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2004 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 51 E/121

Furthermore, the Commission said that out of the total appropriations definitively cancelled
(EUR 6,4 million) 42 % (EUR 2,7 million) was intended to fund measures for the benefit of displaced
people in Colombia. The justification offered by the Commission was that as soon as the report was
approved the Commission’s decision-making procedures were launched, but that unfortunately the decision
was only taken on 31 March, and was not validated by computer until the morning of 1 April … which
meant that the accounting system refused the validation of the transaction.

The author of this question feels that this is an extremely serious matter and is evidence of laxity on the
part of the Commission as regards its obligations in a sensitive area to which Parliament gives priority.

In view of this can the Commission say whether it can explain what steps it has taken to avoid such
deplorable events in future?

Can the Commission say whether it can offer, with a view to the next budget, any alternative to
compensate the beneficiaries in Colombia for the irreversible loss of these appropriations?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(24 July 2003)

The Commission can assure the Honourable Member that the EUR 2 700 000 appropriation for project
CO-2002-2958 to assist displaced people in Colombia (Atención básica y desarrollo integral de soluciones
de restablecimiento para poblaciones desarraigadas y víctimas de la violencia en el Suroccidente
Colombiano), which was proposed by the non-governmental organisations Solidaridad Internacional and
Movimondo, and for which the Commission took a financing decision on 31 March 2003, will be
financed from the commitment appropriation entered in Article B7-312 of the budget for the financial
year 2003. The Commission can also assure the Honourable Member that the contract procedures are
nearing completion.

Validating the carryover of the commitment for this project from 2002-2003 after the proper deadline
(through the Sincom accounting system) is a complicated procedure. Regrettably the concomitant transfer
of responsibilities from one department to another, combined with the introduction of a new electronic
management system, caused a slip-up which was responsible for this deplorable situation.

The Commission would stress that all the factors contributing to this accident are one-off problems which
will not recur. It can assure the Honourable Member that, in view of the serious humanitarian situation in
Colombia, the departments concerned will do all in their power to commit and disburse the
EUR 21 000 000 set aside for the country under Article B7-312 for the period 2003-2004.

Also, the Commission would inform the Honourable Member that the cancelled commitment appropri-
ation totals EUR 4,4 (not 6,4) million. This is made up of the above EUR 2,7 million and EUR 1,7 million
earmarked for financing an EU-Iran energy project.

(2004/C 51 E/137) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1655/03

by Adriana Poli Bortone (UEN) to the Commission

(16 May 2003)

Subject: Italians in Germany  thousands faced with immediate expulsion and refusal of residence rights

Thousands of cases have been reported in the Federal Republic of Germany of Italian citizens being faced
with immediate expulsion or the refusal of their residence rights. If these reports are true, it is clear that
such illegal practices are a violation of the rights of large numbers of Italian workers.

Can the Commission state whether it intends to investigate the matter and include its findings in a chapter
of its annual report on the state of fundamental rights in the Union?
C 51 E/122 Official Journal of the European Union EN 26.2.2004

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(24 June 2003)

The Commission has put in place, at Parliament’s request, a network of independent experts on
fundamental rights that is charged with drawing up an annual report on the situation regarding
fundamental rights in the Union. It will draw the experts’ attention to the question raised by the
Honourable Member and ask them to deal with it in the report to be prepared for 2003.

It is for Parliament to address this question in the resolution it adopts each year on the situation regarding
fundamental rights in the Union.

The Commission would also point out that it has referred to the Court of Justice the cases of expulsions of
Italian citizens from Germany for reasons of public policy (Case C-441/02). It is seeking a ruling that
Germany has infringed the rules of Community law laying down the conditions to be respected by a
Member State which expels a Union citizen for reasons of public policy.

The Commission has also dealt with several cases concerning expulsion for reasons of long-term
unemployment. It twice asked the German authorities for their position on this matter. They replied that
they share the Commission’s position and have informed the relevant authorities accordingly, the position
being that, if a five-year residence permit has been renewed once, the Member State cannot refuse to
renew it on the ground of involuntary unemployment and, consequently, may not expel a person in this
situation. The Commission has not been informed of any new cases of this type recently.

(2004/C 51 E/138) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1666/03

by Proinsias De Rossa (PSE) to the Commission

(19 May 2003)

Subject: Removal and retention of children’s organs without parental consent

Could the Commission indicate whether the issue of parental consent for the removal and retention of
children’s organs comes under the ambit of the United Nations (UN) Protocol on the prevention,
suppression and punishment of trafficking in persons signed by the Commission on behalf of the
Community on 13 December 2000, which supplements the UN Convention on Transnational Organised
Crime, and which, according to the Commission’s answer to Written Question E-3848/00 (1), deals with
the removal of organs?

Could the Commission indicate whether, based on Article 152 of the EC Treaty or any other EU treaty
article(s), the European Union or any institution thereof including Europol, has taken any position on the
removal and retention of children’s organs without parental consent and, if so, could it set out that

Could it indicate whether this matter is being dealt with under the Community’s Action Programme for
Public Health, approved by the European Parliament and the Council on 23 September 2002, or under any
other current or planned policy initiative by the EU?

(1) OJ C 187 E, 3.7.2001, p. 63.

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2003)

The United Nations (UN) Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women
and children requires State Parties to establish as criminal offences, inter alia, the recruitment,
transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation when such
conduct is committed intentionally, and provides that exploitation shall include the removal of organs.