You are on page 1of 2

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available at Member State level are often too general and too out of date to aid transparency, and wage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.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/7

The Commission has introduced a more rigorous and systematic procedure for examining stagiaires’
applications through the creation of preselection groups for each nationality made up of Commission officials of
that nationality.

2. The number of stagiaires who receive a grant is determined by the budget available. The Commission
would prefer to be in a position to pay all its stagiaires and for this reason wrote to the president of the Parliament
and the president of the budgets committee on 23 October 1997 to inform them that it intends to increase
gradually the number of grants available each year from 800 to 1 200 with a view to ensuring that all stagiaires
are paid. This operation will start in 1999 with a request for a 10% increase in the stage budget line A-3200.

3. There are no national quotas for stagiaires. A table sent direct to the Honourable Member and to the
Parliament’s Secretariat shows the numbers of stagiaires recruited by nationality in 1996 and 1997.

(98/C 304/09) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4012/97
by John Iversen (PSE) to the Commission
(14 January 1998)

Subject: Pesticide residues in grapes

Is the Commission aware that several varieties of European grapes have been discovered on the German market
with more than the permitted pesticide content? Öko Test in Germany tested 30 different grape varieties, several
of which exceeded the permitted pesticide-residue levels, in some cases by over 100%.

Does the Commission believe that existing inspection arrangements are effective in guaranteeing consumers safe
products?

Does the Commission recognize the problem that total pesticide levels in fruit can far exceed the permitted limit
values for individual substances?

What action does the Commission intend to take to ensure that consumers are not thus receiving such large
quantities of pesticides when they eat fruit?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(17 February 1998)

The Commission is aware that during 1996 the German authorities examined 188 samples of table grapes and
that pesticide levels above the maximum residue level (MRL) were detected in four of these. In one sample,
residues of two pesticides at levels above their respective MRLs were detected.

The four samples with levels over the MRL were from consignments of grapes produced in Member States and it
is understood that the German authorities informed the authorities of the originating Member State directly of
these infringements.

The Commission considers that the amendments to Directive 90/642/EEC of 27 November 1990 on the fixing of
maximum levels for pesticide residues in and on certain products of plant origin, including fruit and
vegetables (1) made by Council Directive 97/41/EC of 25 June 1997 amending Directives 76/895/EEC,
86/362/EEC, 86/363/EEC and 90/642/EEC relating to the fixing of maximum levels for pesticide residues in and
on, respectively, fruit and vegetables, cereals, foodstuffs of animal origin, and certain products of plan origin,
including fruit and vegetables (2), due to be implemented by the Member States by 31 December 1998, will
provide a framework for increased effectiveness of the arrangements for inspection and monitoring of pesticide
residues. The Commission intends to make the detailed implementing rules necessary for the proper functioning
of the amended provisions before that date.

(1) OJ L 350, 14.12.1990.
(2) OJ L 184, 12.7.1997.