Written Answers. - EU Directives.

John Gormley


741 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he has responded to the letter from the European Commission which has launched infringement proceedings against Ireland for failure to transpose the Ambient Air Quality Framework Directive, 96/62/EC; if so, if he will supply Deputy Gormley with a copy of his response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2235/99]

The European Commission has requested information, in advance of any decision by it under Article 169 of the Treaty, in respect of the measures necessary to implement Community Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management in Ireland. Regulations to transpose elements of the directive are at an advanced stage of preparation in my Department. I will finalise these regulations as soon as possible and will notify the Commission and the Deputy accordingly.

Frances Fitzgerald


743 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the resources and personnel available to transpose EU directives into Irish law; if he has satisfied himself with the rate of progress of this implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1621/99]

The necessary resources and personnel are made available, as required, to transpose those EU directives into Irish law for which I have responsibility.

The main such directives, for which compliance is already required, provide for the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women in matters of social security under both statutory and occupational schemes. Full legislative effect has been given to these directives in the Social Welfare Acts, and the regulations thereunder, in relation to statutory schemes and in the Pensions Act, as amended, and its regulations, in relation to occupational schemes.

Appropriate provision has also been made in the Social Welfare Acts to give effect to requirements of EU directives in relation to parental leave and health and safety benefit.

There is currently one directive, the Supplementary Pensions Directive 98/49/EC of 29 June 1998, which is still awaiting transposition into Irish law. The provisions of this directive must be transposed into Irish law by 25 July 2001. My Department is in consultation with the Pensions Board on the matter, with a view to establishing what new provisions, if any, need to be included in the Pensions Act to achieve full transposition. The Pensions Act already provides for most of the main requirements of the directive.

The necessary resources and personnel both in my Department and the Pensions Board are being made available to ensure that full transposition is achieved before the deadline set down in the directive.