Commission Question – Returns Directive – Domestic law

Question for written answer E-010262/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Returns Directive – Domestic law

There exists in EU law means by which illegal immigrants can be removed from EU territory if they are found to have broken EU migration law (Directive 2008/115/EC).

Could the Commission please provide details of whether any Member States have transposed this into their own domestic law?

How many Member States have done so, and which?

EN

E-010262/2015

Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos

on behalf of the Commission

(12.11.2015)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its Communication on EU Return Policy1, which includes, in part IV, a detailed report on the transposition of the Return Directive 2008/115/EC by Member States.

1  COM(2014)199 of 28.3.2014

Commission Question – Greek exit from the Eurozone

Question for written answer E-011527/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Greek exit from the Eurozone

Could the Commission inform me whether the European Central Bank is making preparations for a potential Greek exit from the Eurozone? Also, is the Commission aware of any EU Member States making preparations with their Central Banks for a potential Greek return to the Drachma?

EN

E-011527/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Dombrovskis

on behalf of the Commission

(18.11.2015)

The Euro summit of 12 July 2015 has paved the way for the adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding linked to a new stability support programme for Greece under the Treaty establishing a European Stability Mechanism (ESM). On 19 August 2015, the Commission, acting on behalf of the ESM, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece following its approval by the ESM Board of Governors. The ESM provides for further stability support of up to EUR 86 billion over three years (2015-2018) conditional on the implementation of a third economic adjustment programme.

The key objective of the programme is to help Greece return to financial stability, fiscal sustainability, competitiveness, investment, employment and growth and prosper in the euro area.

The Commission has published the full set of documents related to the new macroeconomic programme for Greece1.

1 http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/assistance_eu_ms/greek_loan_facility/index_en.htm

Commission Question – Turkey’s sanctions against the EU and IPA funding

Question for written answer E-009116/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Turkey’s sanctions against the EU and IPA funding

Turkey has imposed sanctions on Luxembourg, Austria and the Vatican as a result of its opposition to EU nations remembering the victims of the Armenian genocide and the human disaster this caused to at least one million people.

As a direct result of this lack of recognition of the right to freedom of expression, will the Commission consider stopping its allocations of IPA funding that have been scheduled to be paid out for the period 2014-2020 to the tune of EUR 4 453.9 billion?

EN

E-009116/2015

Answer given by Mr Hahn

on behalf of the Commission

(17.11.2015)

 

At the moment, the Commission is not considering suspending its assistance to Turkey, for the same reasons explained in its answer to the written question E-001159/20151.

1  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html?tabType=all

Commission Question – Religious liberty

Question for written answer E-001165/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Religious liberty

According to the Pew Research Center, over 75 % of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions. Could the Commission please describe its strategy for promoting religious liberty around the world?

EN

E-001165/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

The Commission is well aware of the work of the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life.

Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, constitutes one of the essential foundations of the EU, enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights.

In June 2013, the Council adopted “EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief” (FoRB). These guidelines recall what the international standards on FoRB are, provide practical guidance to staff on how to seek to prevent violations of FoRB, to analyse cases and to react effectively to violations worldwide.

In multilateral fora, the EU has actively engaged on FoRB over the last years, presenting resolutions on the issue both at the Human Rights Council and at the UN General Assembly. The EU supports the action of the UN Special rapporteur on FoRB who provides a significant contribution to advancing the FoRB agenda worldwide. Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Commission finances civil society projects promoting FoRB. In 2013, a global call for proposal was launched with an allocation of EUR 5 million for projects combating discrimination based on religion or belief. Under this call, initiatives contributing to dialogue and addressing extremism, amongst others, were recognised as eligible project activities.

Further, the Commission remains engaged in a regular dialogue with religious communities and is committed to ensure the implementation of secondary legislation prohibiting discrimination based on religion in employment and combating hatred against persons because of their religion.

Commission Question – Turkey’s sanctions against the Vatican

Question for written answer E-009115/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Turkey’s sanctions against the Vatican

Turkey has imposed sanctions on the Vatican as a result of His Holiness Pope Francis recognising that the Armenian genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century.

What statement does the Commission wish to give to support the interests of the Christian faith communities of Europe who will see the sanctions against the Vatican as a very provocative step, as it is a sacred place to millions of Christian Roman Catholics, who form a massive population in Member States?

EN

E-009115/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

The Commission is not aware of any sanctions adopted or proposed by Turkey against the State of Vatican or the Holy See in relation with the Armenian question.

Commission Question – International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Question for written answer E-010263/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Could the Commission please provide details of what involvement, if any, the EU has had in the funding, personnel or any other work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)?

EN

E-010263/2015

Answer given by Mr Hahn

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

 

The United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is one of the most important mechanisms for delivering justice to the victims of war crimes committed during the 1990s on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

Co-operation with the ICTY is one of the pre-conditions for progress in the accession process towards the membership of the European Union. The European Commission works closely with the tribunal and has supported its work both politically and financially.

Since 1999 there have been 16 projects with the ICTY for a total of EUR 9.733 million. Eight of these projects have supported the outreach activities of the ICTY, primarily in the former Yugoslavia. The other main strand of support (six projects) has been to support the placement of prosecutors from the former Yugoslavia at the Tribunal in The Hague to facilitate regional co-operation in dealing with war crime cases with a cross border dimension.

