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Official Journal of the European Communities Debates of the European Parliament 1996/97 Session. Report of proceedings from 15 to 19 April 1996


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ISSN 0378-5041 Annex Official Journal of the European Communities No 4-480 English edition Debates of the European Parliament 1996/97 Session Report of proceedings from 15 to 19 April 1996 Europe House, Strasbourg General contents Sitting of Monday, 15 April 1996 1. Resumption of the session, p. 1 - 2. Welcome, p. 1 - 3. Approval of the Minutes, p. 1 - 4. Order of business, p. 2 - 5. Energy efficiency, p. 4 -6. SYNERGY programme, p. 9 - 7. Interoperability of high-speed rail system, p. 13 - 8. Transport of dangerous goods by rail, p. 18 Sitting of Tuesday, 16 April 1996 21 1. Decision on urgency, p.2 -. 'Customs 2000', p. 22 - 3. Industrial policy for the pharmaceutical sector, p.6 - 4. Prevention of drug dependence, p. 34 -5. Votes, p. 44 - 6. Discharge for 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, p. 50 - 7. Question Time (Commission), p. 68 - 8. Fisheries agreement with Morocco, p. 79 -9. Health monitoring, p. 85-10. Alzheimer's - health card - blood safety, p. 89 Sitting of Wednesday, 17 April 1996 101. Approval of the Minutes, p.2 - 2. European Council in Turin, p. 103 -3. Welcome, p. 109 - 4. European Council in Turin (continuation), p. 109 — 5. Preparation of CCEE for accession, p. 113-6. Votes, p. 124 - 7. Welcome, p. 139 - 8. Chernobyl, prospects for EU involvement, p. 139 - 9., Situation in the Middle East, p. 152 - 10. Question Time (Council), p. 160 - 11. Visby Summit, p. 168- 12. Commission statement on BSE, p. 175- 13. Biocidal products, p.



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ISSN 0378-5041
Annex Official Journal
of the
European Communities
No 4-480
English edition Debates of the European Parliament
1996/97 Session
Report of proceedings
from 15 to 19 April 1996
Europe House, Strasbourg
General contents Sitting of Monday, 15 April 1996
1. Resumption of the session, p. 1 - 2. Welcome, p. 1 - 3. Approval of the
Minutes, p. 1 - 4. Order of business, p. 2 - 5. Energy efficiency, p. 4 -
6. SYNERGY programme, p. 9 - 7. Interoperability of high-speed rail system,
p. 13 - 8. Transport of dangerous goods by rail, p. 18
Sitting of Tuesday, 16 April 1996 21
1. Decision on urgency, p.2 -. 'Customs 2000', p. 22 - 3. Industrial policy for
the pharmaceutical sector, p.6 - 4. Prevention of drug dependence, p. 34 -
5. Votes, p. 44 - 6. Discharge for 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, p. 50 - 7. Question
Time (Commission), p. 68 - 8. Fisheries agreement with Morocco, p. 79 -
9. Health monitoring, p. 85-10. Alzheimer's - health card - blood safety, p. 89
Sitting of Wednesday, 17 April 1996 10
1. Approval of the Minutes, p.2 - 2. European Council in Turin, p. 103 -
3. Welcome, p. 109 - 4. European Council in Turin (continuation), p. 109 —
5. Preparation of CCEE for accession, p. 113-6. Votes, p. 124 - 7. Welcome,
p. 139 - 8. Chernobyl, prospects for EU involvement, p. 139 - 9., Situation in the
Middle East, p. 152 - 10. Question Time (Council), p. 160 - 11. Visby Summit,
p. 168- 12. Commission statement on BSE, p. 175- 13. Biocidal products, p. 181
- 14. Price indication, p. 186 NOTE TO READER
Parallel editions will also be appearing in the following official languages of the Union:
Danish, German, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese. The English
edition contains the original texts of the interventions in English and anh
translation, provided by freelance translators, of those made in other languages. In these
cases, the following letters appear in brackets after the name of the speaker to indicate the
language spoken: (DA) for Danish, (DE) for German, (EL) for Greek, (ES) for Spanish,
(ER) for French, (IT) for Italian, (NL) for Dutch, (PT) for Portuguese, (Fl) for Finnish and
(SV) for Swedish.
