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Subject: Combating the dumping of oil in the Mediterranean Sea. Subject: Follow-up questions concerning subsidies granted to Egypt 3. Subject: Question to the European Commission regarding the fulfilment of its obligation to report to Parliament and the Council. Subject: Exclusion of homeless people and discrimination against them by the EU.

Subject: EU funding of international gas pipeline construction projects. Subject: Problems encountered by Polish citizens working in the Netherlands. Subject: Implementation in Greece of legislation regarding the sale of food past its expiration date. Subject: Directive on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures.

Subject: Work and costs involved in administering the tobacco agreements. Subject: Animal welfare — exemption from cross-compliance rules. Subject: Financing of patents in the European Union. Subject: Contamination of the Japanese marine food chain. Subject: Planning of safety works and a new road system along the length of the River Entella and reclamation of an area of land along the river mouth. Subject: Parent 1 and Parent 2 on Italian school forms — Gender equality policies and Community policies.

It has also been noted that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Any legal entity regardless of its place of establishment and international organisations may participate in activities funded under Horizon However, like any other legal entity, Product Development Partnerships have to comply with the rules set for Horizon and the conditions laid down in the annual work programme.

The Commission will cooperate with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation mainly through open coordination approaches and by pooling resources for commonly agreed funding priorities or jointly-funded activities, in particular through the EDCTP2 programme. The Commission has already taken a number of concrete steps in order to assist the European wine sector in the context of the ongoing trade defence investigations carried out by China.

First, the Commission already actively intervened in the pre-initiation consultations with China as a result of which China narrowed down the number of alleged subsidy schemes targeted by the investigation. Furthermore, the Commission submitted formal comments to China in order to highlight the weaknesses identified in the application made by the Chinese wine industry which triggered the investigation concerned.

The Commission will continue in the future to assist those selected companies in answering the questionnaires they received from China. Even if the mere initiation of Trade Defence investigations may indeed have some negative effects on trade, it is impossible to precisely establish their impact. The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations are currently in their initial phases and no measures have been taken so far.

Oggetto: Accuse di violazione di norme da parte della Repubblica maltese. La Commissaria agli Affari interni avrebbe accusato Malta di violazione di norme per il divieto di attracco della nave Salamis. La commissaria ha sollevato la questione di una possibile violazione del diritto internazionale, tenendo conto della protezione dei migranti. The Commissioner for Home Affairs has apparently accused Malta of violating international law by preventing the tanker, Salamis from docking.

Which international laws were breached and have infringement proceedings been opened as a result? If not, why not? The Commissioner cautioned against a possible violation of international law, having in mind the protection of these migrants. According to the Treaty, the Commission may launch infringement proceedings in case of violation of Union law. The Treaty does not give the Commission the competence to launch infringement proceedings solely on the basis of international law.

According to the Russian Central Bank, during the banking crisis in Cyprus and after the decision to perform a haircut on deposits, there was a huge exodus of Russian deposits from banks in Cyprus to banks in other Member States or in tax havens belonging to Member States. Is it aware of these developments and how does it interpret these huge capital flows in such a short space of time? Does it take the view that they may be related to the crisis in the banking system in Cyprus and the decision to perform a haircut on deposits?

Can it confirm that all the capital transfers were legitimate and that there are no issues of money laundering or other illegal acts? Why is Russian capital, which the Union considered undesirable and harmful in Cyprus, so welcome in other Member States, without the Union reacting as it did in Cyprus?

Will it investigate this serious matter and behave even-handedly, or will it continue to apply double standards in its relations with the Member States? These measures form the basis for restoring the viability of the financial sector. The Commission is aware of the amounts of Russian outward foreign direct investment FDI in the first quarter of referred to in the question.

As long as investments are based on sound economic criteria, they are welcomed and can provide a win-win outcome for recipient countries and investors. The Commission is not aware of any illegality in the capital transfers and is confident that the Cypriot authorities would investigate any areas of suspicion. At a wider level, the Commission is working with Cyprus and the Troika partners to make any necessary improvement in the anti-money laundering regime in Cyprus.

One side effect of the Eurogroup's — in my view, completely misguided — decisions and the haircut on deposits imposed in Cyprus is the risk that the main systemic bank on the island may fall into the hands of foreign, non-European, especially Russian, interests. The New York Times has also published an article pointing out the risk that the Bank of Cyprus may finally end up in Russian hands. Was it aware of the above risk when the decisions were taken to perform a haircut on Cypriot deposits? Does it believe that the possible control of the main systemic bank in Cyprus by the so-called Russian oligarchs really represents a danger for the economy of Cyprus and the EU?

If the answer to question 2 is in the affirmative, can it identify what these risks are and explain why they were ignored when the relevant decisions were taken? In the light of this development, does the Council now realise that the decisions on Cyprus were mistaken and not sufficiently thought through and that they have had disastrous consequences, or does it still believe that they were the right decisions to take? That marked an important milestone for restoring confidence in the Cypriot financial sector.

In the light of this development, does the Commission now realise that the decisions on Cyprus were mistaken and not sufficiently thought through and that they have had disastrous consequences, or does it still believe that they were the right decisions to take? It is for the Cypriot authorities to decide on the organisation of the representation of shareholders in Bank of Cyprus and to strike the appropriate balance between shareholders rights and the potential governance issues, especially as a lot of depositors are now shareholders further to the restructuration.

It is widely accepted that there has been a big increase in poverty in many EU Member States due to the ongoing economic crisis. Has this survey been completed? If so, can it use the findings of this survey to provide comparative data on poverty in the Member States? Cyprus, a country which has traditionally had a high proportion of persons living below the poverty line, particularly among the elderly, is currently facing a dramatic increase in poverty levels.

