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C 310/32

Official Journal of the European Communities

9. 10. 98

(98/C 310/37)


by Gianni Tamino (V) to the Commission

(28 January 1998)

Subject: Extension of the concession held by Autostrade Spa

On Friday 16 January the Italian Council of Ministers decided, despite opposition from the Minister for the Environment, to extend the validity of the relevant decree, making slight amendments to it and asking the Court of Auditors either to approve or to register its reservations concerning the extension of the concession, laid down in that decree, granted to the company Autostrade Spa until the year 2018 at present, by another twenty years, i.e. until 2038. Extension of the concession is linked to a number of projects, such as the re-routing of a mountain pass 32 kilometres long and the building of a third lane on the Bologna-Florence section of the Autostrada del Sole, and other projects, which by virtue of the decree can be carried out directly by Autostrade Spa, without the need to issue a Europe-wide call to tender. The Court of Auditors, as stated in the previous question on the subject, had rejected the idea of extending the concession, but the government decided to ignore this.

It emerges from interviews and statements in various newspapers that the Italian Minister for Public Works considers that it is unnecessary to send the relevant documents to Brussels, not least because, according to the Minister, Brussels has not requested specific documentation and moreover is not competent to deal with the matter.

Does the Commission consider that the decisions and general attitude of the Italian Government are compatible with European legislation in this field?

What in particular does the Commission think of the Italian Government’s refusal to inform it about these issues and the doubts regarding its competence in this sphere?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(30 March 1998)

On 1 December 1997 the Commission sent a formal request to the Italian authorities for information on the concession granted to Autostrade SpA.

They have not yet replied to the questions contained in that letter. However, the Commission is in contact with the Italian authorities.

At the moment, there is no reason to suppose that the Italian Government wishes to sidestep the obligation to cooperate incumbent upon it under Article 5 of the EC Treaty or that it is unwilling to provide all the information required for an analysis of the situation. Similarly, no reservations have been expressed as to the Commission’s competence.

(98/C 310/38)


by Freddy Blak (PSE) to the Commission

(2 February 1998)

Subject: Trade in Ukrainian women

1. The International Herald Tribune of 12 January 1998 reports that large numbers of women are being

exported from Ukraine and many other east European countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Many of

the women are illegally resident in EU Member States, where they are often kept in slave-like conditions and forced into prostitution. Is the Commission aware of this phenomenon?

2. Has the Commission done anything or does it intend to do anything to stamp out this modern form of the

slave trade? What for instance is being done to stamp out the organized crime responsible for the slave trade, and

is it possible to use some of the money the East European countries receive from the EU so that women have more possibility of creating a meaningful existence for themselves in their home countries?

3. Will the Commission do something to improve the situation of the women already illegally resident in

the EU?