The original texts of these interventions appear in the edition published in the language
Contents (continued) Sitting of Thursday, 18 April 1996 224
I. Approval of the Minutes, p.5 - 2. Monetary cooperation, p. 225 -
3. Economic and Monetary Union, p. 231 - 4. 1994 Cohesion Fund, p. 239 -
5. Votes, p. 240 - 6. Topical and urgent debate, p. 246 - 7. 1994 Cohesion Fund
(continuation), p. 265 - 8. North-South cooperation and the campaign against
drugs, p. 267 - 9. Civil protection action programme, p. 273
Sitting of Friday, 19 April 1996 277
1. Approval of the Minutes, p.8 - 2. Votes, p.8 - 3. Assistance to NIS and
Mongolia, p. 279 - 4. Interim agreement with Kazakhstan, p. 282 - 5. Cooperation
Agreement with Nepal, p. 284 - 6. Support for arable crops, p. 287 - 7. G
meeting on employment, p. 291 - 8. Adjournment of the session, p. 295
Abbreviations used for Political Groups as shown following the name of the speaker
(PSE) Group of the Party of the European Socialists
(PPE)p of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)
(UPE)p of the Union for Europe
(ELDR) Group of the European Liberal Democratic and Reformist Party
(GUE/NGL) Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left
(V) Green Group in the European Parliament
(ARE) Group of the European Radical Alliance
(EDN) Europe of Nations Group (Coordination Group)
(NI) Non-attached Members
Resolutions adopted at the sitting of 15-19.4.1996 appear in the Official Journal of the
European Communities C 141, 13.5.1996. 15.4.96 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/1
1. Resumption of the session 1
2. Welcome
3. Approval of the Minutes
Oomen-Ruijten, Sturdy, Smith, Tilomas
Tomlinson, Puerta 2
4. Order of business
Oomen-Ruijten, Green, De Vries, Roth, Puerta, Pasty
5. Energy efficiency
Bloch von Blottnitz, McNally, Argyros, Fitzsimons, Plooij-van Gorsei, Stenius-Kaukonen,
Ahem, Macartney, Pollack, Teverson, Papoutsis (Commission), Bloch von Blottnitz,
Papoutsis 4
6. SYNERGY Prog4ramme
Soulier, Dimitrakopoulos, Bloch von Blottnitz, Lange, Plooij-van Gorsel, Ahern, Macart­
ney, Vaz da Silva, Papoutsis (Commission), Soulier 9
7. Interoperability of high-speed rail system
Castricum, Watts, Mcintosh, Dybkjær, Van Dijk, Blokland, Bellere, Sisó Cruellas, Le
Rachinel, N. Kinnock (Commission) 13
8. Transpon of dangerous goods by rail
Cornelissen, Simpson, Mcintosh, Bellere, N. Kinnock (Commission), Cornelissen, N.
Kinnock 18
IN THE CHAIR: MR HANSCH stay in Strasbourg and, of course, useful and interesting
discussions in this House!
(Tlie sitting was opened at 5 p.m.) 3. Approval of the Minutes
President. - The Minutes of the sitting of Thursday, 28
March 1996 have been distributed.
1. Resumption of the session
Are there any comments?
President. -1 declare resumed the session of the European
Oomen-Ruijten (PPE). - (NL) Mr President, on behalf of Parliament adjourned on Thursday, 28 March 1996.
my fellow-members from the Committee on Agriculture I
should like to ask you to change a few things in the voting
about the BSE resolution. Obviously one or two things
2. Welcome have gone wrong. Points 16 and 17 now contradict one
another whereas the voting showed otherwise. I shall be
President. - Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the House passing on to you some comments which you could
let me welcome a delegation from the Grand Committee of perhaps take up with regard to the voting.
the Finnish Parliament, i.e., the European Affairs Commit­
tee of the Finnish Parliament, led by its chairman, Mr Erkki President. - I will have to look into that, Mrs Oomen-
Tuomioja. I bid you a warm welcome! Ruijten. I cannot say anything at this stage. We will
consider the matter.
Sturdy (PPE). - Mr President, it concerns the speech
We are pleased at this visit, which reflects the increasingly made last week by Mr Fischler on BSE and reported in the
close cooperation between us and the national parliaments Minutes. Perhaps the Commission or you could clarify a
in the Union, and I wish our Finnish colleagues a pleasant point for me. It would appear that a speech made at the Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/2 15.4.96
weekend by Mr Fischler indicates a change of his position. Puerta (GUE/NGL). - (ES) Mr President, I should like to
I welcome this change because he has said that he will eat deal very briefly with two matters. First, since we con­
British beef and that the ban was imposed specifically for demned at the time ETA's terrorist murders and kidnap­
economic and political reasons. pings, today we can give you the news that the hostage who
beats all records in Spain - almost a year's captivity, 342
Could somebody clarify that he has actually said this days, - has been freed, not, it is true, by the forces of public
please, Mr President, because it is a change of views. order, but he is at liberty. And I should be very pleased -
and so, I think, would all Members, particularly the President. - Mr Sturdy, I cannot see what that has to do
Spanish Members and perhaps still more those who are with the Minutes.
distinguished by being Spanish Basques - if you would
Smith (PSE). - Mr President, on exactly the same point as send a message to the hostage's family to congratulate
Mr Sturdy has raised. If Commission Fischler has made them on his freedom.
this statement, then he has said that it is not a matter of
Secondly I should like to point out, before the agenda is public health. If it is not a matter of public health, he has no
settled, that the importance of the bombardment of Leba­legal base, if he has no legal base then he may very well
nese territory by the State of Israel will make it necessary face legal action from the people his statement has dam­
to ask for a statement from the Council. These indiscrimi­aged.
nate and unfair bombardments not only infringe human
President. - Mr Smith, the same applies to your point; it rights but may also pose a threat to the independence and
has nothing to do with the Minutes. integrity of the State of Lebanon, which is guaranteed by
international law and by Resolution 245 of the United
Thomas (PSE). - Mr President, again on BSE. If Mr
Nations Security Council.
Fischler has changed his views does this mean the Com­
mission has? President. - Thank you! (')
This was actually referred to in the Minutes. He said that
any funding would also go towards supporting workers 4. Order of business
who had directly lost their jobs. So far nothing has come of
this in any scheme that has been put forward. Does this President. - The next item is the order of business.
mean the Commission has changed its view on supporting
The final version of the draft agenda as drawn up by the workers who have lost their jobs through this scare?
Conference of Presidents at its meeting of 11 April 1996
President. - I note that there are no comments on the pursuant to Rule 95 of the Rules of Procedure has been
Minutes. distributed. No amendments have been proposed.
