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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 297/79

Bearing in mind that the plant could adversely affect economic development in Albudeite, where the economy is based primarily on agriculture:

1. Is the Commission aware of the situation?

2. Does it not believe that the actions of the developers have infringed Directive 90/313/EEC on the freedom of access to information on the environment ( 1 )?

3. What steps will the Commission take in this particular instance to ensure proper compliance with Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment ( 2 )?

4. Does not the Commission consider itself obliged to insist that the consortium establish the necessary separation between the hurried decision on the plant site and the award of the corresponding POMAL subsidies by carrying out the appropriate environmental impact assessment and examining any proposals which other municipal councils might put forward?

5. Could the Commission request the authorities involved to supply more detailed information about the substance of the project, to enable the councils concerned to take such decisions as they might deem necessary to protect their legitimate interests?

( 1 ) ( 2 )

OJ L 158, 23.6.1990, p. 56. OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.

Answer give by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(7 January 1999)

1. The Commission is not aware of the facts set out by the Honorary Member. However, it confirms that

provision has been made for cofinancing the project concerned under the ‘Medio Ambiente Local’ (POMAL)

operational programme.

2. Article 3 of Council Directive 90/313/EEC of 7 June 1990 on the freedom of access to information on

the environment ( 1 ) provides that public authorities are required to make available information relating to the

environment to any natural or legal person at his request and without his having to prove an interest. Purely on the basis of the facts presented in the written question, the Commission is not in a position to ascertain whether the Spanish authorities received a request for access to information to which they responded inappropriately.

3. and 4.

Honourable Member.

The Commission has asked the Spanish authorities for information on the facts denounced by the

5. As indicated in paragraph 2 above, any natural or legal person may, under Directive 90/313/EEC,

request a public authority to be given access to information on the environment. The public authority must respond to the person requesting information as soon as possible and at the latest within two months.

( 1 )

OJ L 158, 23.6.1990.

(1999/C 297/105)


by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission

(1 December 1998)

Subject: Extra US government support to farmers

The Commission will undoubtedly be aware of the extra support the US government is giving to its farmers, the Farm Bill notwithstanding, in response to the extremely difficult circumstances to which they have been reduced by low prices on the world market.

1. Does the Commission consider that this extra support complies with World Trade Organisation rules?

C 297/80

Official Journal of the European Communities



2. What conclusions does the Commission draw from the granting of this extra support to farmers in the

US in relation to its own proposals on Common Agricultural Policy reform, or in relation to extra support to the pig-farming sector, having regard to the extremely precarious circumstances to which it has been reduced at the present time?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(29 January 1999)

1. Members of the World trade organization (WTO) have undertaken to reduce domestic support in

accordance with quantified commitments. However, subsidies complying with specific criteria laid down in the agreement on agriculture (so-called ‘green’ and ‘blue’ box measures) are not subject to this reduction commitment. The United States measures will need to be reported to the World trade organization which will enable them to be examined in the light of their nature and the United States total support reduction commitment but, at this stage, it appears unlikely that they will involve any breach of that commitment.

2. This United States measure is essentially a short term reaction to a specific situation and does not call

into question the Agenda 2000 proposals which have long term objectives. The Commission has taken measures to alleviate the problems in the pigmeat market.

(1999/C 297/106)

Subject: Mutagens


by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission

(1 December 1998)

Council Directive 67/548/EEC ( 1 ) on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances, divides mutagens into three categories.

In reaffirming that only categories 1 and 2 are important as regards the amendment, it is stated that category 1 covers only substances whose mutagenic effects on humans have been directly proven, and that it is accepted that in practice it is extremely difficult to prove such effects. The substances that fall into category 2 are therefore of considerable practical importance. These are substances which can be shown, by means of ‘appropriate research using animals’ and ‘other relevant information’, to cause hereditary genetic damage.

Can the Commission, as a precautionary measure, treat these types of mutagen as carcinogens for the purposes of the directive.

( 1 )

OJ L 196, 16.8.1967, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(25 February 1999)

In the context of the programme ‘Europe against cancer’ an action plan has been launched by Council Decisions 90/238/Euratom, ECSC, EEC ( 1 ) and 93/362/EEC ( 2 ) to focus attention on substances and prepara- tions considered to be carcinogens. Following the adoption of Directive 94/60/EC ( 3 ), 14th amendment to Directive 76/769/EEC on restrictions on the marketing and use of dangerous substances and preparations ( 4 ), the Commission is required to propose directives prohibiting the use by consumers of substances classified as carcinogens, mutagens or toxic to reproduction categories 1 or 2. The proposals from the Commission must take account of the risks and advantages of the substances as well as of the Community legislative provisions on risks analysis.

To date, the use by consumers of about 850 substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction category 1 or 2 has been prohibited.