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22. 6.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 196/39

(98/C 196/54) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3939/97


by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(4 December 1997)

Subject: Money laundering

According to reports − which have now reached the Greek Parliament − a number of banks are engaging in the
conversion of funds derived from criminal activities (money laundering), thereby infringing Directive
91/308/EEC (1) which has already been transposed into Greek legislation under Law 2331, (Official Gazette 173,
24.8.1995).

27 allegations of this nature must now be considered by the parliamentary committee for the monitoring of
commercial practices and transactions. The banks themselves admit that they are unable to monitor transactions,
proof of the difficulties in implementing Directive 91/308/EEC.

In answer to my previous question (2) Mr Monti indicated on 13 May 1996 that ‘were it (the Commission) to have
any doubts as to its conformity (that of Greek legislation) with the directive it would follow the standard
procedures’.

In view of the above:


1. Is the Commission aware of this situation and what view does it take of it?
2. What measures will the Commission take to ensure more effective enforcement of the directive?

(1) OJ L 166, 28.6.1991, p. 77.


(2) Written question E-0823/96, OJ C 280, 25.9.1996, p. 87.

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(3 February 1998)

The Commission has no knowledge of the reports mentioned by the Honourable Member nor of the difficulties
apparently being encountered by the banking sector. The Commission therefore intends to write to the Greek
authorities to ask for full information on this matter.

At the same time the Commission would request the Honourable Member himself to supply to the Commission
any detailed information that is in his possession.

(98/C 196/55) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3941/97


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(12 December 1997)

Subject: Creation of a Greek section in the third European school

Parents’ representatives from the Greek section of the European school (No 1) in Brussels (UCCLE) have been
collecting signatures in support of their efforts to obtain an additional Greek section in the third European school
being built in Brussels. The opening of a Greek section is considered to be particularly necessary since the
existing Greek section of the European school in Brussels (No 1) is suffering from overcrowding and the splitting
of classes with the result that many Greek children are now attending Belgian schools, which deprives them of
the possibility of learning their own language properly.

This is a particularly important issue and indicative of the sensitive approach required by a multicultural Europe
towards the languages, cultures, and traditions of its various Member States.

What is the official position of the Commission on this matter? Is it intended to open an additional Greek section
in the European school currently under construction as is the case concerning pupils of other nationalities?
C 196/40 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 22. 6. 98

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission


(2 February 1998)

Educational policy and organisation are exclusively matters for the Board of Governors, which is the
intergovernmental body responsible for the European schools. It will therefore be for the Board to decide, when
the time comes, what language sections there are to be in the third European school, which is currently being built
in Brussels. This decision will have to be taken in line with the principles on which the teaching system at the
European schools is based.

As a member of the Board committed to the proper running of the European schools, the Commission will
endeavour to ensure that these principles are respected.

(98/C 196/56) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3947/97


by Johannes Swoboda (PSE) to the Council
(15 December 1997)

Subject: OECD agreement to combat bribery and corruption

An agreement to combat bribery and corruption has been reached in the OECD. However, it concerns only the
bribing of public officials.

To what extent does the European Union advocate wider-ranging proscription of and legal action against bribery
and corruption?

Answer
(30 March 1998)

The Council has adopted already a number of measures to combat bribery. The following instruments may be
mentioned:
1. Convention of 26 May 1997 on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities
or officials of the Member States of the European Union (1).
2. Convention of 26 July 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests and its
protocol of 27 September 1996 which deals specifically with corruption (2).
3. Common Positions of 6 October and of 13 November 1997, both on the negotiations in the Council of
Europe and the OECD on the fight against corruption (3).

Moreover, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council proposed a Joint Action to combat corruption within the
private sector. This proposal, on which the European Parliament has given an opinion, is currently being
examined by the competent working group of the Council with a view to making good progress during the
coming months. The UK Presidency hopes to reach an agreement before the end of the current semester.

In this context it should be mentioned that the Action Plan against organized crime, approved by the European
Council at Amsterdam in June 1997, contains a specific recommendation (nr 6) aiming at the development of a
comprehensive EU policy to fight corruption in order to enhance transparency in public administration and in
business and to prevent the use by organised crime of corrupt practices. This is also the objective of the
Commission’s communication of 21 May 1997 to the European Parliament and the Council on a Union policy
against corruption.

The Council will pursue action against fraud and corruption vigorously.

(1) OJ C 195/01, 25.06.1997.


(2) OJ C 316/48, 27.11.1995 and C 313/01, 23.10.1996.
(3) OJ L 279/01, 13.10.1997 and L 320/01, 21.11.1997.