Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Thursday, 17 September 2009 - StrasbourgOJ edition
 ANNEX (Written answers)
QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL (The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)

QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL (The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)
Question no 10 by Pat the Cope Gallagher(H-0282/09)
 Subject: Fostering peace in the Middle East

Can the European Council make a statement as to the initiatives that it is pursuing to foster peace and reconciliation between the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

As stated in the Presidency conclusions of the June 2009 European Council meeting, the Middle East Peace Process remains a top priority for the European Union in 2009. The same meeting also endorsed the conclusions adopted by the External Relations Council at its meeting on 15 June 2009.

The Council remains committed to a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, comprising the West Bank and Gaza, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. this is an indispensable step towards a more stable and peaceful Middle East.

We very much welcome to US Administrator's commitment to vigorously pursue a two-state solution and we are ready to work actively with the United States and other Quartet members to achieve this goal

The EU is also ready to continue substantially to post-conflict arrangements aimed at ensuring the sustainability of peace agreements, including through regional arrangements such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean. We stand ready in particular to further develop our relations with the Palestinian Authority within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. We will help promote Palestinian state-building and will cooperate further towards additional improvements in restoring law and order. Our focus will continue to be on support in the areas of civil police and justice.

A comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires a regional approach, covering the political, security and economic dimensions. Through its numerous agreements with partners in the region, the EU is uniquely placed to work on key issues of regional development . In the light of developments on the ground, we will carefully assess how our policies and programmes can promote concrete and early results on the path of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.


Question no 11 by Georgios Toussas(H-0284/09)
 Subject: Continuation of the criminal policy against the people of Palestine

Israel's recent barbaric war against the Palestinian people, the expansion of settlements, the dividing 'Wall of Shame' in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the continued murderous blockade of the Gaza Strip are worsening the already unbearable situation of the Palestinian people even further. With their 'New Middle East Policy', both the EU and the US are providing cover for Israeli brutality. It is unacceptable that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) should figure on the list of named 'terrorist organisations', with false and unfounded allegations, simply because it is fighting for the rights of the Palestinian people.

Does the Council condemn the dividing wall of shame, the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories and the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip? Does it recognise the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to create an independent, united Palestinian state on 1967 territories, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with sovereignty within its territory and borders? Will it remove the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from the list of named terrorist organisations, and will it abolish the list in its entirety?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In response to the question of the Honourable member of the European Parliament the Council would like to recall its formal statements that while recognising Israel’s right to protect its citizens, the construction of the barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory is contrary to international law.

The Council has also urged the government of Israel to immediately end settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem and including natural growth, and to dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001. It reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace. Also according to the Road Map, Israel has an obligation to freeze all settlement activity, including the natural growth of existing settlements, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001.

The Council has also expressed its concern for the situation in Gaza and has repeatedly called for the immediate and unconditional access for humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza without which the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, reconstruction and economic recovery will not be possible.

The Council would also like to assure the Honourable member of the European Parliament of its unflinching commitment to the two-state solution with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those agreed by both parties. Indeed a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East is one of the central objectives of the European Union's common foreign and security policy.

The listing of terrorist organisations is one of a number of measures adopted by the European Union in order to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of 2001 as part of a wide-ranging international strategy to combat terrorism and in particular the financing of terrorism.

The inclusion of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is based on objective criteria. As within all persons, groups, and entities on the list, the PFLP is made aware of the reasons for its inclusion.

The Council reviews the list regularly and at least every six months. At the last review the Council considered that the grounds for listing the PFLP remained valid and therefore decided to maintain the group on the list which was adopted on 15 June.


Question no 12 by Jim Higgins(H-0286/09)
 Subject: Concerns about Iran/Iraq

Is the Council concerned at the fact that the Iraqi police force has entered Camp Ashraf and that a number of refugees have been killed and many injured, that 36 detainees are currently under arrest and on hunger strike, and that the Iraqi authorities have ignored court orders for their release, and does the Council consider that the recent election in Iran was conducted in a transparent and democratic manner? Does the Council believe that there should be fresh elections which would be jointly monitored by the United Nations and the European Union and, in the event of a refusal to hold such an election, should sanctions be imposed?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council follows developments in Iraq very closely and use every opportunity to underline the importance of respect for human rights in our contacts with Iraqi authorities.

The Council has discussed the recent events regarding the Iranian Presidential election and noted the result as announced by the Iranian Electoral Commission and also the concerns regarding the conduct of the elections expressed by several candidates. This is a matter that the Iranian authorities must address and investigate.

The Council has expressed serious concern about the violence on the streets and the excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators. It is essential that the aspirations of the Iranian people are achieved through peaceful means and that freedom of expression is respected.


Question no 13 by Athanasios Pafilis(H-0287/09)
 Subject: Criminalisation of communist ideology in Lithuania

On 9 June, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments to the Penal Code providing for a sentence of up to three years' imprisonment for 'spreading propaganda about, denying or justifying the genocide carried out by communism and fascism' and 'publicly slandering members of the movement for the freedom of Lithuania who fought against the Soviet occupation between 1944 and 1953'. These provisions are an attempt, by way of penal measures, to falsify history and to equate communism with fascism. They require the recognition of the fascist collaborators of the Nazis, who were responsible for crimes against humanity. They criminalise communist ideology and prohibit and punish freedom of speech and a different view of history.

What is the Council's position on the rehabilitation - in particular through the imposition of penal measures against dissenters - of fascism and nazism, the banning of freedom of speech and the criminalisation of communist ideology in a number of EU Member States, particularly the Baltic States, where the Communist Party is banned and its members and other anti-fascist democrats are persecuted?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

As regards the piece of legislation mentioned by the Honourable Member, the Council has not taken a position. Neither does any legal instrument adopted by the Council address the issue raised, as it falls within the domestic jurisdiction of Member States.