What will it do to mitigate this phenomenon, which is making life extremely difficult for a large part of the population? When the rescue package was being put together to save the economy of Cyprus, was any account taken of the likely impact of the measures on the level of poverty in the country? If so, how can the Commission explain the fact that poverty levels in the country are continuing to soar? Do any examples exist of good practices in some Member States which could be applied in other Member States? The current project on poverty mapping is about tracking spatial distribution of at-risk-of-poverty at a more detailed level, i.

The maps will be finished by the end of Dissemination activities will start in However, the maps are not intended to compare data on poverty. An integrated strategy to fight poverty and social exclusion has been developed at both European and national level. The crisis and the large fiscal consolidation efforts have led to growing inequalities. Concerning poverty and especially poverty among the elderly, the memorandum of understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality. The new guaranteed minimum income scheme. Poverty and social exclusion statistics after are not yet available for Cyprus, but poverty levels are likely to be affected.

With respect to the welfare system, the programme puts emphasis on its crucial role as safety net, promoting its efficiency via streamlining, improved administrative capacity and better targeting. Examples of the social investment approach are explained in the relevant brochure.

In the past, this Fund has been used in some cases to address the consequences of major fires, inter alia. Given that forest fires are very common in the Mediterranean Member States of the Union, especially during the summer due to the drought and high temperatures, will the Commission say:.

What amount of funding is still available from the Fund for the remainder of , and will this be sufficient to deal with the situation? It is possible to use Fund resources to repair damage caused by fires, and for the reforestation of forestry land affected by fires? What measures will it take to ensure that there is an effective policy in place to tackle the phenomenon of catastrophic forest fires?

Can Cyprus, which has suffered a number of major fires this summer, apply for assistance from the Fund? If so, under what conditions and what amount can it seek? No application relating to forest fires or drought has been received during this year. The Commission may not activate the Solidarity Fund upon is own initiative.

The Fund can be activated if a major natural disaster occurs in a Member State or country in the process of negotiating its accession to the Union following an application by the country concerned. Very exceptionally, under specific conditions, the Fund can be mobilised for disasters with damage below the threshold. Aid from the Solidarity Fund may be used for public emergency operations such as the restoration of essential infrastructure. Reforestation is not eligible.

Amounts of aid are determined on the basis of the damage caused. The Commission stands ready to provide guidance.

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In the framework of shared management, it is the Member States and regions that decide how to use the EAFRD and the priority they give to forest fire prevention and restoration actions. In the Greek-language version of its answer to my written question No. If the inclusion of the term was an error, is the Commission prepared to apologise and rectify its error? What will it do to prevent in future serious errors of this kind that could undermine relations between the Union and a Member State?

The Commission services strive to ensure the quality of their texts, and errors such as that identified by the Honourable Member are very rare indeed. Nevertheless, the Commission is constantly intensifying its efforts to produce documents of the highest quality. These flights are not only illegal, they also pose a threat to air traffic in the region, since they violate Nicosia FIR and other rights of the Republic of Cyprus. Who will be responsible in the event that this unacceptable situation results in a plane crash in the region? That is because Japanese law stipulates that, in such cases, parental responsibility will be granted to only one of the parents, thereby denying the other parent visitation rights unless the custodial parent decides otherwise.

It would seem that in May the Japanese Parliament joined some one hundred other countries in ratifying the Hague Convention against Parental Child Abduction, though it will only come into force in The children went to live in Japan and the father was granted no visitation rights, as no such right is provided for in Japanese law and as European court decisions cannot be enforced on family matters in Japan. The EU-Japan negotiations on the new free trade agreement can and must address issues relating to human rights and international civil law.

This long-awaited development will strengthen the international legal framework aimed at protecting child's rights in cross-border disputes. The EU participated in some of the diplomatic demarches to encourage Japan to accede to the Convention as a follow-up of previous initiatives. However, the aim of the Convention is to ensure the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children through a system of cooperation among central authorities; it does not deal with the granting of visiting rights.

Therefore, notwithstanding the foreseeable positive effects of this accession, it will not remove all sources of difficulties for mixed marriages. Pursuant to Japanese family law, in divorce proceedings, only one parent will have parental authority and no visiting rights are granted to the other. Thus, it may indeed happen that the child is indefinitely separated by one of the parents as a result of a divorce. We would like to inform the Honourable Member that, however, even at EU level, no legislation covers the granting of custody and the exercise of visiting rights, which are still governed by national law of the Member States.

For the same reason and since this matter is not trade related, the Commission does not intend to address this issue in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Japan. Juli Art. Aus welchem Grund wurden die Stakeholder nicht von Beginn an in die Entwicklung der Methodik der Berater miteinbezogen? Es handelt sich nicht um eine lange Liste von Stoffen, die einer Neubewertung unterzogen werden. The Commission's advisers are once again proposing, in this context, a long list of substances for re-evaluation, although this was decisively rejected by Parliament when the directive was adopted.

What action does the European Commission intend to take in order to respect the outcome of the long and thorough discussion of the recast of the RoHS Directive and in particular to comply with the European Parliament's wish that a long list of substances should not be presented? How does the Commission intend to prevent unnecessary economic damage arising in the context of the RoHS Directive — for example as a result of drawing up a long list of substances? Has the Commission conducted an assessment amongst stakeholders, in the context of the RoHS Directive or other sections of the legislation, to show the economic impact of the substances listed for review?

