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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/145

The proposal contradicts itself, allowing subsidies for modernising the fleet if these are limited to on-board
safety, but not for improvements to hulls or the interior of the vessels. Why? Is the Commission not aware
that improving hulls and vessel interiors plays an important role in reducing the risk of accidents?

Does the Commission not believe that its CFP reform proposal, which eliminates existing structural aid for
fleet renewal in general, runs counter to the EP’s position as stated in paragraph 4 and 6 of its resolution of
5 April 2001 on ‘Fisheries: safety and causes of accidents’ (1)?

(1) OJ C 21 E, 24.1.2002, p. 359.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(18 November 2002)

The Commission is concerned about safety, working and living conditions. This is why in the framework
of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform the Commission has proposed to keep the financial aid for
measures on these aspects, provided they do not concern tonnage or power. Under those conditions, any
part of a vessel could be modified, with public aid support.

For modernisation of existing vessels, the Commission is ready to consider the possibility of agreeing upon
some increase in tonnage for safety-related modernisation. However, this will be subject to strict
conditions. Neither modifications affecting the hull nor increasing the volume under the main deck would
be eligible for funding, as these directly contribute to an increase in fishing capacity. However, such
modifications should not lead to an increase in power.

Regarding points 4 and 6 of the Parliamentary Resolution, the Commission recognises the need for a
renewal of the fleet, but thinks that this objective has to be compatible with that of reducing excess
capacity and adjusting the size of the fleet to the available resources. This is why, in the framework of the
CFP reform the Commission has proposed to maintain the financial support for the scrapping. The
Commission believes these measures will have a positive impact on the average age of the fleet, as older
and less efficient vessels would be scrapped first.

(2003/C 137 E/165) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3002/02


by Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE-DE) to the Council

(17 October 2002)

Subject: Legal safeguards for the victim, mobility of citizens, and rape victims in the EU

A Finnish national has written from Greece about her experience when she toured the country in 1999.
The rape victim concerned had managed to memorise the registration number of her attacker’s car and
passed on the information to the police on the night of the attack. An examination by a Greek doctor
confirmed that she had been raped. On the following day she again recounted the events before a
magistrate, and the examination minutes were drawn up in Greek with the assistance of an interpreter. She
did not receive copies of the indictment or the examination minutes. In February of this year she was
summoned to appear in court, but the person accused in the trial was the victim herself  on the grounds
of perjury. The rapist had been acquitted of the rape charge in October 2000, but the victim was not
informed and consequently had no possibility of appeal at that time. In April the victim was found guilty
of perjury and sentenced to a 20-month unconditional prison term. The case described is an isolated
example but presumably reflects the prevailing practice.
C 137 E/146 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

How should the victim have proceeded in order to secure justice and the prospect of due process? Does the
difference in Member States’ judicial customs constitute such an obstacle to the freedoms created for
citizens in the EU that those freedoms cannot be considered real in practice? How could the position of
rape victims be improved through joint action in the EU?

Reply
(18 February 2003)

The Council is not in a position to comment on individual criminal cases in the Member States.

By adopting the Framework Decision of 15 March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal
proceedings (1) the Council has laid down general rules regarding the position of victims of criminal
offences.

(1) OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 1.

(2003/C 137 E/166) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3018/02


by Luciano Caveri (ELDR) to the Commission
(23 October 2002)

Subject: Heavy goods vehicle traffic through the Mont Blanc tunnel

Italy and France now appear to have agreed that two-way HGV traffic should be resumed in the Mont
Blanc tunnel. This is causing concern among local inhabitants since the current operating rules (set out in
a ministerial decree adopted in France) set a limit of 240 on the number of lorries that may travel through
the tunnel every hour, and this ceiling is out of step with the technical limits obtaining under the current
safety regulations. There are therefore calls for this figure to be revised in line with the Alpine Convention,
the Transport Protocol thereto and the restrictive measures applying on the Austrian passes (ecopoints and
night-time ban) and the St Gotthard route in Switzerland. Would the Commission state its views on the
matter and provide any relevant information?

Answer given by Ms de Palacio on behalf of the Commission


(5 December 2002)

The theoretical number of lorries that may travel through a tunnel depends on the rules limiting the
distance between vehicles, the maximum permitted speed and the specific restrictions for each tunnel.
No legal limit for the number of lorries has been adopted at international level.

The Commission should very shortly be proposing a Directive on safety in tunnels, harmonising some of
these elements. However, the tunnel managers will be authorised to apply more stringent rules where these
are necessary to ensure safety.

Regarding the Mont Blanc tunnel, in March 2002 the French and Italian authorities said that when two-
way traffic was resumed, the average daily number would be lower than it was before the fire of
24 March 1999, which was approximately 2000 lorries per day. This is well below the maximum
theoretical number.

(2003/C 137 E/167) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3028/02


by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission
(23 October 2002)

Subject: Friesland salvage operation

Is the Commission aware of the case of Peter Devlin, who led a team of divers (British nationals) salvaging
tin ingots with the authorisation of the Spanish Government from the wreck of the Friesland off the