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C 117/54 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16. 4.

98

Finally, the Honourable Member raises a problem that many insurance companies in the United Kingdom refuse
to issue green cards for left-hand drive cars. This implies that they refuse to conclude an insurance contract with
drivers owning cars of this type. Insurers assess risks in the light of information at their disposal, including the
probability of an event occurring and the seriousness of the risk. In this context, and in conformity with the
principle of contractual freedom, insurers may reject offers from clients who represent a very high risk. In fact,
cars not responding to British specifications could be considered a serious risk for British insurers. British
insurers are free to develop their commercial policy in that direction and to refuse to conclude an insurance
contract or levy additional charges on their clients owning left-hand drive cars.

(1) OJ L 129, 19.5.1990.

(98/C 117/66) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2724/97


by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Statements by the Commission President in relation to Spanish-British joint fishing ventures

At Parliament’s sitting of 26 June 1997 Mr Santer stated, in relation to the letter sent by the Commission
President to the British Prime Minister on the subject of Spanish-British joint fishing ventures, that Mrs Bonino,
the Commissioner responsible, and he himself had taken care to ensure that the Spanish authorities were always
kept informed of contacts with the British authorities (Verbatim report of proceedings, 26 June 1997, p. 31).

Can the Commission say on what dates, by what means and through whom the Commission has kept the Spanish
authorities informed of the contacts between the Commission and the British authorities on the subject of
investment from other Member States in the British fishing industry?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission


(6 October 1997)

The Commission can confirm that the Spanish authorities have been kept aware of developments in the matter to
which the Honourable Member refers, including its contacts with the United Kingdom authorities.

This information has been supplied by the means normally used for contacts between the Commission and the
Member States, principally the Office of the Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union.

(98/C 117/67) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2725/97


by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Municipal elections

1. Can the Commission confirm that it is possible for European citizens to stand as candidates at municipal
elections in the Netherlands even though they are not resident in that country?

2. Can it indicate the extent to which this tallies with Article 8b of the EC Treaty which lays down that: ‘Every
citizen of the Union residing in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to vote and to
stand as a candidate at municipal elections in the Member State in which he resides, under the same conditions as
nationals of that State’.
16. 4. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 117/55

3. Should the answer to Question 2 indicate that the absence of the residence requirement is not in accordance
with the Treaty establishing the European Community, what measures will the Commission take?

4. What is the Commission’s view of the liberal interpretation of Directive 94/80/EC (1).

(1) OJ L 368, 31.12.1994, p. 38.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(23 October 1997)

On the basis of the Dutch electoral law, it is in fact possible for anybody, whether or not they are resident in the
Netherlands, to stand as a candidate in municipal elections. However, if they are elected, they may only take
office if they reside in the municipality for which they sought office.

It should be noted that Directive 94/80/EEC of 19 December 1994 on the right to vote and stand as a candidate in
municipal elections for citizens of the Union resident in a Member State of which they are not nationals does not
provide for an harmonization of electoral law throughout the Community, but simply aims to abolish the
nationality requirement for the exercise of electoral rights. Moreover, Article 1 (2) specifically indicates that
‘... nothing in the directive shall affect each Member State’s provisions concerning the right to vote or to stand as
a candidate either of its nationals who reside outside its territory or of third country nationals who reside in that
State’.

(98/C 117/68) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2730/97


by Esko Seppänen (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(30 July 1997)

Subject: Net contributors to EU funding

The enlargement of the EU to the east and the Agenda 2000 programme involve a redistribution of financial
contributions to the EU among the various countries. In the past too, some Member States have been net
contributors and others net recipients.

How, in the Commission’s view, are the Member States now to be divided into net contributors and net
recipients?

How, for example, does the customs revenue which the Netherlands has reported to the EU affect its position in
these comparisons?

Is the Commission preparing a reform under which countries would be permitted to keep their customs revenue
and EU membership contributions would be levied solely on the basis of percentages of VAT and GDP?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission


(12 November 1997)

Enlargement will inevitably involve costs for the current 15 Member States, and Agenda 2000 has explicitly
recognized this. Agenda 2000 has made it clear that ‘enlargement will inevitably provoke a deterioration in the
budgetary positions of all the current Member States’ and it went further warning that this deterioration ‘cannot
come as a surprise and should not give rise to claims for compensation’. However, over the same period, the
maintenance of the current financing arrangements and the effects of the reform of the main Community policies
are not expected to lead to major changes in the relative budgetary positions of the Member States.