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22. 1.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 21/53

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(30 June 1997)

The Commission is paying close attention to the ethical implications of cloning. The Group of Advisers on the
Ethical Implications of Biotechnology, set up by the Commission in 1991, delivered its opinion on the matter on
28 May 1997. The text is being sent directly to the Honourable Member and to Parliament's Secretariat.

The Commission is examining the recommendations in that opinion in order to identify the areas for which it
would be responsible and in which Community action could be envisaged. In this context special attention is
being given to the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (a draft directive on this matter is under
discussion in Parliament) and to the proposal for a fifth framework programme on research and development.

(98/C 21/138) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1416/97

by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(23 April 1997)

Subject: EU funding for the ECMI

In response to my question of 13 January 1997 to the Commission (E-0105/97) (1) on the activities of the
European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), Commissioner Wulf-Mathies stated on 17.3.1997 that the
Commission ‘is collecting the information it needs to answer the question’.

However, I have also received an information file from the head of the ECMI, Mr Stefan Troebst, answering the
questions I had raised. This Centre has particularly ‘distinguished itself’ through its attempt to slander a Member
State of the European Union, namely Greece, by making indulgent use of information of dubious authenticity to
discover ‘bogus’ minorities in many countries and to raise questions which have the potential to trigger conflicts
in many parts of Europe. This is an exceptionally serious matter, especially since the information file sent to me
by Mr Troebst mentions that the ECMI has received funding of ECU 641 000 under the INTERREG II
programme and that provision has been made for representatives of the EU, the Council of Europe and the OSCE
to sit on its governing council.

Given that the curious activities of the ECMI can seriously tarnish the image of the European Union, will the
Commission explain its official position regarding this centre, given that it appears to be financing it, and that
two Member States of the European Union (Denmark and Germany) are also contributing ECU 575 000 per year
to it, thus turning against their other EU partners?

(1) OJ C 186, 18.6.1997, p. 226.

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 1997)

The Commission has up to now not made a financial contribution to the European Centre for minority issues but
it is examining the demands of the two Member States for Interreg II support for the project.

It is not for the Commission to comment on the statements attributed to the director of the centre.

(98/C 21/139) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1427/97

by Ernesto Caccavale (UPE) to the Commission
(23 April 1997)

Subject: Capodichino Airport (Naples): Infringement of Community rules on the awarding of contracts.

Recent press reports have revealed that, under a private agreement with the Mayor of Naples and the President of
the Province of Naples, the British Airports Authority is to be awarded a contract for the administration of the
Naples Capodichino International Airport.