In this context, however, I would like to mention the first the first Remembrance Day for victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, which I had the honour to attend on 23 August this year. This commemoration was held across Europe following an initiative by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, to pay tribute to the millions of people who have died in the name of Nazism and Communism.

The Remembrance Day also serves as an excellent moment to honour all the brave people who still risk their lives in the struggle against dictatorship and oppression, for freedom and democracy, in our close neighbourhood and in other parts of the world.

Human rights, democracy and rule of law are values that are fundamental to the European Union and its Member States. In this context, I should also like to mention the impressive work carried out by the European Parliament in supporting democracy movements and human rights defenders in totalitarian countries worldwide.

Considering the Union’s commitment to our shared values, it goes without saying that any legislation adopted by Member States is expected to be in conformity with both Union and Community primary and secondary law, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights.


Question no 14 by Tadeusz Zwiefka(H-0290/09)
 Subject: Outcome of 2nd EU-Egypt subcommittee meeting on 'Political Matters: Human Rights and Democracy - International and Regional Issues' on 7-8 July 2009 concerning 'Al-Manar TV'

The broadcasting of the outlawed terrorist channel 'Al-Manar TV' to Europe by the Egyptian satellite provider Nilesat continues to be in direct violation of the EU-Egypt Action Plan and constitutes a radicalisation threat to European security. In the Commission’s reply to Question H-0011/09 it was stated that the subcommittee on political matters with Egypt is the 'appropriate mechanism' for raising the broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' by Nilesat. Did the Council put the issue of Nilesat’s broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' on the agenda of the 2nd EU-Egypt subcommittee meeting on 'Political Matters: Human Rights and Democracy – International and Regional Issues' on 7-8 July 2009? Could the Council outline what commitments Egypt gave in order to stop the broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' on Nilesat?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

I am grateful to the Honourable Member for his question about the Egyptian satellite provider Nilesat, whose broadcasts of the Lebanese "Al-Manar TV" can reach the territory of the European Union. The Council understands the concern of the honourable Member that some of the material broadcast by the station could amount to incitement to hatred.

In order to achieve a lasting improvement in matters of xenophobia, intolerance, and sectarian hatred there is no better method than dialogue. It is encouraging to see, therefore, that more than 80 countries, among them Egypt, Lebanon, Gulf states and most EU member states, have joined the UN Alliance of Civilizations, whose main mission is to prevent conflicts due to prejudice and cultural or religious misconceptions. Several UN AoC programmes focus on media literacy and ethics.

Thus, the Council, considers that dialogue with Egypt is the most effective way to encourage the Egyptian government to progress in the area of human rights. This dialogue takes place through the institutional structure of sub-committees and political dialogue, and provides an opportunity for exchanges of views on a variety of issues.

The Council had already addressed the specific concerns raised by the Honourable Member in its statement related to the 5th EU-Egypt association Council, which stated that "The EU encourages Egypt to continue to pursue efforts aimed at fighting discrimination on all grounds and at promoting tolerance in matters related to culture, religion and beliefs and minorities. In this context, the EU is concerned about the discriminatory content in some of the broadcasts of the Al-Manar television channel distributed by the Egyptian satellite Nilesat. The EU condemns any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence".

At the sub-committee on political matters with Egypt, whose second meeting took place in Cairo on 7 and 8 July 2009, the issue of the broadcasting of "Al-Manar TV" was raised for the EU side within the framework of issues related to the fight against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, including the undertaking in the joint EU-Egypt Action Plan to “strengthen the role of media in combating xenophobia and discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or culture” and encouraging the media “to assume its responsibilities in this regard.

Egypt refrained from providing a reply, on the grounds that Al-Manar was an individual case. Egypt also failed to offer a commitment to address the case. The reaction of Egypt should however not prevent us from continuing the dialogue. The Honourable Member can be assured that the Council will continue to pay close attention to this issue and is ready to raise it on another occasion within the EU’s regular political dialogue with Egypt.


Question no 15 by Ryszard Czarnecki(H-0292/09)
 Subject: Situation in Pakistan

Officially, a civilian government is currently in power in Pakistan. Does the Council believe that the civilian government is in full control of the situation in the country or does it also think that, as in the past, real power lies with the Pakistani army?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The general elections in February 2008 brought democracy back to Pakistan. The Council recognises this as a major progress for Pakistan. Strengthening democracy and stability remains the EU’s main objective in its cooperation with Pakistan.

Needless to say, it is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy in Pakistan that the civilian government has control of the armed forces. Elected governments should always exercise full transparency and control over the military establishment. This is a fundament of EU policy.

The process of democratization in Pakistan is still at an early stage. The EU, together with the rest of the international community, must continue to support the government in its efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and structures. The first EU-Pakistan Summit, held on 17 June 2009, was an important step in building a stronger partnership between the EU and Pakistan in supporting democratic, civilian rule in Pakistan. The EU will use its strategic dialogue with Pakistan to further promote this objective.


Question no 16 by Hans-Peter Martin(H-0295/09)
 Subject: Action by the Swedish Presidency to enhance transparency

The Council Decision of 15 September 2006 adopting the Council's Rules of Procedure (OJ L285 of 16 October 2006, p. 47) cited the European Council's call for citizens to be enabled 'to acquire first-hand insight' into the European Union's activities, 'notably through further increasing openness and transparency' and 'particularly when the Council deliberates on legislative acts under the codecision procedure'.

Yet it appears from the agendas of Council meetings that the number of agenda items discussed in public actually declined, between 2007 and 2008, in all Council of Ministers meetings (except in the case of the Education, Youth and Culture Council and the Agriculture and Fisheries Council). In 2008, for example, the Environment Council discussed only 4 out of 33 agenda items in public, significantly fewer than in 2007. The all-important General Affairs and External Relations Council, meanwhile, discussed only one of the 130 items on its agendas in public.

