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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/53

(2003/C 110 E/055) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2376/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: GATS

Both the UK Government and European Commission have indicated that GATS will not affect the delivery
of health and education services, given they are deemed to be services ‘supplied in the exercise of
governmental authority’ and not supplied on a commercial basis or in competition with one or more
service suppliers. Given that, in the UK, the private sector is already involved in the delivery of health and
education services on a commercial basis, could the European Commission clarify whether these services
are indeed exempt from GATS?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(17 September 2002)

According to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), only services which are not supplied on
a commercial basis and are not in competition do not fall under its coverage: the evaluation of the
application of these two criteria must be done on a case by case basis. However, the positions that the
European Communities and its Member States have taken in GATS on education and on health and related
services do not impair the prerogatives of the Member States with regard to the establishment of an
appropriate organisation for the delivery of services in these sectors. In particular, GATS safeguard the
right of its Members to regulate in order to ensure the achievement of national policy objectives.

(2003/C 110 E/056) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2434/02

by Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(26 August 2002)

Subject: Commission failing to act upon sound and verifiable scientific advice in fisheries

Why is the Commission proposing measures/agreeing to compromises in the regulation of fisheries

management which are based on scant scientific advice?

In particular:

1. How can the Commission agree to the proposed regulation of deep sea stocks through a TACs and
quota regime when there is little scientific evidence upon which to base such regulation and Member
State statistical submissions may be considered suspect at best? Why has the Commission not
considered an effort reduction scheme as an alternative until clear and unequivocal scientific advice is

2. How can the Commission propose the regulation of the North Sea purely based upon a TACs and
quota regime and remove the current access restrictions currently in force, when by its own admission
(see written answer P-1902/02 (1)), there is no scientific advice to base this proposal, with the
Commission having little knowledge about non-quota species and admitting that non-quota species
would almost certainly incur by-catches of species subject to quotas, many of which are already in a
dire state?

How can the Commission expect fishermen to have confidence in and comply with fisheries management
measures which are not based on scientific advice but on what can only be described as overt political

(1) OJ C 28 E, 6.2.2003, p. 154.

C 110 E/54 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(22 October 2002)

The Commission has proposed two Regulations (1) to manage deep-sea stocks: one on catch limitations
(total allowable catches = TACs) and another one on effort limitation and data collection. These two
proposals constitute a package of measures that, once adopted, will allow, as a first step, the preservation
of the currently unrestrained development of these fisheries.

The proposal on TACs is based on the scientific advice available on these stocks, carried out by the
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and reviewed by the Scientific, Technical and
Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). While such scientific basis is still limited, the Commission
strongly believes that the precautionary principle justifies taking action to limit catches of these species on
the basis of the available (however limited) scientific basis. These catch limitations establish a cap on
currently unrestrained catches of the main stocks and for many species will represent a significant
reduction from recent catch levels.

The Commission has also proposed an effort regulation for these fisheries. Such proposal for the time
being establishes as a first step the obligation to freeze fishing effort of recent years, therefore stopping the
current (and irresponsible) increase in fishing effort. As more information is collected on these fisheries,
this effort limitation will evolve to become gradually a much more tailor-made effort management system
for these fisheries.

The lifting of the current limitations of access by Spain and Portugal to the North Sea was foreseen in the
Treaty of Accession of these Member States and is therefore a direct obligation from these Treaties.

In respect of fisheries management in the North Sea, the Honourable Member is referred to the reply to his
question E-2433/02 (2) on the same subject.

(1) OJ C 151 E, 25.6.2002 and COM(2001) 764 final.

(2) OJ C 92 E, 17.4.2003, p. 169.

(2003/C 110 E/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2441/02

by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission

(28 August 2002)

Subject: Abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan

The number of executions carried out in Taiwan has decreased markedly over the past two years, falling
from twenty-four in 1999 to seventeen in 2000 and ten in 2001. On 17 May 2001, Mr Chen Ding-nan,
the Taiwanese Minister of Justice, stated that his aim was to abolish the death penalty before the end of his
term of office in 2004, saying this was partly a response to repeated appeals from international human
rights organisations. In January 2002, the Taiwanese Parliament voted, in order to better protect human
rights, to abolish the ‘Retribution Act for Bandits’, and in particular the obligation to apply the death
penalty to certain violent crimes. The Taiwanese Parliament also amended the criminal code in a way that
further limited the cases in which the death penalty could be applied.

Under a draft act adopted by the government on 11 July 2002, capital punishment is to be abolished for
minors (anyone under the age of 18) and the cases in which the death penalty is mandatory will be

In announcing the government’s proposals, Minister Chih-hsiung reiterated that the government still aimed
to abolish the death penalty, but recognised that additional measures had to be implemented to ensure that
the majority of the population would accept a straightforward abolition of capital punishment.

Three people were executed in the first five months of 2002.