Has the Commission or its advisers considered or included in their review the impact which the proposed approach of a long list will have on transatlantic trade? Why were stakeholders not brought in from the beginning in developing the methodology used by the advisers? Does the Commission insist on the same degree of transparency with its advisers as is expected from the Parliament and Council? The list referred to by the Honourable Member is an inventory of substances in electrical and electronic equipment EEE and only the starting point for the review process.

It does not constitute a long list of substances for re-evaluation. The Commission's work on the review of the scope of the directive is based on a three-step approach; producing an inventory, prioritising the substances through a pre-assessment and assessing only those substances that score high in the prioritisation. All Commission legislative proposals are subject to rigorous impact assessment before adoption and dispatch to the co-legislators.

The inventory of chemical substances in EEE is the first step in its process. The approach has been discussed in great detail with stakeholders, which have been involved in the project from the very beginning. The project handling is transparent and all project information is publicly available. How many officials and temporary staff were employed as translators in the service in , and ?

What was the cost of document translation by the Commission service in , , and ? The number of translators employed in the Commission's translation service was in , in , and in It also includes the cost of external translation services and external staff. Sverige och Tyskland, sedan The Commission has announced a review of all pending infringement proceedings concerning gambling law. Infringement proceedings against a number of Member States, including Sweden and Germany, have been open since Is the Commission currently reviewing all pending infringement proceedings, including those against Sweden and Germany?

If not, is the Commission planning to do so in , as announced by the Commissioner? The Commission is currently reviewing all pending infringement proceedings and complaints in the area of gambling services. The Commission is now finalising its assessment and will take necessary action in due time. V Armeniji na primer EU podpira t. The future economic competitiveness and prosperity of the Eastern Partnership countries depend crucially on their ability to utilise fully their labour resources, which would involve the increased participation of women in the labour market.

Entrepreneurship among women represents a valuable source of growth and job creation. It is therefore important that the Eastern Partnership countries invest in entrepreneurship among women, as well as facilitate access to finance and ensure greater availability of mentorship schemes, training and education. How is the Commission contributing to the creation of more favourable conditions for female entrepreneurs?

Has the Commission launched any specific programmes in Eastern Partnership countries which focus on increasing the number of women in the labour market? It also stressed the need for improved statistics to underpin corresponding decision making. The Commission also runs several projects aimed at improving gender equality and women's empowerment, including by improved access to business opportunities and skills. In Azerbaijan, training is offered to women entrepreneurs on small credit management. In Georgia, poor women farmers in the mountain region of Lentekhi receive support to improve the quality and marketing of traditional organic food and start their own small business.

In Ukraine, we work with the national Confederation of Employers and the Federation of Trade Unions to support mothers willing to go back to work after parental leave. Therefore, in view of its attributed competences, ESMA is the competent authority that can take supervisory action as appropriate. The Commission has to date not received specific information as regards potential violations of the CRA regulation. To date, the Commission is not aware of any such requests. Betrifft: Anzahl und Kosten von Expertengruppen der Kommission.

Wie viele aktive Expertengruppen gab es jeweils in den Jahren , , und ? In , , and , on average, what was the cost of setting up an expert group and what were the running costs? In , , and , what was the highest and lowest cost of setting up an expert group and what were the highest and lowest running costs? The Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities undergoes constant changes; every week groups are created, removed, modified, put on hold or reactivated.

The numbers of groups' meetings, as well as their running costs depend on different factors and vary greatly from one group to another and from one year to another. In light of the above, the Commission cannot undertake, for the purpose of answering a written question, the lengthy and costly research that would be required to provide the Honourable Member with the information requested on the number and average running costs of active groups in , , and Setting up an expert group is part of the Commission's administrative work and, as such, it does not entail additional costs.

The Commission is seeking the views of members of the public, companies, NGOs and public authorities on ways of reducing the environmental impact of buildings and making more efficient use of resources. They will have to take account of the ways in which buildings have an impact on the environment, for example through water consumption or the production of waste. The consultation seeks to gather views and additional information on the possible introduction of EU wide measures to achieve better environmental performance of buildings.

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This includes topics such as resource use and related environmental impacts all along the life-cycle of buildings. Further information may be found on the Commission's website:. Can the Commission confirm that it wishes to triple airspace capacity and halve air traffic management costs? Has the Commission analysed the socioeconomic implications, particularly with regard to job losses?

It comprises a cycle of three processes that define, develop and deploy innovative and harmonised ATM technologies and procedures. The implementation of the Master Plan will lead to the deployment of innovative and harmonised ATM technologies and procedures aiming at improving the performance of the European ATM system.

The Commission has announced measures to combat illegal waste shipments from EU Member States to developing countries in Africa and Asia. These measures reflect the outcome of a public consultation procedure during which stakeholders expressed broad support for stricter EU legislation, in particular on waste shipment inspections. What percentage of waste shipments from Member States to developing countries contravene international rules and what is the total volume in tonnes of waste involved?

Are these shipments being made in order to take advantage of the significantly lower costs of waste processing and disposal in developing countries as compared to the EU? How frequently will Member States carry out risk-based inspections, and will these inspections be backed by closer cooperation between competent authorities and better training of inspectors?

The Commission's impact assessment published with the proposal found that such cost differences are among the most important drivers for illegal waste shipments. The aim of the proposal is to increase risk-based inspection planning, backed up by specific provisions relating to cooperation between different authorities, training of inspectors and possibilities to require evidence from suspected illegal waste exporters. France, in particular, had voted against the authorisations. In line with procedure, the three proposals had thus been submitted to the Appeal Committee.

In addition, the Commission has consulted EFSA at different occasions on the relevance of new scientific arguments brought to its attention as regards these GMOs, and on new scientific publications. EFSA concluded that these do not bring any new scientific elements not having already been considered by the EFSA GMO panel, or that would invalidate the conclusions of its previous risk assessment. On parle de peering. The connectivity market allows operators to exchange traffic in order to maintain the quality of their service to Internet users.

