8 December 2014
E-010368-14
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)

Subject: Presence of asbestos in Commission building

Question(s)
With regard to Directive 2009/148/EC of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work, and with regard to the well known health risks of asbestos:
1. why has the Commission taken almost 20 years, from the first partial move in 1995, to finish moving its employees out of the Jean Monnet building in Luxembourg in spite of the confirmed presence of asbestos?
2. how many cases of asbestos exposure have been recognised as professional illnesses among Commission employees stationed in the Jean Monnet building?
3. has a definite date been set by which the Commission plans to have moved all of its employees out of the Jean Monnet building?

E-010368/2014
Answer given by Vice-President Georgieva on behalf of the Commission
(5.5.2015)

With regard to Directive 2009/148/EC of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work, and with regard to the well known health risks of asbestos:
Like most buildings of the 1970s, the Jean Monnet building (JMO) contains a number of asbestos applications, which did not present identified risks until recently. During the summer of 2013, an incident took place in the Print Shop during maintenance work, which resulted in a release of asbestos fibres. In the light of this incident, the Commission proceeded with an update of the asbestos inventory, which was then completed in November 2013. The main outcome of this update was that a certain form of asbestos present in the JMO had to be considered in the future as brittle due to ageing problems. Several in depth studies were conducted, leading to the decision to abandon the building. This decision was taken by the EC in July 2014 in agreement with the Luxembourgish authorities.
As of today, 4 cases of asbestos exposure have been recognised as professional illnesses among Commission employees stationed in the Jean Monnet building.
Immediately after the EC decision to abandon the building was taken in mid-July 2014, all services started to work, in close cooperation with the Luxembourgish authorites, in order to identify alternative buildings to relocate the staff present in the JMO. The EC has progressed in identifying the premises for this relocation as well negotiating the cost-sharing and organisational modalities of this operation together with the Luxembourgish authorities. The objective is to leave the building as soon as possible and all possible efforts are deployed to accelerate that process.

Subject: Follow-up to answer given to Written Question E-010368/2014

In its reply to Written Question E-010368/2014 the Commission failed to provide a date for the abandonment of the Jean Monnet building. In this regard:
Can the Commission provide a definite deadline for the complete evacuation of Commission staff from the Jean Monnet building, taking into account the gravity of the situation outlined in the same reply?

Answer given by Vice-President Georgieva on behalf of the Commission
(9.6.2015)

Since November 2014, staff has gradually started to move into space available in existing office buildings.

Following the approval of the budgetary authority (on 14 April by COMBUD in the Council and on 6 May by the BUDG Committee of the European Parliament), the leases for two replacement buildings to be rented by the Commission were signed on 12 May 2015. They will be fitted out in phases between end September and end November 2015. Relocation of staff will take place in stages, as soon as fitted-out spaces become available. The temporary building that the Luxembourg authorities will make available to the Commission should be ready end of 2015. All staff should therefore have been moved in the first months of 2016.

 

Maltese Version

E-010368/2014
Suġġett: Il-preżenza tal-asbetos f’binja tal-Kummissjoni

B’kunsiderazzjoni tad-Direttiva 2009/148/KE tat-30 ta’ Novembru 2009 dwar il-protezzjoni tal-ħaddiema mir-riskji konnessi mal-espożizzjoni għall-asbestos fuq ix-xogħol, kif ukoll fid-dawl tal-fatt li l-asbestos jirrappreżenta riskji għas-saħħa li huma magħrufa:
1.il-Kummissjoni għalfejn damet kważi 20 sena, mill-ewwel ġarr parzjali fl-1995, biex tikkompleta l-ħruġ tal-impjegati tagħha mill-binja Jean Monnet fil-Lussemburgu, minkejja l-preżenza kkonfermata tal-asbestos?
2.kemm huma l-każijiet ta’ espożizzjoni għall-asbestos li ġew rikonoxxuti bħala mard okkupazzjonali fost l-impjegati tal-Kummissjoni stazzjonati fil-binja Jean Monnet?
3.ġiet stabbilita data definita sa meta l-Kummissjoni biħsiebha tkun ħarġet l-impjegati kollha tagħha mill-binja Jean Monnet?

Tweġiba mogħtija mill-Viċi President Georgieva f’isem il-Kummissjoni
(5.5.2015)

Fir-rigward tad-Direttiva 2009/148/KE tat-30 ta’ Novembru 2009 dwar il-protezzjoni tal-ħaddiema mir-riskji konnessi mal-espożizzjoni għall-asbestos fuq ix-xogħol, u fir-rigward tar-riskji għas-saħħa magħrufa sew tal-asbestos:
Bħall-biċċa l-kbira tal-binjiet tas-sebgħinijiet, il-bini Jean Monnet (JMO) fih għadd ta’ applikazzjonijiet tal-asbestos, li ma kinux jippreżentaw riskji identifikati sa ftit ilu. Matul is-sajf tal-2013, seħħ inċident fil-Ħanut tal-Istamperija matul xogħol ta’ manutenzjoni, li rriżulta f’rilaxx ta’ fibri tal-asbestos. Fid-dawl ta’ dan l-inċident, il-Kummissjoni pproċediet b’aġġornament tal-inventarju tal-asbestos, li tlesta f’Novembru 2013. Ir-riżultat prinċipali ta’ dan l-aġġornament kien li ċertu forma ta’ asbestos preżenti fil-bini JMO kellu fil-futur jitqies bħala fraġli minħabba ż-żmien li għadda minn fuqu. Saru diversi studji profondi, li wasslu għad-deċiżjoni li l-bini għandu jiġi abbandunat. Din id-deċiżjoni ttieħdet mill-KE f’Lulju 2014 bi ftehim mal-awtoritajiet Lussemburgiżi.
Sal-lum, hemm erba’ każijiet ta’ esponiment għall-asbestos li ġew rikonoxxuti bħala mard professjonali fost impjegati tal-Kummissjoni stazzjonati fil-binja Jean Monnet.
Immedjatament wara li ttieħdet id-deċiżjoni tal-KE biex jiġi abbandunat il-bini f’nofs Lulju 2014, is-servizzi kollha bdew jaħdmu, f’kooperazzjoni mill-qrib mal-awtoritajiet Lussemburgiżi, sabiex jidentifikaw bini alternattiv għar-rilokazzjoni tal-persunal preżenti fil-bini JMO. Il-KE għamlet progress fl-identifikazzjoni ta’ bini għal din ir-rilokazzjoni kif ukoll fl-innegozjar tal-qsim tal-ispejjeż u tal-modalitajiet ta’ organizzazzjoni ta’ din l-operazzjoni flimkien mal-awtoritajiet Lussemburgiżi. L-għan huwa li l-bini jiġi abbandunat mill-aktar fis possibbli u qed isiru l-isforzi kollha possibbli biex jitħaffef dan il-proċess.