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C 268 E/126

Official Journal of the European Union



(2003/C 268 E/125)


by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Commission

(11 March 2003)

Subject: ‘Prestige’: additional European compensation fund

On 21 November 2002, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the ‘Prestige’ disaster off the coast of Galicia. Paragraph 6 reads:

Calls for the Commission proposal establishing an additional European compensation fund of EUR 1 billion for oil pollution damage to be implemented immediately.

What is the Commission’s current view of this request from Parliament?

Does the Commission intend to adopt a fresh initiative in this connection, which would be more than justified in the wake of the ‘Prestige’ disaster?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(24 April 2003)

The Commission shares the concerns of the Honourable Member about the need to ensure that sufficient compensation is available for all victims of oil pollution incidents.

Therefore, the Commission proposed on 6 December 2000 to establish the COPE Fund, which would raise the overall maximum compensation to EUR 1 billion instead of the current international limit of around EUR 185 million. Such a measure would ensure that all victims who have a legitimate claim for compensation will be fully compensated in case of an oil spill in Union waters and would also serve to speed up the compensation of victims.

However, the Council decided not to proceed with the proposal, but instead to promote the establishment of a similar fund at international level. The Diplomatic Conference on the Supplementary Fund takes place on 12 to 16 May 2003. The Commission has repeatedly insisted, the International Supplementary Fund can only be accepted as an alternative to the COPE Fund if its overall limit is set at the same levels as proposed by the Commission and that it shall be fully operational by the end of 2003. Should this not be the case, rapid adoption of the Commission’s proposal for a COPE Fund, as amended following the support of the Parliament, is essential.

(2003/C 268 E/126)


by Theresa Villiers (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 March 2003)

Subject: Imposition of a right turn ban

The local council of Sutton, Surrey is trying to install a right turn ban at a junction on a major local road. By their own admission, Sutton Council say that this will have a minimal effect on accident prevention (less than one collision per year). In fact the introduction of the right turn ban is likely to have an adverse effect on accident prevention as up to 140 000 vehicles a year would be forced into residential streets, which are not suitable for such an influx of traffic.

Local residents are very much against the scheme and are looking for ways to prevent it going ahead.

Does the Commission believe that there is any provision under EU law to help local residents use litigation to stop this right turn ban?