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C 136 E/212 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 8.5.


(2001/C 136 E/247) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3235/00

by Brice Hortefeux (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(12 October 2000)

Subject: MEDIA Programme and financial support for festivals

The 26 September 2000 Council Meeting of Culture Ministers failed to reach an agreement on funding for
the MEDIA+ Programme, the purpose of which is, inter alia, to encourage the inclusion of European
audiovisual works in the programmes of European and international festivals  this being part of a wider
aim, namely to promote and improve the access of European works and programmes to European and
international markets.

Increasing the funding for festivals by one million euros to a total of three million per year would enable
the European dimension of such events to be enhanced (additional scheduling of European films, a higher
percentage of European works, greater attendance by Europeans working in the audiovisual field, and so
on) and more ambitious activities to be undertaken by the networks for the benefit of the European
cinema, through the involvement of a larger number of festivals.

1. Does the Commission agree with this view, which in financial terms is highly reasonable?

2. May it be hoped that, irrespective of the final budget for the MEDIA+ Programme, the above-
mentioned amount will be allocated to festivals?

Answer given by Mrs. Reding on behalf of the Commission

(9 November 2000)

The chapter on ‘promotion’ in the proposal for a decision MEDIA PLUS explicitly mentions the
programme’s actions for festivals, in particular support for audio-visual festivals carried out in partnership
and containing a significant proportion of European works in their programmes. It also mentions
encouraging joint projects with a European dimension involving audio-visual events, with a common
action plan for the promotion of European audio-visual works and their distribution.

The budget allocation for these actions in the MEDIA PLUS proposal is € 10 million for the duration of the
programme, i.e. an average increase of 10-15 % on previous years. This budget estimate is based on a sub-
total of € 30 million for the programme’s ‘promotion’ actions and on an overall budget of € 400 million.

The Commission’s proposed budget breakdown is based both on the specific estimates and forecasts
regarding the budgets necessary for the implementation of the programme’s various courses of action, and
on the resources available.

In conclusion, the Commission is unable to comment definitively on the programme’s budget at this stage
in the negotiations.

(2001/C 136 E/248) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3244/00

by Neil MacCormick (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(20 October 2000)

Subject: Use of biological weapons against drug-growers

Is the Commission aware of reports (e.g. Observer, London, 17 September 2000) that Member States are
engaged in developing biological agents aimed at eradicating plants used for the manufacture of prohibited
drugs? Can the Commission confirm that any use of such agents within the territory of the EU would be
contrary to the precautionary principle and would be illegal?
8.5.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 136 E/213

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(27 November 2000)

The Commission is not aware of the reports mentioned. Whether use of biological agents to eradicate
plants used for producing prohibited drugs contravenes the precautionary principle or is illegal is a
complex question which cannot be answered in general. Particular uses need to be examined on a case by
case basis.

(2001/C 136 E/249) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3253/00

by Salvador Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 October 2000)

Subject: European identity card

Many of the EU’s citizens believe the Union is a good and practical idea, especially when one speaks of
companies or consumer products. However, matters change when one speaks of people and the movement
of citizens.

It may happen, for instance, that a Union citizen is informed, in a Member State other than his country of
origin, that his passport is not considered valid documentation should he apply for provisional motor
vehicle registration, or that there are obstacles to his acquiring a residence permit or work permit. For
such reasons, the vast majority of EU citizens would like to see the introduction of a European identity
card, which would make their lives easier and avoid them the kinds of inconvenience mentioned.

Can the Commission state whether any plans currently exist to introduce a European identity card and
specify what guarantees it can offer the Union’s citizens that this aspiration can one day become a reality?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(21 November 2000)

The Commission would inform the Honourable Member that the current provisions of the EC Treaty do
not confer upon it a competence to create a ‘European identity card’.

The citizenship of the Union established by Article 17 (ex-Article 8) EC Treaty does not replace national
citizenship. Member States issue identity cards to their nationals under national law (see declaration 2
annexed to the final act of the Treaty on European union). It should be noted that there are certain
Member States which do not have any such provisions.

However, action to harmonise the lay-out of identity cards in order to facilitate the free movement of
people in accordance with Article 18 (2) (ex-Article 8a) EC Treaty, and to eliminate sources of confusion is
considered an appropriate step, which the Commission is seriously considering.

(2001/C 136 E/250) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3255/00

by Brice Hortefeux (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 October 2000)

Subject: Revision of the postal directive  creation of a compensation fund

With a view to achieving a significant reduction in the reserved area of services, in its proposal of 30 May
2000  COM(2000) 319 final  the European Commission seems to be relying on the compensation
fund to maintain financing of the universal service.