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C 110 E/216 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

(2003/C 110 E/241) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3500/02


by Roberta Angelilli (UEN) to the Commission

(2 December 2002)

Subject: Safety in Rome schools

In September 2002 the schools division of the national workers’ union UIL (Unione Italiana del Lavoro)
published the findings of the fourth annual report on school buildings, based on a survey initiated in 2001
by the Ministry of Education in relation to 90 % of Italian schools.

The figures regarding the safety of buildings are extremely alarming, notably in the Lazio region and more
specifically in the Rome municipality, where 399 schools out of a total of 558 and 155 higher education
establishments out of a total of 245 failed to obtain static compliance certification, 80 % do not have fire
prevention certification and 75 % do not have hygiene and public health certification.

Inspections showed that some buildings were virtually dilapidated: unstable ledges, below-standard
electrical installations, cold and dirty premises, doors and windows in very poor condition and even
asbestos, contrary to the provisions of a large number of directives on safety in the workplace (Directive
83/477/EEC (1) on exposure to asbestos at work, Directive 89/391/EEC (2) on improvements in the safety
and health of workers at work, Directive 92/58/EEC (3) on minimum requirements for the provision of
safety and/or health signs at work, etc.).

Codacons, the Italian consumer protection organisation, decided to refer the matter to the Public
Prosecutor in order to denounce the shameful state of schools in Rome.

Given Common Position No 53/2002 (4) recently adopted by the Council with a view to adopting a
directive amending Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure
to asbestos at work, the ESC guidelines of 11 July 2001 (5) and the European Parliament’s resolution of
20 September 2001 calling for the definition of a Community strategy and the drafting of a framework
directive and a Green Paper on safety at the workplace, can the Commission state whether:

 Rome City Council has submitted plans for bringing the buildings into compliance with the rules
applicable,

 studies or other documents on bringing buildings into compliance with Community rules governing
such matters in the European Union are available,

 it has expressed a specific interest in conditions within schools during the consultations held with the
social partners prior to the adoption of the above common position?

(1) OJ L 263, 24.9.1983, p. 25.


(2) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 245, 26.8.1992, p. 23.
(4) OJ C 269 E, 5.11.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ C 260, 17.9.2001, p. 97.

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(14 January 2003)

The Italian authorities have informed the Commission of measures to transpose Council Directive 83/477/
EEC of 19 September 1983 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at
work (1), Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage
improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (2), Council Directive 92/58/EEC of 24 June
1992 on the minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work (ninth
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/217

individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) (3) and Council Directive
89/654/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the
workplace (first individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) (4). The
national authorities are responsible for monitoring the application of the Directives.

Whether or not Rome City Council has submitted plans for bringing the buildings into compliance with
the rules applicable to health and safety at work is therefore a matter for the Member State concerned.

The Commission is not in possession of any studies carried out at Community level on bringing buildings
into compliance with Community rules in this field.

Council Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos
at work is intended to protect all workers who might be exposed to asbestos, including teachers. Since the
effects of this protection cover everyone present in the buildings concerned, including pupils, they of
course benefit from the same protection.

(1) OJ L 263, 24.9.1983.


(2) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.
(3) OJ L 245, 26.8.1992.
(4) OJ L 393, 30.12.1989.

(2003/C 110 E/242) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3515/02


by Theodorus Bouwman (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(2 December 2002)

Subject: Implications of the Simap judgment of 3 October 2000 (Case C-303/98) for Directive 2000/34/EC
(the Working Time Directive) and the working practices of the Rotterdam Professional Fire Service

No doubt the Commission is aware of the assertions made by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the
Simap judgment of 3 October 2000 (Case C-303/98). No doubt the Commission has taken steps to point
out to the Member States the implications of the Simap judgment, read in conjunction with Directive
2000/34/EC (1), which lays down that time on call and on stand-by are to be interpreted as working time
within the meaning of the Directive and therefore count in the calculation of the maximum working week
of 48 hours.

Is the Commission aware that, in many sectors in the Netherlands, a good two years after the ruling, no
action has been taken on the Court’s judgment and that the Netherlands Government has not taken the
measures required to terminate this breach of Community law, for example in the case of the professional
fire service, where working weeks of between 54 and 60 hours are not uncommon?

If the Commission is aware of these circumstances, has it brought infringement proceedings against the
Netherlands, or will it do so, and when? If the Commission is not so aware, will it investigate the matter?

Will the Commission indicate what it deems a reasonable period following the Court’s ruling within which
a Member State, in compliance with Community law, should guarantee the rights of workers ‘established’
by the judgment?

(1) OJ L 195, 1.8.2000, p. 41.

Response given by Mrs. Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(23 December 2002)

The Court of Justice, in its judgment of 3 October 2000 in the Case C-303/98 (SIMAP), held that the time
spent on call by doctors in primary health care teams must be regarded in its entirety as working time, and
where appropriate as overtime, within the meaning of Directive 93/104/EC (1) if they are required to be at
the health centre.