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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/167

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(4 December 2002)

The Commission can confirm that it asked the opinion of the Scientific Committee on Plants on several
questions arising from the evaluation of fenthion. Given the complexity of the issues surrounding the
substance, the Committee has taken longer than expected to finalise its opinion. However, it is expected
that the Committee will deliver its opinion in the coming months and the Commission intends to decide
on fenthion as soon as possible thereafter.

(2003/C 110 E/186) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3117/02

by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(30 October 2002)

Subject: Galician mussels  protected designation of origin

Between 260 and 300 million kg of mussels put on the market each year, a turnover of more than
EUR 400 million, 2 400 families directly involved in the farming and a total of 13 000 jobs, of which
around 8 500 are permanent, with another 7000 indirectly related jobs  all this marks out Galician
mussel farming as a strong sector and makes the region the world’s leading producer of mussels for human
consumption. This is particularly important, bearing in mind that the resources generated by mussel
production are spread across a broad social base and that decisions are taken locally, with the result that
funds are reinvested in the region. This has a multiplier effect on the local economy, helping to produce
socio-economic stability. The sector accounts for approximately 50 % of total EU production, with 35 %
being sold fresh, 41 % earmarked for traditional processing and 24 % for new alternative processing
methods, which are increasingly popular.

The mussel farming management board in Galicia has already applied for a protected designation of origin
(PDO) for this product, which would serve as a world-wide standard since it would be the first ever
awarded to a seafood product. In the reply of 19 February 2001 to my parliamentary question E-0013/
01 (1), Commissioner Fischler confirmed that ‘the Commission has indeed received an application from the
Spanish authorities regarding registration of the name in question as a protected designation of origin’ and
gave an assurance that the application was being considered.

Can the Commission provide a progress report on the approval and registration process for the PDO?

Can the Commission explain the reasons for the delay and any possible obstacles to approval?

Can the Commission state what measures it has taken or intends to take to speed up the approval of this
PDO for Galician mussels and when it thinks the approval and registration process will be completed?

(1) OJ C 235 E, 21.8.2001, p. 87.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(29 November 2002)

The application for the name ‘Mejillones de Galicia’ to be registered as a protected designation of origin
(PDO) was submitted on 19 February 2001. The file is currently being examined by the
Scientific Committee for PDOs, protected geographical indications (PGIs) and traditional specialities
guaranteed (TSGs).
C 110 E/168 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

The file received did not contain all the information required to demonstrate that the application for
registration satisfied the conditions laid down in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 of 14 July 1992 on
the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and
foodstuffs (1), and particularly in Articles 2 and 4. The Commission has therefore asked on several
occasions for further information in order to be able to assess the validity of the application, inter alia as
regards the nature and composition of the applicant group, the identification of the products in question,
the marketing description used, and the link between product characteristics and conditions in the defined
geographical area, comprising natural and human factors.

Since the replies received have not been sufficient to dispel the doubts about certain aspects of the
application, the Scientific Committee has been asked to give an opinion.

The examination of the application for the name ‘Mejillones de Galicia’ to be registered has already been
the subject of several working meetings of the Scientific Committee, which has also asked for further
information. The Commission  as the provider of the Scientific Committee’s secretariat  is required to
facilitate the availability of any information requested by Committee members, whose independence must
also be guaranteed. Consequently, the Commission may not influence the Committee’s work or adopt any
measures designed to force its conclusions. The next meeting will take place in early January 2003.

(1) OJ L 208, 24.7.1992.

(2003/C 110 E/187) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3120/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(30 October 2002)

Subject: Federal Mogul planned closure

Is the Commission aware of the planned closure of the Federal Mogul plant in Bridgewater, United
Kingdom, with a loss of almost four hundred jobs? Can the Commission confirm whether Federal Mogul
operations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium have received any assistance
in the last five years for job creation? If so, in view of the fact that jobs are being transferred from
Bridgewater to Poland and Turkey, does the Commission not feel that the funds should be repaid?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(11 December 2002)

Further to the Honourable Member’s request for information on the planned closure of the ‘Federal Mogul’
plant in Bridgewater, the Commission contacted the South West England region who confirmed that
Federal Mogul did not receive any European Social Fund (ESF) assistance during the past five years.

For the Federal Mogul plants in the other Member States mentioned, the Commission would remind the
Honourable Member that it has the overall responsibility of ensuring that Community Funds are used in
accordance with the structural funds programs which it had adopted whereas the ESF managing authority,
in each Member State, decides on the application requests received for ESF co-funding. It is therefore not
possible to know, at Commission level, if this single enterprise has received Community funding under a
national or even a regional measure. The Commission will therefore have to contact national authorities
and ask them to lead their own inquiries. Any information which national authorities may send to the
Commission will be forwarded to the Honourable Member.

In any case, the ESF rules do not foresee repayment if a beneficiary transfers its operation outside the
Union. It must be underlined that ESF funding does not support a company as such, but provides an
investment in human capital, so that the training measures individuals benefit from improves their