(Parliament approved the Minutes) Oomen-Ruijten (PPE). - (NL) Mr President, I should like
to ask a question. We were too late to hand it in, but it has
been discussed with a number of Members. It is the
following. I think that in view of present events in the
Middle East, we ought to ask whether the Council can
Tomlinson (PSE). - Mr President, since our last meeting
make a statement on Wednesday afternoon about the way
in Strasbourg there was a report from the news agency AFP
things are going. We note that the situation is changing
on 26 March that thirteen irregularly employed workers
every day. We see that the French Government has sent a
were identified in a police blitz on the building site of our
mediator. We hear nothing from the presidency. Nor have
new hémicycle. Eight of these workers were undeclared
we heard anything, unfortunately, from the Commission.
and five others were citizens of one Member State em­
That is reason enough for us to be put in the picture. I
ployed by a building contractor in another Member State
should like to ask you to see whether it is possible for the
who were drawing unemployment benefit in France.
Italian presidency to do that on Wednesday afternoon. We
recognize that the agenda is very full. I might suggest that,
Now that is clearly a fraud on the French taxpayer as well
at least as far as the EPP Group is concerned, we could
as a fraud on the European citizens. Can we ask the Bureau
perhaps take this question up on Wednesday afternoon and
to look into this fact. When the European Parliament, that
then omit the Chernobyl question, otherwise I think we
so frequently insists on workers' rights and proper social
shall not get through. Then we could deal with Chernobyl
protection, is building a hémicycle, it should make sure that
some time later. I offer that as a suggestion, Mr President.
the contracts concerning those employed in the buildings
If you would like to arrange things some other way so that
should provide for full social protection and full payment.
we do not need to take Chernobyl off the agenda that would
suit us just as well. Can we ask you as President to make sure that is happening
with the taxpayers' money for which we are collectively
Green (PSE). - Mr President, my group is certainly of the responsible.
view that what is happening in the Middle East is very
(Applause) significant and that we cannot let this week with Parliament
in full session pass without any response or discussion. President. - Mr Tomlinson, would you please give me the
Could we leave it to you, Mr President, to see whether the documents concerned. Then I will look into the matter,
Council is prepared to make a statement on the Middle East both in the presidency and with the other organizations in
question. You yourself know best how difficult and com­
plicated the legal situation is between Parliament and the ') Membership of Parliament - Membership of committees and interpar­
liamentary delegations -p of political groups - Referral to firms contracted to build the hémicycle. After all, we have
committees - Documents received - Texts of agreements forwarded Îy
in you an expert who is in any case closely concerned with the Council - Petitions Written declarations - Transfer of appropriations:
see Minutes these matters. Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/3 15.4.96
and what is happening in the Lebanon? Could we then look Middle East compete in the 'free market for news items'.
to you to see what is possible. We must seek out the opportunity to discuss both subjects.
I am reluctant, as I know many of my colleagues are, to Pasty (UPE). - (FR) Mr President, like previous col­
remove Chernobyl from the agenda, as suggested by Mrs leagues, I believe it to be absolutely essential that the
Oomen-Ruijten. However, it would be possible for us to Council make a statement on Wednesday about the Middle
come back to the issue of Chernobyl which does not have East situation, particularly in southern Lebanon.
such immediacy although it is the tenth anniversary. We
could take this in two weeks' time, whereas the issue of What is happening there is worrying and distressing
Lebanon is crucial at this moment. Perhaps, Mr President, because the whole peace process that has been under way
we could ask you to look at this with the Council and see for several months could be threatened. And the most
what would be possible. important task is to stop the fighting and give priority to
diplomatic moves, wherever they come from, provided
De Vries (ELDR). - (NL) Mr President, I am glad to
they finally lead to the silencing of the rockets and guns
support Mrs Oomen-Ruijten's suggestion, supported by
and some real progress towards peace and stability in the
Mrs Green - with one slight reservation. I think that as a
region. We should also remember Lebanon itself, which
matter of courtesy we should naturally ask the Council
has been ravaged for many years, under the domination of
whether it is ready to make a statement. But politically I am
one foreign power while part of its territory is occupied by not concerned about a question of courtesy; I am concerned
another. about asking the Council presidency to come here to
explain why it not playing any part in this crisis either. I
So it is surely our duty to make a statement on the subject: understand the French Government's motives for trying to
we are witnessing events which, I am convinced, should mediate. I hope the Council has taken the decision that Mr
persuade us to find a slot in Wednesday's agenda for such Hervé de Charette should try to mediate on behalf of the
a statement and the subsequent debate. Union, but all the indications are that it has not and that the
French Government is working independently here. That is
President. - Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the cases no problem for me; I think it is a good initiative, but again
where there is no satisfactory solution because someone is Europe is absent. That was previously the case in the crisis
bound to be disappointed and any decision is bound to be between Turkey and Greece, and then Mr Holbrooke
rightly said: to the detriment of someone's interests. Let me describe the
situation to you as I see it. First, let me please establish
'Europe is sleeping through the night'. It should not happen whether the Council is prepared and in a position to make
again, Mr President. My Group wants the Italian presi­ a statement. If that should be the case, there is no point our
dency to come here and explain what its role is.
making any changes to the agenda for Wednesday because
as it stands now it is not possible to include an additional
Roth (V). - (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I
statement by the Council. think it is important that we should discuss the situation in
the Middle East this week. We all agree on that. But I think
My proposal then - not now - will probably be that we
it is equally important that we discuss Chernobyl this week.
postpone the scheduled report by Mrs Gonzales Alvarez on
I cannot support this proposal. The whole world is talking
behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public about the tenth anniversary. A major conference was held in
Health and Consumer Protection on the proposal for a Vienna. There was a tribunal. And then we say we will
Council decision establishing a Community action pro­postpone it to whenever. I really think it would show
gramme in the field of civil protection to a later date and Parliament in a poor light if we do not discuss it on
shorten Question Time by half an hour. The only other Wednesday.
options would be to reduce the duration of our debates
We must not turn it into a competition between Chernobyl quite drastically, either at the cost of Chernobyl, which à
and the proposal to ask the Council to report on the large number of Members does not want, or at the cost of
situation in the Middle East this week and to debate on it, the Oostlander report and the Council and Commission
and then put Chernobyl in second place! statement on the Turin European Council. But it would be
neither right nor a good idea to shorten that debate since the
There are various other options. We can listen to the
Italian President-in-Office of the Council will be here on
Council on the subject on Wednesday morning, but please
Wednesday morning. So the only possible compromise is
not just in a week's time. At a time when the whole world
to postpone the Gonzales Alvarez report and cut Question
is discussing Chernobyl and the effects of that disaster, we
Time by half an hour.
in this Parliament cannot say. we shall hold back and say
nothing about it!