In what areas does the Swedish Presidency intend to take tangible measures to finally comply with the Council Decision of 15 September and maintain the celebrated Swedish tradition of transparency?

Is the Swedish Presidency also in favour of at last publishing the proceedings of meetings of the European Council, including the Council's customary 'working lunches'?

What tangible measures will the Swedish Presidency take to ensure items on the agenda of Council meetings are discussed in public?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Presidency would like to recall that the modification of Article 8 of the Council's Rules of Procedure, to which reference is made in the Honourable Member's question, has brought about a significant increase in the number of public deliberations and public debates during the last three years as compared to the previous four years period where the access to the decision-making process of the Council was governed by the principles established by the Seville European Council (the so-called "Seville regime").

Thus, a total of 788 topics have been dealt with at ministerial level during open Council sessions since 1 July 2006. The increase has been particularly significant as regards the number of legislative "B" items: Altogether the number of the legislative "B" items examined by the Council since 1 July 2006 in public doubled in comparison with the period July 2002 - June 2006. Moreover, a total of 128 public debates, including 118 debates on important issues affecting the interests of the European Union and its citizens, were held during the period July 2006 - June 2009, whereas only 33 such debates took place during the preceding period.

That being said, the Presidency would like to recall that the number of items listed on the Council's agenda for a public deliberation or a public debate may vary from one year to another, notably depending on the number of co-decision items to be examined and/or adopted by the Council during a given year.

Thus a total of 153 co-decision items were listed on the Council's agenda for a public deliberation in 2007, whereas the corresponding figure for 2008 was 229 co-decision. In 2009, the Council has so far dealt with 148 co-decision items in public.

The number of public debates held pursuant to Article 8 (3) of the Council's Rules of Procedure may also vary, depending on how many issues which have been identified by each Presidency as suited for a public debate.

With regard to the proceedings of the European Council, it should be recalled that the transparency rules are not applicable to the European Council.

The Swedish Presidency shares the Honourable Member’s view on the importance of increased transparency in the work of the Union. This is a very important part of the work to increase citizens’ confidence in the EU and our common institutions.

For its part, the Presidency intends to give full effect to the relevant transparency provisions, set out in Article 8 paragraphs 1 - 4, of the Council's Rules of Procedure. In principle, all deliberations on

legislative acts to be adopted in accordance with the codecision procedure will be open to the public, as provided in the Council's Rules of Procedure.

Parallel to this, the Council will continue the efforts undertaken since July 2006 with a view to further improve the quality of the web casting of the public Council sessions. This service, which is regularly updated and enhanced, offers live and on-demand access to public debates and deliberations, as well as other public events.

In qualitative terms, the Council's video streaming aims to ensure that users have easy and meaningful access to the debates they are interested in.

Moreover, since the creation of the EBS (Europe by Satellite) Plus by the end of 2008, more space is now available for re-transmission of the public deliberations and debates of the Council.

The Lisbon Treaty places increased focus on openness and transparency, which hopefully will contribute to both Council and other institutions taking steps forward in their work for more transparency. Moreover, if and when the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the Council will systematically meet in public when considering a draft legislative act and when voting on such a draft, irrespective of the legislative procedure applicable.


Question no 17 by Czesław Adam Siekierski(H-0298/09)
 Subject: Food distribution programme for the Community's neediest citizens

In March this year, the European Parliament adopted a report on special support for the Community's neediest citizens, which provided for a free food distribution programme. I believed that Parliament’s adoption of that report by a large majority would convince the Czech Presidency to resume discussions and find a reasonable compromise within the Council. Unfortunately my hopes proved ill-founded. I am concerned that Sweden, currently presiding over the Council, has made no mention of resuming work on the project, despite the fact that there is nothing standing in its way. Does the Council intend to resume discussions on this programme, which is of such importance to millions of our citizens?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Since 1987, Community legislation has allowed food from intervention stocks to be supplied to charities for distribution to the most deprived people in the Community.

In 2008 the Commission made a proposal to review the legislation, made necessary by the rise in certain food prices and the decrease in stocks.

Under the French Presidency, the Council held a policy debate on this proposal, but it was no possible to secure qualified majority in favour of the proposal.

A number of delegations rejected the very principle of the aid scheme, which they insisted was a matter for individual Member States.


Question no 18 by Silvia-Adriana Ţicău(H-0300/09)
 Subject: Promotion of an energy-efficient economy

The Swedish EU Council Presidency has stated that its priorities for the period July to December 2009 include economic recovery, an increase in employment and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which are issues that impact in practice on the lives of all Europeans.

An increase in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies can generate several million jobs in the years to come, laying the foundations for durable economic growth and simultaneously giving the European Union a competitive edge. In view of this, can the EU Council Presidency state what concrete measures it has in mind to encourage EU Member States to develop measures that stimulate investment in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies, which are areas that can generate jobs, promote innovation and ensure durable economic development?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Energy efficiency was already identified as a priority for European energy policy in the Energy Policy Action Plan which the European Council adopted in March 2007 and where the objective of 20% energy savings by 2020 was set.

The 18-month Programme of the Council adopted in June 2008 underlines that the Presidencies will, respecting the Member States' choice of energy mix, strive for a low-carbon economy that is consistent with both sustainability and cost efficiency and that positively contributes to broader growth objectives consistent with the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. Indeed, energy efficiency does not only have a positive impact on the use of energy resources and on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but stimulates at the same time, as the honourable MEP states, innovative technological developments and can thus boost the competitiveness of European industry and job creation. Energy efficiency is therefore the corner stone of not only an energy-efficient but also of an eco-efficient economy. It will help us address simultaneously the challenges of climate change, resource degradation, the global economic crisis and security of supply.

