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6.2.2004

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 33 E/175

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2003)

As indicated in the answer to Written Question E-1801/02 by the Honourable Member, the road building projects are not, in principle, covered by Annexes I and II to Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985, as amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997, on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

In any event, it appears that the project has undergone environmental impact assessment. It should be noted, however, that Directive 85/337/EEC does not specify the criteria by which a project is to be selected from among the alternative solutions which have been examined, provided the chosen project has been properly assessed.

In the absence of more specific indications of an infringement of Community law, the Commission did not feel it was expedient to contact the Spanish authorities in this instance.

Nonetheless, if the Commission receives additional evidence that Directive 85/337/EEC has not been properly enforced, it will ensure that Community law is complied with.

(2004/C 33 E/177)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1829/03

by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(2 June 2003)

Subject: Letters to the Greek Government concerning the use of Community funds and the compliance with EU legislation

Can the Commission say how many letters have been sent to the Greek Government since 1994 and from whom (Commissioners, directors-general or heads of division) concerning the proper use of Community funds for environmental protection purposes and the transposition and proper implementation of Community environmental legislation?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(14 July 2003)

In accordance with the role assigned to it by Article 155 of the EC Treaty, the Commission maintains regular and abundant correspondence with the national authorities on the implementation and appropriate use of EU funds granted to projects contributing to environmental objectives and on the correct application of EU environmental legislation. The number of letters sent in each case depends on a number of factors.

For instance, the investigation of a complaint concerning the application of EU environmental law may comprise several stages involving the dispatch of many successive letters.

When the Commission considers that there is an infringement, it may initiate the procedure provided for by Article 226 of the EC Treaty which may lead to the matter being brought before the Court of Justice, preceded by the dispatch of a letter of formal notice and of a reasoned opinion.

However, it is materially and technically impossible to produce statistics showing the total number of letters which the Commission has sent to the Greek authorities since 1994. However, it is possible to produce general statistics on the number of complaints or infringements relating to transposition and application of EU environmental legislation in Greece.