I realise that to do so would be at the cost of Members who
Puerta (GUE/NGL). - (ES) Mr President, I have already have questions. That is regrettable. It is not that we will
given you the reasons why the Council should make a satisfy everybody this way, but if we are to try to find a
statement about the bombardment of Lebanon. In discuss­ solution, I am convinced that is the only possible one.
ing the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, to which we gave
(Applause) the greatest prominence, we cannot then wash our hands of
it and leave it to the European powers to take diplomatic
The order of business for this week is thus established. (') steps in the Middle East outside the necessary agreement
within the Union. That would be a bad sign for the
Intergovernmental Conference and for the future of the
European Union. But I think, like Mrs Roth, that we cannot
') Deadlines for tabling amendments - Speaking time - Topical and urgent
make the subject of Chernobyl and the subject of the debate (subjects proposed): see Minutes Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/4 15.4.96
5. Energy efficiency can only be disruptive given the current economic climate
and unemployment level in many Member States is unac­
President. - The next item is the report (A4-0088/96) by ceptable and merely ridiculous. For in addition to their
Mrs Bloch von Blottnitz, on behalf of the Committee on environmental dimension, they can also have a substantial
Research, Technological Development and Energy, on the positive impact on the economy. According to the Com­
proposal for a Council Decision (COM(95)0225 - C4- mission, apart from its effects on the quality of life, these
0603/95-95/0131 (SYN)) concerning a multiannual pro­ savings would also have positive effects on employment.
gramme for the promotion of energy efficiency in the That is something I will not contradict, so that logically you
Community - SAVE II. must approve our SAVE II report as it stands, given that
SAVE II is the only programme the EU has at present in
Bloch von Blottnitz (V), rapporteur. - (DE) Mr President,
order to fulfil the obligations we entered into in Berlin and
the SAVE II Commission proposal on energy efficiency in
Rio and in many other undertakings we gave.
the European Union which is to run for five years is a
continuation of the SAVE I programme. Unfortunately, Let me repeat that I deeply regret that the committee did
however, the Commission has not made use of the results not accept my proposal that we extricate ourselves from
of the evaluation of SAVE I in SAVE II. Overall, this this unholy cooperation procedure and aim at a co-decision
proposal is very vague and general and, sadly, contains no procedure. It would have been more sensible for Parliament
real topics or projects. The legislative level has been always to apply the co-decision procedure. If we give the
disregarded entirely, although the evaluation of SAVE I money we should also be able to say that we would like to
showed that 80 % of the successes of that programme were see legislative measures. For that is the decisive point here.
achieved by means of legislative measures. Let me suggest a deal: if the Council says it does not really
want to spend any money, as it likes to say in the case of Many of the proposals for directives and action pro­
renewable energy, then we should suggest that we will grammes planned by the Commission have for some
agree to less money as long as we see legislative measures obscure reason never seen the light of day. For instance, it
instead. has been estimated that the introduction of calorimeters
would have yielded savings of approximately 4.75 million
McNally (PSE). - Mr President, firstly I congratulate Mrs
tonnes of crude oil units and a C02 reduction by the year
Bloch von Blottnitz on the amazing feat of achieving
2010 of 12 million tonnes per year. The savings from the
consensus in the Committee on Research. Technological
introduction of an energy certificate for buildings would
Development and Energy. I think she is well placed
have been far higher than that even. This list could be
through her excellent report to achieve consensus in the
extended forever.
plenary session of Parliament.
It is clear that whenever the practical will is not there, Energy efficiency is of fundamental importance both to the
subsidiarity is brought up as an argument. But the principle
environmental and the competitiveness policies of the
of subsidiarity is totally out of place here, firstly, because
European Union. As far as the environment is concerned,
of the transfrontier nature of the C02 problem and the need
we are a long way off meeting the targets which we set
to harmonize environmental standards in the EU and, ourselves in Rio. We are suffering widespread climate
secondly, because progress has stagnated with regard to instability because of that failure.
increased energy efficiency in the Member States. That is
why the responsibility for achieving the efficiency target As far as competitiveness is concerned, we see a reprehen­
and at the same time reducing C02 lies with the Commu­ sible and incredible waste of money throughout the Euro­
nity, which in fact takes action when an objective can be pean Union; billions and billions of ecus are being wasted
achieved more effectively by Community measures. in energy usage that is not necessary. Think of the
purchasing power which those billions could release to our
Strictly speaking, it is the credibility of the EU that is at economy. Larger firms are, of course, aware of this. Our
stake here. The Commission and the Council have con­ target through this programme has to be the smaller firms
stantly declared how vital it is to reduce C02 and to save
and individual households. They must make the decisions
energy. The Council has set objectives in a series of
which will allow us to save that energy and save that
resolutions, for example in its resolutions of 16.9.86 and
29.10.90 and in the commitments it made in Rio and
Berlin. So far, however, there has been no more than If we look at the history we see very rapid action following
grandiloquent announcements and reams of paper. The the oil shock in 1973. Since then, however, there has been
Commission itself estimates that the C02 emissions will major regression tempered only by the recession which has
rise by up to 8 % in the period from 1995 to 2000. So one hit most of our countries. The energy/intensity use in most
may well ask: is the Community actually taking its own of the European Union is worsening. That is unacceptable.