This is known as peering. Internet players interconnect with each other through a combination of wholesale services to cover all possible Internet destinations. Internet connectivity allows market players e. This service is crucial for the functioning of the Internet and for end users' ability to access Internet content irrespective of the location of the provider and with the necessary quality of service. Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out unannounced inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

The European Court of Auditors has taken a fine toothcomb to road building and renovation projects carried out between and in selected countries in Europe with the aid of subventions from the European Union. The conclusions reached about use of EU funds are fairly alarming. The main positive point is that all these road projects have resulted in shorter driving times and enhanced road safety. But the same cannot be said of them all in financial terms. Moreover, traffic projections for most of the projects were far from accurate, which led to inappropriate choices being made on several occasions, such as opting for a motorway, which is much more expensive, instead of an express way.

However it should be noted that the biggest discrepancies were found in Germany, not in southern Europe or Poland. Only 7 of the 24 projects examined were completed at or near to their original cost: what is the explanation for these incomprehensible differences? How can such ridiculous projections be explained? How can pitfalls like this be avoided?

Complex projects may face cost and time overruns because the roads built have different characteristics. The Honourable Member is invited to consult the Court of Auditors for more details about the cost overruns. The Honourable Member is invited to address this question to the Court of Auditors, since the Court audited the specific projects. The Commission does not consider that the Court's report concludes that projections are ridiculous. Transport is a derived demand and has a strong link with the economic situation. External factors such as the fuel price may have an influence on transport choices and on the.

Seasonal peaks should also be evaluated. Thus, traffic flows should ideally be evaluated over the whole lifetime, and not only on the first few years of usage. Traffic forecasts take this longer perspective into consideration. La Commission approuve cette recommandation. The European Court of Auditors has made several recommendations to the Commission on how to improve monitoring in the future of how funds are used.

What does the Commission think of the suggestion that it should know why construction costs differ so much from one Member State to another?


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Next, it recommends making financial aid dependent upon the existence of clear goals, and that optimal technical solutions should be implemented, which is far from being the case at present. Will the Commission examine the possibility of creating a database at EU level of information on unit prices, to be used by engineers estimating the cost of new projects, in order to help beneficiaries reduce the price of their tenders?

The Commission agrees with this recommendation. It has already undertaken several unit cost studies in recent years and will continue to do so. Financial assistance is already dependent on the existence of clear goals and optimal technical solutions. Road projects as all other projects should have clear objectives accompanied by appropriate indicators, which is already the case for major projects. In the current period, this information is required as part of the description of major projects, as well as of the cost benefit analysis. Furthermore, the selection of cost effective technical solutions is part of the feasibility study for each major project, which should result in selecting the best solutions.

The Commission proposals for the European Structural and Investment Funds for the next period contain a comprehensive performance framework and conditionality which will help in ensuring that future road projects will contain clear objectives accompanied by indicators.

It notes however that the existence of such a database is not a sufficient element in itself to reduce tender prices. The cost of construction depends on various elements, such as road alignment, technical specifications and standards, procurement practices and project management modes. Les chiffres de vente sont catastrophiques. La fontaine est tarie. Un peu plus si on y tient compte des Kangoo utilitaires. Attention, les hybrides simples n'y sont pas. Short battery lives, high prices and a lack of charging points are combining to prevent the electric car market from taking off.

Sales figures are dire, demand has dried up and the cars are sitting idle in showrooms. In Belgium, barely more than a hundred cars were registered in the first six months of — according to the Belgian Automobile and Cycle Federation — a handful more if Kangoo vans are counted. That is just over a quarter of the number sold in the same period the previous year. What is more, that list includes not only purely electric cars, but also models with an ancillary power source, such as the Opel Ampera known as the Chevrolet Volt in the US or the Fisker Karma. It does not include hybrids, however, which are more successful.

That figure represents a mere 0. Only three countries are bucking this pitiful trend: France 0. The total volume of car sales remains broadly depressed by the sluggish economic activity. In the absence of major scrapping schemes, consumer confidence does not seem to rebound. This is expected to change as soon as the replacement demand surges. Moreover demand stimulation measures in different Member States should be regarded as key for shaping future purchasing preferences of consumers, hopefully leading to the market uptake of energy-efficient vehicles.

The Commission, however, is attached to the principle of technological neutrality. That being said, these initiatives can bring about the necessary technological solutions that can improve both the development of electric cells and the life of batteries and thus increase the appeal of the electrical fleet. Pour le moment ces pays envisagent de rappeler leurs ambassadeurs en Europe. The South American leaders have called on the United States to end its online espionage activities and threatened to raise the question at a future meeting of the UN Security Council.

They are currently envisaging the recall of their ambassadors from Europe. At the Mercosur Summit held in Montevideo, South American Heads of State announced their willingness to shelter the fugitive CIA analyst, arguing that the inalienable right of every State to grant asylum could be neither restricted nor curbed.

Mercosur is an economic and political entity composed of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela, while Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Ecuador are associate members. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the movement of goods, people and currency between its member countries. Mercosur leaders have condemned as repugnant and inadmissible efforts by the United States to obtain the extradition of Edward Snowden.

Following the incident involving the aircraft carrying the Bolivian President, its members decided to recall for consultation their ambassadors from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal and not allow them to return until such time as official apologies are forthcoming from Europe. What view do you take of the demand addressed to the United States by the South American authorities? What view do you take of the recall of a number of South American ambassadors from Europe to their countries of origin? Another meeting is to be scheduled in Washington in the coming weeks.

