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C 364 E/42 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 20.12.

2001

Reply

(27 September 2001)

The fourth motor insurance Directive (1) which has been referred to in the Written Question and in the
Council’s answers to previous questions relating to the settlement procedures following road accidents,
adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2000, aims at shortening and simplifying the
settlement procedures that follow after road accidents having a transnational dimension to the extent
provided for in the Directive.

The fourth motor insurance Directive applies, to some extent, to settlement procedures that follow after
accidents in Switzerland. This is because the Directive also applies to injured parties resident in
a Community Member State who are entitled to compensation in respect of loss or injury resulting from
accidents occurring in third countries whose national insurers’ bureaux, as defined in Article 1(3) of
Directive 72/166/EEC, have joined the Green Card system whenever such accidents are caused by the use
of vehicles insured and normally based in a Member State.

However, accidents in Switzerland which occur for instance between a vehicle insured in Switzerland and
a vehicle insured in a Community Member State do not fall within the scope of the Directive. An
improvement of settlement procedures in such cases would have to be negotiated between the Community
and Switzerland.

Since this matter belongs to the Community competence, the initiative for such negotiations has to come
from the Commission as a recommendation provided for in Article 300 of the Treaty. No such
recommendation has been made to the Council.

The contents of the discussions, which according to the Honourable Member have taken place between the
Presidency and the President of Switzerland on 16 February, have not been brought to the attention of the
Council.

(1) Directive 2000/26/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 May 2000 on the approximation of the
laws of the Member States relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles and
amending Council Directives 73/239/EEC and 88/357/EEC (Fourth motor insurance Directive).

(2001/C 364 E/047) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1082/01


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(6 April 2001)

Subject: Blurring of interests and distortion of competition with the Sensus project

The Sensus project, the successor to Aventinus, seeks to develop an information exchange programme for
the European police and intelligence services. The search for interesting language technology is an
important part of this project. Sensus is subsidised by the Commission. The reply to Question P-0009/
01 (1) shows that Sensus and Aventinus I and II have been financed from budget line B6-6121.113 of the
telematics applications programme (1994-1998). A maximum contribution of € 2 500 000 was approved
for Aventinus I, and of this € 2 341 190 was applied for and paid. A maximum contribution of € 550 000
was approved for Aventinus II, of which his € 513 777 was applied for and paid. A maximum
contribution of € 2 250 000 was approved for Sensus, of which € 478 753 was paid on 31 December
2000.

Coordination of Sensus is in the hands of Stephan Bodenkamp/Christoph Kionowski, a secret agent of the
Bundesnachrichtendienst. He is also behind three language Development Companies of Lernout & Haspie
(L & H). Thanks to his dual role, the Bundesnachrichtendienst can have access to L & H’s language
technology. It is immediately apparent that the Sensus-Bundesnachrichtendienst-L & H set-up results in (a)
a dubious blurring of interests between the private and the ‘public sector’, (b) an imbalance in the language
technology know-how of the various police and security services and (c) unfair competition between those
language technology firms which are involved in Sensus and those which are not.
20.12.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 364 E/43

1. Does the Commission acknowledge that the dual role of the Sensus coordinator leads to a blurring of
interests between the public and the ‘private’ sector (in this case the Bundesnachrichtendienst)? If not, what
guarantees does the Commission have that the set-up referred to above has not resulted in this blurring?

2. Does the Commission acknowledge that the dual role of the Sensus coordinator has led to an
imbalance in the language technology know-how of the various police and security services, in particular
in favour of the Bundesnachrichtendienst? If not, what guarantees does the Commission have that the set-
up referred to above has not resulted in this imbalance?

3. Does the Commission acknowledge that the dual role of the Sensus coordinator has led to unfair
competition between those language technology firms which are involved in Sensus and those which are
not? If not, what guarantees does the Commission have that the set-up referred to above has not resulted
in unfair competition?

(1) OJ C 187 E, 3.7.2001, p. 154.

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(1 August 2001)

1. The Sensus project includes several public and private organisations, including police forces and
security agencies. The list of participants is consistent with the objectives of the project in developing pre-
competitive technology to combat organised crime.

2. The Commission does not consider that there has been an improper imbalance in the availability of
language technology to police forces, in favour of those who participated in Sensus.

The involvement of Europol and the presence in the consortium of a user group of police forces across
Europe ensured that the project did not favour any specific objectives of any individual participant.
Consistent with the open nature of the project, its objectives and the fact that the results have been widely
presented to many police forces and at relevant fairs and exhibitions.

3. As the Sensus project is concerned with the development of pre-competitive technology, there would
not seem to be any grounds for alleging the occurrence of any unfair competition in this regard.

(2001/C 364 E/048) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1084/01


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(6 April 2001)

Subject: The Sensus project: the European equivalent of DARPA

The Sensus project, the successor to Aventinus, seeks to develop an information exchange programme for
European police and intelligence services by analogy with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA). Coordination of Sensus is in the hands of Stephan Bodenkamp/Christoph Kionowski, a secret
agent of the Bundesnachrichtendienst. DARPA, a government body, coordinates the research and
development programmes of the American Department of Defense.

Two language technology laboratories appear to play a crucial role in DARPA and the Sensus project.
Dragon has developed translation technology for US intelligence services and it has cooperated in the
Multilingual Interview System (MIS). This system was intended for automatic translation of Croatian,
Serbian and Bosnian interviews in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Spring 1998) and of Arabic, Farsi, Hindi and Urdu
in the Persian Gulf (Summer 1998). Via its subsidiary Sail Labs, formerly Gesellschaft für Multilingual
Systeme mbH, Lernout & Haspie (L & H) was closely involved in the European Sensus project. To complete
the picture it should be pointed out that L & H took party in DARPA’s ‘Dominate the Battlespace’ project in
1997.