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C 102/104 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4.


(98/C 102/149) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2728/97

by Luciano Vecchi (PSE) to the Commission
(30 July 1997)

Subject: Social and environmental harm caused by prawn-farming in India

The farming of prawns, mainly for export purposes, has become widespread in recent years in some states of
India, in particular Tamil Nadhu. These activities are mostly controlled by foreign companies or multinationals.

As highlighted by widespread non-violent protest movements, and affirmed by the Indian Supreme Court itself,
such farming has caused severe environmental and social damage, and the use of sites for fish-farming has had
serious social repercussions.

Large-scale prawn-farming in India therefore clearly contravenes the principles of ‘sustainable development’
upheld by the European Union.
1. Has the Commission ever provided support, directly or indirectly, for setting up or doing business with
prawn-farms in India?
2. Does the Commission consider that European Union-based companies operating in this sector in India are
behaving correctly or not?
3. Does it intend to take economic, political and environmental measures to encourage the conversion of such

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 1997)

1. The Commission has never provided support for setting up or doing business with prawn farms in India.

2. The Commission is aware of the possible damage that can result from intensive prawn farming in coastal
areas. It therefore recommends the responsible development of aquaculture, in accordance with the Code of
Conduct for responsible fishing, to which the Community adheres. The Commission is not in a position to judge
the behaviour of the companies operating in this sector in India.

3. The Commission does not feel that it should take any economic, political or environmental measures to
encourage the conversion of such farms.

(98/C 102/150) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2731/97

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Protection of dwellings near the mediaeval walls of Thessaloniki

With aid from the European Union, Thessaloniki municipal authorities are undertaking a series of town-planning
projects in the upper city of Thessaloniki: these include the demolition of refugee dwellings bordering on the
mediaeval walls, which, according to UNESCO’s international list (No 456), constitute part of the world
heritage. These buildings which are linked to the history of the City since the Byzantine period are being
demolished to make way for roads running parallel to the walls and parking places.

The Academic Staff of the University of Thessaloniki’s Faculty of Architecture and local inhabitants are
protesting about this, and the Greek section of ICOMOS has addressed a letter to Thessaloniki municipal
authorities stressing that the Granada Convention and the Charter of Venice provide that ‘alongside the protected
cultural heritage monument or artefact the natural and urban environment must also be protected’.

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