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C 76/42 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3.


(25 September 1997)

It is not for the Council to give its views on the statements referred to by the Honourable Member.

The Council entirely subscribes to the fundamental principles of the internal market and of the common fisheries
policy. Furthermore, the Council would remind the Honourable Member that it is for the Court of Justice to
interpret the provisions of the Treaty.

(98/C 76/120) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1688/97

by Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler (V) to the Commission
(20 May 1997)

Subject: Implementation of Agenda 21 (export subsidies)

Five years ago, in 1992, the international community meeting at the UNCED Conference in Rio agreed on the
objectives of Agenda 21. Part I, chapter 2, of the Agenda attaches considerable importance to removing the
existing distortions in international trade. To achieve this, it says, a massive and continuing phasing out of
subsidies and aid for agriculture is required.

As the example of export subsidies for beef to South Africa has shown, five years after the adoption of Agenda 21
the EU’s subsidies policy is a threat to the development of the countries of the South. How does the EU think it
can comply with the obligations of Agenda 21 in this respect? Has the Commission subjected its export subsidy
policy to a thorough review in this respect? What conclusions has it drawn? Has it already published its studies
on this matter, or does it intend to do so?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(4 July 1997)

The Community has played a leading role in the United Nations conference on environment and development
conference in Rio in 1992 and in the follow-up concerning the implementation of Agenda 21. Both the Member
States and the Commission seek to ensure that the United Nations general assembly special session later this year
will further stimulate the world-wide implementation of Agenda 21.

The agricultural part of Agenda 21 was further considered in the third session of the commission for sustainable
development (CSD) in 1995 which issued a balanced set of recommendations concerning agriculture and rural
development in relation to Agenda 21. They ranged from food security, poverty and community development,
land-use planning, attention to small farmers on marginal lands, protection of resources, research, energy and
genetic resources.

Specifically concerning trade in agricultural commodities, the CSD viewed the full implementation of the
Uruguay round as an important contribution to an undistorted sectoral and economy-wide policy framework for
sustainable development while the impact of trade liberalisation should be monitored. The Community has
adopted the legislation necessary to ensure the correct implementation of the reduction commitments under the
Uruguay round.

In addition, the 1992 reform of the common agricultural policy helped bring balance to agricultural markets and
reduce the need for export subsidies while also taking environmental protection requirements into account. The
reform, which has been fully implemented, reduced price supports and introduced decoupled income support,
hence reducing public incentives for intensive production. Since 1992 there has been further progress on
reforming the common market organisations for agricultural products. The market organisation for fruits and
vegetables was recently changed to a more market-oriented approach. Further development may be expected,
extending the 1992 reforms where they have not yet been introduced and deepening them where they need to go
further. The instrument of price support is thereby likely to decrease in importance. This can also help farmers to
take advantage of new opportunities on the world market. The Community is committed to the full
11. 3. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/43

implementation of the Uruguay round and the continuation of this process, in particular by the quantitative and
budgetary reduction of export refunds. However, market liberalisation and the elimination of support do not
automatically improve the environment, achieve rural development or help the poor and hungry in developing
countries. Accompanying policies securing the multifunctional character of agriculture are needed to achieve
these aims.

(98/C 76/121) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1703/97

by Hadar Cars (ELDR) to the Commission
(20 May 1997)

Subject: Representation in Taipei

During his meeting with Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on 14 April this year, Sir Leon Brittan was
reminded of Parliament’s call for a representation to be established in Taipei and was asked what action the
Commission had taken in response thereto?

He replied that no progress had been made and that the Commission intended to await decisions on Taiwanese
and Chinese membership of the WTO.

Given that Hong Kong is soon to be handed over to China, it is important, from a political perspective, that the
EU utilize every opportunity to strengthen its contacts with Taiwan. Trade policy alone should not therefore
determine when a representation is established in Taipei. It is extremely important, for political reasons, that such
an office be opened as soon as possible.

Is the Commission President, Mr Santer, prepared to act in order to ensure that the Commission establishes a
representation in Taiwan in the near future?

Answer given by Sir Leon Brittan on behalf of the Commission

(13 June 1997)

The Commission believes that (resources permitting) there is a good case for establishing an office to pursue
Community commercial and cooperation policies in Taipei. Such an office could operate on the same informal
basis as the commercial and other offices which many countries maintain in Taiwan, including most Member
States. It could already perform useful tasks under the current Community market access strategy, and would
certainly be even more important once Taiwan is a member of the World trade organisation (WTO). In addition,
it would be in a good position to assist in the development of cooperation activities in areas such as science and
technology and European studies, as well as in the field of business cooperation. However, such a possibility will
depend on an evaluation of the Commission's priorities for the development of its network of external
representations. This in turn will depend on the overall availability of human and financial resources.

(98/C 76/122) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1705/97

by Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler (V) to the Commission
(23 May 1997)

Subject: Damage to the environment due to destruction of surplus fruit and vegetables

As the Commission gave only a general answer to my questions E-1901/96, E-1902/96 and E-1903/96 (1) (and
based it on outdated figures), I should like to repeat my question about damage to the environment due to
destruction of fruit and vegetables (and the costs arising from it) and to request an appropriate answer: