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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 222 E/45

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2002)

The Commission can confirm that it received a complaint (no. 2000/4884) concerning the plan to build
the plant referred to in the Written Question and that it sent Portugal a reasoned opinion as provided for
in Article 226 of the EC Treaty, for failing to comply with the requirements of Article 4 of Council
Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (1).

The impact study found that numerous bird species were present in the area, notably steppe birds such as
Tetrax tetrax, Pterocles orientales, Grus grus, Otis tarda and Burhinus oedicnemus, included in Annex I to
Directive 79/409/EEC, and that the project would have an adverse effect on the conservation of these

Under Article 4(1) of Directive 79/409/EEC, ‘the species mentioned in Annex I shall be the subject of
special conservation measures concerning their habitat, in order to ensure their survival and reproduction
in their area of distribution’.

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979.

(2003/C 222 E/050) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3100/02

by Laura González Álvarez (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(28 October 2002)

Subject: Workplace accidents in Spain

The increase in the number of deaths resulting from accidents in the workplace in the last few months,
most of which occurred in the construction and services sector, is giving cause for concern in Spain. The
number of deaths from work-related accidents shot up by 9,96 % in the first half of this year, totalling
574, according to official data published in the Spanish press. Within the EU, one in five deaths caused by
a workplace accident in 2001 occurred in Spain.

Can the Commission state whether the Kingdom of Spain has correctly transposed all the Community
legislation concerning health and safety at work?

Can the Commission supply, in accordance with the Community measures adopted in order to improve
health and safety in the workplace in the EU, a comprehensive final report containing an evaluation of
Spain’s main activities in this matter?

The Framework Directive 89/391/EEC (1) on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in
the safety and health of workers at work enforces the principle of prevention. Article 6 (2) of this directive
stipulates that the employer shall avoid risks, evaluate the risks which cannot be avoided, combat the risks
at source, adapt the work to the individual, etc.

Can the Commission guarantee that Framework Directive 89/391/EEC, along with the specific directives
on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work,
is being applied correctly in Spain?

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1.

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(29 November 2002)

In its communication ‘Adapting to change in work and society: a new Community strategy on health and
safety at work 2002-2006’ (1), the Commission set itself the objective of achieving a steady reduction in
occupational accidents, including fatal accidents. The new strategy is based on consolidating a culture of
risk prevention, on combining a variety of political instruments  legislation, social dialogue, innovative
C 222 E/46 Official Journal of the European Union EN 18.9.2003

approaches and identifying best practice, corporate social responsibility, economic incentives  and on
building partnerships between all players in the field of health and safety.

Spain has notified the Commission of the measures to transpose the EU Directives on health and safety at
work. Having examined them, however, the Commission has launched infringement proceedings against
Spain with regard to some of the provisions contained in Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989
on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (2)
and Council Directive 89/655/EEC, as amended by Council Directive 95/63/CE of 5 December 1995,
concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at
work (3).

The Commission, with the assistance of the Advisory Committee for Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection
at Work, is currently drawing up its report on the practical application of the various ‘health and safety’
Directives, with a view to identifying any practical problems and improving certain of the provisions to
make them more readily comprehensible and more consistent, and to fill the gaps in the existing

When it comes to the application of measures designed to improve health and safety at work, it is the
responsibility of the Member States to ensure adequate control and monitoring of national provisions
transposing the Community Directives on the health and safety of workers at work.

(1) COM(2002) 118 final.

(2) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.
(3) OJ L 335, 30.12.1995.

(2003/C 222 E/051) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3136/02

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(28 October 2002)

Subject: Route for oversized loads

The French Government has decided to create a route for oversized loads between Bordeaux and Toulouse
to carry the parts for Airbus A380, and also to construct a special roadway for oversized loads. This route
makes an incomprehensible detour via Barbotan Les Thèrmes, although there is a direct route which is
7 km shorter.

Given that:

 Barbotan is a spa employing 1 700 people, which would suffer from the reduction in its activities that
the major disruption of the road would cause;

 the Barbotan site has already been suggested to the Commission as a site of Community interest and is
home to a number of notable species, one of which is a priority species under the Habitats directive;

 structural funds have been granted to promote the development of the spa and help preserve the

does the Commission not take the view that this route is being created in violation of Community
environmental law, more specifically Directives 79/409/EEC (1) and 92/43/EEC (2)? Can the Commission tell
me if structural funds and/or EIB loans have been allocated to the building of this route for oversized loads
between Bordeaux and Toulouse? If so, would this not be in contradiction with the funding for
environmental protection? What steps does the Commission intend to take to help modify this route in
order to comply with the environmental directives?

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1.

(2) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.