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13.3.2001

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Official Journal of the European Communities

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background as prostitutes, but at present there is increasing evidence that the Albanians are diversifying their recruitment, mainly from other Eastern European countries. In particular Moldavan women have become victims for their criminal purposes.

Recent reports confirm that Albanian prostitution networks are particularly active in Italy, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. They mention the use of extreme violence against the victims and links to other areas of organised crime.

Although the full extent of the problem is not known, since reliable and valid statistics are not available, the problem of (forced) prostitution and procurement give reason for serious concern and awareness within the Council.

In the process of enlargement, the Council and the 11 applicant countries at that time adopted the Pre- accession Pact on Organised Crime between the Member States of the European Union and the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Cyprus on 28 May 1998. The pact lists a number of practical measures for combating organised crime and other forms of serious crime, including trafficking in human beings and organised illegal immigration. The applicant countries’ abilities to fulfil the requirements of the acquis with regard to preventing and combating organised crime is subject to monitoring during the accession negotiations under Chapter 24: Cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs.

The Secretary-General/High Representative together with the Commission reported to the Lisbon European Council on the justice and home affairs situation in the Western Balkans and outlined the following Recommendation for action against organised crime: The problem of organised crime needs to be grasped in the context of the whole of South Eastern Europe. Any successful efforts to combat organised crime will need to benefit from extensive co-ordination with other anti-crime initiatives in the region, as well as in the broader European context. A strategy and action plan should be developed and closely related to the ‘Pre-Accession Pact on Organised Crime between the Member States of the European Union and the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Cyprus’ of 28 May 1998. This model could be transposed to South Eastern Europe in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Process and under the umbrella of the Stability Pact. It should aim at promoting an efficient police structure, capable of fighting organised crime, a suitably empowered justice system and the creation of appropriate legal bases for combating corruption.

The Council Secretariat is actively participating in the drafting of the ‘Stability Pact initiative on organised crime in South-eastern Europe’ and the development of a comprehensive training programme for the countries of the region in the field of police training in general and measures to combat crime combating in particular.

(2001/C 81 E/018)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1086/00

by Carmen Fraga Estévez (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(7 April 2000)

Subject: Study of needs as regards supplies of tuna loins Commission objectives

The Commission has released the study requested by the Council to establish needs as regards supplies of tuna loins to the Community market. The request for a study came in response to the Commission proposal to include a tariff suspension for that product for an indefinite period in the new regulation on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products. Confirming previous assertions by Parliament and several Member States, the study found that real needs as regards supplies of tuna loins did not exceed a figure ranging from 1 000 to 2 000 tonnes per annum; that a tariff suspension would benefit a section of the Italian canning industry alone; that, in any event, the benefit would be merely temporary, as the undertakings in question would need to undergo thorough restructur- ing to enhance their cost structures; that, moreover, an indefinite suspension would result in losses for the other parties involved (Spanish industry, the ACP countries and Latin American countries in trading partnerships with the EU); and that the exporter country, Thailand, which had the most to gain from

C 81 E/18

Official Journal of the European Communities

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13.3.2001

building up its canned tuna market, would lose out as well. In the light of these findings, and bearing in mind the aforementioned long-standing criticism by producer Member States and Parliament of the said tariff suspension arrangements as unnecessary, and of their application as highly damaging,

Can the Commission answer the following:

what was the real aim underlying the Commission’s eagerness to introduce the tariff suspension?

what was the Commission’s assessment of its damaging impact, in the light of the criticism thereof made by the sector, Parliament and producer Member States?

is the Commission aware that it could be accused of unlawfully colluding with a given undertaking to help the latter, to the detriment of the remainder of Community industry, the ACP countries and those states included in the GSP?

how can citizens trust the Commission when decisions are taken in an irresponsible fashion?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 2000)

The Commission regrets the inaccuracies contained in the Honourable Member’s written question and must stress that it did not make public the study to which the Honourable Member refers. The Commission sent the study only to the Council and to Parliament’s fisheries committee. The document indeed includes numerous data on private companies in Spain, France and Italy (e.g. market share,

turnover and shareholding), the publication of which could be detrimental to the firms’ competitiveness (see the Council and the Commission’s joint code of conduct on public access to documents, implemented

by Commission Decision 94/90/ECSC, EC, Euratom of 8 February 1994 ( 1 ), as amended by Decision 96/

567/EC, ECSC, Euratom ( 2 )).

It

is also incorrect to say that the study was requested in response to the Commission proposal to include,

in

the new Regulation on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products, a

tariff suspension for tuna loins. The study in fact stems from an undertaking which the Commission gave

at the Council’s request when it adopted Council Regulation (EC) No 745/1999 of 30 March 1999

opening and providing for the administration of autonomous Community tariff quotas for certain fishery products ( 3 ) for 1999, which set for the third year running a tariff quota for tuna loins.

The Commission would point out that, with its agreement, the Council did not opt for a tariff suspension when adopting the new common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products. Instead

a compromise solution (a multi-annual tariff quota of 4 000 tonnes) supported by all the tuna-

producing Member States was found, which protects the interests of all the parties involved.

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 )

OJ L 46, 18.2.1994. OJ L 247, 28.9.1996. OJ L 96, 10.4.1999.

(2001/C 81 E/019)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1096/00

by Joaquim Miranda (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(7 April 2000)

Subject: Environmental impact of the construction of a quay in the autonomous region of Madeira

A quay is currently under construction in the valley of Porto Novo (municipality of Santa Cruz,

Autonomous Region of Madeira), for which Community funding is being provided under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).