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C 76/82 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3.

98

(98/C 76/171) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2244/97


by Gerardo Fernández-Albor (PPE) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: EU contribution to the restoration and conservation of cathedrals

Many cathedrals in the Community, which form part of a vast spiritual, cultural and architectural heritage,
require restoration and conservation work, with varying degrees of urgency, to protect them against the effects of
wind and weather which threaten their existence.

Funding for such work is often either clearly insufficient or simply unavailable.

Given that the restoration and conservation of our cathedrals could be a major source of employment and provide
work for people with both professional and manual skills, does the Commission believe that it should concentrate
its action in this field into a specific programme under the ERDF so that, as well as helping to promote economic
activity, it will make a substantial contribution to preserving the richness and uniqueness of the historical and
spiritual legacy represented by cathedrals in the Community?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

The Commission understands and shares the Honourable Member’s concern about the restoration and
preservation of many cathedrals within the Community and it is for this very reason that the theme of its 1995
pilot restoration projects was specifically designed to support the protection and enhancement of religious
monuments.

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that the needs in this field are great indeed and also that
any action for the restoration of our historic, religious, cultural and architectural heritage represented in the form
of cathedrals will certainly have positive repercussions in social and economic terms with the provision of extra
employment opportunities for people with either professional or manual skills.

As the Honourable Member is aware, actions in favour of the preservation of cultural heritage are already eligible
under the European regional development fund (ERDF) provided, of course, that they meet its objectives and
eligibility criteria. Furthermore, last year, Article 10 of the ERDF Regulation (EEC) No 4254/88 as amended (1)
provided extra support for projects that aimed to preserve and enhance the Community’s cultural heritage in
general and architectural heritage in particular.

(1) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.

(98/C 76/172) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2247/97


by Marjo Matikainen-Kallström (PPE) to the Commission
(2 July 1997)

Subject: Tobacco smoke in the environment

Tobacco smoke in the environment is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, environmental hazard at the
workplace and at home. Tobacco smoke contains nearly fifty carcinogenic substances. There are no threshold
levels for these substances below which no risk of cancer exists.

And yet passive smoking cannot be avoided. If only because of the cost of the health care to which tobacco
smoke gives rise we in the EU have no choice but to take determined action to reduce this nuisance. Although
there are standards regulating smoking in certain Member States, these standards are not sufficiently effective in
limiting passive smoking.

What more effective measures does the Commission propose taking to protect citizens from unintentional
exposure to tobacco smoke at the workplace and in public places? Does the Commission intend to classify
tobacco smoke in the environment as a carcinogenic substance?

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