The Commission will report to the Council and the Parliament in October. The Commission sees no need to express views on demands of third countries in this context. Following the July Summit in Montevideo, Mercosur leaders agreed to temporarily recall their bilateral ambassadors to a number of European countries for consultation.

The Commission wishes to stress that it has longstanding, broad based and solid relations with all Latin American and Caribbean partners of the Union. Oggetto: Influenza aviaria nel Nordest Italia e fiere degli uccelli come veicolo potenziale di diffusione del virus. Possibili violazioni della normativa dell'Unione. One of the precautions taken by the authorities to avoid contagion was to prohibit the movement of live birds. Can the Commission say whether the holding of these markets is in accordance with Community rules regarding the prevention of bird flu and will it call on the Italian authorities to halt the circulation of birds in this manner, given the risks involved?

The directive foresees the establishment of a protection zone of a 3km radius and a surveillance zone of a 10km radius around each confirmed outbreak. In these zones fairs, markets, shows or other gatherings of poultry or other captive birds are prohibited. The EU rules do not oblige the Italian authorities to prohibit fairs, markets or other gatherings of poultry or other captive birds in the rest of the territory beyond the established protection and surveillance zones.

Oggetto: Interventi rapidi di Frontex in Italia. In Italia si assiste all'afflusso di numerosi sbarchi di clandestini provenienti dal Nord Africa. Tuttavia, la normativa vigente non le consente di imporre agli Stati membri quote vincolanti per l'ammissione dei migranti da accogliere. La Commissione ha intenzione di introdurre tali vincoli? The Commission has always sought to encourage solidarity and shared responsibility between Member States in dealing with the growing influx of migrants.

However, it is not, under current legislation, authorised to impose binding limits on the number of migrants who may be admitted into the Member States. Does the Commission intend to introduce such limits? In the meantime, how does it intend to implement the principles of burden sharing and solidarity between EU Member States in the absence of any regulatory provisions?

This is an increasingly important question. We associate ourselves with the views expressed previously by the representatives of many countries who have spoken earlier-with Austria, Senegal and Panama, for instance; with the Representative of Colombia on coffee; with the Representative of Mexico on commodity agreements; with the Representative of India on the important fact that the next round of trade negotiations in GATT be concerned exclusively with trade matters and not with servicing.

Finally, as this matter has been so ably referred to by the Representative of the Philippines, and others, I would just like to put on record that our view is that the expression of the Committee is an acceptable way of expressing the view of a large majority, or even of just a legal majority. We also agree with the views of the Representative of the Philippines that if consensus is a very desirable way of coming to a decision, on the other hand it is also desirable that we may have the chance when the occasion arises to express the view of a large majority as the view of the Committee, or as the view of some other body of opinion.

We also wish to thank Mr Musharraf for his excellent presentation of the report bearing on the fifty-fifth session of the Committee on Commodity Problems. It is, indeed, disconcerting to observe the continuing declining trend in world trade in agricultural commodities. The terms of trade generally militate against the efforts of the developing countries to improve their worsening situation.

Against the backdrop of the worst recession to have occurred in fifty years, the economic conditions of developing countries have deteriorated. High interest rates, intractible debt burdens and reduced export earnings have adversely affected their ability to improve their overall economic conditions and to raise their level of nutrition and food security.

The sharp decline in export prices of most agricultural products impedes all the initiatives of the developing countries to raise food and agricultural production. There is a crying need to arrest this trend and to introduce some order and stability in the international commodity market. The other matter of great concern to all of us present here is the rising trend of protectionism. This was graphically depicted by the Director-General in his celebrated statement on the occasion of the fifty-fifth session of the Committee on Commodity Problems, and his message that declining prices of agricultural commodities and mounting protectionism had brought the world to the brink of a trade war will reverberate around the world.

This situation is no doubt critical, and we are grateful to this Committee which has underlined the dangers of the rising tide of protectionism of agricultural commodities and agricultural products. Of serious concern to my country is the low price of raw cotton, and also the restraints on imports of textiles and clothing from developing countries. We also welcome the deliberations of the Committee on the broad issue of linkages between food security and international trade.

We take note of the demands for liberalization of trade, including trade in agricultural commodities and agricultural products. We hope that the negotiations in the GATT Committee on Trade and Agriculture will find a satisfactory solution to this most urgent problem, of great concern to most of the developing countries. My delegation wholeheartedly endorses the conclusions and recommendations and future commodity programme contained in this report. Es evidente que el Informe es inquietante; no es ni puede ser optimista.

We support the recommendations delivered by this Committee. We strongly share the views expressed by the delegate of Cuba, particularly regarding the International Economic Order. We believe that through this new Economic Order the problems mentioned in this report will be solved effectively and social economic justice will be restored in the developing countries and the food insecurity problem will finally be resolved. Many resolutions have been made in this regard, but now is the time that practical action should be taken. Finally, the delegation of Afghanistan supports all the recommendations in this regard but particularly asks for the new Economic Order.

That is why we could not yet examine the document to the necessary extent. Despite that I would like to underline our reservation, in particular concerning Part IV, precisely paragraphs 37 to 50 , as we are informed by the footnote with regard to paragraph 50 on page 11, no consensus was found on both paragraphs 49 and In our view, Part IV, paragraphs 37 to 50 , should give a more balanced view on the problem of agricultural protectionism as it was underlined by the observer of the EEC in the Committee.

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We find that in paragraph 30 on page 7. My country pursues a very liberal trade policy. During the last five years our imports from developing countries increased by about one third. Our foreign trade balance traditionally shows a large deficit in favour of the developing countries. In this plenary meeting I would like, with your permission, to cite a very interesting aspect which was raised by Pakistan in the discussion of the First Committee of the General Assembly on the procedure of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which was adopted for our decision-making, and I cite: "Consensus is based on the idea of reconciliation of opposing views with the objective of producing an outcome that has the general support of all".

