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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?
3.7.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 155 E/23

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(26 September 2002)

The acquisition of real estate in another Member State is a capital movement. As such it is governed by
Article 56 of the EC Treaty which provides for a prohibition of all restrictions on capital movements. But
this provision is also subject to the exceptions expressly provided for in the EC Treaty.

As far as Denmark is concerned, a special protocol exists in the EC Treaty on the acquisition of property
in that Member State. This provides that ‘Notwithstanding the provisions of this Treaty, Denmark may
maintain the existing legislation on the acquisition of second homes’. The existing legislation in question
requires that, to acquire a second home in Denmark, the purchaser must have been a resident of Denmark
for a period of five years regardless of nationality.

While the freedom of capital movements is part of the Community acquis, so also is the particular
provision concerning second homes in Denmark.

In the case of most candidate countries, negotiations on capital movements have been provisionally closed
for all negotiating countries but Romania. For real estate operations, transitional periods are foreseen for
certain countries for the adoption of the full freedom in the case of the acquisition of second homes and/
or agricultural and forest land. A summary of the transitional and other arrangements envisaged for
individual candidate countries is to be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/negotiations/
chapters/chap4/index.htm.

(2003/C 155 E/023) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2494/02


by Mogens Camre (UEN) to the Commission

(9 September 2002)

Subject: Commission’s use of fundamentalist Muslims as advisors

In its answer given on behalf of Antonio Vitorino to my question No E-1177/02 (1) of 15 April 2002
concerning Muslim imams’ incitement to violence, the Commission wrote: ‘As you will be aware, the EU is
founded on the principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights and on the fundamental
freedoms, including freedom of expression, which are common to all the Member States. The Commission
deplores any conduct which might constitute incitement to hatred or entail the violation of human rights.’

In my question of 15 April 2002, I drew attention to the judgment of 31 July 2002 of the European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg (cases 41340/98 and 41342/98) which ruled that sharia (Islamic law) is
clearly contrary to the values set out in the Convention on Human Rights.

According to the respected Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten of 14 August 2002, the Commission uses
Tariq Ramadan as an advisor on Islamic affairs. Ramadan is, by his own admission, a fundamentalist
Muslim. He writes that Muslims should adapt to liberal society but believes that Muslims should remain
fundamentalists who, in the much-abused name of human rights, demand the right to set up a parallel
community strictly segregated from the outside world, strictly orthodox and with their own system of law
within the community in those countries in Europe where they live.

Despite the EU’s numerous declarations that the Union stands for freedom and democracy, despite the
European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that sharia is contrary to fundamental human rights, the
Commission still uses Tariq Ramadan as an advisor on cultural affairs, even though he is opposed to all the
values that the Union claims to uphold.

In the light of the foregoing, will the Commission explain how it justifies using a fundamentalist Muslim as
an advisor on something as important as cultural affairs? It should surely not be impossible to find one
competent advisor of the Islamic faith who does not wish to subvert our society and abolish democracy?

(1) OJ C 28 E, 6.2.2003, p. 77.