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C 110 E/210 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

The judgement did therefore not affect the Commission’s reasoning with regard to the Kalmar Länstrafik
AB:s tendering procedure. Accordingly, the Commission decided to issue a reasoned opinion in the above
mentioned case.

(1) The Commission has on 4.7.2001 adopted an interpretative communication on the possibilities for integrating
environmental considerations into public procurement, which sets out how to buy according to Community law,
OJ C 333, 28.11.2001.
(2) See the ECJ judgement of 20 September 1988 in the case C-31/87 (Beentjes).

(2003/C 110 E/233) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3379/02


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(27 November 2002)

Subject: Occupation of the Berlaymont building  cost and timing

There have been various reports in the press to the effect that the Belgian state and the EU have reached
agreement on the reoccupation of the Berlaymont building. The EU is to pay the sum of euro 545 million
to Belgium, and the Commission  according to the Belgian Minister Daems  should be able to move
into the building at the end of 2003. Since the Commission has additional requirements regarding
adjustments to allow for multimedia use, this date will certainly not be met. In the event of further delay
the Belgian state will have to pay a penalty of at least EUR 15 million. This, together with all the other
expenditure, including the cost of asbestos removal and rents for other buildings, would amount to a total
of euro 1,4 billion. However, the press reports are extremely vague.

Could the Commission, therefore, give a complete and accurate account of the agreement that has been
reached and say when the Commission’s move to the Berlaymont is planned to take place?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(12 December 2002)

As the Honourable Member will know, in the time since he tabled his question, the Member of the
Commission in charge of the Administrative reform has presented the Communication from the
Commission to Parliament on the future of the Berlaymont building to a joint session of the Committee
on Budgets (COBU) and of the Committee on Budget Control (COCOBU) on 21 October 2002. At that
meeting, the Member of the Commission in charge of the Administrative reform was able to give
Honourable Members the outline of the contractual agreement between the Commission and the Belgian
Government, and much of the detail of the conditions relating to the acquisition of the Berlaymont. He
also presented the agreement publicly at a joint press conference with the Minister of Public Works, Rik
Daems, on 23 October 2002.

As the Communication specifies, the agreement between Belgium, Berlaymont 2000 and the Commission
includes:

 A fixed price of EUR 552 879 207 which is composed of EUR 503 318 502 for the Commission’s
share in the renovation cost and EUR 49 578 705 for the value of the building before renovation
(a figure which was set in 1997 at BEF 2 billion). The interest rate applicable is 5,37 %. The first
annual payment will therefore be EUR 31 891 235, which will be stepped up by 2 % for consecutive
annual payments over the subsequent years of purchase.

 A fixed delivery date of 31 December 2003 for the basic building and of 31 March 2004 and 30 June
2004 for the Commission’s meeting room and the multimedia equipment, respectively.

 Specific penalties for each of the three deadlines if they are not met: the Commission will cease
payment for the rent of the Berlaymont building (EUR 15,4 million) if it is not ready for occupation
on 1 January 2004. If the deadline of 31 March 2004 is not met the annual instalment will be
reduced pro rata for the months of delay from the first day of delay (this reduction would amount to
EUR 221 000 per month). The same arrangement applies for the deadline of 30 June 2004. These
penalties would be cumulative.
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/211

 Guarantees by both the Belgian State and Berlaymont 2000 as to the execution of the works and
burden-sharing in case of ‘unforeseen events’ and in the event of proven fraud by third parties.

The signing of the Convention with the Belgian government took place on 23 October 2002. The
Commission is currently establishing a programme of progressive occupation of the building from early
2004.

(2003/C 110 E/234) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3380/02


by Rosemarie Müller (PSE) to the Commission
(21 November 2002)

Subject: Silver fibre high-tech clothing for neurodermatitis sufferers

I understand from various scientific reports that high-tech clothing with medical uses has been developed
over the past few years and is now obtainable on the market. One of the most promising developments is
silver fibre clothing which can give significant relief to neurodermatitis sufferers and visibly improve their
skin condition.

One of the disadvantages of this approach to treatment, however, is that therapeutic clothing of this kind
is rather expensive, but the reports suggest that if the cost of such clothing were eligible for
reimbursement from sickness insurance schemes it could even be to the latter’s financial advantage as it
would result in considerable savings in costly ointments and medicines for neurodermatitis sufferers.

In the light of this is the Commission aware of this new method of treatment?

Is it taking specific account of this method in the development of health policy?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission


(12 December 2002)

No. The Commission is not informed of this product nor of its characteristics and possible health effects.
The public health policy of the Community falls under Article 152 of the EC Treaty on the basis of which
the Parliament and Council have recently adopted a six year action programme (1). This programme has
three main areas of priority; improving health and knowledge, rapid reaction to health threats, and action
on health determinants.

The reduction of health care costs to which clothing of the type referred to could possibly contribute is
considered a matter of Member State competence and would not be covered by the above-mentioned
public health programme.

(1) Decision No 1786/2002/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 adopting a programme of
Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)  Commission statements, OJ L 271, 9.10.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/235) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3383/02


by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission
(28 November 2002)

Subject: Torture in the Russian Federation

Two 17 year-old Russian nationals, Andrei Victorovitch Osenchugov and Alexei Vladimirovitch Shishkin,
were arrested on 5 March 2002 on suspicion of robbery and were transferred two days later, on the order
of the prosecutor of the Sormovski District of the city of Nizhny Novgorod, to the Nizhny Novgorod
regional pre-trial detention center (sledstvennyi izolyator) IZ -52/1, in Novgorod.