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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/127

(2003/C 110 E/144) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2924/02

by Roger Helmer (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(9 October 2002)

Subject: Breach of Staff Regulation  Article 12

Further to a report in the Internet publication ‘The Sprout’, would the Commission confirm that it is
investigating a breach of Article 12 of its Staff Regulations pertaining to an e-mail sent by Joanne Abbess,
an official in DG Admin?

I received a spam e-mail from Ms Abbess inviting me to participate in the ‘Stop the War’ demonstration in
the UK on 28 September, as I believe did all MEPs and Commission staff. Would the Commission confirm
that this is a clear breach of Article 12 and that it is taking appropriate action against this breach?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2002)

The Commission considers that sending spam messages raises issues of compatibility with the Staff
Regulations. With that in mind the Commission was preparing detailed internal rules on the use of e-mail
in order to explicitly forbid the sending of such unsolicited e-mails. Those rules have been produced since
the events referred to in the Honourable Member’s question and are being put into effect.

The Commission will further investigate the specific case mentioned by the Honourable Member and will
take any necessary measures on the basis of the facts relevant to the matter.

(2003/C 110 E/145) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2929/02

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 October 2002)

Subject: Ban on electronic games in Greece

The Greek Government passed law 3037/2002 banning the installation and operation of electronic games,
whether for use in private or in public. One of the locations where the operation of electronic computer
games is banned is Internet cafés (Article 3).

In certain quarters in Greece there are claims that, under Directive 1998/34/EC (1), the above-mentioned
law ought to be considered a technical regulation and consequently the Greek Government ought to have
notified the law to the European Commission.

In addition, it is alleged that the prohibitions imposed by the above-mentioned law conflict with
Community Directive 2000/31/EC (2), which establishes an area without internal barriers for information
society services. The same sectors of opinion stress that law 3037/2002 conflicts with Decision 3052/95/
EC (3) on the free movement of goods because it prohibits the use of games software.

Does the above-mentioned law conflict with Community law, specifically Directives 1998/34/EC and
2000/31/EC and Decision 3052/95/EC?

Does this law contravene Articles 23 and 28 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the
free movement of goods, Article 43 concerning the right of establishment and Articles 49 and 50
concerning freedom to provide services?

(1) OJ L 204, 21.7.1998, p. 37.

(2) OJ L 178, 17.7.2000, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 321, 30.12.1995, p. 1.
C 110 E/128 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(28 November 2002)

Since August 2002, the Commission has been examining complaints according to which certain provisions
of Greek law 3037/2002 infringe Articles 28-30 of the EC Treaty on the free movement of goods. The
above mentioned legislation seems to introduce a complete ban as from 1 August 2002, on the installation
and operation of all electric, electronic and electromechanical games, amusement-technical games and all
games used by means of computers included, in all public or private places except for casinos and it could
therefore be considered as a measure having an effect equivalent to quantitative restrictions on imports,
prohibited by Article 28 of the EC Treaty.

Furthermore, the measure appears to be disproportionate as to the aims of law 3037/2002 and does not
seem to be justified under the grounds provided by Article 30 of the EC Treaty or the mandatory
requirements accepted by the European Court of Justice.

A letter of formal notice has been sent to the Greek authorities drawing their attention on the above
mentioned observations.

The current approach does not prejudice possible further action by the Commission on the basis of other
European law instruments

(2003/C 110 E/146) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2934/02

by Jorge Moreira Da Silva (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 October 2002)

Subject: Application of the European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications
(ETS 32)

If a State signatory to the European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications
(ETS 32) withholds equivalence of (non-vocational) qualifications from a graduate because certain parts of
the syllabus concerned do not meet its requirements, thereby requiring all graduates from another State
signatory to retake all or part of their syllabus, can this be considered as contravening the aforementioned

Does Article 4 of the convention oblige the authorities competent to deal with issues of equivalence,
including the education ministries of the States signatory, to notify applicants for equivalent status of the
subject areas of the syllabus that fail to meet their requirements? Must they also provide holders of foreign
university qualifications with a list of the examinations they must pass?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(29 November 2002)

The Commission is aware of the questions raised by the European Convention on the Academic
Recognition of University Qualifications (ETS 032), which the Honourable Member mentions, and by the
other conventions concluded within the Council of Europe on this subject. However, the Commission is
not the authority responsible for ensuring that the conventions in question are applied nor, therefore, for
deciding whether the measures taken by one or several States signatory are compatible with Convention
ETS 032.