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C 137 E/124 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

Does the Commission know if these other countries (China, Japan, the Philippines, Peru, Chile, Iceland,
Russia, Norway, etc.) have established similar unilateral measures involving drastic fleet and job reductions?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2002)

There has been a common misunderstanding that the Commission is proposing the compulsory scrapping
of huge numbers of vessels. This misunderstanding stems from the publication of some Commission
budgetary calculations. These calculations were made only to illustrate the possible and hypothetical effects
of a scrapping scheme. In fact, within the framework of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP),
the Commission’s proposals are to reduce fishing effort and to end compulsory scrapping programmes.
In other words, the Commission is not proposing that a certain number of vessels should be scrapped.
How many vessels will be scrapped depends on the choice made by the vessel owners. There will be
improved provision for decommissioning through the scrapping fund should Member States wish to use it,
along with an entry/exit system for replacement vessels.

The Commission does not collect data on the evolution of non-Member State fleets (with the exception of
candidate countries for accession) and is not in the position to comment either on trends of fleets or on
management tools implemented by third countries to reduce the size of their fleets and the impact that
these reductions might have on employment.

(2003/C 137 E/142) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2830/02


by Isidoro Sánchez García (ELDR) to the Council

(9 October 2002)

Subject: Military manoeuvres involving Spain and NATO in Fuerteventura (Canaries)

During the last two weeks of September 2002 the seas off the island of Fuerteventura in the Canaries 
one of the EU’s outlying regions  were the scene of a series of military manoeuvres, organised by the
Spanish Ministry of Defence with NATO participation.

These quite disproportionate activities provoked considerable surprise among local civilians and tourists on
the island, and also surprised the Canaries authorities, who had not been officially informed that the
manoeuvres would take place. Meanwhile, about a score of the rare cetaceans which inhabit the seas off
the Canaries were washed up dead on the coasts of Fuerteventura.

Despite the acute sensitivities of the local population, the surprise of the tourists and the political
representations made in consequence by the Canaries institutions to the Spanish authorities,
the manoeuvres went on.

In whatever circumstances, given that this was a defence-related event falling within the scope of the
Community legislation on the common foreign and security policy, and, specifically, Articles 21 and 28 of
the Treaty on European Union,

1. Will the Council suggest to the Spanish government and NATO that they should take the necessary
action to provide compensation for the economic and social damage arising to the island of
Fuerteventura, and take all steps to ensure that this incident is not repeated

2. Will the Council ensure, in the context of EU/NATO relations, that military manoeuvres are planned
so that environmental considerations are taken into account and significant ecological consequences
are avoided?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/125

Reply

(18 February 2003)

It is not for the Council to state its views on relations between a Member State and an international
organisation of which that State is a member.

(2003/C 137 E/143) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2852/02


by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(10 October 2002)

Subject: Problems for EU fruit and vegetable growers arising from the continued use of methyl bromide in
the developing countries

The use of methyl bromide, a broad-spectrum soil disinfectant, is to be discontinued in the developed
countries by 2005, whereas the developing countries have a ten-year grace period and will receive funding
to cover the cost of replacing that substance (Montreal Protocol). Because of this difference in treatment,
fruit and vegetable growers in Greece and the other Mediterranean Member States, who have to replace
methyl bromide with other methods  without financial assistance and with higher production costs as a
result  will be placed at a disadvantage and have their produce supplanted by produce from third
countries which not only use methyl bromide but also receive funding to replace it.

1. What measures will the Commission take to protect fruit and vegetable growers in Greece and the
other Member States from the fierce competition they will face from corresponding produce grown in
North Africa and Asia using methyl bromide?

2. What stringent measures will it use to control the movement within the EU of fruit and vegetables
from countries which will continue to use methyl bromide beyond 2005, in order to protect consumers’
health?

3. Is the EU monitoring whether the countries with which it has preferential agreements (Turkey, Egypt,
Morocco, etc.) are phasing out the use of methyl bromide? Does the Commission have any information
concerning the finance those countries have received from the multilateral fund which covers the added
cost of restricting ozone-depleting substances?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2002)

1. As developing countries generally have a lower level of technical expertise and limited financial
resources compared to developed countries, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed a freeze in
consumption of methyl bromide (MB) in 2002, a 20 % reduction in 2005 and a total phase out by
1 January 2015. The Parties agreed to review this phase out schedule in 2003 with a view to eliminating
MB as soon as it is no longer required. On the other hand, the Parties also agreed to farmers from
developed countries implementing alternatives to MB by 2005. The Commission cannot change these
agreements made by the Parties but it will, however, continue to take steps to promote the adoption of
alternatives in all countries as soon as possible.

Since 1994, the Commission has allocated EUR 40,8 million to promote the adoption of alternatives to
MB in the Community including research and development projects, demonstration projects and grower
training. These projects have been conducted in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the
Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This expenditure excludes commercially-funded
projects and those funded nationally. Projects conducted in Europe and other countries have shown that
some alternatives to MB not only increase yield but are also sometimes more cost-effective than MB.