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C 110 E/100 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(24 October 2002)

In response to the Honourable Member’s questions concerning the socio-economic aspects of the reform of
the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) it should be noted that the decrease in earnings of fishermen and the
difficulties in recruiting crews are a consequence and result of overfishing and a decline in fish stocks.
A growing number of fish stocks are on the verge of collapse due to too much fishing by a fleet that is far
too large for the available fish. The proposed reform of the CFP sets out to address these problems. It
should deliver biological, economic and social sustainability.

The Commission is well aware that restructuring of the sector may have a cost in terms of jobs. Funding to
help fishermen take early retirement or train to enable them to work outside the fishing industry is already
eligible for grant aid from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance.

As part of the ‘road map’ towards reform of the CFP, the Commission has made a commitment to publish,
before the end of 2002, an Action Plan to counter the social, economic and regional consequences of
restructuring of the Community fishing fleet. It has indicated that this plan would be based on bilateral
consultations with Member States to assess the likely socio-economic impacts of fishing effort limitation
schemes.

A round of bilateral meetings has already taken place and the Action Plan is likely to be presented to the
Council and Parliament around the end of October 2002.

Also, concerning the Proposal for a Regulation (1) on deep sea fisheries referred to by the Honourable
Member, the Commission took account of the historical data before preparing it and as a consequence
reflects the previous earnings of fishermen.

(1) OJ C 151 E, 25.6.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2765/02


by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission

(1 October 2002)

Subject: Proposal for a directive on environmental liability  Written Question P-2156/02  inadequate
reply  violation of Article 197 of the EC Treaty

1. In Written Question P-2156/02 (1), the Commission was asked to give a complete and specific list of
cases in which, under the proposal for a directive on environmental liability, a no-fault liability system
would apply. It was rightly stated that this is strictly necessary in order to make it possible to determine
the scope of the no-fault liability system. However, the Commission’s reply contains only general
statements, which are not sufficient to determine its scope, and therefore does not comply with Article 197
of the EC Treaty or with the principle of the requisite transparency and public access to the work of the
European institutions. Consequently, the Commission is again asked to provide a full list of the specific
cases in which a no-fault liability system would apply under the proposal and to state its opinion on the
following assertion: the proposal for a directive gives the impression of instituting a system in which no-
fault liability would be the general rule, but a thorough study reveals that in fact the application of this
system would be not the rule but the exception.

2. Can the Commission give the reasons why it decided to include in its proposal for a directive the
ground for exemption provided for in Article 9(1)(c) even though firstly this ground for exemption was
rejected in its white paper and secondly the other international environmental liability systems, including
that provided for by the Council of Europe’s Lugano Convention of 1993, do not include this ground?

(1) OJ C 301 E, 5.12.2002, p. 262.