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C 304/160 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.


Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission

(26 March 1998)

Compliance with democratic principles and the rule of law in Togo require any presidential election there to be
completely above board and the lead-up to it open and fair.

In reply to the Honourable Member’s question, a specialist was sent out earlier this month to determine whether
and how support could be given to the belatedly established national electoral commission in light of the fact that
the first round of presidential elections is set for June this year.

The Commission intends to continue very close monitoring of the elections in conjunction with the Member
States. It is supporting campaigns by Togolese NGOs to inform the public of the elections and will assist with a
training programme for those bodies involved in the electoral process.

(98/C 304/244) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0854/98

by Lyndon Harrison (PSE) to the Commission
(11 March 1998)

Subject: Responsibility for fire

The responsibility for fire falls across many directorates-general of the European Commission. In what way does
the Commission ensure that these matters are dealt with in a coherent and focused manner?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 1998)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its findings as
soon as possible.

(98/C 304/245) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0867/98

by Armelle Guinebertière (UPE) to the Council
(31 March 1998)

Subject: Netherlands’ bill on the treatment of prostitution and procuring

The attention of the Council of Justice Ministers is drawn to a bill tabled by the Netherlands government in that
country concerning the treatment of prostitution and procuring.

This bill lifts the ban on brothels, sets out a female sex workers’ charter for so-called voluntary prostitutes and
decriminalizes procuring. If it is passed, the bill is likely to set a European precedent.

Can the Council of Minister of the European Union accept legislation which undermines the inviolability and
inalienability of the human body and repudiates the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons
and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of December 1949?

(4 June 1998)

The Council is not competent to comment on bills submitted by the Member States’ governments.