expertise in the area(s) covered by the proposals to be evaluated. Their role is limited to making
recommendations to the Commission, as the final decision on the proposals to be selected and on the
amount of Community cofinancing to be awarded is taken by the Commission alone.

The Commission ensures that the appropriations allocated to innovative measures under the ESF are
managed strictly and transparently, in line with the rules in force.

(1) OJ L 213, 13.8.1999.

(2003/C 52 E/201) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2520/02

by Pietro-Paolo Mennea (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 September 2002)

Subject: Air Sicilia

According to reports in the Italian press and complaints made by members of the public, the airline Air
Sicilia, which operates on domestic routes in Italy, has suspended flights on various occasions, thereby
showing a degree of contempt for passengers, who are still waiting to be reimbursed.

This means that customers who were first of all inconvenienced are now awaiting refunds  probably in
vain. This is a blatant infringement of the ‘Air Passenger Rights’ charter, which is supposed to be respected
by all operators in the sector and hence also by the airline in question.

Furthermore, according to further press reports, the airline is in financial difficulties and is unable to
respect its commitments vis-à-vis either its customers or its employees, who are demanding payment of
several months’ unpaid salary.

In the meantime the owners of the company are operating under other company names.

Can the Commission say whether these reports are true?

Can it also say whether this situation in general infringes the rights of European citizens and whether it
will take steps to protect all those who have suffered as a result and because of the behaviour referred to