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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/213

4. In any event, is it true that the product is still being manufactured by Avensis?
5. If so, is it right that, within a single internal market, a given product can be sold only in certain
countries and not in others?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission


(22 January 2003)

1. According to information given by the competent authority in Italy, Ministero della Sanita, Aventis
requested by 12 November 2002 a temporary suspension of the marketing authorisation for Glucantin in
Italy due to manufacturing problems.

2. The product is still available in France and Spain.

3. Pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products fall within the responsibility of Member States.
The Commission has no information in respect to pricing and reimbursement of the medicinal product
Glucantin in the different Member States.

4. The manufacturing site is Livron/France. The manufacturer is Aventis.

5. National marketing authorisations for Glucantin were given according to Directive 2001/83/EC (1) by
the competent authorities in the different Member States. This directive provides that medicinal products
have to be authorised for the marketing in each Member State. There is no provision in the Community
legislation obliging the marketing authorisation holder to ask in all Member States for a marketing
authorisation.

(1) Directive 2001/83/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating
to medicinal products for human use, OJ L 311, 28.11.2001.

(2003/C 137 E/240) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3476/02


by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission
(6 December 2002)

Subject: European framework regulation for BSE costs consumer levy

Since introduction of the compulsory BSE test for groups of cattle, various Member States have been
giving support to producers to offset the costs associated with such tests. This support takes the form of
direct subsidies or a levy on the (end) product.

In its answer to Written Question P-3134/01 (1) the Commission says that after it has assessed the
information on support measures for ‘the cost of BSE’ which it obtained in 2001, it will decide what steps
should be taken for further harmonisation.

1. Has the Commission now carried out such an assessment, and what conclusions has it produced?

2. Has the Commission thus reached the conclusion that there is no longer a crisis situation, partly
because the price of beef has returned to its old level, and because the internal market ought once more to
operate without distortion?

3. Does the Commission agree that, in view of the substantial scale of BSE testing costs in relation to
the animal’s value, and hence the enormous impact of the support measures in distorting competition,
a European regulation should be drafted to counteract that distortion?

4. Does the Commission agree that a framework regulation giving Member States the opportunity to
introduce a levy on the end product would be a suitable instrument for dealing with the distortion of
competition caused by the cost of compulsory BSE testing on the European market?

(1) OJ C 115 E, 16.5.2002, p. 230.


C 137 E/214 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(23 January 2003)

The Commission has concluded its assessment of the impact of State aid granted towards the cost of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) tests. It has found that there is a risk of distortion of competition
arising from different levels of State aid granted, at least as far as slaughter cattle are concerned. However,
the Commission has also taken note of the purpose of the tests and the particular concern for the
protection of human health. Therefore, a total prohibition of aid does not seem warranted. As a
consequence, the Commission has adopted Community guidelines for State aid concerning transmissible
spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) tests which set out that as of 1 January 2003 (1), the total amount of
public support (including Community support) for BSE tests has to be limited to EUR 40 as far as testing
of bovine animals slaughtered for human consumption is concerned. This amount may be reviewed in the
future, as test costs fall.

For TSE tests on other animals, Member States may continue to grant aid of up to 100 % of costs.

A framework regulation giving Member States the opportunity to introduce a levy on the end product
would not seem to reduce distortions of competition. Such a voluntary scheme, which leaves it to Member
States to introduce a levy, would not lead to harmonisation.

For the time being, the Commission does not see a need for further regulatory action. The approach
chosen with the new State aid guidelines seems appropriate to cope with the distortions of competition
found in its examination. However, the Commission will follow market developments also in the future.

Finally, the new State aid guidelines are adopted against the background of an overall market stabilisation
with satisfactory price levels observed on the Community beef market.

(1) OJ C 324, 24.12.2002.

(2003/C 137 E/241) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3481/02


by Michiel van Hulten (PSE) to the Commission

(6 December 2002)

Subject: Belgian government contract for the development of the European district

The Rem Koolhaas Office for Metropolitan Architecture was recently excluded from taking part in a design
competition for an overall urban development concept for the European district in Brussels.

According to the ‘reasoned decision’ of the Prime Minister’s chancellery the practice was excluded because
of ‘a formal irregularity’ (the absence of a signature on one of the documents submitted) and ‘weaknesses
regarding the multidisciplinary approach and the necessary references’.

According to press reports, only four Belgian architectural practices have been admitted to the second
round and yet the government decision says that the Koolhaas proposal was one of the four best schemes.

1. Was Commission involved in the invitation to tender for the competition, as the main ‘resident’ of
the European district, or otherwise?

2. Does the Commission consider that the competition complied with European rules on public
procurement? What does the Commission consider to be the financial value of the contract?

3. The notice of competition was published on 19 July 2002 in the Belgian Invitations to tender
bulletin and the deadline for submitting bids was 7 August 2002. Does the Commission consider that such
a short deadline in the middle of the summer holidays is acceptable from the point of view of fair
competition?

4. Is the Commission prepared to raise the question of the invitation to tender with the Belgian
government and to press for a reopening of the tender procedure?