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C 81 E/94 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 13.3.


Various elements of Mr Fischer’s proposals contrast sharply with views expressed previously by the
Portuguese presidency concerning the drafting of the agenda for the forthcoming IGC and the debates on
this subject held in the Council and among the Member States. In particular they conflict with the views
expressed by the Portuguese Foreign Minister himself on behalf of the Portuguese presidency when he
spoke to the European Parliament in Strasbourg at the April part-session.

Can the Council therefore say whether the apparent and publicly expressed enthusiasm for Mr Fischer’s
proposals indicates a change of position  if so, it would be an absolutely radical one  on the part of the
Portuguese presidency and/or the Council as such, regarding the agenda, content and general drift of the
preparations for the forthcoming IGC?


(28 September 2000)

As the Honourable Member will appreciate, the Council can only take a position on specific matters where
it has expressed a view or taken a decision. It would be inappropriate for the Council as an institution to
comment on views expressed by any individual member.

The Honourable Member is will be aware, that the Council has no role in the work of the Conference of
the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, and is therefore unable to comment on
work being undertaken by the Conference. The European Parliament, on the other hand, has two observers
who are closely involved in the work of the Conference at the preparatory level.

Regarding the Presidency’s evaluation of the work of the IGC, the honourable member should refer to the
report produced under the Presidency’s responsibility for the Feira European Council which was made
public on 14 June.

(2001/C 81 E/113) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1793/00

by José Ribeiro e Castro (UEN) to the Commission

(8 June 2000)

Subject: Press freedom in Russia

On Thursday 11 May a private media group  Media Moss  was the target of a large-scale police
operation in Moscow involving an independent television channel and a number of newspapers and
magazines. A few days later, on 16 May, the Russian Ministry of Information issued ‘warnings’ to foreign
media, even threatening to suspend the activities of those ‘disseminating information hostile to Russian
interests’ (sic). This would appear to be a global campaign against the freedom of journalists.

Freedom of information and the press is a universal principle. Guaranteeing such freedoms is also a
fundamental element in the development of a relationship of mutual trust and peace among all countries
and peoples, based on fundamental principles of freedom, pluralism, democracy and the rule of law,
generally recognised in international conventions and declarations on human rights. Furthermore, the latest
threat issued by the Russian Government potentially and directly affects a number of journalists and media
from the European Union.

Democracy in Russia is of great importance and value for stability and security in Europe, as well as
corresponding to the interests and desires of the Russian people.
13.3.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 81 E/95

The signals being sent by Russia are extremely worrying and contrary to both the consolidation of
democracy in Russia and the stability of Europe in its broadest sense.

Can the Commission therefore say whether and to what extent it is monitoring the situation? What other
information does it have at its disposal concerning press freedom and democratic guarantees in Russia and
is this information reassuring or does it give further cause for concern? What steps has it taken or does it
intend to take to tackle this situation in the context of its bilateral relations with Russia?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2000)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written????? E-1778/00 by
Mr Ford (1).

(1) See p. 92.

(2001/C 81 E/114) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1800/00

by Marit Paulsen (ELDR) to the Commission

(31 May 2000)

Subject: Exports of live animals

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1254/1999 (1), which entered into force on 1 January 2000, stipulates that
‘the payment of the refund for exports of live animals shall be subject to compliance with the provisions
established in Community legislation concerning animal welfare and, in particular, the protection of
animals during transport’ (Article 33(9)).

According to Council Directive (EC) 91/628 (2) (amended by Council Directive 95/29 (3)), Member States
shall ensure that transporters do ‘not transport any animal, or cause any animal to be transported, in a way
which is likely to cause injury or undue suffering to that animal’, that animals shall not be tied by the
horns, or by nose rings and that, during transport, animals shall not be lifted by the head, horns, legs, tail
or fleece.

Despite the rules, European TV stations have once again exposed just such unlawful conduct where
animals are subjected to unimaginably cruel, appalling and totally disgraceful treatment. This cannot be
allowed to continue.

What does the Commission do to verify and enforce compliance with the animal welfare provisions of
Regulation 1254/99?

How many export refunds have been withdrawn on grounds of breaches of those provisions?

(1) OJ L 160, 26.6.1999, p. 21.

(2) OJ L 340, 11.12.1991, p. 17.
(3) OJ L 148, 30.6.1995, p. 52.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(14 July 2000)

Ill-treatment of animals during transport in breach of Council Directive 91/628/EEC of 19 November 1991
on the protection of animals during transport and amending Directives 90/425/EEC and 91/496/EEC can
occur both when animals are transported within the Community and when they are imported from or
exported outside it.