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Official Journal of the European Union

C 58 E/115

(2004/C 58 E/132)


by María Sornosa Martínez (PSE) to the Commission

(12 June 2003)

Subject: Failure to comply with Community law in connection with the subcontracting of services to non- Community helicopter companies

The competent authorities in Spain are pursuing a policy of subcontracting non-Community to fight forest fires with helicopters not certified in the European Union. Specific mention might be made of the non- Community companies Heliseco Ltd, from Poland, and Skorpion Air, from Bulgaria, which have been subcontracted by the Spanish contract-holders Helicsa SA and Helisureste SA (following public calls for tender issued by the Spanish Environment Ministry).

Nevertheless, inspections carried out by the Spanish labour authority in 1999 and 2000 revealed irregularities in the treatment of workers in the firms subcontracted.

Does the Commission not believe that, on the basis of the facts set out above, Spain is clearly failing to comply with Council Directive 92/50/EEC ( 1 ) of 18 June 1992 relating to the coordination of procedures for the award of public service contracts, in view of the persistent violation of the provisions of Chapter II thereof?

Does the Commission believe that the practices described here and in previous questions comply with Directive 96/71/EC ( 2 ) on the transnational posting of workers, which provides that undertakings from third-countries must not be given more favourable treatment than those from the Member States themselves?

Could the Commission guarantee that practices of subcontracting services to helicopters not approved by the EU do not violate the provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 ( 3 ) on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation?

See Written Questions E-3487/00, E-3488/00 and E-3489/00 ( 4 ).

( 1 ) OJ L 209, 24.7.1992, p. 1. ( 2 ) OJ L 18, 21.1.1997, p. 1. ( 3 ) OJ L 373, 31.12.1991, p. 4. ( 4 ) OJ C 187 E, 3.7.2001, p. 9.

Joint answer to Written Questions E-1912/03, E-1913/03, E-1914/03, E-1915/03, E-1916/03 and E-1917/03 given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(9 September 2003)

For information on the general situation regarding the use of helicopters to fight forest fires in Spain, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to questions E-3487/00 to E-3489/00 ( 1 ).

To date, the Community has not yet adopted common rules applicable to the technical operation of helicopters. Consequently, Council Regulation (EC) No 3922/91 of 16 December 1991 on the harmon- isation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation ( 2 ) does not apply and it is up to each Member State to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of aircraft operations.

Regarding the purchase of helicopters for forest fire fighting in Italy, the Commission has begun infringement proceedings under ex-Article 226 of the EC Treaty against the Italian Republic with respect to an order of the President of the Council of Ministers, dated 24 July 2002, authorising the purchase by mutual agreement of the said helicopters outside the procedures provided for in Community public procurement legislation.