Commission Question – FIFA corruption scandal

Question for written answer E-008841/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA corruption scandal

Considering both the (EU) ‘White Paper on Sport’, published by the Commission on 11 July 2007 (COM(2007)0391) and the ‘specificity of sport’ as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty, would any ‘restructuring’ of FIFA on the part of the EU members of UEFA (should the corruption scandal unravel) be based on EU law or Member State law?

Considering the most recent corruption allegations against nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, what action does the Commission intend to take?

EN

E-008841/2015

Answer given by Mr Navracsics

on behalf of the Commission

(6.10.2015) 

 The specificity of sport implies that sports organisations establish their own governance structures, the rules of sports and the rules of sports competitions. However, when doing so they need to respect all relevant legislation in force in the Member States and at EU level.  The EU has no competence to legislate on sport but it can facilitate cooperation between Member States and sports organisations.

Good governance of sports organisations is one of the priorities of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2014-20171. The expert group on good governance composed of representatives from Member States and sport organisations developed guiding principles of good governance.

Corruption is a serious crime, which falls under Article 83(3) TFEU. At the EU level action has been taken based on the EU Convention against corruption involving officials2 and the Framework Decision on Corruption in the Private Sector3. Furthermore, the EU adopted an Anti-Money Laundering Directive4 in May 2015 that provides for a number of preventive measures, including a requirement for so-called “obliged entities” (e.g. banks and financial institutions) to monitor financial transactions and to report suspicious transactions to national Financial Intelligence Units. Following on from the first EU Anti-Corruption Report in 2014, the Commission supports Member States to share experience on policy themes such as asset declarations and whistleblowing and has incorporated corruption-related recommendations into the European Semester.

Nevertheless, the investigation and prosecution of individual cases lie primarily within the competence of Member States.

1  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:42014Y0614(03)

2  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l33027

3  Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l33308

4  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1438158653970&uri=CELEX:32015L0849

Commission Question – FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022

Question for written answer E-008842/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

In light of the deaths of construction workers in Qatar, and the questions raised over the Qatari bid, does the Commission intend to apply any diplomatic pressure regarding the host nation of the FIFA World Cup 2022?

Question for written answer E-009086/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022

There have been many questions raised over the successful FIFA World Cup bids of Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022, respectively. Considering the poor treatment and deaths of construction workers in Qatar, as well as the most recent corruption charges of nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, does the Commission intend to support the hosts for 2018 and 2022?

In light of the appalling human rights abuses which contravene EU employment and social policy, will the Commission go so far as to ask Members States to boycott both hosts in 2018 and 2022 unless replacement hosts are found?

EN

E-008842/2015

E-009086/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(8.10.2015)

As regards the working conditions of migrant workers in Qatar, the Commission refers the Honourable Member to its answer in question 8495/20151.

The decision to grant the organization of the football World Cup 2022 lies with FIFA and its constituent federations.

The Commission considers that any decision on whether to re-launch the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup should take into due consideration the on-going investigations conducted by the Swiss authorities.

The Commission cooperates regularly with UEFA, which is an important partner in its dialogue with the sport movement. In agreement with good governance principles shared by many sport organisations, the Commission considers that there is a clear need for increased transparency in the awarding process.  In the context of the EU Expert Group on Good Governance, the Commission, Member States and sports governing bodies are drawing up guiding principles for the award procedure for major sports events.

1  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/advanced-search-form.html

Commission Questions – Kosovo’s failure to amend its Constitution

Question for written answer E-011528/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Kosovo’s failure to amend its Constitution

Kosovo recently failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in its Parliament to amend its Constitution with a view to allowing the creation of a special court to handle war crimes.

In light of the human rights conditionalities associated with EU membership, what impact does the above decision have on Kosovo’s accession negotiations with the European Union?

EN

E-011528/2015

Answer given by Mr Hahn

on behalf of the Commission

(29.9.2015)

On 3 August, after the Honourable Member had tabled his question, the Kosovo1Assembly adopted the relevant constitutional amendments and the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, allowing for the establishment of the Specialist Chambers.

1  “This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence”

Commission Question – Minting euro coins

Question for written answer E-010267/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Minting euro coins

There has been a recent row between France and Belgium over the minting of 2.5-euro coins marking Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. Could the Commission please clarify the powers of Member States to mint euro coinage of both standard and non-standard denominations?

EN

E-010267/2015

Answer given by Mr Moscovici

on behalf of the Commission

(28.9.2015)

Member States of the euro-area are responsible for the issuance of euro coins. These coins are legal tender in all euro-area Member States. As the coins circulate throughout the entire euro-area, the Member States consult each other of new national designs of euro coins to avoid that a design is likely to create adverse reactions amongst citizens in other euro-area Member States. The power to approve the new designs is conferred on the Council.

Euro-area Members States can also issue euro collector coins. The face value and image of collector coins are different from those used for euro circulation coins and their colour, diameter and weight differ from circulation coins for at least two of these characteristics. Euro collector coins are not intended for circulation and they are legal tender only on the territory of the issuing country. Therefore, the designs of euro collector coins are approved at national level.