Three co-decision legislative proposals linked to energy efficiency are currently tabled before the Council and the European Parliament:

the proposed Directive concerning the energy efficiency of buildings;

the proposed Directive concerning the labelling of energy consumption, and

the proposed Regulation on the fuel efficiency of tyres

and are indeed the main priorities for the Council in this semester.

Once adopted - what we hope will happen, with your help, still during this semester -, Member States will be able to introduce on their basis, also in the longer term, concrete energy efficiency measures in the buildings and construction sector as well as in the wide field of energy related products, both in the public and the private sector. In this sense, such measures will boost investments in innovative technologies which Member States can support with various types of incentives, both national and European.

Implementation of energy efficiency instruments already adopted at Community level will also trigger the creation of new jobs. This is the case for the Eco-design and the energy labelling framework Directives, where important implementing measures (related to lighting, electric motors, etc.) are in the pipeline.

This is also the case for renewable energies, where Council and Parliament adopted the

Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources on 4 May 2009.

As for incentives, Community instruments are available for financing energy efficiency projects, such as the European Parliament and Council Regulation 1080/2006 on the European Regional Development Fund, which was revised in order to allocate € 8 bn to energy-efficiency and renewable energy investments in housing. Within the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan, where emphasis is on "smart investments" through detailed proposals for partnerships between the public and private sectors, Community, EIB and national funding will be used. In this perspective, the European Council gave its support to an increased intervention by the EIB, notably for small and medium-sized enterprises, for renewable energy and for clean transport, as well as the simplification of procedures and a faster implementation of programmes financed by the Cohesion Fund, the Structural Funds and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development with a view to strengthening in particular investment in energy efficiency.


Question no 19 by Kinga Gál(H-0302/09)
 Subject: Free movement of an official representative of a Member State

The European Union has established an area for the free movement of citizens.

Does the Council believe that - on any grounds - any official representative - i.e. Head of State - of any Member State may be refused entry into the territory of another Member State?

Does the Council accept the point of view that the refusal to allow any official representative of a Member State - i.e. Head of State - to enter the territory of another Member State on the basis of the Directive on the Free Movement of EU citizens, or on any other legal grounds, is seriously at odds with European values?


(EN) The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the September 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

As the Honourable Member rightly asserts, free movement of persons is a basic component of the internal market and of the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. It constitutes a right of all EU citizens, enshrined by Article 18 (1) of the EC Treaty, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in this Treaty and by measures adopted to give it effect.

It follows from the EC Treaty and Article 27 of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States(1) that any limitations to this right can only be justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. The application of any such limitation is subject to the control of the Court of Justice.

With regard to the specific point raised by the Honourable Member regarding the movement of Heads of State, the travel arrangements for such individuals, in view of the specific security and safety measures required, would be a matter exclusively for the Member States concerned. It is consequently not for the Council to take a view. This issue has never been discussed by the Council.

However, the Presidency welcomes the bilateral meeting between the Prime Ministers of Hungary and Slovakia held on 10 September, and considers the common statement that was published in connection to the meeting, as a positive sign. This statement seems to provide a good basis for a solution that will subvert the bilateral tensions between the two countries.


(1)OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p.77


Question no 30 by Pat the Cope Gallagher(H-0283/09)
 Subject: Promoting cleaner technology

What initiatives is the EU pursuing at present to promote a greater use of newer and cleaner technologies so that the European Union's climate change targets will be reached?


(EN) A number of policy initiatives are promoting the development and wider use of cleaner technologies. They include:

the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) has been implemented since 2004, with actions ranging from focussing Research and Development (R&D) programmes, establishing Technology Platforms, mobilising financial instruments and public procurement, up to revising State Aid guidelines. A Green Paper on the future of ETAP will be proposed before the end of 2009;

the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), adopted in 2007 as part of the EU Climate Change and Energy package, is targeted at accelerating the development and market take-up of low-carbon technologies. The tools are European Industrial Initiatives in technologies such as renewables and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the European Energy Research Alliance and enhanced international cooperation;

the Lead Market Initiative, also adopted in 2007, aims at enlarging the market for innovative products and services in six priority areas including sustainable construction, renewable energy and recycling, with demand-side actions related to regulations, public procurement and standardisation;

the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan (SCP-SIP), adopted in 2008, intends also to promote eco-innovation to develop greener products and leaner production processes. The voluntary targets on Green Public Procurement (50% by 2010) will contribute to an increased uptake of environmental technologies and expansion of eco-industries.

These policy initiatives are also supported by Community funding instruments, such as the 7th Framework-Programme for R&D, the new Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and the Cohesion Policy Funds.

It is estimated that about one third of the 7th Framework Programme's budget supports research projects on clean or environmental technologies in all sectors. Those investments are also promoting the engagement of the private sector, through dedicated Joint Technology Initiatives or other forms of Public-Private Partnerships.

The revised Community framework on State Aids makes it easier for Member States to support financially the development and market uptake of cleaner technologies, using related provisions in the Community Guidelines on Research, Development and Innovation, the Guidelines on Environmental Protection and the General Block Exemption.

In addition, the revised Emissions Trading Directive(1) reserves 300 million allowances for support of CCS and innovative renewables. The European Economic Recovery Plan includes clear measures to speed up the shift towards a low carbon and resource efficient economy, including almost €4 billion on energy projects.


(1)Directive 2003/87/EC of Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (Text with EEA relevance), OJ L 275, 25.10.2003.


Question no 32 by Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines(H-0297/09)
 Subject: Impact of wind farms on biodiversity, the landscape and the local environment

Given that an integrated environmental policy is one of the EU’s basic principles, it seems logical that the development of renewable energy should be compatible with the conservation of biodiversity, which includes the local environment, the landscape, the soil and flora and fauna.

