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C 21/96 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 22. 1.

98

However, in line with the approach followed by the ‘general system’ Directives, matters relating to the regulation
of professions (requirements governing training and professional practice, competent authorities) fall under the
Member States' jurisdiction. Consequently, it is not for the Commission to accept or reject joint platforms
established by European professional associations. In other words, the Commission does not formally recognize
such joint platforms − even though it is aware of their benefit in promoting free movement of professionals
within the single market.

Joint platforms remain private initiatives, and thus cannot replace national regulation. Nevertheless, a certificate
such as the ECP submitted by a migrant would provide the host Member State's authorities with certain
guarantees as regards the training undergone. Thus the success of initiatives such as that taken by the EAP
largely depends on the national authorities' acceptance of each joint platform as a yardstick. The fact that training
leading to the award of the ECP is also open to members of other professions is an additional advantage in this
regard.

(1) OJ C 268, 26.9.1994.


(2) OJ C 332, 28.11.1994.
(3) OJ L 19, 24.1.1989.
(4) OJ L 209, 24.7.1992.

(98/C 21/198) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1787/97


by Richard Howitt (PSE) to the Commission
(27 May 1997)

Subject: Television licences

Cant he Commission comment on the current UK practice of charging people for the use of the same television at
two separate addresses twice? This practice would seem to penalize those who need to use their television in two
places and cannot be a fair practice.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(11 July 1997)

The Commission cannot comment on the practice described by the Honourable Member. In general, licence fees
fall within the competence of the Member States. For example, recital No 13 of directive 89/552/EEC on the
coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States
concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities (1) stipulates that the Directive does not affect the
responsibility of Member States with regard to the organisation and financing of programmes. However,
measures taken by Member States in this regard must be compatible with Community law. The facts given in the
question are not sufficient to indicate in themselves that there is any infringement of Community law.

(1) OJ L 298, 17.10.1989.

(98/C 21/199) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1791/97


by Anne Poisson (UPE) to the Commission
(27 May 1997)

Subject: Production of European Union official documents in braille

The European Union, the European Parliament and other agencies and institutions produce and distribute a
number of official documents providing information.

Unfortunately they are not accessible to everyone, especially the blind.


22. 1. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 21/97

At present there are 7.4 million blind and partially sighted people in Europe, which amounts to 2% of the
population.

In the interests of better public access to information, can the Commission say when and to what extent official
documents will be available in braille?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission


(4 July 1997)

The Commission is very sensitive to the difficulties which partially sighted European citizens can experience in
gaining access to official documents.

The spread of standards such as the standard generalised mark-up language (SGML) for structured information
retrieval enables technical solutions to be devised for making certain documents available in Braille.

Taking account of the demands already made on the Commission's resources, it is at present unlikely that all
official documents will be made available in Braille in 11 languages.

Nevertheless, for some time all official documents relating to the integration of disabled persons (programmes,
reports, resolutions, European guides) as well as the Helioscope and Helios Flash publications have also been
accessible to the blind and partially sighted on diskette in all possible languages. Anyone interested may obtain
from the Commission a diskette version of the document required in order to easily transform it into Braille or
print adapted for the partially sighted.

The Commission will raise the question of extending this approach to other documents with the Managment
Committee of the Publications Office in order to decide on a common approach for the European institutions.

(98/C 21/200) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1805/97


by Robert Evans (PSE) to the Commission
(28 May 1997)

Subject: EU levy on Cassava products

Would the Commission explain the somewhat high levy that is placed upon the cassava products listed below.
− Cassava dough 1901909999 / additional code 7010
− Cassava flour 1901909975 / additional code 7015?

Companies operating in my constituency are confused as to why the rate should be so high for these products.

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission


(4 July 1997)

Processed agricultural products not covered by Annex II to the EC Treaty are subject to a trade regime
established by Council Regulation (EC) No 3448/93 (1) laying down the trade arrangements applicable to certain
goods resulting from the processing of agricultural products. The regime aims to safeguard the commercial and
agricultural policies of the Community.

At import and like numerous other processed agricultural products subject to the regime, food preparations
containing cassava falling under code 1901 90 99 of the combined nomenclature are subject to a duty comprising
two parts − an ad valorem rate corresponding to industrial protection and a specific amount corresponding to the
protection necessary for agricultural reasons.

In accordance with the objectives of the common agricultural policy the specific amount takes account of the
quantities of agricultural raw materials used in manufacture. It is based upon the duties applied to imports of the
relevant raw materials in the natural state. The raw material import duties for cassava flour, cassava starch, potato
starch and maize starch are identical.