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C 134 E/246 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 6.6.


(2002/C 134 E/261) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3687/01

by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Commission
(17 January 2002)

Subject: Community funding for regasification plant at the bay of Ferrol (Spain)

The company Regasificadora del Norte S. A. (Reganosa) is promoting a project for the creation of a
liquefied natural gas plant at Punta Promontoiro, on the inner side of the narrow bay of Ferrol (Ría de
Ferrol) in Spain. This major project would entail the construction of four tanks of 150 000 cubic metres,
and would also mean the entry each year of over 40 methane tankers (dimensions: 280 m x 42 m x
12-13 m).

Reganosa is in receipt of financing from the Galician regional government as well as from the companies
Unión Fenosa, Endesa and Mugardesa de Energía, S. A.

The project has met with widespread rejection from the local community, and the Ferrol city council has
declared itself against. A number of citizens’ organisations have filed complaints with the Commission’s
DG Environment and DG Transport and Energy, in view of the severe risks of such an industrial
development in this area. The Ferrol city council believes the plant could be located within Ferrol’s
projected outer port complex (this was in fact the original option). Nonetheless, the location currently
proposed, i. e. the inner side of the bay, is a densely populated area which is only one kilometre from the
built-up area of Mugardos and Ferrol. This location means that the plant could become a real accident
trap: displacement would be virtually impossible, and the methane tankers could only put to sea at high
tide. The proposed site of the regasification plant would border on such existing installations as fuel tanks,
military vessels and a military arsenal, and there could be a domino effect in case of accident, with
unforeseeable consequences.

Is this project, or has it ever been, in receipt of Community funding of any kind? Has any request for
funding been received? If so, what amounts were asked for, and from which of the Community Funds?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(22 February 2002)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its
findings as soon as possible.

(2002/C 134 E/262) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0092/02

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(17 January 2002)

Subject: Sales promotions in the internal market

The Commission recently published a proposal for a regulation concerning sales promotions in the
internal market COM(2001) 546 final. How will the Commission take account of the concerns which small
and medium-sized businesses already have about the regulation and how can it ensure that the system of
continuous offers and discounts which it promotes will not prove damaging to such businesses, which do
not have the same capacity for mass markets and advertising campaigns as large companies?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(8 February 2002)

The Commission analysed this area in detail before proposing the Regulation on sales promotions in the
Internal Markt. It adopted a Green paper in 1996 (1) and a follow-up Communication in 1998 (2). Many
companies, including small and medium sized firms and trade associations representing their interests,
complained about differences in laws within the Internal Market that were preventing the use and
6.6.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 134 E/247

communication of sales promotions across borders. Moreover, the Commission had a number of
infringement complaints from direct marketing companies (often small and medium sized companies) who
were finding it nearly impossible to develop their businesses across borders precisely because of
disproportionate restrictions in this field.
The proposed Regulation by removing disproportionate restrictions and harmonising information
requirements will allow small and medium sized companies to use sales promotions in cross-border
It is of course true that because of their greater leverage and marketing budgets larger manufacturing
companies and retailers may be able to offer more valuable sales promotions than their smaller
competitors. However, qualitative and targeted sales promotions are often relied on by small, competitive
and innovative companies to create new niche markets or break into existing non-domestic markets.
Moreover, in the current fragmented regulatory environment large companies can afford to adjust sales
promotion campaigns to tailor their campaigns to the differing national laws whereas this type of
adjustment is beyond the reach of many small and medium sized competitors. This may prevent small and
medium sized companies from extending their activities into neighbouring Member States. The
Commission therefore believes that the proposed regulation, by liberalising the use of sales promotions
across borders, will be particularly beneficial to such small, competitive and innovative firms seeking to
develop new cross-border markets.
Finally, it should be noted that sales promotion campaigns are used by most if not all firms precisely
because they are the most affordable type of marketing technique. The cost of advertising space on mass
media implies that many small and medium sized companies cannot resort to cross-border mass media
display advertising campaigns.

Thus, the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation, by focussing on sales promotions and liberalising their
cross-border use and communication, should be particularly beneficial to small and medium sized
enterprises seeking to exploit the benefits offered by the Internal Market.

(1) COM(96) 192 final.

(2) COM(98) 121 final.

(2002/C 134 E/263) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0106/02

by Theresa Villiers (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(21 January 2002)

Subject: Euro and ERM II

If the UK were to decide to join the euro, would it have to participate in ERM II? If so, for what length of
time would it have to be a member of ERM II?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(15 February 2002)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to her Written Question E-3181/00 (1).
That answer is still valid.

(1) OJ C 36 E, 8.5.2001.