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17.4.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/193

from ships per tonne kilometre are significantly lower than other transport modes, because ships move a
greater volume of goods at a lower speed. This is one reason why the Commission seeks to promote a
modal shift from road to waterborne transport. Nonetheless, it recognises that ships’ unitary emissions of
CO2 can be reduced and the Commission is therefore supporting the development of a greenhouse gas
indexing system at the IMO.

(1) (for more details see http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/air/transport.htm  3).


(2) Council Directive 1999/32/EC of 26 April 1999 relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels
and amending Directive 93/12/EEC, OJ L 121, 11.5.1999.

(2003/C 92 E/252) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2633/02


by Philip Bushill-Matthews (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Road tolls

Would the Commission confirm whether Member States have the power to levy tolls, and to retain in full
the money gained thereby, on roads which have benefited from receipt of European funding?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(21 October 2002)

Directive 1999/62/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy
goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (1) lays down the rules for the levying of tolls and user
charges on heavy goods vehicles (above 12 tonnes) for the use of certain infrastructures (motorways and
similar roads). Member States wishing to introduce or to maintain such tolls and user charges should
respect this legislation. According to Directive 1999/62/EC and following the European Court’s
jurisprudence (2), motorway toll rates on heavy goods vehicles have to be related to the infrastructure
costs of the motorway concerned regardless of whether the Community grants to finance construction
work have been received. The levels of motorway tolls on other types of vehicles (cars, coaches, lighter
commercial vehicles) are not covered by Community legislation.

As indicated in the White Paper on the European transport policy until 2010 (3), the Commission will
propose to amend the legislative framework related to infrastructure charging notably to ensure that the
different transport modes reflect more accurately the costs they engender. The Commission will publish in
the coming weeks a communication on the methodology for transport infrastructure charging.

(1) OJ L 187, 20.7.1999.


(2) Case C-205/98 Commission vs Austria.
(3) COM(2001) 370 final.

(2003/C 92 E/253) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2635/02


by Brian Simpson (PSE) to the Commission

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Low cost airlines and consumer rights

In light of the increase of complaints from consumers in regard to so-called low cost airlines, would the
Commission investigate the operations of these airlines to ensure that all EU consumer rights legislation is
being adhered to by this type of airline?
C 92 E/194 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.2003

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(24 October 2002)

The Commission attaches great importance to protecting the rights of air passengers and is developing a
legal framework to do so. In 2000, it proposed a Regulation of the Parliament and of the Council
amending Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents (1), which was
adopted this year (2). Late in 2001 it proposed a new Regulation of the Parliament and of the Council
establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of denied
boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (3) (to replace the existing Council Regulation (EEC)
No 295/91 of 4 February 1991 establishing common rules for a denied-boarding compensation system in
scheduled air transport (4)). This is now before the Parliament and the Council for their decision. Finally,
earlier this year it published a consultation paper on airlines’ contracts with passengers intended to prepare
a proposal for legislation next year.

The individual disputes between passengers and airlines are matters for the national courts, which may
refer questions requiring interpretation of Community law to the European Court of Justice under
Article 234 of the Treaty. However, should there be well documented and compelling evidence that
Member States’ authorities are not taking the appropriate measures to guarantee that the relevant
Community law is correctly implemented and/or enforced, the Commission as the guardian of the Treaty is
of course ready to investigate such complaints.

(1) OJ C 337 E, 28.11.2000.


(2) Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the Parliament and of the Council of 13 May 2002, OJ L 140, 30.5.2002.
(3) OJ C 103 E, 30.4.2002.
(4) OJ L 36, 8.2.1991.

(2003/C 92 E/254) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2646/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: Civil aviation services and meteorological services in the EU

In her reply of 26 July 2002 to my question No. E-1689/02 (1), Commissioner de Palacio did not provide
any information on the issue that I raised and I would therefore reiterate my questions and request a
specific answer.

Are there civil aviation services in the Member States which suspend operations during the weekends? Are
there national meteorological services which do likewise? If so, in which countries do those services close
at midday on Friday and reopen on Monday? Might those services also include the Greek Civil Aviation
Service or, possibly, the Greek National Meteorological Service (EMY)?

(1) OJ C 277 E, 14.11.2002, p. 237.

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(22 October 2002)

The Member States are Contracting Parties to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, and
as such determine in which areas of their territory and at what times they provide air navigation services.

Annex 15 to the Convention, on aeronautical information services, requires Contracting States to include
in their Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP) accurate and up-to-date information on the availability
of air navigation services, including the interruption of such services in airports or traffic centres during
weekends.