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C 277 E/188

Official Journal of the European Communities



For herring products, both parties will grant each other three step tariff reductions: 30 % of the MFN tariff at the entry into force, an additional 30 % reduction one year later, and free trade two years after the entry into force of the measures.

The existing tariff quotas, already granted by the Community to Poland, shall remain valid. Imports into the Community above the quota quantities shall be subject to the agreed tariff reductions as outlined above.

(2002/C 277 E/209)


by María Sornosa Martínez (PSE)to the Commission

(8 May 2002)

Subject: Golf courses and the diversion of the River Ebro (Spanish National Hydrological Plan)

The environmental organisation Greenpeace has just published a report in which it states and argues that the water conveyed by the diversion of the River Ebro (included in the National Hydrological Plan) will be used to maintain the numerous golf courses planned in the arid areas which will receive the water. Environmentalists have counted as many as 66 new projects for tourism and sports facilities, together with the relevant hotel and residential complexes in eastern Spain. According to figures supplied by Greeenpeace there are plans to build 34 golf courses in the province of Murcia, 24 in Alicante, 5 in Valencia and 3 in Castellón. Furthermore, there are reports of land being reclassified in the area for the construction of holiday homes and golf courses.

In its reply to this Member’s question on golf courses and water management in the European Union (E-0811/01 ( 1 )) the Commission said that the measures referred to in Directive 2000/60/EC ( 2 ) included an analysis of the conditions in river basins and the pressures on the waters within the basins, taking into consideration the use of fertilisers and certain chemical substances (as in the case of golf courses).

Admittedly there are different deadlines for the application of the measures mentioned, but it is nonetheless true that as regards Community legislation the ‘non-deterioration principle’ (recognised in the EU Treaty) prevails, as well as the different case-law generated so far, which makes compliance with the principles laid down in directives compulsory as soon as they are adopted.

In view of the fact that the Commission is still considering a number of public complaints concerning the contradiction between the Spanish Hydrological Plan and the European Sustainable Development Strategy (including, in particular, failure to comply with the Community acquis as regards the environment) and that the planned golf courses constitute one of the symptoms of the Plan’s unsustainability, does the Commission not consider that the above-mentioned 66 projects in eastern Spain are in blatant contravention of the principles of the framework directive on water, as well as the ‘principle of non- deterioration’ incorporated in the Treaty?

Does the Commission not consider that its report on the public complaints submitted concerning the National Hydrological Plan should include an assessment of the specific issue of the water requirements of golf courses?

( 1 ) ( 2 )

OJ C 340 E, 4.12.2001, p. 99. OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(14 June 2002)

The Commission received a copy of the National Hydrological Plan law 10/2001, which in several places and in particular in Article 17 deals with the uses of the waters transferred. In this article, it is stated that the use of these waters will be to complete the existing water supply and to guarantee existing and future



Official Journal of the European Communities

C 277 E/189

drinking water supplies. The second purpose is to improve the state of aquifers. Finally, in the third paragraph, it is stated that water can be used for existing irrigation of crops (in accordance to what is established in every river basin management plan). It is also stated that it will not be possible to create new irrigation areas or to increase the existing ones.

The Commission considers positively the fact that one of the crucial issues is that specific criteria and conditions are foreseen for authorising use of transferred water. In particular, in what refers to irrigation use, the condition stated in the National Hydrological Plan law that water transferred cannot be used for new or increased irrigation and for water demands that are not considered as for drinking water supplying. It is the understanding of the Commission that the exclusion of creating new irrigated areas with transferred water, would exclude the possibility of using the water for creating new golf courses.

In the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the National Hydrological Plan (hereinafter SEA) finalised in January 2002, the Spanish Authorities present their analysis of the situation and the expectations for water resources in Spain, specifying environmental effects and shortage problems. It also identifies the main environmental consequences of water shortages and possible improvements if the proposed water transfer were to be put in place.

The document is over 150 pages long and extremely detailed. The Commission has completed its first technical review of the SEA. Consequently, the Commission has replied to the Spanish water Director with a series of observations, comments and questions.

Therefore, the Commission intends to continue its dialogue with the Spanish Authorities in order to ensure that the relevant pieces of Community legislation are fully complied with.

(2002/C 277 E/210)


by Giovanni Pittella (PSE)to the Commission

(8 May 2002)

Subject: Education of the children of migrant workers

Directive 77/486/EEC ( 1 ) on the education of the children of migrant workers is largely disregarded by the Member States (in Belgium it has never been transposed into national legislation, nor has it in Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Luxembourg, whereas in the other countries it has at least been incorporated in national law, but there are no obvious examples of its being implemented).

The directive obliges the Member States to ‘promote, in coordination with normal education, teaching of the mother tongue and culture of the country of origin’ for the families of workers from other Member States, in collaboration with the countries of origin.

The action programme recently submitted by the Commission designed to promote both the mobility of workers within the EU and the creation of truly European labour markets puts a new slant on the problems linked to migration between the Member States.

Additional teaching of the language and culture of the country of origin of the families of workers who move from one Member State to another, stressed as being appropriate in Directive 77/486/EEC, must be reinforced and enhanced, all the more so in the current situation.

Does the Commission intend to acknowledge the problems inherent in teaching the children of workers who move from one Member State to another and devote particular attention to this specific section of the population in its programmes concerning education and vocational training?

Does the Commission intend to revamp the content of Directive 77/486/EEC in the light of policies intended to reduce the obstacles to the mobility of workers within the EU?

( 1 )

OJ L 199, 6.8.1977, p. 32.