Written Questions

Tobacco Products Directive 92/41/EEC amending Directive 89/622/EEC

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:19 pm : Written Questions

In the EU, the placing on the market of tobacco products for oral use — with the exception of products to be smoked or chewed — is prohibited. The prohibition was introduced by Tobacco Products Directive 92/41/EEC amending Directive 89/622/EEC. Snus consumers living outside Sweden cannot order snus from Sweden any more. Far from preventing them from using, snus, consumers now order their product from the US. This ban has proved to be ineffective and dangerous for two reasons. Firstly the average length for the product to arrive within an EU Member State is approximately two weeks (basic shipping) whereas it is approximately three days when sent from Sweden. As a direct result of the long shipping time, micro‑organisms such as bacteria or mould, which are extremely dangerous to consumers, grow on the product.

Secondly, and especially in an economic downturn, this ban only serves to move production from an EU Member State to the US, which in turn generates lower revenue for Sweden.

In light of these facts, would not it be safer for consumers to allow Sweden to export snus within the European Union?

Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

The ban on the marketing in oral tobacco (snus) within the EU was introduced in 1992 in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market while at the same time maintaining a high level of health protection. At that stage, three Member States had already prohibited snus. The ban on oral tobacco was taken over by Article 8 of Directive 2001/37/EC according to which ‘Member States shall prohibit the placing on the market of tobacco for oral use, without prejudice to Article 151 of the Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden’(1)

According to the said Act of Accession y(2), this ban does not apply in Sweden, with the exception of the prohibition to place this product on the market in a form resembling a food product. This Act however provides that Sweden shall take all measures necessary to ensure that tobacco for oral use is not placed on the market in other Member States(3). The ban also applies to trading on the Internet, which is prohibited if the purchaser is resident in a Member State other than Sweden. The marketing of snus is consequently prohibited in Member States other than Sweden also when purchased from third countries.

The harmful effects of all smokeless tobacco were confirmed by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) in its report of 6 February 2008 (4). In the light of this, the Commission does not see reasons to change the legal status of snus in the EU.

(1) OJ L 194, 18.7.2001, p. 26.
(2) OJ L 1, 1.1.1995 (see Article 151 and Annex XV thereof).
(3) For more details, see: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0399:FIN:EN:HTML
(4) http://ec.europa.eu/health/archive/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_013.pdf

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Durban III Summit – EU involvement

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:18 pm : Written Questions

The Durban III summit will be held in New York. Could the Commission provide details of its involvement in arranging the event, and whether an EU delegation will be present?

Joint answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Written questions : E-005944/11 , E-005945/11 , E-005946/11

The European Union firmly rejects and condemns all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including on the basis of religion or belief. These phenomena are incompatible with the values upon which the EU is founded.

The EU is determined to address these problems through sustained action. To combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance within its own borders, the EU and its Member States have adopted and initiated various measures, including legislation, awareness-raising activities, data collection, and provision of financial support to civil society’s projects.

The EU also continues its cooperation with all relevant international actors worldwide, and considers that organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE make a significant contribution to the fight against racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The EU also mainstreams the fight against discrimination in its international cooperation strategies, and, through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, gives financial support to a wide range of civil society organisations in their work against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is the universal foundation for the efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the EU has repeatedly called on all states that have not yet ratified or fully implemented the Convention to do so.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa.

Concerning the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate this anniversary, to be held in September 2011 in New York, the EU has constructively and in good faith engaged in the negotiations for the modalities of the event. The negotiations on the modalities were concluded on 3 June and the modalities were formally adopted on 13 June 2011. The EU hope is that the meeting is successful in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and strengthening international resolve to combat racism and xenophobia, and that it is not hijacked by partisan agendas. The EU believes that it is important that voices of moderation are heard as we prepare the event; therefore the EU has promoted modalities of the High Level GA meeting that can provide for a sober and dignified event and be the basis for a broad participation.

No decision as to the eventual EU participation in the event has yet been taken.

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Durban III Summit – US and EU boycott

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:17 pm : Written Questions

The United States has announced it will not attend the Durban III summit in New York, citing the unfair demonisation of Israel as the reason, and the anti-Semitic, anti-American themes often present there. Given that the EU claims to oppose anti-Semitism and xenophobia, could the Commission comment on whether it will follow the Obama administration’s lead and boycott the event? If not, why not?

Joint answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Written questions : E-005944/11 , E-005945/11 , E-005946/11

The European Union firmly rejects and condemns all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including on the basis of religion or belief. These phenomena are incompatible with the values upon which the EU is founded.

The EU is determined to address these problems through sustained action. To combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance within its own borders, the EU and its Member States have adopted and initiated various measures, including legislation, awareness-raising activities, data collection, and provision of financial support to civil society’s projects.

