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C 92 E/196 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.

2003

3. when it will carry out its intention to introduce a specific arrangement for the outermost regions to
enable them to benefit fully from the funding envisaged under the various energy progammes
included in Community energy and RTD policies?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(29 October 2002)

1. The Commission evaluated the energy section of the Poseima programme at the end of its
implementation period (1991-1993). The assessment report sent by the Commission’s Secretariat-General
to the Interdepartmental Working Party on outermost regions in 1997 concluded that the Poseima energy
funds had been used in accordance with the provisions of the Poseima Regulation.

2. It was not possible to pursue the Poseima energy initiative beyond 1994 owing to a lack of separate
funding (the budgetary authority removed the Poseima budget headings). This still applies today and also
explains the fact that aid intended to offset additional transport costs cannot be covered from the
Structural Funds. Accordingly, such compensation can only be provided by means of specific aid granted
at national level and duly notified to the Commission, or by another type of Community intervention to be
discussed and identified. The Commission could examine this issue. In fact, the Commission has indicated
to the Portuguese authorities on several occasions that it seems possible to finance certain investment
support measures for energy saving and renewable energy through the Structural Funds, especially
Objective 1, and has encouraged them to explore that avenue thoroughly. This possibility of Structural
Fund co-financing is also mentioned in the Commission’s report on measures intended to implement
Article 299(2). (1) It should also be noted that since the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/
1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds, (2) the Community
contribution can in exceptional cases be raised to 85 % of eligible costs for the outermost regions.

3. Most of the Community rules currently in force allow account to be taken of the needs of the
outermost regions (e.g. state aid, public service obligations). Moreover, the Commission has recently put
forward several proposals recognising the special nature of these regions. For instance, in December 2001,
as part of the review of the Community guidelines for the trans-European energy network (TEN) (3)
(still under discussion in Parliament and the Council), it proposed including the interconnection of the
outlying and outermost regions. The Commission’s proposal identifies two projects of common interest in
this regard: the development and connection of the electricity grids in these regions, and the introduction
of natural gas and creation of gas grids. This inclusion of the outermost regions in the TEN-Energy
guidelines clears the way for financial support from the TEN budget and loans from the European
Investment Bank (EIB). Furthermore, though the SAVE and Altener programmes have until now made no
specific reference to the outermost regions, the Commission has proposed that the forthcoming ‘Intelligent
energy for Europe’ programme (4) encourage these regions to participate through specific key actions. The
proposal for the ‘Intelligent energy for Europe’ programme is currently being discussed in Parliament and
the Council.

(1) OJ C 181 E, 30.7.2002.


(2) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999.
(3) COM(2001) 775 final.
(4) OJ C 203 E, 27.8.2002.

(2003/C 92 E/256) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2651/02


by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: GSM blocking systems

I should like to thank Mr Liikanen for his reply to my question E-2197/02 (1). However, I should also
appreciate some more information.
17.4.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/197

What are the results of the study which the Commission is currently performing into GSM blocking
systems?

Does the Commission have any information about the use of GSM blocking systems in EU Member States?

If so, what action is the Commission taking against them?

Will the Commission draft a European directive on GSM blocking systems?

(1) OJ C 309 E, 12.12.2002, p. 207.

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(31 October 2002)

From the research done by the Commission it shows that Member States currently do not allow the
jamming of GSM signals. Although France has adopted a law paving the way for jamming, there are as yet
no implementing technical regulations, which would allow jammers to be legally used. The Commission,
after consultation of Member States, published guidance on this matter on: http://europa.eu.int/comm/
enterprise/rtte/jammers.htm.

The Commission is aware that jammers are currently marketed, mainly over the internet. These products
are illegal and therefore Member States need to take action against them under the provisions of either
Council Directive 89/336/EEC of 3 May 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States
relating to electromagnetic compatibility (1) or Directive 1999/5/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of
9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual
recognition of their conformity (2) and remove such devices from the market.

As indicated in its response to written question P-2753/02 by Mme Caullery (3), the Commission considers
that jamming is not a proper solution to deal with inappropriate use of mobile phones. Hence the
Commission does not intend to make legislative proposals which would legalise jammers.

France is currently conducting studies on this matter in preparation of national technical regulation (see
http://www.art-telecom.fr/communiques/communiques/index-030502.htm). The Commission will evaluate
the draft of such a regulation once it will be notified.

(1) OJ L 139, 23.5.1989.


(2) OJ L 91, 7.4.1999.
(3) OJ C 52 E, 6.3.2003, p. 210.

(2003/C 92 E/257) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2653/02


by Frank Vanhecke (NI) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: Use of languages on labels on commercial products

In a reasoned opinion based on a judgment given by the Court of Justice of the European Union on
12 September, the Commission has drawn the French State’s attention to the fact that the law prohibiting
the exclusive use of English or of any language other than French on product labels violates a directive
dating from 1978. In other words, in the Commission’s view, France must tolerate the sale within its
borders of products which are not marked with any information in French. The only condition is that a
picture on the label should provide consumers with the necessary information. In this way, there is a
danger that one particular language  English  will becoming overwhelmingly predominant with the
Union, but there will also be a serious problem in countries and regions, such as Flanders, where highly
complex and precarious legislation on the use of languages already exists which has been designed to
maintain the political balance among the various language communities in the country.