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C 309 E/206 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 12.12.


(2002/C 309 E/237) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2174/02

by Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(18 July 2002)

Subject: Agri-monetary compensation

Would the Commission please indicate the amounts of agri-monetary compensation claimed by each
Member State to assist arable farmers during the last round of claims made on 31 October 2001 and how
this compared to the actual maximum claim each Member State would have been permitted to make?

Answer given by Mr. Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(16 September 2002)

On the basis of the evolution of exchange rates applicable to the arable crops aids per hectare in 2001, the
application of the provisions of Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2799/98 of 15 December 1998,
establishing the agrimonetary arrangements for the euro (1) gave rise to authorising the United Kingdom to
pay compensatory aid to arable farmers. The maximum amount of the first tranche of the aid was in total
fixed at EUR 52,99 million by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1966/2001 of 8 October 2001 fixing the
maximum amount of compensatory aid resulting from the exchange rate for the pound sterling applicable
on 1 July 2001 (2). The United Kingdom has not claimed any payment on this respect within the deadline
provided for in Article 11 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2808/98 laying down detailed rules for the
application of the agrimonetary system for the euro in agriculture (1). In the case of Sweden and Denmark
the development in the exchange rates did not provide the basis for any compensatory aid.

(1) OJ L 349, 24.12.1998.

(2) OJ L 268, 9.10.2001.

(2002/C 309 E/238) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2175/02

by Armando Cossutta (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(18 July 2002)

Subject: Proposed cuts in aid for citrus fruits

The Commission is currently considering a proposal to replace the current financial aid for citrus fruits to
be delivered for processing with a flat-rate contribution of EUR 260 per hectare (as against the present
figure of EUR 4 524,16). The current contribution is calculated by multiplying the Community aid per
kilogram (EUR 0,13) by the average production per hectare (400 q), plus EUR 0,01 per kilo from the
processing industry to which the fruit is delivered. The system currently being considered by the
Commission would therefore cut producers’ annual gross revenue from EUR 4 524,16 per hectare to
EUR 260 per hectare!

Would the Commission not agree that a Community contribution of this size would result in orange
growing being abandoned in most of the Union’s production areas, particularly in those areas in which the
bulk of the oranges grown are intended for industrial processing?

Given that the cost of producing 400 q of oranges (average production per hectare) stands at more than
EUR 7 000 and the gross revenue would be EUR 260, on what basis is the Commission proposing that
such a huge cut be made?
12.12.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 309 E/207

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(12 August 2002)

The Commission is not considering changing the aid scheme for citrus fruits as described by the
Honourable Member in his written question.

In the coming months the Commission will launch an evaluation of all the instruments available to the
common organisation of the market in fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, starting with the aid
scheme for producers of certain citrus fruits. Without wishing to prejudge the outcome of this exercise,
which will be conducted by independent evaluators, it is no secret that one alternative to the present aid
scheme is to provide area aid per hectare. This option will be analysed as such, among others.

The only official proposal from a Member State to convert the existing aid scheme into an area scheme per
hectare was made by the Italian authorities in 1999 and again in 2002. This would indicate a consistent
willingness on their part to continue promoting this policy line.

Any accusation that the Commission wishes to change the current aid scheme for citrus fruits in the way
and to the extent described in the Honourable Member’s question is thus totally unfounded.

(2002/C 309 E/239) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2197/02

by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission

(19 July 2002)

Subject: Devices for blocking mobile phones

More and more people are being disturbed by mobile phones ringing at inappropriate moments. The
growth in mobile phone traffic is being accompanied by the availability of an increasing number of devices
which block all mobile phone traffic. Accordingly, a large number of cinemas, restaurants, hospitals and
schools want to install such blocking devices. In Belgium, such devices are currently prohibited by law, but
they are legal in France.

Does the Commission intend to draw up an EU directive which will address and regulate at European level
the issue of devices for blocking mobile phones?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(3 September 2002)

The use of devices preventing the reception and emission of GSM signals is currently forbidden in all
Member States. The national Parliament in France has passed a law paving the way towards allowing the
use of such equipment in performance halls, subject to the adoption of implementation measures by the
national regulatory authority.

The Commission is currently reviewing the situation as the use of such equipment allegedly raises a series
of questions relating in particular to the free movement of services, the protection against interference in
the frequencies allocated and assigned for GSM communications, and compatibility with the radio
equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment Directive (R & TTE) (1).

(1) Directive 1999/5/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and
telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity, OJ L 91, 7.4.1999.