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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
C 137 E/158 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

will refuse to connect these appliances to the supply network, because the German assembly instructions
have not been met. It claims that differentiation on a national basis is necessary on the grounds of different
types of gas and differing gas pressures in Europe.

1. Can this case be reconciled with the EC Gas Appliances Directive?

2. Even though the appliances in question bear a CE number, the national gas supplier in Germany
refuses to connect them. How does the Commission explain this situation?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2002)

Article 2(2) of the Directive (1) permits the use of different types of gas and corresponding supply pressures
in the different Member States.

This implies that putting into service of an appliance complying with the essential requirements of the
Directive should take into account the gas type and supply pressure available at the place of installation.

However, more investigation is needed to assess whether the German assembly instructions referred to
constitute an infringement. For instance, there is no direct correlation between gas type and Member State,
as some gas types are available in more than one Member State and, within one Member State, there can
be more than one gas types available, depending on the respective region. Furthermore, it seems that the
current state of the art, gives the possibility of appliances adjustable for different gas types or gas pressures,
and thus, suitable for being put into service in more Member States or regions.

An inquiry concerning the Member State in question is currently under way, with the aim to have all the
necessary information on the issue. In case, following this inquiry, the Commission finds that there is an
infringement to Directive 90/396/EEC, it will not hesitate to take the appropriate measures in accordance
with the procedure laid down by Article 226 of the EC Treaty, and to inform the Honourable Member.

(1) Council Directive 90/396/EEC of 29 June 1990 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to
appliances burning gaseous fuels, OJ L 196, 26.7.1990 as amended by council Directive 93/68/EEC of 22 July
1993, OJ L 220, 30.8.1993.

(2003/C 137 E/181) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3118/02

by Marie-Thérèse Hermange (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(30 October 2002)

Subject: European Union funding in the water sector

At the World Summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg, which closed on 4 September 2002,
the Commission press release dated 3 September stressed that the EU is already investing EUR 1,4 billion
per year in scientific cooperation and development aid in the water sector (press release IP/02/1265).

Can the Commission answer the following:

 Under what Community funding instruments has this EUR 1,4 billion investment been made available?

 What is the annual breakdown of this investment between the various European funding programmes

 If so, what are the respective annual amounts concerned?

 What water projects, by country, have been funded by the EU within the framework of each of these