practical declarations of intent and obligations towards its
citizens, and towards the international community, seri­ The SAVE I programme was very small beer, a very small
ously or is this just a theatre of the absurd? If it really is amount of money. It is being evaluated, fortunately, before
being serious, words must finally be followed by deeds. We we move on to SAVE II. One would have hoped the lessons
from SAVE I would be learnt. That is not so, as I shall urgently need genuine measures to combat the greenhouse
effect and increase energy efficiency. explain later on. One of the lessons from SAVE I was that
far and away the best thing to do is to bring in binding
legislation which Member States have to enforce. There The situation is too serious to allow for any further delay.
were ambitious plans for legislation. Very little of that A beginning might be made with a genuinely ambitious
legislation has appeared. It is true that we have legislation SAVE II programme, as proposed by the Committee on
on the efficiency of boilers, fridges and freezers, labelling, Research, Technological Development and Energy. That is
and there is more to come. But that is not enough. We know why the amendments tabled by that committee should quite
that the main obstacle has been the predictable resistance of definitely be adopted. The objection that such programmes Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/5 15.4.96
manufacturers. They have no vested interest in energy The Commission's proposal to treble the resources for the
efficiency and that is clear from their stance. SAVE II programme, as compared with the SAVE I
programme, is certainly encouraging. But having said that,
Let us look at the lessons. Firsüy, legislation is what works. there is the situation, which pertains for many of the
Secondly, you must have targets and you must monitor European Union's programmes, in which either we put all
them. The target in SAVE II is not ambitious; 1.5 % the financial resources into the first two or three years,
increase year-on-year is not ambitious. I would like to see which means that in the case of a five-year programme we
an indicative programme issued by the Commission and are unable to take advantage of emerging new technologies
monitored throughout the Member States. as the programme moves towards completion, or, as often
happens, we allocate all of the spending to the final two
Another lesson that is important, not from SAVE I but from
years, which makes it impossible for us to monitor our
the regional programme, is that you must incorporate
research programmes closely and to shape them as they
measures on energy efficiency into the regional work of the
EU and its policies. They help impoverished regions. Of
course the same would apply to third countries. I would SAVE II seems to be pointed towards the second of those
like to see far more emphasis in our dealings with countries two paths. However, it would perhaps be better if the
in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean areas funding could be allocated as evenly as possible over the
on energy efficiency. whole duration of the programme. SAVE II endeavours to
strengthening pilot actions that were undertaken in the first
One area which must be emphasized above all is transport.
programme and also makes provision for new actions. As
Transport takes almost half the energy cost and it uses
has already been said, the programme ignores the positive
almost half the oil. We have not done enough in that sector.
results that have stemmed from legislative measures and
Then there are domestic and industrial appliances, insula­
the possibility of achieving a further increase in energy
tion for the heating of homes, and in some parts of the EU
efficiency via the same route.
for the cooling of homes. There is a good home rating
scheme developed in my own constituency which should Although I do not believe that legislation would help us
be far more widespread. It must be made easier for third down that route, I feel that we should not disregard the
parties to finance energy-efficient measures and for the experience that we have gained from the past at a very
growing industry of energy services to be helped. This heavy price. I would therefore advise the Commission to
makes us competitive, remember. Combined heat and look for a middle way, so as to provide an impetus to small
power is another very sensible measure which needs and medium-sized enterprises in particular, as I said before.
encouragement; as do education and information through­
Mr President, allow me also to say that in the Commis­out the EU, particularly to the target groups. We need
sion's proposal the supporting limits and guidelines for all millions of people to make decisions which do not seem
of the actions and measures are determined on the basis of obvious to them.
economic efficiency and energy-saving potential. How­
Employment would be greatly helped by an extension of ever, it would also be useful if the Commission were to
energy efficiency. This has been proved in study after take account of the need to achieve convergence between
study. I am therefore deeply disappointed at the negative the Member States in the area of energy efficiency.
attitude of the Council of Ministers which cannot even be
Fitzsimons (UPE). - Mr President, I support Mrs Bloch bothered to get a proper legal base for the SAVE II
von Blottnitz's report. She introduced it with her usual programme. That is indeed reprehensible, given the ur­
efficiency. It is important that we support the continuation gency.
of the SAVE energy efficiency programme with a budget of
I think we will see this week a very clear expression of the ECU 120m for the period from 1996 to 2000.
will of the European Parliament representing people in
The SAVE initiative, which dates back to 1991, is one of every Member State. That will is to say: 'Let us have much
the cornerstones for the European Union policies to stabi­stronger measures for energy efficiency'. SAVE II is
lize carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by the year nowhere near ambitious enough. It has not learned all the
2000. The renewal of the SAVE programme may be timely lessons from SAVE I. It is a very limited, minimal
as the European Commission reports that the carbon approach but it is absolutely essential that the Council of
dioxide target is being exceeded by 5 %. However, I cannot Ministers knows that the European Parliament is backing it
emphasize enough, without reiterating all that has been very strongly indeed.
said by Mrs Bloch von Blottnitz and other speakers, that
Argyros (PPE). - (EL) Mr President, on behalf of the the consequences of the worldwide increase in tempera­
European People's Party I too would like to congratulate tures include the raising of sea level, climatic changes and
the rapporteur, both on the content of her report and on the an increased incidence of skin cancer. Indeed, according to
consensus that she fostered in the committee. estimates, carbon dioxide accounts for 50 % of the green­
house gases now present in the atmosphere.
