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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 155 E/21

(2003/C 155 E/020) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2456/02

by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 August 2002)

Subject: Alleged mismanagement of funds entrusted to the European Communities

Marta Andreasen was Budget Execution Director and Accounting Officer at the European Commission,
a very senior post. According to the relevant legislation, she had full responsibility for the ‘funds entrusted
to the European Communities’. Any allegation made by her of mismanagement is, therefore, extremely

In the Budgets DG, how many staffed are trained and qualified accountants?

Who is the highest grade accountant in the Commission, and what position does he/she hold?

Who is the current Accounting Officer, and what are his/her qualifications for the post?

Answer given by Mrs Schreyer on behalf of the Commission

(25 October 2002)

Directorate General Budget (DG BUDG) staff with tasks directly concerning the accounting system and
procedures have relevant educational qualifications, on-the-job experience and/or by in-house training. The
heads of unit in place in the Accounting Department all have a background/education and/or experience in
accounting or economics.

DG Budget has over recent years organised internal training aimed in particular at staff working in the
accounting sector (e.g. ‘General Accounting, module I’, ‘The Commission’s accounting framework’). Such
training is organized regularly several times per year, and open to all staff.

As regards the use of the official accounting system Sincom2, specific training for accounting staff working
in the SAP R/3 module is organized by external consultants whenever demand arises.

The highest grade serving Accountant in the Commission working in the financial area is Mr Jules Muis
(grade A1), Director general of the Internal Audit Service.

Mr Oostens (grade A2) is since 1 September 2002 the Accounting Officer of the Commission. Other more
senior officials have accounting qualifications but are not in function as accountants. Mr Oostens’
university qualifications are those of a commercial engineer (from the Solvay Business School of the Free
University of Brussels), which qualify him to do accounting work. Mr Oostens’ whole career both in
private business and the Commission has centred around financial management, audit and accounting,
which is why he was selected for this job.

(2003/C 155 E/021) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2471/02

by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(4 September 2002)

Subject: Pension rights

Will the Commission state what EU law covers the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments
in matrimonial cases and whether this covers the determination of the settlement of property in another
EU jurisdiction, with particular regard to accrued pension rights?

If a court in one Member State orders the division of pension rights accrued in a fund in another Member
State, is there any legal impediment to its being split?
C 155 E/22 Official Journal of the European Union EN 3.7.2003

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(25 October 2002)

It is covered by Council Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 of 29 May 2000 on jurisdiction and the
recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental
responsibility for children of both spouses (1) (hereafter ‘the Brussels II Regulation’). This Regulation
provides for the mutual recognition in matters of divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment, as well
as in matters of parental responsibility for the children of both spouses rendered on the occasion of the
matrimonial proceedings. The Brussels II Regulation, which entered into force on 1 March 2001, does,
however, not apply to the property consequences following a divorce.

On 3 May 2002, the Commission presented a proposal (2) bringing together the Brussels II Regulation with
the Commission proposal on parental responsibility of 6 September 2001 (3) and the French initiative on
rights of access of 3 July 2002. The new proposal contains new provisions in the area of parental
responsibility as compared to the Brussels II Regulation, but takes over the provisions on matrimonial
matters from the Brussels II Regulation unchanged.

There are currently no Community rules in the area of the division of property situated in another
Member State. The recognition and enforcement of a court decision ordering the division of pension rights
accrued in a fund in another Member State would thus be governed by the applicable national law.

In this context, the Commission would like to draw the attention of the Honourable Member to the
Council Programme of measures for implementation of the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in
civil and commercial matters (4). Area III of the Council program identifies property rights arising out of
matrimonial relationships and out of the separation of unmarried couples as one of the areas where the
objective is to apply the principle of mutual recognition. For this purpose, the Commission has recently
launched a study concerning the legal situation in Member States’ national law on this subject. Once the
study is finished, it will assist the Commission in its future work in this area.

(1) OJ L 160, 30.6.2000.

(2) OJ C 203 E, 27.8.2002.
(3) OJ C 332 E, 27.11.2001.
(4) OJ C 12, 15.1.2001.

(2003/C 155 E/022) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2492/02

by Jean-Maurice Dehousse (PSE) to the Commission

(2 September 2002)

Subject: Purchase of items of immovable property in Denmark

On Saturday, 29 June 2002 the ARTE programme ‘Forum des Européens’ (Forum for Europeans) focused
on Denmark and the Danish Presidency which was then about to start. During the programme, it was
explained that Danish law prohibits the purchase of some types of immovable property by people who are
not Danish citizens, including Union citizens.

If that information is correct, what is the legal basis for this provision and does the Commission regard
such a ban as being compatible with the principles underpinning the Community (including equality
between citizens) and the common market?

Moreover, was a ban on this type of restrictive law not regarded as part of the ‘acquis communautaire’
during the ongoing negotiations with the applicant countries?

If so, what progress has been made in the negotiations on this matter with the various applicant countries?