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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/73

Nonetheless, the Honorable Member is reminded of the following features of the present Investment
Services Directive which the Commission did not propose to modify during the recent consultation:
 the authorisation to provide investment services is granted by the competent authorities, which are
appointed by Member States;
 the present definition of investment firms allows Member States to consider  under certain
conditions  that undertakings which are not legal persons be considered as investment firms;
 there is a clear distinction between the service of individual portfolio management and the service of
investment advice.

The Commission has identified the management and prevention of conflicts of interest as an important set
of issues which warrant more effective operational coverage in the revised Directive.

The Commission is now considering how best to address these points.

(1) OJ L 141, 11.6.1993.

(2003/C 137 E/082) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2333/02

by Markus Ferber (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(26 July 2002)

Subject: WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

What is the Commission’s general attitude to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?
Where does it stand on the individual obligations such as abolishing subsidies for tobacco growing,
payments from industrialised countries to help developing countries implement the Convention, financial
aid in converting from tobacco to other products, banning cigarette machines, banning sales to young
people, etc?

Does the Commission consider it sensible  as the Council demands in its conclusions on the WHO
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, adopted in June 2001  to make resources available to
developing countries? It seems for example very doubtful in the light of political developments in
Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s largest tobacco-producing countries, whether Mr Mugabe should be provided
with even more EU funds for his policies.

Why have the Commission and Council not involved the European Parliament in the negotiations and
conclusion of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(30 September 2002)

The Commission very strongly supports the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Convention
on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and plays a very active part in the FCTC negotiations. In fact, the Commission
is of the opinion that the FCTC process provides a unique opportunity for influencing the global climate
for tobacco control policy, and for curbing the tobacco epidemic which leads to the loss of four million
lives every year world-wide. In fact, if current trends continue, the WHO estimates that this toll will rise to
ten million by 2030.

In the FCTC negotiations, the Commission does not speak on its own behalf, but only on behalf of the
Community and its Member States. Moreover, it takes the floor only on issues under Community
competence, while those under Member States’ competence are dealt with by the Presidency. In many
crucial tobacco control areas covered by the FCTC, the Community showed a strong and united position,
which was fully supported by a large number of delegations, and thus established itself as a major player in
tobacco control at a global level.

As far as tobacco subsidies within the Union are concerned, the Commission is committed to phasing out
these subsidies. This means that the phasing out of subsidies will have to go along with simultaneously
C 137 E/74 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

putting in place measures to develop alternative sources of income and economic activity for tobacco
workers and growers. The Commission has made this clear in its communication to the Gothenburg
European Council (15/16 June 2001), and in its recent proposals for a modification of the tobacco regime,
where a reference to phasing out the subsidies was however not supported by the Parliament and the
Council. Therefore, in the FCTC context, the Commission  speaking on behalf of the Community  was
only able to refer to the ongoing discussions on modifications to the tobacco regime, and to show the
Commission’s readiness to move forward in this area.

Tobacco sales through vending machines and tobacco sales to minors are issues falling under Member
States’ competence, and in the FCTC context they are therefore dealt with by the Presidency. However,
these issues are addressed in a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the prevention of smoking and
on initiatives to improve tobacco control, which the Commission has recently adopted (1). In the
preparations for the next round of FCTC negotiations, the Commission will defend the recommendations
contained in this proposal.

As far as resources for developing countries are concerned, in the FCTC negotiations the Community has
recognised the importance of technical and financial assistance to support smoking control. The increasing
use of tobacco, particularly in a number of middle-income developing countries, poses a serious long-term
threat to public health. The Community has expressed a preference, in this context, for making optimum
use of existing instruments, rather than creating new mechanisms. This issue will also be addressed in a
high level round table on tobacco control and development policy which the Commission will organise in
the coming months. The results of this event will then feed into the Community position for the final
phase of the FCTC negotiations. With respect to the reference made to the political situation in Zimbabwe,
following the Council Decision on 18 February 2002 (2), the Commission has suspended support for all
projects except those directly supporting the population. In current circumstances, the Commission does
not foresee any support for tobacco control in Zimbabwe.

Finally, the Commission would like to point out that Members of the Parliament have in fact been included
as observers in the Community’s delegation in the previous four FCTC negotiating rounds. During the two
last rounds (October 2001 and March 2002), the Parliament was represented by the Honourable Member
Mrs M. Malliori. At the next round, (14-25 October 2002), the Parliament will be represented by the
Honourable Member J. Maaten. Members of the Parliament have also been invited to preparatory and
debriefing meetings which the Commission has organised before and after negotiating rounds.

(1) COM(2002) 303 final.

(2) Decision 2002/148/EC.

(2003/C 137 E/083) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2351/02

by Juan Naranjo Escobar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(31 July 2002)

Subject: European immigration policy

On Wednesday, 10 July, the French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, unveiled a ‘back to the border’
scheme for illegal immigrants, grouped by country.

Sarkozy argued that his country needs to rectify its strategy on immigration, claiming that there is
something wrong when requests for asylum have fallen in seven EU countries while continuing to rise in

France has adopted this position just when the EU is drawing up a proposal to harmonise the repatriation
of illegal immigrants. What obstacles, if any, might this European legislation place in the way of the newly
announced French scheme? What does the EU harmonisation currently in hand actually consist of?

Given this type of situation, which may arise in other Member States, it is clearly necessary to have
readmission agreements with the immigrants’ countries of origin, so as to guarantee that in situations such
as the one referred to above, those countries will actually acknowledge their own nationals. Independent of