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6.3.

2004 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 58 E/133

the field of external borders and that would also cover the initial investment required for the development
of a visa information system. The Commission indicates, at the same time, that an amount of
EUR 140 million would probably be more adequate based on reasonable estimates that would also take
into account an integrated return programme. In this respect the recent European Council in Thessaloniki
supported this approach inviting the Commission to pursue this line.

The Commission considers that co-operation with third counties in the area of migration will require
increased attention in the coming years and has presented its approach in the Communication on
integrating migration issues in the Union’s relations with third countries that was presented on
3 December 2002. Besides intensifying the dialogue with the main countries of origin and transit,
concrete co-operation to prevent and combat illegal migration will be required. The proposal for a
Regulation establishing a programme for financial and technical assistance to third countries in the area of
migration that was published on 11 June 2003 (2) and sent to the Council and the Parliament aims to
provide the financial means for such co-operation. Once this Regulation will be adopted, the Community
will dispose of a specific financial instrument to assist third countries in their efforts in better managing
migratory flows in all their dimensions. This Community program will finance actions which join in a
coherent way national and other bilateral or regional Community co-operation and is intended in
particular for third countries actively engaged in the preparation or implementation of a readmission
agreement initialled, signed or concluded with the Community.

The Readmission Agreements concluded with third countries are an essential complement to the adoption
of effective laws and efficient practices for the expulsion and return of illegal immigrants. The 1999
Tampere European Council confirmed that the Amsterdam Treaty conferred powers on the Community in
the field of readmission (cf. Article 63(3)(b) of the EC Treaty). The Council was, therefore, invited to
conclude readmission agreements or to include readmission standard clauses in other agreements between
the Community and relevant third countries or groups of countries. So far the Community has signed a
readmission agreement with Hong Kong in November 2002 which is expected to enter into force in the
second half of 2003. Two other Agreements with Sri Lanka and Macao have been initialled in May 2002
and October 2002 respectively. In addition, the Council also authorised the Commission to negotiate
Community readmission agreements with Morocco, Russia, Pakistan (September 2000), Ukraine (June
2002), Albania, Algeria, China and Turkey (November 2002).

(1) Communication on the development of a common policy on illegal immigration, smuggling and trafficking of
human beings, external borders and the return of illegal residents  COM(2003) 323.
(2) COM(2003) 355 final.

(2004/C 58 E/149) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2115/03


by Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(25 June 2003)

Subject: Rights of tenant farmers

In order to be eligible for early retirement, farmers in Portugal must ensure that their farm is transferred to
another farmer, designated the transferee, who meets the conditions laid down in the regulation approved
by decree No 99/2001 of 16 January 2001.

Tenant farmers, however, are required to cancel the rural lease contract in addition to the above
obligation, which prevents the farm from being transferred to their children.

This situation is extremely unfair to these farmers, who are discriminated against by comparison with
farmers who own the land they work and may transfer their farm to their children.

Can the Commission say whether the rural development regulation, or any other Community regulation,
prevents tenant farmers from transferring the land lease contract to their children, so that the parents can
be eligible for early retirement?
C 58 E/134 Official Journal of the European Union EN 6.3.2004

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(1 August 2003)

Article 11 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and amending and repealing certain Regulations (1)
provides that, to be eligible for early retirement, the transferor of a farm must stop all commercial farming
activity completely. The transferee of the farm must succeed the transferor as the head of the agricultural
holding or take over all or part of the land released.

The procedure for transferring rural tenancies is the responsibility of the Member States and is not
governed by the rural development Regulation nor by any other Community Regulation.

It is true that the national legislation to which the Honourable Member refers (Portaria No 99/2001 of
16 January 2001) requires the rural lease to be cancelled, but it gives the owner of the land the option of
signing a new lease with the original tenant’s descendants.

(1) OJ L 160, 26.6.1999.

(2004/C 58 E/150) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2128/03


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(25 June 2003)

Subject: Beverage which reduces blood alcohol levels  BOB information campaigns

In its communication IP/02/1762, the Commission states that it is spending EUR 1,1 million on
campaigns against drinking and driving in seven EU Member States. It acknowledges that, of the 40 000
people killed on Europe’s roads each year, one third are victims of drinking and driving. In order to do
something about this, the Commission is subsidising the ‘Euro-BOB’ campaign in a number of EU Member
States.

A beverage has recently come onto the market which is called Outox, produced by Lifestyle Drinks NV,
and which, it is claimed, can very quickly reduce the level of alcohol in the blood and will also render the
next day’s hangover less severe. The impression is given, at the very least, that drivers can drink alcohol to
excess and yet, after drinking Outox, again become ‘sober’ enough to drive a vehicle. Flemish researchers
consider it very doubtful that Outox can have this effect.

Is the Commission aware of the existence of Outox, and has it had any checks carried out as to whether
this beverage really does reduce blood alcohol levels?

In the light of the BOB campaigns, does the Commission consider it appropriate to place beverages on the
market which reduce blood alcohol levels? If not, what will it do to protect consumers/drivers?

Are the BOB campaigns in various Member States having the desired effect of reducing the number of
people killed or injured on the roads specifically as a result of alcohol consumption?

What additional efforts will the Commission make to further reduce the number of people killed or injured
on the roads due to excessive consumption of alcohol?

Answer given by Ms de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(9 September 2003)

The Commission does not have any information on the drink mentioned by the Honourable Member. In
any event, it is the responsibility of the Member State in which the product is being advertised to check
the accuracy of the information provided by the supplier. This is especially important in this case, as
alcohol-related road accidents are a serious public health problem requiring special attention from the
authorities because of the suffering they cause.