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11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/99

3. If so, can the Commission indicate the programme under which these funds were provided? Can it also
indicate how it monitors the use of such funds?

4. Does the Commission see any prospect of withdrawing the funding, and can it ensure that the book is taken
out of circulation?

5. Does the Commission share the view that the message of this controversial textbook runs counter to the
objectives of the European Year Against Racism?

6. What action is the Commission intending to take to ensure that in future aid to third countries is not misused
for purposes which are at variance with the criteria for accession to the European Union in respect of democracy
and civil rights?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

Under the Phare ‘Renewal of education programme’ for Slovakia, funding was provided for curriculum
development. The Slovak ministry of education requested funding for the printing of a schoolbook on Slovak
history, described as a chronological description of historical events to be used as a supplementary teaching aid.
The request letter contained three recommendations of the book by historians teaching in Canada, Germany and
Slovakia, all of Slovak origin. The Commission relied on the recommendations and approved funding
(ECU 80,000) for the printing of the book.

When the Commission was made aware that the book contained offensive material of an antisemitic nature which
misrepresented Slovakia’s wartime role, it took immediate action. The responsible memeber of the Commission
in a meeting with the Slovak Foreign Minister on 25 June 1991 requested urgently the withdrawal of the books
from Slovak schools. Replying to this request the Slovak Prime Minister announced on 27 June 1997 in
Amsterdam that the book would be withdrawn. On 1 July 1997 the Slovak ministry of education published a
statement, saying that the book ‘will not be used in the educational process’. On 2 July 1997, the Foreign Minister
informed the Commission in a letter about this decision of the Ministry of education after the issue had been
raised at a regular government meeting. The Commission has focused its efforts on having the book withdrawn
rather than having the funds reimbursed.

The Commission agrees that the contents of this book run counter to the objectives and principles embodied in
the ‘year against racism’. The Commission stresses the importance of compliance with the democracy criterion
set out at the Copenhagen Council in all its contacts and co-operation initiatives with applicant countries. Every
effort is being made to support Slovakia in its objective to comply fully with this criterion.

(98/C 76/199) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2349/97


by Anita Pollack (PSE) to the Commission
(10 July 1997)

Subject: Use of stray dogs for vivisection in Portugal − Directive 86/609/EEC

Could the Commission give an update on the infringement proceedings initiated against Portugal (Complaint
No 94/4735) in respect of its failure to enforce Directive 86/609/EEC (1), with particular reference to the alleged
use of stray dogs for experiments?

(1) OJ L 358, 18.12.1986, p. 1.


C 76/100 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3. 98

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(5 September 1997)

In the context of the investigation of complaint 94/4735, the Commission contacted the Portuguese authorities on
4 April 1997. In their answer dated 30 May 1997, the Portuguese authorities state that on the (main) issue of the
alleged use of stray dogs for experiments in two research institutes (HUC, Coimbra and IHMT in Lisbon) the
inspections which were made confirmed that stray dogs were being used in scientific experiments. Their use was
suspended by the competent authority, the Instituto de protecçao agro-alimenar. The HUC no longer uses dogs in
scientific experiments while the IHMT only resorts to beagles. On the issue of keeping the animals in unsuitable
installations, works have started to upgrade the current installations in both institutes to render them compatible
with Community law.

The Commission does not intend to pursue the proceedings on the first issue as the problem seems to have been
solved. On the issue of the availability of suitable installations, the Commission is currently assessing the
alternatives available in order to tackle the remaining problems.

(98/C 76/200) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2364/97


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

Subject: Carcinogenic effects of chlorinated drinking water

Epidemiological population studies indicate that long-term consumption of chlorinated drinking water increases
the risk of contracting certain forms of cancer. In Finland, research into this has been conducted jointly by the
Public Health Institute and the cancer register. The findings have demonstrated that the more mutagenic the
water was, the greater the risk of cancer.

It is therefore possible that chlorinated drinking water is causing an estimated 50 to 100 additional cases of cancer
per annum in Finland. However, cancer is a worldwide problem. Millions of people constantly drink mutagenic
water.

What will the Commission do to obtain further information about the effects of consuming chlorinated drinking
water, and if justified, what action will it take to ensure that chlorine used in drinking water is replaced with
substances which are not carcinogenic?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(19 September 1997)

Council Directive 80/778/EEC of 15 July 1980 relating to the quality of water intended for human
consumption (1) laid down the quality standards with which water intended for human consumption must
comply, including the maximum admissible concentration of chloride.

In May 1995 the Commission proposed an amended version (2) of the said Directive. This text was examined by
Parliament on 11 December 1996 and, following the amendments proposed by Parliament, a new amended
proposal (3) was presented by the Commission. In this proposal, and with the continued aim of having a high
level of consumer health protection, the scientific basis was based largely on the most recent recommendations
(1993) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in this field.

As regards the question concerning the gathering of information, the Commission, within the framework of the
‘Europe against Cancer’ Programme, subsidises the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and
Nutrition (the EPIC network). This network is coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer,
based in Lyon, and nine Member States are involved (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy,
Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom).

The main aim of this network is to collect data on diet, lifestyle and environmental factors in a population of
450 000 Europeans and to correlate these data with the incidence of cancers within the cohort.

(1) OJ L 229, 30.8.1980.


(2) OJ C 131, 30.5.1995.
(3) OJ C 213, 15.7.1997.