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C 115 E/222 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 16.5.

2002

The socio-linguistic situation in the Roma and Sinti communities is extremely complex. Their language has
many different variants, which are sometimes mutually incomprehensible, and the situation is further
complicated by contacts with the languages of the majority populations amongst which these communities
live. Furthermore, the members of the communities are themselves often opposed to the development of a
standard written form of their language and its use by outsiders. As a result, teaching the languages and
cultures of the Roma and Sinti communities in schools is impeded by obstacles which are sometimes
difficult to overcome.

The Commission is aware of various initiatives to standardise the Roma language, but is not aware of any
standard form having been accepted by all of Europe’s Rome and Sinti communities.

Under the Phare programme, the Commission has promoted projects on better integration of Roma
children into the normal school environment and on improving Roma school attendance by encouraging
teaching of Roma language and culture and by providing second-chance education for those who never
finished their compulsory education. Such projects have been or are being implemented in a number of
candidate countries, including Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

(2002/C 115 E/237) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3070/01


by Chantal Cauquil (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(26 October 2001)

Subject: Death of dolphins in Community waters

Several articles have appeared in the press concerning the death of dolphins accidentally caught in the
mesh of large European fishing vessels’ pelagic trawls. Reportedly, several hundred dead cetaceans are
found each year on the French and English coasts.

These cetaceans are, however, protected under European Directive 92/43/EEC (1).

What action does the Commission intend to take to ensure that its directives are complied with?

(1) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(27 November 2001)

All cetacean species are strictly protected under the Habitats Directive (1), which, inter alia, forces Member
States to establish a system to monitor the incidental capture and killing of these species. In the light of the
information gathered, Member States should take further research or conservation measures as required to
ensure that incidental capture and killing does not have a significant negative impact on the species
concerned.

If the Community law is broken, then the Commission will take all the necessary steps to ensure that
Community legislation is properly applied by Member States.

The Commission is aware that most of studies on the state of conservation of small cetaceans point to the
risk that by-catch of some species is attaining levels that might endanger the sustainability of some
cetacean populations. However, the relative contribution of different fishing methods to this problem as
well as its extent is still to be fully quantified.

So far there are few hypotheses about how cetacean by-catch in pelagic trawls occurs and consequently
few suggestions about how to reduce it.
16.5.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 115 E/223

Nevertheless, the Commission is open to consider all the necessary measures to mitigate, and possibly
eliminate, the incidental death of cetaceans in fishing activities. To this end the Directorate General for
Fisheries, in cooperation with the Directorate General for the Environment, will organise a meeting of a
subgroup of its Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, from 10 to 14 December
2001, to have an up-to-date review of scientific evidence and to find a solution to tackle the problem.

(1) Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

(2002/C 115 E/238) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3093/01


by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(13 November 2001)

Subject: Use of resources from the Community Fund for Tobacco Research and Information

Data produced by Directorate-General VI for Agriculture (29th report of the EAGGF for 1999) reveal that
the appropriations deducted for the Community Fund for Tobacco Research and Information were under-
utilised. Of the € 48 717 941 deducted, only € 11 896 872 were used.

1. What are the latest figures for deductions and utilisation of resources for the Community Fund for
Research and Information on Tobacco?

2. Have any new projects been approved in addition to those referred to by the Commission in its
answer to my previous question (E-0247/00 (1))? Are there any projects involving Greece?

(1) OJ C 26 E, 26.1.2001, p. 23.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(20 December 2001)

As regards the total amount deducted for the purposes of the Fund, it should be noted that this is not a
true fund into which the deductions made are paid and from which the resources to finance projects are
withdrawn. In practice the Commission initiates activities that are financed under the ad hoc heading
Community fund for research and information (B1-175). Its appropriations correspond to the estimate of
actual incurred costs for the budget year. The Commission ensures that appropriations/expenditure under
it do not exceed the product of the deductions.

For 2001 the amount entered in the Community budget (heading B1-175) is € 15 000 000: € 7 500 000
for research and € 7 500 000 for information provision.

Expenditure in 2000 was € 3 073 000. Under-utilisation of the deduction is due in part to the absence of
new projects and in part to the fact that payment for each project is made progressively as its
implementation is verified.

(a) There are no new research projects. The Commission’s recent proposals on renewal of the common
market organisation for tobacco anticipate a reorientation of the Fund’s aims.

(b) On the information side, the Commission on 13 June 2001 called for tenders for a campaign to
dissuade adolescents from smoking. On 9 November the scientific and technical committee for the
Community tobacco fund met in order to help the Commission make the best choice among the offers
submitted.

All projects, whether already executed or in progress, present an interest for Greece.