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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/115

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(5 November 2002)

The Commission’s initial information is that failure to pay the organic farming agri-environmental
premiums to certain recipients in the Pireas prefecture for 2000 and 2001 under Regulation (EEC)
No 2078/92 (1) followed notification to the national authorities by the Pireas agriculture department that
these recipients’ agri-environmental commitments had been made irregularly in that they were given
during 1999 instead of at the beginning of the year (which would have allowed compliance with the
commitments to be thoroughly checked during the various growing stages). This in fact meant that the
payments made at the end of 1999 should have been made at the end of the following year, i.e. the
payments due for 2000 had already been made in 1999 and as long as the legal and control procedure
difficulties engendered by the situation remained unresolved further payments were blocked. The Greek
authorities have informed the Commission that these difficulties have been cleared up and that the
payments for 2001 and 2002 can be made at the end of the year. Given the lack of clarity surrounding
agri-environmental commitments in the Pireas prefecture, the Commission will however be seeking further
information from the Greek authorities.

According to the national authorities the problem arose in this prefecture only.

(1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2078/92 of 30 June 1992 on agricultural production methods compatible with the
requirements of protection of the environment and maintenance of the countryside (OJ L 215, 30.7.1992).

(2003/C 137 E/130) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2731/02

by Mary Honeyball (PSE) to the Council

(30 September 2002)

Subject: Miss World contest to be held in Nigeria

Would the Council call on all EU Member States and applicant countries to condemn the death sentence
imposed on a young Nigerian woman, Amina Lawal, for giving birth outside marriage? Would it further
call upon all Member States and applicant countries to boycott the Miss World contest to be held in
Nigeria later this year?


(18 February 2003)

In its Declaration of 21 August 2002, the Presidency on behalf of the European Union expressed deep
concern about the decision of the court of appeal to dismiss the appeal of Ms Amina Lawal against the
death sentence by stoning. The candidate countries associated themselves with this declaration.

Like in a previous case (1), the EU recalled its position on the death penalty and encouraged the
Government of Nigeria to continue to work towards the abolition of the death penalty contributing thus
to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights. This position was
reiterated in the Council Declaration on the death penalty and particularly cruel forms of execution,
adopted on 30 September 2002.

The Council has not dealt with the question of boycotting the Miss World contest to be held in Nigeria
later this year.

(1) Declaration of 27 March 2002 welcoming the acquittal of Safya Husseini.