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19. 11.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 354/113

(98/C 354/181) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1570/98

by Nel van Dijk (V) to the Commission
(20 May 1998)

Subject: Unanswered questions

The deadline set in the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure for answers to the following questions has long
since expired. This is hampering my work as a Member of Parliament, since it prevents me from reacting quickly
to subjects of topical interest to members of the public. I still hope, however, to receive answers in the very near
future to the questions already put under Rule 42 of the Rules of Procedure concerning:
− equal opportunities in the internal market for gas and electricity (E-0341/98)
− eavesdropping by MI6 and Echelon (E-1039/98 and E-1040/98)
− economic espionage and State aid (E-1038/98)
− possible fraud in connection with Dutch beef exports (P-1084/98)

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(29 May 1998)

The Commission does its best to meet the deadlines of three weeks (priority questions) and six weeks (other
questions), unilaterally set by Parliament in its procedures. Although on the whole it is not capable of responding
to priority questions (13% of answers in 1997) within three weeks, it answers other questions (87% in 1997)
around the six-week deadline (an average of 6 weeks and 1 day in 1997 and 5 weeks and 6 days in 1996).

The five questions referred to by the Honourable Member were answered on 5 May 1998 (question E 341/98),
15 May 1998 (three consecutive questions) and 8 May 1998 (priority question). The Commission wishes to make
it clear that three of the five questions were answered within Parliament’s deadline.

(98/C 354/182) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1573/98

by Francisco Lucas Pires (PPE) and Carlos Costa Neves (PPE) to the Council
(25 May 1998)

Subject: Agreement in the UN between the British Presidency and Indonesia to prevent the latter’s being
condemned on the grounds of violations of fundamental rights in Timor

On 23 April 1998 it was reported in the press that an agreement had been reached between the British Presidency
of the European Union and Indonesia at the United Nations in Geneva which averted a vote in the UN
Commission on Human Rights on a motion for a resolution, sponsored by 34 States, strongly condemning the
Jakarta Government.

What was the exact tenor of that agreement, what justification and guarantees were given and to what extent is
the refusal to condemn Indonesian action in Timor compatible with the commitment, reiterated in Amsterdam, to
safeguard the defence of fundamental rights as an objective of Union foreign policy?

(20 July 1998)

At the 54th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (Geneva, 16 March − 26 April 1998) agreement
was reached on a statement to be read out by the CHR’s chairman, ambassador Selebi, on the human rights
situation in East Timor. The EU has made a direct contribution to drafting this Chairman’s statement, which
reflects the consensus view of the CHR.
C 354/114 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 19. 11. 98

In the Chairman’s statement, the CHR stated that it continues to follow with deep concern the reports on
violations of human rights in East Timor. It stressed the need for the Government of Indonesia to implement its
undertakings to promote human rights in East Timor, and those contained in the CHR Chairman’s statements on
the matter, including concrete steps on the early trial and release of East Timorese detained or convicted, as well
as for those in custody to be treated humanely. The CHR reiterated the need for further clarification of the
circumstances surrounding the Dili incident of 1991.

The CHR noted the understanding between the Government of Indonesia and the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights concerning access of the programme officer to East Timor within the framework of technical
cooperation. The CHR also noted the commitment by the Government of Indonesia to continue to allow greater
access to East Timor by the international media and international humanitarian organisations. The CHR
welcomed the Government of Indonesia’s decision to invite the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to
visit East Timor in advance of the 55th session of the CHR.

(98/C 354/183) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1575/98

by Sérgio Ribeiro (GUE/NGL) to the Council
(25 May 1998)

Subject: Map of the EU on euro coins and failure to differentiate two Member States

The Council replied to my question P-0169/98 (1) in a way which must be termed unfortunate.

My question highlighted a clear error, at political level, since the designs for euro coins feature a map of the EU
which distinguishes the borders between all the Member States with the exception of Portugal and Spain.

The Council’s reply misses the point, which may be a misunderstanding due to political expediency, but it
concludes with a sentence which I consider to be unacceptable, since it refers to Portugal and Spain as ‘two
separate geographical entities’. This is not the point. The point was not a matter of geography but the fact that, on
a political map of the European Union, Spain and Portugal are not identified as separate political entities.

Can the Council say whether the above reply was seen and approved by the representatives of these two Member
States of the European Union which, euphemistically speaking, the Council appears tempted to regard politically
as mere ‘geographical entities’?

(1) OJ C 196, 22.6.1998, p. 120.

(20 July 1998)

The Council has nothing to add to its reply to Written Question No P-0169/98.

(98/C 354/184) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1585/98

by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE) to the Commission
(25 May 1998)

Subject: Slate industry and fourth framework programme for research and development

In her reply to my previous Written Question No. E-4008/97 (1) and with reference to the fourth framework
programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities,
Mrs Cresson cited by way of example three projects funded under the technology stimulation measures (CRAFT)
scheme of the IMT programme (projects nos. BES2-5168, BES2-2134 and BES2-5271) involving the slate
industry. Some of the 16 SME which took part in these projects are Spanish.