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C 60/116 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.

98

(98/C 60/197) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2248/97


by Sebastiano Musumeci (NI) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: Reform of fine arts academies

Students at fine arts academies in Italy have formed a national committee in order to lobby vigorously for their
diplomas to be granted degree status so that on completion of their studies they may attend special schools or
enter the teaching profession as their counterparts elsewhere in Europe are able to do.

Given that the Italian Government has not yet replied to their demands, will the Commission press the Italian
Government to implement the decree adopted two years ago by the Committee on Culture of the Chamber of
Deputies dealing with university reforms for Italian academies and conservatories and designed to remove the
conditions effectively penalizing Italian students vis-à-vis their counterparts in other Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

Under Article 126 of the EC Treaty, the Community contributes to the development of quality education by
encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their
action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the
organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.

Consequently, the Member States are wholly responsible for dealing with such matters as levels of study and the
recognition or academic equivalence of diplomas.

(98/C 60/198) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2250/97


by Maartje van Putten (PSE) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: Timber felling in Surinam

The media in the Netherlands recently reported (once again) on the plundering of forests in Surinam by foreign −
in particular, Asiatic − companies. In order to avoid having to secure permission from the National Assembly, it
appears that a few large companies operate via phantom companies and a lot of small concessions.

1. Is the Commission aware of these reports and, if so, does it feel that this is a problem requiring international
attention, given the protocol on forests in the Lomé Agreement, Agenda 21 and the current international debate
on a forests convention?

2. Is the commercial exploitation of Surinam’s forests one of the topics of the dialogue with Surinam in the
context of Lomé cooperation?

3. If so, what is the Commission’s opinion of the Surinam government’s view of the plundering of forests by
foreign firms?

4. What aid is being given by the Commission to the Surinam authorities or non-governmental organizations
to encourage sustainable forest management and to counteract illegal forms of exploitation?

5. What opportunities does the Commission see for supporting the Surinam government and private
organizations in taking more effective action against the environmentally and/or socially irresponsible
exploitation of Surinam’s forests?

6. Is the Commission prepared, in its cooperation with Surinam, to take the initiative in calling for a more
effective approach and in working towards bringing it about?

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