The EU also continues its cooperation with all relevant international actors worldwide, and considers that organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE make a significant contribution to the fight against racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The EU also mainstreams the fight against discrimination in its international cooperation strategies, and, through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, gives financial support to a wide range of civil society organisations in their work against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is the universal foundation for the efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the EU has repeatedly called on all states that have not yet ratified or fully implemented the Convention to do so.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa.

Concerning the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate this anniversary, to be held in September 2011 in New York, the EU has constructively and in good faith engaged in the negotiations for the modalities of the event. The negotiations on the modalities were concluded on 3 June and the modalities were formally adopted on 13 June 2011. The EU hope is that the meeting is successful in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and strengthening international resolve to combat racism and xenophobia, and that it is not hijacked by partisan agendas. The EU believes that it is important that voices of moderation are heard as we prepare the event; therefore the EU has promoted modalities of the High Level GA meeting that can provide for a sober and dignified event and be the basis for a broad participation.

No decision as to the eventual EU participation in the event has yet been taken.

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Durban III Summit – EU funding

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:16 pm : Written Questions

The Durban III summit will be held in New York. Could the Commission provide details of whether or not it funded the event? If so, from which budget lines?

Joint answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Written questions : E-005944/11 , E-005945/11 , E-005946/11

The European Union firmly rejects and condemns all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including on the basis of religion or belief. These phenomena are incompatible with the values upon which the EU is founded.

The EU is determined to address these problems through sustained action. To combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance within its own borders, the EU and its Member States have adopted and initiated various measures, including legislation, awareness-raising activities, data collection, and provision of financial support to civil society’s projects.

The EU also continues its cooperation with all relevant international actors worldwide, and considers that organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE make a significant contribution to the fight against racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The EU also mainstreams the fight against discrimination in its international cooperation strategies, and, through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, gives financial support to a wide range of civil society organisations in their work against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is the universal foundation for the efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the EU has repeatedly called on all states that have not yet ratified or fully implemented the Convention to do so.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa.

Concerning the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate this anniversary, to be held in September 2011 in New York, the EU has constructively and in good faith engaged in the negotiations for the modalities of the event. The negotiations on the modalities were concluded on 3 June and the modalities were formally adopted on 13 June 2011. The EU hope is that the meeting is successful in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and strengthening international resolve to combat racism and xenophobia, and that it is not hijacked by partisan agendas. The EU believes that it is important that voices of moderation are heard as we prepare the event; therefore the EU has promoted modalities of the High Level GA meeting that can provide for a sober and dignified event and be the basis for a broad participation.

No decision as to the eventual EU participation in the event has yet been taken.

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VP/HR – Gaza’s Rafah crossing and smuggling of materials

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:15 pm : Written Questions

It has been reported in the press that the EU is one of the parties which has the right to monitor the Rafah crossing in Gaza to ensure that elicit materials, such as weapons, do not make it through to Hamas. In the event that elicit materials are found, what action would the EU take against the Hamas/Gaza authorities?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

According to the Agreement of Movement and Access (AMA) signed in 2005 between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the mandate of EU‑BAM consists in actively monitoring, verifying and evaluating the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s performance with regard to the implementation of the Agreed Principles for Rafah Crossing (APRC), acting with authority to ensure that the PA complies with all the applicable rules and regulations concerning the RCP and the terms of the Agreed Principles for Rafah Crossing (APRC). According to the mandate, EU‑BAM shall also contribute to Palestinian capacity building in all aspects of border control and customs operation.

The objectives of EU‑BAM are to contribute to confidence building between the parties, contribute to building institutional capacity in the PA to ensure effective border control and surveillance and to improve transnational cooperation on border management.

According to the AMA, in any case of doubt about the compliance with the applicable rules and regulation of the border guard or customs’ official, EU‑BAM shall require the re-examination and re-assessment of any passenger, luggage, vehicle or consignment of goods on which customs duty or other revenue collected at importation has already been assessed and collected. In case the EU‑BAM remains unsatisfied with the performance of the checks, it shall refer up the PA management chain.

It is to be noted that Article 7 of the Agreed Arrangement on the European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-Egypt border, states that EU‑BAM has no authority to enforce the laws of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and they will refrain from any action or activity incompatible with the nature of their duties.

However, it has to be underlined that since June 2006, the Rafah Crossing Point has been closed for normal operations and since June 2007, following political developments in the region, EU‑BAM has temporarily suspended operations.

So far none of the stakeholders has formally requested the EU to reactivate the mission. However, EU‑BAM has a rapid redeployment plan in case political and security conditions would allow.

The Foreign Affairs Council on 23 May 2011 reconfirmed its readiness to reactivate EU‑BAM, once political and security conditions allow. On 26 May 2011 the Council extended the mission’s mandate until 31 December 2011.