I think we should keep that in mind. I would also like to underline strongly the observations made by a number of earlier delegations about the patient and extremely capable way in which Mr Musharraf guided the deliberations of the Committee on Commodity Problems. He had a most difficult job on his hands and I think he conducted himself with great honour, and I might say not always with the support that most of us from the floor should have given him at various times.

When the discussions began on 21 October in the CCP it was our impression and to our disappointment that there seemed to be some lethargy in the Committee and some lack of positive feelings as to its worth, but I was soon disabused of this feeling of lethargy as the days moved on, and indeed I think we moved on to have a most vigorous, useful and spirited discussion over the three or four days.

I certainly support the comments made by Cuba that the discussion was held in excellent spirit, was useful and frank and while there were divergencies of views these were expressed most articulately and in good spirit. As speakers have indicated, the focus during the week fell very heavily on the issue of protectionism.

It did not seem to matter whether we were discussing item II, the world commodity situation, item III, which covered trade and world food security or trade in dairy products, whether we were discussing the intergovernmental groups themselves and the different commodities, whether we were talking about item VII, developments in GATT, or indeed whether we were focussing on item IV, which dealt specifically with protectionism, on all those items delegates expressed their concerns and views about the role of domestic policies in the agriculture and by extension the export subsidies, the levels of protectionism which impacted on trade.

We were one of those countries who joined in this expression of concern and as a country that is very heavily dependent in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector we can vouchsafe that we have first-hand experience of the impact of protectionism on export subsidies and on misguided domestic policies of other countries which seriously harm our interests.

We can only appreciate that those same impacts are felt even more severely by those developing countries which depend so heavily on primary exports for their livelihood. In the Committee we expressed the view that all countries have domestic policies which could be characterised as distorting trade and agriculture and agricultural products. It is of course a longstanding and somewhat futile argument to indicate who is the greatest sinner in this respect and who the least. But we underlined the importance we felt of looking at such policies from the point of view of their impact on the international trading environment.

There are through political necessity domestic policies which some countries manage internally, manage them to such an extent that they do not externalize their problems on the global markets and thus beggar their neighbours and create havoc for those who depend so heavily on those markets for their export earnings.

In this respect, we underlined in one or two cases where the Secretariat might pursue the avenue of dealing in trade impact of these policies as opposed to the policies themselves. We also pointed to the view that trade liberalization is a positive development, one that should be viewed by all countries with equal interest, and we could not help but feel that at some times during the debate there seemed to be differentiation between those countries who it was felt could afford trade liberalization and those who could not.

While we sympathize in the short term, the greater interest in the developing world, the greater need of the developing world for market access, certainly in the longer term there must be an equal commitment to freer trade and trade liberalizing actions in the agricultural commodities sphere. We do not wish to engage in a discussion of protests at this time except to say that we share the concerns as to the processes of decision making insofar as it involves consensus and would surely like to participate in whatever forum is gathered to discuss this particular issue.

Finally, we support this report. We do not agree with everything that is in it and that is only logical. We support it and think it is a good one. We would only wish, perhaps, to refer to paragraph 84 which mentions the crisis in multilateralism and we at times share the view that there are crises in multilateralism but we do not feel that it is because of the negative attitudes of groups of countries and would question the use of the suggestion that certain developed countries are negative to multilateral cooperation, and hope it is not a perception that when countries disagree on particular issues those in the minority are deemed to be negative.

There are obviously many ways to pursue different thrusts and indicated actions to address perceived problems and where there is disagreement it is not to say those, as some people are negative while others are positive.

Savoir bien s'exprimer nous ouvre-t-il des portes ?

James E. ROSS United States of America : The United States shares the concerns of other exporting countries regarding the need to push ahead with efforts to negotiate better trading rules, and the removal of access barriers and export subsidies is a key element for improving agricultural trade, development and food security. While the United States is sensitive to the problems of commodity exporting countries, it is sceptical of the benefits provided by price-affecting international commodity agreements.

The United States believes that international trade will be most beneficial if it is conducted through free markets. We note that only four price-affecting commodity agreements have been negotiated and continue to operate. We must examine a very important question - what system has produced the wealth that enables people and nations to buy these products. No country or group of countries can impose an order on others. Countries must be willing to take steps to improve their own well-being and to work together to improve world food security.

The United States has been a major proponent of liberalized trade in agriculture. The facts support the United States' commitment to liberalized trade. This trade was possible because of a legislation, such as the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the General System of Preferences, which includes 2 items and permits liberalized importation in the United States. We are committed to a meaningful progress on agriculture in the forthcoming round of the multilateral trade negotiations.


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  • Finally, Mr. Chairman, the United States delegation supports the comments made by others that the views of minorities should be taken into account and reflected fully in all FAO reports. It is important to draw a distinction between the report of the meeting and the committee's decision-making. While the subject of consensus is a complex one, about which there will continue to be disagreement, there should be no question about the right of any government to have its views, as expressed, recorded in the reports of FAO bodies.

    Is there any other Member of the Council who wishes a second opportunity to speak? CLAVE Philippines : I briefly take the floor because of an apprehension that my reference to the decision-making process of this Council might perhaps not have been properly understood. When I raised this question of the problem of consensus it was never my intention to preclude the Voices, or the hearing of the voice, of the minority. In fact, I think that the minority in this-Council has been given every opportunity to ventilate its views. The issue which I raised - and I did not provide a question, Mr.

