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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/213

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(23 December 2002)

Complaints Nos 98/4010 and 98/4826 were closed on 16 October 2002. The information provided by
the complainants was insufficient in demonstrating the disproportionate nature of the Austrian regulation.
The complainants indicated their intention to provide a scientific study. No such study was received. Given
the length of the procedure, the Commission decided to close the case. If a scientific study is provided at a
later stage, a new case can be opened then.

(2003/C 110 E/237) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3442/02

by Jean-Maurice Dehousse (PSE) to the Commission

(26 November 2002)

Subject: Negotiations and use of languages

The press, and specifically La Quinzaine Européenne (No 27 of 18 November  1 December 2002) claims
that ‘President Romano Prodi and Commissioner Günter Verheugen … have apparently given orders that
all the accession negotiations are to take place in English.’

Is this claim wholly or partially correct?

If so, what are the reasons for such ‘orders’?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(20 December 2002)

The Commission can assure the Honourable Member that neither the President of the Commission nor the
Member of the Commission in charge of Enlargement have ever given orders that all the accession
negotiations are to take place in English.

Accession conferences are intergovernmental conferences. As a consequence, the language regime for these
conferences is determined by the participating States and not by the Commission.

In the experience of the Commission since the beginning of the Accession Negotiations and at the different
levels, there has been no restriction of the language regime to English or indeed to another official
language of the Union and all official languages of the Union have been available for use.

(2003/C 110 E/238) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3448/02

by Eluned Morgan (PSE) to the Commission

(27 November 2002)

Subject: Pensions and insolvency

Could the Commission explain what has been done in the past if Member States have not complied with
Council Directive 80/987/EEC of 20 October 1980 on the approximation of the laws of the Member
States relating to the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of their employer (1)? What
does the Commission intend to do if the directive is not honoured by the UK Government in relation to
the workers at Allied Steel and Wire Ltd?

(1) OJ L 283, 28.10.1980, p. 23.