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C 92 E/194 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.


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
17.4.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/195

The Contracting States thus inform air transport operators whenever an air navigation service  e.g.
meteorological services  is introduced, withdrawn or altered, including the availability of such services
throughout the day (in aeronautic jargon this is known as ‘notice to airmen’ or ‘NOTAM’). This
information should be constantly adjusted to reflect the current situation.

The Commission is unable to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information on all the air navigation
services provided in Greece. Such information can be obtained from the aerodromes concerned and,
centrally, from the national civil aviation authority, which maintains an ‘on-call’ service (tel.
+30 10 89 16 000). By way of example, however, the Commission is sending directly to the Honourable
Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat the information valid at the end of September 2002 for certain
specific airports, in order that he may assess the extent of the services available.

There are no Community rules at present on the availability of air navigation services, and the only
constraints applicable in Greece are those deriving from international agreements, including the Chicago
Convention, and from national Greek law. The Commission would point out, though, that these services
are included within the scope of the ‘single sky’ rules it has put forward (1) to improve the functioning of
air traffic management and on which Parliament delivered an opinion (2) at first reading on 3 September
2002. Once adopted by the Community legislator, these rules will make it possible to introduce quality
and continuity requirements.

(1) COM(2001) 564 final.

(2) P5_TA-Prov(2002)0392.

(2003/C 92 E/255) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2648/02

by Sérgio Marques (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: The energy section of the Poseima programme

Between 1991 and 1993 the Portuguese autonomous regions benefited under the energy section of the
Poseima programme from aid designed to compensate for the additional costs of transporting petroleum
products by sea between the continent and the main storage depots in the archipelagos of the Azores and
Madeira, as well as between them and the secondary depots situated on other islands in both archipelagos.

At the end of this period the Commission was sent the annual reports and other additional information
enabling it to evaluate the measure and review the situation, with a view to deciding whether to extend it.
However, the Commission has still not carried out this evaluation.

Despite having taken note of the proposals made by the two Portuguese regions to renew the energy
measure under Poseima, submitted by Portugal in 2000 and 2001, and having recognised, in the Report
on the measures designed to comply with Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty, both regions’ heavy dependence
on oil supplies and the fact that, as regards the energy section of Poseima, ‘the funding was utilised in
accordance with the proposed objectives’, this issue has been neglected for a long time, since the
Commission systematically claims it is difficult to find funding for it.

Can the Commission say:

1. when it intends to fulfil its legal obligation to evaluate the aid granted to the energy sector in the
Portuguese autonomous regions under the energy section of the Poseima programme between 1991
and 1993;

2. whether the disadvantages of the energy sector in Madeira and the Azores, well-known to the
Commission and recognised by the European Parliament as early as 1994, make it necessary to
maintain specific Community aid to the sector, more precisely along the lines which were recently
proposed to the Commission and merited its support, and how and when the Commission intends to
create a separate budget heading, in addition to the structural funds, to finance the energy section of
the Poseima programme;