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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/157

(2003/C 137 E/179) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3093/02

by José Ribeiro e Castro (UEN) to the Commission

(22 October 2002)

Subject: Alleged infringement by Portugal in the area of environmental policy in connection with the
building of a motorway

On 15 October 2002 the Portuguese press claimed that the Commission had decided to bring proceedings
against Portugal for failure to comply with European environmental legislation in connection with the
construction of a motorway between Lisbon and the Algarve (the A2). An anonymous ‘Community source’
was quoted as saying that a formal decision would be taken at a meeting of the Commission to be held on
Tuesday in Brussels, the issue being the way in which the Calderão and Castro Verde sections of the
motorway had been built. The same source said that a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan for the project
was dependent on a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg and
that the Commission was accusing the Portuguese Government of failing to comply with the provisions of
the Habitats Directive, according to which projects carried out in protected areas are subject to an
environmental impact assessment.

Can the Commission confirm this report? If so, is it usual Commission practice for such sensitive
information concerning the initiation of legal proceedings to be divulged in this way, before the relevant
decision is actually taken? If it is, does the Commission have definite objective data to support the
allegations against Portugal?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2002)

The Commission can confirm that, in connection with the construction of the Lisbon-Algarve motorway,
it decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice for failing to comply with the requirements of Article 6
of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna
and flora (1) (infringement cases 1999/5085 and 2000/4418).

The Commission would inform the Honourable Member that it discloses its decisions on infringement
proceedings in press releases issued by the Spokesman’s Service (2). All these decisions can also be found
on the website of the Commission’s Secretariat-General at:

In accordance with the rules in force, decisions on infringement proceedings enter the public domain once
the Commission has decided to issue a reasoned opinion. The Commission decided to send Portugal a
reasoned opinion on 28 March 2001 (case 2000/4418) and on 7 November 2001 (case 1999/5085).

(1) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(2) IP/02/1574, 29.10.2002.

(2003/C 137 E/180) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3094/02

by Klaus-Heiner Lehne (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(28 October 2002)

Subject: Gas appliances directive

A firm from Germany is proposing to install gas appliances, of a type mainly used in the Netherlands and
bearing a European CE number, in German homes. The German gas supplier has informed the firm that it