That consensus has led to a number of common conclu­
sions which I will not spell out in detail now. However, it Between 1991 and 1994 the SAVE programme funded a
is worth pointing out once again that with this programme total of 203 pilot projects in the energy efficiency field. In
we are seeking to promote environmental improvement and Ireland alone we undertook 12 pilot projects with the
to increase the competitiveness of Europe's undertakings. assistance of SAVE funds. So I fully agree with the
As Mrs McNally has stressed, this competitiveness must, objective to improve energy efficiency by a further 1.5 %
above all, be focused, through the programme, on small per annum within the European Union. It is important in
and medium-sized enterprises, because that is where the this context that the SAVE initiatives should be coordinated
lowest efficiency in the use of energy is to be found and with other European Union energy initiatives such as
where the greatest return can be gained. THERMIE and SYNERGY. Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/6 15.4.96
debated this directive, and it must be said that in many Plooij-Van Gorsel (ELDR). - (NL) Mr President, ladies
and gentlemen, I am pleased first of all to compliment the developed countries the objectives set out there do not
rapporteur on the excellent report on SAVE II. This report represent anything new. We need to set more ambitious
makes a contribution to the difficult but important battle for objectives and ensure that the old, wasteful sources of
a sustainable environment and a sustainable development energy are modernized. The SAVE programme is of great
of our economy. For the Group of the European Liberal, importance in all this improvement of energy efficiency,
Democratic and Reformist Partyet but in itself it does not help as much as it could. I hope that
means a situation in which the natural raw materials are so this SAVE II programme will be adopted but there is much
used that future generations can also make use of them in that could be done to improve it.
the same way. Liberals start with their own responsibility
and do not shuffle it off on to succeeding generations. That Ahern (V). - Mr President, I should like very much to
of course means that there must be sustainable manage­ congratulate my colleague, Mrs Bloch von Blottnitz on this
ment of natural resources. There is a price-tag on pollution. excellent report and on the all-round consensus that has
So the environmental costs of consumption and production been achieved in the Committee on Research, Technologi­
must be made visible in the economy. cal Development and Energy on this issue.
The Committee on Energy has approved 35 amendments, I have to say that it is a bit like motherhood. Everyone
four of them from the Group of the European Liberal, supports energy savings, everyone is in favour of mother­
Democratic and Reformist Party. I should like to explain hood. But where are the real supports. The Commission has
two of them. failed with these proposals to give us real support, key
legislative proposals. Parliament has stepped in and, cor­
In Recital 15 the committee states as its point of departure
rectly, pointed this out. We do not have very much time left
that by the year 2000 between 80 and 200 million tonnes of
before the year 2000 to achieve the objectives we have set
C02 emissions could be avoided by a 5 % improvement in
ourselves. Let us have some real legislative proposals this energy efficiency compared with conventional expecta­
time around. tions. A shift, ladies and gentlemen, in the use of energy
sources, in particular in the direction of renewable energy
The most important thing we have done recently is to , could make these figures considerably more at­
evaluate the SAVE programme. We have done an excellent tractive. That should be encouraged in the framework of
evaluation and have come up with the real result that you SAVE II.
need legislative proposals. We need teeth to make the
In Amendment No 12 the Group of the European Liberal, SAVE proposals sink in. Unless we get teeth the Member
Democratic and Reformist Party wanted to emphasize that States will not do the work. We will not get the results we
it is not only politically but economically desirable to open need. We have to harmonize with other programmes. We
the SAVE II programme to the countries of Central and have to harmonize with THERMIE and SYNERGY and we
Eastern Europe and the associateds in the Medi­ have to export these ideas to third countries, particularly
terranean area. It is essential to apply modern energy the East.
technologies and to switch to cleaner industries in Eastern
But let us show an example ourselves. Where are the SAVE Europe. That is good for the environment and good for the
economy and benefits both the Union and third countries. programmes for the European Parliament? Where are the
That is what makes this collaboration so significant. energy saving programmes for the Commission? Let us do
some real work ourselves on our own buildings. Buildings
Stenius-Kaukonen (GUE-NGL). - (FI) Mr President, it is
are shooting up here and in Brussels. Where are the real
certainly appropriate that at least one representative of a
energy saving proposals there? We pontificate about what
Nordic state should take part in this debate on the pro­
third countries and peripheral states should do all the time.
gramme for the promotion of energy efficiency. It is
Let us do something real here in the heart of Europe where
extremely pleasant to come to warm Strasbourg from cold
we have money. Let us do it legislatively and with fiscal
Finland, where the ice on the lakes is still half a metre
instruments. I do not accept that we cannot use fiscal
thick, making it quite possible to drive over the ice to one's . It is about time we got back to using them.
island holiday home to go fishing. There is quite a lot of
snow too. Macartney (ARE). - Mr President, I wish to respond to
the point made by Mrs Stenius-Kaukonen that those of us
In the North, particularly in a country dominated by the
who live in the more northerly parts of Europe suffer from paper industry, industrial users of course consume an
colder winters! It is something which is fairly obvious enormous amount of energy, but we also use a lot of energy
when you state it but clearly it has profound implications in heating. This winter has been particularly cold, and this
for the people who live in those climates. In particular, the has meant that considerably more energy has been used
Scots should take a leaf out of the book of the Finns, the than normal. Of course, we cannot do anything about the
Swedes and the Norwegians on how to insulate their forces of nature. We can, however, do a lot to improve
houses. A lot of lessons could be learned by our people and energy efficiency. In Finland, for example, there are
these could be applied right across Europe to everybody's currently enormous quantities of wood, of waste wood,
benefit. which nobody uses. And in order to make use of these
forms of energy, we need money for research; there is also
This is an example of something which could be promoted plenty of room for improvement as regards all the existing
right across Europe, and it is a great pity if some govern­forms of energy.