Is the environmental impact which wind farms have on biodiversity and, in particular, birds of prey and other types of birds, as well as on areas of natural beauty and of historical and urban significance being considered on the basis of rigorous scientific criteria?

If there is no adequate legal basis for this, would the Commission consider supplementing existing legislation with a view to ensuring that the operation of wind farms is compatible with the conservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage?


(EN) The development of wind energy forms part of the European Community's commitment to achieve a 20% share of renewable energies in overall EU energy consumption by 2020. This is a key element of the strategy to tackle CO2 emissions in the context of climate change. It supports other EU energy and environmental policy objectives - for example in terms of reduced air pollution, reduced water consumption from conventional power generation, reduced energy import dependency and increased job creation.

However, the Commission is aware that there are environmental risks from the inappropriate location of wind farms. Wind energy developments should be carried out in a sustainable and balanced way that does not lead to significant damage to sensitive areas of conservation importance: Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the Birds Directive(1), and Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) established under the Habitats Directive(2), which form the Natura 2000 network.

Wind farms are also included in Annex II of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive(3). For projects listed in Annex II, Member States are required to determine whether an environmental impact assessment is required. Criteria such as the characteristics of the project, its location and the characteristics of the potential impact are to be taken into account.

This means that an EIA is required if these projects are likely to have significant effects on the environment. The EIA must take into account different factors, such as fauna and flora, but also human beings, soil, landscape or cultural heritage.

Any developments likely to have a significant adverse effect on Natura 2000 sites must be subject to an appropriate environmental assessment under Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. The Commission has provided general interpretative and methodological guidance on the application of this provision.

For public wind energy plans the provisions of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive(4) are also applicable.

The Commission considers that this environmental legislation is sufficient to properly assess the possible impacts of wind farm projects on the natural and cultural environment.

The rigour and quality of these environmental impact assessments is a responsibility firstly of the developers and finally of the Member States' competent environmental authorities.

To help them and to improve implementation, the Commission is working on specific guidelines on wind energy and nature conservation.


(1)Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the protection of wild birds, OJ L 103 of 25.4.1979.
(2)Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the protection of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora, OJ L 206 of 22.7.1992.
(3)Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 175, 5.7.1985. As amended by Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 (OJ L 73, 14.3.1997) and Directive 2003/35/EC of 26 May 2003 (OJ L 156, 25.6.2003).
(4)Directive 2001/42/EC of 27 June 2001, on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment. OJ L 197, 21.7.2001.


Question no 33 by Marian Harkin(H-0260/09)
 Subject: Environmental legislation

Given that over the past 30 years the European Commission has adopted a substantial and diverse range of environmental measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment, and given that our environment can be protected if Member States properly implement what they have signed up to do at a European level, what steps will the Commission take to encourage Member States to continue to support agri-environment schemes such as the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) in Ireland which seeks to incentivise farmers to carry out their farming activities in an environmentally friendly manner and to bring about environmental improvement on existing farms? In this light, would the Commission agree that decisions to cease support for new entrants to REPS 4 in Ireland are contrary to EU environmental goals?


(EN) Sustainable land management is a core objective of the EU's rural development policy. At least 25% of the total contribution of the rural development funding shall be allocated to axes 2 and agri-environment support is a key measure in this respect. Therefore Ireland, like all Member States must continue to support environmentally friendly farming and environmental improvement during the programming period of 2007-2013.

Ireland has submitted a proposal in July 2009 which modifies its rural development programme. The Commission understands that although the REPS scheme will be closed, a new Agri-Environment Options Scheme will replace it. The Commission is currently analysing the proposed scheme to see if it respects both the Irish National Strategy Plan and EU priorities and will notify Ireland of our conclusions in the coming months.


Question no 34 by Mairead McGuinness(H-0265/09)
 Subject: Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland

Can the Commission outline the reasons why it believes Ireland should vote ‘yes’ in the forthcoming referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and also the implications of a second ‘no’ vote for Europe?


(EN) The EU has grown to 27 Member States and half a billion citizens, while its current institutional set-up was designed for a much smaller Union. The Commission considers that the Treaty of Lisbon would make the EU more democratic, efficient and transparent. It would enhance the powers of the Parliament and strengthen the role of the national parliaments. It would give a stronger voice to the citizens by allowing them to call on the Commission to bring forward new policy initiatives.

On policy issues, the Treaty would allow the Union for example to fight more effectively against cross border crime, illegal immigration and trafficking of women and children. The Treaty would also give the Union a clearer voice on the international stage, on issues such as climate change and the fight against global poverty.

If ratified, the Lisbon Treaty would enable every Member State to have a Commissioner, implementing the decision of the European Council as part of the wider package of legally binding guarantees designed to meet the concerns expressed in the 2008 Irish referendum.


Question no 35 by Frank Vanhecke(H-0266/09)
 Subject: Regularisation of illegal aliens in Belgium

Contrary to European agreements following on from regularisation procedures in other countries, the Belgian Government recently decided to launch a fresh large-scale regularisation procedure for illegal aliens on 15 September 2009.

This is, moreover, the second time in just a few years that Belgium has carried out 'one-off' regularisation on a large scale.

Was the Commission informed of Belgium's intentions in advance?

Does the Commission take the view that, in doing so, Belgium is violating European agreements, and can other Member States take measures to refuse access to their territory to persons regularised in Belgium?


(FR) Firstly, the Commission would point out that the issue of regularisations is not regulated by Community law and falls under the jurisdiction of the Member States. Consequently, residence permits may be granted to illegal persons at the Member States’ discretion within the scope of national legislation. A residence permit issued by a Schengen State is the equivalent of a visa and allows the holder to travel within the Schengen area. This also applies to residence permits issued in the case of regularisation.

