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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 225 E/197

Which projects aimed specifically at improving working conditions have been given support under the
European Union’s development policy, and in particular under the ‘project cofinancing’ and ‘decentralised
cooperation’ programmes?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(2 February 2000)

The Commission is well aware of working conditions in developing countries and the number of deaths to
which they give rise. However, the Commission is limited in the action it can take on the matter, notably
via development cooperation programmes.

Nonetheless, specific, targeted action to improve working conditions has been taken with the support of
the Commission and Parliament under budget headings B7-6000 and B7-6430. The Community supported
some 40 operations over the last two years, involving awareness campaigns on the impact of globalisation
on the labour market and the concept of fair trade, and highlighting working conditions in developing

For example in 1999 almost EUR 1 million was allocated under budget heading B7-6000 on activities
organised by the Brazilian trade union federation CUT relating to health and safety and environmental
protection at work, as part of a national campaign costing some EUR 2 million.

The Commission would also point out that in negotiating a new partnership between the Community and
African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the parties will reaffirm their commitment to uphold basic
standards set out in the relevant International Labour Organisation conventions, i.e. freedom to join a trade
union, freedom of organisation and collective bargaining, elimination of the worst forms of child labour,
and non-discrimination in employment.

(2000/C 225 E/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2739/99

by Stefano Zappalà (PPE-DE) and Antonio Tajani (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(18 January 2000)

Subject: Latina-Goodyear affair

Since 1965 the American company Goodyear has had a factory in the district of Cisterna di Latina
(Lazio region). 560 workers are employed at the factory. Over the years, in the period during which the
area was covered by the Mezzogiorno Development Fund, the company may have been granted funding
from the public purse. Recently, Goodyear has announced that it intends to close the factory shortly
because it is not profitable.

Can the Commission say:

1. Whether it considers it appropriate to ask the Italian government to find out if Goodyear, in the past,
has been the recipient of public funds and, if so, how much funding it received;

2. Whether, in view of the employment problems in the area, the Commission considers that it should
take steps to prevent multinational companies from abandoning production sites, as has been seen in
recent years, once public funding ceases to be available, with no regard for the welfare of employees
or the protection of the environment?