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11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/107

The Commission entered line B3-4115 in the preliminary draft budget for 1998, entitled European monitoring
centre on racism and xenophobia, with the amount of MECU 3.

The status of the Monitoring Centre is laid down in the Regulation, and is similar to that of the other specialised

(1) OJ L 151, 10.6.1997.

(98/C 76/210) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2403/97

by Gerhard Schmid (PSE) to the Commission
(10 July 1997)

Subject: Old people’s homes

1. Does the European Union provide aid for setting up or managing residential accommodation for the elderly
(old people’s homes or sheltered housing)?

2. If so, under what programmes?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(10 September 1997)

Budget heading B3-4103 (support programme for the elderly), which is blocked at present, does not make
provision for this type of expenditure.

Moreover, the Structural Funds are not specifically earmarked for financing such projects.

(98/C 76/211) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2406/97

by Ian White (PSE) to the Commission
(10 July 1997)

Subject: Electric wiring & voltage

Does the Commission have any plans to harmonize electrical wiring standards to a specific voltage? Should
harmonization result in the acceptance of a voltage? Should harmonization result in the acceptance of a voltage
lower than that currently used in any of the Member States, what steps would be taken and would there be
compulsory conversion?

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission

(5 September 1997)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the answer given to written question E-1426/97 from
Mr. Whitehead, on the harmonisation of voltages (1).

It would also emphasise that harmonisation of voltages, as defined by European standard HD 472, is solely the
remit of CENELEC, the European body for electrotechnical standardisation. While strongly in favour of
harmonisation, the Commission was not the instigator of this far-reaching initiative. The Commission's view is
that technical bodies are best placed to properly weigh up all implications of such measures, insofar as electrical
equipment safety and network protection are concerned.

As regards rules on wiring, it should be pointed out that these are the exclusive responsibility of national
authorities. However, considerable efforts have been made in promoting European standardisation, leading to
harmonisation in certain areas.