However, the Pact on Immigration and Asylum contains the political undertaking by all Member States to ‘use only case-by-case regularisation, rather than generalised regularisation, under national law, for humanitarian or economic reasons’. According to the available information, it would seem that the Belgian regularisation procedure is in line with this approach.

Taking account of the fact that migration-related measures adopted at national level may have an impact beyond national borders, in 2006 the Council created the mutual information mechanism (MIM). This mechanism enables the sharing of information on national measures (such as regularisations) that are liable to have a significant impact on several Member States. It should be noted that the application in practice of the MIM remains disappointing, since the Member States make only very limited use of it. Thus, in future, the Commission will integrate the MIM into the annual process for monitoring implementation of the Pact on Immigration and Asylum.

The Commission monitors the issue of regularisations closely. In early 2009 it published an external study on regularisation practices within the Member States. This study will be useful for its future deliberations. The communication on the Stockholm Programme mentions, with reference to regularisations, the need to improve information sharing and the possibility of developing guidelines.


Question no 36 by Seán Kelly(H-0268/09)
 Subject: Rural Environmental Protection Scheme in Ireland

What amount of funding has been made available to Ireland under the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme? Has the Commission received any communication from the Irish Government regarding its plans for the implementation of the REPS 4 programme?


(EN) At the start of the 2007-2013 programming period Ireland chose to allocate €2 billion to the REPS scheme, almost half of its total programme budget. The EU co-financed this at a rate of 55%. On top of this, the Irish government also made an additional €414 million of national money available for the scheme.

On 15th July, Ireland notified the Commission of its decision to close the REPS scheme to new entrants citing budgetary constraints as the reason. At the same time, it indicated its intention to replace REPS with a new Agri-Environment Options Scheme. The Commission is currently analysing the changes proposed and will notify Ireland of its conclusions in the coming months.

It should be stressed that it is Member States who decide how to divide their budget for rural development programmes between the different measures. Ireland has chosen, and will continue to invest heavily in agri-environment irrespective of the closure of REPS.


Question no 37 by Nikolaos Chountis(H-0269/09)
 Subject: Establishment of a landfill site in the Grammatiko region of Attica

In its answer to a previous question (E-0544/09) on the establishment of landfill sites in the areas of Fili, Grammatiko and Keratea in Attica, the Commission stressed, inter alia, that 'compliance with specific conditions [such as the preprocessing of waste in accordance with Directive 1999/31/EC] … provided by the decisions and linked to the interim payments is neither considered to be satisfactory in the three cases.'

In view of the fact that the residents in the area of Grammatiko are strongly opposed to the establishment of the new landfill site in the area since it does not fulfil the conditions laid down by Directive 1999/31/EC(1) on the landfill of waste, will the Commission say what immediate steps it will take to stop the establishment of the landfill site at Grammatiko because the conditions laid down by Directive 1999/31/EC are not met?


(FR) Commission Decision C(2004)5509 granting Cohesion Fund assistance to the landfill site construction project at Grammatiko includes a series of specific payment-related conditions. These conditions derive mainly from Directive 1999/31/EC(2) on the treatment of waste and the construction and operation of landfills, and must be respected if the Commission is to make the payments. As the Commission has also indicated in its response to question E-0544/09(3) put by the honourable Member, it believes that compliance with these specific conditions is unsatisfactory at present. Therefore it will not be paying the expenses of the projects concerned. If this situation of non-compliance with the specific conditions were to continue, the Commission would reserve the right to suspend the payments pursuant to Article H(1) of Annex II to Council Regulation No 1164/94, as amended by Regulation No 1265/99(4). In any event, the Commission would assure the honourable Member that it will see to it that Community law, including the requirements pursuant to Directive 1999/31/EC, is respected at all times, no matter what the source of funding.


(1)OJ L 182, 16.7.1999, p. 1.
(2)Directive 1999/31/EC of the Council of 26 April 1999, OJ L 182 of 16.7.1999
(4)Council Regulation (EC) No 1265/1999 of 21 June 1999 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 establishing a Cohesion Fund, OJ L 161 of 26.6.1999


Question no 38 by Eleni Theocharous(H-0275/09)
 Subject: Colonisation of Cyprus

The Cuco and Laakso reports drawn up on behalf of the Council of Europe describe the colonisation of the occupied northern part of the island by Turkey as a war crime and a time bomb preventing any solution to the problem. According to the Turkish press, the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan intends to send another million settlers to Cyprus.

Does the European Union - and in particular does the Commission - support the idea that a population census should be held throughout Cyprus organised by the EU and/or the Council of Europe?

Does the European Union intend to take measures against Turkey if it continues to colonise the occupied northern part of Cyprus? If so, what measures?


(EN) The issue of Turkish citizens now resident in the northern part of Cyprus raised by the Honourable Member highlights the urgent need for a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem as this issue will be an essential part of the solution.

The Commission fully supports the efforts of the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to achieve such a comprehensive settlement under UN auspices.

Achieving a solution will require hard work and the Commission is confident that in the end the two communities, with the guidance of the UN(1) and the support of the EU, can succeed.

The Commission also expects Turkey to put all its weight behind a solution.

The Commission strongly believes that the coming period provides a window of opportunity that should not be missed.


(1)United Nations


Question no 39 by Proinsias De Rossa(H-0276/09)
 Subject: Transposition of Article 13 of race equality directive in Ireland

Further to its answer of 16 December 2008 to my question P-6503/08, could the Commission indicate whether it has initiated proceedings against the Irish authorities regarding the transposition in Ireland of Article 13 of the race equality directive (2000/43/EC(1)), or any other similar provisions of EC law, and outline the current status of these proceedings?


