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C 137 E/234 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

The Agreement also states that one of the principles by which it has been inspired is sustainable
development. Natural resources are being blindly exploited in the territory of the Mapuche people. In
addition, many environmental conflicts exist, such as those arising from the deforestation of a large part of
Mapuche territory and the construction of dams in the Pehuenche area of Alto Bio-bio. The planned Ralco
hydroelectric power station will require 3 500 ha of ancestral land to be flooded, violate indigenous law
and involve the removal, in some cases against their will, of Mapuche-Pehuenche families.

The Commission:
 Is it aware of the situation of the Mapuche people and the possible violation of their rights and
territory by the Chilean State?
 Might it include the political and social situation of the Mapuche communities in the agenda for the
political dialogue at the time of entry into force of the Agreement, in an effort to induce the Chilean
Government to change its policy towards indigenous peoples?
 Will it invite Mapuche representatives to the political dialogue provided for in the Association
Agreement?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission


(9 January 2003)

The Commission is aware of the situation of the Mapuche people and has contributed to the financing of
numerous NGO projects to assist them. It has also launched, in conjunction with the Chilean Government,
a major rural development project in the ninth region, which has a high density of Mapuche people.

The political dialogue agenda is open to all parties’ concerns. Nevertheless, the Commission believes that
the Chilean Government’s policy for indigenous peoples is a step in the right direction. In fact, the Chilean
Government has taken a whole series of measures in an attempt to address the Mapuche issue; in
particular with the creation of Conadi (the National Indigenous Development Board) in 1993 and with the
launch of a Special Plan in 1999 to assist indigenous peoples. The plan, a result of dialogue between the
Government and more than 3 000 Mapuche communities, includes 32 action programmes. Soon after the
present Government came in to power, it put together a plan of action consisting of 16 measures to
intensify social and public support for the indigenous population.

It is also important to stress that Chile’s political constitution guarantees the respect of all rights inherent
to the human person, while constitutional and legal principles guarantee all inhabitants the means of
judicial and administrative redress in the event of violation of their rights.

The EU-Chile Association Agreement provides for political dialogue between the parties at the level of
Heads of State and Government, at ministerial level and at the level of senior officials of both parties. The
representatives of the Mapuche will still have the opportunity to express their points of view at meetings
with representatives of European and Chilean civil society, as provided for in the Agreement.

(2003/C 137 E/265) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3635/02


by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission
(17 December 2002)

Subject: Consumer product contents

A German survey just conducted shows that consumer goods including foodstuffs, drinks, cosmetics,
washing products and tobacco contained less than the amount indicated on the packaging in some
12 percent of cases. German consumers’ organisations say that manufacturers systematically ‘underfill’ their
products.

Is the Commission aware of this practice?

If so, what is it doing to stop it?

Does it have access to investigations and figures that can confirm the German findings?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/235

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(31 January 2003)

The Commission is not aware of these practices, nor does it possess any information which would support
the findings of the German survey. Responsibility for checking the weight or volume of products rests with
the national authorities. The Commission is always willing to bring a clearly explained and cogently argued
complaint to the attention of those authorities.

In addition to any national legislation governing the weight or volume of products, manufacturers may
also benefit from Community legislation governing checks on the indicated contents. Products which have
been filled in accordance with a standardised method may have the ‘e-mark’ affixed to the pack. The
e-mark is recognised in all the Member States, and may be affixed alongside any mark awarded under
national legislation.

As part of the SLIM-IV initiative (Simplification of Legislation on the Internal Market) on pre-packed
products, the Commission is preparing a draft Directive which will make the e-mark method compulsory
throughout the Union. If underfilling proves to be a problem for consumers, it could be dealt with in the
public consultation exercise which is planned for the autumn.

Checks on the weight or volume of products must be distinguished from the issue of whether pack sizes
should be fixed or free, which is currently the subject of a public discussion forum: http://europa.eu.int/
yourvoice/prepacking_nl.htm.

(2003/C 137 E/266) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3638/02


by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(17 December 2002)

Subject: Banking assets

Will the Commission please give the figures for the most recent available year for each Member State for
the proportion of banking assets in that Member State held by financial companies whose principal
ownership is in the Member State concerned, and the proportion of banking assets held by financial
companies whose principal ownership is outside the Member State concerned?

Will the Commission also state within the latter total what is the proportion of banking assets in financial
companies owned by EU Member States (other than the Member State concerned)?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(28 January 2003)

The table which is sent direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat includes figures
for the total assets of credit institutions, the assets of branches of credit institutions established according
to the law of another European Economic Area (EEA) country, the assets of subsidiaries with principal
ownership situated in another EEA country, the assets of branches of credit institutions established
according to the law of a non-EEA country and the assets of subsidiaries with principal ownership situated
in a non-EEA country. On the basis of these figures different percentages in the total assets of credit
institutions are calculated. The data refers to 2000 and 2001 and is available from the European Central
Bank.

The table contains figures for branches and subsidiaries. A ‘branch’ means a place of business which forms
a legally dependent part of a credit institution and which conducts directly all or some of the operations
inherent in the business of credit institutions. Contrary to the subsidiaries, branches do not have a legal
personality in the country they are established in.