ments take refuge in subsidiarity and say that you cannot
apply it to us and so miss the chance of doing something The directive on refrigerators, which the next speaker Mr
Macartney has reported on, may even now be being significant about the targets which Europe agreed to at the
debated in the Council. Indeed, Parliament has only just Rio Summit. Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/7 15.4.96
Our problem with the Commission and the Council of nately, despite its increased budget and inclusion of targets,
Ministers is not that we have any quarrel with their rhetoric the Commission's proposal gives little cause for optimism:
or their good intentions, but is simply a question of their ECU 150 million over five years is really derisory in the
lack of ambition to translate this into resources and real face of the problem we are facing. It is, however, all we
measures. have at the present and, to that extent, I commend Mrs
Bloch von Blottnitz's excellent report to the House.
Later on in this Parliament we shall be returning again to
Teverson (ELDR). - Mr President, clearly we welcome the subject of domestic freezers and fridges, which is a
this report. In energy conservation everybody wins. At one subject that often causes eyes to glaze over, I have to admit.
stroke it protects the environment, conserves resources, But when people realize how much energy the fridge or the
boosts the economy and saves consumers money at the freezer in their house consumes all the year round, I think
same time. Energy efficiency and conservation are often they will realize this is important.
forgotten altogether and Japan and our Scandinavian col­
We are going to have a battle as a Parliament to get the leagues have shown how economic growth can actually be
fairly modest but realistic measures we put forward last decoupled from the use and growth of energy.
time agreed upon and we will have to grit our teeth and say
At the time of Rio there was great excitement. We believed to the Commission and the Council of Ministers: tell us, do
in those targets. This programme does not go far enough to you really believe the rhetoric that you indulge in? Do you
meet those targets. Energy strategy is a part of environ­believe the targets that you agreed to at Rio? Then we can
mental policy and therefore must be decided at European look forward to a kind of level playingfield Europe by all
level and that is why we must get serious. So this is not means, but also to one in which energy savings can offer a
enough. What we need to have as well is energy taxation very great contribution towards the targets which we all
which gives out strong market signals, not the voluntary believe in.
system we have at the moment but one that affects all states
Pollack (PSE). - Mr President, almost three years ago in unison, not an additional taxation but a way of reducing
today I stood in this spot and delivered the opinion of the tax on employment and other areas.
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Con­
I welcome this report very much, but it is only one part of sumer Protection on the SAVE I programme. At the end of
the jigsaw. Let us see the others. my speech I said that we do not want to have to come back
here in two or three years' time to say: 'we told you so, so
please try to strengthen this instrument'. Well, here I am
doing just that, on behalf of the Environment Committee
again, because, despite Parliament's pleas, the SAVE I IN THE CHAIR: MR ANASTASSOPOULOS
programme was not strengthened. In fact, it was watered
down to such an extent that the final text bore almost no
resemblance to the original proposal. This was a result, of
course, of the pathetic lack of political will of Member Papoutsis, Member of the Commission. - (EL) Mr Presi­
State governments to tackle the greenhouse effect. dent, ladies and gentlemen, allow me first of all to thank
the rapporteur, Mrs Bloch von Blottnitz, for her very
SAVE I, which Parliament criticized for having insufficient important report, and also the draftsmen of the opinions of
finance and ambition, detailed 13 legal actions and stand­ the parliamentary committees.
ards that would be undertaken. In practice, only four
The SAVE I programme which ended in 1995 was initially directives emerged and it is unacceptable that the present
devised as an energy efficiency programme. However, as it proposal makes no reference to the failure of SAVE I as a
progressed it became the cornerstone of the European legislative programme. For instance, we still have no
Union's strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. directive on energy efficiency of buildings.
Following the presentation of the findings of the evaluation
It is sad that the current proposal does not contain more of the SAVE I programme the Commission took very
ambitious targets for energy saving. In order to meet the serious account of many of the observations in the evalu­
EU's Rio commitments people have already said that a ation, and I can say that many of those observations and
2.5 % per annum improvement in energy efficiency is proposals have already been incorporated into the SAVE II
needed. The preamble to the SAVE II programme makes it programme. However, we have also been guided by an­
clear that over the past decade little more than a 1 % other factor, namely the lack of progress on the question of
improvement has been achieved across Europe, and there is an energy tax. And it is precisely that which has led us into
very little in the Commission's proposal to suggest that developing SAVE II as a wider and fuller initiative.
even this minimalist improvement will be sustained in
I fully understand, and to a great extent share, the anxiety coming years.
that very many Members, and in particular Mrs von
If the SAVE programme really is the cornerstone of the Blottnitz, Mrs McNally and Mrs Ahern, have expressed
Community's C02 strategy - as the proposal states - then regarding the programme's legislative dimension.
that strategy lies in tatters. The lack of EUwide energy
Nevertheless, allow me to say here and now that the SAVE efficiency targets to date has meant that Member States
programme is not a framework for legislative initiatives by have failed to implement the necessary energy-efficiency
the Commission. As you know, the Commission is able to measures and the proposed targets are not sufficient to
propose new legislation whenever it thinks it necessary, make up the deficit.
