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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 136 E/135

(2001/C 136 E/156) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2934/00

by Peter Mombaur (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(19 September 2000)

Subject: Gas and steam power stations

Combined gas and steam power stations, including the gas turbines they use, are valuable elements in
energy and climate policy.

1. Is it true that European turbine manufacturers have been put at a disadvantage by the USA since
1992 by the fact that the US industry is supported by an ATS programme?

2. Is it true that US turbine manufacturers are to be supported in future by a ‘Vision-21’ programme’?

3. What is the Commission’s view of these US State aid programmes?

4. Does the Commission see any scope for support for European gas turbine manufacturers from the
European Union or the Member States?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2000)

1. The Commission is up to date as regards the advanced turbine systems and ‘Vision 21’ programmes
in the United States for the development of gas turbines by American industry.

Since 1992 the United States have decided to make gas turbines one of their major priorities. The
Community’s programmes have placed their emphasis on renewable energy technologies.

2. Yes, it is quite true that the ‘Vision 21’ programme is included in the cooperation priorities between
the United States and the Community that are currently being discussed as part of implementing the
cooperation agreement on science and technology signed by both parties. That would also enable
European industries to become involved.

3. The Commission feels that these programmes are a significant help in developing gas turbine

4. The technological development of gas turbines is included in the specific Energy programme under
the 5th Research and Technological Development Programme. As it recognises the basic importance of gas
turbines, more particularly in connection with environmental protection and the competitiveness of
European industry, the Commission, issued a call for proposals in October 2000 targeting the ‘Generation
of electricity by gas turbines’. Moreover, briefings for industrial and other applicants are planned
for November 2000. Likewise, the range of topics relating to gas turbines, which will soon be identified
by the Commission, will be put to use in ensuring better information and consultation with the industry in

It is obvious that all of the programmes in this area, whether American or European, must abide by the
international rules on assistance and subsidies.

(2001/C 136 E/157) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2937/00

by Marielle De Sarnez (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(19 September 2000)

Subject: Consumption of alcohol in the workplace

In connection with policy on the protection of public health and, more specifically, European Union policy
aimed at improving workers’ safety and health at work, will the Commission state whether, at this point in
C 136 E/136 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 8.5.2001

time, all of the Member States have taken the necessary national measures to advise on and explain the
dangers of alcohol in the workplace? What is the Commission’s position on this question?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(9 November 2000)

The Commission is well aware of the potentially adverse effects of excess alcohol consumption on the
health and safety of individuals, including workers at work.

Community occupational health and safety legislation contains no specific provisions with regard to
alcohol. Nevertheless, Council ‘framework’ 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 (1) requires employers to
ensure the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to the work.

At the same time, the Commission has no information on specific measures taken by the Member States to
advise on and explain the dangers of alcohol in the workplace.

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.

(2001/C 136 E/158) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2938/00

by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(19 September 2000)

Subject: Commission’s position on water privatisation

In a number of Member States the issue of the privatisation of the supply of water is being fiercely
debated. In the Netherlands a law is currently being prepared under which the privatisation of the supply
of water would not be allowed. At the European Council summit in Lisbon, proposals concerning the
liberalisation/privatisation of the supply of water received insufficient support.

1. In the light of the above, can the Commission confirm that no proposals for the liberalisation/
privatisation of the water sector are being developed?

2. Would the Commission set out its views on this issue in order to put an end to all doubt regarding
its position?

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(8 November 2000)

The Commission attaches a great importance to the secure supply of high-quality water throughout the
Community. At its initiative, the Community has adopted legislation in particular to guarantee that high
quality standards for water are met.

However, the decision on how public water supply services are organised is primarily incumbent on the
Member States. The role of the Commission is to ensure that the means employed to ensure water supply
in the Member States are compatible with Community law. These principles were highlighted in a recent
communication of the Commission on services of general interest (1) in which the Commission stressed
that it is above all the responsibility of public authorities at the appropriate local, regional or national level
to define the missions of services of general interest and the way they will be fulfilled.