(EN) The Commission invites the Honourable Member to refer to its reply to priority question P-6503/08 on the same subject.

The Commission also recalls that the Race Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) does not require the Member States to provide for any particular rate of funding or organisational structure for equality bodies. In the absence of evidence suggesting that the budget available is not sufficient for the Equality Authority to carry out its duties, the Commission cannot intervene under the terms of the Directive.

Information on infringement procedures that have been initiated against the Irish authorities in respect of the Anti-discrimination Directives can be found in the Commission's press releases in the ‘Related Documents’ section of the website at .


(1)OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.


Question no 40 by Athanasios Pafilis(H-0288/09)
 Subject: Harsh and unpopular measures

The measures adopted by the EU and the Member State governments in the context of the anti-labour decisions taken at the informal EU employment summit of 7 May 2009 in Prague constitute a harsh attack on workers with the aim of safeguarding the profits made by monopolies.

The reports drawn up by the ESF, the IMF and the OECD represent the ideological pedestal for capital to introduce new 'structural changes' designed to bring about even harsher and more sweeping anti-labour measures, in particular: the generalised use of flexible forms of employment, an attack on collective agreements, drastic cuts in pay and pensions, an increase in the retirement age and a rise in tax for employees, pensioners and the self-employed, as well as the privatisation of health, welfare and education.

Will the Commission's guidelines for 'lasting structural reforms', which it is discussing and jointly deciding on with the New Democracy Government in Greece, include the harsh and unpopular measures described above?


(EN) The Commission does not consider that the measures adopted by the EU and Member State governments in response to the financial and economic crisis can, in any way, be described as a ‘harsh attack on workers with the aim of safeguarding the profits made by monopolies’. The overriding aim of those measures is to stem rising unemployment and to underpin eventual recovery, so that people throughout the EU can benefit from growth as soon as possible.

The EU Employment Summit held in Prague on 7 May took no decisions. The ten recommendations published should be considered a well-balanced set of policy priorities to create new jobs, maintain people in employment and promote active social inclusion. Furthermore, the social partners, and thus the trade unions, attended and participated actively in the Employment Summit.

The Commission has advocated more flexible labour markets, but has always stressed that these should be accompanied by more security for employment. The Commission has also advocated an increase in the retirement age to reflect the greater longevity of Europeans and the need to ensure that pension systems are socially sustainable. In order to ensure the long-term adequacy and sustainability of their pension systems, all Member States, including Greece, are faced with the challenge of raising the effective age at which people stop working and of securing employment for more people to work longer. In Greece’s case, this could involve increasing the pension eligibility age in public schemes.


Question no 41 by Tadeusz Zwiefka(H-0291/09)
 Subject: Outcome of 2nd EU-Egypt subcommittee meeting on 'Political Matters: Human Rights and Democracy - International and Regional Issues' on 7-8 July 2009 concerning 'Al-Manar TV'

The broadcasting of the outlawed terrorist channel 'Al-Manar TV' to Europe by the Egyptian satellite provider Nilesat continues to be in direct violation of the EU-Egypt Action Plan and constitutes a radicalisation threat to European security. In its reply to Question H-0011/09 the Commission has stated that the subcommittee on political matters with Egypt is the 'appropriate mechanism' for raising the broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' by Nilesat. Did the Commission raise the issue of Nilesat’s broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' with Egypt during the 2nd EU-Egypt subcommittee meeting on 'Political Matters: Human Rights and Democracy – International and Regional Issues' on 7-8 July 2009? Could the Commission outline what commitments Egypt gave in order to stop the broadcasting of 'Al-Manar TV' on Nilesat?


(EN) The Commission would like to thank the Honourable Member for his question regarding the recent EU-Egypt subcommittee on political matters and the Egyptian satellite provider NileSat, which broadcasts the TV station Al-Manar.

The Commission shares the concern of the Honourable Member that material broadcast by Al-Manar may amount to incitement to hatred.

Both Egypt and the EU are committed, as set down in our joint Action Plan established in 2007 in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, to “co-operate to combat all forms of discrimination, intolerance, racism and xenophobia, and in particular hate or defamatory discourse based on religion, beliefs, race, or origin….” The Commission is also committed to strengthening the role of media in combating these phenomena.

The second meeting of the EU-Egypt Subcommittee on Political Matters, held in Cairo in July, was a further step towards deepening political relations with Egypt and building confidence in the process of political dialogue.

During the meeting, the Commission did indeed raise the issue of Al-Manar TV transmission via NileSat. The Commission expressed concern over the channel's content, which contravenes EU legislation against hate speech and undermines the EU’s and Egypt’s efforts to promote peace and security in the region.

Egypt did not offer comments on this occasion or make any commitment to stop the broadcasting of Al-Manar TV via NileSat.

The Commission will continue to pay close attention to this issue and may raise it on another occasion under the EU’s regular political dialogue with Egypt.


Question no 42 by Ryszard Czarnecki(H-0293/09)
 Subject: Violation of EU law by sports clubs

Will the Commission react - and if so, how - to the violation of EU law on equal treatment of nationals of different Member States which occurred when the Danish government refused to allow Polish and Dutch nationals in possession of valid tickets to attend the Champions’ League qualifier between Brøndby Copenhagen and Legia Warsaw? This was discrimination. People carrying valid Belgian identity cards were also not allowed to watch the match. Similarly, the Belgian authorities of Club Brugge refused to allow Polish officials from the European Commission and the European Parliament to buy tickets for the match between Club Brugge and Lech Poznań last week (27 August 2009). This is yet another example of clear discrimination on the basis of country of origin. Does this mean that the rules laid down by certain sports clubs, in Denmark and Belgium, for example, prevail over EU law?