    Chairman - is: should the voice of the minority become the voice of the committee or of the Council? Should the voice of the minority prevail over the voice of a great majority of the Members of the Council? We shall strive to arrive at decisions via consensus - but consensus in my view is not unanimity. However, if that is the view of my colleagues, then the question I raise is: what happens if we do not reach that unanimity? In the light of the existence of a large majority view, will not the large majority view prevail?

    I have listened to my distinguished colleagues from Spain and Canada whose views I greatly respect; and the delegate of Canada in particular raised the question of discussing this in the proper forum. I have been wondering where the proper forum is - but my initial view is that this Council will be called upon after its deliberations to make decisions.

    I think it is appropriate - although this is only my view - that we should make the decision at some point during our deliberations as to whether or not consensus should be the only decision-making procedure for this Council, or whether, after attempts to arrive at a decision through consensus have failed, we should fall back upon the formally accepted decision-making procedure which is that of voting.

    If I were to make a proposal, I would propose this falling back, not because this is what is more pleasant to me, but because our Rules of Procedure have adopted precisely the voting system as the system of making decisions. I just express the alarm that consensus may become a procedure to override the views of the majority, and I must thank, in conclusion Mr Chairman, the views of my other colleagues who in one way or another have supported my concern for our decision-making procedures.

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    I do not know that I can agree with some of them or any of them, but the quality of patience was perhaps apt and correct. But I must add that the whole Committee had patience, not just the Chairman. We all sat until midnight. One can in the end say that in the Committee on Commodities there was no shortage of the commodity of patience, friendliness and good humour.

    In our deliberations we considered and discussed a range of commodity problems and problem commodities. I can repeat that our labour which, as Marx taught us is also a commodity, was also well spent. We also think that our time, which is another precious commodity, was also well spent.

    The debate today has reflected more or less the discussions we had and the issues that were raised in the Committee. Various paragraphs in the report have been expressed by various delegates and various measures, such as the Common Fund etc. As in the Committee, a dismal picture has been painted once again that we are on the brink of the trade war stated by the Director-General in his introduction, or that as some would like to emphasize, we are in the midst of a trade war and so on.

    The report has been called, perhaps rightly so, as a varying report. This is not the stage for me Mr. Chairman to go into repeating or reporting the discussion again. In any case I am not the Chairman of this Session. My function today was only to report what had happened in the Committee and to present the report of the Committee which I have already done. But I would nevertheless comment on one or two points raised by several speakers relevant to the report as it stands, and the way committees in general prepare their reports and the tasks of the Chairman as I see it.

    As regards the report as it stands, some specific statements were made by several delegates. One stated that paragraph 3 of the report "should add or reflect some portion of the Director-General's statement in paragraphs 14 and 4". Personally I could live with that but I think we have to see whether what has been a tradition in reporting such matters will be reproduced in paragraph 3 or the gist of the Director-General's statements in these reports.

    I would personally have no objection to that. Regarding the way committees prepare their reports and reflect viewpoints and consensuses and the role of the Chairman in this respect, points which have been raised by several delegates, it was suggested by a delegate and by others that the Chairman should have a summary of conclusions at the end so that committees' consensus view can be reflected and not treated like the vast majority, and some said this and that.

    On this I would say 1 as far as our proceedings in the Committee on Commodity Problems are concerned if those who participated in it, and I am afraid that some delegates were not there, invariably Mr. Chairman I used to have the practice of summing up each and every item at the end in quite some detail, so that was done. But that I found myself did not offer the solution to the problem that has been raised just now because it is not a simple issue. In spite of the fact that a detailed summary or summing up can be done by the Chairman involved, and was done in this case, the issue remains highly thorny and very complex because sometimes the sense of the house can be sensed by the Chairman, which is his function, and can be meaningful, but sometimes the consensus would be empty and platitudinous.

    The Chairman's task then sometimes can be to point out not the consensus but dissensus rather than the consensus, and the expression of various viewpoints, sometimes irreconcilable viewpoints. It is therefore the drafting committee and the Plenary at the adoption stage to give expression to the various viewpoints and decide whether to include in the report an empty sounding and platitudinous consensus, or some more meaningful statement of dissensus which statement such as "the majority said this, the vast majority said this, but some said this, " and a reflection of minority views.

    This in my view is therefore a continuing issue and not a separate issue. The students in my class represented nine different countries, making conversations, in French, on cultural stereotypes and challenges exciting. CILFA offered regular activities outside of the classroom with the aim of helping students engage in the community and with each other, all of which were well planned and great fun. The coursework is challenging expect lots of homework , practical and fun with an emphasis on grammar and la vie quotidienne.

    I lived with a wonderful host family and immersed myself completely in the language and culture. Y finalmente la ciudad de Annecy y su entorno son muy bonitos. Le personnel est aimable, professionnel et sympathique. All of the staff are incredible; very professional, helpful, passionate and enthusiastic. They cater to all levels of French language learners from beginners to advanced and all of the courses are intensive. The class was varied, interesting and the course books provided were very good.

    Merci pour tout. Je reviendrai. I went to visit the center and had the opportunity to see it and got to meet the staff members and students. They were all very warm and informative. I was first enrolled for 6 weeks. I loved the fact that I was in a small class size where I felt that it was customized to my needs. The teachers and their teaching methods were exceptional and always dynamic.

    I realized that I had improved my French tremendously so I decided to re-enroll for the summer term. Fui a visitar la escuela y tuve la oportunidad de ver el centro y pude conocer al personal y a los estudiantes. Todos fueron muy amables e informativos. I chose CILFA based on the small class sizes, consistent teaching methods, and its reputation for excellent teachers.

