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8.5.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/79

During the period 1992-2002 Spain has received EUR 22,6 million, including EUR 15,8 million for
national protection projects or programmes presented by the Member State  most of which relate to the
whole country and largely comprise information and awareness campaigns.

These initiatives therefore cover Galicia in the same way as the other regions of Spain.

The remaining EUR 6,8 million have been granted for projects or measures presented by regional
recipients. Inter alia, under the 2002 programme the Community has supported a measure relating to a
socio-economic study on forest fires in Galicia; the total cost of the measure is EUR 111 788 and the
assistance granted is EUR 55 894.

It should also be borne in mind that measures covered by Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 may qualify for
substantially more support under rural development programmes: the appropriations available under such
programmes are significantly higher and the Community may contribute up to 80 % of measures’ total cost
with a mandatory contribution from the Member State, as against a maximum of 50 % without a
mandatory Member State contribution under Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92.

Under the 1994-1999 programme the Commission part-financed public expenditure of EUR 54,4 million
on protecting Galicia’s forests against fire, enabling the creation of 20 447 hectares of firebreaks,
5 590 hectares of preventive works, 55 938 hectares of clearing and controlled fires, 7 877 kilometres of
tracks and 2 311 water supply points.

Under the 2000-06 programmes, in the context of rural development Spain presented a set of forestry
support measures for which the Community contribution is EUR 72,7 million.

Lastly, from 1 January 2003 onwards it will be possible to integrate forest protection measures previously
covered by Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 into rural development programmes, provided that
Member States notify programme changes.

(1) OJ L 132, 17.5.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/082) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2645/02


by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: Accident at power plant run by the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEI)

The accident which occurred at the DEI plant at Kozani on 24 December 2001 was followed by another at
the steam power plant at Megalopolis which severely injured six people. The source of the accident was
the combustion and dry bottom ash removal system used in the boiler of Unit III of the Megalopolis plant
and the maintenance of the system by DEI despite its inherent operational risks.

In the light of these accidents and the Commission’s previous answer that it would investigate whether
appropriate information was made available to workers in Greece to avoid such accidents, will the
Commission say:

1. what measures it will take given the lack of protective measures taken in Greece at places of work
such as those above,

2. how it will ensure compliance with basic health and safety rules at power plants,
C 110 E/80 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

3. whether Greece complies, not only with accident prevention measures, but with measures to inform
the public, as well as emergency plans which are to be drawn up and tested at regular intervals within
the company in accordance with Directive 96/82/EC (1) concerning high-risk enterprises,

4. what measures have been taken against Greece following the judgment in case C-33/2001 that Greece
had failed to notify the Commission of companies recovering and managing hazardous waste pursuant
to Directive 91/689/EEC (2), and

5. what measures it will take against those responsible who, although they were aware of the weaknesses
and risks involved in the system, nevertheless recommended its installation and insisted on using it?

(1) OJ L 10, 14.1.1997, p. 13.


(2) OJ L 377, 31.12.1991, p. 20.

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(12 November 2002)

1. and 2. Regarding the protection of the health and safety of workers at work, Council Directive 89/
391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and
health of workers at work (1), establishes employer obligations with respect to worker information. In
particular, Article 10 of the Directive requires employers to take appropriate measures to ensure that
workers receive all the necessary information concerning safety and health risks and protective and
preventive measures. The employer must also take appropriate measures so that workers with specific
functions in protecting the safety and health of workers have access to certain types of information.

The Directive, which also applies to power plants, has been transposed into Greek law. The Greek
authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the Directive are complied with.

3. Council Directive 96/82/EC of 9 December 1996 on the control of major-accident hazards involving
dangerous substances was transposed into Greek law by Joint Ministerial Decision 5697/590/16.3.2000. In
accordance with the Directive, the Greek legislation provides for the preparation, content and testing of
internal and external emergency plans, and for the public to be informed by the competent prefectural
council.

4. Article 8(3) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste requires the
Member States to send the Commission by 12 December 1994, information for every establishment which
carries out disposal and/or recovery of hazardous waste, including name and address, the method used to
treat the waste and the types and quantities of waste which can be treated.

In its judgment of 13 June 2002 (2), the Court of Justice stated that ‘by failing to send the Commission,
within the prescribed period, all the information required under Article 8(3) of Council Directive 91/689/
EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste, in the version resulting from Council Directive 94/31/EC
of 27 June 1994, the Hellenic Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive’.

In a letter sent to the Greek authorities in July 2002, the Commission requested information on the
measures taken by the Greek authorities to comply with the judgment of the Court. If, having examined
the Greek authorities’ reply, the Commission considers that Greece has failed to take all the necessary
measures to comply with the Court’s judgment of 13 June 2002, it will begin infringement proceedings
under Article 228 of the EC Treaty.

5. Under the Treaties, the Commission acts to ensure that Community legislation is correctly applied
and takes any measures it considers justified to put an end to infringements. However, it does not have the
power to take action against the factory supervisors, who would have to be prosecuted by the Greek
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/81

authorities. If, in this particular case, the Commission finds that Community law has been breached, it will
not hesitate to take the required action against Greece. To facilitate its task, the Commission would ask the
Honourable Member to send it any relevant information he may have.

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.


(2) Judgment of the Court of 13 June 2002, Commission v Hellenic Republic, case C-33/01, not yet published.

(2003/C 110 E/083) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2649/02


by Paulo Casaca (PSE) to the Commission
(20 September 2002)

Subject: Recreational fishing

According to the 28 August edition of the newspaper Diário de Noticias, the ADAPI (association of
industrial fishing-boat owners) estimates that there are more than 20 000 fishing boats operating in
Portugal, ostensibly engaged in recreational fishing, but actually fishing for commercial purposes.

Although these figures cannot of course be confirmed, experience nevertheless shows that this is a
substantial problem in Portugal, and is undoubtedly not confined to that country alone.

In view of the gradual exhaustion of fish stocks, does the Commission not consider it essential to make
provision for monitoring the recreational fishing sector, in order to avoid even more adverse consequences
for the sustainability of fisheries and the conditions of competition in European fisheries?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(18 October 2002)

The Commission does not possess at present and has no intention of instituting in the foreseeable future a
monitoring scheme for the recreational sector of fisheries.

Member States are obliged under existing Community legislation to ensure that all landings of regulated
fish stocks are accurately recorded and that these records are returned to appropriate authorities, including
the Commission.

(2003/C 110 E/084) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2652/02


by Frank Vanhecke (NI) to the Commission
(20 September 2002)

Subject: Customs agreements between ports and national authorities

The Antwerp Port Authority has concluded the requisite agreements with the US customs authorities
concerning the organisation of security in the port in order to obtain a security label from those
authorities under which goods despatched from Antwerp are still admitted to US ports. Ports which do not
have such a label will no longer be permitted to despatch goods to the USA.

European Commissioner Palacio has expressed reservations about this. In her view, the fact that certain
European ports are obtaining security labels (in this case, Antwerp) while others are not may constitute a
breach of European competition provisions.

However, agreements between authorities (the port of Antwerp and the US customs) on the subject of
security fall within the ambit of national sovereignty.

To what extent is the Commission prepared to review its previous position on this matter?