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C 117/22 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16. 4.

98

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission
(24 November 1997)

In view of the length of its answer, the Commission is sending it direct to the Honourable Member and to
Parliament’s Secretariat.

(98/C 117/28) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2524/97


by Panayotis Lambrias (PPE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Introduction of the institution of environmental inspectors

Following the amendment to Article 171 of the Treaty on European Union and the decision by the ECJ to begin
imposing penalties (OJ C 63, p. 2, 28.2.1997), we are on the threshold of a new era of more vigorous
implementation of Community law. Given that Community environmental law has developed particularly
rapidly over the last twenty years and attracts lively interest among EU citizens and with a view to encouraging
and supporting attempts by the Member States to implement the legislation in question and to avoid onerous
fines from the ECJ, will the Commission say whether it intends to introduce the institution of Community
environmental inspectors, using as a model the arrangements obtaining in other sectors of Community policy?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(15 September 1997)

The Commission is fully conscious of the major role inspection bodies can play in the area of the environment. It
sees it as extremely important that the competent authorities in the various Member States fulfil their inspection
functions in such a way as to ensure the effective protection of the environment. It would draw the Honourable
Member’s attention, in this context, to its Communication of 22 October 1996 on the implementation of
Community environmental law (1), in which it stated its intention to adopt recommendations defining,
specifically, guidelines for environmental inspections. In this way it hopes to help reduce the great disparity in
this area between the situations currently obtaining in the various Member States.

The Council, in its Resolution of 19 June 1997, confirms the approach advocated by the Commission and calls on
the latter to draw up, on the basis of the work accomplished in the context of Impel (2), minimum criteria for
inspection missions carried out by Member States. The Commission is also called on to look at possible ways of
enabling Member States to ensure uniform application and implementation of Community environmental law.

(1) COM(96) 500 final.


(2) European Union Network for Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law.

(98/C 117/29) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2531/97


by Gunilla Carlsson (PPE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Charges for the right to sell alcohol

Only Systembolaget, a state-owned company, currently has the right to sell alcohol to the general public in
Sweden. Private firms and importers may, however, obtain licences from the Alcohol Inspectorate to sell alcohol
to restaurants, or to Systembolaget.