and I am absolutely sure that given the European Parlia­
With the carbon tax stalled, it is more essential than ever ment's support we shall have the opportunity to discuss
for Europe to have an ambitious programme for promoting new legislative measures here in this House in the coming
energy efficiency and curbing C02 emissions. Unfortu­ months. Debates of the European Parliament No 4-480/8 15.4.96
What this programme does provide, however, is the poten­ concerned, the Commission can accept the spirit of the
tial for the funding of actions such as studies to investigate second part of that amendment. We cannot accept the first,
the possibility of legislative measures and to prepare the third and fourth parts because we do not wish to upset the
drafting of such measures. In any case, before proposing existing agreement on comitology. The Commission does
legislation the Commission would like to exhaust all of the also have the power, and intends in the future, to propose
other possibilities, such as self-binding agreements, the a legislative measure aimed at improving energy efficiency
CEN authorizations for energy efficient models and the in the Union, after, however, as I said at the beginning,
procurement of technologically advanced products. Please exhausting the existing possibilities such as the self-
allow me at this point to deal with Mrs Pollack's comment. binding agreements for industry.
I cannot agree that the Commission's legislative initiative
in the framework of SAVE I was a failure, because, and I Allow me to say also, on a general note, that no legislative
must emphasize this, nine of the thirteen legislative pro­ initiative by the Commission is dependent on approval
posals have been adopted already and, in addition, work is being given to a particular programme. Hence Amend­
proceeding on two others. ments Nos 5, 10 and 16, which seek to commit the
Commission to legislative initiatives, cannot be accepted at
That said, however, I think that everyone will agree that the
this point. Amendments Nos 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 25
task facing us is to convince ordinary citizens, industry and
relate to new actions of low interest, and, of course, to the
the competent state authorities of the benefits of investing
funding of them. These actions are either already encom­
in energy efficiency and energy-saving.
passed, at least in part, by the Commission's text or are
If we can make a reality of the very considerable energy- well outside its framework, or, in fact, are covered by other
saving possibilities that exist we shall be able to reduce our initiatives. As a result they cannot be introduced into the
energy dependency. We shall.also be able to revitalize our text. The Commission believes that respect for the treaties
industry and, as Mr Argyros has said, small and medium- and balanced allocation of the budget are requirements that
sized enterprises in particular. In addition, we shall be able go without saying. That being so, Amendments Nos 26 and
to reduce public sector spending and to promote the use of 27 cannot be included in the text. The same applies to
new energy technologies. Lastly, and perhaps this is the Amendments Nos 30 and 35 which would reduce the
most important point, and many of you have mentioned it flexibility of the programme management procedures. The
in your speeches, we shall be able to create a large number Commission supports complementarity between SAVE II
of new jobs, which will be a very important thing in itself. and the corresponding national programmes and therefore
cannot accept the blurring of this concept contained in
In my opinion the budget of 150 m ECU that we have set
Amendment No 31. We believe that despite its shortcom­
for SAVE II is very modest in relation to the political and
ings SAVE I has contributed to energy efficiency in the
economic benefits which will flow from this programme.
Community, and therefore we cannot accept Amendment
No 4. Lastly, Amendment No 9 is not directly related to the Energy and environmental problems are not, however,
confined to the European Union. In the countries of central potential for intervention built into the proposal in question
and eastern Europe which are preparing for accession to the and therefore it cannot be included.
Union there is enormous scope for improvement in energy
efficiency. We have a duty to give them the opportunity to In concluding I should like to thank Parliament again for its
participate in SAVE II. In addition, following a request contribution, Mrs von Blottnitz personally, and, of course,
from the countries of the European Economic Area, the the Committee on Research, Technological Development
programme will be open to Norway, Iceland and Liechten­ and Energy. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you will
stein. We are also looking at the possibility of involving support this proposal following the improvements that have
Cyprus and Malta. been made to its text via the amendments that are being
The costs involved in opening SAVE II to non-member
countries will be covered by contributions from those
Bloch von Blottnitz (V), rapporteur. - (DE) Mr President, s themselves and from existing Community re­
Commissioner, I would like you to tell me when you will
sources, and not from the SAVE II budget which covers the
be presenting the legislative proposals. You said it would
Community countries only. Mr President, SAVE II is an
be very soon. I would like you to be more precise. Then
important tool, a tool which can bring results only if it is
you said this programme was useful for study purposes. Do
given the fullest support. I therefore request you to look
you not agree that we already have enough of those? You
upon SAVE Π as a complementary action which is thus not
also said that of the thirteen legislative measures an­intended as a substitute for actions taken by the Member
nounced in SAVE I, nine had already been implemented. States themselves.
That really is not true!
With reference to the amendments, I have to say that the
In fact only three of them have been implemented and that rapporteur has made an extremely important contribution.
is the ones on hot water boilers, the labelling of household The Commission can accept five amendments without
appliances and the labelling of freezers. What you present reservation, namely Nos 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. We can also agree
as a major success - and which really would be one if it in principle, subject perhaps to a slight redrafting, with 12
had happened - is the SAVE directive of September 1993, others, namely Nos 1, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 22, 28, 32, 33
and that is precisely what we are discussing. We are calling and 34. As regards Amendments Nos 12 and 33, which
for legislative proposals and you say they have already seek to open the programme to the associated countries in
the Mediterranean area, the Commission can accept only been implemented. Surely that is not the case. The directive
one measure corresponding to that of the SOCRATES merely refers to the measures, while it is left open to the
programme, under which the programme was opened only Member States whether they implement them or not. But
to Cyprus and Malta. As far as Amendment No 29 is they have not done so.