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Gaza’s Rafah crossing and fake ID issued by Egyptian institutions

Paul Nuttall : November 28, 2011 1:14 pm : Written Questions

It has been reported in the press that the EU is one of the parties which has the right to monitor the Rafah crossing in Gaza to ensure that elicit materials, such as weapons, do not make it through to Hamas. It has been reported in the press that Palestinians will be permitted to move back and forth between Egypt and Gaza provided they have documentary proof that they are studying at a university in Egypt (see the article ‘L’Egypte rouvre le terminal de Rafah’ in Le Soir of 28.5.2011 (Belgium)). However, there is a possibility that educational institutions, and ‘front’ educational institutions, will simply provide false ID papers in this regards to Gazans attempting to move back and forth for the purposes of terrorism. What action will the EU take with the Egyptian authorities to ensure that this system is not abused?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

According to the Agreement of Movement and Access (AMA) signed in 2005 between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the mandate of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EU‑BAM) consists in actively monitoring, verifying and evaluating the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s performance with regard to the implementation of the Agreed Principles for Rafah Crossing (APRC), acting with authority to ensure that the PA complies with all the applicable rules and regulations concerning the RCP and the terms of the Agreed Principles for Rafah Crossing (APRC). According to the mandate, EU‑BAM shall also contribute to Palestinian capacity building in all aspects of border control and customs operation.

The objectives of EU‑BAM are to contribute to confidence building between the parties, contribute to building institutional capacity in the PA to ensure effective border control and surveillance and to improve transnational cooperation on border management.

According to the AMA, in any case of doubt about the compliance with the applicable rules and regulation of the border guard or customs’ official, EU‑BAM shall require the re-examination and re-assessment of any passenger, luggage, vehicle or consignment of goods on which customs duty or other revenue collected at importation has already been assessed and collected. In case the EU‑BAM remains unsatisfied with the performance of the checks, it shall refer up the PA management chain.

It is to be noted that Article 7 of the Agreed Arrangement on the European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-Egypt border, states that EU‑BAM has no authority to enforce the laws of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and they will refrain from any action or activity incompatible with the nature of their duties.

However, it has to be underlined that since June 2006, the Rafah Crossing Point has been closed for normal operations and since June 2007, following political developments in the region, EU‑BAM has temporarily suspended operations.

So far none of the stakeholders has formally requested the EU to reactivate the mission. However, EU‑BAM has a rapid redeployment plan in case political and security conditions would allow.

The Foreign Affairs Council on 23 May 2011 reconfirmed its readiness to reactivate EU‑BAM, once political and security conditions allow. On 26 May 2011 the Council extended the mission’s mandate until 31 December 2011.

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Fish in British Waters

Paul Nuttall : April 14, 2011 3:34 pm : Written Questions

Subject: Fish in British Waters

What is the total weight of dead, edible, fish thrown back into British territorial waters per annum?

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Turkey & Libya

Paul Nuttall : April 14, 2011 3:33 pm : Written Questions

Subject: Turkey & Libya

The Extraordinary Council of the European Union on the 11th March 2011 condemned the situation in Libya ,and the final statement (EUCO7/11) said, “The use of force, especially with military means, against civilians is unacceptable and must stop immediately. The safety of the people must be ensured by all necessary means. The European Council expresses its deep concern about attacks against civilians, including from the air. In order to protect the civilian population, Member States will examine all necessary options”

The Organisation of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (Mazumder) in Turkey estimated that in 2008 there were 343 deaths in 315 incidents in which state forces were implicated. In light of the Commission’s robust approach to the situation in Libya , I ask the Commission:

Are there any plans to support those who are the victims of human rights abuses in Turkey as there are in Libya ?

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Social Media Cost

Paul Nuttall : April 14, 2011 3:32 pm : Written Questions

Subject: Social media training and the Commission

How many people are involved in Social media training provided by the European Commission, (Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc)? How many trainers, how many participants, how much has this cost?

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EU Funding of Oxfam UK

Paul Nuttall : April 14, 2011 10:01 am : Written Questions

Question for written answer E-001333/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Paul Nuttall (EFD)
Subject: EU funding for Oxfam

Could the Commission clarify whether it provided any funding to Oxfam (UK) in the period 2009-2010?

EN
E-001333/2011
Answer given by Lewandowski
on behalf of the Commission
(13.4.2011)

The Commission provided funding to Oxfam (United Kingdom) in the period 2009-2010.

Data on EU funding granted to organisations in a particular field, can be consulted in the Financial Transparency System (FTS).
FTS includes information on budgetary commitments relating to EU funds managed directly by the Commission and its executive agencies. It excludes the European Development Fund and staff related expenditures.

At this time, only data for 2007-2009 financial years is available in FTS.

Data for 2010 will be published at the end of the first semester 2011. The Commission is therefore sending directly to the Honourable Member a table containing information on commitments granted to Oxfam UK in 2010 .

As established by the Financial Regulation and its Implementing Rules, payments made on the basis of these commitments might be made over several years . The forthcoming payments will be based on a thorough assessment of supporting documents that Oxfam will send in agreement with the terms of either the contract or the grant agreement.

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