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C 155 E/58 Official Journal of the European Union EN 3.7.

2003

Bearing in mind that the company has received around EUR 500 000 in state incentives,

can the Commission provide information on any Community support which the German multinational
Rohde has received in Portugal and in other EU Member States, and on the measures adopted with a view
to safeguarding the rights of its workers?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2002)

With regard to protection of the rights of the workers concerned, the Commission would refer in
particular to Council Directive 98/59/EC of 20 July 1998 on the approximation of the laws of the Member
States relating to collective redundancies (1).

This Directive has been largely transposed into national law in Portugal. Although an infringement
procedure (2) is currently under way against Portugal to ensure that this Directive is fully transposed into
national law, it does not seem that Portugal’s non-compliance can in this particular case affect the rights
guaranteed to workers under Community law.

It is therefore up to the relevant national authorities to check whether they are properly implemented in
this case.

The Commission can inform the Honourable Member that, to its knowledge, Rohde has not received any
Community funding, and certainly not from European Social Fund money for Portugal.

(1) OJ L 225, 12.8.1998.


(2) Case C-55/02 pending before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

(2003/C 155 E/065) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2884/02


by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Lack of adequate enforcement of rules protecting the welfare of farm animals during transport

1. Is the Commission aware that in a report, which appeared in ‘European Voice’ of 19 September
2002, Commission’s animal welfare spokeswoman Beate Gminder was quoted as saying that the
Commission would take infringement action against Member States which did not adequately enforce
rules protecting the welfare of farm animals during transport?

2. Does the Commission agree that findings reported in the article referred to above demonstrate that
unacceptable breaches of the law have occurred and continue to occur, for example in the failure to
respect statutory rest periods for animals undertaking long journeys and in the failure to provide access to
drinking water?

3. Does the Commission dispute or accept the findings of the Eurogroup for Animal Welfare to the
effect that the incidents recorded in the article are not isolated abuses but part of a widespread pattern of
inflicting unnecessary suffering?

4. Does the Commission now plan to take infringement proceedings, or to conduct further
investigations which may lead to such proceedings? If not, what alternative course of action does it
propose to ensure that the law is respected and that animals are not forced to suffer unnecessarily?
3.7.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 155 E/59

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2002)

1. The Commission has seen the newspaper report referred to by the Honourable Member. The
Commission has, however, not received any complaint from the animal protection societies mentioned or
any other person or body concerning this incident. The published report neglects to provide details such as
the date of the incident, the identity of the transporter or the place where the pigs were discovered to be
dead and is itself, therefore, not an adequate basis for further action by the Commission.

2. and 3. Member States are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement of Community legislation
governing the protection of transported animals. Inadequate enforcement by Member States can lead to
incidents of the type to which the Honourable Member has referred.

4. The Commission always investigates well founded complaints in relation to Community animal
welfare legislation and normally intervenes with the Member State(s) concerned, notably seeking assurances
that adequate action will be taken against those transporters who are in default of their obligations and to
prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents.

The Commission is prepared to initiate infringement proceedings under Article 226 of the EC Treaty in
appropriate cases of non-compliance by Member States with their Community law obligations in this
domain. It has indeed already done so on several occasions.

However, systematic resort to infringement proceeding is not necessarily the best way forward owing to
the lengthy delays involved and because evidence of individual failures is not always conclusive of the
general situation in a Member State. Consequently an infringement procedure based on an isolated incident
or incidents may be difficult to prove as a generalised failure of a Member State, particularly where a
Member State claims to have taken action to remedy the situation.

It should be mentioned that the Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office organises periodic inspection
missions with regard to Community animal welfare legislation and notably the implementation of the
transport rules in Member States. Where these missions find deficiencies these are made the subject of
recommendations to the Member States concerned and compliance is subsequently monitored.

In conclusion it must also be recognised that in practice Council Directive 91/628/EEC of 19 November
1991 relating to the protection of animals during transport (1) as amended by Directive 95/29/EC of
29 June 1995 (2) has given rise to serious problems of interpretation, which have resulted in enforcement
difficulties. In consequence, the Commission intends to submit a proposal for revised legislation on this
subject as soon as possible and with a view to avoid the enforcement difficulties which have been
experienced with the present Directive.

(1) OJ L 340, 11.12.1991.


(2) OJ L 148, 30.6.1995.

(2003/C 155 E/066) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2887/02


by Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Fuel and pollution

Atmospheric pollution is causing increasing damage to major cities and putting the health of the public at
serious risk. The problem is caused to large extent by toxic emissions from motor vehicles which, in the
vast majority of cases, run on petrol; and yet there are fuels on the market such as methane, which causes
no pollution whatsoever, or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) which pollutes very little and the use of which
would reduce the risks of atmospheric pollution.