(EN) As regards the alleged entry ban imposed by the Danish authorities on Polish and Dutch nationals in possession of valid tickets for the Champions' League match between Brondby Copenhagen and Legia Warsawa, the Commission would welcome clarification as to whether the ban concerned the entry into the country or into the stadium as well as to if it was indeed imposed by the state authorities or the match organisers themselves. It would also be very useful to know the reasons invoked by the authorities or the match organisers when not allowing the persons concerned to attend the match.

In this context, it should be noted that it follows from the settled European Court of Justice case law(1) that Article 49 of the EC Treaty, guaranteeing the free provision of services throughout the EU, includes also the freedom for the recipients of services to go to another Member State in order to receive a service there, without being obstructed by restrictions unless these restrictions can be justified by overriding reasons of general interest such as security or public order and they are proportionate. This principle is also enshrined in Article 20 of the Services Directive 2006/123/EC(2) (to be transposed by Member States by 28 December 2009) according to which Member States shall ensure

i) that the services recipient is not made subject to discriminatory requirements based on his nationality or place of residence


ii) that the general conditions of access to a service, which are made available to the public at large by the provider, do not contain discriminatory provisions relating to the nationality or place of residence of the recipient, but without precluding the possibility of providing for differences in the conditions of access where those differences are directly justified by objective criteria.

With regard to the right of EU citizens to move and reside freely, Directive 2004/38/EC(3) entitles Member States to deny EU citizens entry to the territory only on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. The restrictive measures must comply with the principle of proportionality and must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the EU citizen concerned which must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.

From the above, therefore, it does not follow that an entry ban would necessarily constitute unlawful discrimination or an unjustified restriction under Community law. It is worth mentioning that according to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Regulations of the Champions' League, it is the home club who is responsible for order and security before, during and after the game.

As a result, to judge whether the alleged behaviour of the Danish authorities or the match organiser was in breach with Community law would require a more precise knowledge of the circumstances of the specific case.

As for the alleged denial by the Club Brugge to sell tickets to Polish nationals, officials of the EU Institutions, for the match between Club Brugge and Lech Poznan, the above reasoning with regard to non-discrimination and to unlawful restriction on free provision of services applies in a similar way. Again, more details would be needed to assess the compliance of the alleged behaviour with EC law.


(1)ECJ 186/87 Cowan v Trésor Publique, C- 45/93 Commission v Spain.
(2)Directive 2006/123/EC of Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market, OJ L 376, 27.12.2006.
(3)Directive 2004/38/EC of Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, OJ L 158, 30.4.2004.


Question no 43 by Antonio Cancian(H-0294/09)
 Subject: Violence against Christians in Pakistan

August saw an escalation in violence by Islamic fundamentalists against Christians in the Punjab (Pakistan). The local authorities are tolerant of the extremists, who invoke Section 295 of the Pakistani Criminal Code, known as the 'blasphemy law'. The international and Catholic communities have condemned 'the senseless attack on the Christian community', and hope that these harsh provisions will be repealed. How does the Commission intend to handle the cooperation agreement with Pakistan (2004/870/EC(1)), with a view to protecting the human rights of religious minorities in accordance with the democratic clause?


(EN) The Commission is aware of the Gojra incidents, and the violence against Christians there can only be described as appalling. It should like to mention at the outset, though, that it is not only Christians, but also other minorities, including Shias and Ahmadis, who are suffering from extremist violence in Pakistan.

The Commission has raised the issue of religious minorities repeatedly during Joint Commissions and as part of the Troika dialogue. It will continue to raise this matter with Pakistan at every opportunity as part of the human rights dialogue.

Pakistani officials are fully aware that atrocities as the ones seen in Gojra not only cause immense personal suffering but tarnish Pakistan’s image. The Commission understands that the government has taken action in response to the incidents, including compensation for any loss of property and the establishment of a commission of enquiry. It will follow the situation closely, in particular progress in bringing the culprits to justice.

The Commission has also repeatedly brought up the blasphemy laws with the Government of Pakistan as part of the human rights dialogue. The Commission understands that, in absolute terms, the majority of those accused under the laws belong to the Muslim faith. But it is conscious of the fact that the blasphemy laws have often been applied against religious minorities, and have been given to understand that false accusations have been used as a tool to settle private disputes or for personal gain.

The Gojra incidents have given rise to renewed calls in Pakistan’s civil society to reform or repeal the blasphemy laws. The Commission would welcome such initiatives and will pass this message to the Pakistan government.

Article 1 of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development refers to respect for human rights and democratic principles as an essential element of the Agreement. On the occasion of the 17 June 2009 Summit, both the EU and Pakistan stressed the importance of having an open and constructive dialogue in human rights forums. The Cooperation Agreement forms the basis for such a dialogue and the Commission believes the way forward is to continue to engage Pakistan on human rights issues.


(1)OJ L 378, 23.12.2004, p. 2/22


Question no 44 by Hans-Peter Martin(H-0296/09)
 Subject: Changes resulting from the Lisbon Treaty

In the event of the (belated) entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, will Commissioners currently in office receive higher pension entitlements or other additional pecuniary benefits?


(FR) The Treaty of Lisbon has not changed the pension scheme for commissioners, which is based on Regulation 422/67/EEC of 25 July 1967(1).

In accordance with this regulation, a commissioner shall acquire pension rights throughout his term of office. Therefore, if his term of office is extended, his rights shall increase until the actual end of the term.

Similarly, under the same regulation, the temporary allowance to which commissioners are entitled in the three years following the end of their term of office could be increased for certain commissioners who, due to the extension of their term of office, reach the duration required to be upgraded to another category of entitlements (Article 7(1) of the Regulation).


(1)Council Regulation No 422/67/EEC, No 5/67/Euratom of 25 July 1967 determining the emoluments of the President and members of the Commission, and of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice, OJ 187 of 8.8.1967.

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