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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/5

(98/C 304/06) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3940/97
by Maren Günther (PPE) to the Commission
(12 December 1997)

Subject: Long-term and structural support for cultural networks in the field of the performing arts

In the context of the Kaleidoscope programme, the Commission supports European cultural networks as pilot
projects. There is, however, as yet no continuing, structural support to enable the networks to make long-term
plans for the work they are intended to carry out.

1. Does the Commission intend to follow the recommendations of Parliament’s Committee on Culture and in
future provide longer-term and structural support for the networks?

2. Do the plans for the Kaleidoscope programme in 1998 include one or more European cultural networks in
the area of the performing arts?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission
(6 February 1998)

The Commission would point out that the duration of the Community’s Kaleidoscope programme is restricted to
three years and that 1998 is the last year.

The budget restraints imposed on the Kaleidoscope programme (annexed to European Parliament and Council
Decision No 719/96/EC of 29 March 1996 establishing a programme to support artistic and cultural activities
having a European dimension) (1) are such that no structural assistance can be granted for cultural networks as
such, but only for the projects and measures organised by them.

This means that, given the limited duration of the programme and the principle of annuality of the Community
budget, no long-term Community support can be granted for the time being.

The Commission would, however, point out that priority in selection is given to projects involving long-term
cooperation and that many quality networks have received support under the Kaleidoscope programme for
several years in succession. A notable example is the ‘Germinations’ network, which deals with the visual arts,
an area in which the Honourable Member takes a particular interest.

Structural support may also be provided under other Community policies and programmes and from other parts
of the budget, particularly Part A. Support measures for trans-European structures under heading A-3020 is just
one example.

As regards the outlook for support for cultural networks in 1998, the Commission is currently registering and
examining the applications submitted for the Kaleidoscope programme. The 1998 results are due to be
announced in April. In addition to the possibilities referred to above, certain limited opportunities for funding
will be available to networks as a result of the call for proposals which the Commission is due to issue by the end
of the year concerning Community support for cultural development projects under budget heading B3-2003.

(1) OJ L 99, 20.4.1996.

(98/C 304/07) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3981/97
by Angela Billingham (PSE) to the Commission
(14 January 1998)

Subject: Comparative analysis of national minimum wages in Europe

Could the European Commission inform me whether there is any regular survey or comparative analysis of
national minimum wages in the European Union?

Has the European Commission honoured its commitment in its 1993 Opinion on an equitable wage in which it
called for action to improve transparency with regards to wages?
C 304/6 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(18 February 1998)

The Commission opinion on an equitable wage (1) considered that Member States should improve transparency
of the labour market by a better collection and dissemination of comparable statistical information about wage
structures.

On 8 January 1997 the Commission adopted a progress report on equitable wages (2), according to which
transparency in wage information remains a problem area for all Member States. The wage statistics widely
available at Member State level are often too general and too out of date to aid transparency, and wage
information generated by job vacancy information is derived from too narrow a base to be useful.

It was also found that data on the structure of earnings and changes in income differentials are not generally
available on a Community wide basis. However, new information sources have been initiated by the Commission
and should provide some useful indicators over the next few years.

As part of the ongoing commitment to improve transparency concerning wage rates, and following on from last
year’s progress report, a publication ‘Minimum wages, 1997- A comparative study’ will be available in March
1998.

(1) COM(93) 288 final.
(2) COM(96) 698 final.

(98/C 304/08) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4000/97
by Danilo Poggiolini (PPE), Pierluigi Castagnetti (PPE),
Antonio Graziani (PPE), Giampaolo D’Andrea (PPE), Michl Ebner (PPE),
Livio Filippi (PPE), Maria Colombo Svevo (PPE), Vincenzo Viola (PPE), Carlo Casini (PPE),
Alessandro Fontana (PPE) and Giovanni Burtone (PPE) to the Commission
(14 January 1998)

Subject: Selection criteria for the recruitment of trainees to the Commission’s administration

Given the rising number of applications for traineeships in the Commission’s services and the reduced number of
posts available, which inevitably means that many applications are rejected, and the obligation to ensure
transparency in relations between EU citizens and their institutions, can the Commission:
1. say exactly what criteria are used, within the national quotas, for selecting the trainees recruited to the
Commission’s administrative services, particularly for the first selection round in which candidates’ names
are entered in the so-called ‘Blue Book’?
2. Indicate the criteria for paying some but not all trainees?
3. Provide the figures for the different national quotas?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission
(30 January 1998)

1. The selection criteria for in-service training with the Commission are set out in the rules governing
in-service training of 7 July 1997.

In-service training is open to candidates who have not already benefited from in-service training in another
European institution or body and who have completed by the closing date for applications a course of university
education and obtained a full degree or its equivalent. The age limit is 30 and applicants must have a thorough
knowledge of one Community language and a satisfactory knowledge of one other.

Applicants are selected on the basis of qualifications and, while there are no national quotas, an appropriate
geographical balance is maintained taking account of the population of each country and the number of
applicants. Priority is given to applicants on the basis of the results obtained during their studies.