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25. 2.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 60/117

Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission

(23 July 1997)

1. The Commission is aware of this renewed media attention. The Commission has expressed its concern to
successive Surinamese governments and its support for sustainable management of forest resources as outlined
in Protocol X of the Mauritius agreement revising the Lomé IV Convention.

2. The main objective of the Community’s strategy in Suriname is the pursuit of sustainable economic
development in a way which is not detrimental to the overall socio-economic and environmental balance. The
issue of sustainable management of forest resources has therefore figured prominently in the discussions, both
with the Surinamese government and with the Member States, on the preparation of the 8th European
development fund (EDF) national indicative programme. Moreover, in communicating the 8th EDF financial
envelope to Suriname, the Commission stressed the attention the Community attaches to the sustainability of the
development process and to the respect of Protocol X in future cooperation. During the March 1997
programming mission culminating in the signing of the national indicative programme, Commission
representatives again emphasised to the Surinamese goverment the importance the Community attaches to this
issue. Finally during the November 1996 and April 1997 visits to the Commission by the Suriname minister for
planning and development cooperation, the issue was again reviewed.

3. The new Surinamese government is genuinely aware of the need to manage its forest resources in a
sustainable way, in full compliance with Agenda 21 and the Convention on biodiversity, while aiming to apply
Protocol X in its cooperation with the Community. It has taken several positive steps in the field of forestry and
environment: one-million hectares concessions are ruled out and future concessions wil be limited to only
150,000 hectares; forestry operators of unquestionable environmental reputation are being attracted; an
environmental council is being set up, directly attached to the President, with an all-encompassing
interdepartmental approach; it will develop a new environmental law and set up an environmental agency to
execute and enforce the law, boosting research, performing environmental impact assessments and executing
global structural studies on physical distribution of activities.

4. - 6. The Community, as a concrete response to the threatening forest crisis has launched a number of
forest-related studies financed on the appropriate budget lines. A first study aims to establish an overall
ecological and economic assessment and inventory of the Amazon rainforest eco-system; a more action-oriented
forest sector study, currently under execution and expected to be completed this autumn, will allow the
Commission to finalise a project proposal for the establishment and rehabilitation of a forest management
authority for which 3.5 MECU of 7th EDF resources have been earmarked and which will be set up in full
accordance with the recently adopted Commission guidelines for forest sector development cooperation. A
tourism development project which was launched in 1996, will give particular attention to the development of
eco-tourism in forest areas. The Commission has also been very actively involved in intensive donor
coordination, together with the main donor, the Netherlands, and others such as the Inter-american development
bank (IDB), the Food and agriculture organisation and the United States, as well as with a wide range of both
international and local environmental pressure groups. As a result of these concerted efforts, certain donors have
already started emergency field monitoring and controlling operations. Sustainable management of Suriname’s
forest resources is therefore clearly part and parcel of overall Community cooperation.

(98/C 60/199) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2261/97

by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission

(2 July 1997)

Subject: Defence industry

The Commission has submitted a communication entitled ‘The challenges facing the European defence-related
industry, a contribution for action at European level’ (COM(96) 10 final).
C 60/118 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2. 98

The Member States are moving towards the definition of an original design for European security, which should
take account on the one hand of existing international organizations (WEU, NATO, OSCE, etc.) and, on the
other, the needs of those EU Member States which traditionally take a neutral or non-aligned stance in military
affairs.

Any action by the Commission in the defence industry sector should take account of the specific nature of this
industry and its links with security and defence policy, the systems of research and development and production,
and the dependence of the sector on purchases by ministries for defence.

In this connection, will the Commission impose a ban at European and international level on the production, sale
and use of anti-personnel land mines?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(30 July 1997)

The conclusion of an international treaty to ban anti-personnel mines is essentially a matter to be negotiated
among sovereign states through the complementary mechanisms of the Ottawa process and the conference on
disarmament. In its joint action of October 1996, the Union is ‘committed to the goal of the total elimination of
anti-personnel landmines and shall work actively towards the achievement, at the earliest possible date of an
effective international agreement to ban these weapons world-wide’. At the same time the Union implemented a
common moratorium on the export of all anti-personnel landmines to all destinations and continued its extensive
practical action to overcome the problems of anti-personnel landmines in all the most afflicted countries. The
Commission strongly supports the early conclusion of an international agreement on a total ban, and uses every
opportunity in its dealings with third countries, to encourage political and practical action that will assist this
process and help overcome the landmine tragedy.

(98/C 60/200) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2290/97


by Lyndon Harrison (PSE) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: Quarantine

Can the Commission confirm the status of the implementation of the BALAI directive?

Has the directive been reviewed and is it likely to be extended to cover pet dogs and cats?

Has the Commission had any recent contact with the British Government about the future of the British
quarantine system and its impact on free movement in the Single European Market?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(17 July 1997)

All of the Member States have notified the Commission that they have implemented Council Directive 92/65/EC
laying down animal health requirements governing trade in and imports into the Community of animals, semen,
ova and embryos not subject to animal health requirements laid down in specific Community rules referred to in
Annex A (I) to Directive 90/425/EEC (1) (so called Balai Directive).

This Directive is currently being reviewed by the scientific veterinary committee, particularly in relation to
various aspects of rabies. A report is expected in the near future. Following this report the Commission will make
suitable proposals at an appropriate time.

The Commission has regular contacts with the British authorities on this subject.

(1) OJ L 268, 14.9.1992.

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