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C 304/14 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/20) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4178/97
by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE) to the Commission
(21 January 1998)

Subject: Cohesion policy and culture

Article 128(4) of the EC Treaty states that the Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its action
under other provisions of the Treaty.

Can the Commission say what monitoring and control measures have been adopted in this connection, especially
in the context of Community structural policy?

Can the Commission say to what extent this aspect will be taken into account in the forthcoming reform of the
Structural Funds?

What strategy, objectives and guidelines will accompany this reform with regard to the impact of the cultural
sector on cohesion policy?

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission
(2 March 1998)

The Commission takes account of the cultural factor during negotiation and approval of the programming
documents. For example, the Commission made explicit reference to culture in its guidelines to the Member
States for the new objective 2 programmes (1997-1999).

However, the definition of programme priorities is a matter for the regional and local authorities concerned. For
example, the regions themselves decide whether and in what form they will give priority to integration of culture
within their programmes. The Commission may not impose any type of ‘quota’ as regards culture as this would
conflict with the principle of subsidiarity.

The Commission considers culture as an important area of potential job creation to be included in the future
programmes. At the same time the Commission does not consider it necessary to include culture explicitly as a
specific eligible action in the new regulations because it is already covered by the existing scope.

The link with regional development and job creation will remain a necessary condition for assistance aimed at
economic and social cohesion.

(98/C 304/21) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4180/97
by Riitta Myller (PSE) to the Commission
(21 January 1998)

Subject: Preparation in the Commission of the interim report on the EU’s northern dimension

The enlargement of the EU in 1995 to include the Nordic countries Sweden and Finland moved the Union’s
centre of gravity northwards. The decision on launching negotiations with the new candidate countries on
membership and preparations for membership, together with the need to develop the EU’s policy on Russia,
further reinforces the significance of the northern dimension in the Union’s policies.

The Presidency conclusions from the Luxembourg summit contain the following statement concerning the
northern dimension: ‘The European Council noted the Finnish proposal concerning a northern dimension for the
policies of the Union and requests the Commission to submit an interim report on this subject at a forthcoming
European Council meeting in 1998’. The importance of the northern dimension was also referred to in the report
submitted by the Commission (at the instructions of Luxembourg) on regional cooperation.

I would therefore ask the Commissioner responsible what preparations the Commission has made to ensure that
sufficient resources are available for the drafting of the interim report, and how it intends to link the northern
dimension to the work of future European Councils.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/15

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission
(19 February 1998)

The Commission shares the view of the Honourable Member that the last and future enlargements of the
Community, as well as the further development of the Community relations with Russia within the new
framework created by the partnership and co-operation agreement, all contribute to enhancing the importance for
the Community of the northern parts of Europe. These issues are already being addressed by a wide range of
Community policies and Community instruments both internally and in relations with neighbours. The
frameworks resulting from the Community agreements with each of its neighbours in the region, and the fora
created by the Baltic and Barents regional co-operation initiatives, play an important role in this regard. Through
regional policy and external assistance programmes, the Community supports the region’s development. This
will continue to be an important and integral part of the work being done in these existing frameworks. With this
in mind, the Commission will prepare an interim report on this subject to the European Council.

Moreover, the European Conference, as stated by the European Council, will be a multilateral forum for political
consultation, intended to address questions of general concern to the participants and to broaden and deepen their
co-operation on foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs. It will also examine other areas of common
concern, particularly economic matters and regional co-operation, the latter being of relevance to the issue raised
by the Honourable Member.

(98/C 304/22) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4186/97
by Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop (PSE) to the Commission
(21 January 1998)

Subject: Academic qualifications for A/LA grade competitions

Because of the great diversity of university qualifications in the European Union as a whole and the different
study periods required, applicants are finding it difficult to understand what qualifications are needed in order to
be eligible for A/LA grade competitions.

What selection criteria does the Commission use to determine eligibility for employment as an A/LA grade
official in the European civil service?

Is it true that eligibility for such posts is restricted to those holding the highest university qualification in each
Member State? If so, what legal provision governs this requirement?

Is it true that the Commission has accepted applications for A/LA grade posts from candidates holding a
‘Fachhochschuldiplom’, even though this is not the highest university qualification in the Member State
concerned? On what grounds does the Commission accept such applications?

Why does it not accept the Spanish qualification of ‘Ingeniero Técnico’ for applications for A/LA grade posts?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission
(10 February 1998)

Under the EC Treaty the organisation of education and education policy are not areas of competence specifically
assigned to the Community institutions. Given the range and variety of qualifications, opportunities for study,
university diplomas and centres and universities which issue qualifications and diplomas officially recognised in
each Member State, the Commission has to determine whether or not a diploma is acceptable for admission to the
civil service on the basis of the specific legislation of the Member State where the applicant claims to have
obtained the qualifications.

According to Article 27 of the Staff Regulations, the Commission’s recruitment policy is directed to securing for
the institution the services of officials of the highest standard of ability, efficiency and integrity, recruited on the
broadest possible geographical basis from among nationals of Member States.In addition, officials must