    When I first began I was a rank beginner, speaking only a few words in French. The approach to teaching language at Cilfa was very effective for me and I was able to make steady progress. I have taken several courses at Cilfa throughout the past few years and each time I was impressed with the pace of the class and how they were modified to reach different levels of understanding of the language — from beginner to advanced.

    The teachers have all been very supportive and I have thoroughly enjoyed the classes — always a huge plus when learning a language! Nearly 8 years ago, I moved to France. I found myself speaking French with confidence, was finally able to answer the phone without dread, could make and cancel! That I was also often invited to local family dinners, and was able to participate in French was more than a modest victory. And so, I jumped in for 2 months, and was able to master yet more material, fill in the gaps that had eluded me over the years, and got reenergized to take my language skills to another level.

    All of my teachers were very friendly and the classes were fun. The courses were well-structured and I felt that I was always being challenged. Highly recommended!!! I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at Cilfa. The staff and fellow sudents were very welcoming and produced an atmosphere conducive to learning and practicing the language. The lessons were well structured and I felt challenged and made progress in my studies.

    Tidak hanya kualitas para pengajar yang sangat kompeten tetapi juga fasilitas belajar yang sangat memadai. Di Cilfa saya tidak hanya dapat mahir berbahasa Prancis, tetapi saya juga mendapatkan keluarga baru yang sangat perduli satu sama lain. Kekeluargaan dan keakraban antara pengajar dan murid membantu saya untuk cepat manir dalam relajar bahasa Prancis.

    Ich habe eine sehr tolle Zeit in dieser Schule verbracht. Da die Schule sehr klein ist kennt praktisch jeder jeden, somit ist es sehr einfach, neue Freunde aus aller Welt zu finden. I went into my summer session with a basic understanding of the grammar two college semesters and some comfort speaking. The staff worked tirelessly to give me all the tools I needed to leave with professional proficiency. Je vais y revenir et je le recommande vraiment.

    From initial class placement through the DELF exam itself, the instructors at CILFA were committed to making sure that all of their students achieved a successful outcome. I have attended several language schools in France, but none compares with CILFA in terms of their curriculum, outstanding instruction, and ability to place every student in the best environment possible to reach their language goals. De plus, dans les cours, nous nous connaissions mieux en faisant les exercices ensemble et en faisant des dialogues.

    We have learned a lot, this test is very difficult. I will do my French-Exercises now. I have enjoyed the stay in Annecy and the classes. Die Lehrer waren sehr freundlich und kompetent. Classes were small enough to learn but big enough to have some interaction. The breaks and the activities in the afternoon were perfect to get to know the other students and to learn something about the region and french culture.

    The teachers are all very nice, qualified and helpfull. The building is not the newest but it fulfills its purpose, though. CILFA would always be my first choice to learn french : fair price, dedicated teachers and not least a stunning region! Ils sont vraiment sympas. However, I felt that I could pick up the language very fast in the classroom.

    The material was engaging and the fact that we were studying 3 hours a day really made it easier for me to learn the language. Also the field trips were very interactive and really helped me learn more about the city, the French culture, and practice my conversational French. Un ambiente amichevole e stimolante con uno staff altamente professionale e sempre disponibile!

    Los profesores son excelentes, y muy atentos a las necesidades de cada estudiante. Having lived in France for a while, I was becoming very frustrated at my slow progress in speaking with any degree of fluency, even though I studied French for many years at school, and regularly read French novels. I may not be really fluent yet, but the course has given me the confidence to have a go and to communicate as best as I can, enabling me to join in with local tennis and yoga groups and to help out at our local art gallery.

    Attending the French course was the best investment I have probably ever made in my life. I sadly had a bad ski accident end of January within 6 weeks of completing the French course. This required me to have a lot of medical attention? I have no idea what I would have done without the great foundation the course gave me. What I loved most about the course was that although it was structured around the use of a great workbook? O tempo passa sem que se perceba. Je la recommande.

    I think that the lessons were prepared very well. The teacher used several didactic materials and methods. We learnt grammar as well as vocabulary. We wrote two tests, got homework. This pushed students to revise : The course is very intensive so it really needs revising at home, especially if all the topics are new for students and they want to keep it in their minds :.

    Com certeza uma escola recomendada. Es war ein unvergesslicher und erfolgreicher Aufenthalt in Annecy bei einer gastfreundlichen Familie. I could never have learned this from a textbook or from my French modules at university. I came to Annecy in to live for an extended period and had no experience with French. The environment is amicable, the management welcoming and the teachers offer a good balance of fun and learning with a cultural stream that includes seeing the best of Annecy and its beautiful lake and countryside.

    I also made some very good friendships there which is very important when living in a new country. Se quiserem conversar um pouco sobre a escola, podem entrar em contato comigo pelo meu e-mail. My favorite part was that there were people of different ages, younger and older. The atmosphere was very comfortable and I learned a lot.

    Der herzliche Empfang der Familie, bei der ich wohnte und die anregenden Diskussionen bei den gemeinsamen Mahlzeiten werde ich nicht mehr vergessen. Il y avait environ personnes maximum. Annecy est une petite ville charmante, avec un grand lac et beaucoup de sites touristiques. CILFA combines the necessary structure of French grammar and standard vocabulary with the fluency and colloquial ability that only a native professor can provide. The teachers at the school cover all levels of student ability, and small class sizes ensure that each student is given plenty of individual attention.

    In addition, CILFA provides varied out-of-class activities, including explorations of historic Annecy, hiking trips, and interactive work designed to improve fluency and comfort with the French language. Students from all across Europe and beyond come to CILFA for classes, so be prepared to meet tons of interesting people of all ages and nationalities.